4.24.2009

I Could Have Resisted

This post is from an e-mail sent via a Northern California ManKind Project mailing list from Robert Logan. Robert shares his experience being a first-time (rookie) staff member on the Northern California April 2009 New Warrior Training Adventure.

It spoke to me and reminded me of my rookie staffing. I was drawn to speechlessness watching men get to the deepest parts of themselves; honored to be present for such monumental changes; reverent to the space created by the staff for these men.

My rookie staffing was a giant step toward being of service to other men. It meant getting out of my own way to be present and clear about what was going on around me.

I hope one day Robert or I see you in this space.

Thank you, Robert; for your writing and for staffing for a man in my iGroup who went through the Northern California April 2009 New Warrior Training Adventure.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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My Rookie Weekend
By Robert Logan

I went to give. I went to receive.

I went to rediscover.
I went to learn.
I went to connect.

The Lover.

I gave strength and received satisfaction.
I gave sweat and received purification.
I gave sage and received the Container.

The Warrior.

I gave my body a stretch and received a crystal.
I gave time and received clarity.
I gave my shadow and received my mask.
I gave black granite and received the eyes of three scared men.
I gave stillness and received accountability.
I gave two paths and received contradiction.
I gave water and chains and received my Wild Man.
I gave my imagination and received my new name.
I gave instructions at midnight and received a rebuke.
I gave a place to rest and received compassion.

The Magician.

I gave effort and received warmth.
I gave music and received a dance.
I gave attention and received sadness, anger, happiness, fear and shame.
I gave a statement and received me, myself and I.
I gave in and received my mission.
I gave watchfulness and received nourishment.

I gave a Journey and received intense joy.

I gave protection and received trust.
I gave abandonment and received brothers.
I gave a place to rest and received satisfaction.

The King.

I gave to a circle and received my old name back.
I gave food and received gratitude.

I gave music and received the Gift.

I gave service and received a man.
I gave my eyes and received tears.
I gave longing and gratitude and received love.
I gave a look back and received peace.

I connected with the souls of beautiful men.
I learned to be present with all my feelings.
I rediscovered my mission.

I gave from the heart and I received wisdom.

I could have resisted. But that wasn’t why I went.

- Howling Wolf That Dances By The Sea

4.15.2009

Articulate Their Passions

This re-post is borrowed from Kip de Moll's blog Zen and the Art of the Midlife Crisis. Kip talks about his experience with the ManKind Project and the men he sees there.

Thanks, Kip, for your post.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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The Mankind Project

Men do not just talk about football and sex anymore.

Clearly, so many of the stereotypes of masculine and feminine roles no longer apply. The world has changed, and men are adapting.

In my world this weekend, I gathered at a camp with 60 some men who are committed to making their lives better by living consciously, feeling their emotions, and honoring the wealth in others. Being the Annual Gathering required in the By-Laws, there was plenty of financial discussion, hard looks at the past, and lofty dreams about membership growth in the future. Hearty and delicious meals were combined and prepared to feed the mass artfully by an ebullient master who invited men to join him in shifts, and made it fun.

Two workshops were presented to help us uncover thick layers of impenetrable protections over our emotions, and to build porous boundaries of discernment in their place. A ropes course raised us high. An auction raised money for great causes, and kept us delightfully high.

Throughout the weekend, there was a continuous and fascinating thread of men talking over the look and feel of churning emotions in their lives. Not about the promotion in question, the arriving new grandchild, the marriages of agony and joy; the talk was all about the feelings around these events: the envy of another man, the shame of our own inadequacies, the pride for our actions. Each and every conversation was an effort to hold those feelings, recognize how they affect us, be able to shed some of them, and walk more freely in awareness.

Listening to men articulate their passions about making themselves and the world a better place was truly the most moving aspect. Most of these men I knew only as little as I would people at a social function listing job descriptions, number of kids and sports scores. Most of these men I left knowing little more about their particulars, but precious more about the colors of their internal lives.

These are men who can wear wigs, poke fun at each other, and be outrageously silly. These are men who can face each other in conflict and, with all due respect, agree to disagree, recognizing that the charge between them is more about oneself than the other. These are men who can listen, admit they are wrong, and act to restore their integrity. These are men who can compassionately hold their companions accountable, understanding that every action affects the group, but most especially the man in action.

As comfortable to hug as to shake hands, they will do whatever it takes to stand behind a man who suffers, or causes suffering, if he will accept their total--and honest--support. These are men who do not leave their talk at the door like cultists their masks and robes, but take their compassion to the streets, to prisons and soup kitchens, and to their own homes and offices.

To be among these men is to feel strong, safe, cared for, and powerful, to feel alive at the core. These are warriors in the new world.

4.12.2009

What Is The New Warrior

From the Los Angeles Center of the ManKind Project, this article spells out the New Warrior pretty well.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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What Is The New Warrior?

Male and female; yang and yin --- inseparable reflections of a single whole. Yet, how separate men and women can appear! How easy it is to focus only on the distinct legacy of our own sex. We men have inherited the role of "warrior". First, there was the Old Warrior, the warrior of the past. Now, there is the New Warrior, the warrior of the present.

The Old Warrior competed with the elements, other animals, and other males, through force where necessary, for the ancient prize of survival. Our histories are filled with tales of combat and competition, male against male, tribe against tribe, nation against nation, for territory, food, women, and more. And competition and domination worked, we survived, when many did not. The memories of the struggle of the Old Warrior haunt our bones, and live and breathe in each of us today.

We feel it, yet our polite modern world condemns it. It tugs at us and in desperation we become "nice boys", secretly baring our bloody fangs in hidden, vicious ways. We bury and deny our warrior energy, and in response, it finds expression in distorted "shadow" forms.

The New Warrior has looked at his Old Warrior in the eye. He has learned to spot the shadow of his Old Warrior, and to make new, healthy choices in his life. The New Warrior commits himself to living a life of passion, energy, and feeling beyond survival, to harnessing and openly directing his warrior energy into a personal mission of service in the world.

The New Warrior is a man for today's world, ready for full, vibrant, equal partnership with other men and women. For most of us, the struggle for physical survival is over. The New Warrior has put down the sword, pick up his own heart, and placed it in service to himself and others.

What Are The Characteristics Of A New Warrior?

A man who has been taken the journey of the New Warrior Training Adventure is offered the opportunity to take on the characteristics of a New Warrior and take his place in the world carrying those traits with him into his family, his work, and his community. It is these traits and his choice to do his own personal growth that enables him to face the struggles of life, to attain his personal successes, and to forge ahead in his life's journey with clarity and intention. These characteristics become the fundamental values of the New Warrior, by reshaping and redefining a man's awareness of his world, his choices, and his feelings. These values include:
  • Responsibility - A New Warrior is responsible for his life, his feelings, his choices, and his actions. He chooses his reactions.
  • Integrity - A New Warrior's choices and actions are consistent with his intentions, mission and commitments. He keeps his promises.
  • Congruency - A New Warrior's actions equal his thoughts and words. He does what he says he will do. He "walks the talk".
  • Self-awareness - A New Warrior examines his thoughts, feelings and behaviors. He is aware of his "shadows", patterns, and limiting beliefs that compromise his integrity with these principles.
  • Accountability - A New Warrior "owns" to another man when he is out of integrity. He acknowledges and owns the consequences of his actions, and the choices and intentions behind them.
  • Clarity - A New Warrior discerns and articulates his feelings and judgments. He seeks understanding. He knows what he wants. He knows who he is. He knows the choices he wants to make.
  • Mission - A New Warrior seeks to discover his true mission of service and to live in integrity with it.
  • Commitment - A New Warrior clearly articulates his pledge or promise to do something. His intentions are clear and follows through.
  • Action - A New Warrior takes action to live his mission and fulfill his commitments. He asks for help when he needs it. He asks for what he wants. He moves through his fear. He takes risks.
  • Service - A New Warrior offers himself through acts and deeds without expectation.
  • Authenticity - A New Warrior is sincere and honest in all of his dealings. He is aware of and owns his feelings. He speaks his truth. He comes from his heart. He is genuine and real.
  • Directness - A New Warrior speaks clearly to another man of his perceptions, feelings and judgments towards him. He neither practices nor tolerates sideways comments or 'gossip'.
The New Warrior is the man of the modern world! He is as common as you and I. And, what makes him different is that he has chosen to live his life in a new fulfilled way by being conscious of who he is in the world and the choices he makes.

4.09.2009

Lost...for DancinWolf



Michael Buble, Lost, off Call Me Irresponsible (2007)

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In my life there are places that only my best friend knows. Places of fear and pain so deep that I think it will crush me flat if I speak of them out loud.

My best friend has these places, too. Right now, my best friend is carrying a pain so large I think my best friend thinks being crushed flat might be a better option.

To my best friend....I say...

"...you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we'll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When your world's crashing down
And you cannot bear the cross
I said, baby, you're not lost"

I love you, best friend!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

4.07.2009

Free Hugs

In my small town, there is a young man who comes to the farmer's market every Wednesday and Saturday. He holds a sign that says "free hugs."

I love this young man! He is the example of what I think we need in this world...men who aren't afraid to freely give and be freely given to.

He simply asks you, with his sign, if you would like a free hug. I hug him and we smile and that's that. But it turns out he has made an impact on another man in my iGroup, as well. He gets free hugs from the "free hug guy" every time he goes to the market, too.

This is how men change the world. This is how men show up and do good in the world. This is how men make a difference.

Will you make a difference with me?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

4.03.2009

Total Accountability Day

" 'Today I am accountable for everything I do and every word I utter. It's my responsibility. ' Try it one day. Mark it on your calendar. Draw a circle around one day next week and declare it Total Accountability Day. Don't blame anybody for anything and take total responsibility for everything that happens that day."

Little Crow, 1933-2004; from The Sacred Hill Within, ISBN: 0-9635440-5-5

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I'm not quite sure I can add anything to this. Except maybe get off you ass and take responsibility for your situation in the world.

Now that's easy for me to say but not always so easy to do. I still blame others for my fate in life. I still look outward for my inward answers. Where I get some great support for looking at taking responsibility is in my ManKind Project integration group.

The men there are honest and have great intention. Sometimes they get swept up in their stuff too. But we roll along and try to support everybody in their work.

Get to the training; you'll know why when you get there.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

4.01.2009

Escaping the Past

ESCAPE
By D.H. Lawrence

When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
And we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don't know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taught with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.

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I see this is a piece on initiation; getting out of our heads and the common world, into the forest, up the mountain. Let in the change, the vast unknown, the "cool, unlying life," and then the "institutions" of your life will come tumbling down.

What "old things" will you let fall down?

When is the moment of change for you?

The time is now.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf