Resolutions? Changes? A New Endeavor? Remember this…
guest post: by Patricia Clason Thinking about “growing” some goals, making some changes, starting something new? Whether you are making changes for growing your business or a having a more satisfying personal life, you may want to remember this story. Wanting to fill his yard with the smell of lilacs, the man ...
Waiting for the Blessing of My Father
By Gonzalo Salinas In October it will be ten years since I've seen my father. I remember clearly the last time I saw him. We were at the National Airport in Lima. Let me back-track. The flight to Miami was at 8 pm. For international flights, you are supposed to check in three ...
Diner – by Wentworth Miller
april 2013 by wentworth miller i was sitting in a diner on colorado boulevard the other day, enjoying a nice breakfast with a friend (late 40s, a working mother of three), when a homeless man materialized next to us. i say "materialized" because i had no awareness of him entering the restaurant (even though i was ...
Three reasons for Lance Armstrong to Check In! with the ManKind Project
by Boysen Hodgson [caption id="attachment_15063" align="alignleft" width="300"] RAGBRAI Team MKP USA[/caption]The ManKind Project USA cycling team recently participated in our second RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). We brought over 40 men and women from across the country (and Canada) to Iowa for the ride. Lance Armstrong came out ...
The Power of Going Deep
by Owen Marcus Back in my high school days, being popular meant being liked and respected by many. Being popular was having a lot of friends and a lot of girlfriends. The more friends and girlfriends you had, the more successful you were. As I moved through my early adulthood, the “more” ...
Why you might want a men’s group
by Boysen Hodgson You're invited to sit in a men's group. Feel free to bring a friend. When you're done with the initial raised eye-brow ... you might ask ... Why would I want to do that? You might want to keep building on the success that you are having right now! ...
Everything is Happening, All the Time
In the wake of tragedy. Masculinity, Culture, and Transformation by Boysen Hodgson The world is not a safe place. It never has been. I bet my life it never will be. Shadow and Light. Order and Entropy. The question, for me, is what is the QUALITY of this risky world? How am I co-creating ...
The New Macho
by Boysen Hodgson The New Macho He cleans up after himself. He cleans up the planet. He is a role model for young men. He is rigorously honest and fiercely optimistic. He holds himself accountable. He knows what he feels. He knows how to cry and he lets it go. He knows how to rage without hurting others. He knows ...
by Stephen Simmer
The ManKind Project teaches mission as a powerful access point to living a vibrant, connected, and empowered life.
1. NEED is the child-position: I need love, and no matter what relationship I have, I am reaching out to be loved (or reaching out for peace, justice,whatever value). I feel helpless to get love without someone giving it to me. All I can do is plead and complain, with the hope that someone responds with compassion or pity.
2. DEMAND is the slightly older child, who uses anger to try to get the value: I insist that you love me, or damn it, you better give me justice, or peace. Many parents operate out of this demand-position, which is no longer just passively whining. It’s in your face, producing the value by coercion. “Damn it, you better show me some respect!”
3. MANIPULATE is the trickster position. I deny I need love, or respect, etc. I lie to others. I lie to myself. “I’m fine. I’m good.” I don’t take the risk of asking or demanding what I need, so I can hide behind the delusion of being ok as I am, invulnerable. I leave it to others to decipher what my needs really are. When they figure it out and give me what I need, I can deny that it was really important to me.
4. WANT is the adult position: Like in our clearings: my want is that you love me, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get it. If you won’t love me, I’ll still work to get love (or peace, or justice) elsewhere. But there is power in stating simply and honestly what it is that I want. My life achieves clarity and focus when I do so. In stating my wants I am giving my goals a name, but it is my job–not yours or his or hers–to make these goals real.
5. MISSION is beyond the ego. It is at the level of the large self, or theuniverse. When I step into mission, it is no longer about me getting love any more. I am working to create love (or peace, or justice) in the universe. I am no longer focused on treating my wounds. I am working in the wounded world. A by-product of this action may be that my own wounds are healed. But I am not the point: I am serving a larger purpose. There’s something wrong about calling it my mission, like it’s a possession that belongs to me—like my car, my I-phone, my job. My mission is greater than me. I belong to it. It grabs me by the throat and sweeps me away with its power.
Editor’s Note: Lewis Denbaum is launching a free to listen Telesummit bringing together a wide array of experts on multiple topics impacting men’s lives. Men like tools. And there are some experts on this telesummit with some great tools. The Summit features a number of ManKind Project men including Bill Kauth, David Kaar, Michael Taylor, and Denbaum himself.
Here is what Lewis has to offer about the Men’s Telesummit 2013 – and the world.
What has inspired you to put together the Men’s Telesummit 2013 (www.menstelesummit.com) ?
The Men’s Telesummit is a symposium of leading experts in a variety of fields addressing issues specific to men in three categories: spirituality, work and relationships. I was inspired to start putting this all together–about a year ago–when I realized that men’s problems and more enlightened perspectives on them were seriously underrepresented. This is the Age of the Woman and there seems to be a flood of resources available for their empowerment at this time. While I am joyful that many of the old systems are breaking down and allowing for more equality and reciprocity; there is also a cultural displacement occurring as a result of the decline of male social dominance — bringing with it dark and dangerous undertides. There is that magical point of unity when many can become one however — when a large number of peaceful warriors come together and fight as a unit. That’s what this Telesummit really represents — we have raised a mighty army but we have to show up if we want to win. So I’m telling people to show up because it is going to be an amazing group of speakers and the potential for really transformative information is available here.
What the ManKind Project‘s Men’s Work means to me.
The 24-hour news cycles have been awash with tragedy after tragedy–from the “Batman Shooter” to the Newtown tragedy, and now most recently the bombing in Boston–all of these horrific events perpetrated against the innocent by young men. The media mouths can pontificate; the politicians can legislate but I believe the cause and the solution to this type of violence lies deep in the heart of each and every man. I also believe that the most important tool to ensure the security of society is that its men are trained as new warriors– warriors trained to protect, comfort, and heal the people they are accountable. That is why I have been devoting so much of my time recently to staffing The Mankind Project: New Warrior Training Adventurs–4 in the last 7 months. I want to try to reach as many men as I can with this message of hope–you are not alone; other men are here to help. This training has real power to change men’s lives for the better; it helps them uncover and return to their manhood.
Here’s part of my vision for the future of our culture.
I see us moving forward into a better heart space and achieving a state of equilibrium within. Right now, there is an imbalance causing these disturbances in “force” that are hard to ignore but I see that correcting itself before long as men seek healing and integration. The possibilities for service are endless in the world and my vision is that every day, in every way, men will come forward and serve one another more fervently. Compassion and nurturing should not belong solely to women nor courage and strength to men: these are universal qualities which must be applied universally if we hope to make our way out of the tunnel. I see men learning to accept and cultivate the “feminine” qualities of caring and connectedness that have been neglected in our culture especially since women have started tapping into the “masculine” for their own socio-economic advancement. The future is now and I see a revolution in the making as all people connect with the missing parts of their hearts and face the problems of today in completeness.
from the Editor … There’s no doubt – men’s work is going mainstream. There are powerful currents moving in the culture to help ALL of us, men and women alike to evolve the solutions we need to thrive. The ManKind Project is one of these offerings.
by Boysen Hodgson
You’re invited to sit in a men’s group. Feel free to bring a friend.
When you’re done with the initial raised eye-brow … you might ask … Why would I want to do that?
You might want to keep building on the success that you are having right now! And you know that the people who are the best at what they do are always looking for another edge … another way to practice and get stronger.
