A Letter to Women, from “Conscious Men.”

Our new book, Conscious Men is about men, but it is a subject that is equally interesting to women.  So each chapter has a Letter to Women in it.  Here is the letter from the chapter “He Knows How to Listen Like the Sky.”

If you happen to be a lady yourself, please do comment at the end of the letter how this touched you.

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sad20womanMany women have told us that they feel more relaxed, more loved, and more connected when they can speak freely about their feelings, and their man can listen. But, please remember that it is not always easy or automatic for us, as men, to listen deeply. We have all kinds of conditioning, some of which goes back thousands of years in our nervous system, biochemistry, and social conditioning, to want to withdraw and block things out. So most of us could use a little help here.

Tell us What is Really Going On for You

It helps us when you express what you are really feeling, as honestly as possible, rather than giving ambiguous messages which are difficult for us to decipher. For example, please don’t say  “It’s too late now, I don’t need any help,” unless it is really true for you. If the truth is that you could use help, but you feel disappointed or frustrated that we did not offer earlier, it will be best for both of us if you tell us what is true for you.

There is no greater gift for a man than giving him a task that he can carry out for you, that he can accomplish. Men bond through action, and we feel good about ourselves, and inspired to give more, when we are able to check off a task we have accomplished, especially if it is one that has visibly made you happier.

John says: a few years ago Bonnie and I were at our ranch, a few hours drive north of San Francisco. There are several buildings on the ranch, and I was standing with two of the workers, giving them some instructions on what needed to be done. Bonnie came out of the house, about 30 yards away, carrying three bags, all of which looked quite heavy. She called over to us with a big smile and said “Hi there!” We all looked back at her, with big smiles, and called out “Hi Bonnie!” Then we went back to our conversation. She stopped. “Aren’t you going to help me?” Instantly all three of us ran over to help her. But as men, we didn’t readily assume that she needed help until she asked for it. Generally speaking, if a man does not ask for help, it means he does not want help, so we assume this is true for you too.

Talk about How you Feel

When you talk about your feelings, be aware, at least, of the possibility of expressing your feelings without a story. We have noticed that, when you are upset, you can illustrate how you feel by explaining how the world looks right now, through the filter of that feeling. Good examples would be the statements “You never pay attention to me,” or “You are always late.” Speaking in this way can be a way of explaining “Right now I feel really neglected, and in this mood it seems like you never pay attention to me.” Or “I feel frustrated that you are late, and all I can remember in this moment is all the other times you were late.” But this way of speaking puts up a significant hurdle for us, which requires considerable strength and practice to overcome.

We would appreciate if you could experiment with making statements like “Wow, I feel really frustrated right now, it’s taking me over and I’m seeing the whole world through colored glasses.” If you think that your man needs some support in listening without reaction, you may need to provide him with hurdles that he is able to get over on his own. We are aware that we are asking a lot here.  When you feel upset and emotional it is not the best time to be asked to edit yourself, but to the degree you can remember, we can step up to meet you more.

Here are three levels of difficulty you can present to a man, in helping him to learn to listen to your feelings:

Easy. The low hurdle would be “I feel sad/irritated/discouraged/frustrated and there is really no reason for it, it is just how I feel.” This might be more of a challenge for you, but almost any man will be able to hear that easily, and will probably immediately become empathetic and want to be there for you. So you might say, “I’m in a bad mood now, nothing to do with you, and I need to be by myself.”

Medium. The middle hurdle would be “I feel irritated because of what happened at work today.” This is a little more difficult for a man to hear, because it’s triggers his Phil the Fixer identity. As soon as you illustrate your feeling with an external cause, he will focus on how to fix the problem, and give less attention to empathizing with your feelings.

Difficult. For most men it is really difficult to empathize and hear your feelings when you make him the cause. “I’m feeling really frustrated because you never clean the kitchen, you’re always late, and I just can’t rely on you because you’re such a woos.” It would take a very conscious man, with a lot of practice under his belt, to be able to listen to those statements and stay present for you.

Here are some helpful tips in talking about feelings to a man who wants to practice how to listen better.

Buffer statements. When you talk about your feelings, you can buffer your statements by letting him know “you don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to fix anything, I just want to share my feelings with you so you know what’s going on, then I feel closer to you.” These kind of statements are like training wheels, for a man to learn how to listen more deeply. You are telling him the kind of response you are looking for: “You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to do anything about it, you don’t have to change, and you don’t have to feel bad about yourself.  Just listen, dammit!!”

Time limit. Most men are able to listen deeply to feelings for limited periods of time. Five or ten minutes will work well. If you feel emotionally charged, contain it within a limited time. If he is able to stay present with you, and just to ask questions and be curious, make sure that you finish it by saying something like “It feels so good to share that with you, I feel really heard,” and then go for a hug together.

Practice daily. See if you can get in the habit of sharing what you feel for a few minutes every day, rather than letting it build up until you feel frustrated and explosive. If you can remember each day to take a few minutes to talk about what it’s like to experience the world through your eyes, and give him an opportunity to practice deep listening, it will create good habits for when you feel really upset.

Don’t Require Equal Time

Many women today feel that the key to every challenge between men and women is equality. Men and women should earn the same amount of money. We agree. Men and women should have equal educational opportunity. We agree. Men and women should be able to do the same kind of jobs. We agree. Men and women should be equally involved in raising children, in making the home beautiful, and in preparing beautiful food. We agree. Men and women should have equal opportunity to express their feelings. Now you lost us.

If you take a few minutes a day to speak about how you feel, and he is going to listen and be present to you, that may be really helpful for both of you. Being able to speak freely about your feelings will release oxytocin for you, which will reduce stress and allow you to return to a flow of love. Listening like the sky for him will bring centeredness, and will allow him to return to feeling spacious and connected with himself. It is a win-win. But it does not really work exactly the same the other way. We have both experienced that many couples, and particularly the women, have a great difficulty in accepting this. The feminine in all of us wants deep connection, inclusion, and a fair deal for everybody. So it seems only fair to her, that if she is able to share her feelings for a few minutes, he should be able to do the same.

We both coach couples who have been together for many decades. Often they have worked out ways to create absolute fairness and equality in every aspect of the marriage. This means that if she gets to share with him all the things she is frustrated or unhappy about, he gets to reciprocate. Now everybody feels satisfied ideologically that it is an even playing field, but the problem is that all of the attraction and mystery has gone out of it, which is usually indicated by a lack of sexual attraction. Now you have become good and compatible roommates, but you may also be feeling a little bored. We have noticed that people want more than that. We want to be whole people, and one of the symptoms of being a whole person is you feel alive in your passion, you feel motivated, and you feel chemistry and connection. Can we sustain that? We have discovered that we can, but it requires maintaining sexual polarity, gender polarity.

The Venus Talk

In order to increase the polarization of masculine and feminine energy, you can make it a daily ritual for you to talk about what you are feeling, and to give him the opportunity to practice deep listening. Do this only for five or ten minutes each day. You can start the Venus talk by saying “I want to talk about how I’m feeling now, you don’t have to do anything, or say anything, you don’t have to feel bad, I just want you to listen and remind me with these four questions. What made me frustrated today? Where did I feel disappointment? Where did I feel concern or fear? Where did I feel embarrassed? And then make sure I have an opportunity to tell you about my wishes and dreams, and what I’m grateful for.”

Remember, if you think your man needs a little help from you in learning to listen deeply, add frequent buffer statements to remind him that his only job is to listen.

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49 Responses to “A Letter to Women, from “Conscious Men.””

  1. Colleen August 19, 2015 at 4:53 am // Reply

    I enjoyed the insight into the male/female differences. I thought that is was interesting and accurate. It felt inviting and engaging. Thank you!

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm // Reply

      Thanks Colleen. Many ladies did not resonate so well with this, so we are rewriting now…

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  2. Charmaine Treherne August 19, 2015 at 9:55 am // Reply

    Sadly, I stopped reading about a quarter of the way into this. It really is just another suggestion from men as to how woman should be…. Where is the understanding as taught by John Gray in Men are from mars and women Venus?! If you understand that when a woman says: you never….. she doesn\\’t mean that literally? Why is it that you ask her to now speak her like she has a Masters degree in communication…. Here\\’s something that you might want to read, take to heart and put into your book. It\\’s a call to both women and men – but perhaps more so to men – to learn how to \\’vibrationally\\’ hold a woman\\’s heart sacredly – the be in his own \\’Presence\\’ rather than setting up a set of rules as to how she should or should not express herself. \\”At times, the kindest thing we can offer a friend in pain is to sit in the darkness with them, removing the burden that they change, feel better, or \\’heal\\’ in order for us to stay close. It may feel like urgent action is being called for and that we must shift their depression to joy, their sadness to bliss, or their hopelessness to hope. But in doing so, we disavow the jewels that are hidden in the dark soil of the body.Together, let us make a commitment to no longer pathologize the wrathful appearance of sadness, anxiety, grief, and confusion. Instead, we will validate the right of these very vivid energies to surge in the body, staying close with them and listening carefully to what they have to say. We will no longer remove our love, our attunement, and our presence simply because another\\’s experience is not conforming to our personal and collective fantasies of happiness and light.Whatever arises, we are committed to no longer meeting it with violence, with aggression, with shame, and with blame, for ours is a path of radical self-kindness, fierce compassion, and slowing way down.As we provide sanctuary for our own unmetabolized sadness, hopelessness, and disappointment, we remove the burden of the unlived life from the world around us. For it is within the willingness to provide safe passage for the darkness within that we will truly be able to love another.\\” Matt Licata

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm // Reply

      Thanks Charmaine. We have read your insights, and thank you for taking the time to write them. The rest of the chapter IS for men, and indeed does offer tools to men to listen without reactivity, and to hold the space of presence. But we also hear often from women who want to know how they can help a man to learn to listen better. We will digest your feedback and modify this letter. Thanks for your time and support.

