Profit Genius Episode 14: Masculinity: Illusions and Truth with Michael Taylor

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Today I’m speaking with Michael Taylor, an entrepreneur, author of 7 books, motivational speaker, radio & TV host. He’s committed to empowering people to transform their lives from the inside out.

In the episode you’ll hear: 

  • The five illusions of manhood that keep men stuck and trapped. 
  • The difference between toxic masculinity and authentic masculinity.
  • What drives the mask of Mr. Tough Guy and how to let go of the mask. 
  • How to separate from the part of ourselves that’s trying to protect us and move into being who we authentically are.

If you’re inspired by this episode, I’d love to hear your biggest Aha! moments. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device and post it to your social media and tag me, @christieturley!

LINKS:

Michael’s book (FREE!), A New Conversation with Men: https://aNewConversationwithMen.com  

Michael’s Website and LinkedIn

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Business Growth, Realignment & Reinvention for Conscious Entrepreneurs

Business Mentor & Spiritual Medium

Business Mentor Christie Turley sparks reinvention in authors, speakers and coaches, so they can align their businesses to their future selves, breakthrough their money ceilings and manifest abundance in all eight areas of life. Her superpower is uncovering hidden leverage points that lead to exponential profits and impact— like one client who grew from zero to $15 million in under a year.

She launched her career in marketing and communication while juggling college classes. By age 24, she had grown two businesses by more than $30 Million total, worked with many Fortune 500 brands, and started her own branding & marketing agency. Since then, she’s started nine businesses and has loved working with transformational authors, speakers and coaches during the past 20 years.

To help entrepreneurs awaken their prosperity, she mentors business owners and shares her Intuitive Gifts and her knowledge as a Money Strategist, Certified Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Strategic Life Coach. She is author of the book, The Intuition-Led Business, a podcast host, and has shared the stage with many New York Times bestselling authors. She lives in the USA with her husband and their two beautiful children.

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Transcript:

Christie:
welcome to the mind muse podcast. I’m your host Christie Turley. And today my guest is coach Michael Taylor. He’s an entrepreneur author of seven books, a motivational speaker, a radio and TV show host, and he is all about helping men embrace a new paradigm of masculinity that supports them in being great husbands and fathers, and really supports them in creating meaningful and rewarding lives.

Christie:
All right, Michael welcome to the show today.

Michael:
Well, Christie thank you so much for this opportunity to share on your podcast. I’m really looking forward to this conversation.

Christie:
Me too. Now, this is a super great topic. I’m so excited about this because there seems to be quite the revolution happening on our planet with men and woman women. And we’re here to talk about the, the masculine side of things and ah, you and I spoke before about how, you know, there’s this paradigm of masculinity and femininity. So this conversation doesn’t necessarily exclude women because women have both a masculine and a feminine side, but a lot of the examples you might be sharing how to do with men and that’s okay.

Christie:
So just so we’re clear up front, you know, if you’re a woman listening to this, you’re still going to gain a lot out of it, especially when it comes to the men in your lives. So anyway, so in your book, you mentioned you believe that men are frustrated, tired, and hungry. So what do you mean by that?

Michael:
Yeah, let me read this a quick exercise. It says it is my fervent belief that men are frustrated, tired, and hungry. They are frustrated because they are trapped in an old paradigm that no longer works. You are frustrated because they are searching for new and better ways to exist as the man yet they have failed in a search if you don’t know where to turn, and they’re becoming desperate for a new way of being and relating as a man. And so that’s actually the introduction in my book, a new conversation with men, and what I believe is happening is the current paradigm of masculinity is actually breaking down. And I must admit that I’m an irrepressible optimist. And despite what we see in the media, it is my belief that it’s breaking down for the better.

Michael:
And so things are actually getting better. I think, especially when it comes to men. And what we’re seeing is The the last fragments of the old guard, if you will, because when we see things like sexual abuse and rape and things like that, obviously there are men that perpetuate those negative behaviors. But what I’m seeing is more and more men are starting to ask themselves deeper questions about what it means to be a man. And so once again, I think there are a lot of men, as a matter of fact, I’ll say the majority of men are a little afraid if you will, because most people don’t like change, but it’s something part of it. It’s part of the evolutionary process I believe.

Michael:
And so I don’t think men have a choice. We have to wake up and when men wake up, they no longer become frustrated because they connect to the authentic sales. And that’s my job. I help me and connect to their authentic self to remove that frustration, that the tiredness and that hungry, as I mentioned earlier.

Christie:
Yeah. So when it comes to being authentic and this whole paradigm Masculinity, we also talked about toxicity and how there’s this spectrum really that men and women can find themselves on this moving spectrum of masculinity femininity and like this, the toxicity and what would be the opposite of that would be in my mind divinity, but maybe you have another word for it. What w what are the five Illusions of Masculinity when it comes to trying to find where we are currently on the spectrum?

Michael:
Well, before we jumped to that, let’s let me give you a little back story of how I got involved in this. And I think this is really late the context with this whole conversation. When I was about 23 years old, I was living in the American dream. I had a house, the wife, the 2.5 kids. And by society standards, I was pretty successful. And within approximately a six and a half year timeframe, that American dream turned into the American nightmare. As I went through a divorce, bankruptcy, a foreclosure, a deep state of depression, I was homeless for two years, living out of a car. And during the darkest period of my life, I receive the miracle. I was sitting up late one night because I was too depressed to sleep.

Michael:
And I was sitting at the edge of my bed, looking out across my room. And I happened to notice that every book on my bookshelf had something to do with getting rich on making money. And as I looked at those books, this question just popped in my head. Michael what if you took all the energy and effort you’ve used in trying to get rich and simply figure out how to be happy? And it was that one simple question, as simplistic as it may sound that literally changed and saved my life in an instant, something in me shifted. And all of a sudden my depression lifted and I had this amazing clarity that I was going to be able to rebuild my life.

Michael:
And a follow-up question was what does it mean to be a man? Because I had done everything I thought a man was supposed to do to be happy, but I was absolutely miserable. And so, as a result of asking myself those two questions, I began is amazing journey of transformation. And I stopped reading books on getting reach and making money. And I started reading books on philosophy and psychology and spirituality and metaphysics and personal development. And so I went on this deep, deep dive to cell. And so it’s been a 25 year journey that I’m still on today, but fortunately I was able to rebuild my life and I made a commitment that I was going to share the lessons that I learned with other men.

