12.31.2009

Reflections of an Evolution

Looking back it seems that this year has been the single-most evolutionary year of my life.

I have lost loved ones. I have seen a loved one battle and win against a brain cancer no one has yet to survive. I basked in the joy of having my uncle come and live with my family for three months and then experienced the pain of having him pass just two months later.

I fought, loved, struggled, and adored my wife-my best friend-through so much this year. I have made many strides forward this year, and always my best friend is with me.

I chose a path of no-more-excuses and have seen that make a world of difference in my life. I learned that my thoughts make me who I am and what my experience is. I am changing the thoughts and my life is changing around them.

I have taken the steps toward a financial venture that will lead me off the beaten path of 9-5 toward working an hour or less a day at home and making more than I could have ever imagined just two years ago. The goal is to be with my best friend and my two girls and not look back one day and wish it were different.

I have seen this blog grow into a source of pride for me. In almost five years of writing I have seen it grow to more than 10,000 visits this year from only 5,000 the year before. This writing provides me a place to share what this work looks like to and it provides you my experience and my take on the ManKind Project.

I celebrated ten years in the ManKind Project by staffing a New Warrior Training Adventure; my first in six years; third in ten years. The blessings were tremendous and it renewed my vision of what men can be do.

I am blessed to be a part of the Northern California center. The men here do not seem to understand the word "can't." This warrior song speaks to how I feel about about the calling of the ManKind Project. When you stand in a circle, you never stand alone!

This year, I was asked twice to appear on a radio show to talk about the ManKind Project and what it looks like to me (here and here). I felt honored and full of pride to speak about the wonder that is the ManKind Project.

It has been an evolutionary year. I am taken back at how much was in this year. All of it I am thankful for. For without it, I would not know the joy I know today.

To you all; I wish peace and love and joy; that the next year brings you closer to knowing your sacredness and your beautiful and unique place in the this universe; and the knowledge that men can, and do, stand together to create a world of love, honor, integrity, and peace.

Aho!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

12.30.2009

The Time is Now

There is no time but now. Simple.

The past is that. Past. It has it place and it has its meaning. I honor it for that, but am I willing to let it run my present and future?

Am I willing to let the voices of fear and suffering rule my future?

Am I willing to treat others poorly because I had a "bad" past?

Am I willing to step into today and change the world for me, my children, my wife, my family.....for you?

It is easy to live in the past, right? No my friend, it is easy to live in the present.

Honor the past for its place...and then be in the present.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

This is the Hour
The Elders; Oraibi, Arizona; Hopi Nation


You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.

Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.

And there are things to be considered:
  • Where are you living?
  • What are you doing?
  • Where is your water?
Know your garden.

It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time.

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the River.

Keep our eyes open and our head above the water.

See who is there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves.

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

12.23.2009

The Measure of a Man

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It's pretty clear to me that men are amazing at rising to a challenge. I believe we can do anything we set are hearts to doing. That's the easy part. The hard part is deciding what is the task. Will it be going to Mars or conquering some perceived demon in another country?

What about the task of repairing our hearts? Is that not a noble task that will set the stage for future generations? I believe that the work a man does in the ManKind Project is the single most noble work a man can do.

Changing our view of the present means changing our view of the past. Changing the world one man at a time starts with me. I will. Will you?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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

12.11.2009

What Can a Men's Group Do for You?

Tripp Lanier, an MKP man from Colorado, hosts podcasts at the New Man.

I get a kick out of the podcast called What is a Men's Group and Why Should You Care? It speaks to what a men's group is about and not about. MKP iGroups are very similar to what is presented in this podcast. iGroups are weekly support for the man who wants change in his life, wants connection, wants to stop flying alone, or just wants more of ______.

Take a listen here (mp3 file).

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

From the New Man site:

"Are you one of those guys who - deep down - is wondering, 'What in the hell am I doing with my life?'

When you get in the weeds, do you tend to isolate like a wounded animal?

