12.19.2009

Ferocity

In this post I show you what I call "getting it."

I think this man gets it that this type of men's work is about stepping into our unknown and into our warrior strength.

The MKP Northwest Center has a great blog that this is pulled from.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

From Aho! a blog for the MKP Northwest Center.

“Ferocity – the Flavor of a Healthy and Alive I-Group”

For an I-group to be more than a coffee klatch where men talk about movies or politics or good fishing holes, or philosophize about how life might be if… there must be safety, accountability, leadership and growth. An I-group must be safe enough for men to let their guard down; part of that safety is being accountable to oneself as well as others in one’s life, and accountable to the I-group circle. Men must be willing to step forward and risk wearing the target of leadership. And, there must be growth; both personal growth and growth as an I-group. This growth, this evolution of the I-group that keeps the I-group lively could be expanding the facilitation skill set that men bring or it could be expanding the I-group’s mission of service.

The quality that unites these four elements is ferocity – the passion and dedication to do what it takes to get you want in your I-group and your life. Fierceness is not an emotion, it’s a flavor that enhances whatever quality it’s attached to: fiercely loyal, fierce anger, fiercely committed to a cause, or protecting one’s family with the ferocity of a tiger. Ferocity exists in service to some other quality; in the case of I-groups, ferocity is in service to aliveness.

When fierce aliveness is present, an I-group experiences clarity, direction and flexibility. Fierceness cuts through story and cuts through distraction – compassionately calling men to account, to be responsible for the depth of their inquiry and the truth of their response. Out of clear understanding of the situation, clear direction arises; within the I-group it will become clear what needs to happen. The I-group may or may not have the skills necessary to proceed. Fierce support of the man doing his work will call forth the courage to move beyond the known and to risk facilitating an inspired process or a process that has only been witnessed by the facilitator until now. Ferocity describes the warrior archetype in action: clear, directed and flexible, he moves through blocks and does what is necessary to bring aliveness to the situation at hand.

Developing fierceness requires only willingness: willingness to move through fear willingness to move into the unknown, willingness to risk, willingness to do what it takes, willingness to let the process get messy, willingness to trust your brothers. Fear can be paralyzing but it can also energize, focusing awareness on the essential. Life always leads to the unknown and continually presents us with risks. Becoming skillful through practice in working within the realm of the unknown is a blessing for one’s self and for one’s I-group. Men in I-groups must be willing to let the process become messy – we cannot always keep our egos, our misunderstandings, our inexperience, or our ideas out of a process. Thankfully, we have ways to clean up our messes, chiefly, communication skills including accountability and clearing rounds. Even with all our ego-baggage we have to be willing to jump into the work – that is how we learn as both participant and facilitator and that is the doorway through which comes serendipity and truth. Lastly, trust your brothers, trust that flash of insight, trust the need to step back, trust the spontaneous moment, trust the man working his edge, despite whatever judgments may be arising. I-groups are a team sport.

There are tools available for I-groups: guest magicians, “advanced” protocols, serving together as MoS and various trainings. Even with all these resources, the essence of the alive and healthy I-group is a fierce regard for oneself, the other and the I-group.

-Scott Nighbor
Sacred Blue Leopard

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