Michael:
Now, back in 1995, when I first started talking about these issues, I was doing a radio show and a guy called it. And I thought I was going to get a lot of support for me and talking about emotional healing and stuff, but How was attacked, vilified, critical criticized. And men were like, Oh, you’re, you know, you’re, you’re one of those feminists, you know, what are you talking about? Feelings and emotions and so forth. It, so it was really shocked that men weren’t comfortable having a conversation. And so I started doing more research and that’s when I wrote a new conversation with me. And because what I discovered was that there are five Illusions of manhood, and it has these five Illusions of manhood that keeps men stuck, keep men trapped.

Michael:
And so let’s, let’s break down those five Illusions and that you brought up and a Illusions number one is to be a man. You must be non-emotional and disconnected. And here in lies the foundation of most of our challenges as men, because we were taught and we’re conditioned throughout our society to believe that feelings are for women, that men are supposed to feel from a very early age, we are taught to repress and suppress our emotions because we don’t want to appear weak. And so what happens is men begin to push down if you will, their emotions and they don’t allow themselves to feel, and what are we do?

Michael:
We processed everything from the neck up. And so we’re constantly thinking and rationalizing and analyzing, but we aren’t eating it. And that’s where the disconnect comes from. And that’s why so many men struggle with life in specifically relationships. And a perfect example of this is after my divorce, I noticed an amazing pattern in my relationships. Women were saying the same thing, and I’m in our relationships again, here’s the pattern. They last about three weeks. And the women would say, I care too much about you to stay in this relationship. And I wait a minute, wait, wait, wait, that doesn’t compete. What do you mean?

Michael:
You care about me, but you’re leaving. But they all said the same thing. You aren’t emotionally available. And I couldn’t get that at the time. I couldn’t understand what they meant because I was a good guy. You know, I thought anyway. And so I started asking myself, you know, what is this issue that I’m having that women keep leaving? And so I had another miracle. I was having a pity party with a female friend of mine. And I was saying, you know, you women talk about, you want a good man. And I’m a good man, and you want me to keep leaving me? And she looked at me and she says, Michael, you know, I’m your friend, but if one person called me a jackass, you probably shouldn’t worry about it, but to have them, or do you might want to get us out of it?

Michael:
Have you not noticed that you’re the only common denominator in all of your relationships? So maybe the problem isn’t with the women, maybe the problem is with you. And for the first time I really got it. I really got it. I didn’t get the fences. I listened to what she said. And what I recognize was I was emotionally disconnected. And that’s what a lot of men experienced even Today. And that’s why this conversation is so important that men have to be willing to connect and understand that being emotional is not just for women. See, we’ve been conditioned to believe that somehow women have a monopoly on emotions, but men feel at the same depth at the same level as women, we feel the same emotions, but unfortunately we’re conditioned not to express them because of our culture.

Michael:
So that’s a Illusions number one to the man. You must be non emotional and disconnect us all. Kinda take a break and give me an opportunity.

Christie:
Yeah. I just want to respond to what you just said. So that is actually that illusion is not just particular to men. Like I know a lot of women that may have grown up in a situation where their voice, our opinion wasn’t valued and that’s more on the thought process side of things. But even on the emotional side of things, see, we tend to equate thinking with Masculinity or a masculine trait, not men, but masculine different, right. There is a and emotions with femininity, not necessarily women, but I find that so interesting because you know, for me, I grew up and it’s not necessarily, I’m not blaming anybody, but it was just like, not really a valued part of the family culture to express your emotions, or, you know, there was, you know, anger wasn’t necessarily expressed in the best way.

Christie:
Not that anger is bad. A lot of people think it’s bad. A lot of people think these emotions are bad. Like sadness, stop crying. You know, don’t be such a baby. You know, those are, those are also things that women definitely grow up with too. So I think this, this move towards connecting your mind with your heart and learning how to express emotions, as well as your thoughts on a healthy way is, is such an important distinction to make. So, yeah, I love that. And I definitely think that men are definitely groomed more that way, but it totally happens with women to, especially if you’re more of a thinking woman, as opposed to a feeling woman, which I would, I would say I am like, I’ve definitely, always tended more towards the thinking and the rational and the logical set of things and have to really bring in the more of my natural it’s like nurture versus nature.

Christie:
Like I think my natural state is, you know, emotion and compassion and things like that, but it’s like, what was nurtured in you is what you tend to express more of. So,

Michael:
Yeah. And interestingly enough, you know, again, talking from a male perspective, if we look at the collective culture, I mean, I’ve had lots of women that have read my books and said, I relate to everything. You said it as a woman and it, which I get, because it’s all about being human. But I think here’s a, here’s a unique way to look at masculinity and femininity. Now, Nikola Tesla, the great inventor and scientist said that if you want to understand the universe, you have to think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration. Okay. So think of femininity and masculinity as simply energies as, as vibrations.

Michael:
So femininity could be the The described as the energy okay. Of being this it’s our being this energy Masculinity on our hand is our doing this energy. So when I’m being assertive and, and driven, that’s like a masculine energy. If I’m being intuitive and using my imagination, that’s more feminine. So femininity and masculinity, aren’t gender specific. But when it comes to men, when you say femininity, they completely disconnect because they aren’t connected emotionally. And that’s why they, they get defensive. And they don’t want to understand that they have feminine traits, but it’s just energy.

Michael:
If you can get a person to understand that simple distinction, these are just energies, men and women both have the same energies. If we can wrap our minds around that and grasp that, it gives us a whole different perspective on this. Masculinity literally a feminine now with that being said, that’s why I don’t believe the such a thing as toxic masculinity, masculinity in and of itself is not toxic. There are some men who exhibit toxic behaviors, but that’s because they’re disconnected from their authentic Masculinity. So what we needed to do was help me to connect to their authentic Masculinity and you don’t see those toxic behaviors.

