Edition 001 - On Full Spectrum Stewardship
There’s been more than one self-proclaimed “masculinity expert” over the past quarter century who’s attempted to profess “what it means to be a man”.
The inquiry itself has become a bit tired.
Sterile and scholarly at best.
Toneless and hollow chest-beating at worst.
Inviting little more than a strong-armed soundbite or limp-wristed lecture.
Neither of which provides much experiential insight or value to any earnest man desiring to lean into his next level of evolved expression
But I recently came across a brilliant and succinct definition. It’s worth sharing:
In his most recent book Us, relationship expert Terry Real states:
“A boy asks -- what can I get from the world, whereas a man will ask (and live the answer to): What is it that I’m being called or asked to give”
If you have a visceral, knee-jerk response to the assertion; perhaps a fragment of your ego just called itself out.
Because what you’re called towards is a shift from egocentric, I-ness (Real calls it a rugged individualist) to one who can tend to an entire realm of responsibility (aka a king).
A full-spectrum steward who expresses his compassionate power and leadership in all directions, ambitions and relationships; without feeling burdened by the very call.
Yet in its simplicity; the shift from “getting” to giving” requires an evolutionary leap in being and relating that requires the dissolution of hundreds, if not thousands of less matured sub-personas, micro-identities, thought patterns, beliefs, entitlements and assumptions.
For the frightened boy; his lover’s “irrational” and emotionally-laced tirade is an unjust attack and undue burden on the life of artificially-maintained harmony he insists on.
He’ll get defensive. He’ll put up shields. He’ll see himself as incapable of weathering the storm (let alone quelling it with love and power). Worse, he’ll reject the call for a strengthened capacity to do so.
For the king, it’s an invitation to claim his throne, grow in his power, and expand his capacity for gifting presence and strength.=
The boy is a perpetual victim. Premature collapse is his default setting. Unwilling to rise; for it threatens the immature ego that rests as his foundation. After all, once he “grows up”; so much of what was once cherished can no longer persist.
Masculinity therefore becomes an ongoing and uninterrupted willingness to expand and extend awareness and capacity.
Capacity to endeavour towards a generosity of spirit and being. And a readiness to powerfully embrace and accept any invitation (even in all its gnarly, wordly forms) to do so.
The invitation is found across what I refer to as the “seven initiatory fires” of our daily lives:
- Your intimate relationship
- Thriving physically and mentally in an unhealthy world
- Your pursuit of purpose
- Your business or livelihood
- Thriving emotionally and spiritually in an unbalanced world
- Expressing fully in a suppressed world
Such is the topic of my forthcoming book: The 7 Initiatory Fires of Modern Manhood; and the mission of this newsletter; which at its core, is to bring you the insights, tools and resources to expand your capacity, power, skillfulness, and positive expression across all these “realms”.
Without the infantile collapse that a lesser version of you may have been seduced by (and ultimately succumbed to),
It’s a long road.
Commitment to the first (and next) step is all that’s required.
I honor you for walking that path with us.
I honor all that’s brought you here.
I honor all you’ve yet to (but surely will) become.
And it’s in that spirit, that I say…
I see you, King
Chief Editor, I see you, King
Author, The 7 Initiatory Fires of Modern Manhood (2023)
@hendrixjblack / Instagram
In my own life of “full spectrum stewardship”, I no longer have the luxury of lavish two hour morning routines with all the trimmings and adornments that would occupy a black-belt biohacker's wet dream. Meaning, my workouts, energetic, and spiritual practices have to be both efficient and “full spectrum” in of themselves.
Enter: The 5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation
I first discovered this practice about a decade ago. And while I’ve had an “on again / off again” relationship with them; I can assure you that when I’m “on”, I experience far greater levels of mental clarity, physical stamina, and energetic resilience than when I’m “off”.
Commit to this practice for 7 days and report back how you feel
For Your Relationship
Your ego will have many reasons to hate Terrence Real’s new book “Us”. And I certainly wouldn’t accept every word as gospel (which should be true of anything you read -- including -- well -- actual gospel) -- but the concepts of “Core Negative Images”, “Adaptive Children” and “Fierce Intimacy” make the read well worth it for any man in a long-term relationship -- or those who’ve been prone to sabotaging them.
For Your Business / Career
I first partnered with Chris Evans in 2014 when we were both “freelance marketers” supporting big players with their 7 figure course and program launches.
I remember in one late-night (burnt out) chat, Chris told me with total certainty: “Brother, the next million I make will be for myself”. Turns out, he wasn’t lying.
He went on to co-found and lead an entire portfolio of coaching and consulting companies, becoming a titan in the online expert industry; all while demonstrating “full-spectrum stewardship” as a father, husband, and community leader...
Now, in a new chapter of his life, we’ve partnered together on a new private podcast called ‘Upgrade Season” with the goal of supporting business leaders, founders and CEOs with the nuanced (and rarely discussed) personal and professional challenges that come with scaling a fast-growing company while keeping all the other “fires” burning.
🎧You can listen to the introductory episode over here ... 🎧
Food For The Soul
Red Rocks + Trevor Hall always serves as a portal to musical mysticism.
It just hits different.
Throw in some Rising Appalachia and Marieme and you’ve got yourself some industrial grade soul-balm.
🎸 57:53 to 1:12:44 for those who need the quicker dose 🎤
ISYK: Who We Are Honoring
This space is reserved for the men we’ll be honoring and acknowledging in future editions.
Today, in this inaugural edition; it’s reserved for you.
Being a “man on the path” is an initiation of the highest order. Keeping the wheels turning, and limiting the fallout in your business, relationships, and wellbeing -- all while partaking in the relentless pursuit towards self actualization (while discarding all that isn’t “it”) is perhaps the most courageous work of all.
You won’t get celebrated for it.
More often, you’ll feel shamed and slandered as your ship (momentarily) succumbs to an intensity it’s yet to be trained to withstand.
But you are here. You are seen. And most importantly…
You witness yourself within your own rise.
I see you, king by Hendrix Black Newsletter
“If Marc Manson, David Deida and Jordan Peterson had a three-way creative lovechild, the ISYK newsletter would be it”.