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  3. Sherry Tuegel August 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    Beloved Arjuna,Sadly I felt shut down. It did not open my heart reading your words here…and you usually do open my heart! I stopped reading at \\\\\\”Easy.\\\\\\” I\\\\\\’ve read \\\\\\”Dear Lover\\\\\\” from David Deida and guess I was expecting more that tone. I hope you consider a rewrite. Love and Many Blessings,Sherry

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  4. Beth August 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm // Reply

    I agree with Sherry and Charmaine above. The letter felt to me as a call to women to (again) shift gears to help their man understand a situation. My heart grew tired of reading the letter. Why do I need to change my storytelling? That is one of the most amazing gifts of a woman and to ask us to change that valid and important gift is like asking (instructing) us not to have our monthly cycles. We nourish ourselves and others through sharing our stories. We heal, we grow, we help our communities; storytelling (even with our partner during the difficult moments) is part of everyone\\’s life path. It\\’s part of the gift of womanhood.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm // Reply

      yes, Beth, We hear you. We need to digest and rewrite..

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  5. Sati August 20, 2015 at 2:02 pm // Reply

    Hi Arjuna, thanx for asking us to participate, I love receiving your newsletters and almost always read. This is an important question for me so here\’s my response:The text leaves me feeling that you want me to treat men like they all have a little Aspergers, which puts me off a bit. For me a negative emotion is a moment of unclarity, hence the need to speak freely to help it let go from my system. In that it is not important to understand or get caught in my words, just support in trusting that the feeling itself will pass. I understand that you will adress that in your chapter. But then you also want me to take away the story from my feeling, but there would be no feeling if I could do that. Feeling arises from story, so asking me to be that concious is like asking me not to have stories or feelings. In your words: It would take a very conscious WOman, with a lot of practice under HER belt, to be able to DO WHAT YOU ASK US. Which of course many women aspire to be, but fall short as well because of eons of conditioning. I do love to learn that I do not have to reciprocate in listening and that there should be a time limit. That\’s good info. So just some modifications for me not to feel that I should insult a mans intelligence or have to be more concious than I am in the face of a challenging emotion.Love, Sati

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm // Reply

      Great points, Sati! And so good to see you here. We have heard all of the wise ladies, including you, and we are in progress of a rewrite.

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  6. Kirsten August 20, 2015 at 2:09 pm // Reply

    Arjuna, I feel similar to Charmaine. This reads like a manual for good relationship and is more a \\\\\\\\\’how to…\\\\\\\\\’ for women than men. Nothing wrong with that – only, it wouldn\\\\\\\\\’t interest me. I wonder what a man can do to get inspired to feel and express more? Is there an interest? Maybe there is simply no desire for that and that is a fundamental difference we will live with and not a lack.I very much like your pointing to the issue of \\\\\\\\\’loss of sexual attraction\\\\\\\\\’ when a relationship gets too balanced. Thank you for your interest and curiosity of women\\\\\\\\\’s opinion.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm // Reply

      We hear ya, Kirsten. Stand by for revisions!

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  7. Karen Bamonte August 20, 2015 at 2:12 pm // Reply

    I’m sorry to have to echo what has been written above. You called it a letter but it’s more like a dissertation on “how women should be” in order to allow a man to learn how to be open. The tone/voice of the “letter” doesn’t feel authentic, rather it feels a bit patronizing. I think one of the key issues between men and women is learning to listen inbetween the lines, not all cues are verbal or objectified, some come in subliminal forms and I believe we all want to become more aware and open to reading these and asking for both clarification and elaboration.
    I think the letter is too long and doesn’t read as a sincere gesture from men to women. I think there is improvement to be made – take a risk and be more subtle.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm // Reply

      Thanks Karen! And nice to see you here! We are digesting and rewriting in the vein you suggest…

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  8. Patty August 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm // Reply

    Hello Arjuna, I enjoy many of your writings and videos, so thanks for the opportunity to respond. I finished reading the letter and the word that came to mind for me was \\”patronizing\\”. And like the commenter above, it felt like another way to ask women to be different, dumb it down, accommodate men. Why are they so threatened by feelings at all? I support keeping it simple, and over-identifying with my \\”stories\\” always complicates things and is not helpful. I hope your book empowers men to allow for the idea that strong feelings are not something to run away from. They have them too, somebody just told them to shut it down at some point. I would also add that I don\\’t think there is a way to make someone else \\”listen better\\”, whether male or female. That motivation needs to come from within with commitment and love. Thanks.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm // Reply

      we hear ya, Patty. Stand by for the rewrite!

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  9. Judith August 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm // Reply

    Hi Arjuna,
    I loved reading your letter, it made me laugh and what you described is spot on for me. For me it’s a funny and sweet suggestion for both men and women on how to practice more mutual understanding. For me this is what happens on a regular between me and my partner. I’ve learned not to sprinkle my emotions all over him, but instead to be with them first. After that i ask for his time and that works really well. Now he can decide weather now is a good time or weather his head is already full with other stuff. Just giving that space is enough for him to be there for me. Sometimes i have to tell him what i need. Either his honest feedback or his advice or a hug. It usually works. And if not we sometimes end up in a fight, that’s also okay. Blowing off steam is human and usually leads to clear blue skies.
    I hope this was of help!
    Succes with the book!