Christie:
Yeah. I love that. Okay. Let’s, let’s continue with the four other Illusions. I love that. And thank you so much for that distinction have the energy is because I totally believe that to, and everyone’s on their own perfect mix of masculine versus feminine energies. And women don’t necessarily have to have more femininity than Masculinity and men don’t have to necessarily have more Masculinity than feminity. Its just, you know, everyone has their own perfect mix, right?

Michael:
It’s two sides at the same coin. It’s the yin and yang of life. Exactly. So number two, Illusions number two is to be a man. You must use sexual conquest as a gauge for manhood from a very early age. As men, as boys, we’re taught that our goal is to have as much sex as possible. And when we have sex, it’s a way of validating our Masculinity. So the more women we can sleep with the, you know, the more we stick our chest out and brag to our friends about yeah, you know, I had sex and that kind of stuff. Well see men who are emotionally disconnected, they get caught into that trap. And that’s where a sexual addiction comes from.

Michael:
’cause they’re trying to validate themselves through this act of sex in it. Is that an illusion that also drives rave culture because for them its a matter of power. So they’re trying to gain power over someone because they actually feel powerless and therefore they act out in this sexual way. And so that Illusions drives a lot of negative male behavior and it’s something that’s deeply rooted in our culture because obviously we’ve heard the marketing term sex sales and we’re constantly bombarded and inundated with images of sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. Well, if we get trapped in the first, the illusion that we’re disconnected from our emotions, then sex becomes only a physical act. So there’s no emotional connection.

Michael:
There is no intimacy there. And that’s why a lot of men struggle and therefore they, if they can’t connect emotionally, then they try to act out physically. And that’s why they don’t feel what it’s like to make of love. They just have sex. Yeah.

Christie:
That’s great. That is a really good one.

Michael:
That’s Illusions number two, illusion. Number three is to be a man. You must have money and material possessions. Now, first of all, absolutely nothing wrong with making money and tons of it. That’s not the point. The point here is that as men to many times, we get wrapped up in our stuff. You know, we want to, you know, have the nice car. You want to have the nice clothes we want to have the beautiful woman. We get attached to external things. And we, we think that the more stuff we have somehow that validates us as men. And so what happens is that’s why a lot of men by love because they think that if I just share my stuff with you, it’s basically, it’s basically saying you might not love me, but you love my stuff.

Michael:
Right? And so what do they do? They take you out the fancy restaurants. I take you on vacations and to give you all of this external stuff, but they don’t know how to give you them. They don’t know how to share their hearts. They don’t know how to connect. And it’s driven by this idea that we have to have money and material possessions to be men. So that’s a Illusions number three.

Christie:
Yeah. And I would just add not to like, just going back to what your friends, you know, the Whitman friends, it, it is also a human thing, you know, to, to feel like you were enough, right. You know, to feel that you are worthy. I mean, women could even equate sex and material objects with tardiness. Wow. That is so insightful. Thank you.

Michael:
The blue illusion number four is to be a man. You must have titles positions in power. Now somehow on this crazy world that we live in and we have this idea that a man with a PhD is somehow better than a man with a GED. And that’s not necessarily the case, your educational level. Does that make you a better man? Your titles and positions don’t make you a better man. Obviously nothing wrong with education and titles or the labels. But what happens is sometimes as men, there’s this arrogance that I’m better than you simply because I have more education and that’s not true on the flip side of that. You have a lot of men that feel inadequate because maybe they don’t have the degree.

Michael:
So they feel like less of a man because they don’t. So what I try to do is get them to recognize that your educational level has nothing to do with your manhood. You just have to be comfortable in your own skin as a man. And that’s how you validate yourself. So that’s a Illusions number For and last, but definitely not least Illusions number five is to be a man you must constantly compete with and try to outdo other men. So there is this male code that we’re always trying to one up each other. You know, we’ve all heard the term keeping up with the Joneses, but where is that?

Michael:
Come from? We are trying to compete. My house is bigger than yours. My car is bigger than your own. So we have this, this unwritten rule that we’re, we should always try this one up each other. And I’m saying it’s time to change that conversation. It’s time for men to embrace and support and empower each other versus compete against each other because there’s 20 for everybody, but let’s support and empower each other. And in this new conversation, that’s what I challenged meant to do is to recognize that it’s not about competition is about cooperation. That’s cooperate together, come together. As men recognize that we are all the same, we all have the same wants and needs and figure out a way to connect.

Michael:
And I think that’s what really made it really want us to connect. So those are the five Illusions of manhood that caused the overwhelming majority of pain and suffering in a man’s life.

Christie:
So that is so, so good. And I love each one of those because I can definitely relate to all five as a woman, you know, you know, maybe directly or indirectly, but definitely all Truth you speak for sure. So ha you, you mentioned masks of Masculinity as well. Like is that, is that different than the Illusions? Yeah,

Michael:
It is different because we, we create these mask as a result of trauma. So let’s, let’s talk a little bit about that. This is, this is how the mask are created. So as a human being, when we experience trauma, our minds, what’s some people might call our egos, which some people see as bad things. It goes on a bad, they’re actually just your defense mechanisms. When we experience trauma, our minds create strategies to help us deal with the trauma. So one of the ways we do that is we create these mask, the superficial mask to hide behind.

Michael:
And so I’ll start with the first mask because it is the mask that I wore most of my life. And I actually learned this from a therapist. His name is Marvin out, is this where I actually learned that I want to have one of his workshop. And he was talking about these masks. And I remember when he talked about this particular mask that it’s so deeply resonated with me. I was like, Oh, that’s me. And so that mask is the Mr. Nice guy mask. And so I had possibly the worst childhood, a child could have imagined every type of abuse as a child.

Michael:
I experienced it from six to 13 for it. I call it my seven years of hell. And so during that time I created these strategies and that strategy was to be nice and not only to be nice, but also to be smart because those ways that I got people to like me. And so as I grew up, I still have that same strategy. I was a super nice guy that had this insatiable need for people to approve other people’s approval. And after 30 something years, it got to a point where I had to take that mask off. And so I was able to do that.

