Boy was I wrong.
As many of you know my wife and I are having a baby and the last 6 months have been quite a journey.
Having a child is definitely the most cutting edge transformational ‘courses’ one can sign up for (and it isn’t even officially here yet!).
We are both very excited about becoming parents and can’t wait to welcome our baby girl to the world with open arms…and I feel like I’ve been going through one of the toughest times of my life.
This pregnancy is preparing me for fatherhood in ways that I never even thought possible.
I am not even the one physically carrying the baby and pregnancy has been difficult for me– but not for the reasons you think.
The path to becoming a father has been a tough road for me to travel as it’s forced me to expand my presence, look at my firmly held beliefs and ultimately transform them.
My wife who is going through her own transformation is developing an awareness as a mother that is consistent with her preparing to heighten her awareness and meet the nuanced needs of our child’s survival.
I’ve have always considered myself a pretty present person but that was based on a standard that did not include children. This new ‘super power’ my wife is developing has been my greatest teacher in showing me where I show up not present.
There was a time when I could give her a back rub or touch her while paying attention to other other things. But she’s become much more sensitive to my ability to stay connected and be present with her and can tell (without even looking at me) when my mind has gone elsewhere.
No longer is it acceptable for me to be touching her and trying to connect with half of my attention on something else.
I swear it’s like she’s turned into a comic book character who is hyper aware of my non-present touch and now that she is expecting our baby that kind of contact does not work for her.
I’ve had to up my game as a partner and man on so many levels, and as a result, the system that I am used to using is no longer sufficient for the requirements and is thus bankrupt.
In order for me to up-level where I am at, the system I am in has to upgrade as well because the system that I’m used to operating inside of is too primitive to accommodate this new higher level.
Just like an abacus (or even your fingers) is useful for math once we start to learn calculus we see that the abacus is way to basic and we need to implement the use of calculator.
It takes practice to learn how to use a calculator newly and it can be hard to break old habits that we are used to.
Change is hard for us because it forces us to break our system and change processes that we normally use to be successful.
However, on the other side of this struggle and learning curve is the opportunity to design a new system with the opportunity for greater levels of performance.
See ever since I’ve taken on expanding my level of touch with my wife, she feels so much more comforted and supported by me when I give her a backrub. But the new practice is not in my touch but in my presence and awareness of her, myself and how we interact.
This new level of awareness is now being applied everywhere I go.
In business when I’m on client calls – it’s enabled me to hear and see things that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Even with my own sense of self I am have become very aware of my own feelings and beliefs that were normally in my blind spot.
This to me is what manhood is all about:
Updating our well-functioning, but outdated, operating systems for more complex and expansive ones when the need arises.
Learning to sit with being a beginner again even when it’s uncomfortable
Seeing how each new insight (even something as subtle as touch) can ripple out and impact all other areas of our life
Being humble enough to learn newly things you think you’ve already have mastered and lastly, having the courage to move forward even when you don’t know the path.
I can see how everything I’ve ever done has been preparing me for this moment. This new beginning. That all the knowledge and transformation I have accrued is culminating towards this upcoming tipping point. I’ve no idea if I’m ready for it or not, but what I do know is that I’m stepping into it regardless.
And to be honest I’m excited.
Whether you are a father or not, being able to integrate and search for areas in your life where you can bring more presence or see where your ‘system’ is outdated can, and will bring a level of expansion that will touch every area of your life.
Where in your life right now can you see that some of these principles can be of some use?
Where are you unwilling to be a student?
Where are you the abacus trying to do calculus and wondering why the answers aren’t correct or coming easier?
Math, like life, is super detailed and multi-dimensional but any mathematician will tell you that life is not fixed and doesn’t follow any rules and as such is a far more complex and rich with variables. To learn it and win it means constantly shifting the rules, the game and the way you play.
Wherever you are in life, if you’re up for real growth then I’d love to hear where you see you can apply this to yourself or the people you love.
And if you can’t see it or figure it out – feel free to drop me a line or give me shout and I’m sure we can find it together
To your ever expanding growth,