The Dance You Do

This is a great piece. Sort of an FAQ for NWTA.

Enjoy...and then sign up and stop dancin'!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

The Dance from MKP New England. Author unknown.

OK, now let's be honest about what happens next. Getting to one of the trainings is actually fairly easy. They're offered all over the U. S. and in many other countries-United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, Australia. You can find out the dates online and begin the registration process in about 30 seconds. But what usually happens in the process of getting there is The Dance. One step forward, two back. You know you're dancing when you have one of these thoughts:

  • "I'm too different (old, young, gay, straight, fat, thin, poor, rich, black, white) to go." There's no excuse that's too trivial to be used as the reason I can't change.
  • "That's way too much money. I'd rather buy toys or pay the rent." That's right-it does cost some money-averaging $600. However, so that money is not the major obstacle, the New England Men's Network has an innovative co-creative payment policy which allows the amount to slide, based on how much a man can afford & how much they get from it.
  • "Wouldn't it be possible to read a book or magazine article and get to the same place?" No, actually the training is an experience, not a set of ideas. Sorry, you'll need to show up, and not just with your brain. You should pack your body, your passion, and your soul, too.
  • "I'll do that someday-next year, next millennium. Only now I'm not quite ready. I need to. . . (return some library books, mow the lawn, de-fragment my hard drive)." One of the most common things men say after they go through the training is, "What was I doing for the last twenty years?" The best time to do the training adventure? Right now.
  • "I'm in therapy, so I don't really need this." Or "I'm not in therapy, so I'm not prepared for this." Nice try, both of you.
  • "All right-this is some sort of pyramid scam with a lot of people getting rich, right?" The Mankind Project is a non-profit organization. The vast majority of those who staff a training pay money themselves for the privilege of staffing, and devote huge chunks of time and energy to make the training happen. The training leaders get paid, but not much. If people get rich from the trainings, the enrichment has nothing to do with money.
  • "I know how these workshops go: You get a little insight, a little warm-and-fuzzy bonding, then you go back to your life and do business as usual. Pretty soon you ask, remind me-what exactly did I get out of that?" Actually, that's probably right, if the training were the only thing a man did. The heart of the Mankind Project is the I-Groups which start after the training, composed of those who have finished a weekend. These usually meet weekly, and (here's the good news) after 6-8 weeks of learning the ropes with a facilitator, they run on their own with no cost to the members.
  • "This is a bunch of navel-gazing. Men who have a good experience together, gain some insight into themselves, then resume destroying the planet and terrorizing their families without making a real difference." A key part of MKP is action in the world-men define themselves as men of service. There are many areas of possible service-working with kids, building a more compassionate company, saving the planet, working in prisons. Even being present with your family is a kind of service.
  • "Hold it-this sounds like some sort of religious cult. I already have a religion, thank you." Or "I can't stand religion, so count me out." Men from all major religions are currently active in the MKP-Jesuits, orthodox Jews, Muslims, and Protestant Christians. Also, many are involved who see themselves as non-religious.
The point I'm trying to make about The Dance is that it's normal, maybe even necessary. A man shouldn't enter the change process lightly. When we approach change of any kind, one part of us says optimistically, "Maybe I'll change," and another part freezes and says, "Oh, oh. . . Maybe I'll change." This is true whether it is a job change, moving in with a domestic partner, or buying a house. Change is serious business. If you're doing The Dance, this means that you're taking the process seriously. It means that all parts of you have their eyes wide open.

Entering the weekend is jumping into the unknown. You don't know what's going to happen. There's no syllabus, no schedule circulated in advance. So the dance you do when you're deciding about going to a weekend is the same dance you do when you're entering the dark future of any change in your life. You may or may not know a man who has gone through the weekend. If you do, he may be enthusiastic, but is generally vague about what happens. One thing I guarantee, though. You will be challenged-physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and personally. (Yeah, ok, a lot of adverbs). So another unknown is this: how will you respond to the challenges? Will you isolate? Lie to yourself and everyone else? Blow up? Freeze up? Screw up? Open up?

Doing the weekend is an adventure. No, you haven't done this before. After you're done dancing, if you decide to do it, you may have a hard time explaining to the significant people in your life what you're doing and why. You may have a hard time explaining it to yourself, like Edmund Hillary did when he made that feeble statement about Everest: "because it's there." But you know, as you stand at the foot of the mountain in your life, that there is something which demands that it be climbed--that there is something about that one peak that will orient things and won't let you rest. No, the weekend won't climb the mountain for you. That's your life and your job. But it may help you name the mountain, it may help you begin to hear its insistent whispering.


Be a Man...Three Words.