Michael:
And we’ll talk about that and just a moment with it when we talk about transformation, but I was able to take that mask off and in doing so I realized how all of my life I was pretending to be something that I wasn’t now I’m a nice guy, but I was pretending to be a nice guy to get people to love me, to like me. When I took that mask off, I recognized that I was pretending to be who I really was, which was a nice guy, but now I no longer had to do it through a co-defendant type of way. I could be authentically myself and, and just express who I am. And it really set me free taking off that mask and, and recognizing that I didn’t have to always meet other people’s approval.

Michael:
As a matter of fact, I don’t care what other people think about me now because I’m just who I am. I’m authentically me. And that’s, that’s different from what, who I used to be. Once again, I used to be this, this people pleasing approval-seeking guy that wore this man. So that’s the first mass is the Mr. Nice guy mask. The second mask is Mr tough as nails. Now I mentioned that we create these strategies, these strategies that when we experienced trauma, there are basically defense mechanisms that we use to avoid feeling something in most cases.

Michael:
And so there are some men who take on this, Mr tough as nails mask. And so what they do is they cover up their pain by being Tough. And so I’m sure everyone watching this knows someone who always seems angry, gets angry at the slightest provocation. And just, just seems like he’s just stressed and tied up in that all the time. Well, see, I believe that’s the result of some unresolved trauma that they haven’t really looked at. So this mask of Mr. Tough Guy is a way for them to keep people at a distance, to keep them from feeling of inadequacy that they really feel, which actually drive the mask C for a lot of us, it’s really a shame that’s, you know, this is driving the masks.

Michael:
And so we were really having what John Bradshaw calls toxic shame. And so rather than feel that shame, that’s what the masks do. They keep us from feeling that. And so this, Mr. Tough has nails is the guy that is simply doesn’t feel, he only allows himself to feel one emotion, which is anger and rage. And that’s, unfortunately, that’s a really sad place to be for men because a lot of men that wear that mask, and I have some friends that are like this, that they wear that mask, but underneath it, they’re sweet, caring, compassionate men, but they don’t want you to see that they hide behind that mask of toughness as again, a defense mechanism, but deep down inside, I think all men have the same tender hearts, but we just had to be willing to get to it and take those mask off that, and that can be really difficult.

Michael:
Yeah. Any comments before we go?

Christie:
No, I, I, I see that all the time men that are these little Teddy bears inside, but they have such a tough exterior, you know, this armor that they are, that you have to get through to get to their real authentic self.

Michael:
Yeah. And, and again, if you look at our culture as men, you know, we, from the very beginning, you know, we were warriors and, you know, we, we were taught to, to survive. And that was part of our instinct to survive, to protect ourselves. But evolution tells us we should let that go because we’re no longer under the threats, you know, that kinda thing. So that’s time for me to drop that illusion.

Christie:
So true life and death threats, it’s not an everyday occurrence, but our brain somehow is a wired to think it still happening, trying to protect ourselves. Yeah, totally.

Michael:
And Illusions number three is what I call Mr gigolo. Here’s the guy that, that validates this, Masculinity threw through the sexual act. And he’s the guy that goes around and is very promiscuous and things that he’s really, you know, the man because he’s, you know, conquered women. And unfortunately there are a lot of men that still think that way. There is unfortunately a culture called pickup culture, where you have men teaching young men how to pick up women for the sole purpose of just having sex. And, and it’s really sad when you think about it, that we have men that are still perpetuating this way of being for men.

Michael:
And so once again, the men that are doing that, they’re trapped in this illusion that they have to sleep with as many women as possible. And unfortunately what happens is there’s no intimacy, there is no connection. So once again, they start moving into this addiction, trying to feel good about themselves. It becomes a really, really destructive cycle. And that then that may get caught into the next one.

Christie:
What’s it called victims as well. Right. And, and also for their so-called victims as well, the women that they pick up, I mean, it’s you see, there was a show like a long time ago, like 10 years ago, I want to say on MTV called the pick-up artist. And I remember watching this and this was a Guy and actually movies since have made fun of this one guy, but his name was mystery. And he would come up with the strategies, or I would say manipulations to pick up women. One of them was called peacocking where you wear some kind of interesting clothing. So that it’s a good conversation starter.

Christie:
And then there was this other thing that he taught, like a there’s a, you always neg you give them a name tag, which meant an insult you would insult like, it, it kind of a backhanded compliment. I can’t even give an example of it. I don’t want to give an example of it, even if I could think of one, but it’s like thinking about that. That’s just like, it it’s, it you’re insulting a woman to get her to say, what do you mean by that? And lure her in and then with the ultimate, Oh, it’s just so disrespectful on so many levels. So yeah.

Michael:
Yeah. And so the next mask is what I call Mr. Moneybags. And once again, here’s the guy that hides behind his stuff and he’s always trying to impress women with his stuff. You know, he drives the nicest cars and has the nicest clothes. And so he hides behind this mask of materialism. And so the sad part about that is he’ll never experience true connection because his identity is wrapped up into his stuff. And so what happens is you find someone like that, you get into a relationship with them and then you try to connect with them without the stuff.

Michael:
And he can’t connect because he is driven by this external validation, if you will love me for my stuff, but not for me. And I mean, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve coached women that have had men in their lives that, you know, make tons and tons of money. And they’re saying, Oh, I wanted to do is just to love me. I don’t care about it is money, you know, but men can’t get that. They let you know, you have to have money to be loved. And that’s because their awareness, Mr. Moneybags mask thinking that that’s the only way they can be loved is by having stuff. And so that’s obviously a mass that men need to take off.

Michael:
And last but not least the final mask is what I call Mr stuck in his head. And here’s the Guy that analyzes, rationalize is everything from the neck up. He’s the guy that, you know, you, you’re in a relationship with him and, and you’re, you’re, you’re having sex. And he’s telling you to put a perfect position you’re supposed to be in when you’re having sex. So he’s, he’s analyzing and rationalizing everything in his vs, just being in the moment and just feeling whatever your emotions are there. So he tries to explain everything to you. This is also the guy that, you know, that probably has the, you know, the degree in something. So he feels that he’s an expert on everything.

