International Men’s Day
‘On November 19 International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities.’
Everywhere around us we see loving dads, wonderful family men; men who do all sorts of stuff in their communities, often with great humour and laughter to go with it; men looking after their mates. All in all, we see so many men just being ‘a good man’
In honouring men on International Men’s Day we also recognize those men who are doing it tough.
- Our Returned Servicemen who we have sent to another world where values and behaviours are so different to those we experience and have, sitting comfortably and peacefully in our homes.
- Our police who every day deal with ‘stuff’ we don’t even really want to know about
- Our farmers, who in these tough times, deal with the death of everything around them every day. Their cattle and sheep die; their crops die; their gardens die; sometimes the family ‘dies’ and all too often even the man himself actually dies.
- Our men who live with disabilities, with disadvantage, depression, those who have ‘fallen through the cracks’.
The great thing about those men is that they persist. Even more importantly, it gives us the chance, this International Men’s Day, to look into our own hearts, to reach out and to ask ‘How you doing mate?’
Outdoor Connection is deeply connected to an organization called The Mankind Project. Josh and Bill are both active members of the MKP community. The stated aim of MKP is to ‘further the emotional and psychological wellbeing of men’. The Mankind Project main theme is “Changing the world – one man at a time”. We can’t change the whole world. It’s all too BIG! So, MKP tries to change the world of THIS man - this man who is here, with us, right now. We know that, when we change this man’s life, he will then change the lives and wellbeing of his family and of others in his community.
But what does it actually mean to have the aim of advancing ‘the emotional and psychological wellbeing of men’?
Who do we change? What man would benefit from MKP? How?
What does the Mankind Project actually do?
Who can benefit from the Mankind Project?
It’s YOU! It’s your husband! It’s your father! It’s your son! It’s your brother! It’s your mate!
Which one of us doesn’t, more or less often, feel like something isn’t right? We feel that we aren’t ‘settled’; we are not really true to ourselves; we are not behaving in integrity; we are not behaving with emotional maturity and responsibility; we aren’t respecting others as we should; we aren’t as loving as we ought to be.
How can we become the man we want to be?
How can we bring about the change?
How do we become a man who:
- listens to and cares about his loved ones ?
- is accountable for his words and actions ?
- respects the values and individuality of others ?
- trusts other men and values their support ?
- speaks his truth in a clean and clear way ?
- expresses his feelings and emotions freely ?
- knows his mission and purpose in life and LIVES it?
New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA)
The first step ‘to become the man I want to be’ is to get a workshop that has proven itself to be the “best weekend of your life” for many men.
The New Warrior Training Adventure let’s YOU explore what it is to be a real man in the modern world. There is no great message from high above. You spend a weekend amongst other men who end up becoming your brothers, men who will care and support you to become the man you want to be while you care for and support those men.
A man gets to look at:
- What makes me – ME ?
- What is it in me that doesn’t feel quite right? What am I holding back on?
- What is my mission in life? How can I live a better life?
- How can I live as a REAL man with REAL feelings and INTEGRITY?
Check out the men here who have completed their NWTA weekend. Hear their story. How would you like to feel how these men do? How would you like your husband or partner to feel and act like these men now do?
What’s really different about MKP is that we have ongoing support for your whole life that costs absolutely nothing – just men helping men. In most areas, we have regular meetings where men can express their feelings, joys and pain; can hear, feel and see the feelings of other men and learn from their experiences. If you don’t go to the gym the muscles you have previously gained gradually diminish. MKP Group meetings are like emotional gyms that give our integrity a good work out.
I was shoved into a Catholic Boarding School at the sweet old age of four. I turned five a month or so later. Let’s just say that, for a tiny young whippersnapper, it was tough. I came out the other end, finally completing what is now Grade 12 – called Senior in those days. It’s fair to say I had ‘some’ (Bwahahaaaaa!) resentments. I had a really, really bad reaction to any authority or to anyone who thought they had authority over me. This included also many to whom I ceded that authority. I was a pleaser, adapting my own behavior just to please others and stop my world spinning off its axis. The worst of it was – I had no bloody idea!
There was anger. It was not directed at anyone close and dear to me, but at the world. It was just that those who were close and dear to me had to put up with it. I thought I handled my anger really well!!! It was not until I was 62 years old that it finally dawned on me – If I handled the anger really well – then it was there, always lurking, waiting to break out. I hid it to an extent but I drove everyone around me nuts. In addition, I wrecked my body with physical work and stress just to try to stop what was happening in my head. EXCESS was my middle name!
A psychologist friend recommended the Mankind Project to me. He had been really great for me and I thought had taken me on pretty much the whole journey. I thought I was ‘home’. His remark to me was “Listen! I’ve had you for an hour a week for a few months. MKP have you for a whole weekend and they will take you places in your head you don’t even know exist”. And, so it was….the New Warrior Training Adventure – the most challenging, rewarding and fun weekend I can remember. I came out of it with a reconciliation and a peace I’d never known. I came out of it with a totally new way to live.
That said, the old ways can creep back. So, going to the regular meetings of ‘likeminded’ men has been a source of joy and peace for me over the years. I am grateful but so also are my family and friends.
I had never had a particularly hard life or really any ‘major’ challenges growing up. My parents were close and gave me many opportunities in home, work & schooling.
However I was acting out against my own core values. I didn’t even know what they were at the time. Behaving in ways that was often resulting in things I’d regretted. I knew that the way I was acting, wasn’t who I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how to change, so I ignored that feeling inside me and drowned it out with booze & partying for years.
As I got closer to 30 I started noticing these feelings coming back stronger yet again, subconsciously I could feel myself changing and no longer enjoying the weekends of boozing and reckless behaviour. I didn’t really understand it at the time but I was turning down offers from friends to go out more often and working on living healthier. I stumbled across a book by Jordan Peterson called The 12 Rules of Life. This was like the bible I never knew I needed. I was obsessed. This guy was calling me out on all the things I was too afraid to do. I watched his interviews and lectures and starting working through his courses. This was the beginning of a different me.
Shortly after my 30th a friend had offered me a very generous opportunity to go up the mountain with the Mankind Project for this ‘New Warrior Training Adventure’. I had seen some incredibly positive changes in my friend over the years from this, so I accepted and headed up the mountain. 3 days later I was driving home, and for the first time in my life I had some clarity around the kind of person I wanted to ‘show up’ in the world as. I felt a new sense of calmness, confidence, strength, appreciation and awe that I’d never felt before in my life.
I had confronted some feelings inside myself that had been buried for a very long time. It wasn’t a magic overnight pill, but it was definitely a life changing kick start on a journey to self-betterment.