And how likely are you to really follow through on all of those goals?

This week, Revolutionary Man, Jayson Gaddis and I dive into a solution for any guy who has ever felt stuck, isolated and unable to follow through. We’re talking about men’s groups."

12.09.2009

Women

One thing I learned from my work in the ManKind Project is that women are not the enemy. I was taught they were. A mixed message, at best.

Women are, just like men, glorious, joyful, honorable, and loving.

Today, I honor my sacred partner in this journey--my wife.

Going through the New Warrior Training Adventure doesn't change you; you change you. I does give you a place that is safe and sacred to make the changes that you want to make.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

12.02.2009

Initiation of Men by Men

From MKP-Chicago Center:

"I feel anxious, unsettled before attempting this. Why?

If so, this is a good sign. Initiation of men by men is a powerful and deep experience which has been lost in our culture. It involves risk and reward. The risk of truly facing yourself, and the reward of having a safe container in which to achieve that. The intuitive, creative part of you may sense a deep need for initiation. Every man requires this for mature masculinity."

This is about fear.

I was afraid. I stepped into the fear (though I did not know that was what I was doing at the time) and walked with other men who have feared. We walked in together and walked out together.

Will you walk with us; the men who initiate; the initiated; the ManKind Project.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.25.2009

Don't Be Fooled

On returning from the MKP NWTA in Northern California this last weekend, I remembered a poem that a co-leader man on the training shared on Friday morning before the initiate men came up the mountain for the training (see below).

I wanted to share it with you because it reminds me that men often say "fine" when asked how they "are."

Deep down, honestly ask yourself this, how many times have you said "fine" and you felt lousy, scared, alone, angry, loving, joyful, tender, alive, free, shameful, determined, alienated, frustrated, etc.? How many times do you choose to say fine when you really want someone to know that you are _______ (fill in the blank)? Get the picture?

MKP is about men finding the deeper stuff that is standing in the way of being alive in the world. It's about you being you, not pretending or hiding "you" behind words or actions.

I challenge you to step into the NWTA and see what is there for you.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

I Scream Out To You

By Mark D. Worthen, PsyD, Center Administrator, MKP-InterMountain Center

I scream out to you in a whisper of sorrow:
Hear me, please hear me.

Because I will declare to you,
"I'm fine, really I am."

Don't be fooled.
I am a deep blue lake,
frozen hard.

You do not need to assault me with your ice pick;
You do not need to--nor could you--melt me with your intensity torch;
No, you need only look for the thin cracks in the ice,
And the whisps of steam emanating from the
Glorious spring of sublime masculinity which yearns from below.

11.18.2009

Staffing the NCal November NWTA, Part 7; 85 men

An on-going series of posts around my staffing of the next MKP NWTA in Northern California. I thought it would be interesting and enlightening to follow how this all works and you'll get to ride along on what it looks like to put on an NWTA from one man's experience...mine.

There are no words that I can use to express my gratitude and love for the men on the November Northern California MKP NWTA.

We came together on Thursday evening to create space for 35 men to complete their NWTA. 35 men came and 35 men got what they came for.

I saw 35 Uninitiated Men step into the hardest, deepest stuff one can imagine. I saw 40 Staff Men put up their best to be there for the new Initiated Men. I saw 10 Men of Service men feed all of us with great love and care. I saw amazing things.

When we all walked away on Sunday, I saw 85 changed men. 85 men who came together to share an experience that words cannot describe. 85 men who walk and speak and feel differently than they did just a few days ago.

Are you the next next man?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.09.2009

Staffing the NCal November NWTA, Part 6

An on-going series of posts around my staffing of the next MKP NWTA in Northern California. I thought it would be interesting and enlightening to follow how this all works and you'll get to ride along on what it looks like to put on an NWTA from one man's experience...mine.

I love this scuplture. It looks to me like a man who has just completed the NWTA and has taken off the mask he has worn his whole life.

Three days to go and I head up the mountain to welcome 35 men to the NWTA.

I am feeling strong and committed. I know this work changes men's lives. I have seen it year after year.

I am asking you, now. When are you going to step into changing the way you are in the world? Look we are here to support you. We have done and seen it all. Nothing you have done is going to frighten us away from supporting you.

When, my brother, will you stop running and step into change. Is it today?

See you in part 7!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.02.2009

Mentoring

I love this piece from a fellow initiated man at his blog; love freely.

Being a part of the ManKind Project means I can participate at different levels. I can; attend my weekly iGroup and do my personal work there; staff an NWTA to strengthen my bond with men who are going through the process of staffing or training; contribute to my blog here to give MKP a this man's presence/experience on the Internet; open myself to the leadership opportunities within MKP; attend other trainings that go beyond NWTA; whatever my choices, they are mine and I can own that.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

"One of the many stages in the journey to become a certified leader in the Mankind Project is to get an existing leader to mentor you. Over the years I've had many leaders suggest to me that I move onto the leader track, and implicitly they've all been options as mentors for me.

In making the difficult choice of whom to approach, I considered many criteria - who did I most get on with, whom did I admire the most, who's style did I like etc. etc. Finally, I went with my gut, and my gut chose the one I was most scared of - let's call him M. Funny that.

I called him up, and after some very probing questions M agreed to mentor me. I asked him what his terms were, and M said he only had two rules:

Don't waste my f**king time
Don't waste your f**king time

... and then I knew my gut had chosen well."

10.28.2009

Staffing the NCal November NWTA, Part 5

An on-going series of posts around my staffing of the next MKP NWTA in Northern California. I thought it would be interesting and enlightening to follow how this all works and you'll get to ride along on what it looks like to put on an NWTA from one man's experience...mine.

Well, only about two weeks before November NCal NWTA.

The men who are going through the training get to the site in Nevada City later on Friday afternoon. Staff, on the other hand, start arriving on Thursday around 2 pm.

I guess you could call this site preparation. There's a lot to set up and getting organized. Teams of men meet to work out the parts the work on and the timing of certain parts. The entire staff meets several times to get coordinated and meet each other.

All day Friday is spent doing much the same thing....working on getting ready for the men to arrive.

Food is prepared by a staff on men we refer to as the Men of Service. These men spend the entire weekend in the kitchen preparing food for all the men on site.

All in all there are 55 men working to serve the training to 36 men.

I have several pieces to participate in during the weekend. I am learning them now and understanding the intention behind each one so I can be in the right space when the time comes.

17 days out.

See you in part 6!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.27.2009

Making Changes

Fear is a very powerful feeling; it can paralyze me or it can move me to direct and decisive action. Men, as boys, are mostly taught to stuff the paralyzing fear and jump right to decisive action; more times than not with dire consequences.

Taking a look at my fear, what drives it, is just one of the ways that helps me open a door to living an authentic life.

Fear is good. I need to be afraid. How I take fear-based action is my path and my choice.

The blog entry below speaks a bit about fear and how this man makes a change in his life.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

From the WarriorGorilla blog:

"Today I begin my acedemic journey anew. It's been roughly eight years since I dropped out of college and moved to Texas and today, I attend Orientation for the fall semester.

I'm really rather excited.

When I went through my Warrior Weekend, I had no idea that this would be the product. Once I set my mission statement ("I will create a world of personal fulfilment by living my dreams") it was only a matter of time before I made it here. In this case, it was approximately eighteen months.

Eighteen months. Eighteen months after deciding on those 12 words, I packed up and moved from my comfortable life in Houston. Away from the friends that I had made and the family that supported me and helped me focus in on my dreams.

And today, I attend orientation. In six weeks I will step into a classroom again - at 28-years-old! And if all goes according to plan, in about two years, I will have my degree and be moving again.

And I'm afraid.

