What does the Patriarchy have to do with Intimate Relationships? That’s the question we asked Nicky Dyal, an expert and coach on Detoxing from the Patriarchy.
She has a very practical handout you can read called “301 Tip-Offs to Spot Patriarchy and Toxic Masculinity in Action”. The handout is divided in 3 sections:
- When Toxic Masculinity is Externalized
- When Toxic Masculinity is Internalized
- Reactions and Ways of Avoiding Toxic Masculinity
Nicky is not saying that men are bad; her list is an extremely useful tool to detect potential blind spots, and it applies to both genders.
What has been normalized for you? What are the ways you cope with toxic shame and bullying? Tune in to this eye-opening episode on “Detoxing from the Patriarchy”.
Download Nicky’s free handout from her website at https://www.thunderandsage.com, under the Free Tools tab.
Hi. Welcome back to our podcast RelationshipAlkemy. I’m Jordan Bessaignet.
And I’m Olivier Bessaignet.
And today we have a very special guest with us, Nicky.
Nicky, how are you doing? How are you doing, Nicky?
Today I’m doing very well. And we have another guest star, and that’s my cat, Princess.
Kind of looks like our cat a little bit. So today we have an amazing topic that we’re going to go over, and it’s titled Detox from the Patriarchy.
Yeah, this is your thing. And so I’m really excited to pick your brain on this. And especially the patriarchy is such a buzzword right now, and it has a lot of political and cultural resonance to it. But since we are a Relationship Alchemy, my interest is to bring it close, intimates and bring it close to home. So the main question and I’m going to let you start off with presenting yourself and what you do and where all that comes from. But for our listeners, my main question to this topic is how can we track spots and clarify and understand patriarchy when it’s home, at home? So it could be your ex, it could be your husband, it could be your parents, it could be your uncle, or it could be you, how you internalize as a female patriarchy and you’re not even aware of it. So start us off with that.
So what’s your background and what is your interest in this topic?
Okay, great. I am a coach, and I work one on one and in group contexts, mostly with artists and solo creative business owners of all genders, helping to establish almost like an alternative economy where we’re making money in ways that are in accordance with the needs of our body, the cycles of nature existing outside of some of the systems that have caused all of us so much physical and emotional pain. And that system that operates sort of saying, like, we have to work harder, better, faster, stronger at all times. Today manifests capitalism, but has its roots in 5000 years of a patriarchal society where not only are male bodied people prioritized, but also the masculine perspective is heralded as better, more worthy, more legitimate, more important. So I think that answers a lot of your questions.
Yeah. That really hones in. I mean, for what I’m hearing from you, it’s the patriarchy is not necessarily like a systemic oppression of because the masculine has been so elevated for the past 5000 years, it has significantly reduced the feminine. And so our society has a very masculine presence, masculine mindset, masculinity is elevated and has turned into what we call the patriarchy.
Yes. I like to think of it just to further, like, refine what you said, is that what I hope to help people understand and clarify is because we don’t want to say that people born with penises are bad or automatically oppressive. I like to sort of add the nuance that we’re talking about the shadow aspects of masculinity. Or we’re talking about almost like a natural consequence of saying that this one type of people is better than another type of person. And so some of these sort of, like, power trips and oppressive behaviors and belief systems arise from the fact that we’ve put this one, like penis people above non penis people. And to say that because we’ve all been living with this belief system for so long and that governments and economies have been created around it, that all of us, no matter how we were socialized or how what we feel our gender is, we all are so used to living with the system that it can be so hard to see even the ways that I might diminish myself or I might unconsciously be hurting myself. That’s how I was trained to exist.
Or that’s how we got to exist.
Yeah, right. I definitely like to think of it as like a belief system that has been ingrained in us to the point where it is normal and natural. And this is the kicker here, because you’ve created a beautiful offering. I mean, you have a couple of amazing offerings out there, but this 1301 tip offs to spot toxic masculinity in action. It’s so funny because Olivier showed it to me, and we were out eating dinner, and I started reading them, and I was like, okay, I need to take a break. Like, I’m so triggered right now. It was a lot to digest. And I think I literally only got to the first ten. And I was like, oh, my God, this is my dad. He was like, yeah. Went off into this like.
Oh, so what I’m hearing in that is that people might suffer from it at home or in their own heads without putting words on it or being able to clarify, distinguish and say, oh, this is toxic masculinity or this is normal. What is normal, what is healthy, what is toxic. And I love that you break it into three sections. Can you explain those three sections?
