9.26.2006

How MKP Works for One Man, After NWTA

Below is a snippet of a long interview. I cut out the part that pertains to this man and his experience with the NWTA.

I hope it's helpful to you to see how the ManKind Project works in a man's life.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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Robert Powell: A Valuable Asset to Both SRA and the Mankind Project

Robert Powell's Managerial and Community Involvement is Shaped by His Work with Two Progressive Organizations

By Roy Barnes

Q: How did you get involved with MKP, and what was the first major career change, if any, that you undertook after completing your first ManKind Project ("The Weekend")?

A: I did the NWTA in November 1992 at the suggestion of a fellow volunteer in a community mental health center where we facilitated group work for male batterers. The NWTA experience intensified my interest in personal work, which had originally led me to volunteer at the center. I actually began moving toward a second career in counseling. I completed both my masters and postmasters training, with an emphasis in family and marriage therapy between 1993 and 1998. I had every intention of switch careers until events in my personal life made it financially impossible to make the switch.

Q: What distinguishes the New Warrior Training Adventure from other self-discovery retreats?

A: First of all, it's far more intensive and transformational than anything I've encountered. Therapists, for instance, frequently equate it with six to eighteen months of individual sessions. Second of all, it's not an end in itself, but only the beginning of a process of self-discovery and growth. Central to the MKP curriculum is the on-going Integration Groups (I-Groups) that most men join after "The Weekend". This is a facilitated ten-week program, but for the most part, the groups are self-led and men can go as deep as they wish. Some men stay for a year or two, [but] many have been in an I-Group for ten years or more. I've been in my I-Group since my "Weekend" in 1992.

Q: How does "The Weekend" change a lifetime of ineffective living and/or add more to someone who is pretty much, for lack of a better term, "all together"?

A: Each man's journey is his own path to discovery. Our goal is to activate his personal mission in life and to support him in pursuing it. Men who judge themselves to have been ineffectual before "The Weekend" often report a major change in their life after their New Warrior Training Adventure. Men who come to the training with awareness of their mission usually deepen their commitment and find their energies and drive magnified.

Q: Does MKP offer programs and retreats for corporations?

A: ManKind Project (MKP) has often discussed the possibility of bringing the training into the corporate setting. Nothing official has developed, though many individual NWTA graduates work in the Organizational Development (OD) and corporate training fields. The lessons taught in the NWTA have found their way into such programs. And, of course, as individuals, many men, including me, have incorporated its basic teachings of personal integrity and direct communications in our management practices.

Q: How does the corporate philosophy of SRA complement what you have done with MKP; that is, are you able to apply the things you've learned through MKP into the way you manage your staff and approach your projects?

A: SRA International has proven to be an ideal culture for what I've learned and teach in MKP. It is a company whose motto is "Honesty in Service" and whose corporate culture is built on the axiom that caring for its clients, its personnel, and (since going public) its shareholders are its core business, and that everything else will follow. Every new employee attends a half-day training on culture and ethics, and every performance evaluation includes explicit ratings on ethics and caring for others. While the terms of our contracts set the parameters for what we are expected to do and what we must and can do, there is an ethos that we do whatever it takes to support our clients and our staffs in their professional and relevant personal goals.

9.21.2006

Living Life

"To enable men to live lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling."

That is one of the purposes of the ManKind Project. I, as a man who particpates in the ManKind Project, finds this to be a core issue with men.

I see men are trained to be disconnected to feeling; disconnected to being and living in integrity with thier agreements and statements; and shown a million ways to not be accountable for one's behavior.

So what does that have to do with MKP?

I create a space in MKP for what I want, for who I am, and for guidance about my life. No man tells another who or what to be. We guide and help each other to see what does and doesn't work for us, as men.

Is what I say congruent with what I do? My MKP men reflect that to me.

Is what I want in my world possible with how it is setup right now? MKP men will guide me to find my way of getting what I want.

Is this something you could use in your world?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

9.14.2006

My Mind’s Eye

I wrote this piece about seven years ago. I find it is still strong in my heart. I was inspired to write it just after I went through my New Warrior Training Adventure some seven years ago.

I wonder what the training will inspire in you...

My Mind’s Eye
By Old-faithful Wolf

In my child mind’s eye
It’s always dark, cloudy, raining, black and white
Mud and noise
The sloshing of wet boots and canvas
Explosions, tears, popping sounds

In my child mind’s eye
I am not a listener in 4th grade math
Sliding smoothly the pencil on the surface, gray on blonde veneer
I mark the years on the desk
5,10,15 and 3 makes 18
Time to fight

In my child mind’s eye
Gi-joe comes incomplete
Fatigues, canteen, crew-cut, and beard
One too many legs
I tear one off at the knee
Now I can “play”

In my child mind’s eye
Always it’s those commies
Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Laos
Always the war
Always the TV news
Walter tells me the body count each day

In my teen mind’s eye
Always aware of the time
15,16,17,18
Time to fight the cold war
Ford, Carter, Reagan and Russian leaders I cannot pronounce
ICBMs, B52s, nuclear warheads
Always aware of the time

In my teen mind’s eye
I walk to the post office
I pick the form
I register to fight
I am now alone
And now I wait
19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27
I wait

In my young-adult mind’s eye
I turn away from the Falklands and Iran
I can’t bear the thought
My fear is an ally to pain
Struggling with terror to soothe the wounds
That hatred has festered

In my young-adult mind’s eye
I see the remnants of war
Battered souls, torn hearts
Veterans like my Gi-joe
Missing parts and sanity

In my adult mind’s eye
26, 27, no fighting
Desert Storm and I turn away
I can’t bear the thought
More body counts, more pain
Cluster bombs and stealth bombers
Oil fires that blacken the sky

In my adult mind’s eye
I hear the names
One by one
The tears fall from my heart
Rivers of pain held back by the dam of time
The torment of 35 years
Trampling the weak boy soul
Crushing the little boy soul to room the adult soul

In my adult mind’s eye
Bosnia and Yugoslavia
I cannot turn away
Ethnic cleansing and rape
It stares me in the face
With its evil eyes and hateful breath
People destroying people, land, homes, lives

In my adult mind’s eye
The losses are too great
I cannot bear to hear, one more time, the news of the fighting
But I cannot turn away
It is in my blood and flesh
The wars of my elder-fathers course through me

In my adult mind’s eye
It’s always dark, cloudy, raining, black and white
Mud and noise
The sloshing of wet boots and canvas
Explosions, tears, popping sounds

In my mind’s eye
My chin falls to my chest and
I cry.

9.11.2006

Nine Eleven

I remember.

3057 and all their relatives and relations.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

9.08.2006

Winds of Change

Today, two men from my town are going into the New Warrior Training Adventure in Northern California.

I have come to know one man very well as he has sat in my iGroup, Four Stone Circle, since the middle of May. I have heard him speak of his fear and joy and anticipation of this weekend.

The other man I have a bit of time with as we have sat and talked and he came to Four Stone Circle last week.

Both these men are just like you; men in their lives looking for whatever they are looking for. They are very different men; they are very similar men. They are like you; they are men.

Men come to attend the New Warrior Training Adventure for an infinite variety of reasons. You will have yours, if you choose the winds of change. Really that is what this is about, change.

Is it time for your change; your particular, unique, honorable change?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

9.05.2006

Farewell, Andre!

"The pride I take in everything I've experienced has to do with what I've poured into it, not necessarily what that experience was. I mean, I think tennis is one vehicle. I think we can find excuses in life or we can find inspirations. I've always tried to find inspirations."

Andre Agassi, 9.4.2006

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There was a time when I thought Andre Agassi was nothing more than a good tennis player. I had a whole bag full of crap to throw his way and was not shy about putting it out there.

In the work I do in the ManKind Project I have found that so much of what I think about anybody has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.

I watched Andre's final match the other night. I was torn between the feeling of honor to watch a man do what his passion is and my feelings of shame that I put so much of my stuff on him. Such is the clarity in this work I do now.

I revelled in his honesty of emotion, his tribute to the fans he felt close to, and the clarity with which he walked away with his head held high.

Andre went out a King, as I see it. I saw him stand in his glory and feel the feeling of it.

Farewell, Andre!

I'm out.

Old-faithful Wolf
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9.01.2006

Intergration Group -- Four Stone Circle

The ManKind Project iGroup I sit in is called Four Stone Circle. We meet every Thursday night in a small Quaker chaple in Northern California.

I am blessed to have this in my world.

The group gives me the space to look at where my life works and doesn't work; a place to be seen as who I am not. I give myself that in my world

Maybe it's naive for me to think you get as much from this as I do. Maybe it's my dream and you will.

Four Stone Circle is my iGroup.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf