I’m a Superior Man. I’m not an Infallible Man.

“May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.” ~ The Traveler’s Prayer

As I drive north from Ashland to Seattle, I think about her.

First, I pass the turnoff to the Umpqua River and Crater Lake where we adventured together. Later, I set up camp beneath big mossy trees on the bank of the wild Santium River – the kind of campsite that drives both of us wild.

I don’t know what to do with these memories. These feelings. I suppose they just have to be. I don’t have the answers to this riddle. I guess all those people are wrong about me.

You really have your head on straight.

You really know how to live.

You really have it all figured out.

I hear lines like that all the time, especially when I’m living the Meander lifestyle. No girl. No gig. Just the road.

Wow. They must be right. I must really have my shit together.

Bull shit.

I may be better off now than seven years ago, but I have a long way to go. Otherwise, I may not be sitting next to this river by myself. I’d be here with the partner that I think and say that I want. The partner that I think and say I’m willing to “do it the right way” to find and keep.Travelers Prayer

And, yet, something is amiss. I’ve played a role in not finding the one and in not keeping the ones I’ve had.

I’m a Superior Man. I’m not an Infallible Man.

The Way of the Superior Man.

I was introduced to David Deida and his book The Way of the Superior Man last summer in Jaymin Patel’s masculinity workshop at Firefly Gathering. The book covers a lot of ground and it was pretty darn impactful.

To summarize from Deida’s website, a Superior Man is one who strives to live a masculine life of integrity, authenticity, and freedom in all areas – from career and family to women and intimacy to love and spirituality.

Or, in Jaymin’s words, “Masculinity isn’t about paternalism or machoism. We’re not here to talk about our cocks.”

I strive to be a Superior Man. Not superior to other men, but superior to the man I was yesterday.

A few key points from the book stand out to me still (from memory because I didn’t bring the book with me) …

  • The masculine seeks to compete and provide. The feminine seeks to commune and nurture. Men can have feminine energy. Women can have masculine energy. It’s all good.
  • A man must live in alignment with his values – with integrity – in order to access his masculine power, reach his full potential, and provide for himself and those around him.
  • The lack of coming-of-age rituals today creates a culture of taking man-boys who move from mom’s bosom to girlfriends’ bosoms to wife’s bosom without learning to provide as men.

I could write a whole post on each of these points. Maybe someday … when I have the book.

May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.

In the meantime, I want to focus on integrity. I strive to live with integrity in all my affairs, including my romantic relationships. That said, I’m not infallible. I get confused. I bottle up my feelings until they boil over. I make mistakes.

And one of the primary drivers of my fallibility is alcohol.

The second line of the Traveler’s Prayer is: May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.

I’ve identified my mission on this third Meander. I’ve made a 90-day commitment to myself and a few trusted friends that I will not be drunk. That means no more than two beers or two glasses of wine in a night. No exceptions.

Alcohol and I have an unhealthy relationship. It too often leads me out of alignment with my values. It leads me away from clarity and toward confusion, emotion stuffing, and mistakes. I seriously doubt I’m an alcoholic, but I’ll find out in the next 90 days.

I don’t seek answers. I simply seek clarity and awareness – of my self and my surroundings – so that I can live in tighter alignment with my values and take yet another step in what will be a lifelong journey toward having my shit together.

I’m 17 days into 90. May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.


Way of the Superior Man




  1. Wow…very powerful words today. This will sit with me for awhile…thank you & I hope you are having fun

  2. Raw and real. Sharing your journey helps guide others on their journey. Your quote; “May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.” is simple and profound. It resonated within me and for that gift I am grateful to you Matt. Blessings.

  3. Joseph Logan says

    Hola mi amigo superiores,

    Enjoyed your blog, and the title!

    I shared some of these thoughts and emotions recently, nice to know I am not alone and there are plenty others out there with similar situations.

    But actually, when you think about it, aren’t we all really alone? We are born alone and we exit the world alone. A large part of our lives we live alone, sometimes even when we are in a relationships, we are alone?

    We both know the journey to the true self is an individual and lonely pursuit, yet we chose it a while ago, and we understand there is no final arrival, and we press on because it is our destiny.

    In an unhealthy or dead relationship, self-growth becomes much harder, it’s like hiking with rocks in your backpack. But those moments when we are with a Mulva, are nurturing and richer in a different way, are they not?

    They provide a glimpse and hope that there is someone out there that will join us to share a mutual journey of growth, exploration and connection, and we just have not joined our paths yet, and that is okay.

    Infinite patience=immediate results.

    Enjoy Seattle……

    Buenos suerte,


    “I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man.”
    -Henry David Thoreau

  4. Jenny Starbuck says

    From the beginning of this post, you had me… “Superior Man is one who strives to live a masculine life of integrity, authenticity, and freedom in all areas.” Freedom is such a key aspect of my thinking lately. In the documentary “The Workshop,” the leader says basically everyone is free; it doesn’t really matter what you do or you don’t do. You’ll make yourself miserable for a while thinking that you’re not free, but it doesn’t matter…. I could go on and on about freedom.

    The comments on man-boys is something I’ve never thought about, but so true! The man-boy phenomenon is rampant, but I’ve never seen it described so well. A little bit of a divergence, but I think this could also be true for women in a way. Women have traditionally moved from their father’s house to their husband’s house and typically keep all their feminine instincts intact. Now that so many women move from their father’s house to renting/owning homes independently, moving up the corporate ladder instead of starting a family, etc., what happens to that sense of femininity? Do we, as a result, become less about being, accepting, receiving and move closer to the masculine energy of doing, going, giving?

    I especially like your honesty throughout the post. None of us are infallible, and we all get confused, but you actually put it out there and admit it! So attractive that you’ve taken the opportunity to remove alcohol from your life to help remove that “cloudy-ness” we talked about last night. Once we change things in our lives, we get the chance to see things the way they really are. I make mistakes too. My triggers are insecurity and fear. I’ve been thinking lately about reducing my fallibility by avoiding judgment on my feelings. Feelings are not good or bad, positive or negative… Feelings are just there, and we apply meaning and judgment. We tell ourselves stories about those feelings that are totally made up.

    Ramblings for a Tuesday afternoon… Back to work 🙂 


  1. […] the last six years, I’ve had similar fear about limiting my options by being upfront about my disinterest in alcohol. Again, fuck it. I’ve also updated my dating profile from drinks socially to drinks rarely. I […]

  2. […] My own prohibition was repealed just last week. September 22 marked the end of my three-month commitment to sobriety. For 90 days – including 70 on the road to Seattle and back – I limited myself to a single beer per day in a journey for spiritual clarity and awareness. […]

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