Fifteen years ago a friend introduced me to The ManKind Project (MKP). He and I had experienced a number of bad-ass-men's-initiation models in the USA, but when he found MKP, it was like discovering The Grail. He begged me to go on the Weekend. I said "No". In my mind it cost too much, and it was just the same old stuff repackaged with a little more whiff of Native American juju. For two years I said "no".... But then, in his earnestness, he hit my most vulnerable button. He offered to pay for my New Warrior Training Adventure experience. I could not resist... That's why I went to The ManKind Project!
When the ManKind Project Adventure weekend was over I was walking on air. He said to me, "Now we can talk." I didn't understand. "But we've always been able to talk," I responded weakly. "No, you'll see. Now we can talk with our hearts!" He was so right. It changed both of us to be fearless men - unafraid to touch and connect with our vulnerability. I began to see that I have immense power to be real and genuine. I was 50, and I was changing the way I was in the world, with my family, my work and my wishes.
On that MKP Adventure Weekend I accepted the call to go on my Hero's Journey through my familiar wilderness of fear. I'd always felt fatally flawed and insecure – i.e. not good enough. These were the two marks that kept me scared and terrified in the world. And after the weekend I still felt flawed and insecure... only now I'd learned something that made it all OK. I'd learned that I could simply love myself, whether I was flawed, insecure or not-good-enough... I'd learned that I could just put a drop of love on my body and let that love permeate my whole Being to do its magic.
I also learned that loving myself is the key to everything. It was bigger than anything I had ever known. And 15 years later, I am still experiencing more love, more joy, more peace, more service and more abundance than I could have ever imagined.
My wife and I have moved from the USA to the south of France, and everyday I celebrate the life I love before it's time to leave this lovely planet. I celebrate, too, the way MKP offers other men the chance to come face to face with whatever is holding them back from spiritual vibrancy and aliveness.
So thank you my friend, Rick, for putting up the cash and helping me go on the Adventure weekend. And the best thing? Simply this: I like it that when we talk, we speak with our hearts.