You might want to figure some shit out. You might want to learn to trust men, or women, or yourself. You might want to wake up from the sleep-walk you’ve been doing for the last how many months? You might want a better relationship with your wife, your partner, your kids, your boss, the stranger behind the counter, and the guy who cut you off in traffic this morning.
You might have some obstacles in your way that seem insurmountable. You might have some events in your past that you want to take a look at. More likely, you have some events in your past that you REALLY don’t want to take a look at.
You might be looking to deepen your spiritual practice, increase you energy, learn how to experience the full range of your emotions, get some support for the hard choices you need to make, have some fun and laughter.
You might want to learn more about what it means to be a ‘real’ man in this rapidly changing world. You, like many men, may have had some hard knocks in the past couple of years … and now you’re trying to figure out what’s next.
You might want to feel your own sense of power and know that you are fully in control of it. You may want to scream. You may want to cry. You might want to stop taking your anger out on the people you love, or on strangers or on YOURSELF.
You might want deeper self-acceptance. You might want deeper self-awareness. You might be scared out of your mind and just trying to hold it together. You might think you’re beyond hope.
You might be curious.
You might want … to be seen and accepted for who you are, to be heard, to be witnessed, to be wise, to be small, to be big, to let down your guard, to learn how to have a guard. You might be depressed, anxious, fed-up, run down, walked on, out of your depth, in over your head, sinking fast.
You might be looking to give back, to reach out, to finally come around, to stay on the good path. You’ might be excited, joyful jubilant jazzed to be alive and you want to share it.
You might think that the world needs more good men. You might have a sense in your gut that YOU have a role to play in supporting the male role models we so desperately need in the world. Men who are emotionally mature, compassionate, powerful, wise, and gentle. Men who are truthful, accountable and just. Men who follow through. Men who learn and think and act with integrity.
You might want to be part of the solution to the epidemics of depression, violence, and isolation that impact men, women, and children. Joining a men’s group is a commitment to your success – and to the vision of a transformed culture.
The ManKind Project supports men’s groups in nine regions around the world, supporting more than 10,000 men every week. www.mankindproject.org MKP is an international not for profit, non-religious organization. If you want help finding a men’s group, email: email@example.com.
by Two Crows Calling
DEDICATION — For the Dream of the Earth — held by Father Thomas Berry.
Tree people roots in mother Amazon, burned alive
crucified with whirling blades of steel
whipped with chains
Blood sap oozes onto the face
of the crying mother of us all.
Tree people dragged by massive caterpillars
shamed with no explanation
Caterpillars crawl across sacred ground, hungry,
relentless, bright electric eyes burn through the night
devouring, addicted to wood
their steel scoops could eat your entire house
in a single bite!
“Why is mother earth being burned alive?” The tree people ask
each other, weeping.
Deer people huddle in council with raccoon and squirrel.
Bird people forget their ancient prejudices and circle up,
crow with eagle and owl.
Now earth mother is burning … conflagration
Conflagration! Have the two legged ones gone mad?
Messages coming to us from the other world.
Messages of earth and heart. Shift the letters. Same word.
Earth. Heart. Heart-Earth.
As heart dies, mother earth dies.
Wake up sisters and brothers.
Go to the Lodge of the heart.
Ten thousand ancestors stand in a circle of hearts on fire.
Drumming, chanting, invoking.
The ancient ones call us back to full heart.
Back to loving our mother
Spirit and blood of sun dancers mingles with grief of pipe carriers.
Grandfathers and grandmothers in lodges across the stomach
of Mother Earth pour spirit water into the flesh and bones
on ancestors soon to be.
The sun rises. Water pourers open the door to the East,
to the creator.
Ten thousand shamans light their sage, cedar and sweet grass.
Invoking, praying, doing give away.
A spiritual war is coming.
Fire must yield to water.
Tears of the Grandfathers and Grandmothers
Sweat of the Creator.
Soul waters come pouring in.
A mighty storm is coming to heal the conflagration.
Two Crows Calling
From This Well Has No Bottom: A little book of spiritual poetry
by Andrew Sokolsky
I am alone
No one cares about me, but me
I must do it on my own,
I am a man
You don’t get me,
and never will
There’s a pain inside that you will never know,
I am a man
I am by myself,
alone without support
If I don’t do it, no one will,
I am a man
I don’t need help,
I don’t want help
Can’t ask for help,
I am a man
Hiding from the world,
living in shadow
Don’t see me,
I am a man
If I wanted help,
you wouldn’t give it
Don’t know how to ask,
I am a man
I am deeper than you will ever know,
My feelings run wild,
I am a man
As I tell you I don’t want or need it,
I am longing for you to reach out,
Touch my heart,
I am a man
It is time to break my isolation
I don’t want to be alone,
I want connection
I am a man
by Chris Kyle
Let’s do a quick review of the first two purpose myths.
Purpose Myth #1: “I can discover my purpose simply by thinking about it.” (read full Myth #1 here)
This first myth is about how our thinking minds can be a trap for us in opening fully to our purpose, which then requires us to access other parts of ourselves to tap a deeper knowledge.
Purpose Myth #2: “Once my purpose is clear, I will naturally overcome every hurdle and all obstacles without effort.” (read full Myth #2 here)
The second myth points to our ‘quick-fix’ culture and the importance of continually doing our work, both internally and externally, to keep on our purpose path.
And now to the third myth about men and purpose…
PURPOSE MYTH #3: “I need to bring my purpose work into the world by myself because I’m the only one who can drive it and make it happen.”
This myth goes right to the heart of what I believe most challenges men around fully living their purpose boldly in the world… and it boils down to this statement: I HAVE TO DO IT ALONE.
And here are some more variations of this limiting belief: I have to figure it out on my own. I don’t want to look incompetent or stupid here. No one can help me on this one, it’s MY frickin’ purpose after all. I just need to start this on my own first, and then I can get help later. Hey, I got this.
One of the most difficult things for men to do is to ask for help. And at one level it’s not our fault because so much of this “Do-it-Alone” attitude and behavior comes from our culture and how we are socialized as boys and then as men.
Be tough, don’t show your emotions, you’re weak if you need help, be strong and self-reliant, be independent not dependent. These are the messages we’ve received as men in nearly all modern cultures around the world.
And it’s a problem.
These beliefs and internalized cultural messages keep us isolated and limited as men. This is especially true when it comes to the riskier aspect of listening to our own inner Call to a purpose that may not fit the norm of success.
Busting Through Myth #3
The test for men who are committed to living a powerful, engaged life of purpose is to first recognize that these internal messages exist, and then do the necessary inner exploration to see what your unique versions of these messages are and where they come from.
Then from this awareness you can make new choices in your life to consciously create what you want through the help and support of others. This also opens you up to receive unexpected gifts and opportunities that you may not have allowed in while locked in theLone Wolf (an Inner Bully Archetype) mindset.
So one of the keys to activating your purpose in the world is to consciously seek the support, mentorship, knowledge and help from others early on in your purpose discovery process to build the healthy container of support where you can flourish.
Building the muscle of asking is what shifts the old pattern of ‘going solo’ to having a new set of resources available.
Key Purpose Tool: The Practice of Asking for Help
This tool may be simple, but it’s not necessarily easy.
Take a look at the projects or major tasks you have on your plate right now either at work or at home. Identify one that’s new to you, or one you think you can do on your own but might need your own research.