Yeah, exactly. And I also want to speak to the digestibility because it is a really long list. 301 things is really long. And I have gotten feedback, like, why didn’t you make it shorter? And I’m like, well, this is kind of like an overwhelming topic.
The fact that it’s 301 is kind of like part of the medicine. It is overwhelming.
What I love is that everybody can pick what they resonate with. Well, maybe you add a lot, but maybe people have five or six. So it’s good to have a long list.
It’s interesting because not all of them resonate with me totally. To my particular upbringing, I was like, oh, I’ve actually never seen that, but I believe it is still a thing.
Yeah, exactly. So to answer your question, Olivier, about how I divided this list of 301 things, again, three sections. The first one I like, to say is externalized. So that means, like, how we project the ideas and the concept of toxic masculinity onto others, how our actions define and project onto the world. The next section is internalized. And that’s how we, regardless of gender, anatomy, socialization. That’s how we turn the toxic city against ourselves, how we almost put ourselves. We do the work of the patriarchy on our own bodies.
I’ll punish myself today. You don’t have to do it. And this is not about victim blaming. This is just about getting to know ourselves more, getting to know the motivation and almost separating like me, Nicki, like a spirit in a body versus or from the actions that we might all take, or even the actions loved ones. You mentioned your dad, like, the actions he’s taken against you. That’s almost like the patriarchy acting through him. But I like to think not actually, our dads are not actually the people in our lives.
Yeah, we’re really big on that. One of our concepts is loving the person and not loving the behavior.
Yeah. Always differentiating. The being on the behavior and knowing that trauma is not our fault. We receive trauma. And the patriarchy, it’s a social trauma. Now, it’s not our fault that we are a victim of the trauma, but it’s our responsibility to stop it.
Yes. That’s one of my favorite teachings of you guys. That is the behavior, not the being. And I hope that this can be a brutal awakening. It can be a harsh period of reckoning to start to be like, oh, my God, this is how things worked in my family. Oh, my God. These are the ways that I’ve hurt myself. Oh, no, it can be very like, stricken phase. It can be very humbling. And so I think that building from that foundation that you guys established, the behavior is different from the being is such a healthy, lovely place to start. We’ve all received enough blame already, right?
The last category that I like to talk about. So we have the externalized view, which is how it affects how we project toxic police on other people. We have the internalized view, how we put our own cells down on behalf of the patriarchy. And then the final section is just to be on alert for reacting and avoiding the toxic masculine. So we all create survival strategies to make it through life.
It’s just too much to witness. It’s too much to receive into our bodies. It’s too much to comprehend all at once. And so I find that most of us come up with little strategies of being like, oh, this doesn’t hurt me right now or laugh.
I’ve been thinking about this for several decades in my life.
Avoiding coping or not confronting. Is that what you mean?
Yeah, kind of. Many of these on this list are very shadowy behaviors bridging on self harm. I’m happy to talk about all of that, but that the pain of self harm is sometimes easier to look at than the pain that others are inflicting on us.
And I’ve been Dakini orgasm.
First with when toxic masculinity is externalized, look for yes.
Well, maybe what are some of the ones that popped out to you guys? So I’m just curious about what I mean.
I genuinely only read the first ten. It’s like, all right, we need to take a break. Yeah. Just to speak more on my experience in growing up with the patriarchy encouraging or inciting theme competition. And this really hits home because I am a very tall woman. I grew up, I’ve always been taller. So right away, my parents discovered I had a natural proclivity for sports was really good. Right. I started team sports. I started off with soccer when I was four. And, yeah, it was really good. And my parents that made my dad really proud, and it became a thing that’s your value now. It’s my value now. My whole personality is centered around it at this time of my life.
Because you can perform and you can’t compete asking for simple.
How am I better than the people around me, specifically other women who I am competing against? Like, literally 100% competition. There’s a winner, there’s a loser, like, all of it. So, yeah, that was really interesting. And I’ve just really began to dive into that part of my life of like, well, that was a weird time that happened. Yeah. And definitely my dad would love when my team would win. I was really good, played club sports, had personal trainers, really dived into this sports world. And so my dad would use that as when you win, here’s, my love. But here’s all the things you can do better because that wasn’t good enough. And then when you lose, oh, my goodness, it was the end of the world. Like, my dad took it so personal. Like, oh, my daughter lost her basketball game, and she’s not the best out there. So, I mean, right off the bat, number one encouraging orientation.
