Jul 18 • 32M

EP01 / Safety, freedom, leadership—and Jed's a millionaire, with Adam Gayner

Conversations about men, identity, love, becoming ourselves—and becoming more human // Episode 01

 
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Conversations about identity, masculinity, intuition, love, relationships, sexuality—and becoming ourselves as much as possible.
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This is a series of conversations about men, identity, love, intuition, becoming ourselves—and becoming more human. In this first episode, my friend and collaborator Adam Gayner and I talk about how safety, freedom, expression and leadership contribute to a richer life.

Notes from this episode

Adam: Feeling safer with myself is more able to be myself. A “looser me.” More present, more calm. More sensitive. It’s a physical sensation, a joyful release.

Bowen: In terms of communication and expression, “I didn’t grow up boys don’t cry, I grew up everybody does nothing. It wasn’t gendered.”

Safe and free are two sides of the same thing. If I feel safe, I feel free.

Group dynamics. Framing and containers for safety—not being judged, and not getting/giving advice. And—it’s a personal practice. Groups can provide a place to practice being ourselves.

“Safety” in groups often becomes bureaucracy. This sort of safety that depends on a lot of rules is very fragile (see Nassim Taleb’s book Antifragile). We get safe more by practicing being ourselves than from a “safe space.”

The western equation is that we have to work to get free, but it’s the other way around. If we focus on getting free, then we actually have the energy to do good work.

What’s not there in society that is present in groups, in terms of safety and freedom? In some ways, nothing. It’s mostly about one’s own internal, personal practice. We’re all here to be ourselves as much as possible, and the more we practice expressing ourselves, the easier it gets. As a result of the practice that I’ve had in groups, I feel more free to express myself in general. As a result of that practice, I don’t feel much different in a group, in therapy, and out in the world.

How judgement, and ‘feedback’ from others can take us out of ourselves and put us in a defensive position. Feeling safe is slowing down, receiving someone’s reflection and then clarifying. Safety leads to clarity.

Material that isn’t expressed creates shadows; it takes on a life of its own. Integration requires expression. Sexuality. Things that happen ‘at night.’ Bringing it into the light. Talking about it during the day. The invitation to bring any material into the light. And, the invitation is also a request for help to grow, and an offer to help grow. That’s what we’re here to do. That’s what relationship is for—to grow together.

Freedom to be your fuller self. More integrated. See Richard Schwartz’s Internal Family systems (IFS) model. How to integrate the younger parts of ourselves. Bringing the night into the day. “Grow up” is often code for “shut up.”

Feeling safety allows us to offer safety to others. Safety creates space for leadership. You have to lead yourself first—and that creates opportunities for others.

The invitation creates a safe space, which leads to a richer life, and…Jed’s a millionaire.

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