Sunday, May 31, 2015

When Men Change- Pain and Longing

          My divorce was one of the most painful times in my life. Though I was not legally married and facing legal and financial issues, the emotional ones were as daunting as those of other men I have heard from. And there was a child involved which amplified the heartbreak many fold.

It was at this time I felt incredibly vulnerable and raw and spoke with people at a level of honesty and realness that broke with the usual everyday movements of carrying out the business of my life.

It was this pain point that had me re-examine what was truly important to me, searching for new ground to stand on, even a redefinition of who I was and why I was here. It involved taking a hard look at old patterns and behaviors that were not serving me, my default ways of operating in the world programmed from boyhood on about what it meant to be a “real” or successful man.

In the licking of my wounds, a new “call” emerged from the pain and within that call was a longing for something more and bigger. I could not fully know at that dark time I was actually in a chrysalis and about to emerge into a whole new life with new people who would become friends, family and community, all that I would need to grow new wings and fly.

These days when I work with other men at these points of life transition, I realize I am working with myself, the men mirror my past pain and longing for an expanded life of greater joy and fulfillment.

The biggest obstacle facing so many boys and men today is isolation, a lack of societal support for growing up in healthy, purposeful and productive ways that provide deeper meaning, a sense of personal mastery and belonging for each developing boy and man at every stage of life.

Fortunately, there is a worldwide movement whose leaders understand that it takes a village to help break through the isolation and raise a man. It is called The Mankind Project, (MKP) is 35 years along in its evolution and spans several continents and countries. The signature experience provided by MKP is a powerful weekend rite of passage for young men and older that recognizes the Hero’s Journey given higher profile in our modern culture by the great mythologist and educator Joseph Campbell. Over 60,000 men have experienced these powerful weekends, supporting men to begin defining purpose and success on their own terms.

Now in it’s third year the MKP sponsored Man On Purpose course provides a seven-week teleseminar that builds real community for men with virtual technology that can enable communication and heartfelt connection across continents. The course attracts men acknowledging and courageously taking a risk to doing something about their pain and longing.

My role in this Man On Purpose community is to work with its instructors/facilitators to provide the men who enroll in the course an introduction to the power and ease of the Passion Test, now the number one tool used in 52 countries to help people get clear about their passion and purpose and support them to live their life based on what most brings them alive and feeds their souls, as well as their pocketbooks!

My team of five men Passion Test facilitators living in North America, the Caribbean and Australia work with men in or close to their home regions or time zones to get clear about and decide to live their passions fully as an integral part of the Man On Purpose course supporting men on their hero’s journey toward a greater sense of passion-infused purpose. Some of these course participants have recognized it is a part of their greater life purpose to serve other men on their journey out of isolation and are choosing to become certified Passion Test facilitators as a powerful complement to other processes and tools they can use in their lives, professions and businesses.

If you know a man in pain or longing for more, there is something you can do. You can visit to find a local or regional presence of the global Mankind community. There are men willing to talk to that man if he is even a little open to having a conversation with someone who understands what he is going through or is longing for.

And you can talk to me about how men can access the Passion Test and global family of facilitators that is growing daily.

The women’s movement began with leaders naming a problem with no name, and then taking bold leadership to change the world. The men’s movement has named the challenge as well and in partnership with women is making life better for millions. It is sometimes painful for me to know we have not reached everyone yet and I long for the day when we’ve ended men’s isolation and created communities everywhere that make a real difference in men’s lives, helping those men make a difference in their worlds and the lives of others. 

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