Tag Archives: GoodGuys2GreatMen

Men Pretend to be Vulnerable

First published at elephant journal as What if He is More Vulnerable and Feminine than I am?

Many men pretend to be vulnerable so that we women don’t kick the emotional shit out of them, according to research by Brene Brown.

couple-stoneI brought this topic up in my last women’s group.

Men repeatedly told Brene in interviews that their women couldn’t handle their true, deep vulnerability. So they pretend to be vulnerable and only tell us what they think we can handle. My first thought was: how masculine of them—how very chivalrous and protective.

My second thought was the same one Brene had: Oh my gawd, I am the patriarchy, the oppressor.

We ask, even beg, men to tell us what’s going on inside, what they’re feeling, what emotions they are experiencing. “Please let me in,” we demand of them. We get upset when they won’t share with us.

But according to her research, when men do share the real emotions, the real pain, doubts and fears, we women very often can’t handle it—and men know this.

I related to my group the story of how it showed up in Brene’s life. She came home and saw that her husband was upset about some extended family issues. She immediately got angry and wanted to pick a fight with him. 1stphone6

Instead, and because she had done so much research about this very thing, she pretended she was in a movie taking direction, playing a character that knew how to handle that sort of situation without anger.

As a woman, I value safety over almost everything else. When a man admits to me that he is hurting, he’s sad and afraid, it scares me; I begin to lose my sense of safety in the relationship.

Because who’s in charge if he isn’t? He is the Masculine, the directed, focused, goal-oriented part of the relationship that normally keeps us on track.

I am not much of a picker of fights anymore, myself. I have learned to remember, and stick to, my third rule: when angry, don’t say anything. Tell the other person I am angry but need to cool down. Excuse myself. Wait until the anger subsides. Really think about what I want to say. Write it down—even practice saying it out loud.

coupleThen, and only bloody then, do I confront the other person. It might take minutes. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, months; it depends on the issue.

Anger is very often fueled by fear.

I do experience the anger Brene spoke of, though. It shows up for me as a kind of irritated impatience. Instead of hearing my man, I find myself listening to the questions in my own mind, “Why can’t you just man up and deal with this? Why are you telling me this?”

I try and drown out not only what he is saying, but also the fear it brings up in me.

I suggested to the group that they take a serious look at their own reaction in that type of situation. Do they close off? Do they go into anger, impatience and fear? How do they talk to their men at that point? Or, like me, do they run from it?

I know I want the men in my life to keep their hearts and ears open when I am expressing those vulnerable secrets I carry in here bumping around and bruising me from the inside—those very real-to-me, scary thoughts that I’m not enough, that there’s something so flawed in me that if anyone knew about that, they couldn’t possibly love me.

So it has become important for me to make sure I am doing the same for him—for all the men in my life—even if I must, like Brene, pretend I know what I’m doing until, hopefully, one day I really will. statue couple

That’s when one of the women asked me, “But what if all he ever expresses is vulnerability? I feel like I am always supporting him by listening to his fear and uncertainty. I don’t want to always be in that role. I feel like I always have to be the strong one in the relationship. Sometimes I really need him to Masculine-up and support me in my vulnerability.”

I admitted I didn’t know the complete answer to that question.

I probably told her to call Steve Horsmon, my go-to relationship coach to whom I send clients. That is usually my answer to questions of this ilk.

And seeing as how I want (and need!) the answer also, I contacted Steve and asked him if he would be so kind as to answer that question right here in this post.

Steve answers:

Many of the men I work with are working hard to step-up and provide a more positive, supportive and leading role in their relationships. One of their biggest complaints when they begin providing this energy is that their partner pushes back immediately.

They will say, “I want to be stronger and to support her, but she won’t let me. It’s like she wants it but doesn’t trust me when I try, so I just give up.”

Some women make the mistake of adopting the “strong one” role just because he isn’t doing it. They value their persona of the competent caretaker above all else. Their M.O. is to give, guide, organize, and lead their way to feeling in control of their life. couple holding hands

And they quietly stew in resentment for not getting more leadership and support from their partner. Receiving, accepting, allowing and following are very scary for these women.

But the only way to inspire a man to step into a stronger role is to consciously make room for him to do so.

Making room for him is very different than trying to change him. Making room for him and inspiring him to move into a stronger, more masculine role means you must outwardly and deliberately appreciate his masculinity.

The best way to do this is to get out of your own masculine energy. When you give a man sincere, feminine approval and praise for his unique strengths and ability to make you feel cared for and protected, you can inspire his confidence and willingness to do just that.

Affectionately invite him to liscam1sten to your feelings. Ask him to hold you tight. Tell him how his arms make you feel. Intentionally “soften” into his masculine energy and consistently help him feel safe in giving you this gift.

When a woman consciously allows her man to be more assertive and to be a source of comfort for her, he can more confidently ease into his masculine energy and will find out how much he likes being there for—himself and for her.

A woman’s power to inspire this in a man through her words and her touch is phenomenal.

This legendary form of feminine leadership is a critical component of a healthy relationship and a key skill in all aspects of a woman’s life.

 

Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder osteve horsmon photof Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She sees clients and facilitates Divine gracethanx2013.3Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-Planet, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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what others are saying

grace1 july2014I am a Certified Hypnotherapist, Ordained Minister, Registered Psychotherapist, Metaphysical Counselor, Reiki Practitioner, Artist in Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.

I offer individualized, intuitive sessions for clients and facilitate Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women.

Here’s what others (clients, peers, workshop participants) are saying:

     “I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with Grace Cooley for about a year now. In this time I’ve gotten to meet and work with the women who seek her help in being open to their Divine Feminine. These women have achieved a level of awareness and personal power that is rare and alluring. In their presence, my masculine energy FEELS their authenticity, vulnerability, and powerful feminine energy.
      The men I coach with relationship issues are yearning to feel that kind energy from their partners. Apparently, Grace has some kind of gift to create experiences for women which allow them to discover and embrace this energy within. Amazing Grace, I say.”
~ Steve Horsmon, Goodguys2Greatmen Coaching, 970. 484. 8241

“Thanks Grace.
I appreciate so much the opportunity to work with you and look deeper into myself to figure out who I am, what I stand for, and how to be the best woman/person I can be.”
S. in Fort Collins, CO

“Hi Grace,
I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much I enjoyed your Divine Feminine class. We were able to get through stuff that would have taken forever to complete on our own. Being more in touch with my feminine self is such a blessing and the insight I gained from your class was priceless. Thank you so much for putting it together and making us feel safe and secure enough to have such a full experience. Looking forward to an encore.
Love ~ J. in Cheyenne, WY

“Grace’s class has helped me with accessing depths of inner strength, wisdom and direction through hypnosis and group discussion. She has a wealth of techniques, is very intuitive and skillful at bringing inner metaphor into everyday, practical application. My relationships with myself and my spouse are better for having taken the class.”
love you,
~ T. in Fort Collins, CO

“Thank you for being my guide on this journey Grace! It has been so rewarding for me and I believe that I am forever changed because of it.”
With gratitude and love,
~ H. in Fort Collins, CO

“My plate was already filled to the brim when I signed up for the Divine Feminine class with Grace.  I signed up anyway because I felt it was an opportunity I should not miss and I was right. I became a stronger and more empowered woman, which is always a good thing.  And at the same time, my heart is more open and filled with more love than it’s been in a long time!  I’m so grateful I took the class!  Grace and the class were amazing!”                                                              ~ B. in Fort Collins, CO

Contact info:  cooley.grace@gmail.com

what I learned from a dating website scam—about myself, about men

I feel like I actually won, somehow, because while he got no money from me, I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

I was recently scammed via a dating website. I won’t mention which one it was—mainly because it doesn’t matter. When I told close friends about the scam, many of them said it had also happened to them on various other dating websites—so the site itself is not the issue.scam2

I’m also not going to discuss any of the “red flags” I noticed during this experience but ignored for various, probably self-deceptive, reasons – because that would only give scammers ideas about how to improve the scam. But I am going to talk about what I learned.

Because I learned a lot.

There’s a lot of information circulating right now about Masculine and Feminine energy. Women are learning how focused and goal-oriented men are. And women are beginning to understand that this is a big turn-on. There is nothing so sexy as a focused, self-directed man who is going after what he wants – whether it’s a woman, that new job or the big, cosmic, spiritual goal of living his life with scam6integrity, purpose and clarity.

It is simply a massive turn-on to be around a man who is living for himself first and putting all other things second—including me. Steve Horsmon says it well in his GoodGuys2GreatMen blog post. “The truth is, a woman can not help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values.”

I was surprised and extremely relieved that within minutes of publishing my dating website profile, several men already wanted to connect with me. Sometime within the last two years, while I’d worked on my own issues, I had made a new rule for myself. I don’t initiate anything with men. They must make first contact. It was a good rule, trust me.