Once you have the project in mind, then think about whom you could ask for mentorship, advice or support about that project BEFORE you get started on it. Ideally it’s someone who might have experience with your project/task area, although they don’t have to be experts for you to get good mentoring.
And now go ASK that person for their mentoring and/or support on the project you’re about to start. It’s important that you set the space and the time (15-20 minutes) to ask without being distracted. It’s not something you should just do in passing.
I encourage you to do this more than once. Get in the practice of it—just to see what interesting ideas and possibilities might emerge.
To supporting your purpose,
P.S. The Man on Purpose 7-Week Courselaunches Tuesday March 19, 2013. The course will provide a high level of support for helping you navigate your limiting patterns so you can play a bigger game in your life and really come alive. It has a unique component in that each participant will receive live 1-on-1 mentoring throughout the course. Go to the course information page for more info and to register.
by Chris Kyle
A few days ago I wrote about the 3 Purpose Myths and shared with you the first Myth and how to bust through it.
If you missed Purpose Myth #1, go here to read it on our blog: Myth #1
The first myth is this: You can discover your purpose simply by thinking about it.
Now as we move a little further along the “purpose development” path we run into the second purpose myth.
Purpose Myth #2: Once your purpose is clear, you will naturally (and magically) overcome every hurdle and all obstacles without effort.
Let’s stretch the myth’s logic out a bit: the moment you get crystal clear on your purpose everything in your life immediately gets better and there are no more significant challenges, doubts or strife in your life. The clarity will bust through all of that.
That may seem way exaggerated, but it’s not far from the common belief in our modern western culture of the "quick fix" and/or the "magic pill."
So, finding your purpose from a personal development perspective could be seen as thatmagic elixir — “I’ve got my purpose in hand, now where are my just rewards… thank you very much”
The irony is that clarity of purpose helps you move through the challenges and obstacles and take the risks toward what really brings you alive. But at the heart of this myth is that part of us that really doesn’t want to (or doesn’t feel the need to) do the necessary work, internally and externally, to stay committed to our purpose path.
You may already know what that sabotaging, play-it-safe voice inside is saying: “It should just come to me naturally and without much effort; and if it’s too much work or risk then it’s probably not my purpose or my path.” That message, and the many variations of it, will pull you off course fast.
Busting Through Myth #2
The key to moving through this myth is understanding and activating a new kind of personal power in you to bring forth the necessary energy, conviction and creativity that helps you stay the course when the inevitable storms and problems come.
Tapping into this hidden power within you is the activating force of your purpose. It is your natural response system that helps you move through life’s unexpected challenges.
Being able to access this power source more fully requires you to go into the deepest fears, doubts and negative beliefs in your own heart and mind. Into the places that you don’t really want to look at — the vulnerable, messy or “ugly” places that are in the shadows.
So, it means becoming the hero of your own Hero’s Journey. Going into those dark places inside you, slaying the dragon (your own worst beliefs about yourself), and coming back into the world with new wisdom, clarity and confidence. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.
Purpose Tool: The Hero’s Walk
This tool is simple, yet profound. Get out on the trail, in a park or on a sidewalk for a walk ALONE.
- Let your thoughts come to your body and it’s movement, to your breath and to the environment around you.
- Feel your feet in contact with the ground, notice the swing of your arms. Play with your stride and gait to bring your full attention to the sole purpose of walking.
- Your purpose in this moment is simply to WALK. That’s it.
- Now after a bit of this fully-present walking notice what thoughts arise from this place. Your thoughts will eventually intrude on your presence in the walk — what are you saying to yourself?
- The messages might be: “this is stupid, it’s just walkin,” or “If I go faster then I can catch the guy ahead of me,” or “I’m so out of shape; my body sucks.” And you may have positive, affirming thoughts too.
- Particularly pay attention to the negative beliefs or the self-criticisms about yourself, your Inner Bullies. These are the ones that do damage to your authentic power source.
Bringing these messages to your awareness is an important first step in reducing the power that they have over you and allowing new possibilities to arise. It opens the space to eventually invite potent affirming messages back into you as an antidote to the negativity bias in our brains.
In the Man On Purpose Course we go more deeply into the Inner Bully Archetypes and teach specific techniques for flipping the switch on the Inner Bullies to integrate them into a playful and harmless part of your personality that will aid in releasing more personal power. From there we focus on ‘taking in the good’ more consistently.
To your purpose,
P.S. George and I are holding a special Live Q&A Call on Thursday March 14th at 5:30 pm Pacific Time to answer all your questions about the upcoming 7-Week online course, which starts on March 19th. Mark you calendars now and we’ll be sending out dial-in and webcast info tomorrow.
by Chris Kyle
Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of men around their purpose and every time we would dig deeper into the question of finding and living purpose we’d usually come across what I call a Purpose Myth.
After bumping into these myths (defined as ‘an unfounded or false notion’) about purpose over and over again, I began to see a pattern and discovered that there are 3 Core Myths that consistently come up across a broad range of men — from different backgrounds, age groups and cultures.
I’m going to share with you in this email about Myth #1.
PURPOSE MYTH #1: You can discover your purpose simply by thinking about it.
So, here’s the deal, a man doesn’t discover his purpose by simply thinking his way to it.
He doesn’t find it by plopping himself down on the sofa or desk chair, and then just sitting there until it comes to him. It doesn’t happen that way. Engaging just your rational thinking apparatus, your ‘ego-mind’, will not be enough to bring you to full clarity around your purpose.
Trying to think yourself into your purpose is a bit like using a hammer to paint a house — basically the wrong tool for the job.
Of course you need your thinking process to help you investigate ideas or problems, but your mind is also really good at keeping you “safe” and telling you past-stories that prevent you from taking the risks that open you to new possibilities.
Living a life of purpose is more than an intellectual exercise; it requires something that comes from a deeper place in you and then moving that wisdom into choices and action in the world.
Moving Through Myth #1
So, if you can’t just think your way into your purpose, then what is the path?
The key understanding that nearly everyone comes to in finding and living their purpose is this: It’s a process that requires you to access ALL parts of yourself, not just your mind.
The best purpose tools are intended to take you out of your head — to find answers beyond the rational thought-process — and into different parts of you that have clarity and knowing.
This means investigating your old beliefs, looking at your emotional terrain and learning to trust your ‘gut instincts’ to become more familiar with where your deeper knowledge comes from.
Key Purpose Tool: Accessing Your Inner Wise Man
This process is a simple one: grab a notebook, sit in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, and then write down a question that is important to you on a blank page.
Then take a moment to close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax your body. When you open your eyes after a couple of minutes, let your hand write whatever it wants to write below your question. Don’t “think” about it, just let it flow out of your hand and into the pen. Let whatever comes come, and don’t judge it. Just keep writing. It may follow it’s own thread and might not even answer the question.
Once you’re complete (say 10-15 mins), you’ll notice that new ideas and other resources emerged that you likely wouldn’t have “thought of” or even imagined. See what you can take from this information to make a new or different choice around your question. This is just one simple way of learning how to use your own inner guidance system.
In our Man On Purpose 7-week online course we utilize several other tools and approaches that help you tap more directly into your creativity and inner wisdom that bypass the traps of the thinking-mind. You can learn more by going to our course information page. The Course launches on March 19, 2013.
To living your purpose,
p.s. Don’t forget that the Early Registration Bonus for the Man On Purpose course ends in just 2 days (March 9th). This special bonus is a 1-hour, one-on-one facilitated Passion Test coaching session that will help you reveal your top 5 passions and then create the “markers” to live into these passions, bringing you alive into your purpose. Go here to register and lock in this bonus coaching session.