That was just number one.
I think that’s a powerful one to look at because you’ve shared with us how it wounded the young Jordan, how it created these value systems that didn’t just accept you for who you are and your innocence of perfection, but established that you only had love or a place based on beating other women.
I think the energy behind that is women. The femme forces of the universe are the most powerful thing. And it’s easier to manage when they are divided and against each other. And so it’s to the advantages of patriarchy to keep women at each other.
Because then we’re easier to control.
That’s an example from childhood that is so classic. I’m sure that so many of your listeners can relate to that. And then as adults, it’s also interesting to see the ways that we can kind of, like bridge the gap right now from the externalized to the internalized just to help. What’s going on is that sometimes as adults, we have that. Thank you, dad. You taught me that I’m supposed to destroy other women all the time. Sometimes as adults, when we’ve internalized that belief so much and women aren’t interacting with women, there enters the energy of comparison or partnership, not feeling safe. If our male partner has female friends that were suspicious of her, that if your male partner has a female friend, she’s going to be trying to take something from you. So I think that it creates this cascade of beliefs where, again, it starts with dad telling you how to really tell their women, and then we kind of take that on later. And that ultimately limits us from receiving love from men and from other women. So it keeps us very lonely. And ISIS.
Yeah. I think even this one is the first point can go so deep. We see it in so many ways in our beauty industry. Growing up, I was like, wow, I’m supposed to look like these women who most of them probably had some form of self harm going on. And then it’s really interesting now that you say it, because I was introduced to this belief system, and it was hardwired into me. Over 18 years, Jordan goes to College, and it’s like, oh, I want to make friends, but why do I feel like I’m secretly competing against my friends?
Where’s that coming from? Then it’s everywhere, and then it’s everywhere. And then it’s interesting how I internalized that I dropped out of College after three semesters. I was like, yeah, this is not for me. But then what was for me was the way my body looked, and it became all about, like, okay, how can I be the hottest woman out there? And it’s really interesting looking at it through this lens. There was a lot going on during that period. But it’s really interesting how? Because I internalized that for so many years, it led to a whole new perspective that wasn’t necessarily the healthiest.
Yeah. That makes so much sense. Daughter. Right. Being a good daughter and internalizing what your dad said and say, okay, I’ll do it for you.
Exactly. My daughter, you taught me so well that now I’m going to find ways to amplify and take your teachings to the next level.
Well, especially if it’s tied to value and how to get love. It’s like, hardwired.
Yeah. I mean, some of the ones that Olivier just highlighted on the internalization part was perfectionism needing to be seen as good and pure and a magnetic pull towards all bad boys. And right now I feel like, oh, I thought it was unique.
That was my personality. Personality.
No, I am very unique. But it’s funny because the way trauma presents can be seen as or what at the time I thought were personality traits, but it was really just like internalized patriarchy.
Yes. My favorite spaces are when we can kind of with other fems is when we can kind of, like, put down our weapons and put down our armor and have that experience of being like, oh, I thought I was the only one. But we’ve all been putting daggers into our own hearts the whole time. And can we just as a collective, just stop doing that for a minute and be in peace together? I don’t even know what the next step is in the context of relationships. You guys are the experts. Like, how do we healing? But as the first step that I feel like I’m qualified to teach is, can we just stop hurting ourselves and rest right now? Yes, just for a minute and just experience a break.
Yes. I think that’s huge. Our last podcast, we did Surrendering into the feminine, and rest is a feminine trait. It’s a feminine action. It’s a feminine quality.
So I want to talk about that just for a second, because before doing all that, I had a recording studio in Paris. I was a musician. I was a composer. And the way I would come up with a new music or song is that if I just go on the computer and try to do things, it would not work. So to Spire up my creativity, I would take a nap.
So I would do something fun or do something casual, lay down, take a nap, but not with that. Like, I’m tired, I need to sleep, but more like I want to rest my energy. And there’s always something always something was bubbling up.
Okay. So the feminine energy for me, and I used it. I can use it as a masculine, of course. Is this creativity where we don’t know where it comes from, but by not wanting any goal, not wanting any outcome, then we can let it bubble up. And then something magical or amazing is going to start coming up, and then we can just in French, you said the Oliva pilot, which is like just following the thread to see where it goes instead of going, well, this is the goal, the end goal. And now we need to figure out all the steps and write it down and hit all my stones, which is the masculine principle.