In those two years I had, once again, taken a serious look at my life, and I didn’t like what I saw. And I believed that if I didn’t like something about my life, I had the ability to change it. I had done it before. I was determined to do it again. I began by exploring and changing the only thing I have absolute power over: what I believe, think and say.

When I looked back at all my romantic relationships, I found that I was always the person to initiate the exchange. In fact, I was usually the person pushing frantically to make it happen. Consequently, I had always been in relationships with very passive men—which I then proceeded to bully into being more masculine. Gawd, I can’t tell you how very embarrassing that was to admit to myself!

I could see that I had always put myself in a self-protected, dominant “masculine” place on the masculine to feminine spectrum. From my research, I began to understand that Feminine and Masculine energies are always seeking polarization and balance. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract. It was no wonder, then, that I had always attracted sensitive, passive, or even “feminine,” men.scam3

I began to pay attention to my own energy and beliefs associated with the masculine and feminine. When searching for why I was so resistant (and even hostile) to receiving men’s masculine gifts/energy, I had to go back to childhood. I realized it was not safe in my childhood to appear “weak” or “less than” by receiving help from anyone—especially from males.

My adult rejection of Masculine gifts was founded upon good reason (survivor of abuse), but had become a defensive, knee-jerk habit that no longer served me. I started by taking the emotional charge off the originating source. And yes, it was painful and difficult to look at and heal.

So having done my work—and still doing my work (lordy, does it ever end?), I was confident I was ready to let men, and the Universe, lead. I just wasn’t so sure how that would look.

I did still have moments of panic, when I wondered if I was truly ready and if I could live the lessons I’d learned or not—but mostly, I was excited to begin something totally new for me: the art of embodying the Divine Feminine and of allowing. After many months of research and healing, I certainly needed the practice of walking around in my new, allowing skin, so I stepped carefully and introspectively into this dating website. I occasionally freaked-out a bit and thought of removing my profile, but I ignored that sensation every time it came up, rallied and kept moving forward.

I let men initiate every connection I made on the dating site. So when one of the men suggested he call me and email me instead of using the site’s messaging system, I liked that he was taking charge of the situation and moving things forward. I agreed and gave him my phone number and email address.

His energy during our first phone call was obvious. I liked it. It was focused, direct. I could tell he had a mission. The mission seemed clear to me. I like this woman. Get to know this woman. During the next few days, he asked direct questions, he expressed interest in me and my life, we laughed a lot together. We were soon talking twice a day, in the morning to start our day and in the evening, before going to sleep. We were also emailing often.

scam1I woke up every morning, remembered and smiled. I could feel my heart sigh happily, expanded and relaxed, felt it stretch inside my chest like a big fat tabby cat with a full belly and nowhere to go. I languished. I turned to greet the sun each morning warming the bed through the window and imagined seeing his sleeping form beside me. I imaged waking him gently and slowly with kisses that would start on the back of his broad neck (he had sent photos of a man—some included a son—another scam victim?). I’d work my way up to his ear and then pull myself up and over him, so that I’d be lying in front of him, still kissing him easily—on the eyelids, the nose…

He would grumble, then smile as he came back up from the deep and pull me closer with a sleepy laugh. I craved that familiarity with him, that habit and ease of intimacy. Every sunrise, upon waking, I was hopeful and happy and imaged some form of this perfect morning. But he wasn’t there yet, and I liked that too, liked the thick anticipation of it. I didn’t want him there too soon.

I loved the feeling of walking around every day knowing we were falling in love with each other as we talked on the phone and emailed each other. I felt like we were becoming a team, and I loved the feeling of him having my back, of having someone who adored me. I felt safer in the world, knowing we were coming together as a couple. With these feelings growing inside me, I walked taller every day—stood up straighter, felt powerful, safe and almost smug in his warm regard.

I felt important to him. I felt his masculine, goal-focused energy directed at me, at wooing me. It felt heavenly. I had never felt energy this intense from a man. Partly, I’m sure, because I had never allowed it. Before this, I had made everything happen—not allowing the man to direct anything.scam4

In hindsight, I know the reason that his energy was so intense was because this was how this man made his living.

Men, being men, are often very focused on their career and making money. One of the ways they show love for their woman and family is to make money. This is one of the masculine gifts they bring to the world. The intensity of that focus on career/job is primal, I think, for men. It is one of the strongest urges he has. The scammer took that directed, intense, masculine energy normally reserved for focusing on a career, because wooing women was his career, and focused that energy on me.

scam5He was confident in his abilities, as odious as they were. It must have worked for him before, because I could feel that confidence. I’m not saying I support him or scams. I think it’s petty, deceptive and sociopathic to even attempt to prey on anyone in this manner.