A MUST view!!!! Alexithymia....an inability to put emotions to words. Giving it a word does not make it more real. But it is real and that is the work of the ManKind Project.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Everything is Happening, All the Time

A link to a post by a dear man, Boysen Hodgson; an MKP man.


MKP is about change in a world filled with challenges. Come with us! Be the change. Be the Heart. Be more than you ever thought possible!

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Old vs. New

This post, which used to appear at the Chicago MKP center, is about what an old warrior looks like and why a new warrior is better placed to create a stronger man in this day and age.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf  

What is the New Warrior?

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.

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, picked 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 he 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”.


A Man's Quest

"A man must go on a quest to discover the sacred fire, in the sanctuary of his own belly to ignite the flame in his heart, to fuel the blaze in the hearth, to rekindle his ardor for the Earth.
Sam Keen

Men are not born men, but born boys. We must travel the terrain of coming male maturity with caution, bravado, fear, reluctance, joy, and passion. What stands in the way is the fear of losing our childhood security (imagined or real, as it may be).

What does a man have to give up to stand as a mature man in his mature masculine? What does a man need to look at letting go of to then grasp the maturity his body aches for?

In the ManKind Project, men are encouraged to look at what they need to do to step into a male maturity that is honoring of the man, as well as the world around him.

Men are not born men, but born boys. The world does not need more adult-sized boys running around pretending to be men. Rather, the world needs men to take their place as boys who have stepped into manhood in a courageous, fiery, honoring way.

The time is now; men are waiting.
I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf


Not a Cult

I find it pretty amazing how many people seem to attach the word "cult" to any organization that has a limited membership. The a ManKind Project has a limited membership. Men.

Is the AARP a cult because it is limited to folks over 50? Oh, and the Girls Scouts are for girls. Man, that is some risky stuff, putting girls together without boys to keep it equal (sarcasm intended).

I found this great blog article (below) that pretty much dispels the cult issue for MKP. Not that there ever was one to begin with...

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf

The ManKind Project New Warrior Training Adventure Weekend

by Rion on 04/05/2011

My first foray into Men’s Work started when I was 28. I had met some men in my community that were heads and shoulders above the majority of the population in characteristics such as appropriate self-confidence, integrity, awareness, and life purpose. They inspired me to become like them. When I asked a few of them, they responded with suggestions like Mentoring, Rites of Passage, and Initiation. All sounded good to me, so I asked where to sign up. Several of the men all talked about men’s group, men’s work, and encouraged me to check out an organization with whom all had done an initiation weekend: The Mankind Project.

I was encouraged not to take any of the dogma too seriously, but to examine what they were aiming at and find opportunity for personal reflection and growth. They knew me well enough to know that my rebel would find any authoritarian dogma and just shut my ears to the wisdom, no matter how transformational it might be. I am sworn to confidentiality about what actually happens in the weekend, but I can assure you there is no circle-jerk, animal sacrifice or blood-letting. That disclaimer aside, the work is nothing short of miraculous. What I witnessed in my fellow man that weekend brought me to tears, shouts of rage, utter awe, and beaming pride. If you question what it is to be a man, how to bond with men beyond sports, chasing women or getting drunk, your questions will be answered.

Let me clarify on one this one point: Mankind Project is not a New Age, Touchy-Feely, Crystals and Meditation Organization. Mankind Project is getting to the core of being a man: including but not limited to our judgements of our own anger, sex, lies, bullshit, purpose, and confusion. If you want to know what is holding you back from being the man you were born to be, you will get a chance to look into a mirror so unobscured by distortion, you will probably look away in denial. The great thing about this work and this organization is that the weekend is just a gateway. It is opening up the door, looking inside, and seeing some parts of yourself – your shadow – that maybe you didn’t even know existed. It’s about being given a chance to examine what the word “integrity” means and to see how much of a man of integrity you really are. It is the opportunity to do the work to transform yourself into the powerful, brave man you were destined to become. It is the opportunity for you to examine and destroy old stereotypes and myths of what being a man never was even though you forced yourself to live up to such impossible standards. Most of all, it is the opportunity to be loved, accepted, and seen, just as you are, by a group of men, without judgement.

After the initiation weekend, Mankind Project provides meetings on a weekly or monthly basis depending on your location. Here you get to continue to do the work, get reflection, and have a safe place to express your emotion, challenges and accomplishments. I have had the joy of recommending this weekend to several of my brothers in the community, and was floored to see their experiences seemingly more transformational than my own. There are several men in my life who I would love to see engage in this weekend, but have such a stigma around what these types of workshops are, they consider themselves above it or it having no use. It is to these types of men that I specifically make this appeal: If you are interested in living your purpose, knowing your dark side, and being the best man you can be in your relationships, your job, and your play, enroll in the Mankind Project’s Initiation: The Mankind Project Warrior Weekend.