EDITORS NOTE: This is the first in a series of focus pieces from the ManKind Project USA written by or with men who have had powerful impacts on the ManKind Project’s growth and health through the years. Each of these men have given decades of their time and brilliance to help us be where we are today.

“MKP has had a huge influence on myself and my family.” ~David Bauerly

David Bauerly

David Bauerly

I got into sobriety at the age of 23, and was involved in retreats and personal development early on. I worked with John Bradshaw putting on Healing Shame, and Healing Your Inner Child workshops all over the US. I was the executive producer of a PBS series with Dr. Patrick Carnes in 1990 and did workshops with him for years. In the early 90s I started coaching doctors with addictions and doing interventions on disruptive doctors.

I attended my New Warrior Training Adventure weekend in June of ’93 in Minnesota. I loved my weekend. It was the first time I cried in over 30 years. It was a wonderful experience, yet not nearly as powerful as the LT2 I attended in Houston just 6 weeks later. It was that experience that really sold me on MKP.

Having done some much personal work the thing that I found that worked for me was the idea of I-Groups. Change does not occur without sustained support so I kept talking my friends into attending until I had enough guys to start an I-Group. We stumbled forward clumsily creating a lasting I-Group for us to have support.

In 1997 I became a Certified Co-leader and then in 2000 became a full leader of NWTAs. Somewhere along the line I became a leader of our leadership trainings which is where my passion is held today. We do great leadership trainings.

I attended each of the gatherings we held at Glenn Ivy in southern California over the years. It was a great time to connect with leaders from all over the world, and also with elders and LKS men as we all gathered at the same time and place. Sadly we no longer hold these gatherings. In 2010 I became the first Chair of MKP USA. My passion came forth in stepping forward to put my name forth as chair candidate. 

Living requires a continual inspection of how shadow impacts my presence in the world. Stepping up to Chair required looking at how deeply I held in shadow my fear of being seen, of being different, of not being enough (being inadequate), and of making mistakes that might show me to be flawed and a fraud. Then after being elected to not be taken over by grandiosity and arrogance to cover up my fear of inadequacy. Power is a seductive and potentially destructive thing.

I believe the world needs the ManKind Project. It needs our work desperately. The mature masculine is deeply lacking in all ways in our culture. If we can make a larger impact we may help to make this a better place, a safer place, for women, children, folks who are different in some way, and all men of all types, moving forward.

It has long been my desire that men see just how magnificent they are, JUST AS THEY ARE. I have tried to convince them that their reason for being here is to be fully “who they are,” that they must become themselves. MY ONLY choice in life it seems was to become David Bauerly, everybody else was already taken, so that was and is my job on this planet.

I retired from leading NWTAs in 2015 but still lead the leadership trainings and serve as MOS on weekends.

These days I work with doctors, consulting with hospitals, and coaching doctors in communications skills. I do interventions on disruptive physicians who create a toxic work environment which is dangerous for patient’s survival.  The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, estimates half the deaths in hospitals are due to disruptive physicians. It is my work in MKP around accountability and communication that has fueled my work with Docs.