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In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, men of the ManKind Project are here to support those affected by this traumatic event.
The Northeast Area of the ManKind Project has an active community close to Newtown, and men in that area, from New England and New York Metro Communities, are reaching out to their friends and neighbors.
Robert Werme, of the Sage Center for Wholeness in Woodbury, CT, writes:
“We're still in shock down here. We're finding ways to huddle together and shake in the trauma. There will be circles to shape and healing to facilitate ... Many "one men" were wounded today. Many men and women are feeling feelings they never imagined they'd feel. MKP was built for this.”
Men are prepared to be on hand in the community in the coming days and weeks. Professional Service providers are stepping forward to offer assistance for the deep grieving work that is already happening.
The three websites below provide guidance and advice as to how to talk to children about tragedies involving other children, such as the victims in the Connecticut elementary school shootings.
From the ManKind Project USA Chairman, Mike Elser (Portsmouth, NH):
“We envision a world where this kind of senseless violence no longer occurs ... where there is a culture of healthy masculinity that is nurturing, supportive, and accountable. When men and boys have emotional tools and an engaged community to process and share the inevitable pain, confusion … and feelings of powerlessness ... that come with modern life, tragedies like the ones in Newtown, Virginia Tech, and Aurora won’t be such a regular part of our news.”
The ManKind Project is helping create a safer world by empowering the emotionally intelligent, compassionate, and accountable male role models that our communities need to thrive.
What you, as a man, can do to help:
Do the hard work. It’s difficult to break out of a lifetime of habits and beliefs that may keep you from fully expressing yourself, healing old hurts, and being there as the man you want to be. Seek out resources to become a healing influence in your community. This is not work that gets done alone - it’s community work - and it takes a community to do it. The ManKind Project is one such resource.
Deepen every conversation. Expand your personal inventory of tools to process difficult emotions, and help others learn to do the same. The skills of ‘holding space’ for the tough emotions, in yourself and others, are learnable.
From Mike Elser,
“It may be tempting to ask why - to engage in the ‘head work’ of reasons and justifications. Today, may we simply be present and extend our love. Let us do the ‘heart work’, together as a community. Tomorrow, we can begin to ask ourselves what, when, and how to take effective action - with our heads and hearts together - for our children’s future.
Today, I ask each of you at 7p ET / 6p CT / 5p MT/ 4p PT to stop and send your love to Connecticut, to call the names of those you know and hold the hearts of those you don’t in our community’s consciousness.”
The men of MKP are here to help. We have been building a conscious men’s community for nearly 30 years. We have the power to make a difference, to heal ourselves, and to nurture a more aware and accountable culture for all of us.
Though we are from many different beliefs and faiths, we hold a common intention for healing and peace in this difficult time.
Communications & Marketing Director
ManKind Project USA
Chairman of the Board
ManKind Project USA
ABOUT THE MANKIND PROJECT: MKP USA is nonprofit 501(c)(3), non-partisan, and not affiliated with any religious practice. We strive to be diverse and inclusive for all kinds of men. We support and partner with several organizations for women, including Woman Within International.
from Mike Elser, MKP USA Chairman.
We encourage our MKP USA Members and New Warriors across the ManKind Project to make a donation, give blood, and volunteer with the Red Cross in this critical time in the northeast United States.
Your donation now can make a huge difference for those in need.
Our hearts go out to the millions of people impacted by the by the devastation created by Hurricane Sandy.
There are hundreds of New Warriors in communities affected by the storm working to get back on their feet, and there are many others helping their neighbors begin the difficult work of clean-up. We also know that men across the country are already doing what New Warriors do so well, holding space and offering emotional support when it is needed most.
What does it mean to be a New Warrior in these times? I believe it means taking a fierce and clear-eyed look at what we face as human beings on this planet. One of the things I learned as a New Warrior is that we don’t succeed alone. We stand with ‘one foot on the carpet’ to support one another.
Part of the gift I receive in this work is the realization that standing in my individual brilliance, bonded with my brothers (and sisters), we become a bridge to help others - to build institutions and change cultures for the good of our children and our children’s children.
I’m reminded of the wisdom from the Iroquois people of the northeastern part of North America, who counseled that decisions be made based on how it would affect the seven generations to come.
Let me get personal - here is where I am:
I feel fear. As I write this hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are still at risk as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
I feel sadness. More than 400,000 people were evacuated from New York city alone; more than 100 homes burned to the ground in Breezy Point, NY. In the Caribbean, more than 70 people died and over 15,000 homes were destroyed.
I want to rage, to blame, to run away.
Then I remember again, keep one foot on the carpet.
I recognize my fear as a message; pay attention! Stay awake! I recognize my sadness as a message; this is important! Don’t miss this opportunity! I want to turn my impulse to rage into the energy that can help accomplish what must be done - on behalf of the seventh generation.
New Warriors are fierce in protecting and nurturing what we value and love. And because we have recognized our innate human connection across the miles and across our differences, what we value and love can feel overwhelming. Right now, I feel the enormity of this bridge of connection between all my relations. I will stand to support people as they face their ordeal. And when it is my turn to step into the circle, I want you to stand for me.
Right now. Please take action in your community by making a donation and volunteering for the Red Cross.
I invite each of us to stay awake! Let’s continue to help each other. We are a community. My heart and my thoughts are with all those in need. Together we can change the world.
Blessings on our journey together.
MKP USA Chairman
Kansas City New Warrior Mark Zwahl was recently interviewed in the Kansas City Star as a Member of the ManKind Project and the Center Director for the Kansas City MKP Community.
"I think there is a continuum of men acting out that runs from murder at one end and flows into lying and cheating on spouses and other bad behaviors that come from wounds that we don’t know how to handle because we aren’t allowed to cry. We are supposed to man up and not acknowledge feeling hurt. That can lead to acting out in bad ways."
Mark talks about the connection between running a triple bottom line business and men's work; the tribal urge and herbal tea. Check out the article to read more.
Photo courtesy of Scott Indermaur, from the Revealed Project
From the Guardian, UK by Mary O'Hara about the work of Band of Brothers, founded in the UK by ManKind Project Leader Michael Boyle. Michael received the Ron Hering Mission of Service Award for his groundbreaking work with teens in London in 2010. One of the other collaborators for Band of Brothers, Caspar Walsh, received the 2011 Ron Hering Mission of Service award for his work with young men in the "Write to Freedom" Program. Caspar is also a regular contributor to the Guardian's Blog.
Band of Brothers is continuing to have an incredible impact, and the work is gaining wider recognition in the culture. Visit Band of Brothers here: http://www.abandofbrothers.org.uk/
Find the article on the Guardian UK web site here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/27/band-brothers-mentoring-boys-adulthood
You can also download a print version of the article: Click Here.
Many of the Mentors in the Band of Brothers program are also ManKind Project men. These men make excellent mentors because they are doing the hard work of examining their own lives with deep self-awareness, personal responsibility, and emotional intelligence. In turn, they show up for a young man in a way that is transparent and authentic. MKP mentors are not 'patriarchs'. They are partners in helping a teen find his voice, power, confidence, and vulnerability in a way that doesn't reproduce outmoded male stereotypes, but creates a generation of men with the resilience and flexibility to help build a better world for everyone.
Thank you to Michael Boyle and the many men of the UK who are helping create a better future for our society by helping to raise a healthy generation of young men, one teenager at a time.