Mission and Vision
Helping men to live their own adventure, to become free and whole as human beings and men to live lovingly together with all their relationships and with the planet from their authenticity. by offering trips to the outside and inwards.
I want you to achieve what you come for. I'll walk with you. I challenge you, and it's always up to you. I approach you from a place of positivity and energy. I use my own experience, strength and vulnerability when it helps, and don't shy away from confrontation. Process- and result-oriented, in-depth and connecting and playful. Based on your request, the shape that is needed is created, tailor-made.
But whatever you do with me, it always brings you a combination of adventure, vitality, fun, deepening and masculine brotherhood, with the aim that you heal yourself more and more and find your own way. It's your life, and no one else's.
And then we're soft talking all the time?
No, definitely not! You are invited to show and explore yourself, sometimes right through your shame. Going deep, looking for real contact with yourself and others, you determine your boundaries. Together we look for openness, strength and vulnerability. It turns out that putting vulnerability, your frustrations, your problems on the table not only gives you a breath of fresh air, but also gives you strength and confidence. Especially when men do that among themselves, directly, with warmth and camaraderie, and humor.
Surely it's mostly about feelings?
You need your ratio, but that is already well developed in most men. In fact, for most people, that side is rather overloaded. And with men, it's even stronger; For centuries, our society has valued knowledge, cognition, rationality, science, masculine linear thinking almost exclusively. And as mentioned, these are masculine qualities. The left hemisphere (feelings, creativity, spontaneity, intuition) is pushed away from an early age in our school system, in our society. Feelings are of a lower order, and our body is only allowed to participate as a machine, preferably performing at the top level. Ratio is primarily masculine, which means that men often lose even more contact with their body, feelings and intuition and live in their heads. In all programs and trainings of the man's journey, restoring the balance between 4 levels of being is central: spirit or essence, head (thinking), heart (feeling, creativity), and body (grounding, action, acting, behavior). So we are always physically active, where you can live out your strength and vitality. You need your raw energy! You work in meditation, in dance, theatre, constellations, rituals, initiations on all layers of your manhood. No escaping it. Integration into yourself is only possible when your body, soul and spirit come together and connect more. This increases your well-being, your ability to relax, your intelligence, health and your functioning at all levels.
Is this easy?
Absolutely not. We're going on an adventure, and that's exciting. For everyone who comes along. Our experience is that men in particular can create a very special atmosphere with each other in which great openness and support arises. And that is unique and indescribable, every time. And allows you to come home to your manhood: with strength, wisdom, depth and humor.
'Why stay in your comfort-zone if there's so much more to experience outside.'
Developing mature masculinty.
For twenty years, more than 50% of higher education has been girls, compared to 30% in the 1980s. Boys and men have lost their privileged and secure monopoly position since the second wave of feminism in the 1970s. This is entirely justified, and of course, that women have come to claim their equal position. So women have been working their way up the ladder in recent decades. For men, that means the movement is making space, descending, giving up space, sharing. And those are things we haven't learned. The figures on how we are doing as men are shocking: 95% of prisoners in the Netherlands are men, 80% of homeless people, and twice as many men as women end their own lives. And if you have ever done something about self-development, you will also have noticed that as a man you are in a sometimes frightening minority. Then feel safe again. In any case, it tells me that I find it enormously worthwhile to be involved in being a man. To contribute to mature, aware, powerful and vulnerable men.
Another reason is that since the industrial revolution, fathers have been at home less and less to give their son a positive example of how to become a man who knows how to connect strength, focus, wisdom, with intuition and vulnerability. While there is (rightly) a lot of attention for the development of women, even in 2020 there is sometimes still an image around the development of men towards an adult male identity as if it were for softies, losers and hippies. The absent father had lonely sons, as it were. Men who, without a positive example, are searching for their identity as men. Men remain trapped in old images of masculinity, and also see and hear that they are men who have failed to lead the world, and are responsible for the current problems of the planet.