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  10. Shelly M. August 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm // Reply

    I have loved reading the reactions from the readers so far.There are so many great points made, I can relate to almost all of them. Way to go, Charmaine and Sati, for eloquently wording your thoughts!For myself, these thoughts came up, \”Why does it seem like it\’s the female\’s job to maintain and be at the helm of the relationship?\” Another thought, \”I\’m tired of being the one that instigates health, wholeness and well being in this marriage.\” Having successful relationships with ourselves and others, in my mind, is one of the most important challenges in life. In our Western society, reading, writing and arithmetic is far more important than relational skills. What a big mistake in my eyes.Keep up the great work, Arjuna! I\’m pulling for you and I know that we all have our veils to remove when it comes to living an awakened life. Thank you for being such a light in this world.Peace and Blessings,Shelly M

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm // Reply

      Thanks Shelly. We are working ona rewrite. The feedback has been helpful

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  11. petra August 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm // Reply

    Dear Arjuna,your suggestions about how women could talk to men feels for me like I am not allowed to express my feelings in my way like they are. Your given example how I should express to a man when I am frustrated an feel neglected sounds for me very artificial, it feels for me like it\’s made from the rational part of the brain and has nothing to do with that what I am really feeling. For me it is important that I am allowed and to allow myself all emotions to feel and express and to have the certainty that my man will not reject me because of this. In my opinion we can\’t live in a world of peace if we don\’t fix the relationships between women and men. If we allow our feelings to be present and show them authenticaly to our closest person this is a chance to develop empathy and compassion. Of course you need a certain state of awareness to understand what is going on. A respectful conversation after an assumed eruption of the volcano, should be helpful and than there is maybe a time to see behind the curtains. And I agree that partners may create some rules of how they will communicate to each other. But this is very personal and every couple could find themeselves what rules are needed to come into a heartful and epathic communication. Not only one way is the generally right way. Connecting with the heart and body and speaking the language of the heart is for me the key to peace, intimacy, a good sexual life and healing of all the pains we have stored. P.S. I am going deeply in resonance with the comment from Charmaine. Thank you Charmaine, your words have been toching my heart.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm // Reply

      Thank you Petra. We are digesting many good comments from women, and we will get back to you with an edited version based on your comments…

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  12. Kari August 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm // Reply

    Sadly, I have to agree with the other posters here. This did not resonate with me at all. I too felt a bit put off. One example is in the text you say to us…. “When YOU talk about your feelings…” (emphasis mine), It feels blamey. “YOU” points finger to us for being at fault. Which is ironic, because the point I think you were trying to make is to keep focus on OURSELVES. I just didn’t like the overall tone. Too logical and methodical.

    I know what you are trying to say here. These are things in my relationship I have just started working on. As such, I have been reading Laura Doyle, and she brings up many of the points you bring up here and addresses them to women only. Maybe consider having her write the letter to women as a guest contributor. She has a great approach and voice that has been very helpful in my relationship struggles. She seems to be saying the same things you are trying to communicate, in a more femininely approachable way. For the record, I am not affiliated with Laura Doyle in anyway. I am just a reader who has found her work extremely helpful and insightful. Maybe it would be a great platform for you guys to cross-market too. Just a suggestion.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 3:58 pm // Reply

      Thanks Kari. We have heard the feedback, and we are making adjustments. I think the letter is specifically a letter from Men to Women, son wed like to keep it that way. We will edit and run it by you again…

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  13. Morgine August 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    Reading both your articles today, I was surprised by your comments here and perhaps, I don�t quite understand the full Intention of your book and how it might help men?In the other article, The Two Greatest Myths, you speak of the Myth of the Soulmate and finding that Perfect Person, and how instead, you need to become more curious about your own true nature. You write: Explore the uncharted territory of infinite awareness. And then, when you look at the world with fresh eyes, you will see beauty everywhere around you. Focus that attention on one specific lucky human incarnation (and there are many, many, candidates who qualify) and you have got yourself a relationship, and a dojo in which to practice and cultivate deeper love.So Arjuna, I wonder in this book titled Conscious Men, if this is what you are guiding men to, or something else?When I am Being Love, no one has to change in order for me to accept them, love them, understand them. I can be in the presence of the most angry person around and it does not disturb me. Many years ago, a close relative of mine called me and screamed obscenities to me for about 45 minutes straight, at the top of their lungs, about the horrible person I was and all the reasons. I did not know this person was even capable of such language! I was totally shocked and surprised! I never argued. I did not yell back. I held the phone a few inches from my ear and said �I love you� silently again and again, until they finished and hung up. I had compassion. I listened to a person who I could feel was in a lot of pain. It had nothing to do with me and everything to do with them, as Miguel Ruiz later described in his book, �The Four Agreements.� I said a prayer for them and let it all go, right there in that moment. To me, a Conscious Man knows these things. I was married to one for over 40 years until he wanted to go in a new direction. We remain best friends. I could say anything at anytime, and he would not take it personally. I responded likewise, as he engaged with me from his bi polar nature, which at times, was very cruel. People often inquired as to what made our relationship so incredible and so powerful? I would share that we loved each other without conditions. Neither of us expected or required the other person to change in any way, in order for us to be happy. We had honest conversations about how we felt about everything and went on from there.For me, as a woman reading this letter, these men have a ways to go I guess. Perhaps the book is about taking the first steps to becoming more aware than they might be at the moment? If that is true, then the man needs to read the book WITH his girlfriend or partner and its not just for the men alone? Then perhaps the title needs to be adjusted. Conscious Men and the Women Who Can Help Them Become More So.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 3:57 pm // Reply

      Good points, Morgine. Id say that the story where someone yelled at your and you did not react was somewhat unusual. A case of sainthood. This happens rarely for human beings, to react in this way. So our book is to help people get to where you were, in that phone call.
      You are right, the book is to help men embody qualities of Conscious Masculinity more, and also for women to support that. Thnks for writing.