And let’s talk about why that’s dangerous to the patriarchy, why that process, that feminine creative process is dangerous, and therefore why it’s so repressed the concept of rest and inspiration. Because in practicing that strategy for creativity, there’s a little bit of chaos and there’s a little bit of the unknown. Being able to sit with the unknown, being able to have the groundedness and presence, which is actually somewhat masculine. To do that, to not know when is this writer’s block going to be over? When is this all going to come forth doesn’t really fit in well with systems of going to work from nine to five or eating at a certain time or alarm clocks. It just doesn’t fit. So to me, practicing resting is quite radical because it’s damaging. It removes the foundation of how the patriarchy works.
Yeah, this is really interesting. And I think during the pandemic, this principal was exposed for the first time because nobody was going to their nine to five. The whole world was on pause and people were losing their mind. I don’t know what to do. I’m home. I don’t know. My whole life is centered around my work and my work schedule. And now that that’s removed, I’m going crazy. And I witnessed it in friends. I witnessed it in the collective. People started baking bread. I think that was like YouTube. The most searched video was like, how to make sourdough bread. It was crazy time.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Very radical. Yeah.
Again, to sort of bring it back to what that might look like in our lived day to day experience, reclaiming the feminine principles, or sort of even just detoxing from the patriarchy, like sort of using some of these tools of rest to solve a problem or taking the time to in the internalized section over exercising as part of it, even in externalized. But taking the time in the context of our day to day routines and relationships to be like this is a behavior that contributes or is the remnant of a toxic system. And it takes a lot of bravery and groundedness and even collaboration an agreement with your partner that we’re going to try to do things a different way. The patriarchal way would be to be like, Duke it out and figure out who is right or wrong in this conversation that we’re having or this argument or like, who’s going to do the dishes. It’s right or wrong, but sort of being like, trying to get to the bottom of it. Trying to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong is one of those symptoms of the patient trying to control and limit our power.
I just got figured, yeah, that’s exactly what my ex would say. Let’s look it out and figure. She used to be a doctor and then she was a writer, but best selling author in personal development. And she was a woman. And I was like, I don’t want to go into that who’s right and who’s wrong in our relationship because who’s going to win and who’s going to lose? That’s going to really suck for the one who loses. And maybe next time I’m not going to win or you’re going to win. I mean, it really sucks. But she’s like, no, I really want to duck it out and figure out what’s the right path. That’s exactly what you just talked about. Wow.
Yes. That’s why this isn’t really about gender the list.
But it is about how does this manifest in our relationships, I think in order to undo it. Like, I would hate to say that this liberation can only exist with other people, but in some ways, it has to. It’s hard to be the only one who’s trying to live outside the patriarchy in the context of an intimate relationship. You know, it’s just a recipe for resentment to build. If you’re the one sitting over there, like, checking off this list of 301 things, and then my partner does this, and then I hurt myself this way.
There is a lot of value. I mean, we’re all about Olivier and I are all about community. We lead a Coed circle once a month. And as mammals, we’re hardwired to rely on others. And I would say one symptom of the patriarchy. And we see this a lot, too.
It’s self reliance.
It’s self reliance. You have to be independent. The only person you can go to is yourself, because everyone else is going to fuck you over or they’re going to take advantage of you.
This country was built by the rugged individual.
Which is like, literally I grew up with having that belief drilled into me. And it’s really interesting. Again, we touched on this in our previous episode of Surrendering into the Feminine. As a duller, as a birth worker, I see a lot of women who are transitioning into motherhood that are like, no, I can do this all on my own. I don’t need to hire a birth broker. I don’t need support.
I don’t need a circle of woman.
I don’t need a circle of women for my birth because I can do this all on my own. And then that program transfers over into motherhood. And then you see a lot of women with postpartum depression, postpartum rage, all of these things going on. And my first question to those suffering through these mood disorders is, well, who do you have to support you? Who is offering you support during this time? And their usual answer is my husband. It’s like, okay, that’s a beautiful start. And also, as mammals, we need more than one person to rely on.
Yes, that makes so much sense. And also, I think that the me too movements are. But this toxic masculinity is relatively new to our consciousness. So might not always be something that we, like vet for when we’re picking our partners, because normalized and internalized, these are all hidden behaviors at times are so accepted that it’s not something I mean, on my new dating criteria list, it is.
