ULTIMATE COURAGE: SELF-COMPASSION FOR MEN
What does it take for a man to be successful in this day and age?
How do you navigate through the changing demands of life and keep fulfilling the expectations of your roles?
Men are expected to be strong, confident, productive and protective. What happens when you don’t meet these expectations? Let’s face it, it can be challenging to be a man in our society today.
Men today face a unique and daunting challenge to find a satisfying and comfortable way through the evolving roles, changing demands and shifting standards of modern life. Traditional notions of masculinity, such as maintaining a “stiff upper lift” or keeping emotions “close to the vest” no longer serve most men. In fact, those notions have become a perfect recipe for shame, anxiety, and feelings of alienation. These challenges can lead to relationship problems, workplace difficulties, substance abuse, anger and depression.
Thankfully, science is validating a better way of meeting these challenges. This approach combines knowledge from ancient wisdom traditions, modern neuroscience and psychological research. We are learning that the most resilient, successful, and emotionally intelligent men are the ones who can face adversity and challenge with an open heart and a self-compassionate nature, rather than a rigid or self-critical one. Fortunately, research and practice shows that self-compassion is a skill that can be taught and learned.
Developing our capacity to be self-compassionate seems like the opposite of how most of us learned to be masculine or manly, but nothing could be further from the truth. It takes courage to challenge traditional male role attitudes and behaviors—to step outside the male box, evaluate how well those behaviors are serving you, and create a different relationship with yourself and others.
Think of someone who had a significant positive influence on you growing up; perhaps a coach or teacher who seemed to be able to bring out the best in you. More often than not, this person had high but reasonable expectations for you, challenged you to do your very best, cheered you on when you succeeded, consoled you when you fell short, but never gave up on you—and always seemed to know that you were capable of more and better. What if you could be your own inner coach or wise teacher?
Groundbreaking research has established that the practice of self-compassion, while not at first seeming to be valuable or important, actually helps men go through and beyond old roles and find a new powerful voice and quiet confidence. This research has demonstrated that people higher in self-compassion tend to be able to persist and achieve more in the face of adversity; cope better with challenges like divorce, trauma or chronic pain; are able to change troubling and unhealthy habits and behaviors more easily; and are perceived more positively by their partners.
In this workshop, we will discover how:
Experiencing our common humanity, as men and simply as humans, helps us overcome feelings of failure, isolation, or not fitting in
Finding a middle path between the extremes of harsh self-criticism and complete surrender can actually result in greater happiness, life satisfaction, and personal and professional achievement
Developing a kind inner voice, an inner ally, can actually motivate and encourage us more than any self-criticism ever could
The empirically-validated practice of mindfulness can help us develop a more productive and comfortable relationship with our thoughts and emotions
Our journey will include a variety of different action-oriented practices as well as meditation and group dialogue intended to develop the resource of self-compassion and resilience. Come join a group of men all inspired to challenge archaic limitations and set forth on a powerful, spirited path.