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Men's Circle

I was intimidated by the idea so it was easy to convince myself not to go.

I hung out with my male buddies growing up, but I kept my deepest, darkest and most revealing thoughts and emotions to myself – it’s what guys do.

As an adult I was somewhat uncomfortable in the presence of men, seeking to avoid confrontation and conflict, partially due to being bullied in my youth. I’m physically small and I don’t consider myself a handyman – not one of the ‘typical guys’.

I felt safe with women. No need to compete, and little threat to my masculinity. I’m now married to an amazing woman, where for the first time in my life, I’m experiencing a two-way vulnerable and non-judgmental relationship.

But the idea of a Men’s Circle kept coming up. I’ve made a point over the past few years of seeking and experiencing contrast, facing fears, trying new things, gaining broader perceptions and perspectives.

With an uncomfortable nervousness in the pit of my stomach, I decided to go.

The truth was I was judging without attending a Circle. That’s not the man I wanted to be. With an uncomfortable nervousness in the pit of my stomach, I decided to go.

After three years and three different Circles my beliefs have changed.

Men’s Circles have an array of benefits.

The number of Men’s Circles is growing. Worldwide organizations such as The Mankind Project are leading the way.

Here are some ways you might benefit from a Men’s Circle.

 

Be Present

Our minds are often busy with: the “to-do” list, how we’re going to respond in a conversation, letting random memories or ‘how I want something to be different’ invade our thoughts. The value of a man’s experience in a Circle is dependent on the level of his discipline and attention. How engaged is he: listening, making eye contact, being present to what is happening in the Circle and within himself?

By being present men support each other by asking pertinent questions, nod in agreement, offer encouragement or hold space.

The Circle reinforces being present, a skill a man can use anytime, anywhere.

The Circle reinforces being present, a skill a man can use anytime, anywhere.

 

Supported, Accepted And Safe

One man’s pain, issue or concern is recognized and validated within the Circle. There are benefits to those in support – feeling a sense of satisfaction when adding value, empathy, compassion or insight.

Confidentiality and accountability are cornerstones of the Circle. Each man commits to keeping what is said in the Circle confidential. Only his own personal experience can be shared outside. Commitment to confidentiality is paramount to the success of the Circle.

We hold our self, and each other, accountable for our actions and words, without judgment. It is a safe environment to share scars and shadows. We practice acceptance, for our self and others – we are all striving to be better men.


Wisdom From Others

Listening to others share their experiences introduces new possibilities of behaving and dealing with uncomfortable situations. And sometimes it helps us realize some of our past choices weren’t so bad after all.

Wisdom can be found from others.


Vulnerability Is Not Weakness

Men exhibiting emotional vulnerability is counterintuitive to traditional men’s culture. Expressing emotions and personal challenges are key in Men’s Circles. Men are encouraged to share what ever they’re feeling – beyond traditional anger and stoicism.

Witnessing men display vulnerability is a paradigm changing experience.

Witnessing men display vulnerability is a paradigm changing experience.

 

You’re Not Alone

We all desire connection to others similar to ourselves. It is at the core of human desire. Men’s Circles are liberating by being accepted for who we are, in a place where there is deep, open and honest conversations.

You’re not alone with your pain. Community and kinship is developed as we become vulnerable.


Therapeutic

Men’s Circles are not ‘therapy’ but they can be therapeutic. Most men relate in some way to another man’s story – the pain and challenges. There is empathy and opportunities to learn from another man’s experience.

One man sharing his story often helps another with their healing process.


Self-Care

Attending a Men’s Circle is a step in the practice of self-care. It is a conscious choice in making time for our self.

… what supports and doesn’t support our health and wellbeing.

It’s surprising how this one decision ripples out into our life as we become aware of what supports and doesn’t support our health and wellbeing.

 

 

 


Defining Your Character

Attending Men’s Circles will challenge the definition of who we are. We ask, ‘Who is the man I want to be?’ We reflect on how we choose to behave and what values we choose to live by.

Reviewing what we believe, how we behave, and why, is an important step in becoming the man we desire.

We each get to choose our character. We can change our beliefs and behaviours.

… we are accountable and responsible for the man we are.

We come to the understanding we are accountable and responsible for the man we are.

 

 

 

This knowledge is freeing and empowering.

***

Warning: Men’s Circles are not for the faint of heart.

‘Buckle up your courage’ and set any preconceived ideas to the side. Go in with an open heart and open mind.

You might be surprised at the benefits that await you in a Men’s Circle.

Note: You may want to use the free Choice Comparison Matrix Tool (CCM) to compare the advantages and disadvantages of attending a Men’s Circle or not. The outcome of the CCM process will be clarity of choice and ongoing motivation for your decision. The tool can be used with any choice consideration.


I write to inspire men to greater self-awareness, to make better choices and create a better life.

If you like what you read please subscribe for updates, share my articles with others, and add your comments below.

You can connect with me via email at [email protected] and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Empowered By Choice.


 

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