Into The Heart: Menergy 2015

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With drums beating, feet stomping, voices yelling, fists pumping and hearts opening, 165 men gathered for four days and three nights for an experience I’ve waited my whole life to have. 

We met at the Licola Wilderness Retreat, a decent ‘2.5’-3.5 hour drive from the city. I was not at all prepared for the beauty that befell me as I weaved through the mountains, tyres sticking to and trusting the black snake of a road. Breathing deeply, I felt ever calm… but anxious… as I drew myself in from my normal life, gratefully turned my phone on flight mode and surrendered my being for the time that lay ahead.

Menergy is the ultimate Man-Glamping experience!

With a huge pile of firewood, three healthy and fulfilling meals a day, amazing scenery, footballs and Frisbees, a clear river warm warm enough to swim in and quality cabin accommodation. I love to be in my element – surrounded by the elements – and slept soundly by the warm main fire, to the oceanic sound of the river rapids, dwarfed by the stars and shrouded by trees.

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The food was phenomenal! It was the best I’ve eaten in terms of consistent meals for 3-6 months.

Many thanks to Sun Hyland, Ricky, and the crew.

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(This was just breakfast – lunch and dinner were too big to fit the screen)

 

As stated in my videos, we dropped into a sacred safe space. For that to be possible, we made a verbal and energetic commitment towards the privacy of each mans experience. Hence how and why my words were selected so carefully in my videos. Whilst I can share some of my broad experiences, there were so many opportunities to share throughout the weekend, and they were from such a deep and sacred space, and that even broad sharing’s could affect my friends, family and relationships if they are interpreted without the full and proper context. Hence my sharing will be sparse and vague. Please note that it is not because I don’t want to – it’s just that some things best suit another time and space.

 

Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to the organisers and support committee. From my experience of helping to create, organise, market and host five Tribes, I know the amount of dedication, sacrifice, heart and soul, sweat and tears goes into it!

Being such a unique, rarely available and well arranged experience, I’ve already seen it change and affect my choices and experience of life.

 

 

What was it like to be surrounded by men?

By the Saturday night cabaret and party, I was beginning to itch for the ‘real world’, not that I missed the stress, disconnection and traffic…. because it has women!

The interesting thing is that by being around only men in a friendly, happy and relaxed space, most feelings and experiences of competition dropped away. We were there for fun and expansion and to meet each other with respect and reverence. With no women around and/or watching – and no mobile reception!! – I literally conserved about 30-40% of my energy.

Not only that, but with only men around, I saw people differently. Whilst our physical gender was the same, our ‘spirit’/soul gender was not. I did a lot of double takes as I thought I saw all these women milling about (which wasn’t helped by the relatively high number of long haired ‘hippy’ men!) For some reason, I felt paranoid that there was an ‘imposter’ female sneaking around – perhaps because my mind was struggling to accustom to there being only men.

I understand a little more how ‘mass’ sexual cultures develop when there are only men, such as on a ship or prison. Whilst it’s generally not talked about, I assume it also occurs when there are only women. When immersed in such an environment over the long term we begin to find that the physical body really doesn’t matter. Having said that… some are attracted to women, some are to men, and some are to both. Some even feel that they are the opposite gender born into the wrong body and may even have a gender swap in order to live a congruent happy life. I think that a separate layer of attraction and repulsion drops away for a certain percentage whilst they are in ‘gender isolation’.

In one of our gatherings, a man said, “For the past 20 years, I’ve been asking the question; what is the difference between women and men… and I’m still yet to find an answer”. And whilst my mind can come up with a range of definitions and distinctions, I really got his point.

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Through sharing our wisdom of experience and the yearnings of our souls, the transformation took place way beyond the usual time and space. It was a journey through time, experiencing, learning from and forgiving each others mistakes. We shared the power of acceptance of our greatest fears and perceived ineptitudes. To be humbled in the reverence and rise as souls, stepping back to see the wider view of this earthly plain.

To scream and yell and break out in pain. Be held with ease. The pressure as the depths of our heart fold in and collapse. To be raw. To be ruined. To be lost, forgotten and forsaken without the space for reflection or redemption. For the path I hate that embroils me with love.

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To care, to hear, to be, to see.

To have no idea.

And not be expected to.

How rare is that for us as a man?

 

The pressure must drop or else will burst.

I care for you. Will you care for me?

I grieve for your loss. Do you grieve for mine?

I choose to see, know and love you.

Are you ready to do the same?

 

I recorded the last video on the way back into town. Having spent essentially the whole day talking, yelling, screaming, cheering, stomping, drumming, swimming, there wasn’t much else i felt to do or say. So this video was short. But it carries a message.

A lot of what has been said in the ‘conscious community’, is not only about integrating our ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, but actually, the ‘feminine in our masculine’, and the ‘masculine in our feminine. When I review the majority of my life, and my actions, transformations and activities of my past few years, integrating the ‘feminine in my masculine’ has been my focus, and I’ve seen a lot of the opposite occurring in the ‘sisters’ around me.

 

Somewhat ironically, going to large a Mens Gathering, and feeling safely cradled and supported by men, gave an insight as to how it feels to be female.

And from that, I can further feel and embody what is true and appropriate as a man, way beyond the empty and dysfunctional image presented to us in society, media and marketing.

Thank God! As if this is the future, it’s a world we’ll all love to live in!

 

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Overall, a huge range of things changed and came to light over the weekend. As well as daily workshops (about 50 overall), we had tribe group gatherings through which we could meet and share out experiences in detail, ask for support and have a space to question and process.

Because of the importance and sacredness of this work, it is not something I’ll talk in detail about. If you have a burning question, please contact the organisers or enquire with me one-on-one.

For anyone considering such an experience, I really hope that you do.

 

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See you on the other side!

 

Feedback from Michael who I there and then read this blog:

“Seeing your video driving in and the last one on the hill… Blew me away.. I see you brother! What presence and composure in the realms of the heart and soul, and in explorations thereof. You are the kind if man I want to work with, associate myself with … Bless you, your integrity and your intent . May your videos and blog/article be witnessed by many and treasured in hearts who will be equally open to such change..

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