Please help us with that. What would be your top five?
Yeah, what would be your top five things to be on the lookout for of how the patriarchy and I would say for male partner.
I don’t know if maybe you’re looking for a female partner or for a female friend.
Let’s not limit it.
I think that’s great. I think the first one to look for, regardless of gender, and friendships. This is the first one that I look for, and I’m quite practiced in this. But when you receive, whether you’re on a date or just getting to know a new friend, when you receive the narrative of a person’s life, you’re getting to know them like, oh, I grew up here and this is what my parents were like. The big red flag is if the mother is the person to blame in the narrative to me is like, number one. Because while mothers are not at all perfect, right. No one is expected to be perfect. I think that it’s just an altogether too easy and convenient narrative to say that everything that is going on with me is my mother’s fault because it’s not. And very often our mothers, in the quest to be strong, like you mentioned, Jordan, that you see all the time, take it on themselves to conform to the patriarchy, internalize everything to avoid punishment, and just like make an easy path in motherhood. And I’m not saying that doesn’t create a toxic and fucked up family dynamics, but it’s also not her fault she’s into a larger system in a way that she thinks is helpful for her children.
So I think that might even be the only criteria or the number one when that’s it. And I think that we all have a healing journey. And of course, part of that healing journey is always to acknowledge and validate the trauma we’ve experienced and that might have been imposed by our mothers. Right. This is not the right off, neglect, abuse, et cetera, that our mothers actually are responsible for. But just like, if she’s at the heart of the blame, to me, that narrative is bound to hurt me in the end. And that means that that person is avoiding some larger understanding of society and family dynamics. Yeah.
So I found three ones that I really like on the point that you just said, which is like calling or implying other people are crazy or blaming them or irrational. And especially in our context, in our teaching, we really talk heavily on connecting to our feelings. And when it comes to having a conversation with our partner or even with ourselves for self empathy, it’s reconnecting to our feelings. So I love that you’re saying, like talking others out of their feelings, like you’re, okay, or this is irrational, or let’s just move forward without talking about this and also talking others into our point of view, which is a boundary crossing mechanism. Your list is amazing. I love those three points as starters to perceive if the other is trying to mold you into this thing.
Yeah. I’m not sure what more to add, because I just completely. But yes.
Yeah. So what would you say is the second thing to look out for in friendships, new budding relationships?
Yeah, I think this is another one. It comes up for me as an athlete, I’m a rock climber. But even in the context. But it’s just female friendships in general is like an ability to support and be excited for your friends accomplishments and to receive that is the other side of it.
Yes. That’s huge.
Yeah. Like, the way that that’s shown up for me in my personal life is that and maybe this example will just help. I tend to have friend crushes on women who are, like, so powerful and so inspiring to me. And it’s so easy for me to put them on the pedestal. Almost like I’ve taken this fun competition thing and done the opposite with it.
But the shadow side of that for me is that I’m, like, so friend crushed out that I sometimes forget to notice if it’s reciprocal.
You know, this is really hitting home here.
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Even recently.
Yeah. I recently lost a friend that was very unequal reciprocation.
And I literally just did exactly what you said. Almost like, did the exact opposite of the competition. And it was like. Yes. Continue.
No, exactly. Just to be noticed because here at me, I’m here to serve. I’m here to love. Right. And in a female body this time around as a channel for the divine feminine. And so in my relationships with men and women, my place is at someone’s feet. I want to worship. I want to honor you. I want to elevate and appreciate and adore. And that’s just part of my sole composition.
Yeah. We love devotion.
Yes. But to be in balance as a human for the Yin and the Yang to exist in my life and for me to be like a complete person, I have to receive as well. And I don’t have as much practice as that. I’m going to probably naturally tend toward configurations where my comfort zone is just like, you’re so amazing. But I have to look out for, like, is the other person telling me that I’m amazing as well?
Yeah, definitely. It’s interesting that having gone through this recent experience, definitely came out with a few more boundaries of. Okay. When? Because for me, just to give a little more context, I noticed it was unequal.
And I wanted to serve more. It was almost like I was trying to show through example to this person. Like, this is how I would like to be treated. So I’m going to keep treating you in this beautiful serving way, and it definitely backfire.
Which could be by example, but yeah. To a point.
But to the point exactly. I think what you’re saying that really landed for me was the aspect of balance. And just to be on one side of the pendulum and then swing to the other, and I’m still swinging in the pendulum, but it’s not as extreme, like, on this side or, like, on this side. It’s more like here now. So I’m definitely honing in to that balance point for myself and my life. Yeah.
It’s really good. So, guys, I found a couple of your things about sex. Talk about sex.
Exactly. I was waiting for us to get to this part because it’s really interesting how the patriarchy shows up in sexual intimacy.
Well, everything power, so money, sex, self value, self worth, all that are power, hooks, spirituality. So calling yourself a pussy, worrying about being a slot. I love it. Making excuses for abusive partners and having sex without talking about protection because maybe the other person won’t have sex with you if you bring it up.
These are all really, I mean, to speak on calling yourself a pussy. It’s really funny. The last person I went to was slightly traumatic. So I bought myself a push present for being there. And on the back rupee core. I think that’s how you pronounce her last name. She writes all those beautiful poetic books of like, Milk and Honey. And she has this poem about basically about why do people use the word pussy in a derogatory sense? Because literally the pussy is like the strongest thing out there. It can receive pleasure and I mean, it can receive pain in the sense of having to deliver a child. And so I actually have this sweater. I’ll have to show it to you. It’s so cute. It has like six different Volvas embroidered on it. And on the back it says, oh, but the pussy is brave.
But that’s great for man. Also curing yourself a pussy or curing your child.
Yeah. Don’t be a pussy. Actually call me a pussy. Like that’s. Like in a loving, not derogatory way.
Yes. And also just honoring that everyone’s at a different place in their relationship with that word. I know that for some people, there’s still so much in the trauma of how society has used the word pussy that some people can’t even sit with that. And I just want to make space for the people who are, like, completely still in trauma around the word.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s really interesting. Growing up, my parents would use pussy in a dirty implication. I remember something about maybe like masturbation going on. I don’t know. It was like some slightly blocked memory here. And my mom had said, like, oh, you’re playing with your pussy or something. And it was just like such I felt so filled with shame and like the way she said pussy, it was like this dirty, nasty. And so I actually never liked the word pussy until I reclaimed it for myself. And now actually, it’s like one of my favorite ways to describe my vulva. Yes, I totally hear you on that. Yeah.
I’m looking now at some of the options things in the first and the second section, but in the third section, can you explain a little bit how the avoidance. Can you give a few examples?
Yeah. Just to kind of reiterate what I feel like is the description of that this is a really long list of really painful behaviors and experiences and sometimes just for whatever stage of life, we’re not really equipped yet to identify or face some of this stuff. And it is not in our control always. What are the pace of our awakening?
And in the context of relationship, in society and as an individual. And so to me, this final section of the list, the ways that we avoid or react to the patriarchy, can be actually a really good starting point. I talk about a lot of self harm in this eating disorder shoplifting. A lot of things that are just using a lot of drugs and sex and stuff.
Yeah. I’m just thinking of the people who are listening to us without seeing the screen. If you want to mention a few, of course.
Yeah. So some of those ways that, like I said, that we create pain in our lives in order to not feel the pain that other people are putting on us is what this section of the list is about. So I’ll just read a few shoplifting anorexia, bulimia, lying, selfharm cutting, making pain cool or radical, not taking compliments, hiding your body with clothes, fat or fashion faking, orgasms excuses, not to date, hiding, masturbation, hiding food, just secrets and lying, dumbing yourself down, acting innocent, hoarding, hyper, cleanliness. I like to call it lady marijuana. Just living in that cloud for years on end, lying in the lap of the mother but not really ever being able to wake up either being a fuck up dating addicts, repeatedly apathy. I could go on.
I mean, it’s so funny. I’m like reading these now. And I’m either like, yes, I did that, I did that, or yes, I know someone who does this, who does this, who does this, or I’ve dated someone who you know.
Can you give an example in mind?
I mean, seeking spiritual solutions to help leave the body. I dated this guy who was in a spiritual community which was also a cult, but he definitely would not acknowledge that and they would meditate. I think it was for like 2 hours twice a day, like morning and night. And it was a really I remember sitting with them, like being allowed to come into their space because I was like, oh, this person that I’m dating loves doing this so much. And then I was like, okay, I want to give it a try to see if it might help me. At my point in my life, at first it was like I thought it was really beautiful. Like, oh my gosh, this person is meditating. Like, wow, I should be meditating that much a day. And like, I mean, 4 hours out of the day, meditating. Like that’s a pretty extreme meditation. And eventually in our relationship it became this like part of annoyance for me because I would want to do something where it was like the peak of summer in Reno. It was gorgeous outside. I’d be like, okay, let’s go do something and be like, wait, I need to meditate first.