The ManKind Project USA recently launched a 4 day FREE Summit called “The Power of Purpose Summit,” bringing together top experts on purpose from the past 30 years, including Neale Donald Walsch, Dan Millman, Jack Canfield, Tim Kelley, Greg Levoy, and nine others. You can still sign up for the Summit and listen to the spectacular audio. The summit was a powerful success … but it was only the beginning.
At the end of the Summit, the hosts, George Daranyi and Chris Kyle, announced the launch of a 7-week online course on purpose.
You’re invited to engage — and take advantage of this powerful opportunity. This course will help you clearly define and truly LIVE in alignment with your purpose — where you’re waking up each day fully engaged, tapped into a new source of power, and making a difference.
This course is based on the deep work that Chris and George have done with men for over 35 years collectively; and includes 7 powerful live course sessions, a unique 1-on-1 mentoring program, live Q&A sessions and your own Purpose Project.
Below is a note from Chris Kyle —
What we’ve noticed among the thousands of men we’ve worked with is this: men who are “ON purpose” have lives that work — at all levels.
They are more passionate and engaged in their work and creativity. More connected and happy in their relationships. And more vibrant, grounded and healthy in their lives.
They are alive and fired up to make a difference!
Like many men, you’ve probably had moments in your life where you feel connected to your creativity, to your personal power and your gifts in a way that has you sense that you’re “on purpose” with what you’re doing in your life.
Unfortunately, we see it all too often, that these moments are far too fleeting. And to maintain that level of authentic power and LIVE consistently from your purpose and passions can be very challenging. And for you, that may mean that life feels like a struggle, a burden or simply uninspiring.
Over the 7 weeks of the course, you’ll receive the teaching and support to guide you through a unique 3-step process, which will enable you to maintain the focus, commitment and energy for living your purpose in the world. The steps are:
STEP 1: Clear away the false beliefs that block you
STEP 2: Open to your hidden source of power
STEP 3: Claim your purpose fully and begin living it every day with your Purpose Project.
Imagine truly being yourself standing in the power of your purpose — clear, confident, fulfilled and connected.
If you sense that there’s more to life than what you’re experiencing now, and if you want the tools and knowledge to begin living into your fullest authentic power as a man with a clear purpose as your north star, then please join us for this 7-week course.
Read the details and register here: Man On Purpose Online Course
Finding and learning how to live your purpose is the single greatest investment you’ll ever make in yourself as a man. So join us and other like-minded men in this course who want to create a meaningful and potent life and make a difference in the world.
To your purpose,
Man On Purpose Course
p.s. Make sure to check out the inspiring supplemental content that we have for you in this course including a live 1-on-1 facilitated Passion Test session, a 260-page eBook on navigating your wake-up call as a man, and an audio workshop on purpose and relationships.
Mike Brown interviews Foster Mobley about his book “Leadersh*t: Rethinking the True Path to Great Leading“
For over 40 years, gurus of all stripes have been promoting the “competency model” of leadership, insisting that mastering skill sets such as motivation and vision-setting is the key to effective leading. But if that’s true, where are all the great leaders? In reality, the corporate world and the world at large suffer from a dearth of effective leaders equipped to perform a great leader’s primary duty: building the capacity of followers to deliver breakthrough results.
Into this dysfunctional paradigm comes Leadersh*t: Rethinking the True Path to Great Leading with a shocking, refreshing wake-up call of unconventional wisdom. From his 30+ years of experience coaching and developing some of the finest leaders in business and sports, Dr. Foster Mobley has distilled this simple, game changing revelation: leading well is not about what you do but who you are. His revolutionary approach to developing breakthrough leaders, Wisdom Leading™, fills the pages of this extraordinary book.
Leadersh*t: Rethinking the True Path to Great Leading takes you on a three-part journey into the heart of what makes great leaders great. First, join Foster and a mysterious wise man on an allegorical journey, confronting environments that take the theoretical basis of Wisdom Leading™ and make it real and tangible. Next, Foster speaks directly about seven access points of breakthrough leading. Finally, answer some tough and revealing questions about your own leadership journey.
There have been hundreds of thousands of books on leading. There has never been a book like “Leadersh*t: Rethinking the True Path to Great Leading.”
Foster Mobley is a recognized thought leader, author and keynote speaker in the areas of high performance leadership and teamwork. As founder and CEO of The Foster Mobley Group since 1984, he has advised hundreds of companies on large scale change and transformational leading to enhance their human capital and competitiveness.
His practice includes some of the most respected business organizations in the world: Citicorp, DaVita, Disney, Nokia, and United Technologies. In addition to his work with business organizations, Foster enjoys a decade of unique success advising collegiate athletic teams and coaches on achieving full presence and power in their most critical performance moments.
Building and maintaining a cross cultural friendship
Michael (Miguel) Rath and Darryl Moment have built a powerful relationship based in conscious interaction. Here’s how they did it.
From strangers, to competitors, to allies and friends, this is the story of two men and their journey toward comfortable self awareness. Through their membership in the ManKind Project and a commitment to continue using the tools they found in a conscious community of men, Michael and Darryl have learned how to relate to each other, and to themselves, with a level of honesty that many men are looking for these days.
And it wasn’t always easy. In order to build their relationship to one another, they had to be willing to look at the truth about themselves, and take responsibility for their choices.
by Alain Hunkins
Want to kick a habit? Study more? Spend less time on Facebook? Ever feel like you have a hard time controlling these (or other) urges?
If so, you’re not alone.
For example, take the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America Survey. The survey asks about participants’ abilities to make healthy lifestyle changes. Survey participants regularly cite lack of willpower as the No. 1 reason for not following through with such changes.
What exactly is this magic elixir, willpower, that is in such short supply?
Willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.
It your oomph that gets you through the tough times. Keeps you on track. Keeps you from giving over to indulgence.
In a famous early study on Willpower, psychologist Roy Baumeister (author of Willpower), tested people’s willpower with some interesting variables: cookies and radishes.
Baumeister brought subjects into a room filled with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. The table before them held a plate of the cookies and a bowl of radishes. Some subjects were asked to sample the cookies, while others were asked to eat the radishes. Afterward, they were given 30 minutes to complete a difficult geometric puzzle. Baumeister and his colleagues found that people who ate radishes (and therefore resisted the enticing cookies) gave up on the puzzle after about eight minutes, while the lucky cookie-eaters persevered for nearly 19 minutes, on average. Drawing on willpower to resist the cookies, it seemed, drained the subjects’ self-control for subsequent situations.
Willpower is a limited resource. It consumes mental energy. Baumeister says that “willpower needs to be preserved for the decisions that really matter.”
If you use it up on stupid stuff, you won’t have much left over for the important things.
Willpower gets depleted when you use it. That’s why when you go to buy a car, the salesperson has a field day with all of the little decisions regarding options after you’ve already decided on the make and model you want. At that point in the process, your willpower is worn down, you’re mentally exhausted, and you’ll say yes to just about anything. (Of course you need that moon roof!)
So, given how important willpower is, one thing to consider doing is to automate your decisions.
In the same way that you might having an automatic savings plan that deducts money from your paycheck and deposits it into a retirement account, you can automate your decisions.
For example, do you know you want to exercise more often? Do you recreate the wheel every week, thinking about what you’ll do and when you’ll do it? How you’ll squeeze exercise in between food shopping and your dentist appointment?
Don’t wait…automate! Sign up for the 3 nights a week Boot Camp fitness class that meets Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 6:30-7:45 pm. Guess where you’ll be three nights of the week? When you automate things, you turn conscious decisions into unconscious habits.
