The Twin Brothers, The Horse Twins

December 3, 2013 Leave a Comment
Category: Poetry 
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by Rebecca

 

The Twin Brothers, The Horse Twins

The Ashvino
The Horse Twins
The Twin Brothers
Tall, strong,
Long black hair flowing
They are the Ashvino
Call to your brothers,
And they will lead you on your way.

Nobody knows where the Ashvino Twins live.
They make visits to villages
As they roam free.
When they enter a town,
The children are the first to know.
They go running on their little feet
Pattering, laughing, spilling with delight.
The Ashvino Twins,
glowing softly bright like the afternoon sun,
Brown eyes bright,
Play with them, laugh with them.
They pick the children up to their shoulders, and hold them tight.
They speak true words to them,
Speaking to them,
never above them or below them,
As children always want to be spoken to.
Children everywhere call them,
Our Big Brothers.

They enter into homes
In the late afternoon
When the sun is high and golden,
When women are baking bread
And making supper.
The women always welcome them in
Because they know what the Ashvino are.
They love them,
In a way different from their husbands,
In a way different than their sons.
The Ashvino bring their children with them.
They bring a quiet, strong joy that lasts long.
After they leave,
The earthen walls speak long after they have gone,
A deep vibration,
Soothing, saying things that words could never speak.
In a house where the Ashvino have sat,
Disease will not lodge
And the fortune of long, lasting happiness will come.
The Twin Brothers bring a warm, contented, deep peace.
They bring fortune that money or riches
Could never bring.
The women know this.
They know about the Ashvino
They know about the Twins.
And that is why
The women are always happy to let the Twin Brothers in.

No one knows where the home of the Ashvino is.
After they pass through a village,
They walk past the outskirts
Out into the rolling plains,
And the Two Brothers
Change into Horses.
They run free in the grasses,
In the wide expanse of the world.
In thunderstorms,
They revel in the pounding rain
Their hooves are like the thunder
And their speed is the lightning.
Their black manes are the wind.

In their bodies runs the strength of a horse.
They know what it feels like to be prey
but they have the mind of a good human king.
They’ve felt the spikes of fear in their own bodies,
And they are sensitive as horses—
they are gentle because of it.
And they know sensitive assertiveness
is better than timid kindness—
they know without it,
the heard falls into fear and strife.
They know what it is to be a predator,
And that as men they are only animal on earth
That has a choice about it.
They are a horse and a man in one,
the best of both.
They are the Ashvino.

Women always love them.
But what men think of them
Depends on the Man.
A jealous man says,
“Get out of my house! Stop messing with my woman!”
An insecure man sees the Twins’ easy, warm confidence,
and feels empty.
A men who thinks himself strong,
but only makes an image of strength on the outside, judges and says,
“They are not really strong. They are too gentle, too kind.”

But a man who strives to be free, wild, kind, and strong,
His heart yearns after them
From deep in his soul.
He wants to be like them.
He wants to run free like them.
He wants to be strong like them.
He wants to be kind like them.

Call to the Ashvino
And the Horse Twins will come running
Quicker than the lightning
Rumbling deep and long like thunder in the earth
With the easy warmth of the afternoon sun,
With the heart of a Horse
And the mind of a Man,
They will come
As your Brothers
And lead you
On the way you yearn to go.

 

Rebecca is a woman who heartily supports the Men’s Movement. On her words: ” We need it now more than ever. I am deep into Jungian studies, and I work daily towards living a responsible, full, conscious life. I have written this piece in the place where men’s and women’s journeys intersect. We often do the same thing in our inner life, while looking at it from slightly different angles. The Ashvino Horse twins are an ancient Indo-European  tradition that I want to bring alive into our world again.”

‘The Heart Grows Smarter’ … here’s how MKP helps.

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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.

Boysen Hodgson

Boysen Hodgson is the Communications and Marketing Director for the ManKind Project USA, a nonprofit mentoring and training organization that offers powerful opportunities for men’s personal growth at any stage of life. Boysen received his BA with Honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, after completing 2 years of Design coursework at Cornell University. He has been helping companies and individuals design the change they wish to see in the world for 15 years. He’s a dedicated husband.

It’s not the End of Men, it’s the End of Forgetting

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A ManKind Project Elder is Murdered, New Warriors across the country mourn the murder of Will Norman, Powerful Bull

by Rick Borutta

Will Norman - in Arizona with the snow - a picture he wanted to share with friends back in Florida.

Will Norman was 76. He was a retired principal living in Florida, a father of two, and a volunteer for youth and church groups. He was a member of the I-Group Gulf Coast Warriors. On Thursday, July 5th, his body was found floating in a canal, the apparent victim of a homicide.

The two suspects were apprehended only one day later. Both 19 year-old boys, they left clues that made it easy for police to find them. They confessed to the murder and to wanting money. One of the boys rented a house owned by Will Norman. A neighbor saw them arguing in the yard only the day before – claiming Will told her that he was threatened by them and he was scared.

October 2011 Florida NWTA

Those of us who staffed with him only three months ago at the Arizona Gateway NWTA are stunned and saddened that the kind, playful, big-hearted guy we met had his life taken from him. Staffing the gateway was a highlight for Will, one of the co-leaders recounted, to be on an NWTA “with his tribe.”

The two men have been charged with premeditated murder. If convicted, they could receive capital punishment and would be the youngest men to sit on death row in the state of Florida according to the Florida Dept. of Corrections website.

*******

EDITOR’S NOTE: by Boysen Hodgson

If you read just one of the articles below about Will Norman, it’s easy to see why being a New Warrior was so powerful for him. He had already lived a life of deep service to others and was widely loved and respected by those he mentored and worked with. MKP was a natural homecoming into a community of like minds.

There is an idea in the culture and the media in the last several years, that somehow we have reached the ‘End of Men’; with women graduating from college at far higher rates, being more successful in the workplace, and gaining cultural power – while men and boys suffer from unprecedented rates of suicide, violence, poor health, and disconnection.

When manhood is treated like a commodity as if it could bought or sold like body spray, or acquired through a cell-phone application or muscle car, this extreme disconnection on the cultural level becomes apparent in tragedies such as the murder of Will Norman and other senseless acts of violence.  Looking at how New Warriors have responded to this terrible tragedy, I believe that it’s not the end of men, it’s the end of forgetting – that manhood is simply the outcome of a hard-won hero’s journey – an initiation into communal understanding of the world.

In our broader culture of men, we seem to have forgotten. We have forgotten what it means to trust, to support one another, to encourage greatness, to tell the truth, to take responsibility for the next generation, to take responsibility for ourselves, to create the structures, institutions, and culture that will make crimes like the murder of Will Norman seem unthinkable.

The powerful outpouring of emotions from men across the country who knew Will, and from many who didn’t, shows the direction we are co-creating with the ManKind Project. It’s a culture that can share grief, and celebrate life, a culture that feels deep anger without seeking vengeance. It’s a culture where men are welcomed and held in the intensity of their emotions rather than turned away, and where men ask ‘What can I do to help’ when they feel most powerless to make a difference.

In the face of this horrible act apparently committed by two young men, New Warriors have expressed compassion and grief for the perpetrators, and wondered how we can help these young men learn a new way … and change the culture that created them.

We have heard it said … “If we do not initiate the boys, they will burn the village down … simply to watch it burn.”

We have stopped forgetting what it means to be conscious men. We are remembering now, more and more each day, that it is our responsibility and our calling to create a ‘new way of being for men.’ In our new way of being, in the world that many of us envision, a 19 year old boy has been mentored, loved, blessed and cared for by conscious men in a community that values connection between all people. In this culture, killing another man, woman, or child; whether because of difference, or for money, or out of rage … is no longer the way.

We know other ways. And we are awake.
And more and more men are waking up with us.