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  14. Melynda August 20, 2015 at 7:13 pm // Reply

    I agree with the naysayers above. At best, trite, at worst, condescending, insulting. It’s the same old stuff we’ve been hearing for decades. To wit: We’re wired this way, but you’re flexible so if we can just mold you to give us what we need, then we’ll live in harmony. That way, of course, you don’t relinquish control.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 3:49 pm // Reply

      Thanks, Melynda. We hear ya, as well as the other naysayers. We are taking this feedback in and editing accordingly. Thanks for taking the time to read…

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  15. Danielle August 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm // Reply

    I think this is a fine article and includes suggestions that I think many women I know personally could integrate more deeply into their awareness. I am grateful myself for some of the communication reminders I read in this letter, and I did not get a \”men are now telling women what to do, and setting the bar really high\” feeling from it. I appreciate the emphasis on inviting precision and clarity in communication, instead of using hyperbole and indirect suggestions to convey an emotion; this is a habit I learned from my culture that has taken a lot of conscious effort in moments of distress to unlearn, but it is well worth it for the paybacks of conveying a precise message that actually fits. The one piece I feel uncomfortable with is that in the 2nd to last paragraph, there seems to be an implication that if men share about their frustrations and fears in the same amount that women do, that the polarity and sexual attraction would be lost in the relationship. I don\’t feel the need to pressure men into talking more than they want to, and I agree that polarity and contrast keep energy moving in a relationship, but to imply that the sexual chemistry will automatically die if men start sharing about their feelings more might create an unnecessary psychological barrier that disincentivizes both men and women being open to listening to men when they DO, of their own volition, want to share and be heard. I think there\’s a way this paragraph could be re-worded to focus more on the respecting and honoring of differences, rather than implying that men not sharing their feelings is the source of mystery that leads to sexual attraction in the relationship. Thanks for your willingness to vulnerably offer your writings up for feedback, and the contribution of your energy toward the harmonizing of relations between men & women.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 3:47 pm // Reply

      Great points here, Danielle. We need to emphasize that men dont HAVE to share equally, but there is no need to demand it…

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  16. Shazna Jai August 20, 2015 at 9:32 pm // Reply

    Namaste dear ArjunaThank you for asking for feedback on this before it is published. You are a wise man (i include John in this too) and this is a wise move. As a woman, I wasn\’t sure if you were talking to my unhealed self or my wise woman. I normally love how clearly you explain things and usually I go into a deeper place in me that I haven\’t visited before for a new insight. This chapter left me wondering where I would fit in, a bit uneasy and confused. I would be happy to copy/paste this into \’word\’ and make some comments if you like where it seems unclear, if you like.Loving you bothShazna

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm // Reply

      Thank you Shazna. We have got a lot of good feedback, and we are digesting and editing…

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  17. Carola August 21, 2015 at 10:43 am // Reply

    Dear ArjunaAfter a third I lost my presence reading your text. For me it was to complicated and to long how I should be or not be. Some infos were repeated and I miss clearity. On one hand I want just to be like I am. It\\\’s still a challenge to express and show my feelings openly. To get a complicated guidebook makes it much more difficult to show my feelings. I experienced that in my last relationship. It didn\\\’t invite me to be more open. On the other hand I\\\’m willing to support man in this topic. Not sure how both can fit together. Thanks for writing this book and asking us. I appreciate your work.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm // Reply

      great points, Carola, thanks for sharing this with us We are rewriting this based on everyones feedback…

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm // Reply

      Thank you Carola. We are rewriting now based on much generous feedback…

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  18. Mickey August 22, 2015 at 1:32 am // Reply

    It\’s so great that you\’re checkin\’ in with us about this. Actually the whole \”letters to women\” format and tone puts me on the defensive and is filled with stereotypes. Many of the points you make are true for both genders, not just women and I felt as if we were being singled out. And suggesting things like \”keep it to 5-10 minutes\” is insulting to our male partners. I agree with Sati that we\’re being asked to treat men like they all had Aspergers. My partner knows to tells me if he\’s reached his listening capacity (and will invite me to share more when he\’s refreshed) so I don\’t have to censor or abbreviate myself.A small sentence needing some adjusting is \”men and women should earn the same amount of money\” I think you mean to say we should have equal pay for equal work, not that 2 incomes in a partnership should be the same. The first paragraph of \”talk about how you feel\” seemed to me to be the one most in need of a rewrite. Also the verbotenness of \”story\” is getting very overused these days and perhaps could be explained better.I\’m confused about \”don\’t REQUIRE extra time\”. Do you mean don\’t demand that a guy shares his feelings? (agreed) But I hope you agree that ALLOWING equal time if he wants it is indeed the gracious and loving thing to do. Also (and I had this problem with the Mars/Venus books) while I respect that sharing is a whole different ball game for men and women, part of the conversation needs to be about how to reduce the shame men often feel for even just having feelings, rather than enabling them to disconnect from themselves and the relationship when they do.Good luck with this ambitious endeavor. Relationships are the koan of our times!

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  19. Dana August 22, 2015 at 8:37 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna and John, I don\\’t know if the letter was intentionally funny, but I definitely had a good laugh in certain places, in particular the areas which are clear failings on my part (which, for the record, I don\\’t feel bad about as a result of reading the letter). For example, keeping it short, him not necessarily wanting/needing to reciprocate and going straight for \\”Difficult\\” in my method of communication 🙂 I think its lovely, and I feel I have benefited from having read it. Perhaps I am a little more in need of the help, or am failing to take it seriously enough, but I really enjoyed it. So thank you 🙂 Dana X

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 22, 2015 at 3:58 pm // Reply

      well, even if we were not trying to be funny, I am glad we brightened your day!

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  20. Kamini August 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm // Reply

    Hello ArjunaI don\\\\’t read your blog regularly but this hit my in box and caught my eye. I know of you through my connection with Chameli having attended her retreats.I have deep respect for your courage in asking for women to feedback and can see that you have had some great responses that I resonate whole heartedly with :-)My plea to you would be to skip your \\\\’letters\\\\’ to us women and concentrate on helping the men. Let the men who read your book share their learning and insights with there partners. Let the men be empowered to be vulnerable and courages in asking their women to join them in this exploration. Each relationship is a unique meeting between the personalities and conditioning of two souls. Their is no manual for how to negotiate this and the two involved need to find their way…maybe with help at times. In setting yourself as the spokesperson for men in writing these \\\\’letters\\\\’ I see a danger that one or other in the relationship will hold up your book and say \\\\’see this is what Arjuna and John says you should do\\\\’.I would also appeal to your conscious manhood to not join the band wagon (referring to your other post) that exploits single women\\\\’s desperation to find a relationship that she is doing something \\\\’wrong\\\\’ and there is still more she needs to do whether it is to \\\\’be love\\\\’ or \\\\’see love everywhere\\\\’, to not overwhelm men with her feelings, to attract a man and keep him.I am a single, attractive woman with a deep spiritual practice. I have read the all the books (including John\\\\’s) and bought the T shirt in my search for love. I have bought into the idea that I need fixing, need to understand what men want and need etc. I have had a conscious relationship with a man who sadly died young so I know that it\\\\’s no easy ride. What I do know is that I am surrounded by wonderful single women and friends in successful relationships and I can see no difference in the single women and the ones who have found men…. there is NOTHING wrong with us single women that needs fixing… It just hasn\\\\’t happened for us… and it might… And it might not! There is such a thing as destiny too in these matters. I am no longer willing to spend money on the books, the webinars etc that promise to show me how to become the \\\\’one\\\\’ to find the \\\\’one\\\\’! I would rather focus on all my relationships and find contentment and peace with myself and others…that is a challenge in itself!Deep bow to you ArjunaKamini

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm // Reply

      Dear Kamini

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. I resonate with everything you say

      And I’m so sorry that your partner died young, I can imagine that must’ve been a very difficult experience for you

      I completely agree with everything you say that there is nothing wrong with anyone if they are single. And there is also no magic formula. And I get your point about all the books and T-shirts and seminars to find “the one.” And that was my point to the other blog you read, that there really is no “one” to find. The important thing is to find love within yourself, and I can see from your website that you are fully engaged in those practices. I agree with everything you say, that a single person is whole and complete and healthy. They have just not found the right partner to play with. The ideas I pointed out in the other blog are the unnecessary ideas that I see which people get caught up in, and the whole thing can be much simpler

      Regarding your comments about Conscious Men, definitely that chapter needs a rewrite, and I’m glad that we got the feedback. We do however feel quite committed to having a section for women. The reason is that if we write a book called conscious men, we can’t stop women from reading it. Women will read it. In fact, statistics show that in this kind of genre of book readers are about 85% women. So we’d rather address the fact that women will be reading the book, and offer them what we have learned about how a woman can support a man to develop conscious masculinity. I am in the process of rewriting that chapter, now have it back on the site soon for everyone to see

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  21. Madhurima August 23, 2015 at 3:27 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna,

    I enjoyed the read. But as I read I sensed that many sisters would not be able to enjoy it… because just as you men are trying to come into your consciousness, so are we women… we are also arriving. We too haven’t arrived yet.

    Here’s an example from my life…

    A good friend of mine in whom I have a romantic interest was visiting my town. We have known each other for long and shared many good moments… lost each other and regained…
    and all that.

    When we got back after 4 years, he was very eager to see me. But I was confused and was unclear. So we did not meet for months. When I heard that he was visiting my city… I wanted to know – “what’s happening”.
    Now by what’s happening I meant:
    I did not know whether to see him or not.
    Of course I was desirous.
    Was he equally desirous?
    Was I ready for all the consequences that this meeting was to bring up for us.
    I was as you know connecting with him through my past experiences with him – both sweet and sour. The thought of he being in my town had triggered many emotions.

    I was scared to communicate. I referred to I Ching for guidance on how our energies were. Once I had the guidance and it was possible to catch up.

    I asked him : “Do I figure in your itinerary?”
    I was scared. Too scared to ask him… “Do we meet?”
    “I would like to meet you.” etc.

