What am I feeling? I am feeling pride in the 200 men I spent a day with at the Island of Men who had gathered to take a stand for we were in it together to become better men for each other, our families and friends, lovers and children. The day consisted of ceremonies and about twenty workshops on a wide range of subjects that could achieve the stated intention. The following poem was written by my mentor Arion about the day, it sums up what happened pretty damn well. Here is a link to his work: Living As Essence.
Men. When you take off your mask.
You break my heart, in every way.
You share wisdom beyond your years
And unbearable trauma under that smile
Men, when you take off the mask
You show me bone-deep loneliness
No longer covered by the effort of living
And you break my heart, again
Men, when your mask falls away
I see tender beauty
And breathtaking kindness
That shatters all I knew, as you
Men, without masks
I love you, I see you
I see the depth of your feeling
And the burden of keeping it down
Men free from masks
I see your tears and tenderness
And your ache to love and be loved
I see your true power stirring
Let celebrate all that is behind that mask
In you, me and all of us
Let’s start a rebellion
Where we wear the masks no more
Let us cry in each other’s arms
Then build a new world, together
A world that bows to tenderness
In every living thing
Let us break our hearts together
In our beauty and our pain
I love you, I love me
Let’s take this love, to the world.
So what has the world said about the power of community, here are a few of my favourites:
1. We attended a magnificent event and are setting up structures so that we can fulfil the third stanza.
2. There will be Shadow and Light moments on our journeys, but as it says when it’s hard, We’re In This Together: Let’s Stick Together.
3. But due to all of us, the vulnerability of men and the power that can create will not be a secret much longer.
4. And Yes, some of this happened: Bette Davis Eyes.
5. And heaps of Bro Love, which I define as being truly seen by another man, of whatever age.
6. I’m guessing this is not the Paul Ryan from the Tea Party in the States, great ethos though: I’m an Individual.
7. Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. Dr Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.
8. Those African dudes know how to keep our intention simple: How Far I’ll Go.
9. Gentleman, make some noise!!
10. We Wee’d in nature on the island. it really gets you in contact with the power of the wellness offered by communing with the land: Oh, Well.
11. And didn’t they share this so beautifully in the Heartspace process?
12. A philosophical doctrine or approach to life that emphasizes social unity and generosity of spirit: Ubuntu.
13. Even Rumi’s on our side.
14. Here is my favourite movement creator, here are some of his words: I Have A Dream.
15. And for our final lesson, Men of the Island remember the power of the snowflake.
There is so much great stuff happening across the communities of the world to have its heart space be transformed. It was an honour to attend one of them on Sunday.
There is a playlist, it has one of Australia’s greatest silly songs amongst other classics. We begin with Bryan Ferry them move to Kim Carnes. Who remembers Jacko then a musical tune from Moana. One of the great early Fleetwood Mac numbers follows then a world music number from World Edition. We finish with the wisdom of Martin Luther King: We Make A Life By What We Give.
If you really knew me, you would know in my heart there lives the statement: Love and Respect For All, Everybody Included. Until we meet again, my dear friends.