Will Norman
Will Norman
Will Norman

Articles about Will Norman’s life and death:

Where is Your Flag?

January 31, 2012 Leave a Comment
Category: Men and Initiation, Men and Mission 
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by Doug Eadline

The Penn State story has been a constant headline in my local paper. I live in eastern Pennsylvania, so this coverage is certainly not unexpected. Often times, I cannot read all the details of the alleged events that took place in “Happy Valley.” My heart goes out to those boys, because if true, many were selected and groomed as victims due to their socioeconomic status.

I attended college not far from Penn Sate. I loved the bucolic countryside, the friendly people, and the slowness of life that seems to come with distance. Like most small towns, there is not much that happens on one side of the street that the other does not know about, even in State College, the home of Penn State. I find it hard to imagine that this was news to many who lived in the area – particularly those involved with both the football program and charity with which this man participated.

At some point the question must be asked, “Where were the adult men and women in the lives of these boys?” The answer that comes to mind is absent or hiding, or just not there. On further reflection, I ask, “To whom or what did they give away their power, their obligation, to protect our most important and vulnerable asset, our children?” If the stories are true, this man was a serial and sinister sexual predator wrapped in the protective blanket of the “program.”

In the case of Penn State the program was college football, but in a more general sense, the “program” can be any organization or idea to which one surrenders their voice.

Over the past year MKP USA has developed a membership program. The goal, like many other non-profit organizations, is to enroll and invite members to help support their mission. I believe in the MKP mission of creating a safer world by growing better men. We’ve been supporting men to become the best of who they are for over 25 years, and we have impacted hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. MKP USA directly serves nearly 7000 men across the USA every week, providing a safe and challenging environment to confront the tough issues and find new tools for success.

We need men standing up for children and not remaining silent when bad things happen. I know that I have learned a lot about how to stand up for myself and those I love doing this work, and I see a lot of men around me doing the same.

When I see a man find his voice on a New Warrior Training Adventure, I have hope in my heart. When I see a man and his family so utterly connected at a homecoming celebration, I have tears of joy in my eyes. When I see a man remember who he really is and why he is here, I am humbled and speechless.

I am a member of MKP USA for all these reasons and more. I’m not expecting anything in return as a member. I am a member because I believe the world needs the work we do. As I continue to read about all the silent suffering throughout the world today, I long for empowered adults who when witnessing or encountering such events will stand and exclaim, “No! Not today. Not on my watch.” I believe this is happening right now because MKP-USA has invited each man to peal back the blanket of lies and illusions that may have kept him quiet.

My invitation is to join me in supporting this noble mission. I ask that you, as a powerful man, stand with me and plant your flag in the ground and become a member. Your voice is welcome. Our grandsons are waiting, our granddaughters are watching.

Doug Eadline is a New Warrior, writer and consultant in Pennsylvania. His website is Johnny’s Garden

Healing Vets – the Welcome Home Project – 2011update

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by Boysen Hodgson

In February of 2010, I met Bill McMillan in CA when he won the Ron Hering Mission of service award for his work with his wife, Kim Shelton, on a documentary film called “The Welcome Home Project” featuring Michael Meade and 23 combat veterans and those close to them.

Read the original article by Bill McMillan here: http://mankindprojectjournal.org/search/welcome+home

The Welcome Home Project is still going! Screenings are being hosted across the US and overseas for small groups and large groups, in churches and in living rooms.

The intent that Bill, Kim, Michael Meade and the rest of the Welcome Home crew are holding is that this film help people see the cost of war on the men and women who serve … the cost that these men and women keep paying years after their time in the service is over.

In that light – the Welcome Home Project is making the film available for only $5! (just the cost of shipping!). This is a limited time offer, only happening until December 25th. If you are moved by the plight of veterans, this is a great movie to get and share. It’s a beautifully done and heartfelt film that shows the power of personal connection and story-telling to heal the heart of the wounded.

I was moved by this section from a blog entry on the Welcome Home site:

The VA is already maxed out and complaints about lack of access to care or benefits are common enough that it is no longer news.  Suicide rates of up to 19/day among veterans is news that is no longer of much interest to usual news sources.

The truth of this is that Post Traumatic Stress is not really a disorder.  Its simply the natural result of living with the kind of trauma that is endemic to war.  The “disorder” is public numbness about all this.  Democrats or Republicans, or Righties or Lefties can get all worked up depending on what political points they think they can score, but the truth is that the culture expresses many of the symptoms described as PTSD:  psychological numbness, isolation, paranoid thinking, hyper arousal (see our national political climate), depression, anger, etc.

As these thousands of vets are set to return, it is past  time to begin working on healing all this, and what is needed is a courageous willingness by civilians to begin to feel again.  It is time, it is possible, and there are ways.  That is one purpose of the film, The Welcome:  to excite the latent compassion of “we the people”.  Please contact us to see how you might bring the film to your community and how to use it once there.  Talk it up, introduce this idea to your friends and colleagues, get ready to feel again.  It is not about politics, and in some ways it isn’t even about welcoming veterans.  it is about welcoming our own humanity.

Please visit the Welcome Home web site to take advantage of this special offer and feel the power of this beautiful film. Details at: http://www.thewelcomethemovie.com/hostascreeningpurchase/

Best Men’s Books

November 8, 2011 Leave a Comment
Category:  
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This wonderful resource was lovingly complied by Ryan Stanga

Warrior Suggested Reading

From June to August of 2011, an effort was made to develop a short list of “Must-Read” books for men by polling members of the ManKind Project Toronto and selected other Warriors. What follows is a summary of the feedback received.

The list is divided into books suggested by multiple men and those suggested by a single man. Within the first section, books are arranged by “mentions” and then alphabetically by author. Each entry includes the title of the work, the author, publisher, year and a “product description” from Amazon.com.

Updates, suggestions of other works, and/or corrections to the information listed are welcome to Ryan Stanga Please include “Best Men’s Books” in the subject line.

Section 1 – Books Suggested by Multiple Men (“Top 12”)

1. The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of
Women, Work, and Sexual Desire

David Deida, Sounds True, Incorporated, 2006
Mentions: 9

What is your true purpose in life? What do women really want? What makes a good
lover? If you’re a man reading this, you’ve undoubtedly asked yourself these questions – but you may not have had much luck answering them. Until now. In The Way of the Superior Man David Deida explores the most important issues in men’s lives – from career and family to women and intimacy to love and spirituality – to offer a practical guidebook for living a masculine life of integrity, authenticity, and freedom. Join this bestselling author and internationally renowned expert on sexual spirituality for straightforward advice, empowering skills, body practices, and more to help you realize a life of fulfillment, immediately and without compromise.

2. Iron John: A Book about Men
Robert Bly, Da Capo Press, 2004
Mentions: 6

While the men’s movement was already well along at the time, Bly’s controversial 1990 bestseller almost single-handedly brought that movement into the national spotlight. Often lost in discussion of the politics of this book–real or supposed–is the fact that it may represent Bly’s high-water mark as a prose stylist. Bly sustains a complex, multi-faceted discussion of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “Iron John” for over 200 pages, examining the story and its implications from mythological, psychological and everyday perspectives.

3. King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature
Masculine

Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette, Harper San Francisco, 1991
Mentions: 6

King Warrior Magician Lover presents the four basic archetypes of the mature masculine. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette address the increasing number of men searching for the foundations of an authentic, revitalized masculinity that is generative, creative and empowering. By identifying and awakening of the four basic archetypes—using dream analysis, meditation, “active imagination” and ritual process—the authors guide the listener to a fuller, richer, more mature masculine “self.”

4. Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man
Sam Keen, Bantam, 1992
Mentions: 5

A guide to establishing new personal ideals of heroism, strength, and potency for a fuller life examines the stereotypes, myths, and evolving roles of contemporary men, presenting an alternative vision of virtue and virility.

