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