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Last weekend I led a New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) in Upstate, NY. And last night, I attended a homecoming for men who had completed the one in the Northwest.

Witnessing and listening to stories of transformation has me wanting to tell you about the NWTA. I’m not going to describe it process by process. Instead, I’m going to share how I tell men about “The Weekend”. (I should note that since the New Warrior Training Adventure is now being held around the world, including Israel calling it a weekend isn’t entirely accurate.)

The Weekend – New Warrior Training Adventure

He’s how I describe the NWTA.

It’s an experiential training that consists of 52 processes in 48-hours. It’s no sit-and-get seminar. It moves fast. You’ll experience the classic arc of the hero’s journey – Separation, Ordeal, Return.

The return includes the homecoming I mentioned attending. It’s a welcome home where family, partners, kids, and friends are encouraged to join with New Warriors celebrating your return to your community, home, and brotherhood of warriors.

On the weekend, you’ll be challenged. Challenged to look at what’s working in your life and what’s not. You will experience processes that encourage accountability, emotional intelligence, forming a mission, vision, and purpose for your life.

There’s team building, guided visualizations, and time for contemplation. And there will be deeply personal work to break through beliefs that may be keeping you from living the life you truly want.

Men’s Journal Article

Earlier this year, Bill Heavey, a contributing writer for Men’s Journal, did his weekend and wrote an article highlighting his experience.

Heavey said of his motivation for attending, “I’m here looking for support, connection, and self-expression. Moreover, I’d like to build deeper friendships with other guys and get more comfortable with myself.”

Bill goes on.

“I was OK with test-driving a new model of masculinity, but, at that moment, I realize that I had no real intention of abandoning the dysfunctional behavior that landed me here. The staff leads us through exercises that are effectively party games: We pair up and tell the other guy what we observe and imagine about him. We then sit back-to-back and try to stand up together. Corny as this sounds, I feel an unusual, and surprising, bond forming with the other men.

In a sharing circle, a quiet guy who drives a school bus for a living explains that he grew up fatherless, with an emotionally abusive mother. As the guy unwinds his story, he is completely vulnerable, and as courageous as a man staring down a tank. At the break, I hug the guy and tell him that he’s the bravest motherfucker I’ve ever met. I feel his body fight the sobs that he needs to let out but isn’t ready to yet. I get it. Around me, other men, some with wet eyes, are hugging.”

Heavey’s most powerful observation is, “The vibe is neither New Agey nor contrived—it’s just what emerges when we stop bullshitting ourselves.”

Read the entire article: https://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/how-to-explore-your-feelings-and-masculinity-at-a-male-only-retreat/.

The ManKind Project’s Take on the Men’s Journal Article

Boysen Hodgson, Marketing and Communications Director for MKP, wrote a response prompted by the troubling illustrations used in the article.

“It’s a bold move for Men’s Journal to ‘go there’ and talk about men’s emotional lives – and we applaud this bravery. We understand that this was a tough choice. Men’s Journal has an audience. The audience has expectations.

They took a risk in covering this story. And they hired an incredibly talented and bold artist, Zohar Lazar, to do the illustrations. Lazar’s gifts are many. Sadly, it’s the opinion of many in the ManKind Project that the Men’s Journal made a poor choice in art direction, drawing on stereotypes instead of opting for a more courageous path.

Most importantly and the first thing many have noticed … with disappointment and anger … was that the black man in the cover image is drawn in a way that harkens back to racist ‘simian’ parodies of African Americans. The ManKind Project has already received emails and phone calls from people across the United States questioning this casually racist portrayal. This reflects poorly on Men’s Journal, and by extension, it reflects poorly on the ManKind Project, though we had nothing to do with the choice.

Beyond that, the style of the illustrations seems to endorse the trope that men’s emotional expression is something to be caricatured rather than witnessed or respected. It plays to the stereotype of men who cry as buffoons, as soft, as easily dismissed.

This stands in contrast to Heavey’s writing, which is respectful and sympathetic to the men he gets to know on the weekend.”

Read the entire response to the article, as well as masculinity, vulnerability, and the man-box. https://mkpusa.org/mens-journal-features-the-new-warrior-training-adventure/

2019 and 2020 New Warrior Training Adventure Opportunities.

If you are intrigued by what you’re read from Bill, Boysen, or me regarding the NWTA, click on the button below to access the list of dates and locations.

Hit reply and let me know what you thought of these two articles.

Go Answer the Call

Matt

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