11.30.2010

Your NWTA and MKP Experience

Readers: This post provides real men's experiences for you to read. I gain these contributions by asking fellow MKP men to contribute. Depending on how you get here you may need to click on the comments link below to see the contributions.

ManKind Project Men: The intention here is for MKP men to share with this blog's readers their experiences with the ManKind Project and the New Warrior Training Adventure; share the changes, the journey, the insights, whatever moves in you. I would like to see every initiated man post his experience with NWTA. A man can dream, can't he? Since it's easiest to post as anonymous (no Blogger account needed), please sign the end of your post with your animal name, NWTA location, and date. Click on the comments link, below, to leave your piece.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf

17 comments:

  1. I completed my training in October 1999 at Camp Krem outside of Santa Cruz, CA.

    The training was a dynamic, tangible change in my life.

    I walked in fearing and not trusting men. I had no real men friends; no men friends to turn to be real and “me” with. I walked out looking at the world in a new way. I had faced many of my fears and survived. I found a space to trust men.

    The NWTA and my further involvement in MKP, in my iGroup, staffing two trainings, sharing my journey with other men, have opened doors I never dreamed were available.

    There is not one place that the NWTA has not touched in my life. It gave me tools to be a better me: a better listener; a stronger, confident Father; a compassionate, strong, loving husband; a friend to other men; a man willing to risk; a man standing in his power and grace; a man among men.

    The journey continues… changing the world one man at a time.

    Old-faithful Wolf
    Camp Krem, CA
    October 1999

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  2. Anonymous5/04/2005

    Cool blog, I for one was very suspicious of mkp going into the weekend training. I saw it as cultish or as new agey play-acting. What I got was exposure to authentic men who wanted me to be the best I could be. I have taken my experience and run with it, staffed for the first time a few weeks ago and generally been very active in my community. I have been in other self-help/awareness groups and activities and never have had the mind blowing experience I get now. For the first time I know what I want in the world, how I can improve the world around me and be secure in how I show up in everything I do. The day I started in mkp was the day I stopped giving my power and identity away to other people.

    Racoon
    Camp Butterfly, St. Louis
    October 2004

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  3. Anonymous5/04/2005

    I did my NWTA in April 2001. By that time I'd spent 31 years in corporate IT and consulting work. I was 51 years old and getting tired of the daily office grind, dictatorial bosses, and the repeated cycle of work my ass off, then get laid off, then go into depression while looking for the next job. I had been divorced twice.

    I'd already started a spiritual journey when MKP found me. I had no expectations about the weekend; I'd gone because a man I trusted said I should go.

    On that weekend I discovered my life's purpose -- a mission of service to the world that was bigger than my own selfish needs and wants.

    In the iGroups I became a part of after the weekend, I found men who were willing and able to take me to the deepest depths of my soul and back. They helped me reclaim those parts of myself that were golden. And find those parts of me that I really didn't want to see, but were running my life.

    They helped me find the power and determination I needed to become very successfully self employed in a new field. Along the way I've met men from around the world with the same passion and purpose for life that I feel every day. Four years later, I choose sitting in a circle of New Warriors every week as an anchor in my life. It keeps me grounded and conscious. It keeps me challenged to be purposeful about my life.

    I'm happy about the man I've become since my initiation. When I asked the man who invited me how I could ever return the favor, he said "Give the gift to other men". And I do, every chance I get.

    Perfect Storm
    Camp Wathana, Holly, MI
    April 2001

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  4. I wrote about my NWTA experience in my weblog back in October 2002. Here's that entry.

    What I didn't mention in the original article is that I found a piece of Sprit within me that weekend, and touched on that divine spark.

    Wolverine who walks with Dragon
    Bedford, IN
    October 1997

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  5. Anonymous3/13/2006

    Going to an all-boy's HS & College, I never thought I'd do anything all-men ever again, much less a men's training.

    My big issue was TRUST (I couldn't really trust you, myself, God or anyone), so my transformation didn't fully happen on the Weekend itself, but as a result of persistence -- staying with my I-group (even when uncomfortable), then stepping up to take on volunteer jobs, etc., despite often being discouraged ("You're so in your head: you're not really cut out to do this 'heart' work, are you?").

