I received an email from Rod, editor of the ManKind Project (MKP) UK magazine, asking if I would like to write a piece for the Spring issue. To be honest my first reaction was “hell no”.
But I never did the NWTA to take the easy way out in life. So I agreed to submit a piece….but when it comes to sharing about the weekend one of the problems is there is so much to say – but on the other hand whatever I do say will just not do it justice.
What is true to say is HOLY SH*T! WOW! OMG!
So. Let’s start with some background. My name is David and I’m 53 years old, a father of 4. I’ve worked in the field of personal and business development for 25 years, I have led personal development courses all over the world and I ran my own consulting company from 2000 to 2007.
At the end of 2007 I went through a heartbreaking and traumatic divorce. I failed spectacularly to divorce with any degree of grace or dignity, resulting in a breakdown of my health, finally becoming so ill that I spent most of 2010 bedbound or housebound with a serious health issue.
I experienced my life, and the man I knew myself to be, literally disappearing around me. The most challenging and upsetting aspect of this was the deterioration of my physical well-being and vitality. I’ve always been able to look after myself, live a full and active life, and fight my way back from anything….but not this time.
I was in a terrible state, with the medical profession offering no way forward. Until I met an extraordinary doctor in May 2011. By December my health was totally transformed. I experienced energy, creativity and a desire to get out there and be productive start to flow back into me. I also felt a real weakness and a big insecurity in my experience of myself as a powerful man. What could I do to get my power back? What Rites of Passage might help me?
Determination and drive was not going to do it, but I owed it to my partner, children, and my family who had been so generous with me, stood by me through this whole terrible experience, to be the best man I can be. I’m no stranger to working on my self and I’ve done all manner of programs, course and retreats all over the world. But never have I done any “men’s work”.
It was at this time a very good friend shared with me about this weekend – The New Warrior Training Adventure. Honestly, when he first said the name I thought he was talking about some new fangled paint ball weekend. But when my friend shared what he got from the weekend, I realized he had done something very special and powerful. That was all I needed to hear.
After speaking to the MKP enrolment manager, I was clear that I wanted to participate. The problem was my finances. He told me there were no scholarships left, but if I wanted to ask the MKP community of men for support he would get that message out. That was the first confronting process. I am terrible asking for anything, let alone help. But I knew that if I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t do the weekend in December 2011. So I sat down, let go of my fears and embarrassment, and wrote a couple of paragraphs. It was liberating and quite moving to do that, and more importantly the responses just completely blew me away; I was so humbled, moved and grateful to this new community of men – and I was off to do the NWTA.
What a rollercoaster of a weekend. The whole energy of male initiation was very powerful for me. This is a true rite of passage. Not in the realm of joining something or being in some cult, religion or club, just in the realm of becoming a man: strange at 53, but a very real and powerful experience. It was like something deep in me had been touched, turned on, and I had come home to myself after being lost for a while.
I can’t explain it, but I guess if you have done the weekend you know exactly what I am saying. Also by the time I got to the last meal, and I’d experienced the whole weekend, I was so impressed with the structure, the journey and delivery of the process. Having actually been able to physically do it, I felt great, peaceful, centered and powerful: it was amazing.
I felt this wasn’t the end of something but the start of something very special and powerful, a new chapter of my life. Now what? My mission is to create a world that connects the hearts of all people, unleashing love, balance and workability. I do this by sharing myself, sharing wisdom and supporting people.
As an outcome of my creation I would like to invite you to look at our website – www.theearthheartfoundation.org The message of this site comes directly from the heart. It’s very early days and if you would like to contribute please feel free to contact us.
My Love and Respect,