How much thinking did it take to decide to brush your teeth last night? Not so much.
One keen student of the importance of willpower is President Barack Obama. He explains his approach to willpower and decision making in an interview with Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair. Obama discusses that, as president, he consciously has to avoid what most people spend a lot of their daily energy and focus on. He says,
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make. You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”
If it’s good enough for the President, it’s good enough for me. Besides, he cites the research. Willpower is a terrible thing to waste.
Where could you stand to routinize yourself, to automate some decisions, so that you can focus on what matters most?
Michael Taylor, of a New Conversation with Men interviews Chris Kyle, one of the hosts of the Power of Purpose Summit for men. Michael Taylor will be one of the featured speakers on the Power of Purpose Summit, starting February 27 to March 2, 2013. It’s a FREE summit with 14 featured speakers. You can listen live to the summit or download the audio and listen later.
FROM THE EDITOR:
The four-day Power of Purpose Summit will run from February 27 to March 2.
Finding MY sense of purpose has been one of the biggest gifts of my MKP work.
When I’m living in clarity of purpose, I come alive. I feel inspired, passionate, ready to tackle the BIG stuff in my life. I think a lot of men are like me – and there’s good evidence to back that up.
This four-day online interactive summit will help men discover the keys to ignite a new source of power, creativity, and clarity by living their purpose in the world.
Go to PowerofPurposeSummit.com to check it out and register for F*R*E*E.
14 top purpose experts including Dan Millman, Jack Canfield, Neale Donald Walsch, Chris Attwood and Richard Leider, along with some powerful New Warrior Brothers including Bill Kauth, Rich Tosi, Gregg Levoy, Mike Robbins, and Michael Taylor will be sharing their insights, tools, and techniques that guide men towards finding their purpose. The summit will be co-hosted by our own Chris Kyle (Co-Leader, Norcal Community) and George Daranyi (Full Leader, Past MKP Chairman, Arizona Community).
Please share this powerful opportunity with men in your life as a doorway into the work that MKP has been doing for almost 30 years. Great for men with years of work under their belts, and for men who are just starting to wake up!
And for you men reading this now… join us!
Sign-up for the PowerofPurposeSummit.com — and invite all your friends!
The more we support one another in fully claiming our purpose, the more our gifts will positively impact the world.
Get inspired, get tools, and help MKP USA fulfill our purpose in the world, building the emotionally mature, accountable and compassionate role models that our communities so desperately need.
After the Power of Purpose Summit we will be offering a 7-week live online interactive course called “Man On Purpose.” More info about this course will be shared during the Summit.
Mike Brown interviews Author, Coach & Facilitator Rick Broniec about:
• His book “A Passionate Life: 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Passion, Purpose and Joy”
• What Passion means and why it’s important.
• What Blocks people from living their passion.
• How to Access Your Passion.
William “Rick” Broniec, MEd. is an educator, writer, workshop creator and facilitator of transformational experiences. Rick taught Chemistry and International Baccalaureate Chemistry in an urban public high school for 38 years and is recognized as a “Master Teacher” through entry in the SE Wisconsin Educator’s Hall of Fame. Rick has been honored with a number of educational awards, including The Presidential Award for Excellence, the Kohl Award and the Tandy Award. Rick has also lead dozens of workshops for teachers around the country on a variety of topics, including leadership and has had many articles published in several educational journals.
In addition, Rick has worked in the human potential/personal growth field for close to 25 years as a workshop leader, leader trainer, multicultural trainer and facilitator of transformational weekend experiences. Rick is Certified as a Full Leader and Leader Trainer for the ManKind Project (MKP) since 1992, leading well over 160 trainings for that not-for-profit corporation. Rick is also a leader in multicultural work in MKP and has lead over 40 Multicultural Awareness Workshops around the globe. Rick is also a Certified Rebirther and Meditation teacher, using both techniques as part of his daily practice, as well as teaching and leading others to use these powerful techniques for personal growth. Rick has recently published his first book, “A Passionate Life: 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Passion, Purpose and Joy”.
Rick’s latest endeavor is the creation of a new Personal Coaching Practice: Transformational Adventures. Rick seeks to coach people interested in finding their Passionate, Joyful Purpose in life through the use of processes and experiences that help them transcend blocks and barriers to living the life they were meant to live! Rick believes that all people deserve access to their passionate, heartfull, soulful aliveness, which leads to a fulfilling, satisfying, blissful and purpose driven life.
Rick’s Personal Mission of Service is to Create a Passionately Loving and Peaceful Planet by Fostering Safe, Sacred Diverse Healing Circles. Rick invites you to join in his healing circle….and will joyfully join yours!
Rick currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wonderful wife, Paki and his step daughter, Gianninne. Rick is proud to be the father of 2 beautiful daughters and has 3 spectacular granddaughters, too! When Rick is not coaching and leading trainings, he loves riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle, playing golf, playing with his grandkids, camping and reading voraciously!
In the wake of tragedy. Masculinity, Culture, and Transformation
by Boysen Hodgson
The question, for me, is what is the QUALITY of this risky world? How am I co-creating it? What are the feelings I want to be nurturing in myself and others, even as the world continues to spin and the universe unwinds in its chaotic beauty and devastation.
I am sad. Have been deeply sad for the last 48 hours. And yet there is beauty. My wife, Kendra, and I went to a dance performance last night, a holiday tradition we have carried the last 5 years.
At one point there was a long silent moment when all 12 dancers were standing in a small group on the center of the stage, with not one looking into the face of another. Close together, and disconnected. Longing unfulfilled. It was a mirror for so much of what I see around me.
I cried in sadness, yes. I also cried in gratitude. Because I know something. I know what I have seen and felt in circles of men. I know what I have witnessed in the fierce gentleness of men supporting one another. I know what it feels like to completely break down and be held by loving men.
With that experience – I have learned how to create stronger intimacy and partnership with my wife. I have learned to open my heart to my friends and family more deeply. Because I have taken that deep risk to be FULLY ME as a vulnerable man, my risk-filled world feels warm and human instead of cold, frightening, and alien.
I have read lots of … WHY AREN’T WE DOING SOMETHING? …
Brothers, Sisters, Grandmothers and Grandfathers, Children (all my relations!) … from my guts, I’m crying out …
I know what healthy masculinity looks like, feels like, and acts like.
It’s not perfect. It will not prevent every violent act. It will not be without wounding, pain, and disconnection.
And for damned sure, it will not always look the way I want it to look.
Until I sacrifice some of my expectations, demands, and assumptions … it’s damned hard to be part of the solution.
‘Cauldrons’ for culture change
At times, in the right places, with strong bonds and boundaries firmly in place … groups of men take the risk to create events that are raw, real, and completely unfiltered, just for men. They put on training programs and form groups that hold space for masculinity be dangerous, vulnerable, ashamed, naked, violent, messy, ugly, terrifying, chaotic, and louder than thunder. These men do not deny or hide anything. They do this on purpose.
They witness violent revolutions, glorious rebirth, and shattering grief. They take on the masks of madmen, fools, children, and the dead. They create a ritual place to enact the dramas that the western world is trying to live (and avoid living!) vicariously through digital screens. They invite men to say what is unspeakable, and create what was unimaginable. And from the cauldron, whole men emerge. Men with self-awareness and more choices about how they show up in the world.
These men are our community – around the world.
We do this with the intention to put LOVE into action in the world. We learn about ourselves and each other from this ritual. We go into it consciously. We help men see new possibilities.
Healthy Masculinity is not safe, or clean, or easy. It’s not even a destination. It’s a PRACTICE, a PROCESS … a Hero’s Journey. Can we can strip the violence out of masculinity? A look at history says NO, but who knows what is possible. Can we ‘destroy’ the cultural construct of masculinity? Don’t think of a purple elephant.
Can we impact how men PRACTICE the cultural construct of masculinity? WE ALREADY ARE!! We are here! And it’s not just men! We are myriad men and women working together to recreate our culture.
What we do in the cauldron is not masculine or feminine. It is HUMAN. As an organization we do our work with men on their own in order to break a significant taboo about men sharing emotions, intimacy, and vulnerability with other men. We break, rather than reinforce, the gender box. We give the chance to practice in a place where the real world consequences of what might happen when the social filters are disabled does not wound those we love.
What do we do with REALITY … with what is right here, right now, violence and all?
Here’s what I strive to do, and what I see other men doing:
I do not deny a man connection and compassion because he is not the kind of man I want him to be. I acknowledge reality. The only way I will ever create possibility is in relationship – meeting him face to face, right where he is. Not standing above him, or judging him, or telling him why he is wrong. I have to be willing to put down my shield and reveal myself in the hope that he may do the same. And I do not run away. I stand there. I stay there. I wait there.
And this is inherently, profoundly, dangerous. It might threaten or undermine my deeply held beliefs. I might see something in him that reminds me of myself in a way that brings shame or guilt or sadness. I might be rejected. I might have to get close to what I fear. And I might get hurt.
To men sitting and wondering, what now?
Set aside fear and judgment long enough to see what a loving and imperfect community of men feels like. Put down hipster sarcasm, academic loftiness, enlightened spiritual bypass. Put down your cell, your ipad, your game controller, your remote, your car keys, your credentials, your fear of being ‘found out’, your past. Put down all the buts, becauses, and not right nows.
The world is a risky place.
This risk I’m asking you to take could change the way the rest of the world feels, looks, and responds to you. It could change your entire perception of what it means to be a man.
There’s absolutely, positively, fundamentally and with 100% certainty – no guarantee or warranty. No one is getting out of here alive. We offer an opportunity, a mere chance, to change the QUALITY of that aliveness.
Imagine the culture that might surround our young men if every day on the street they see what I know in my bones. Imagine the difference in the interactions between men and women … at the bank, the grocery store … on the sidewalk in their town. There are places in the USA where this is already happening – pockets of this kind of community. We have been helping to create this. And we’re not alone.
WE ARE HERE!
This is an invitation.
It’s way bigger than me.
More than 2 years ago I wrote a piece called “The New Macho.” It has now been republished on numerous blogs and in at least one book.
Here are four lines from “The New Macho”
He knows future generations are watching his actions.
He builds communities where people are respected and valued.
He takes responsibility for himself.
In times of need, he will be his brother’s keeper.
Right now, filmmaker Haydn Reiss is working on a documentary film about Bly’s life and career called “News of the Universe.” In the film, one of the things Reiss will do is look at some of the myths about Bly and the ‘men’s movement.’ He also has a great interview with John Densmore, the well known drummer from the 1960’s band The Doors, to talk about an oft misaligned ‘tool’ of men’s gatherings, the drum. Reiss has created a special appeal for the men of the ManKind Project – and also a special offer for MKP fans supporting the production of the film. Contributions are tax deductible.
Learn more by viewing the appeal video at the “News of the Universe” IndieGoGo promotion page.
And now a bit of history about MKP and Robert Bly.
It must have been in the air. Western culture in the early 1980’s was hearing the call of the Wild Man.
For decades, many men in the ManKind Project and around the world have taken inspiration from the story of Iron John (aka Iron Hans or Der Eisenhans). The story is one of the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s often interpreted as a young man’s coming of age story. Bly published a book by the same name in 1990 which was a combination of story-telling and cultural critique. Bly’s “Iron John” stayed on the New York Times best seller list for 62 weeks.
Bly holds an honored place in what is referred to as the ‘mythopoetic men’s movement’ that began in the late 1970’s and continued into the 1990’s. For many, Bly saw into the heart of western culture, both masculine and feminine, and pointed a direction to healing and reconciliation. For many others, Bly came to represent a throw-back call to a kind of masculinity stuck in the past – a rehash of patriarchal thinking in soft woven vests.
Stereotypical treatments … ‘naked men drumming in the woods’ … along with a number of other labels about the ‘sensitive new age guy’ (the pony-tail wearing, soft talking spiritual seeker) and the ‘angry white man’ (the disgruntled growling critic of feminism) became staples in the reporting about Bly and the ‘men’s movement’ in general. These iconic images are so easy to grasp … and perpetuate … that even though men have certainly evolved, the reporting has had trouble catching up. Stereotypes about the ‘mythopoetic men’ are still frequently tossed about, and they have been used with a very broad brush across nearly all men’s personal growth organizations.
Though the ManKind Project often gets tied to this imagery and context, as Rich Tosi (one of the creators of the New Warrior Training Adventure) said, “We weren’t mythopoetic. We weren’t doing the same stuff they did in the big gatherings,” with men like Michael Meade and Robert Bly.
Tosi, Bill Kauth, and Ron Hering, the co-creators of ‘Wild Man Weekend,’ which soon became the New Warrior Training Adventure, knew what was happening with the ‘mythopoets’ and spent some brief time with Bly, but were never deeply connected. What can be said with certainty is that the ‘mythopoetic’ men’s movement and the ‘men’s movement’ in general cannot be pigeonholed into a single set of ideas, attitudes, or goals. Within the ManKind Project there is a broad spectrum of men’s culture, and growing broader by the year. It is not a single ‘masculinity’ that is aimed at, it is the healthy expression of myriad masculinities. Men come to work on their own personal development, each with unique needs and desires, and while the work of the New Warrior Training is geared for men, its outcomes are tied to developing healthy, integrated, and mature human beings.
Tosi, Hering, and Kauth integrated parts of the Iron John story into the New Warrior Training Adventure six years before Bly published the book that would become an international best seller. The inspiration for the processes and flow of the NWTA came from many sources, like the ‘Understanding Yourself and Others’ workshop that was being held in the early 1980’s in Milwaukee, WI among several other personal growth workshops. The New Warrior Training Adventure also evolved quickly over the first couple of years, integrating processes and frameworks that participants and trainers found effective. Many of the words now used to describe the New Warrior Training Adventure; hero’s journey, initiation, archetypal, Jungian … all of these came later. Tosi described the surprise the founders experienced when they first stumbled onto the realization;
‘HEY! What we’re doing is an initiation!’
A common misperception about the ManKind Project is that it was part of a backlash against the women’s empowerment movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. While the women’s movement certainly influenced early work in MKP, it wasn’t as a reaction against it. As Kauth speaks about it, he didn’t look at the women’s movement and see men being ‘oppressed,’ he saw an opportunity for men’s liberation from outdated social norms. As a feminist therapist attending conferences where he was one of only a few men, he recognized something valuable in the intimacy he saw women creating in groups and workshops. He wanted that kind of connection for men, vastly different than typical ideas about ‘real men.’ After resisting the call for some time, he eventually got together with Tosi and Hering and designed the ‘Wild Man’ weekend, to help men become conscious, accountable, emotionally aware, and integrated enough to meet these empowered women as partners.