5. Manhood
Steve Biddulph, Random House, 2004
Mentions: 2

Exploring two critical social issues: establishing a healthy masculinity and how men can release themselves from suffocating and outdated social moulds, Biddulph addresses the problems and possibilities confronting men in their daily life. Women have found the book to be a profoundly moving and revealing read; while men acquire recognition and a sense of hope that life can be different. Topics include:–Seven steps to manhood–You and your father – breaking down the defences–Sex and spirit – coming alive–Being a real father -turning your love into action– real male friends – be proud of being male and much more.

6. The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Joseph Campbell, New World Library; 2008
Mentions: 2

Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero’s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.

As part of the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars.

As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists—including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers—and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.

7. No More Mr. Nice Guy – A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex,
and Life

Dr. Robert Glover, Running Press, 2003
Mentions 2

Originally published as an e-book that became a controversial media phenomenon, No More Mr. Nice Guy! landed its author, a certified marriage and family therapist, on The O’Reilly Factor and the Rush Limbaugh radio show. Dr. Robert Glover has dubbed the “Nice Guy Syndrome” trying too hard to please others while neglecting one’s own needs, thus causing unhappiness and resentfulness. It’s no wonder that unfulfilled Nice Guys lash out in frustration at their loved ones, claims Dr. Glover. He explains how they can stop seeking approval and start getting what they want in life, by presenting the information and tools to help them ensure their needs are met, to express their emotions, to have a satisfying sex life, to embrace their masculinity and form meaningful relationships with other men, and to live up to their creative potential.

8. Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
David R. Hawkins, Veritas Publishing, 1995
Mentions: 2

David R. Hawkins details how anyone may resolve the most crucial of all human dilemmas: how to instantly determine the truth or falsehood of any statement or supposed fact. Dr. Hawkins, who worked as a “healing psychiatrist” during his long and distinguished career, uses theoretical concepts from particle physics, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos theory to support his study of human behavior. This is a fascinating work that will intrigue readers from all walks of life!

9. The Elder Within: The Source of Mature Masculinity
Terry Jones, Bookpartners, 2001
Mentions: 2

This is a search both in the world and inside the soul. Jones encourages and celebrates the expression of eldership: an approach to the second-half-of-life that is apparent in expressions like active grand parenting, mentoring and stewardship. The man who embraces elder qualities makes himself available to the young, to his family and the community. He has confidence in the fruits of his long life experience, and wants to seed the future for the sake of the young. Jones imagines men as they enter the retirement years taking on roles such as mentor, mediator and a source of blessing. North American men, however, don’t have models for how to utilize the expanded life span we have today.

We lose ourselves in work for most of our adult lives. Like fathers before us, we have been emotionally distant from our children. We have not developed skills in nurturing our spirit. The elder within is a source of a spiritual and balanced expression of masculinity. The Elder Within shows the relationship between the acceptance of responsibility for stewardship both of people and the earth and the recovery of men from the damage done to their souls in recent history. In the 18th century men became detached from family and community as they moved from farm to factory. Competing for jobs and profit, men forgot the joy of collaboration. In order to survive men learned about asserting power in the workplace. They then returned home and allowed their power to darken the nature of fatherhood and grand-fatherhood. Today we have come to decry abuse by men who beat their wives, perpetuate violence and discriminate against people. These are not mature men. In The Elder Within we celebrate mature men who express mature masculinity.

The focus of the book is men, but women will also enjoy the hopeful potential of mature masculinity. Jones believes men are looking for a next step in the personal growth and healing many of them began in the men’s movement. The Elder Within offers elder, as an alternative to elderly: that stereotype of older people that frightens the young about aging. Eldership, the expression of elder qualities, is a second half of life adventure in modeling mature masculinity. Elder expression fosters consensus rather than conflict. The man or woman who expresses elder energy uses tools of wisdom like meditation, contemplation and active listening. The elder expresses confidence in their long life experience and wants to seed the future by being accessible to and holding the dream for the young.

10. A Circle of Men: The Original Manual for Men’s Support Groups
Bill Kauth, St. Martin’s Griffin, 1992
Mentions: 2

What is the men’s movement? Hundreds of thousands of men all across North America are forming councils, lodges, and participating in “wild man weekends,” inspired by the mythopoetic writings and personal testimonies of such authors as Robert Bly, Sam Keen, and John Lee.

What do you need to be part of it? Robert Bly’s practical advice to his gatherings of men is to go home and form small groups. This book, fifteen years in the making and written by one of the prominent forces in the men’s movement, is the original handbook for forming and guiding these small support circles.

Here’s what this book gives you: This step-by-step manual grows out of Bill Kauth’s two decades of experience with over 125 support groups. It will help the organizer or leader to start a group, find new members, solve group problems, and create rituals and activities that promote honesty, self–disclosure, and fun.

11. The Flying Boy: Healing the Wounded Man
John Lee, HCI, 1989
Mentions: 2

The Flying Boy: Healing the Wounded Man is a record of one man’s journey to find his “true masculinity” and his way out of co-dependent and addictive relationships. It’s a book for all men and women who grew up in dysfunctional families and are now ready for some fresh insights into their past and their pain.

The Flying Boy is a story about feelings – losing them, finding them and finally expressing them. Here you will find people you know; will discover a way out of the pain and see that it really is OK to express yourself without fear.

The book is about grieving, a very misunderstood process often confused with self-pity. The Flying Boy opens doors to understanding – men will understand themselves and each other, and women will more deeply understand men, learn how to be with wounded men and still take care of themselves.

12. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Eckhardt Tolle, Penguin Audiobooks, 2005
Mentions: 2

Eckhardt presents readers with a honest work at the current state of humanity. He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity. Tolle tells us there is good news however…

Section 2 – Books Suggested by individual men

1. Alcoholics Anonymous – The Big Book and the 12 Steps and Twelve Traditions
AA Services, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc, 2002

It’s more than a book. It’s a way of life.

Alcoholics Anonymous – The Big Book-has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First published in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. With publication of the second edition in 1955, the third edition in 1976, and now the fourth edition in 2001, the essential recovery text has remained unchanged while personal stories have been added to reflect the growing and diverse fellowship. The long-awaited fourth edition features 24 new personal stories of recovery.

2. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson
Mitch Albom, Broadway, 2002

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.

3. Naked at Gender Gap: A Man’s View of the War between the Sexes
Asa Baber, Carol Publishing Corporation, 1992

The celebrated Playboy columnist offers his slant on relations between the sexes in a collection of essays with such provoking titles as “Equal Rights for Men,” “Boss Ladies,” and “The L Word.”

4. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
Richard Bach, Delta, 1998

In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders…until he meets Donald Shimoda–former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard’s imagination soar….

In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don’t need airplanes to soar…that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them… and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places–like hay fields, one-traffic-light Midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.

5. Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men’s Healing Work: An anthology for therapists and
others.

Edward Barton (Editor), Bergin and Garvey, 2000

Midlife is the stage of generativity versus stagnation. As a man realizes that he has lived more than half of his life, he will look for new ways to be generative with his family, as a father, in his community, and to others in general. Otherwise, he runs the risk of stagnation.

There is little-published theory, research, or evaluation of men’s programs for men at midlife. There is even less of these types of materials published about men at midlife involved in activities structured in a mythopoetic perspective or about men actively involved in mythopoetic men’s work. This volume fills that void.

6. Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life
Kevin Cashman, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2008

Leadership from the Inside Out is an interactive, reflective journey into the heart of authentic, personal leadership. It gives you the practical tools to grow as a whole person to become a leader for life. Leadership from the Inside Out was named the #1 best selling business book by CEO-READ in 2000.

7. Absent Fathers, Lost Sons: The Search for Masculine Identity
Guy Corneau, Shambhala, 1991

An experience of the fragility of conventional images of masculinity is something many modern men share. Psychoanalyst Guy Corneau traces this experience to an even deeper feeling men have of their fathers’ silence or absence—sometimes literal, but especially emotional and spiritual. Why is this feeling so profound in the lives of the postwar “baby boom” generation—men who are now approaching middle age? Because, he says, this generation marks a critical phase in the loss of the masculine initiation rituals that in the past ensured a boy’s passage into manhood. In his engaging examination of the many different ways this missing link manifests in men’s lives, Corneau shows that, for men today, regaining the essential “second birth” into manhood lies in gaining the ability to be a father to themselves—not only as a means of healing psychological pain, but as a necessary step in the process of becoming whole.

8. Channeling Biker Bob: Heart of a Warrior
Nik Colyer, Henrioulle Publishing Group, 2001

Channeling Biker Bob takes us inside the psyche of Stewart Chance a bewildered ‘new-age’ man who can’t figure out why his sensitivity is neither adored by his wife nor fulfilling to his own sense of manhood.

In a delightfully raucous manner, Stewart’s transformation is propelled via a charismatic yet irreverent Harley-riding spirit named Biker Bob. –This text refers to the Kindle edition.

9. Self-Defeating Behaviors: Free Yourself from the Habits, Compulsions, Feelings,
and Attitudes That Hold You Back

Milton R. Cudney & Robert E. Hardy, HarperOne, 1993

A guide to freeing ourselves from the inappropriate and crippling behaviors that sabotage our success.

10. The whole man program: Reinvigorating your body, mind, and spirit after 40.
Jed Diamond, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002

You can take positive steps toward improving your health and maximizing your passion, productivity, and purpose. Written by the bestselling author of Male Menopause and based on the latest breakthrough information, The Whole Man Program offers proven techniques that will help you reach a whole new level of physical, emotional, and spiritual health. You’ll learn how to lose weight and meet specific fitness goals; prevent heart disease, cancer, depression, and other diseases; put life and love back into your sex life; find your calling and be happy with your work life; and achieve new levels of energy and vitality-and have fun while you’re doing it. So get with the program-start reading The Whole Man Program today and feel better than ever.

11. The irritable male syndrome: Managing the 4 key causes of depression and
aggression

Jed Diamond, Rodale Press, 2004

From the best-selling author of Male Menopause comes another life-transforming book for men-and the women who love them-on overcoming the mood and behavior changes caused by fluctuating male hormones. Jed Diamond presents the most up-to-date research from around the globe to reveal why so many normally loving husbands, fathers, and sons suddenly become irritable, angry, and withdrawn. He identifies the four common triggers of Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS)-fluctuating testosterone levels, biochemical imbalances, loss of masculine identity, and stress-and then shows how best to treat this condition that, research shows, affects up to 30 percent of males, especially those in adolescence and midlife.

Just as PMS is now acknowledged to be a problem in women, IMS-thanks to this book-is gaining recognition as an affliction among men. By revolutionizing the detection, understanding, and treatment of this condition, The Irritable Male Syndrome is bringing relief and happiness back to the lives of millions.

12. Breaking the Shackles
John Everingham, MPC/BEP Press, 2005

Shame is an emotion that many of us don’t recognize easily, and yet it’s usually the basis of addiction, violence, overwork, emotional shutdown, and adopting a ‘false self.’ The good news is that once we recognize it for what it is, shame loses much of its toxicity. Breaking the Shackles is a revised edition of our 1995 book, Men Healing Shame, in which several dozen men write of their experience healing the effects of toxic shame. Among our chapter authors are Robert Bly and Gershen Kaufman. It’s a book written by and for men–using our natural way of saying things, and yet a number of women have found it helpful. A very practical book, with occasional theoretical underpinning.

13. The Myth of Male Power
Warren Farrell, Berkley Trade, 2001

Farrell debunks the myth of male power. He dares to question the image of male-as-oppressor, arguing that this misconception has hindered not only men, but women as well.

14. Lord of the Flies
William Golding, Perigee Trade, 2003

William Golding’s classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. The tale begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of English school boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts. Golding’s portrayal of the collapse of social order into chaos draws the fine line between innocence and savagery.

15. Iron Hans (John)
The Brothers Grimm

This is the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a wild man and a prince, sometimes
known as Iron John.

16. Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
Robert A. Johnson, HarperSanFrancisco, 1993

A bestselling author shows how we can reclaim and make peace with the “shadow” side of our personality. 

17. Good will toward men: Women talk candidly about the balance of power between the sexes.
Jack Kammer, St. Martin’s Press, 1994

A candid testimony about the powers of the feminine from twenty-two accomplished female therapists, scholars, authors, and leaders discusses the subtle tensions between the sexes and calls for a more balanced public discourse about sexism.

18. Heroes of the blue sky rebellion: How you and other young men can claim all the
happiness in the world

Jack Kammer, Healthy Village Press, 2009

Do you wonder why young males don’t seem as energized, motivated, determined, focused and optimistic as females the same age?

One major reason is that the past forty years have been one long, passionate, fierce and joyful pep rally for girls and young women. They can do anything! We adults haven’t provided any such support to boys and young men.

This little book, a quick and easy, boy-friendly read, aims to give young males the emotional boost they sorely need.

Read it for yourself. And let’s make sure boys know they, too, can do whatever they want.

19. At My Father’s Wedding: Reclaiming Our True Masculinity
John Lee, Bantam, 1991

This book is a ground-breaking work about the “Father Wound” and the pain men bear because of it. For most men, Dad was lost to work, routine, drugs, alcohol, wars, T.V., or the pursuit of money and all it could buy. The legacy of the missing father is a life of troubled relationships, addictive behaviors, crises, and a deep inner woundedness that leads to emotional numbness, rage, and unhappiness. In this moving, compassionate, and important book, Lee shows how to get past and over this wound as he shares his own struggle to come to terms with his father and to recover from a troubled childhood. He tells how all men can let go of the past, of false and hurtful images of men and manhood, and reclaim themselves, their sense of identity, and their self-esteem. Lee writes about the many different father types, the different wounds they leave and then points the way to self-understanding and healing.

20. Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment
George Leonard, Plume, 1992

Drawing on Zen philosophy and his expertise in the martial art of aikido, bestselling author George Leonard shows how the process of mastery can help us attain a higher level of excellence and a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in our daily lives. Whether you’re seeking to improve your career or your intimate relationships, increase self-esteem or create harmony within yourself, this inspiring prescriptive guide will help you master anything you choose and achieve success in all areas of your life.

In Mastery, you’ll discover: The 5 Essential Keys to Mastery Tools for Mastery, Mastery and Energy, How to Master Your Athletic Potential, The 3 Personality Types that Are Obstacles to Mastery, How to Avoid Pitfalls Along the Path.

21. A Dynamic Philosophy: For Producing Optimum Health and Vitality Without Diets,
Drugs or Doctors

Wade T. Lightheart, Alliance Press LLC, 2009

This book contains easy to follow Vital Power principles that have been successfully put into practice by thousands of people from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. Profound yet simple. Engaging the formula and mastery for a lifetime, incorporating just a few of these principles can radically change your life.

22. Men and the Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of Men
Michael J. Meade, Harper SanFrancisco, 1994

In the bestselling tradition of Iron John, this masterwork–now available in paperback–uses myths and symbols to provide keen insights into male initiation, power, ordeals, scars, wounds, passion, violence, love, and more. “Meade is a master of the mode.”–New York Times Book Review.

