10.28.2010

Was It Fun?

This post comes from a fellow warrior, Edward Manning, who talks about his staffing of a New Warrior Training Adventure.

I offer it to you as a reference to what can be found at an NWTA.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf

Was It Fun?

I just staffed another New Warrior Training Adventure last weekend. Monday, one of my friends asked me, “Was it fun? Did you have a good time?” I think I grinned a loopy smile at him and offered a few token lines in response. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how to encapsulate an answer. What I really wanted to tell him was this:

  • I met a bunch of new guys this past weekend. Some older, some younger. Some looked like me, some looked very different. Some straight, some gay. And within the roughly 48 hours of time we spent together, I got to know their hearts, their inner core so well - and they me - that I actually cried upon parting. I actually *miss* men that I didn’t even know a week ago today.
  • I had a fierce confrontation with one of the weekend leaders. We really grilled each other pretty hard - we were both intense in our communication. I was angry and (in my opinion) he was too. And it was also respectful. We both managed to listen. He didn’t try to pull any “I’m the fucking leader” bullshit on me. He held himself accountable to his words and actions.

    We both had softening moments because there was trust that we weren’t trying to dick each other over or prove ourselves right. The confrontation evolved from fierce to empathetic, to compassionate, to invested in supporting each other. Isn’t that the goal of confrontation? To get to that place?

  • An attendee (i.e. not-on-staff man) approached me on Sunday and told me that an activity I co-facilitated on Saturday morning would now change the way he interacted with his kids. He could barely speak to me he was so choked up with emotion. He kept saying things like, “I had no idea…I had no idea.” We walked together for a few moments, reveling in each other.

  • A room full of staff men shared grief and sparkling anger about racial disharmony. And not the fucked-up state of the world ‘out there,’ but rather the disharmony within our own staff, our own inability to stand in the fire of differences. It was angry. Fierce. It was also immensely sad, and there were tears of pent-up grief and frustration. We didn’t generate the solution that brings about world peace.

    We did, however, get through the experience, stronger and more unified than before. We got through it with a few mens’ special grace leading the rest of us. We got through it with fear, anger, love, and sadness. We got through it with men willing to speak their hard and heartfelt truths and not backing down. And men loving each other beyond what is reasonable to expect.

    I left with much to ponder about my contributions to racial disharmony. What do I need to look at?

  • There was also exhilerated, howling laughter. I cried from laughing so hard. Most of the jokes wouldn’t translate well in writing just because it’s a ‘had-to-be-there’ thing, but the thing that I loved about this kind of laughter is that the humor was not bitterly sarcastic, it didn’t shame anyone, it didn’t include mean observations about any individuals. Nope. It was goofy, playful, honoring. Teasing. Mildly self-deprecating without descending into viciousness.

  • One afternoon, a leader I respect a great deal came up to me and, out of the blue, said, “Have I ever told you that I love you? Have I? I need to tell you that. I love you. I really love you.” He walked away, and I was dazed.

  • I walked through fear. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say, “I walked with fear.”

    The phrase ‘walking through fear’ suggests John Wayne fortitude or some sort of Braveheart massacre of fear. Nope. I had heart-pounding reservations about doing a specific task and by my volunteering to step up, forced myself to look at that fear, walk with it, discover where it emanated from, and what I would have to do to get over it.

    I did not get through this fear alone. One man sacrificed his free time to listen to me and reflect back parts of my shadow. Some of those men I had just met looked me squarely in the eyes, saying, “I believe you can do this. I’ll follow you.” And wisdom from men with far more experienced than I was applied lovingly, gently. I was mentored through this fear with the softness and fierceness of true mentoring, not impossible expectations and being set up to fail.
Was the weekend fun?

Nah.

It was so much better than fun.

It was joy and sadness and goofy pranks and firey conflict and feeling fear and hardness melting, and did I mention heart-so-wide-open-that-doesn’t-the-sky-seem-bluer-today? flavor of joy.

It was about being so very, very alive.

10.18.2010

Between Love and Fear

"The choice between love and fear is the eternal choice, the never-ending demand, the longest running show on Broadway. We make that decision with each intention that we make our own, and with it bring into our experience wonderful-feeling constructive consequences (love) or painful destructive consequences (fear)."

Gary Zukav


When a man steps into attending the New Warrior Training Adventure, he steps into a place he may have never been before. For sure, there will be challenges. I can tell you that those challenges are as individual as snowflakes. Each man walks the line of fear differently than another.

What Gary talks about above is choice. You, as a man, can choose to live in fear or love. You are the only one who makes that choice. It is completely in your hands.  Does that sound foreign to you?

I hear excuses to live in fear from other men all the time.....you should hear what goes on in my head sometimes. But it is up to each man, me included, to live in love and not in fear.

So take a moment and look at where you are not showing up because of fear. Where do you not show up because you have chosen fear over love? Where do you become complicit with fear? Where can you choose love?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.09.2010

What’s All the Secrecy About?

Updated 10.09.2010

Why don’t I tell men about what transpires during an NWTA weekend?

It’s pretty simple, really. There are two parts to this:

One part is that this is an initiation weekend. That in itself pretty much speaks for itself. If I told you what was going to transpire, your experience would be polluted. I, for one, do not want that to happen for you.

We have an uninitiated man in sitting our iGroup circle-of-men right now who is attending an NWTA in November. He has been in the circle for a couple months. I take this very serious and guard his experience with great care. I do not want to give away anything to corrupt this men’s time at the NWTA. I think we are all very diligent in our iGroup to keep the weekend processes and experiences out of our iGroup. It can be challenging. In the past, we have had to ask an uninitiated man to step out of the circle (out of the building, in fact) so that an initiated man could talk openly about a process that occurred during his NWTA. Both men’s needs were taken into account. Both men got what they needed.

The second part is that, during an NWTA, I feel there are processes, that without context, are not understandable completely. The processes have special meaning and standing and I do not want to randomly give that out. Again, it goes back to creating a space for men to come into that is unique and unpolluted for every man.

The NWTA is about the uninitiated man. Each man does his NWTA differently than any other man. If you knew what was going to happen, that would take some of uniqueness away.

When I attended my NWTA, I had no idea what was to transpire. Looking back, I see that there was no other way for me to get my unique experience.

The official MKP standpoint is here.

So what stands between you and your NWTA?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.02.2010

Livestrong Day

OCT 2, 2010

In memory of my Victor "Poppy" Larson and Richard "Uncle Dick" Larson.

In honor of those who fought with them both to the every end.

In loving support of those who are fighting cancer and those who have chosen not to fight.

LIVESTRONG!

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf