What do 105 men do at a weekend mens empowerment event for 3 and a half days. I went along after having attended a total of three mens empowerment circles with an attendance of 4 people at each. having created all the worst case scenario’s of woad wearing rituals and group screamings I enrolled because everything that frightened me about it were the reasons I should attend.
My friend from a previous retreat Michael also enrolled and we drove down together to Grantville Lodge http://uccamping.org.au/grantville-lodge/ to a magnificent view of Westernport Bay on the friday afternoon of the Cup long weekend. We found our sleeping places and settled in , Michael found out an old friend of his was in our cabin and I chatted to another of the participants who had had much more experience with men’s groups than I and his reassurances that it would cover all shades of grey helped me greatly.
We then had dinner and this was followed by the opening ceremony where an incredibly moving fire ceremony took place with the lighting of the event fire that would burn all weekend until the completion of the event. We then were split into our tribal groups, each named after a volcano, our’s was Corvo; http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/corvo-volcano.html , it seems this is in the Azores. I was with three of the presenters and a person who volunteered at Men events as a leader. Our group leader was a wild man who didn’t fancy wearing shoes. We had an hour to get to know each other so shared some of our stories at this first meeting.
They had announced the following days workshops at dinner and at 6.00 a.m. next day was Mandance and I am a dancer so I attended. The atmosphere was extraordinary with only male energy present and the presence of testerone was high, men have 4 times the testerone levels of women. I am frightened of barechested caveman like behaviour so this was confronting for me but as it went on I got to see it was all within the passion to dance as we were sacredly held through an ecstatic wave to reach a state of trance to gain inner peace.
Workshops during the day were to open the heart space through physical movement and groups that included quite a bit of role playing to allow this to happen. The first I attended was on a technique called Life Mechanics that allowed you to see where you spent time in the negative where it was just as easy to be positive.
followed by the life freeing talk on Procrastination and Distraction, Playing with our Power that had me see how easily I get distracted in life and what it costs me big time – http://www.davidnaylor.net.au/ . I finished the day with Non Voilent Communication a technique I had had a bit to do with several years ago, It all came back to me with the I statements taking responsibility and how you felt and making requests to resolve issues. http://www.nvcaustralia.com/index.php?action=trainer&id=68.
I forgot to mention that during this event I had a raging viral infection and slept through the Saturday night ceremony Heart Space. I asked my friend Michael on the drive home what it was like and he said it gave credibility to the statement from Avatar I See you and was one of the more special things he had been through.
Day two, I didn’t wake up until 6.40 so missed the 6.00 session and went to breakfast provided by the wonderful Sun Hyland and his team http://www.newearthcatering.com followed by a session on the dangers of porn by one of my Tribal group, it was confronting to see the role of it in our society, http://manenough.com.au/events/man-enough-november-workshop-2/ . There had also been drumming and juggling sessions during the day but my body was still not up to it. There was a session on the work of Byron Katie so I attended that, I love the work of Byron Katie and the four simple but empowering questions Is that true?, Can you absolutely know thats true, how do you feel when holding the story and Who would I be without this story can change your life if you stick to the script. http://www.thework.com/thework-4questions.php . The last workshop I did for the day was Financial Sabotage, an inquiry into how we sabotage ourselves and what would be possible if we stopped doing so .
We then moved to the cabaret, a celebration of men’s talent, lots of singer songwriters, comedians but the highlight was the interpretive dance by our 92 year old elder, he gave us a Ted talk of his wisdom at each break, if only we all could be so lithe at the age of 92. My friend Michael said to me this should end soon, its one o’clock. I didn’t believe him because it had been such great entertainment, but it was.
To the final day when we said goodbye to our Tribal group whom I had fallen deeply in Love and Respect with, we had an hour and a half to complete and team Corvo embraced each other and declared themselves inside a group hug, we were gifted a final breakthrough in this session by one team member it was humbling and empowering that we trusted each other that much in such a short time. We then had lunch and came to the closing ceremony where the group thanked the committee for organising it, the group leaders for being a stand for us all, Sun and his team for the great service and then a crazy hand slap to everybody chaos ruled but it was beautiful. About 20 inspired men stood forward to organise next years event including my friend Michael, i’m sure he will be great.
The main thing I got out of this event that it is OK to be a conscious man in 2014 in Melbourne Australia because there is plenty of other brothers out there and we will transform how men relate in society. Thank you Menergy 2014 http://www.menergy.org.au/wp/
Namaste until next time, my friends
I admire your courage in attending an event like this where “everything that frightened me about it were the reasons I should attend”. It reminds us that in facing such fears we are often greatly rewarded and from what you share here, it sounds like what you discovered from the experience will stay with you for a long time.
Pingback: He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother!! | I am an Interculturalist