23. The archetype of initiation: Sacred space, ritual process, and personal
transformation.

Robert L. Moore, Xlibris, 2001

Derived from a series of lectures, colloquial discussions, and addresses delivered over a ten-year period, this book urges contemporary healers to utilize pre modern tribal principles of sacred space and ritual process long considered lost or inaccessible to modern culture. Properly prepared “ritual elders” can guide people through ritual steps from (a) the challenge of a life-crisis, into (b) sacred space and time for needed reorganization, and then into (c) a newly transformed personal and social world. Deep, transformative experiences release the energies of a mature commitment and fuel the vision of a global, nontribal community of justice and peace. The steps presented in this book are derive from key concepts in the scholarship of Arnold van Gennep, Mircea Eliade, Joseph Campbell, and Victor Turner, reformulated with new insights from extensive field research and psychoanalytic practice.

The materials presented in this book articulate Robert Moore’s conviction that our species has evolved to the point where we either must continue to provide conscious, creative, and responsible rituals of life that serve the maturation and healing of all its people, or face the alternative of unconscious and destructive participation in rituals of personal, social, and global death.

24.The King Within: Accessing the King in the male Psyche.
Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette, Chicago Theological Seminary dba Exploration
Press, 2007

In this pioneering contribution to masculine psychology, Robert L. Moore, a Jungian psychoanalyst, and Douglas Gillette, a mythologist, examine the inner King-one of the four archetypes of the male psyche. Asleep-as far as Ego-awareness is concerned-for untold generations, the King at the center of every man’s soul is now returning to consciousness. His return is heralded by many men’s growing sense of empowered masculine authenticity and by their enlarged capacity to empower others: other men, their friends and co-workers, the women in their lives, and their children. The inner King integrates power and nurturing, firmness and caring, courage and creativity, self-affirmation and self-sacrifice. From his central position between the world of imagination and the world of action, the King within challenges every man to take up his own scepter, to dream dreams, and to make them come true. This new revised and expanded Text Edition of The King Within recounts, as did the first edition, the many gifts the King can bestow on men. It also offers expanded discussion of techniques for accessing and regulating the King’s powerful energies. Most importantly, it presents, for the first time, a 47-page description of the 16 configurations in which the four archetypes appear in men’s personalities. This additional section includes newly created graphics that illustrate Robert Moore’s ground-breaking “Structural Psychoanalysis,” a new and vital integration of psychoanalytic and spiritual theories that will help men achieve a full and authentic maturity-so as to steward a new and better world into being.

25. Finding Inner Courage
Mark Nepo, Conari Press, 2011

In this book, Mark invites readers to explore their own inner core through the stories of ordinary people, political activists, artists, spiritual teachers from a variety of traditions. These are people who have faced themselves, their warts and weaknesses. They have stood by the courage of their convictions in all kinds of moments, great and small.

Nepo’s insights and commentary are spot on, and help readers relate the stories of others to their own lives. The book is divided into three sections–finding our inner core, standing by our inner core, and sustaining the practice of living from that place. Each of the nearly 60 brief essays and stories elucidates and inspires. Nepo’s broad range of stories and people, of traditions and insights, offers myriad ways for readers to relate to their own search for courage.

26. Letters to My Son: A Father’s Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love
Kent Nerburn, New World Library, 1999

In an attempt to gather what wisdom he could to guide his son into adulthood, Kent Nerburn published a powerful collection of essays that touched the hearts of parents and children everywhere. In this beautiful revised edition, Nerburn refines his advice and expands his thoughts.

27. Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
Scott Peck, Touchstone, 1998

With this first sentence, Dr. M. Scott Peck revolutionized the way we live our lives, and it is no less true today than when it was written twenty years ago.

In this guide to confronting and resolving our problems-and suffering through the changes-we learn that we can reach a higher level of self knowledge. Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of love and understanding, The Road Less Traveled can help us learn the very nature of loving relationships: how to recognize true compatibility; how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become one’s own person; how to be a more sensitive parent.

The Road Less Traveled, a national bestseller for twenty years, will show you how to embrace reality and achieve serenity and fullness in your life. In this brilliant, groundbreaking book, traditional psychological thought and spirituality are challenged and a new understanding is brought into everyday life.

28. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert M. Pirsig, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008

Arguably one of the most profoundly important essays ever written on the nature and significance of “quality” and definitely a necessary anodyne to the consequences of a modern world pathologically obsessed with quantity. Although set as a story of a cross-country trip on a motorcycle by a father and son, it is more nearly a journey through 2,000 years of Western philosophy. For some people, this has been a truly life-changing book.

29. Nature and the Human Soul, Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a
Fragmented World

Bill Plotkin, New World Library, 2008

Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of crisis, Nature and the Human Soul introduces a visionary ecopsychology of human development that reveals how fully and creatively we can mature when soul and wild nature guide us. Depth psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the cycles and qualities of the natural world, a blueprint for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation.

With evocative language and personal stories, including those of elders Thomas Berry and Joanna Macy, this book defines eight stages of human life – Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master, and Sage – and describes the challenges and benefits of each. Plotkin offers a way of progressing from our current egocentric, aggressively competitive, consumer society to an ecocentric, soul-based one that is sustainable, cooperative, and compassionate. At once a primer on human development and a manifesto for change, Nature and the Human Soul fashions a template for a more mature, fulfilling, and purposeful life – and a better world.

30. The song of father-son: Men in search of the blessing
Peter Putnam, iUniverse, 2006

As a son, what words did you desperately want your father to say to you?

As a father, what words from you would change your son’s life?

Putnam’s struggle with the life and death of his own powerful father, his extensive reading of Jung, Bly, and other profound chroniclers of men’s lives, and his work in the New Warrior Training Adventure and the Mankind Project enable him to offer a portrait of the Unblessed son—and a path to The Blessing. The Song of Father-Son moves sons beyond their addictions, their old roles, and their deadened emotions…to their birthright as strong, loving men.

31. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
Matt Ridley, Harper Perennial, 2003

Referring to Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen from Alice Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity’s best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture — including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.

32. The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO: A Remarkable Story about Living Your Heart’s
Desires

Robin Sharma, Hay House, 2003

Once in a while, a book comes along that has the power and the wisdom to speak to the best part of us and awaken our highest selves to the miracle our lives were meant to be. In this truly unforgettable guide, Robin Sharma, author of the national bestseller The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and a man whose life lessons are currently transforming the lives of many thousands of people across the planet, will show you how to access your inner gifts and reshape your whole outer life in the process. With brilliant simplicity and remarkable insight, The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO will teach you:

How to stop betraying your self and live your destiny
Simple ways to feel a rare amount of fulfillment and joy in your days
How to reconnect to your inner child like heart for a more passion-filled life
Lessons to conquer stress, balance life, and feel good about yourself
A proven process that will revolutionize your relationships and fill your life with love
How to restore adventure, simplicity, and prosperity into your life
Powerful principles to become strikingly successful at work
Practical wisdom to help see a gorgeous vision for your future and then make it a
reality

33. Conscious Communication – How to Establish Healthy Relationships and Resolve
Conflict Peacefully while Maintaining Independence

Miles Sherts, Langdon Street Press, 2010

Looking for a better, more effective way, to resolve conflict, have more meaningful
conversations and build relationships? This is it!

We humans spend a lot of time talking, and with cell phones and the internet our daily contacts with each other have exploded. Yet we rarely pay attention to how we communicate, and all this talk has not improved our relationships. Many of us don’t know how to share our feelings and needs without blame, or hear about another person’s experience without judgment. And often we leave a conversation without a deeper sense of understanding or connection.

Conscious Communication offers a new approach which leads to greater understanding instead of further division. Practical skills and basic relationship tools enable us to stay connected while recognizing our differences, and see other people as allies instead of adversaries. As we let go of our impulse to be ”right,” and focus instead on what we need to be happy, we see how joining with other people can dissolve our isolation and provide a real sense of belonging and security.

34. Three Prosperity Classics – The Science of Success: The Secret to Getting What You
Want

Wallace D. Wattles, Sterling Publishing, 2007

Written nearly a century ago, these life-changing 3 books in one have opened the eyes of thousands of people to these timeless, ancient truths guiding readers along a path to wealth, health, success and fulfillment.

35. The Shack
Wm. Paul Young, Windblown Media, 2011

Mackenzie Allen Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.

Contributors
1. Jason Bald (MKP-Toronto)
2. Ed Barton (MKP-Windsor/Detroit)
3. Azam Bhaloo (MKP-Toronto)
4. David Bowland (MKP-Toronto)
5. W. Rick Broniec (MKP-Wisconsin)
6. Marko Carapic (MKP-Toronto)
7. Lamont Daigle (MKP-Toronto)
8. William “Zev” Daniels (MKP-Toronto)
9. Alan Domb (MKP-Toronto)
10. Chris Derry (MKP-Toronto)
11. Bruce Erickson (MKP-Toronto)
12. Robert B. Feagan (MKP-Toronto)
13. Andrew Goad (MKP-Toronto)
14. Matt Hilliard-Forde (MKP-Toronto)
15. Ralph Johnson (MKP-Windsor/Detroit)
16. Alan Park (MKP-Toronto)
17. Bruce Rosove (MKP-Canada East)
18. Michael Schuyler (MKP-Toronto)
19. David Sherman (MKP-Toronto)
20. Paul Strick (MKP-Windsor/Detroit)
21. Morgan Toane (MKP-Toronto)
22. David Tuscany (MKP-Windsor/Detroit)

Does Your Customer Service Live Up to Your Marketing?

November 3, 2011 Comments Off
Category: Fatherhood, Men and Money, Men and Parenting 
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My wife Mary bought a baby carrier the year Alexander was born: 2004.

It’s the kind that lets you wear your baby (or toddler) hands free on your body when you walk around.

The carrier was retired from use last year after our then 3 year old, Miranda, outgrew it.

It lasted through two (very large and still growing) children, traveled around the world (Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and back), and five trips to the shoemaker for repairs.

It’s tattered and torn.

Saying that it’s rough around the edges is putting it mildly.

Recently, when we were cleaning out the house, Mary found it, and talked about how hard it was to part with it.

It’s a relic of a very special time of our family.

Before parting with it, Mary went to the company’s website.

On the company’s home page, she read:

We pride ourselves on superior customer service and high quality products. Should you have any questions regarding the proper use of our products, or any other questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service department at: (xxx) xxx-xxxx

On the About page, she read:

We welcome customer comments and input. We receive many testimonials about the life changing stories parents have experienced with the baby Carrier. We value our customers, and respond to every inquiry we receive. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

There’s also a testimonial page, filled with glowing stories and pictures of parents and their happily carried babies.

Mary isn’t looking to buy a new carrier.

She just wanted to connect with the people who made a product to which we’re emotionally attached.

She dialed the customer service number.

After being on hold for a while, Mary finally got a live person.   Mary explained,

Yes, I’ve had a carrier I bought in 2004, and it’s been around the world with us and our kids.  It got so much use that we’ve had it mended numerous times at the shoemakers in town.   I was wondering if you’d like some pictures of it, or a story about it for your website.

The Customer Service Rep answered in a cool monotone voice:

Well, we’ve made a lot of changes since you bought your model.

Silence.

Mary replied:

So, I guess you wouldn’t be interested in any photos or anything?

Silence.

Finally:  No.

End of conversation.

Not a single question was asked of Mary.

Not a single acknowledgement was made of Mary.

Not a single shred of empathy for a customer who had taken time out of her day only to connect and thank you for your product.

Mary told me:  When I got off of the phone, I was nearly in tears.

Does your customer service live up to your marketing?

 

Alain Hunkins leads personal and professional development trainings for individuals, teams and organizations. Over the last two decades, Alain has facilitated for over a thousand groups, ranging from at-risk youth to Fortune 500 executives. He moves between the educational, artistic, not-for-profit, government and corporate worlds. His corporate clients span nearly every industry. Companies include: Reckitt-Benckiser, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Citigroup, United Technologies and Coach. Alain is currently Senior Facilitator & Vice President, Business Development for Eagle’s Flight. His work has taken him to nearly every state in the USA, as well as Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, France, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, South Africa, and Taiwan. Alain sharpened his facilitation skills as an Educational Consultant in New York City, developing programs on many subjects, including Conflict Resolution, Networking, Customer Service, Communication, and Leadership.

Alain earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College and his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee Professional Theater Training Program. He is a certified Leadership Challenge & MBTI facilitator, as well as a certified co-leader for ManKind Project International, whose mission is to help men lead missions of service in their families, communities, and workplaces. A native of Queens, NY, Alain calls the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts home, where he faces his greatest leadership challenge yet: raising his young children, Alexander & Miranda. Alain completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1995.

Five Friends, the Movie

May 31, 2011 1 Comment
Category: Men and Relationship, Reviews 
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Creating ‘Quality Male Relationships’ in an age of Bros

by Boysen Hodgson

Love ya, bro.

These words come easily for many men. Uncommitted words that put little at risk, words now offered between men who barely know one another. Words that Seth Rogen might self-consciously mutter as the summit of his capacity for relationship in a film like The Green Hornet (we’ll assume here that Seth knows better, and is simply playing characters who typify the man-child mentality being discussed these days in the New York Times). We’re a culture of ‘bros’. It’s what nice guys say to one another to create a sense of camaraderie in a world of men largely lacking in community. ‘Bros’ are symptomatic of a culture of shallow promises and mistrust, of persona over personal vulnerability.

I think we are turning a corner as a culture, and this film shows it. Five Friends is a movie that inspires ‘bros’, ‘buds’ and ‘dudes’ to reach for something more in their relationships – with themselves and with each other.

Watch the trailer:

Five Friends is about men learning to commit to their friendships, to their personal growth, to moving beyond the culture of transactional manhood and into the world of ‘Quality Male Relationships’. In archetypal terms – it’s a story about Princes and Kings – about moving out of the self-serving narcissism of the Prince and into the sovereignty, sense of purpose, and knowledge of mortality that a King uses to build his relationships. It’s a story told across three generations of men examining what it means to be a father, a businessman, a mentor, a friend – willing to share the journey of manhood with intimacy despite a culture suspicious of close male friendships (especially between heterosexual men).

The movie takes us inside the friendships of Hank Mandel, who has spent a lifetime building close relationships, through business, through his marriage and child-rearing years, through his entrance into elderhood. It’s a series of vignettes, tied together by questions the film-maker (Erik Santiago) is facing as he prepares to welcome his first son into the world. How will I teach my son how to be a man? What does it take to build and maintain a deep quality male relationship? Where did we men learn that staying distant from one another was the ‘manly’ thing to do? How do we handle conflict?

When will we collectively learn that we don’t have to do it alone?

I love you.

Three terrifying words for many men. They are words of commitment, feeling, courage, vulnerability. They are words that come slowly to many men even in their primary romantic relationships. They are words that many men are afraid to say … even to themselves. This movie makes it clear how tragic a loss to our world this is. And it fits with my experience. I can’t imagine returning to a life of relationships with men, straight, gay, rich, poor, black and white where ‘I love you’ was no longer an option to share how I feel or to be blessed by another man. Life simply feels too short to be shackled by that kind of male socialization any longer.

My relationships with all people, men and women, are strengthened by my ability to be lovingly and deeply connected to men in friendships. The ManKind Project has been a primary motivation for developing this kind of male relationship for me, and for a lot of other men in the world. The process of going through a modern initiatory experience and sitting in a circle of men makes it clear without a doubt that I am not alone in what I feel, think or experience as a man, and that it is possible to trust men and have them for support and challenge in a way that builds me up for success in the world.

Five Friends is beautifully shot, simply and tastefully edited, funny, painful, poignant, and backed up with some great interviews from experts on masculinity, including Michael Kimmel. It’s a warm welcome home, in 70 minutes.

I watched the film the first time with my wife, on our sofa. When it was done, I immediately went and emailed the film-maker. I knew that I had to make a connection between the ManKind Project and Five Friends. My interactions with the men behind the film, Erik Santiago and Hank Mandel, have been as comfortable and open as the film itself. I believe this film will be useful in moving the discussion of male intimacy beyond most of what is offered in the media today. It is a bridge between what most men have experienced and what we know as men bonded by a life-changing shared journey.

Boysen and Hank

Hank Mandel and Boysen Hodgson

I saw Five Friends a second time in May, 2011 in Connecticut at a public screening at Billings Forge in a good sized crowd of men and women of all ages – and witnessed again its impact. It definitely makes some men squirm, but they also seem to feel the import of what they are seeing. Most women who see the film understand it immediately. The young men in the audience spoke up about how necessary this conversation is to men their age … and of their longing for connections across the generations. Hank answered questions on the film with humor, with humility and with an open heart for the praise that was shared.

I hope that Five Friends will soon become a regular part of the ManKind Project outreach efforts with public screenings and discussions. Hank brought along some workbooks to go along with the film, which provide a good introductory exploration on the importance of building quality male relationships. Hank is also offering work-shops on developing deeper male relationships.

When I reflect on my time in men’s groups – I see a strong opportunity to take this discussion even deeper into the role of ‘bonded male community’ in our culture. I can’t think of any men better to carry this message and share our gifts than the men of MKP. Be on the look-out for more information as the film is ready for distribution for public screenings. The film is now available for purchase at the Five Friends web site – and will soon be made more widely available with public screening licenses.

Thank you Erik and Hank. I’ll be seeing you. Visit fivefriendsmovie.com for more information.

Boysen Hodgson

Boysen Hodgson is the Communications and Marketing Director for the ManKind Project USA, a nonprofit mentoring and training organization that offers powerful opportunities for men’s personal growth at any stage of life. Boysen received his BA with Honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, after completing 2 years of Design coursework at Cornell University. He has been helping companies and individuals design the change they wish to see in the world for 15 years. He’s a dedicated husband.

Welcome Home Project helps veterans heal by sharing war burdens with the community

June 20, 2010 Leave a Comment
Category: 2010 June - Mental Health 
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(Warning:Video  clip contains explicit and graphic language.)

by Bill McMillan

Feeling frustration over the lack of connection we felt with millions of returning veterans, my wife, Kim Shelton, and I had the crazy idea of creating a program called The Welcome Home Project. We wanted to become more involved with veterans and to offer a way for the larger civilian community to actively participate in the return of our soldiers.

To support our work with veterans, we invited author, mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade to bring to the project his genius for working with myth, stories and traumatized communities.  Michael joined us as a co-sponsor and facilitator.

On the afternoon of May 22, 2008, twenty three men and women, including five spouses or partners, arrived for a five-day retreat at the Buckhorn Springs Retreat Center in southern Oregon. Each was a  veteran or war— Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, or other conflicts — or involved in marriages and partnerships dominated by memories of war.

These veterans came to the retreat with the hope of finding a new way to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They sought a new way to understand themselves and who they had become. Each of them lived with PTSD. They felt nervous and uncomfortable in the new situation. They faced unknown people, an unfamiliar place, histories of inadequate approaches to PTSD, plus an unusual notion of working with the emotional trauma of war and its aftermath through stories, myths, song, and their own poetry.

Remarkably, they came to this retreat knowing that at the end they would be presenting themselves to the public in a large community “Welcome Home” ceremony. They came to the retreat knowing they would be the subjects of an intensely personal documentary film.

For the next five days, these courageous men and women formed what Michael called a “sudden community;” they began to explore what it means to heal from their experiences of war.

For the next five days, these men and women experienced deep conflicts and dark personal anguish. They experienced a slow coming together of men and women who felt understood  and supported as only other veterans can understand and support each other.

The veterans listened to ancient stories about war and healing, and they began to tell their own stories. They listened to each other and began to unfold the beauty that — along with pain — lies at the heart of tragedy. To express this beauty, they wrote deeply personal poetry describing their reality, both in war and at home.

Finally, on Memorial Day 2008, the veterans presented themselves with their poetry, songs and stories to an audience of more than 600 men and women, many veterans themselves, who came to honor and receive these warriors back into the community, to truly welcome them.

This coming together of veterans and the civilian public has been missing in the media coverage of Post Traumatic Stress and the accompanying risks of suicide, divorce, substance abuse, and other expressions of inner torment. Without the wider community becoming open and willing to accept from veterans everything that comes home from war with them, millions of veterans and their families are destined to live in cold isolation, reminded only of the wars they fought, not of the wisdom they now can offer, wisdom the rest of us need.

Kim and I today are editing a feature length documentary film about the 2008 Welcome Home retreat and public ceremony.  Here is a powerful clip from Voices of Vets:


(Warning: Film clip contains explicit and graphic language.)

Editor’s Note: Voices of Vets will be distributed to local communities around the U.S. to inspire similar events, greater awareness and a long overdue dialogue between warriors and the civilian public. To support their efforts, you can help by spreading the word, making direct donations to The Welcome Home Project, or introducing the co-sponsors personally to men and women of influence and means who may be interested. You also can become a fan on facebook. For more information, contact Bill McMillan at 541-821-4798.

Bill McMillan is a licensed MFT who has worked with families, teenagers, substance abuse and trauma for more than twenty years. An active leader with Boys To Men,  he has worked in schools in Missouri, Pennsylvania, California, and Oregon. He now devotes himself full-time to working on The Welcome Home Project and veteran’s issues with his wife, Kim Shelton.

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P.S. Another worthy program for veterans by some MKP members is Vets Journey Home.

Men’s Resources

July 15, 2009 Comments Off
Category:  
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MKP Links | MKP Members’ Programs | Men’s Publications | Men’s Info Resources



MKP Links | MKP Members’ Programs | Men’s Publications | Men’s Info Resources


Programs Created by MKP Members

  • Boys to Men - Boys To Men Mentoring Network.
  • Couples Weekend – For deeper levels of love, intimacy, acceptance, and trust.
  • Hollow Bones – An American Rinzai Zen School.
  • Inner King – An initiation into that “Kingly Way Of Being.”
  • Inside Circle Foundation - Personal growth among incarcerated men.
  • Vets Journey Home – Vet’s Journey Home is a weekend program and ongoing support to help veterans heal and recover from the deep scars left by exposure to combat.
  • Jericho Circle Project - Personal growth among incarcerated men in the northeast.
  • Warrior Monk – Training for men and women in transition.
  • The Welcome Home Project – Poetry, storytelling and community for veterans.
  • Elderhood Reflection Series – An interactive educational experience that can help a man understand the concept of elderhood and develop elderlike behaviors. It is based on the seven stages of the MKP elders, Elder Jounrey. The concepts and exercises are based on material found in three books: by Terry Jones, The Elder Within (Bookpartners, Wilsonville, Oregon, 2001), Elder: A spiritual alternative to being elderly (Elderhood Institute, West Linn, Oregon, 2006) and one by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, From Age-ing to Sageing, Warner Books, New York, 1995).
  • HER Weekend - “Healing, Empowerment, Release” – San Diego, CA based organization for women.
  • Woman Within - Opportunities for women to discover the power of who they are.
  • Women in Power - An opportunity for women to initiate themselves to the predator within.

A listing on this page does not constitute an endorsement by or for The ManKind Project.

 


MKP Links | MKP Members’ Programs | Men’s Publications | Men’s Info Resources


Men’s Publications

A listing on this page does not constitute an endorsement by or for The ManKind Project.


MKP Links | MKP Members’ Programs | Men’s Publications | Men’s Info Resources


Men’s Information Resources

A listing on this page does not constitute an endorsement by or for The ManKind Project.


