I was so excited by what I experienced on the MKP weekend, I wanted to write about my experiences. These are all my personal beliefs and comments, not those of MKP! I believe that the ManKind Project is a modern form of initiation, which helps men make the transition from a common kind of adolescent emotional state to full-grown masculine maturity. (And by that, let me add, I don't mean the kind of macho swaggering masculinity that leads people like Tony Blair and George Bush and David Cameron to invade countries like Iraq and Libya just for the sense of their own grandiosity.)
I'm talking about true masculinity: the kind of masculinity that meets the world head on, giving you steadfastness and determination to stick to the principles that you believe in. Somebody asked me before I went on the ManKind Project Adventure Training Weekend, "what is the cause that you would die for?"
And this struck me as a very powerful way of actually expressing what's missing in today's society for most men - they don't stand for anything. One of the things the ManKind Project does is to teach men to speak for themselves, not for others, so let me do that: I know that I didn't stand for anything before I went on the Mankind Project weekend.
Indeed, that was one of the reasons that I undertook it. Whether I could admit it or not, my life wasn't working. I was unhappy, I didn't have any purpose, and my relationship wasn't going well. But I don't want you to think that I'm saying the ManKind Project will cure all those problems in one weekend.
It obviously won't, but it can get you really back in touch with who you are and what you want in life, and for men whose lives are not working it can be a most incredible reconnection experience. Forget what else you've read on the Internet from fearful and dissatisfied men. The reality of the ManKind Project adventure weekend is simply this: it helped me get you in touch with myself, in other words, it helped me understand what I needed to do in life, what I wanted to do and how I might do it, and what purpose I might have that I could call my life's mission. A purpose in tune with my deepest values. Now, what man wouldn't want to understand that?
For men who are ready to move into a more mature place, a place of full power and potential, or at least who are willing to start making the journey, the ManKind Project adventure weekend is unrivalled in its excellence. And no matter what you've read elsewhere from disaffected men I experienced it as more supportive than anything I had ever previously had in my life. One of the guiding principles of the organisation is the sense of integrity and honesty that pervades everything it does.
So let me tell you some other things it did for me: it enabled me to meet with unwavering steadfastness my female partner in our relationship, and to stand like a rock against the tide of emotion that sometimes comes washing over me from her.... And after a while, the tides of her emotion became less strong, and our relationship deeper and more harmonious. What I discovered through this experience was that women test men for their stability and steadfastness, they test men to make sure that they are reliable and dependable and that they have the strength of character that a woman needs from her male partner.
I also discovered that I could bring a much needed sense of integrity and honesty to everything I did, and that I could say what I thought without fear or favour to almost everyone I met. What a change from cringing in fear and reacting with anger to those I loved!
And finally it allowed me to deal with challenges from my children, from my family, my friends, my boss. It allowed me to stand up to these challenges with firm boundaries, and in the process I discovered that what everybody actually wants is a firm boundary, so they know exactly where they stand, and they know exactly what their rights and responsibilities are. That's just about the nicest thing I got from the ManKind Project - I discovered my rights and responsibilities on Planet Earth as a man.
If you have any sense that what I've said in this article might be relevant to you, then you owe it to yourself, and you certainly owe it to those around you, to look into the Mankind Project to find out whether it might be right for you. Good luck, and I hope to see you there.