Masculine energy also includes connection, love and creativity: a talk with Pascal Keizer

Bijgewerkt: 17 jun 2020

Pascal is open, honest and inspires the world around him. He is curious to grow, to meet new people and to connect with others. Pascal shows that being a man also comes with vulnerability and emotions. To all tough guys out there, this one is for you!

© Stefan van Ruijven

Pascal, can you point out a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?

"Being the youngest in my class in the first years of high school, I felt vulnerable and often insecure about myself. Older boys would bully or make fun of me and found it difficult to stand up for myself. When I finished high school I wasn’t sure where to head with my life. I was looking for my place in this world, questioning myself on the meaning of my life. I was looking for ways to drop this feeling of insecurity that has followed me for years, motivated to prove myself and the world that I could live life differently."

"I created goals and challenges to grow and develop myself. Daily workouts, reading books, meditating. Dealing with my social anxiety by jumping into new adventures and social circles. And all of that brought me a ton of new perspectives and wonderful experiences."

"Looking back now, I never felt completely open to show myself back then. I created an image of who I was based on what I thought people expected me to be, the ideal image of what a man should look like. I validated my self-worth to the degree that others would love me (better said, the ideal image I identified with), or through my success with women. I struggled to accept and love my flaws and vulnerabilities, which I now see are just as much an important part of who I am."

"I realized that the masculine energy I was seeking before includes embracing those darker parts, loving yourself because of them instead of ‘loving’ yourself in spite of them. This place of surrender proved to be a fertile ground for connections, love and creativity, as I have experienced a wonderful transformation over the course of the year."

"So long story short: I had several moments in my life but the way I am taking care of myself changed a lot."

What does taking care of yourself mean to you?

"It means to welcome my emotions and to fully embrace what is coming up at any moment. In the past I couldn’t really be at ease with negative emotions. I learned that it’s alright to have an off day and I am now curious to what the emotion is telling me. This means I need to make time and space for myself, to be with and accept whatever there is. To listen to what I need and to set boundaries according to those feelings. To choose for myself over pleasing others. Honoring those feelings sometimes means to be by myself but could also mean that I am looking for a connection with others. Connecting to others is still one of the biggest sources of my happiness, growing together and celebrating life."

"Taking care of myself also means taking take of my physical body. Getting enough sleep, exercise regularly, being careful with injuries and to eat healthy (lots of veggies, little sugars and drinking a lot of water)."

What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?

"I give it time and attention. Because I know these periods are there with a reason, it’s trying to tell me something. Which gives me encouragement to be with a bad day. It is like a season of life. It gives contrast: if you can welcome your pain, you can also welcome your happiness."

"Things that support days like that are resting, eating healthy, meditating and writing down what I’m feeling. Also, very important, I reach out to my brother or a friend who knows how to hold a space for me, listens to me and possibly support me in what I am going through."

What is your TCOYS tip to other people?

"When you’re feeling down, don’t judge it. Your body is giving you signals, be curious to what it wants to tell you. Embrace what is coming up, make time to feel it. Make as much time for your bad days as for your happy days. Just like positive emotions, negative emotions are part of what makes you full and complete. They can serve as your guideline. There is no need to change what is there."

"And honestly, what else can you really do than to surrender? Ignoring or fighting it makes it even bigger, so surrender and give it time, love and attention."

Pascal Keizer is doing a Master in Business Administration and works as a host at Wicked Grounds.

Do you want to learn more about self-care? Order The Ultimate Self-Care Guide here!

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