If you wish to suggest a link for this resource page, please contact the editor.


Report from South Africa: Drawing on personal reserves and the community

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by Anthony Eldridge Rogers

In these uncertain times, I find myself sitting in the Western Cape of South Africa. Today in midwinter is cold — not cold by many standards, yet chilly for us. This current drop in temperature mirrors a drop in confidence among men and women about their collective futures. For men working to feed and sustain their families, now is a time for deeply drawing on their personal reserves and community with others, men in particular.

In this space, The ManKind Project South Africa looks to the future and how we may be of service. Our mission is clear in many respects. We strive to broaden our base to become truly diverse and inclusive. We strive to acknowledge the shadow of economic and racial discrimination. Lastly, we strive to reach out farther and farther with open hearts.

Few moments are more awe-inspiring during a New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) in South Africa than standing on the Johannesburg training site situated a few kilometres from the Cradle of Mankind. Evidence suggests that all life began in Africa, so many of us can trace our roots back to this continent (if we go back 150,000 years).

For MKP SA, the year has been challenging and productive. Our two South African centres have completed three fully-subscribed NWTA’s with two more scheduled by the end of the year. In addition, we have run three “Head, Heart and Soul” trainings for various constituencies of young men, introducing them to personal growth work within men’s circles.

We celebrated this year the certification of two new co-leaders, Rurik McKaiser and Craig Henen. These certifications  allow us to conduct more “home-led” NWTA weekends, reduce the cost (and environmental impact) of transporting outside leaders to South Africa, reduce the load on our two existing co-leaders, and shine a light more brightly for other men in the community wishing to step into leadership.

We also welcomed a new Centre Director, Andrew Fulton, who has brought a sharp clear energy and a sure sense of humour to the business of the community.

One forthcoming highlight of 2009 will be welcoming MKP co-founder Rich Tosi to our country. In August, Rich will lead our NWTA in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Together with his wife, Char, they are scheduled to lead a weekend workshop for couples.

AnthonyRogers Anthony Eldridge Rogers is a coach and mentor living in Cape Town, South Africa. He specialises in recovery coaching based on  29 years of experience in 12 step living. His background is in the media, film, tv & marketing and has worked as director, producer, writer.

‘New Warrior’ men make good fathers

June 21, 2009 Leave a Comment
Category: Fatherhood, Men and Parenting 
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by Steve Norcross

Once again, the third Sunday in June is Father’s Day. Greeting card publishers, clothing manufacturers, distilleries, and long-distance phone operators are hoping to realize a profit from the once-a-year obligation many feel to honor their dads. I hope my own kids, at least, call and wish me well, tell me that they love me.

I’m put in mind, this time of year, to recall and honor my fathers and grandfathers. I hope to be so honored by my descendents.

The New Warrior Training Adventure offers – among other opportunities – the chance to face, honestly and courageously, those important people in our past who contributed to our lives, or who prevented us from becoming the men we could be.

For most of us, parents were the most important people in our childhood. Our mother and father both emerge as having a huge influence during the NWTA. Many men going through the weekend choose to confront their mom and/or their dad.

Flawed as our parents were, the new warrior men (graduates of the NWTA) who choose to move on in life will deal cleanly with their memories of how they were raised.

The lessons we  learn during the New Warrior Training Adventure soon begin to become integrated in our daily lives – where we work, where we play, and where we live.

I came home from my weekend (Camp Melacoma, Washington, February 1998) resolved to not repeat the same kinds of mistakes that I judge my father had made. I intended to be a better father to my grown children. In some ways, I am succeeding.

Below are the some of the lessons from my weekend that now support my resolve to become a better father.

All of me is welcome here

Looking back to my family of origin, I realize that only some of me was welcome. “Nice” was an enormously operative word in that time and place.

In contrast, when we check in at a gathering of our men’s integration group (i-group), we admit clearly, cleanly, and honestly what we are feeling. There is no censorship or shame about sharing honest feeling.

Clean emotional expression was not permitted in my home, possibly due to verbal violence in my parents’ past. The new warrior dad will welcome his children’s honest expression of emotion. He will demonstrate by his own example, by his acceptance of their emotions, that whatever they feel is welcome.

I statements

Looking back, I realize that I really didn’t know my dad. He rarely shared with me (or anyone else) his innermost feelings and thoughts.

The warrior dad begins to speak for himself, and only for himself. This lets the kids know where their dad stands and who he is. It can make a child’s day to hear his dad say, “I’m really happy with the way you did that.”

Be the man in my kid’s life

We suffer in the U.S. from a national tragedy of absent fathers. Even when dad might live at home, he’s often not around the house very often. When he is home, he’s not really emotionally present.

New warrior dads are given the chance to claim back their balls, especially if they lost them to their moms or their mom’s replacement, be she a wife or a female partner.

I clearly remember my dad warning me not to upset my mom, because once she grew unhappy, she would make life miserable for him and everyone else in the house. I judge that my dad had resigned his job as a parent, in deference to her, which has caused immense trouble for me as an adult male.

New warrior men can turn this around for themselves. We do not expect our partners (female or male) to do all the parenting for us. We show our boys (and girls) what it means to be a strong man in the family.

Provide leadership in my world

Children, especially boys, are looking for strong male role models. They want men they can respect, who will respond to them openly and honestly.  They want men who will set boundaries for safety yet also support their courage to break the rules if it does not endanger them.

During the course of the NWTA weekend, new brothers will be challenged to be all these things, and more. If you take the training, for instance, the changes in you will make a real  difference in your kids’ lives. They are looking for you to be a leader in their lives and your own, to show them how to be a leader.

Through mentoring your children through the years, how would it feel if the difference you make in your children’s lives leads them to become strong leaders?

Show up and be here now

A man’s life is pulled in many directions. Any job, especially in recessionary economies, challenges us to work more and more, harder and harder – just to hang on to the job. Outside of employment, the activities  we have chosen can enrich us but can also ask a lot from us (men’s work being a sharp example!).

Coming home from staffing an NWTA weekend, for example, I may be tempted to retreat into a book or a drink or collapse in bed, a video or the computer for escape. First, though, my focus is on my partner, and then my focus is on the kids. When it’s time for my family at home, they deserve all of me, not half of me because I’m still working in my mind or still caught up in the world.

New warriors  know how to focus, to be here now, to devote 100 percent attention to the present moment. Our brothers will call us on our inattention if our minds appears to be somewhere else. Our children may not be so up front with us, yet they still deserve full attention, our full presence.

For these and for other reasons, new warrior men make better fathers. One man, and one family at a time, we are making a gigantic difference for ourselves, for our sons and daughters, and for our world.

Experiencing Father’s Day in June with a phone call, a new necktie and a greeting card may be all that some men ever get. For the New Warrior dad, every day can be a father’s day. By being a real man, an authentic gift to your children,  in due time, the blessings of your love will return to you a million times over.

SteveNorcross Steve Norcross is a leader in the MKP Northwest and Portland Councils. An Episcopal priest, he is the director of pastoral services at William Temple House and the Priest-in-Charge at Ascension Parish. He is married with two grown children and a granddaughter on the way. snorx.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Journal

June 11, 2009 Leave a Comment
Category: Fatherhood, Men and Parenting 
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flashnewsWelcome to the home of The Mankind Project Journal. We hope you become a regular reader in the years ahead.

The Journal aims to serve “new warriors” and the general public. The quarterly web magazine will feature articles, essays and other works exploring diverse men’s issues. Other reports will cover MKP activities worldwide.

The debut edition went live shortly after the Solstice globally, which coincided with Father’s Day, celebrated in more than 50 countries around the world on the third Sunday of June. Therefore, “fatherhood” was the theme of the first edition, approached from a variety of viewpoints. If you have a father, or if you are a father, please explore the powerful and provocative first edition of the The Mankind Project Journal.