The world needs more humble and powerful men.
Here’s a controversial statement: it’s not easy being a man these days. Outdated models of masculinity — the “strong, silent man” — exist on one side, out of tune and out of touch with history and the times. Perhaps because of this, men take a lot of shit these days — for a history we didn’t personally live, a culture we didn’t personally create, and abuses we never personally committed.
Yet, part of men’s work is taking radical responsibility for life. And while you may not have contributed directly to the bad reputation that men often have, we must own that, as men, we have earned our reputation.
Aloof. Entitled. Domineering. Out of touch. Bullying, Aggressive. Emotionally oblivious. Guarded. Selfish. Power-hungry.
Countering this reputation will take more than just not being a dick, not causing active harm, or just largely stepping away from life.
On the other side, many of us have also encountered the “new age” man. This is the one who has taken all these criticisms to heart. He’s uncertain, unreliable, afraid to speak up, unfocused and lacking discipline, and unable to penetrate life with power, humility, clarity, and heart.
This 3-day retreat teaches a third way, the way of The Embodied Man. In this experiential retreat, we’ll gather to explore this topic in intensive and insightful practices, talks, and embodied experiences.
We’ll explore the downside of the old model of masculinity and the downside of the ‘too sensitive’ man. (Hint: it takes balls and heart to show up in your full masculinity.) You’ll learn to share and also to hold boundaries; to take in criticism and challenge but not collapse — or posture; to be embodied while also being highly attuned to your own emotional experience; to transcend ideas of what the masculine can or should be in order to find your own intelligent, skillful, fully alive, highly relational, emotionally sophisticated, and deeply powerful self.
Practices will include:
- Embodied listening (listening with your whole body to both the speaker and yourself)
- Embodied breathing, movement, and awareness
- How to give feedback and witness another man without needing to fix him or change him
- Responding by leading with curiosity —especially when defensiveness and the impulse to fix or give advice are present
- The power of ‘both/and’ over ‘either/or
- Understanding what happens when you get charged…and how to stay in your body and minimize the mess
- Building your capacity to stay relational especially when there is a charge in you.
- How to do men’s work yourself
- How to be curious whilst staying with yourself & other
- How to challenge others skillfully
The weekend will be highly interactive. A strong container will allow for safety but also a lack of it, so you can explore your edges by, at times, going past them.
This will be led by experienced men’s work facilitators Jeff James Howard, Marco Lam, Keith Martin-Smith, and Eddie Konold Jeff and Eddie are licensed psychotherapists. Marco is an acupuncturist, permaculture expert, and community leader. Keith is an ordained Zen priest, published author, and martial arts lineage holder.