    I received a prompt response… “You say. I can meet you.”

    His response triggered strong emotions in me. I didn’t want to see him. I hated that word ‘can’… Shouldn’t he have written ‘want’?

    Mad with rage and grief… feeling extremely rejected I called up a friend with whom I am journeying deeper into conscious womanhood. She heard me and after I was closer to the centre…she told me:
    “His words have not hurt you. You story is hurting you. He has only stated his possibility… He can meet you if you like.”
    It struck me. He had always stated his possibilities and lived up to them. He had also respected my possibilities. But somehow my rejection story was not fully resolved. So when I heard ‘can’… I heard ‘charity’. I didn’t sense his interest. I sensed his lack of interest and felt rejected. I had just projected it onto him.
    If I was feeling scared and anxious. Possibly so was he. I had turned down many of his offers to meet up.
    As I opened to it… I connected to a deep space of love. A space that was letting both of us be. That was supporting my journey through his stories without making any demand. He was ready to meet me despite the several times he said ‘no’ to me… and I said ‘no’ to him.
    He was clear.
    I felt a deep love for him – love that is beyond desire.
    And the rest of the communication went well.

    Why I am saying this to you is that when we women become unconcious we also need someone to pull us back to consciousness. To remind us of our work. Now how a woman reads you depends on where she is and how she flows with your piece. If it triggers any of her wounds, pushes her into unconciousness, then you lose her. And she loses the point that heaven is making to her through you. She misses your gift. It might be useful if you can have some reminders and lines to lift her if you have lost her. Or some lines to ensure you do not lose her.

    When compared to men, there are more women into consciousness practice. So you have good deal of women there who have a part of them with whom you can talk to.

    But you need a conscious woman… atleast partly conscious to help men. Because a woman who is not conscious is often unclear. She often does not know what she wants. She is scared to know it. She has been trained and conditioned to believe that her ‘wants’ are wrong. Just as patriarchy makes men a certain type, it creates a manipulative unconscious in woman. And with all the feminist noise around and little genuine education on concepts many of us feel very righteous about our wounds. Then anything can easily be garbaged as “demanding too much of us.”

    It might be helpful to remind women that in supporting men, they are supporting themselves. They are moving into deeper clarity. You are not asking them just to favour you but supporting them in their journey.
    Before my friend began, she reminded me of my consciousness practice. She strengthened my connection with my inner goddess. She also held my victimhood but did so in a way that I could see how I was the cause of it all…
    And she did it with utmost love and trust in me.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Arjuna Ardagh August 23, 2015 at 10:40 pm // Reply

      thank you so much, and thanks for your honesty about what happened with this man
      we are digesting and contemplating…

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  22. Denise Blackburn August 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm // Reply

    Dear ArjunaI love reading all of your newsletters and loved the bit about not expecting to find the perfect person. However, the letter to women, I feel, is just too complicated! Isn\’t it just about both partners trying to be honest and not adding their stories to everything. Sometimes pure non duality is best, so that you can come from that ground of being in all your relationships. Whaddya think?

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  23. barbara August 24, 2015 at 7:32 am // Reply

    I got confused too about the paragraph which implies that if men share their frustrations or feelings , then sexual chemistry is lost. That seems to re-emphasize the concept of \\\\’macho man\\\\’ who doesn\\\\’t need to acknowledge his feelings and shouldn\\\\’t let a woman know when he is hurting etc. and If a man does do this, then allowing it or listening to him with kindness will destroy the chemistry? That\\\\’s sad if it is true.my bf is a beautiful listener…he loves to listen and as long as he doesnt feel he is the source of my \\\\’bad\\\\’ feelings, he is okay with hearing me and even seems to be calmed by it. But he also frequently shares about his own life…things that are troubling him eg….I wonder if I am wrong to listen openheartedly? but it would seem so odd not to .

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  24. Cat August 25, 2015 at 3:26 am // Reply