    Yet, it's because of doing that Weekend, then staying with this work, that now I DO trust -- other men, God, myself and women (probably came in that order, too). After living in my own castle with no doors, windows or drawbridge, surrounded by an alligator-infested moat, I finally figured out how to chisel out a hole and at least throw out a rope ladder.

    After being the ultimate "flying boy," I finally married at age 55 -- and 9 months later this only son of an only son got a son of his own (who'll be needing college tuition when I'm 77, sigh!). My wife also has trouble trusting (imagine that!), yet I KNOW (not hope, expect, or even believe, but KNOW) that this marriage will only die when one of us does.

    What changed in me? I finally could tell my inner critic (the one that said no woman was good enough or safe enough) to go take a hike -- not just once, but every day for weeks -- that I knew what I was doing! And I had the courage because I finally saw miracles unfolding before my eyes, realized miracles had often happened before in my life (and even my atheist father's life, too), but it took trusting "the universe" to finally SEE them, and lots of persistence to stay with this new way of thinking for 7 years before I finally felt the results inside (an inner shift).

    I've known many men with different issues who "got it" immediately on the weekend itself; but for me, who once trusted nobody, it took a lot longer, but now, seeing my joyful life, all I can say is, "Wow!"

    At age 50, I was sure I would die alone. Now I have 2 new families: my in-laws, and my Warrior Brothers. I also now know it's MY CHOICE as to how I choose to view things: if I believe I'm alone, then I will be; if instead I believe that I'm connected to everyone else on the planet and to the Divine, then that's how I will be!

    Blessing Owl with Balls
    Haimowoods, WI
    May, 1991
    (Now living in New England)

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  6. Anonymous3/27/2006

    My NWTA weekend was held in the Adirondacks, about an hour north of Albany. It snowed every day there, just flurries and an occasional passing squall that would add a layer to the snow on the ground. Spring hadn't arrived there yet, which was an adjustment coming from DC. But the crystal pure air and coldness gave the weekend a purity and privation that added to the experience, IMHO. And by Sunday I was so blase about the weather that when we went out for the closing picture I didn't even bring my jacket, although it was 31 degrees F out. A flannel shirt and jeans was fine while standing in the sun, and I brought my ice cream from dinner :) The other major difference that I could see from a recent DC course whose graduation I attended was the ethnic mix - or lack thereof - in Albany. In DC there were all types there - Albany was very white, with one man of hispanic origin. But as the weekend went on I realized that it was a different ethnic mix - there were several French-Canadians, a couple of Germans, a Norwegian and a Frenchman in the group. In both places there were a few gay men in the group, which basically went unremarked upon except as in a fairly matter-of-fact way.

    The people who staff the weekends amaze me. Almost all of them pay their own way to do it, and they are very good at what they do. Through focus groups, guided visualizations and other exercises they help the participants focus on their own lives. Although some people do consider it their life's work, it's not a cult - cults tend to tell you how you lead your life (insert parallel to organized religion here, if you like) where the goal of the MKP is to help you find your mission and live it. There were more staff there than people taking the course, and that's by design. Everyone takes the journey. For me, I ended up not even focusing on the things that I thought I'd be focusing on - feelings of self-doubt/worth, becoming comfortable with being angry, being able to receive love. The staff helped me realize that there was a common thread under all those issues, a feeling of not being special. This grows out of many, many things from growing up as a twin to distracted/distant family to a father who would occasionally tell my brother or myself "we have a spare, you know" when we were acting up. Reclaiming that sense of being comfortable being unique, and not feeling as much of a need to rebel against not being considered unique, is a good thing for me. I have no illusions that all the problems in my life are solved - life isn't that simple *grin*. I am interested in doing some follow-up work with the local groups, so I expect that the MKP will become a regular part of my life.

    Serene Lion
    Albany, NY
    March 2006

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  7. Anonymous8/09/2006

    My weekend was part of my journey - and a part that was key. I learned about courage, community and living with purpose and I truly loved every minute of the challenege. I encourage other men to go and to join a community of men who are involved in every walk of life, in many countries>

    ApeChild,
    Camp Wathana, Holly MI, 2005

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  8. My weekend was almost 6 years ago, and it still ranks as the most powerful weekend of my life. I've become passionate about the work, and I credit my circle of men with helping me through some major events of my life, including my mother's death and the sale of my company. This work is so powerful. I've since staffed 19 weekends, and am writing this in an airport as I prepare to leave for South Africa to staff one there. Blessings for your blog and your passion.

    Willie Baronet
    Glorious Cheetah
    December 2000
    Land of my Grandfathers

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  9. Anonymous11/27/2006

    aho old faithful wolf.

    thanks for maintaining this blog in the public space of the internet.

    i used this blog as a "bogusity check" when i was considering enrolling for my weekend. your blog was useful.

    i am affiliated with the nw center. since initiation in 02/06 i've returned to staff twice. my most recent staffing was at a deaf/hh staffing in the houston center.

    this is powerful work. i have never felt so challenged and supported as a man. i find that many of my own preconceived limitations are vanishing.

    one interesting objection about the nwta by those who question the validity is the cost. cost is a funny thing. what am i worth as a man? who determines that? how is that determined?

    those are nice abstract questions. but, one thing tangible thing i will stand by is that if i tallied up the cost of training and compared it to the costs of liquor i would have consumed in the intervening year, and the costs of bank overdraft charges and late fees for credit payments, i have ended up a richer man. i'm more accountable, i pay bills on time. i'd like to hear others experiences.

    i'm out- well no i'm in- oh hell, you know what i mean ;>)

    jim, dreaming bear
    I co-create masculine healing ceremony by honoring my vision and
    intuition.

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  10. I am fresh my weekend NWTA here in Tucson, and an adventure it was!

    How wonderfully encouraging it is to stumble upon your blog; thank you.


    Beautiful Horse
    Whispering Pines, Mt. Lemmon, Tucson, AZ
    1/26-28, 2007

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  11. Anonymous3/08/2007

    I've been subscribing to this blog for a few months via RSS, and this post just appeared.

    Well, like many men, I was invited by a friend repeatedly over the course of two years before I said Yes. As it turned out, six of the staff members were friends of mine.

    It was, as others have said, a step in a journey. It was a step that helped me, a man in my mid-40s, reconnect in a positive way with my dad, providing new positive energy for my relationship with my own teenage son.

    A Warrior staffing my weekend invited me to staff the Vets Journey Home weekend, and I've done so twice. I'd recommend it to anyone who has wounds (physical or other) from combat experiences.

    Black Bear
    Land of My Grandfathers, 12/05

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  12. Anonymous11/29/2007

    I went into my training clueless as to how to juggle my different roles as a man. I was a tough male business owner in the corporate world, a loving husband and father at home, a caring son to my parents and an understanding brother to my siblings. I was supposed to be stong and tender at the same time. I needed to understand and express my emotions but felt that society did not allow me to do that. I was lost and confused with all the different male hats I had to wear.

    My training opened my heart to a new way of being a man on this planet. It provided me the tools to understand my different roles. I saw other men dealing with the same issues as me and that gave me comfort to know that I am not alone in my struggles. My work is not over, but yet I am so much further along in my journey of manhood than I was before I did my training that I am eternally greatful to the man who encouraged me to take the training.

    Powerful Dog, Santa Fe NM 2003

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  13. Dogf***er11/30/2007

    Thank you for maintaining this blog as a public testament to MKP. I get so tired of the various whiners and haters who go on about MKP being a cult and other nonsense. They are a band of armchair quarterbacks, like chickenhawks criticizing our military as unpatriotic. Step up or shut up, I say. Clueless ankle-biters!

    I did my weekend in 2001 and except for iGroup have had relatively little involvement with MKP. I don't staff, I don't donate money, and my job is such that I cannot publicly affiliate myself with many groups.

    I am a pretty manly man, and there are few folks who have ever dared to say otherwise to my face. I did the sports thing, I did the military thing, I had my share of many things I've wanted, and the NWTA and iGroup have still helped me to trust other men and have clarity in my own life. Having a group of men whom I know and trust to work through various emotional issues related to being a man has been a godsend to me, and improved my life.

    I don't talk about it much, but I have been at iGroup twice a month for many, many years, and it has made me a better man. I am more honest, more compassionate and appreciably less angry than I was before NWTA, and the first relationship I got into after NWTA is still going strong.

    Men of color, straights and gays, religious and atheists, liberal or conservative: all are welcome in a circle of men and free to be who they really are. To be seen in this way is a very great gift, and one that enriches my life daily.

    I'm out.

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  14. Anonymous9/02/2008

    I completed my training Embercombe, May 2008. This was an amazing journey for me and it gave me the initiation into the community of men that I had felt disconnected from for too long in my life. I had many wounds from my childhood and the blessing and initiation from other men; their authenticity and acceptance was amazingly powerful. I belong to other men's circles in Northern Ireland and my NWTA experience has enriched those circles too.

    Journey well men.

    Brother Wolf
    Embercome, UK May 2008

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  15. Anonymous4/03/2009

    The training was all I thought it would be. I attended after sitting in an igroup for few months. Those men had such compassion and honor and love for each man getting to what was and wasn't working for them; I knew this was a safe place to be honest about things I had never let others hear before. In the weekend, I was gifted a place to see how and what my world was. I was lovingly guided, not directed, to where I wanted to go. EVERY man can use this work and the NWTA!

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  16. Anonymous9/01/2009

    The best part of the NWTA was not knowing what was gong to happen....man that rocked my world. I know I could have looked around and found out, but I chose not to and man it was the right thing to do!

    Gettign the piece of clarity I got was huge. And the fee was nothing compared to what I got out of the weekend.

    Big Panther

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  17. Anonymous12/10/2011

    I went thru the training in a snow storm in West Virginia at age 57. My Mom and Dad had died earlier that year and even though I was "successful" by all accounts, and had done years of self-awareness and EQ work, there was something missing. I was constantly feeling like I was operating from false bravado, pretending to be capable, but always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
    I had felt alone most of my life -- I had never felt like I belonged anywhere. That weekend one of my many critical moments was in the sweat. During the 4th round we were asked to simply say to ourselves over and over something we wanted to give up in our life. I began to quietly say over and over to myself -- "I am giving up being alone". As I let the darkness and heat seep into my body I began to believe my words. And suddenly I realized everyone in the sweat was saying the same thing in unison with me -- I don't know if they started it on their own and then we synced up or if they heard me and it struck a chord - it doesn't matter -- in that moment I knew I was not alone.
    I have continued my work on myself -- the weekend is only a door, not a journey. I am still working every couple of weeks with an I-Group. I've taken other MKP trainings that have proved equally powerful in differnt ways, and I have staffed a number of NWTA trainings. Each staffing is its own revelation. I think of it more like building an onion by adding layers (I spent a lot of years peeling the onion -- here I have gotten to add the layers I want to add).
    In 2007, at a staffing I suddenly realized I felt something I had never before felt and took the time to say it in a large circle of men -- "As a man among men, I belong". If felt as if I belonged there, at that moment. Not to MKP. Not to that circle. To the world and that moment. Having been a Navy brat and moving almost every year of my childhood, I had never felt like I belonged anywhere -- I always felt as if I was a transient. It is an amazing feeling to have -- I can't describe it -- perhaps people who have felt it all their life don't get the big deal, but for me it was life changing.
    I continue to define my life's purpose with the help of work in MKP, and have found the power to carry that purpose outside of MKP -- "I create a safe and connected world by leading, listening and mentoring". That sounds rather simplistic when I say the words, yet that mission has empowered me to make a difference in many people's live for the better.
    It constantly amazes me how an organization that intentionally has no agenda can so effectively help men find theirs. Well, I guess MKP does have one agenda -- to empower men in their own lives.

    Great Bear
    Claymont Court, WV
    December 2003

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