Michael:
And he’s always arguing with you because he knows he’s right about what he knows, you know? And he gets so stuck in his head that he can’t really connect. And so his defense mechanism is his intellect. And that is that intellect. Once again, that keeps men from connecting because when we stay stuck in our heads, we can’t feel, and what we really want, whether we will admit it or not as many as we want to connect. But when we were wearing these masks, its impossible. You can’t because with these mask, it blocks the vulnerability. If it keeps us from being authentic.

Michael:
And so the intention here is to tell me, and look guys, it’s okay to take that mask off. It’s okay to know that it’s okay to love yourself. Self-love and self-compassion is the foundation of intimacy and connection and getting men to go to that place is not easy. It’s really not really not easy. So that’s why it’s important to have these types of conversations because in no way, am I attacking men and saying men are the problem. What I’m saying is that we are definitely the solution and what are the solution?

Michael:
Because we can transform, we can change, create a new paradigm of Masculinity in which all men are comfortable in being who they are. And when we learn to do that, then, and only then when we start saying the eradication of the majority of social ills that currently play our work.

Christie:
So, you know, I can’t help, but think that self-esteem has a lot to do with these masks and these Illusions. So what impact, if any, does do these masks have on self-esteem or a self-esteem or lack thereof, really the cause of the mass?

Michael:
Well, it it’s the lack of self-esteem if you will, or shall I say a lack of self? And so some people would say theorized that there is to sales, there’s a big itself and a little SSL, the biggest self as your divine self it’s, your authentic self is who you really are. A little less self is your ego self. Now, once again, some people see ego as a bad thing. He goes not a bad thing. Ego is part of the structure of the mind. And so the reason that the ego is important is because its job is to protect you. That’s what your ego’s job is protect you. That’s why we create these strategies and wear these masks and hide behind these Illusions because something has heard us and the ego is trying to keep us from feeling that pain.

Michael:
So it’s creating the strategies to keep us from feeling pain. And so what we started talking about self-esteem true self-esteem is the acknowledgement and connection to the authentic self who we really are. And it’s a process. And that’s what I’ll call transformation, which we can talk a little bit about that, which is really important. So when you start talking about the littlest self or the ego self, it is that part of us, ourselves, that’s really trying to protect us, but it keeps us from being who we authentically are. And so when we talk about low self-esteem, what we’re talking about is people stuck in a little less self.

Michael:
When you move people to the big SL that’s where a self esteem comes from because now your connected to your authentic self.

Christie:
Oh, I love that. So in your book, you mentioned about being a great father and that it’s not necessarily genetic, it doesn’t have anything to do with race. So how does it man become a great father?

Michael:
Well, yeah, it looks kind of distraught for a couple of stereotypes real quickly because there’s a stereotype. If you think about a deadbeat debt, in most cases, you’re probably thinking of a black guy. That’s just the way our media has, has shown up. And when you look at the media and how it portrays men of color, a lot of times, that’s what we see.

Christie:
I picture a Guy and a wife beater, a shirt. I don’t necessarily think of a race. I just think of like, actually I think, I think I have a white guy. I don’t know, but I, for me, at least it has one of those skinny tank tops on it.

Michael:
And I hear you, I can visualize what you’re saying to me, but here’s, here’s a couple of things to think about when it comes to fatherhood, we have to understand that there’s a guy down in Australia, his name is Steve a bit off and he’s an expert on fatherhood, great guy. And he came up with what he calls the 30, 30, 30, 10 rule. He says, so if you put a hundred men in a room, okay, a a hundred men, he says, 30 of them will have absolutely no relationship with their dad or maybe their father’s passed away. But there’s no communication whatsoever where their dad, that’s 30% of the men of the room.

Michael:
The second group, 30% of the men in the room will have what he calls and a strange relationship with their dad, meaning they know who their dad is. Maybe they’ll communicate with them, but there’s no real authentic connection. Okay. So what you call it in a strange relationship. And then he said 30% of those men would have what he calls a holiday relationship with those men, meaning your, the fathers in a person’s life. Somehow they can communicate and talk and everything, but they really only show affection on holidays because the men really don’t know how to connect authentically. And you said of the a hundred men, only 10 of them, 10% of them are of them would have what he calls and the emotionally healthy relationship with their father is now this is generational.

Michael:
So it has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, religion, men, generally speaking, we have been conditioned to believe this is what fatherhood’s supposed to be like. And so what we were having a, wanting to do, what I’m trying to do with this conversation is to shift that so that instead of just 10% of the men, having these types of relationships with their, with their sons and daughters, I want to 80% of man to be able to connect with that with their families, with their daughters and their sons. The way to do that is by doing exactly what we’re doing. Now, having a dialogue about what it means to be a man ’cause most of us, it’s all generational.

Michael:
We learn from our father’s. We learn from the role models that we were exposed too. We don’t have any other training if you will. So what have we started providing training, letting me know how to be men a little differently. That’s what a new conversation with men is about. It’s about giving men the freedom to be authentic, to connect to who they are so that they can connect with others.

Christie:
Okay. And you know, one thing I always kind of grew up hearing is that that women married, their fathers are people that remind them of their fathers. What did you say to that?

Michael:
Well, again, I think there is we, if we look at it from a spiritual perspective, everything is energy. I really, I really believe that. And so when we don’t receive the unconditional love, I think that the universe designed us to receive, once again, we create strategies, coping mechanisms. So when women have absent fathers, other fathers don’t show love. And then a lot of times what they’re trying to do is unconsciously gain their fathers love through relationships, but the disconnect they had from their father is actually driving that.

Michael:
And then they are, and that way they’re being authentic with themselves. ’cause, they’re trying to impress their dads unconsciously, or maybe they hunger for love so badly because their father didn’t give it to them. They think they can get it from this man outside of themselves. Well, it all begins with self love. When we learned to love ourselves for who we are, we don’t have to try to find it outside of us. And so unfortunately for a lot of women that hunger for their father’s love drive them to try to find it in another man versus finding it in themselves.

Michael:
And so it’s all about personal healing. That’s the key to it, all men and women, so that we resolve whatever issues may be driving us to seek love outside of ourselves, that we’re healing. So how do you, how do you do that? Ah, now here’s, here’s, here’s, here’s the, here’s the juicy part. So let’s talk about transformation. Here’s the key now for the men who are watching this, hopefully there are men who will be watching this, the three most difficult words for any man to say is I need help. Okay. So I want to remove that stigma right now for all of the men who are watching this.