    I know around 2003, when I was working through things with one of John Gray\’s books, I was so thankful for the clarity, that difficult emotions had a \’safe container\’ made of words, in which I could relate mentally and then walk that bridge to the heart, after years of having not been able to cry, having had \’nobody to catch me\’ if I did (gladly am learning now to catch myself) … thank you, John! 🙂 I can hear a lot of the book I worked with in this excerpt, and, with more people becoming conscious every day, it is really great that others too can benefit as I did. About the excerpt, I just have two points that stand out … first, I can feel some pressure, of a woman \’carrying\’ herself and the man. It\’s a massive ongoing collective journey of balance and fairness coming in as the new dynamics, but a huge feature I find personally at this stage is how vital it is to not get lost in all the pain, and to release responsibilities that belong to others … then I can find myself, that energy wellspring which can heal, and is able to live, love and give. It\’s also very important to my heart that others also feel the joy of empowerment and real freedom, that they also enjoy the space in which to really be \’them\’ and not compressed or constrained, the deepest mutual respect and love. Second, which is very related, and I intend absolutely no offence (have been trying to work this one out for a while, lol), I\’ve never been able to sit right with that it\’s up to a woman to ask/point out things, although I can entirely understand that that may be needed at this stage of evolution, and that that is shifting all the time, and clearly part of my work and many others\’, lol … I feel isolated, oppressed and sad about needing to point things out and directly ask, and also out of my depth; an effect of growing up with neglect and being very unsure if others care, or would respond badly. A woman can \’bridge\’ through into life and healing so much easier if someone notices and helps naturally, and it makes a woman feel very loved and relaxed, and much more open, expanded and loving … this is a great balancing gift, vital for women to heal from all the over-burdening and traumas of the last few decades and before. Women have always been expected to naturally respond to everything, with love/time/sacrifice/no complaining/personal needs unmet, and I don\’t know how women get the space to fully heal from that, within a relationship, unless a man naturally notices/cares/helps, which gives the woman the vital space, love and connectedness she needs to heal, and to be able to expand and give more richly, along with her partner. It makes me very anxious indeed if a man is not fully noticing what is around him and needed in that moment. Also, I don\’t want to be in the position of a \’parent\’ pointing out things to a \’child\’, when the man is entirely vastly capable of being extremely present and helpful, and I want him to enjoy that. I can\’t help feeling it must make a man feel dumb if things need pointing out to him all the time. I feel that for a man to truly have a balanced inner self, to integrate both the yin and yang of his core, he needs to have that natural noticing/giving happening (yin) as well as his yang qualities expanding also. He needs to be fully in touch with his inner energy and it\’s active loving urge naturally, otherwise I am unsure how to journey with him … this is because, to me, loving energy can do no other but flow, as nature does, in the moment, and any delay is a blockage of some kind, something unconscious that needs to be released in order to become much more fluid and responsive. I feel I would be up in my head too much if I\’m not noticing and responding naturally straight away, and would not want to hurt a partner in that way. As a woman I\’ve had to lift up to a balance-point between head and heart, so I didn\’t drown any more in the conscious and unconscious old ways of being loving. Maybe men too are finding this balance-point, in dropping down from their heads, so they aren\’t lost in their heads. And that balance point I feel is about total presence/consciousness, pure meditative living, releasing unconsciousness and expanding consciousness … the exciting space in which new forms/dynamics/balance emerge. Can I also take the opportunity of saying that it is absolutely wonderful how you are discussing and expanding the subject of relationships and conscious men, real respect, healing dreadful wounds done to the feminine psyche and the male wounds from missing that vital gentler space/healing/expansion. The \’dear woman\’ video, and \’the architecture of a woman\’s heart\’ said out loud things that my heart had been waiting lifetimes (it felt like) to hear, and, yes, I bawled. Thank you for being so heart-filled and healing in a world that very much needs that. That really is the path forward into a very rich and balanced future ultimately. I am excited that all of this is happening, and excited to read your completed book. I\’m sure it will be a wonderful gift to people. 🙂

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  25. Cat August 25, 2015 at 4:10 am // Reply

    oops, and just to add, intimacy would do the opposite of shutting down … it would flow much more deeply and powerfully. And I have no idea how journeying a deeper and richer rainbow of experience in all areas, with both the man and woman becoming more and more conscious and alive, could ever become boring. Life is creativity, and we are creativity, more every day; to share that is a radical, life-changing,exciting blessing. Also, I do not know how the dynamics can become balanced collectively when in personal relationships the weight is on women\\\\’s shoulders to still carry more responsibility for everything. The best way of the deep sacred space energising and emerging into reality is that it has the container/structure and genuine freedom flowing within that … with pressures and responsibilities and criticisms piled in there, the main energy and journey can\\\\’t happen as it\\\\’s fully meant to. That journey of balance and fairness is absolutely vital on every level for everyone on this planet. Thanks also to other commenters, as this article and the comments are a wonderful journey of learning, relating and evolving. 🙂

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  26. Suraya October 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm // Reply

    Dear Arjuna,I somehow wonder if all this..how to be a better partner/parent/man/woman or whatever actually goes against the grain of what the awakening of conciousness means. It is not about self improvement or becoming better,its not about expecting ourselves, our partners or any apparent others to be any other way than how they are. Its not about turning our beloved partners into our therapists. The very idea that our partners,husbands,wives must be there for us at all times,dealing with our emotions and our imagined stories is frankly ludicrous and is bound to set up expectations and huge disappointments. I consider it is not someone else\\\\’s job to listen to my feelings or stories and to deal with them in any way….The work of awakening is in part to take full responsibility for our own conciousness, to begin to question,see through and discard stories,to allow our feelings fully without dumping them on anyone and to love and accept ourselves and our partners as we are.
    .Namaste Arjuna

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    • Filip Sikor November 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm // Reply

      From my experience, especially for a woman, being able to freely express feelings, thoughts and stories, just the way they are presenting themselves in the moment, is the best way to then be able to let go of them. So it is allowing the parts of ourselves that get caught up by stories and feelings to be completely free, authentic and unedited. When those parts are allowed to be expressed just the way they are, then the story can relax and free quickly. And when a man listens deeply to that, he can provide spaciousness for the feelings to flow freely. Men can also benefit from listening by being still and not being compassionate but not reactive to feelings and stories. The feminine in all of us benefits from expressing freely whatever it is experiencing. On the other hand, the masculine in all of us benefits from being in a way detached from the drama of life, but yet present with it and still.

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