The point I’m making is this: It felt pretty fucking amazing to be the focal point of that type of intense, masculine energy normally reserved for a man’s career. It was like a highly addictive drug that I couldn’t get enough of, for fuck’s sake.

Gentlemen, I have just handed you the keys to the proverbial female kingdom. Lock and load your first 20-round magazine and fire at will. 🙂

Information Men can take away from this Experience

Take that unbelievably amazing, goal-driven, concentrated masculine energy that you usually reserve for making a living and a career and focus it on your woman once in a while. We don’t want you to give up yourself and your life for us—that is extremely unattractive, and we will lose respect for you if you do that. But we do want, on a regular basis, to feel that we are, in that moment (or those twenty minutes), the single most important thing to you.

I’m talking about the concentration and focus that you point at work, your career—that primal energy of survival, because that’s where your next meal is coming from. Focus on us like you do it for a living, like your life depends on it. We can feel the difference.

As women, we understand the courage it takes to be that vulnerable. We have a deep respect for that—especially when it comes from a man.love blue

You become our hero when you do this for us. Because you care enough to really pay attention and then act on it. You know the perfect time to call us, how to touch us, when to tease us and when not to—all because you took that how-can-I-win-this-contract way of thinking and applied it to your wooing of us and turned it into the how-can-I-win-and-keep-her-heart-and-respect way of thinking.

Please lead the way for us, with your strong, directed masculine energy. Because when you offer that to us, it creates a safe place for us inside the protection of your love, your attention. It frees us to be able to do the same for you.

We women, with our seemingly scary, out of control, multi-tasking brains, will know you really see us and hear us when we turn off the hundreds of simultaneous thoughts, when we put down the phone, close the laptop, stop talking, etc., to concentrate on you and give you our undivided attention and vulnerability, when we genuinely open to you.

And when that shared focus becomes a wonderful habit, something that is a part of the normal, everyday way we love and live together? Dude, you have just become a girl’s dream come true right there.

What I am Taking Away from this Experience for Me

I learned that I really can embody Feminine energy. I was able to be the new, feminine person I wanted to be. I learned that I am able to keep my heart open during a budding relationship. At no time during the experience did I become defensive or reactive. I was just relaxed and allowing. I let him direct himself. I directed myself—powerfully and softly.

godess blueAnd while I felt disappointed as soon as the proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath me (which really felt more like a magic carpet ride, in this case), I never felt like I had done anything wrong or stupid. I still have not felt any shame. Because the only thing I was “guilty” of was being authentic, open and vulnerable.

I got to feel what I’ve always been missing and craving without even knowing I had been missing and craving it: to be the occasional, appropriate, single, determined focus of a man’s goal-oriented attention.

The experience gave me an example of how intense that focused, masculine energy could be—and how important and cherished it made me feel to be the recipient of that, how it filled me up to feel that coming from him. I was his goal. It felt stunning. For the first time in my life, I felt that with a confident man’s support and love, I could meet him there and support and love him too—in the healthy, adult, juicy, wild, authentic and close-to-the-bone way I have always wanted to be able to love. scam.8

I feel like I actually won, somehow, because while he got no money from me, I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

The story continues here with:  The first phone conversation, or the fine art of penis thrusting.

Also published by The Elephant Journal

Hypnotherapy Class Series: Open to Love

presented by Grace Cooley, Certified Hypnotherapist, Registered Psychotherapist
with special guest speaker Steve Horsmon, Certified Professional Life & Relationship Coach

For Women Only
Single or Partnered

Open your heart, energy, life and body to allow love
Connect with the juicy, sacred, powerful Divine Feminine Energy that you really are

open-hearts

Discover and Heal the subconscious beliefs/blocks that are
Keeping You from Experiencing Deep, Satisfying and Fulfilling Love
Take Charge of Your Life

Are you wondering why you’re still single, when all you want is to be in a fantastic, loving and fun relationship? Are you already in a relationship but can’t figure out why you seem to be on the outside looking in at it – why you can’t seem to really connect with and surrender your heart to your lover? Do you attract the same type of partner each time you try a new relationship?  Are you afraid to commit to him/her and a relationship?  Are you fearful of repeating the same mistakes you made in your last relationship?  Is your partner not “manning-up”?  Is THIS something you’d like to be able to play with in your life?

heart strawberryThis 5-part series (*plus bonus presentation By Steve Horsmon, professional Life and Relationship Coach*), utilizing Group Hypnotherapy, Journaling and Energy Work, will assist you in pinpointing, healing and releasing the issues/beliefs that are blocking your success in relationships of all types – especially romantic relationships.