Okay. But summers and Reno are, like, epic. So much fun, beautiful. And then winter time is so long that you don’t really get a lot of outdoor time. At least I don’t.
Well, I don’t think the fact of meditating for hours a day is an issue is the way. So if it’s really, like, discipline oriented or very strict, those are masculine principle and then criticizing and blaming. Oh, smoking is bad. Or if you don’t do it, you’re bad.
Well, yeah, that’s what I was getting, too. So it wasn’t necessarily that he was meditating, but it became he was not allowed to smoke marijuana in this community and impose that on to me. If we’re going to date each other, you can’t smoke weed. And I was like, I love you so much. Okay. I’ll do that. Which definitely wasn’t necessarily true for me, but it was definitely my codependency showing up. And it was really interesting because as we progressed into our relationship more, I definitely noticed him using meditation as a way to escape what was going on in his life. So, yeah. Seeking spiritual solutions to help leave the body. That one really stood out to me right now.
Yeah. Well, in the case of your situation specifically, I think it can even be brought in to, say, escape the complexities of 3D plane.
The complexities of having a relationship with a person who has different needs from you.
It was also a denial of feelings.
Yeah, it was a denial of feelings. I mean, we definitely crashed and burned.
Oh, that was a great chapter. I learned a lot. And then the next relationship I got into, I met this guy. So I definitely think that relationship prepared me in ways to open up to the intimacy that I wanted.
Yeah, that’s great.
Go ahead. And then I have a last question.
Perfect. I just think that this section of the list is a lot of shadow qualities, which it’s really easy to demonize or be afraid of or even label these behaviors as bad or wrong. Self time in particular. It’s really easy to curate judgment around that. And I just want to say on the record is that these chapters, maybe even for your ex partner or even going through phases of, like, smoking a lot of weed and stuff for me, are a very important chapter in a lifetime of incubation, of turning within of an acknowledgment of like, no, I actually can’t handle the world. Our society doesn’t really have those rights of passages or the alone time built into our prescriptive life path. And so most of the ways that we find that alone time is through self harming behavior, like meditating 4 hours a day for several years, be stoned for many years of our lives. Those aren’t the most, like, they get the job done, they create insulation from the harm of society. Great benefit to that, but it often comes at such a cost and expense to our bodies. And so I just want to, like, champion one thing.
It’s like these chapters of going within these periods of withdrawal as part of just a life path that has richness and meaning. But because we don’t have that built in, we end up hurting ourselves when what we need mostly alone. And when we don’t claim those periods consciously, we create them unconsciously, lying to our partners all the time, insulating ourselves by faking orgasms, like not letting someone into our space. That way. It’s valuable to be alone sometimes, but we just don’t let ourselves do it. And then it becomes fucked up and hurtful to another person. So wouldn’t it have been nice if your partner had just been like, I am actually not available for a relationship? I actually need to meditate a lot right now.
Yeah. That was the ultimate conclusion that we had come to you. I was definitely in a space where I really wanted deep intimacy with someone. And, yeah, that person was not available for it. And it’s really interesting, like, you know, hearing this perspective, reading all of these, definitely have. I spent a good chunk of my teenage years into my early adulthood. Self harming. Definitely would, like, razor blade cut myself, went through the phase of smoking dabs and being, like, in this cloud, like, literally this haze of marijuana. And it’s really interesting, like, looking back on all of that, because I see it as those were coping techniques, like, the best that I could do in that time because I had certain beliefs drilled into me. I can’t rely on others, so I couldn’t talk to anyone about the self harming. All of my friends at this time were deep, deep in a marijuana haze as well. So then we would just smoke with each other, which was really damaging for our bodies, and then seeking spiritual solutions to help leave the body. And I love how human this list is. If this is like something that you’re just realizing for yourself, I can definitely understand the overwhelming, the overwhelmingness of it.
And also, I just really want to commend you for creating 54 reasons of like, that’s.
Just page one.
Oh, my God. Okay. 100. Refusing or unable to acknowledge how much you are loved went through that phase. Yeah. It’s just these are all really beautiful.
