Posted on July 25 2018
Among the fifteen men at the Sacred Men’s Council this past weekend, five of us are fathers.
The five of us are asked to step into the center of the circle. We stand shoulder to shoulder, a smaller ring in the center of a wider circle of men. We put our arms on one another’s shoulders.
We are a motley crew of dads. A black man with dreadlocks, an Asian man with long hair and the build of a warrior, a Latino medicine man, a white man with tattoos all over his body and me, a skinny, young, white-bearded man.
I’m guessing the non-dads are about to give us a blessing. They will witness us and hold us in this moment of reverence. They know, just as we do that our children and all children hold the keys to the future humankind. NBD.
I’ve sat in the circle of men a few times before, but this is a unique gathering. This is my first time in council--we men are preparing for the Sacred Men’s Convergence Oct 12-14th, 2018 at Liberty Advance in Jacumba, CA. We are healers, facilitators, teachers coaches and more and we gather in commitment to discovering deeper authenticity, growth, and purpose in our lives. This is the ancient way of the warrior that has been passed down to us. This container of sacred brotherhood is where we gather to face our inner shadows as well as the collective shadow of today’s men.
We gather out necessity. We have no choice but to face the reality of modern man: which is that men today are violent, numbed out, addicted, abusive, depressed and disconnected.
Each of us men has our own unique challenges in his life. Sometimes it’s mommy/daddy issues, sometimes it’s relationship woes or substance abuse challenges. Whatever the shadow is, every time we meet in circle we find that we are not the only ones with these burdens. And it makes all the difference to know we are not alone.
On the drive up to the Men’s Council, I shared openly with a man sitting next to me that I have unprocessed emotions around becoming a father last year. I am afraid that I won’t be able to support my wife and daughter in a good way. I am ashamed that I show up in a way that is not fully present, distracted by my work, technology, and my addictions. I am sad to have lost touch with the wild and free young man I once was. I am grateful to the man in the seat next to me for letting me share candidly about my perceived shortcomings.
Now as the dads gather in the center, arms on our brothers’ shoulders, something begins to well up inside of me. Before the outer ring of men even has a chance to move forward and tighten the circle, I am weeping.
Whatever process was planned for this moment is now out the window. We fathers are holding one another tightly now. We place our heads together. Tears are streaming down my face.
The outer ring of men close in and place their hands on our backs. “We got you. You are not alone. We are in this together. We love you. You are strong. You are a good father.” These are the words of support that we hear from bachelors, warriors and young kings.
These group experiences of connection, shadow-work and emotional literacy heal us to the very core. Men’s work, combined with a daily yoga practice and free expression (music medicine/ecstatic dance) has lifted me out of the darkness and helped me to feel whole again. This work has also led me to discover my real passion and my purpose--a path that has now become my vocation and my gift to the planet.
Andrew Belinsky is a transformational leader and voice and embodiment breakthrough coach. He helps evolving individuals de-stress and harmonize their nervous systems and find more fun and joy in their lives. He helps people design efficient and customized daily practices that weave movement, breath, voice, and meditation. He runs online programs and hosts retreats--keep up to speed at www.andrewbelinsky.com. He currently lives in San Diego with his wife and daughter.