Soul of the Work #5: What is Mission Work?

October 13, 2015

in Community News, Recent News, Soul of the Work

by Ed Gurowitz,

Think back to your NWTA weekend, to Saturday morning – you had gone through a visualization in which you found the little boy that was you as a child, held him in your lap, and asked him “What is your greatest need?” I don’t know about you, but I was moved to tears by that process – I held that goofy little guy, hugged him, and when I asked him the question, he told me straight up: “I need the world to be fair – I need to be treated fairly.”

The process ended, we “came back into the room” and the leaders took us through a series of short imagery where we visualized a world that would meet the little boy’s deepest need – for me it was a world of equality and fairness, a world where each person was appreciated for the gifts he or she brings. In a second part of the exercise we visualized how we would be acting in such a world – I saw myself engaging with younger people, mentoring and empowering them from my heart.

Then we were introduced to an interesting equation: Mission = Vision + Action and given a formula to make it easy: “I create a world of ______ by _______.” Again for me, “I create a world where everyone is treated fairly by empowering the young from my heart and spirit.” And from there to affirmations and on with the weekend.

What’s your mission? I’d be very surprised if at some level it is not connected with the mission of MKP USA – “to create a world where men act on their individual and shared responsibility to the future of humanity by offering each man healing and honoring his work to become the man he wants to be.”

How has your mission lived for you since your initiation? Is it a living, breathing part of your everyday life, is it something you think about occasionally or trot out when asked, or is it something long forgotten? I invite you to ask yourself, without a hint of shame or blame, “have I been living my mission?” If you have, I honor you and invite you to take your game up a notch. If you haven’t or haven’t been living it up to the standard of your own integrity, I bless you for speaking your truth, and invite you to step back into it.

To live with my mission in front of me takes courage and commitment for me. Courage because when I look at my everyday life through the lens of my mission, I see how often I fall short, I go to sleep, or I justify “just this once” saying screw it and doing the easy thing. With my particular mission, every time I see someone being treated in a way that I judge to be unfairly, I have to examine my judgments, look to my projections, and choose my actions – that’s the commitment part.

To live a life of courage and commitment, of mission above shadow, of recognizing how powerfully my shadow mission (“I create a world where people are diminished by making it clear to them that I’m smarter than they are”) can grip me when I am triggered or threatened. How easily I can justify “defending the weak” from my shadow mission when the impact of my doing that is the opposite of what I am committed to.

This is mission work, and in my judgment and experience we can’t do it alone – I surround myself with initiated men who will hold me to account for doing my mission work and call me on it when I don’t. “One good man along with other good men” is the only way I can do my work, and so I bless MKP USA for supporting the circles in which I do it.

AHO!

Ed G.

Ed G.

Till next time, Aho!
Out with Gratitude,

Ed Gurowitz

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The ManKind Project is a global nonprofit [501 (c)(3)] charitable organization that conducts challenging and highly rewarding programs for men at every stage of life. The ManKind Project supports a global network of peer-facilitated men's groups where men mentor men through the passages of their lives. The ManKind Project empowers men to missions of service, supporting men to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children around the world. We help men through any transition, men at all levels of success, men facing almost any challenge. Our flagship training, described by many as the most powerful men's training available, is the New Warrior Training Adventure. The ManKind Project (MKP) is not affiliated with any religious practice or political party. We strive to be increasingly inclusive and culturally aware.