Michael:
And I want you to know that there’s absolutely no shame. There is no weakness in saying I need help. So if you get nothing else out of this conversation, I want you to get this. If you’re dealing with some stuff and you know exactly what stuff I’m talking about, don’t be afraid to say I need help. And I don’t know, because it is our unwillingness to say, I need help. That is literally killing us as men. And I will assert that. I believe that it’s the reason some men killed others because they don’t know how to reach out for help.

Michael:
So the most important conversation we can have as men is to recognize that it’s okay to say I need help. And so here’s, here’s my story. I think that’ll really kind of summarize it all in terms of transformation. When I went through my divorce and I started rebuilding my life, I started doing some motivational stuff with Anthony Robbins, you know, Anthony Robbins, right? So I was reading his books and I was doing NLP neuro-linguistic programming conditioning in my mind to get into certain States, you know, for our success and all of that. And so I started rebuilding my life, but something was missing and I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Michael:
And I read a book by a guy named John Bradshaw and he was talking about emotional healing. And he said something that really stuck with me. He said, in order to heal emotionally, you must be willing to create what he called an interpersonal bridge with another human being. And there was something in that statement that really stuck with me. And I said, you know, I’ve been doing all of this motivational raw stuff, but I really hadn’t connected with people. And I said, you know, there’s, there’s gotta be something to this. And so he suggested that the way to do that create that interpersonal bridge was through therapy.

Michael:
And so after reading that I gained the courage to go to therapy. And so I go to therapy now that you know, what is the most difficult thing about going to therapy? And guys will appreciate it. This is how do you find a therapist? Right? So for me, here’s how I found my therapist. I got a phone book which tells you how long ago it has been, but I got a phone book. I sent it on my kitchen table. I put my hand over my eyes off this and be like this. And I chose a therapist. Now I believe the universe is perfect and everything happens for a reason. And I chose the perfect therapist. So I go to this therapist and she’s amazing.

Michael:
So one of the first things she asked me, she says, Michael share some of the things that happened in your childhood. And as mentioned, I had a very traumatic childhood. So I’m sharing with this therapist, some of the things that happened, and as I’m sharing with her, I’ve got this huge smile on my face. And she says, Michael why are you smiling? She said, those things are terrible. Those things were painful. Why you smiling? But once again, remember the math that I talked about, I was wearing this everything’s okay with a nice guy mask. And I was in complete denial. And I told her, I said, I’m okay.

Michael:
I made it through. She says, Michael, you’re not okay. She says, you’re on a lot of pain. And the only way out is through. And then she looked at me and she says, Michael, how would you feel as if those things happened to your son? And when she said that, it’s like, I got out of my head, I went to my heart and I started to feel use. And you use of repressed pain that I’ve been carrying around all my life. And it was painful. And for about 10 seconds, I allow myself to feel some of that pain, excuse me.

Michael:
And then I stopped and I went into my head again and I started rationalizing and analyzing, and I go, what did you just do? How did you do that? And I got mad at her. She says, Michael, I didn’t do anything. She said, the only way out for you is through, you’ve gotta be willing to go through that pain in order to heal and to be free. And so I was committed. I was like, okay, I’m gay, whatever it takes. So I want to, several more sessions started doing some more healing work in my life, started to change. I started to feel happy for the first time. And after a few sessions, my therapist said, look, you have done some amazing work and there’s not a whole lot I can do for you individually, but I’d like you to go to the group because that way you can continue your growth journey with others.

Michael:
Well, I wasn’t ready for that. I was that it was not ready. I mean, being vulnerable in front of one person was hard enough, but in front of a group, I said, no. So I told my therapist that I was fixed. I told her I was healed. I didn’t need her anymore. And I walked away from therapy after approximately six or seven sessions. Now I was in complete denial. There was still some stuff that I wasn’t ready to deal with. And so that’s why I left therapy. The good news is I read another book by John Bradshaw in the book is titled healing. The shame that binds you. And as I read that book, I had a kazillion light bulb moments.

Michael:
And all of a sudden everything started to make sense because I recognize that as a result of that traumatic childhood that I had, I had with John Bradshaw calls, toxic shame in my heart of hearts, I felt defective. I felt a lovable. I felt like I didn’t matter. And so after reading that book, I learned that he actually did a workshop in Houston where I lived. I said, I got to do this workshop. It, it was called healing, your inner child or something like that. So I do this three-day workshop with John Bradshaw called healing, your inner child. And I was able to let go of and release years and use of suppressed and repressed pain from my childhood.

Michael:
And so one of the things that we as men don’t talk about once again, is that pain that we’re carrying around. And a lot of us don’t even recognize that we’re in pain. Unfortunately there’s only two things that will cause a man to want to change. And one is pain. And the other is what I call divine discontent, which is just a feeling that we have that something’s just not right. We can’t describe it. We can’t, we don’t fully understand it, but in our gut, in our soul, something’s just wrong. We just know it. And those two things are what trigger man to, to change. Well, again, for me, it was pain.

Michael:
I was in so much pain. I didn’t have a choice. It was either get help or die. But in doing John Brach workshop and doing that healing work, I move past all of that motivational happy go, lucky, new age, you know, ideas. And I got authentically clear on who I am and I released pain that I had been carrying around for years. And this is once again, something that men don’t talk about it’s easily. Have you ever heard the term spiritual bypassing? Yeah.

Christie:
I just talked about it on a previous episode. What’s your definition?

Michael:
Yeah. Well, a spiritual bypassing is when we hide behind religion and say that God can deal with our stuff without dealing with our stuff. So for me, it’s a spiritual bypassing is when you refuse to really address your emotional selves as human beings, if you, if we don’t go in and heal and remove those wounds of our past, we can talk about God and preach and all of that. But there’s still a part of us as a woman. And it’s important to heal those wounds. Now, everyone has different levels of Trump. Okay. So for me, my level of trauma was the extreme, right?