Each class will include group hypnosis, journaling and sharing (at your comfort level).
Bring something to write with and something to write on/in.  Consider using a special journal to document this empowering journey for yourself.

I hear from women all the time who are having difficulty manifesting the relationship they want. They are working hard; they meditate, they visualize. They can’t understand what is wrong – why they have been praying, meditating and visualizing for years about this issue without seeing the results they want. They call me wanting a reading, so I can tell them what their Guides are saying about how to get what they want and when that will, hopefully, happen.

heart rock zipperYou may be familiar with the Law of Attraction – you get from the Multiverse what you put out to the Multiverse. What some don’t realize is that everyone emits their own, signature, unconscious frequency at all times. And according to the Law of Attraction, the Universe/Multiverse responds to give you more of whatever you are broadcasting. But what if you are broadcasting unconscious frequencies/beliefs that are sabotaging your relationships? Beliefs that are buried so deep that you aren’t even consciously aware of them? We will only receive from life, relationships and the Universe what we are inviting in – with the frequency we’re putting out – so we will be looking at how our beliefs and attitudes might be holding love, relationships and people at arms’ length. For a great perspective on this subject, check out this article.

krishnaHypnosis is like meditation or visualization or like daydreaming – only with the added benefit of having the Hypnotherapist there to keep you on track. Because my mind tends to wander when I meditate. Does yours too? That’s why I’m here, to help keep you focused from a gentle, outside, detached-from-the-issue place.

open-your-eyes-to-the-beauty-around-you-open-your-eyes-to-the-wonders-of-life-open-your-heart-to-those-who-love-you-and-always-be-true-to-yourselfTogether, we will gently ask your subconscious to reveal what is holding you back, so that you can offer healing and release to the subconscious beliefs/blocks to you living your best, most happy relationship. I am always honored to be allowed into your personal, sacred mind-space during hypnotherapy and group sessions, so rest assured that you are welcome and safe here. Even after the first session you will already feel lighter, more relaxed and open to love. And it just gets better from there.

I’m not in a romantic relationship either – and I want to be. So I know this class is just as much for me as for you. Let’s discover, together, what will open us to love.

It is such an exciting corner to turn when you take charge of your life and start to live the life you really want to live – when you learn how to find, change and heal those unconscious beliefs that are holding you back from being your very best, authentic Self!

heart rockClass info:

Tuesday nights – 6:30pm – 8:30pm in Downtown Fort Collins, CO
RSVP for location of classes and to reserve your spot – space is limited.
Please be prepared to take all the classes, as they build on each other

March 4 – Introduction to Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis, and the Divine Feminine/Masculine – Assemble your Inner Team: Find your ‘Safe Place’, Inner Advisor, and Divine Feminine & Masculine Aspects

March 11 – Find your block(s) to love/happiness

March 18 – Heal and Release the block(s) to love/happiness

March 25 – Release the Past and Limiting Soul Contracts

April 1 – *Special Presentation by Steve Horsmon, Certified professional Life & Relationship Coach – “Your Feminine Power: Three Secrets to Helping Him Meet Your Needs”*

April 8 – Meet your Future, Sexy, Powerful, Self who is already in a wonderful relationship

$110 for all six sessions – paid at the first class, or $20 per session each time (a $600+ value if done in individual sessions)
cooley.grace@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Find out more about Grace here and right here.

steve horsmon photo

*About Steve Horsmon*
Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder of Good Guys 2 Great Men.

With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships.

As an expert on relationship issues affecting single, married, and divorced men, Steve emphasizes the importance of men achieving clarity of their personal values – or Masculine Operating Principles. In addition to making commitments for personal improvements, his clients are also expected to become serious students of women, the nature of emotional safety, and human sexuality.

Using his consistent message of “we are absolutely equal, but we’re not the same”, Steve helps men choose to make changes within themselves that can lead to mutually rewarding intimate relationships with women. These changes are for one reason only – it helps them become the man they want to be.

Steve strongly believes in relationships built on an equal partnership of trust, respect, emotional safety, and intimacy. Men and women share the responsibility for making it happen. Steve coaches men on the power of choosing to “go first” with confidence and clarity. Many of his client referrals come from wives and girlfriends.

Find more information and an extensive blog archive at www.Goodguys2Greatmen.com. Find  his FaceBook page here.