What do you want more than anything? If you’re like many of the men I just worked with in NYC, it’s simple: freedom.
When we ask men why they took time to come to our workshops, we hear that again and again: “I want to be free.” Logically we think that as men we are in charge, we can create what we want. But it’s not that simple, is it? What we really need is help with the expectations that were laid on us, the expectations that trap us.
The act of asking for help, then showing up for help, is a huge act of courage for men. We don’t even like to ask for directions, so to ask for help in being your own man is a stretch. The courage to show up in a room full of men you don’t know, and speak your truth, is one of the bravest acts a man can do.
Number 1 reason is wanting to be free, but the Number 2 reason men give for participating in our groups might surprise you: men want a real male brotherhood. The need to have real friends, the ones we had when we were younger, helps men muster the courage to show up.
Much of the work I do with men is just having men feel, accept and express what is occurring for them, inside of them; a simple yet brave act. When a man has the courage to stand up in front of a group of men, allowing himself to shake with the strong emotion he’s expressing, every man in the room is there with him. Their judgments are: that man has some big ones, I couldn’t do that, and he must really trust himself and the facilitators.
That man just raised the bar for every man in the room. No matter what occurs, he won each man’s respect. We repeatedly saw that courage this weekend in New York.
We don’t all need therapy. We just need to be with other men being themselves. With other authentic men, we will free and heal what needs liberation and healing. During my day with the New York Brotherhood men’s group, and at my public event, I saw the power of each man’s desire to open up and be vulnerable tied with wanting to contribute to other men. Men instinctually show up this way when given a chance. This chance comes every week with a men’s group.
I want to see every man have the opportunity to start or join a men’s group not because he needs fixing, but because he wants to have his own tribe of men. I want to change the paradigm of what it is to be a man and what it means to hang with men.
Thank you NY
Thank you Dan Doty, my good friend and former Sandpoint Men’s Group member, for hosting two amazing events. I know now how much work it is to organize a successful event. I appreciate all the love that went into helping other men.
Also thanks to the men of Dan’s group for showing up so powerfully on Saturday. Each man was fully engaged, and played full out all day. I ended the day inspired to keep sharing our work with more men.
With the help of his group, Dan created an amazing event for 20 men. Men throughout the New York area came to a large dance studio space to experience what sitting with other men can create. At the end, they reported that they got more than they imagined possible – they began to reconnect to buried parts of themselves and to other men in authentic ways.
Most of all, thank you for all those new men who, in the face of their fear, showed up to sit in a room with strangers.. Your courage is my inspiration and hope. I know with more of that courage, we will create a planet that works for all of us.
We will be offering more events throughout North America this summer and fall. My book, Grow Up: A Man’s Guide to Masculine Emotional Intelligence will be released soon. The film on our men’s group, About Men will also be released soon, and this site’s update is about to be released. Soon we will be offering a men’s group leadership program so men have the support they need to create a successful men’s group.
I will keep putting myself and our work out there, which can be scary. But the excitement of connecting with both men and women, to help free men to win, drives me to do more. Thank you for your support and your shared passion to give men the tools they never had.