If I learned anything from my Warrior weekend, is that it is okay to be afraid as long as I do not allow that fear to dictate my life. I have spent far to many years allowing fear to lead my life, I overcame a lot of fear when I moved up here.

Fear is still with we, but when I walk out that door this morning and into Orientation, I will be overcoming a little more. When I walk into my first day of classes, a little more."

10.19.2009

Sacredness of All Things

"We are already as spiritual as we are going to get. What we seek, we already are, we just need to recognize our connection to the earth and the sacredness of all things."

Litlle Crow, The Sacred Hill Within (ISBN 0-9635440-5-5)

The sacredness of all things....Can you wrap your mind around that for a moment? It means that everything and everybody and every everything is sacred.

The bottom line here is that I think (and Little Crow thinks) you are sacred. I am, too. So what would it take for you to treat yourself as such? What would it look like to stand in a place of peace with who your are and what you are?

Would you be afraid? Would you be loving? Would you listen to your dreams and make them come true? Would you walk next to me while I find my sacredness?

The ManKind Project doesn't teach any spiritual belief; nor does it try to make you be anything, do anything, or say anything. You are your guide and mentor in your life and in the ManKind Project.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.15.2009

Live on the Radio

Update: So it went well....you can hear it here.

Tomorrow (Oct 16, 2009) at noon PST, I will be having a live radio conversation about my experiences in the ManKind Project, my New Warrior Training Adventure back in Oct 1999, and in my weekly integration group.

I invite you to listen in live to KDRT 95.7 FM at http://davismediaaccess.org:8000/kdrt.m3u or catch a rebroadcast on Sunday, Oct 18 at 3 pm or Tuesday, Oct 20 at 11 am, or download the program at http://www.kdrt.org/station/archives/138.

I hope you enjoy the show!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.14.2009

The New Warrior Code

Today's post comes from the former chairman of the ManKind Project, Curtis Mitchell.

I welcome and honor his words.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The New Warrior Code

By Curtis Mitchell, ManKind Project International Chairman, 2003-2007

The New Warrior respects and dignifies the suffering of others. Only then can respect and dignity be had. Only then will the New Warrior learn to dignify and respect the personal self.

The New Warrior refuses to exploit the vulnerability of others.

The New Warrior takes responsibility for his personal suffering, and therefore takes responsibility for his conduct, word and deed, victim and perpetrator, fore going blame of others.

The New Warrior asks questions, seeks the truth, and seeks to understand, learning to speak to each as they need to be spoken to.

The shield of the New Warrior is held over the fallen, and thus held over himself as well.

The sword of the New Warrior is wielded only in the way he knows he can heal the cut he makes.

The quest of a New Warrior is the quest for a conscience, for only in conscience is there true agreement about what should be.

10.09.2009

Obama & the Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama,

Thank you for giving hope and leading with courage. Thank you for stepping into perhaps the most difficult job in perhaps the most difficult times. Thank you for modeling courage.

Congratulations and thank you, Mr President.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.05.2009

Staffing the NCal November NWTA, Part 4

An on-going series of posts around my staffing of the next MKP NWTA in Northern California. I thought it would be interesting and enlightening to follow how this all works and you'll get to ride along on what it looks like to put on an NWTA from one man's experience...mine.

One of the issues I deal with in my world, and I see many men deal with, is asking for help. I has been a long road to be able to ask for what I need in a world that continually reinforces that I should be able to do it all myself.

I asked the men in my iGroup for the $100 fee to staff the November NCal NWTA. One man stepped up with the entire amount. He delivered it to my house on his own time.

This is what we do in MKP. We support each other. This man supported me when I had a need. I just needed to ask.

Are you able to ask for what you need?

38 days out.

See you in part 5!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.02.2009

Not Today!

Today is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's birthday.

In his honor, International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated around the world.

Funny....I have not heard much mention of it here in the states, where freedom to demonstrate and express our words freely is a tradition. I wonder if having that right means we take it for granted?

NOT TODAY! Have a Happy Birthday, father Ghandi!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf