Growing Connection through Authentic Listening and Sharing
Forget the dated stereotypes that come to mind when you hear the words “men’s group”. They come from ideas thrown up by the media that don’t relate to men’s isolation. It’s part of our national upbringing that says, “be a man”, “toughen up” and squash anything unmanly in yourself by ridiculing it in others. But the reality of committing to a well-functioning men’s group is very different.
“Alienation is one of the faces of modern masculinity. The cure is communication and community – new sense of togetherness. By opening up to each other we reduce the pressure of being alone and exiled.” (From “Of Water and the Spirit” by Malidoma Somé.)
This comment speaks to the essence of what men are gaining out of men’s groups. The exile of traditional male conditioning is ended by surrendering to the experience of simply being with men on the journey of life.
Being in a Men’s Group can benefit you in many ways:
• Having men who will help you or give you honest feedback.
• Having people who will support you and celebrate your achievement every step of the way.
• Having a circle of men to discuss things you might be unable to discuss with anyone else.
• Being challenged and kept accountable to your commitments.
• A place where you don’t have to defend yourself and compete with men.
• A place to have fun and learn about real lifelong friendship.
Over time you’ll develop a shared history and culture. This is a men’s group. It’s about coming home to yourself and community. And it’s a place from which to form an equal partnership with women.
Men’s Group Development Day
We endeavour to support Men’s Groups within our Network through the a Men’s Group Development Day. This is a fun day intended to share ideas about Men’s Groups that work, explore issues and build skills. It is also a time for men to check out groups seeking to add members, or groups to meet men wanting to join, and network among groups. Bring your whole men’s group, a few mates, or come on your own, all are welcome! In the words of a recent participant of the Men’s Group Development Day:
“The Men’s Group from Whangarei has asked me to write to you all to express our thanks for facilitating the Men’s Group Development Day (recently). We found that travelling and spending the day together has helped to bring the Group closer. We are processing the many ideas and suggestion that arose … but for us, simply spending the day with men who, like us, are trying to find paths towards a deeper connection was immensely helpful.. Your warmth, generosity and humanity will live with us for a long time. So thank you again – we hope that you got as much out of the day as we did.”
Click to read more about Men’s Groups…
The starting point is the Essentially Men / Men Being Real weekend workshop, which is followed up by and includes a facilitated Integration Group – six one evening per week sessions to help participants form their own Men’s Group.