This article was first published in Common Ground Magazine in February 2015, and speaks to a challenge that I myself faced head on in my mid 20s. It took me until my mid 30s, almost ten years later, to gain enough distance from that journey, and the healing that it required, for me to feel that I could write about it with the appropriate clarity, humor, and care necessary for a topic that many men struggle with to this day, through no fault of their own.
For anyone who is not a man (or has never been a man) I invite you to read on with an open, compassionate mind.
Inhale, bring your palms together, and begin by dedicating this practice to all the great yogis and yoginis who are turning in their graves or laughing into their loin-cloths because of the Diet-Pepsi-maxification that Western culture has unleashed all over their sacred path of transcendence.
Take a moment to honor the great Patanjali who an entirely new wave of young mat-slingers often confuse with a sweet dessert that follows your dhal and rice course. Give reverence to the Rig Veda that is absolutely not the great-grandfather of the Lord Vader. Exhale and release any judgment around the effectiveness of hip-hop yoga, wine and yoga, or products like Water Mat Yoga to accelerate your union with “the god head.” If Western yoga culture is going through its adolescence, then it needs our support, wisdom, and compassion as it navigates through the madness of the modern-day mass media marketplace.
Sun salutation, raise your arms to the sky, and primal scream for every time that a teenybopper’s cellphone with a Taylor Swift ring tone has started playing “Shake It Off ” during your Corpse Pose, causing your subtle body to crash into your physical like the meteor that ended the dinosaurs.
In an age where authoritarian power is being questioned from the classroom to the boardroom, the emerging research is conclusive — humility is a dramatically more powerful and effective way of leading.
Scientific inquiry into the power and effectiveness of humility in the workplace has shown that it offers a significant “competitive advantage” to leaders.
According to a study from the University of Washington Foster School of Business, humble people tend to make the most effective leaders (that’s right, the most) and are more likely to be high performers in both individual and team settings, according to associate professor Michael Johnson.
Unsurprisingly, researchers found that employees who rated their managers as humble reported feeling more engaged and less likely to quit. They also reported being more committed to a leader’s vision, and more trusting and receptive to their ideas.