November 19 is International Men’s Day and here are the 6 pillars on which this days rests:
Celebrated in 60 countries, International Men’s Day contributes to improved awareness of the positive contribution men make to society.
Please share with the men in your life!
Men who feel isolated are everywhere and sometimes don’t even realise themselves that within them is a yearning to connect.
Having just experienced an extraordinary weekend at my third annual Men’s Wellbeing gathering, Manhood 2014, it is only with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight that I continue to see immense value in such gatherings.
There’s something about ‘being’ in a group of almost 100 men, all there to find a deeper connection with themselves, to improve their lives, and to become more whole men. Such immersion organically asks you to show up as the most authentic man you can be, whatever that means for you, and allow the collective energy to weave its gentle magic.
An important aspect of these events is noted on the website: Rather than any notion of trying to “fix men”, these groups offer a safe space of acceptance for men to explore their own self-transformation and awareness.
And self-transformation, in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment (did I mention the amazing food?) is a primary aim. No advice-giving (unless asked for), no philosophising and no generalisations, with strong encouragement to speak in ‘I’ language so that we may own whatever it is we’re seeking to resolve.
Men’s gatherings are held in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and Qld throughtout the year, so perhaps check out the Men’s Wellbeing schedule (www.menswellbeing.org) and if only once in your life, take the plunge!
Remember, you can NEVER learn less about yourself and you just might discover, like I did, that such an experience opens your Heart more than ever before.
Movember is the month of the return of the moustache, which for some men means a whole month of ‘sans kissing’!
It’s not well known that more Australian men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer, so Movember is about bringing this specific men’s health issue into the public awareness.
With my own father being diagnosed three years ago with prostate cancer, followed by a new ‘micro-targeted’ radiotherapy treatment that was a complete success, I gained first-hand experience of why this issue needs much more awareness in the community at large.
Prostate cancer now accounts for 30% of all cancers diagnosed in men and is the second highest cause of cancer death, behind Lung cancer.
It’s well accepted that the majority of men will not seek medical help until they’re unable to perform some function and in the case of prostate cancer, it can be a silent killer and not diagnosed until cancer appears somewhere else in the body.
Early detection has seen five-year survival rates improve from 58 to 92 percent, so public awareness and treatment is having a positive impact.
So let’s Grow A Mo and support men’s health!
Where do our young men of today find that guidance? Via our various forms of media?
Are we to model Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Jackman or Ed O’Neil?
In reality every man is unique, as is every woman.
We need mentoring to remind us how we may find our own path, be ‘wisely advised’ by those who have travelled a way along their path, and be guided with the intention that we become the best version of ourselves.
Now more than ever our young men need to find the company of wise, Elder men, so that they can depend on this wisdom, since in reality, there’s not much we can depend upon in this time of the redefining of modern masculinity. Indigenous cultures have known this for millennia.
Our partners need this, our children need this and looking at the 30% increase in the last decade of men in Australian gaols for acts of violence, our society desperately needs this.
If you’re a man reading this, locate an Elder group in your area and find out how you can spend some time with them. Go hang out in a Men’s Shed and test the water. You will be amazed, challenged, supported, accepted and guided to be the best version of yourself.
If you’re a woman reading this, perhaps suggest the men in your life do this for themselves.