The Long Journey Home
A year ago I decided to step away from one of my passions, leading men's work. As I stood in the doorway about to enter into this abyss, I felt both fear and loss and wondered what would come of this experience. A year off seemed to be an eternity. Well, now I'm not sure a year is long enough! This has been a rich time for me. As I had coached many men to do, I slowed down in order to be aware of what was inside. At first, the results of my hiatus were more obvious to my wife than to me. I was more available to her and to our children. The hours formally spent phone calling, preparing and organizing were now devoted to being with my family. Then, as in the practice of meditation, internal process began. Here is where the journey began to take me where I had been too busy to go--into pain and the deep questions of my soul. Although there were times of great discomfort and many tears, I also found lightness where there had been darkness.
Vulnerability became a new tool I placed in my emotional tool-box. I now have this wonderful and powerful tool, the open and vulnerable heart. As Maslow stated, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." After this year I am no longer limited to the "hammer."
It is with the deepest of gratitude that I thank my mentor and guide, Michel Madden, for his loving and committed guidance that always showed me the way to my highest self I'm Back!
I look forward to being with and guiding men in "circle" where the active ingredient is courage, where the compass is our soul and heart questions, and where the intention is intimacy. Some would advise me not to use the word intimacy, because many men, even the "enlightened", get nervous around the notion of intimacy. How does it land for you?
As with all of us, my own process was profoundly impacted. by the events of September 11th. The words and actions I heard and saw, especially from those in the public forum, were to rebuild, and to unite, with the message that we will be stronger. While the prime minister of Israel called for a day of mourning, we in the United States got busy-- certainly necessary. However, I've been wondering, what have we as a nation done with our feelings? Here is such an overt example of how men in our culture are trained not to feel. The men's movement struggles against his overriding message. So, what are you doing with your feelings? I realize that I've over simplified a very complex and painful event in our world's history, yet if we do not have the courage and willingness to look inside as individuals and as a nation, what hope is there of healing?