Michael:
So I can speak from my experience that I needed to go through that healing process to let go of that pain. Everyone’s pain is different. So some people may have the pain of simply having their parents being disappointed with them. And so they carry this. I’m not good enough. My parents don’t love me, you know, for years. And it is that feeling of unworthiness that we have inside that we carry around. And then let’s say we find religion or what’s happening. And so we say, well, God has done this for me, but we have an address that hurt that we experienced when our parents rejected us. And so spiritual bypassing is what happens when we don’t deal with our stuff.

Michael:
Well, we don’t really address the pay because once again, I, I go back to the energy thing. It is my belief that what we experienced pain and trauma, if we don’t release it, it stays trapped and our bodies and ourselves, and what it does, it has physical impact, emotional impact. And until we release it, it causes disease, I believe. And so what is it?

Christie:
But it’s actually a good book that totally changed my life and my husband’s life, which is the great pain deception talks about. It talks about that and a heel your body by Louis, Hey, as well.

Michael:
Is it that that book saved my life. You can hear your life, you, and that was, it really just changed your life. But, but here’s the thing when we started talking about spiritual bypass is a perfect example. When I started doing this healing work at the beginning, I was actually an atheist and I, I was absolutely convinced that there was nothing greater than myself, right? So as I started this process of this healing process, I kinda change my mind a little bit. And I’ve kind of figured out what made me, maybe the problem isn’t with God. Maybe the problem is my understanding of God. And I was brought up Baptist. So I rejected Christianity and obviously the Baptist religion.

Michael:
And I started reading some Buddhism and I really loved the way the Buddhist approach spirituality. It really resonated with me. Well, after that, I got involved with the new age movement, which I loved, but the new age movement actually kept me in denial because I got involved with unity church, which is still my favorite spiritual place. But see, I rationalized in my little head that everything is fine. The universe is perfect. I’m fine. All of this as well, but I still had some emotional stuff that I was unwilling to deal with.

Michael:
And so here’s a, here’s a great story that really talks about that. I had a friend who I was staying with for a while, because as I mentioned, I had been homeless for awhile. She’d let me stay with it for a while. And I was looking for a job and, you know, trying to get back on my feet. And one day my friend comes home and she says, Michael how you doing? I’m a great, everything’s fine. The university’s going to support me. It finding the job, blah, blah, blah. And she looked at me, she says, Michael telling me right now, how do you feel it? You know, again, I had done some of my healing work, but I hadn’t done my John Bradshaw work yet. And she says, so tell me how you feel it. And I say, Oh, I’m great. You know, I’m confident that I’ll have a job and blah, blah, blah.

Michael:
She says, no, Michael stop, stop. She says, just tell me right now, how are you feeling? And I said, what I’m telling you, I’m telling you, I’m really excited to get with it. She says, Michael well, shit. And I go, what she says, Michael I don’t want to hear about your, your new age universe, whatever she says. I just want you to tell me how you feel right now. And so I kind of stopped and paused for a moment, you know, I said, Oh, I’m OK. You know, that’s the same defense mechanism. And she says, Michael so tell me that. She says, how does it make you feel to have to depend on me right now? And you can’t, you know, take care of yourself.

Michael:
You can’t go see your kids because you don’t have a car. How does it make you feel? And she kept probing. And all of a sudden I started connecting to what I was really feeling. And then I told us they do, you know, I guess to be honest, I’m feeling kind of sad. First of all of that, I can see my kids. I’m a little afraid that you’re going to kick me out because I don’t have a job. And I guess really, I’m just really disappointed in myself to be in this situation. And she says this, she says, keep going. And we started talking and I allow myself to really get out of my head and get into my heart.

Michael:
And I started sharing authentically with her in a way that I’d never done it before. And I realized that all of that new age positivity as good as it could be, can be, was a defense mechanism that I was using to deny myself from feeling. And so I had hid behind positivity and spirituality for a long time. And through that conversation, I connected with how I was feeling and she just lovingly lovingly embraced me and said, Michael, this is all I’m asking, share how you feel.

Michael:
Don’t get me this BS about everything is perfect because your life is perfect. Your life sucks right now, but that’s okay. I still love you. And she embraced me and I cried. I mean, I was just, it was sadness, but it was a joy. It was joy because I recognize how much my friend really cared about me. And I allow myself to feel her love and her carry and it was transformational. And so that’s the thing about spiritual bypassing. We deny how we authentically feel, because we’re hiding behind this spiritual wounds.

Michael:
And if we don’t have a young Avanza who wrote something and I wish I could remember word for word, but she says, until you deal with all your stuff, you’re going to bleed. She says, you have to reach in there and grab that pain that wound and pull it out. Otherwise it’s going to bleed over your relationships, your spiritual. It says, it says she says everything. And again, I’m obviously just to get a bit of a piece of, but that is so powerful. We have to be willing to reach down in our hearts and pull out that pain, whatever that might be for us, if we don’t, it stays in there.

Michael:
And it shows up in a lot of different ways and we’ll rationalize it through spirituality or, or other forms. But the key is we’ve gotta be willing to release that, which is within us once again, it’s that negative energy that stays trapped in us until we let go of it. And I think that’s really, really important.

Christie:
Yeah. And I, and I think part of, or are the hardest part or the first half of the battle, it’s just the awareness that it’s there because usually how it manifests. Although people don’t realize that this is what’s happening is you get triggered by someone for the air. That same person comes into your life. You notice a different person that’s like that same situation or that same type of person, or you keep dating the same type of person, or you keep having the same type of client and it’s to teach you something. Right. And it is, it’s a really, and tell you, you can face what it is. That’s triggering you because there’s something of you that is reflecting on that person.

Christie:
Otherwise you wouldn’t be so triggered. You know, it’s a mirror and tell you, you face that and he’ll that you will keep meeting that person. But the magic trick is that that person, once you heal, that become someone different. Like your seeing that person from a new perspective, with more love, with more compassion, they, they no longer trigger you because you’ve now healed. What’s inside of you. I think the biggest test to figure out if you’ve really forgiven someone in your past is to think of that person and see and say, Hmm, would I be upset to see them?