Three decades later, here’s what Kauth sees,
“For 27 years I have seen us – MKP – growing adults! Like some folks grow tomatoes, we grow adults! And because we do it well, we have a legacy around the world of emotionally and spiritually mature men, who in turn, nurture their children and develop more authentic intimate relationships with women.”
Even with all these distinctions in place … Robert Bly’s work: in poetry, in “Iron John,” and in books like “A Little Book on the Human Shadow,” and “The Sibling Society” still resonate with many men on a journey of personal growth. And in the rich realm of the practice of manhood, Bly’s words stir the souls of men in a way that most of us believe are good for everyone.
by Mike Robbins
[reprinted with permission]
(For this week’s audio podcast, click here.)
I was scheduled to fly to Dublin, Ireland a few weeks ago for a speaking engagement and when I got to the airport I realized I’d forgotten my passport at home. I felt mortified and embarrassed – and then angry when I realized I wouldn’t be able to get on my flight. After a few hours of stress and drama, I was able to get myself on another flight, which would get me to Ireland on time for my event – although it did cost me quite a bit of money and forced my wife Michelle to have to drop what she was doing and rush to the airport with my passport.
In the big scheme of things in life, it wasn’t a huge deal. However, it really upset me and caused me to reflect on how I react to mistakes – mine and other people’s. What I realized is that I don’t give myself or those close to me much permission to make mistakes. While mistakes aren’t a huge issue in my life, I actually spend and waste a lot of time worrying about making mistakes, and also find myself being unnecessarily critical of those around me when they make mistakes (both overtly and covertly).
Michelle’s kind, accommodating, and empathetic response to my mistake (which ended up having a negative impact on her as well) was a great model and reminder for how I want to be when someone around me makes a mistake – helpful, loving, and compassionate. It also reminded me that having love and compassion for myself when I make a mistake, instead of judgment and criticism, is a much healthier and more positive way to deal with mistakes.
How about you? How do you relate to yourself and others when mistakes are made? While it often depends on the nature of the mistake (some are bigger than others, of course), many of us tend to be hyper-critical with ourselves and those around us when it comes to errors. And the stress, criticism, and negativity we associate with mistakes can actually cause unnecessary harm, fear, and anguish – in essence, making a difficult situation even worse.
What if we had more freedom to make mistakes and gave the people around us permission to mess things up as well? It’s not that we’d start rooting for or expecting things to go wrong, we’d simply have more compassion and understanding when they did (which at some level is inevitable in life and business).
By giving ourselves and others permission to make mistakes, we actually create an environment within our own being and within our key relationships and teams, that is conducive to trust, connection, risk-taking, forgiveness, creativity, and genuine success.
While it can seem a little risky, and even counter-intuitive, allowing more freedom for mistakes to be made, ironically creates the conditions for less errors to occur, and more fun and productivity to take place.
Here are a few things to think about and focus on to expand your capacity for mistakes in a positive way:
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – As my friend and mentor Richard Carlson taught us in his bestselling book of the late 1990’s, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – and it’s all small stuff.” The vast majority of mistakes we make in life really aren’t all that big of a deal. The bigger issue when it comes to mistakes is either our fear of making them or our reaction to them once they have been made (by us or other people). As we lighten up and practice letting things go, we find that most things we stress or worry about are really small things. Living life with this awareness, allows us to have more peace and a lot less stress.
- Forgive – When a mistake is made, especially a big one, forgiveness is an essential aspect of moving through it. Most of the time there is no malicious intent by the person who made the mistake (us or others). Sadly, we tend to spend and waste a lot of time and energy either with blame or resentment, instead of focusing our attention in a more productive, positive, and healthy direction – forgiveness. It is often most difficult, but most important, for us to forgive ourselves when we make a mistake. However, if we can remember that most of the time we’re doing the best we can (as are others), we can hopefully get off our own backs and allow ourselves to be human (which means we aren’t perfect, nor is anyone else).
- Look For the Lesson – There are often tons of lessons for us to learn when a mistake is made. While it’s not always the easiest or most enjoyable way to learn a lesson, it’s often quite effective as it gets our attention. One of my friends posted on Facebook in response to my passport incident from a few weeks ago and said, “Well, look on the bright side, I bet this will be the one and only time you ever do this in your life – you won’t forget how it feels.” She is probably right and most of the time when we make a mistake, even a really big one, we gain a great deal of knowledge, experience, and insight that is invaluable.
by James Wilson
How would you define a fulfilling relationship? Does your current relationship match it? Is your current relationship leaving you drained or does it have you energized? How clearly can you identify what is working and what is not?
For most of my life I felt lonely in my relationships. When I saw my first girlfriend talking with other guys, I really got upset. At the time it would make me furious and afterwards I would try to make sure she was super happy with me, so she would stay with me. None of that worked and we split after a very turbulent and frustrating year or so. It didn’t get much better from there. I kept winding up in really difficult relationships for some reason. My mom raised me well and I considered myself to be a kind-hearted gentleman, the romantic type.. yes, a good man. So i really couldn’t understand why I had all the drama in my relationships.
A few years ago, it looked like my life was going amazing – I was touring the world as a “superstar DJ” and I had just gotten back from touring South East Asia and Australia. My Facebook friend page was quickly approaching the 5000 friends limit, magazines were praising my work, I was winning awards, having fun, traveling, partying… I was married to a multi-millionaire at the time, so my net worth was 7 figures… I was in NY standing on the rooftop of one of the highrises. Top of the world!
But my marriage was horrible. We argued all the time. And i felt zero love from her. ZERO. We were rich, but I felt poor and desperate. I could relate more to the homeless people on the streets then the bankers passing by.
Standing on the rooftop, I watched the black night sky prepare for the new day. Below, millions of lights indicated life so abundantly, so alive, so vibrant. But I felt nothing. I felt so detached from it all. As if I was just looking at a painting that to me bore no resemblance to anything at all. The only thing I noticed as I looked out into the never-ending sea of streets, buildings, cars, lights and sounds was the disconnect. It didn’t matter. And neither did I. Looking down at the street some 32 stories below I contemplated jumping. Pondered on what it might feel like to soar through the sky. Wondering how scared I might be and if I would feel regret midair but it be too late. Wondering what the impact may be like and most of all what might occur after. But apart from my curiosity I felt nothing. No emotional attachment to the thought. The only thing that stood out to me, again, was the disconnect. Fortunately, I went back downstairs, and upon entering my hotel room, mixed a drink from the minibar.
That night I decided to change my life.
So I embarked on a journey to find myself. I took a year long break from everything and travelled, read and studied. I took many different personal development programs, from Hoffman to Tony Robbins to IPEC to the Mankind Project. I read at least two books a month and worked with personal coaches and analysts.
I really dug in and mastered psychology, communication and relationship, so whereas I had previously mastered the science of achieving my dream of being a superstar DJ, I now mastered the art of creating a fulfilling life with the love that I want.
I am overjoyed to finally be in a relationship in which I get the love that I want and I am able to give the love that I so hunger to give in a way that it is received, respected, acknowledged and appreciated.
Moreover, it fulfills me to live out my purpose of empowering other men by teaching them how to get the love they want through my coaching programs. I am currently designing a new coaching program to help men bring more love into their relationships. I want it to create outstanding value, so I am asking for feedback from men what their most pressing frustrations are in their relationships.
Hence, I have drawn up this survey so that with its anonymous data I can make my program even better. I greatly appreciate your support in helping shape these programs so that we can all get they love that we desire and deserve. Help me fulfill my mission, take 10 minutes to complete this survey!
by Boysen Hodgson
On November 5, 2012, the New York Times published a new op-ed by David Brooks entitled “The Heart Grows Smarter” about a long term research study of men which was launched in the 1930′s and tracked men through the rest of their lives.
Though the researchers hadn’t intended to study male relationships … the most compelling results of the study were all about relationships. More specifically – they learned some key characteristics that would help men lead long, satisfying lives.
The number one key? Intimate bonding.
“Of the 31 men in the study incapable of establishing intimate bonds, only four are still alive. Of those who were better at forming relationships, more than a third are living.”
The study, which became known as ‘The Grant Study,” discovered that men who were raised in warm and loving homes were significantly more likely to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. This may not seem too surprising. But an additional finding was that men who learned how to create and maintain warm intimate relationships, no matter what time of life they started, were happier and healthier than those who did not. And the men who took an active role in making it happen were the most likely to succeed.
In the ManKind Project, our training programs and our men’s groups teach men skills to create and maintain healthy intimate relationships. We teach a lot of ‘old dogs’ new tricks – and some of our ‘old dogs’ aren’t very old. Many men have life-histories that become serious obstacles to their long-term happiness. We’ve learned through demonstrated experience over thirty years that the road ahead does not need to look like the road behind. Patterns of behavior or relationship that may seem permanent in a man’s life shift dramatically as he takes action in a community of men.
“… a childhood does not totally determine a life. The beauty of the Grant Study is that, as Vaillant emphasizes, it has followed its subjects for nine decades. The big finding is that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The men kept changing all the way through, even in their 80s and 90s.”
“In case after case, the magic formula is capacity for intimacy combined with persistence, discipline, order and dependability. The men who could be affectionate about people and organized about things had very enjoyable lives.”
If you or a man you know could use some help with any aspect of that combination … we can help.
We help men build the skills they need to have satisfying and meaningful lives and make a difference in the world. This article, much like Brooks’ last book “The Social Animal,” are a great reminder that indeed, masculinity as a cultural construct is evolving. Emotional intelligence is not a ‘new age’ catch-phrase – it’s an essential tool for modern men to succeed in the world. Even more, it underscores an opinion that I’ve been holding for a while now; masculinity has never actually been rigid, but the story we’ve been telling ourselves about masculinity as a culture (out of our fear / shame / self-protection) has been deeply out of touch with reality. The myth of the rugged independent male was just a post-modern adolescent phase we were going through. We’ve woken up, and we’re not going back to sleep.
Grown up men – powerful men – are not afraid of intimacy, emotions, connection, or support. We just need some effective models and teachers to spread the love. Welcome to the ManKind Project.
And a personal shout out to David Brooks – I would sincerely love to talk to you about what we’ve been practicing for nearly 30 years.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here I will present three separate but connected stories … all concerning meditation. Meditation is a core practice for many New Warriors (men who have completed the New Warrior Training Adventure). There are multiple approaches to this in the ManKind Project, from basic sitting practices, ‘sit-spot’ practices done by many outdoor trackers and indigenous skills teachers, TM (transcendental meditation), Yogic Pranayama practices, Breathwork practices, Hollow Bones or Mondo Zen Rinzai traditions … and many others. Because the ManKind Project is not affiliated with any one religious practice – there are multiple paths offered and explored to increase self awareness. Here are a couple of pieces from within and outside of the ManKind Project on Meditation.
First – A Video from FemiA. a New Warrior in the Greater Washington DC community on the power of meditation in his life … “Hit by an acute depressive episode in college, Femi turned to meditation and thought it was “magic”. Since then, his practice has given him inner strength to go through hardships such as the consequences of his father’s death.”
Becoming the Hollow Bone
Zen Meditation has long been connected to the ManKind Project through the Hollow Bones / Mondo Zen practice. [learn more http://mondozen.org/] Over the last 12 years, men like JunPo Denis Kelly, Doshin Michael Nelson, DiYinFu George Burch, and Fugen Tom Pitner have helped build and spread this modern zen meditation practice to hundreds of ManKind Project men. These men are all New Warriors. The Mondo Zen process has added yet another set of skills to expand the tool-box for many New Warriors, and regular sitting meditation is a daily practice that helps many New Warriors deepen their self-awareness and commitment to living responsible and AWAKE lives.
I’ve had the opportunity to sit with many of these men over the last 6 years – and am incredibly grateful for the wisdom I’ve gotten from them – and from my meditation practice.
~ Boysen Hodgson
Lastly – a post from a man who hasn’t yet done the New Warrior Training – Cameron Severson. Thanks for the post Cameron!
Meditation for the New Warrior
by Cameron Severson
I recently came across the ManKind Project website, and it struck me as being a poignant call to action recognizing that “ALL the characteristics required of men” are available to each of us. It’s always encouraging to find an organization that is open and clear about its objectives, feeling that they are truly beneficial and inclusive. And seeing that the New Warrior Training Adventure resourcefully uses “multiple established methods” to realize the New Warrior ideal, I felt compelled to lend my support. Drawing on my experience practicing and teaching meditation, I hope to offer a useful perspective here on this established method and how it can be used to realize the MKP ideals of self-awareness and the New Warrior.
Let’s start philosophically. Meditation can be thought of as direct self-awareness. In practice, meditation involves persistently ignoring impulsive tendencies in favor of greater clarity: a closer, more complete attunement to reality, and thus, to one’s self. Any form of resistance to this attunement reveals partiality, a tendency to favor one aspect of the self over another, resulting in only a superficial understanding of it. In this context, bravery means being able to put partiality aside and confront reality however it appears. To be brave, to be a warrior, is to commit to a lifestyle of defying partiality.
But what other characteristics are required for a man to be whole? Bravery alone doesn’t guarantee the respectful, prosocial orientation that the MKP advocates. Essential for this are empathy and compassion, characteristics that arise naturally when partiality to self-centeredness is tempered. And what qualities can help us avoid excessive deprivation as bravery and compassion become the norm? Creativity and intelligence are ones that are certainly critical in guiding this transition judiciously, in discerning which forms of partiality are most unnecessary and finding innovative ways of giving them up.
So meditation reveals partiality, but how does it help us get beyond our attachment to it and embody all these characteristics of the New Warrior? The simple comprehensiveness of meditation is this: The very act of tuning into what is most fundamentally present, to the most basic aspects of the “self,” loosens the grip of old habits while preventing the inadvertent formation of new ones. (As grandma always said, “idle hands are the Devil’s playground!”) Through persistent self-awareness, impartiality develops naturally along with a holistic perception of reality. This is not apathetic impartiality but the kind that allows us to take risks and fearlessly assume our full power in a way that serves the whole, not just ourselves.
The radically simple world view that emerges from meditation is that, whatever our maladaptive behaviors and beliefs, partiality is the common thread in all of them. To make things right in the world, then, is to simply recognize the validity of all aspects of experience and learn to face them fully, that is, with impartiality. To even consider this as a real possibility though requires a colossal suspension of disbelief when we’re accustomed to buying into the repressive social norms that consider a certain degree of mediocrity to be inevitable or even preferable. To gradually realize this simple truth in practice, however, is to wake up from the dream of powerlessness and to assume full responsibility for not succumbing to it.
I certainly commend any organization that provides a challenging yet supportive environment for breaking through personal barriers. Overcoming limiting tendencies is a pervasive challenge that spans all aspects of being, and to support one another is an integral part of meeting that challenge. The more we commit to self-awareness, taking responsibility for our own problems, and offering solutions in a sincere way, the more we can accelerate the collective transition to New Warriorship!