Unless it’s extreme. Wow. Went through that constant drama and fighting.
Went through that wild partying. And a lot of these coping mechanisms are really harmful. Yes. And also, I totally get that, like, you’re just doing your best and we’re all just doing our best.
We’re taking space. What it is is that not only are we doing our best, we’re taking space from a toxic institution, and it takes a lot of energy to take that space and drugs help.
Yeah, totally. That’s why I dropped out of College. I was like, I just want to do acid all day. What are you talking about?
Yes. Adrenaline helps not feel the pain of the patriarchy, the adrenaline of cutting or of extreme sports, all those things help you not feel the even broader pain which is living in a patriarchal society. So if you could imagine even in your own life or the lives of people you care about, the pain that you imagine them to be in, that they’re subjecting themselves through, it is even more painful to sit with the reality of the patriarchy in the context of relationships just to continue to bring it back to the work you guys do is if these activities are coming up in the context of your relationship, it probably means that there’s some greater truth of your relationship that is difficult to look at at the moment.
Because we trust the way with the capital W to reveal all truth.
It won’t last forever.
Great. So last question is. Okay, so we Dove into the clarity and the realization. So what would be the next step to to start healing or to start changing if somebody is like a bit of a one with the list and so they want to make it positive or to make it useful for them? So what would be the next simple step?
Well, I have to plug for myself. And next simple does no, I do think that trying to solve this problem on your own is very difficult. So whether it’s the support of a professional or a friend or a partner or someone who cares about you and is already on the other side of some of this is helpful. And then also, I think the first actual step is flowing way down is making it digestible, is understanding and acknowledging that the period of waking up and reckoning is harsh and bright and painful, and yet a lot of rest needs to be taken. And to the extent that you can, like, grounding into non urgency around a solution, which is a big feat in itself, it takes a lot of bravery all on its own to not be urgent. And then I think of what you’re saying, Olivier, is like, if I’m not using the patriarchal system, what am I using instead?
This is all we know. If this is the air we breathe and the water we drink, what am I going to eat now?
And there are solutions. One of them that I have come up with is it’s my Moon Power Journal, which is just a way of creating structuring your creativity and productivity, not on the graph of capitalism, which is always increasing, but on the cycles of nature, which don’t rely on the principles of constant growth, but instead rely on the principles of cycles.
Okay, let’s talk about your website then.
Oh, great. That can be an intellectual experience or lived experience up to you. That’s my website. Yay fenderpage.com, everybody who’s listening that’s my website where it helps people create new structures that don’t have any devastatingly.
Glorious detox from the patriarchy glamorous.
Yes, it is devastating to make this departure. It’s almost like what you know about your reality must be devastated. It’s harrowing, I believe. Yeah.
So I welcome everybody to go to your website. So it’s Thunder and sage.com and I saw that in the free tools you give away that 301 toxic masculinity tip offs. So guys, just click on it and you’ll have access to what we just talked about and you can get triggered on the ten first points like early minutes.
Yeah. We’ll also link it in our show notes if you’re listening to this. We’ll link it in our show notes and yeah, if you are ready for the next step, please reach out to Nikki. She is an amazing human and I really believe in her offering and yeah, I feel really grateful to know you and really blessed and happy to. I’m looking forward to deepening our relationship. Yeah.
Yeah. Thank you so much for saying that. I’m really glad to have made this connection too and I’m just receiving the love that you guys are pouring on me right now. Thank you for having me in this conversation.
Receive it, girl.
Yeah, I mean, this is just an introduction to this concept and what I really love about what you’re saying is that it’s a paradigm shift and that’s exactly what we’re bringing as well. We’re bringing a paradigm shift of stepping out from blame, shame, right, wrong and power struggles because they’re toxic in a relationship. It has destroyed many of my previous relationships because I hadn’t figured it out. Like you said, the water you swim in and the air you breathe is the reality and we can change that. And so I love to have found in you somebody who’s also addressing this, okay. We can change our paradigm and that’s a very strong statement. It’s not easy. Our society wants switches and blue pills and red pills like the matrix, but it’s not the way it works. So thank you so much, Nikki.
Yes, thank you. And as always, if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with someone that you think can benefit from it. Please leave us a five star rating if you think that’s what we deserve and as always, we ask that you leave of a review that would help that will help us and help us get the word out and we’ll see you next time.
Thank you so much.