Christie:
Would I, you know, be triggered in some way to see them, or would I feel completely neutral? Does it mean I want to hang out with them because maybe they did something really, really bad, and you don’t want to put yourself in that situation again, but your neutral, right. You’ve healed that. And you’ve moved on. Well, it’s easier said than done.

Michael:
It is. If we take it a step further and a step deeper, and this takes work, this, this is, this is difficult and challenging. But the way to know, if you really healed from someone or something, is when you can thank them for what they did to you. Now, I’m not saying you have to thank them face to face, right. But what I’m saying is when you can thank the person that hurt you the most, because you learn the lesson that you, you received from that pain, then you are free. And that is really hard to do. And that’s, you know, that’s about forgiveness and processing.

Michael:
But for example, there was, I had a female cousin who raped me when I was like eight, and I didn’t recognize it as rape as an eight year old. And I didn’t realize the impact it had on my sexuality, because what it did was I became good in bed because I was trying to validate myself because I was so confused by what she was doing to me. And so during one of my processes with John Bradshaw’s work, I realized that I had to forgive her for what she did to me, because that’s the way a free myself from that pain.

Michael:
But what I was also able to do was to say, thank you, because what I learned from that experience is because I got in touch with my sexuality, my physical body, and was able to be comfortable after my healing process, with my sexuality and being good in bed. So there was a gift in it and it is painful that it is. And again, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but for me, the freedom came from able to say, thank you for the gifts that your pain brought me. And that’s, that’s a really difficult thing to do.

Michael:
But when we get to that place, then we know we are truly healed.

Christie:
Yeah, that is so good. Okay. So we talked a little bit about how religion differs from spirituality and how actually you could hide behind our, their spirituality or religion. You mentioned earlier, how you’re very optimistic about the future of men. Why is that?

Michael:
Well, I have a theory and this is, this is Michael Taylor’s theory. I’m a firm believer in human evolution. And as a woman by the name of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who unfortunately is no longer with us, but she wrote a book called conscious evolution. And in her book, she talked about how human beings are still evolving. Now we’re not evolving physically. We’re evolving in consciousness. And I, and I really believe that. And so when I look at men, I believe we’re going through an evolutionary process. And this is, this is how I see it. Five stages of manhood, a Masculinity for men first stage as what I call it, the caveman male.

Michael:
Okay. So imagine the caveman, what is his responsibility? Provide protect and procreate. That’s his responsibility. Keep his family from getting eaten by saber tooth tigers, you know, make sure they had food. Okay. So that was the first stage of manhood. Second stage. What I call it, the warrior may of the warrior male gained language and now could communicate in doing so anyone that didn’t look like him, he saw is an enemy. So what did he do? He tried to kill her to protect his family. Well, the universe is a perfect human being. Men started evolving. So the next days we went from the warrior male to what we call a what I call it, the religious male.

Michael:
So the religious matter showed up when spiritual people started showing up and giving us another way to see the world, identifying something greater than ourselves. That allowed us to say, Ooh, maybe I don’t have to kill you. You just because you don’t look like me. Okay. So that was the religious map. Next stage number four is what I call it. The scientific male we evolved, we got all this amazing technology. We’ve got all this information. Now we recognize, and now we don’t want to kill each other. And yeah, you look different from me, but we’re still the same. So we’ve got all this information and we go, okay, so we understand how things work.

Michael:
Well, the final stage, I think of male evolution is what I call it. The authentic male, because I think men are now waking up to their authentic selves and a woman also. But again, it speaks to, since we’re speaking in a male context, men are waking up because man, as I mentioned at the beginning, they’re tired, frustrated in the hunger. They want something new and different, but they don’t know what that is. But back in 1995, when I first started writing about men’s issues, there were very few resources for men. There were probably, you could put them on two hands, the amount of books specifically for men that I wanted to talk about. The changing roles of Masculinity and John was one of them by Robert Bly, there was a book called find a belly by Sam Kean.

Michael:
And these are men who way back men were talking about this male wake-up if you wake up a call, if you are. And so now as I look back and I see what’s going on now, there is no shortage of books and cultures and programs that are now working with men to help wake them up. One of the organizations that I’m a part of, well, actually I’m a graduate of is called MKP the mankind project. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, but the mankind project is a three-day weekend is called the new warrior training adventure, specifically designed for men to support them in embracing this new paradigm of a Masculinity that I’m talking about.

Michael:
And it is one of the most powerful transformational programs that any man can go through. And it’s powerful. And it’s in 50 countries around the world. I mean, it’s, it’s been around for years, but there’s more and more men. Their membership is skyrocketing because men are starting to do this work. And I believe it’s driven because of the feminist movement because women said, wait a minute, now we are not going to stay home barefoot and pregnant. We don’t want to get out into the workforce and do our own thing. And so what happened all of a sudden, a lot of people don’t realize now, but for the first time of this country’s history, there are more women in a workforce than men. There is also more women graduating from college than men.

Michael:
So this shift in roles, men don’t have a choice. You have the choose to follow with the evolution of humanity. And so as difficult as it is for some men to embrace this idea, I mean, look at our political arena right now, women running for president. Think about it. It’s been last of us 60 years that women used to couldn’t even vote. And now they’re running for president. I mean, to me, 50 years is just a blink of an eye of the tiny, right? So once again, these are some of the reasons for my optimism because the world is moving faster than ever.

Michael:
And a lot of people who aren’t keeping up with it, a lot of people just buy into the negative media. I see a different perspective. I say, again, humanity’s evolving in waking up and ultimately me being the optimist that I am eventually, and it probably won’t happen in my life, but eventually we’ll have world peace. I really believe that. Yeah, I do too. I’m holding out for it. How about, how can people get to know more about your work Michael? Well, for the men who are wanting to dive into this new conversation, they can go to www.anewconversationwithmen.com. And for those men who are courageous enough to, to really go a little deeper, if they want to access the book for absolutely $0 for free, they can get a digital version of a new conversation with men that talks about the things that we’ve talked about on this particular interview.

Michael:
Again, it’s, it’s my way of sharing wisdom with me and hopefully to transform them and to get them into this conversation. And again, I’m a professional speaker. So if you go to coach Michael Taylor dot com, you can learn more about the other thing is that,

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