This has created a vulnerable and immature masculine identity that many men protect behind a mask of self-assurance. We push our insecurity away and have difficulty entering into meaningful contact in which we know how to connect our strength and vulnerability. Men often don't get any further than competing with each other, making jokes and distrusting each other. We're always doing well, and that's nonsense, of course. Everything is not going well with anyone. Our lives consist of nice, good, beautiful moments and success, and just as much of difficult moments, loss, pain and failure.
In addition to the man who tries to keep everything as it is, where he is the strong one in charge, there is the man who has just learned to develop his feminine side. This man has learned that vulnerability, caring, and gentleness are important. His mother may have been a feminist (like mine) and he dares to cry and express his feelings. But he can no longer make a decision. He, too, is out of balance. Sometimes I get into a conversation about men where all masculine qualities are seen as bad. The good man is then only sweet, soft and vulnerable. If it weren't so labeling, you'd say, that's a woman.
Very slowly, we are growing towards a masculine identity in which softer, more feminine values go hand in hand with decisiveness. A man who can make decisions from his heart, who can bring focus and direction, and who can listen and empathize. The man of today is a man who is opening up. For themselves, and for others. With the support and friendship of others, especially other men. I believe this is what men are working towards now. Strong, energetic, playful, raw, and sensual, soft, feeling men.
We like to talk about it: improving, developing and growing yourself. We often have ideas about how we can achieve that improvement. We would like to deal with the negative aspects of our behavior. Often the focus is on learning skills, competencies, communicating, etc. In that perspective, the emphasis is on from the outside in, and on doing things better and better. In this way we struggle a bit with ourselves. How can you lead when you are so in such a fight with yourself? How do you find inner harmony?
In today's rapidly changing world, it is important to stay close to yourself and that starts with self-awareness. With awareness of one's own inner strength and value', is how Van Dale describes the adjective 'self-aware'. Godfried IJsseling writes in the book 'The Self-Conscious Leader': "We often think: if I accept myself as I am, then I will no longer have any motivation to change. It's a nice thought, but that's not how it works in practice. The problem is that you need yourself to develop. You can't do it without yourself. If you reject yourself, you damage your confidence in yourself. This trust is indispensable for transformation."
"Just as a shy child only gets more scared when you get angry, you as an adult don't become more sure when you stay angry with yourself or when you reject yourself."
That attentive and accepting gaze helps you to understand your shortcomings; to really get to know them. And that knowledge – or in other words, self-awareness – is the basis for true transformation. You will see where that so-called shortcoming comes from and that it once helped you to "survive" challenging situations. You then discover that no matter how sensible that survival mechanism was then, it is no longer necessary now.
Eventually, your survival mechanism 'relaxes'. It fades into the background, not because you force it into the background, but because you gain the insight that it is no longer necessary. You don't let go of your shortcoming at that moment, but the shortcoming lets go of you. Development not because it has to be done, but because it is allowed. Out of appreciation for yourself. Not because you are limited and flawed, but because you are looking for creative expression and growth, because you are curious and want to discover what else is out there. This is not only inspiring, it is also more effective. This is how you create insight into yourself. You illuminate your inner world, as it were, and take it out of the shadow of the unconscious.
Developing a broader awareness is easier said than done. If you 'look' differently and 'be' consciously differently, you will also 'do' differently. Consciousness is the ability to be in the here and now. We all develop an ego, a personality to protect our vulnerability and maintain ourselves in social intercourse. Our ego patterns are often focused on control. When you start to see it, it frees you up. It requires a willingness to self-reflect in order to see through these patterns. In addition, it takes a lot of practice to let go of old behavioral patterns and beliefs and to convert the expanded consciousness into new behavior.
What do you see yourself doing when things get tense? These mechanisms often manifest themselves unconsciously when the red button of the 'reptilian brain' is pressed. The reptilian brain is an alert brain that constantly detects potential danger so that it can immediately give the order to flee, fight or freeze. This is expressed by working hard, accelerating, disqualifying, pleasing or intervening out of overresponsibility and coming up with solutions as a 'saviour'. The reaction between perception and action is ultra short, so we are often unaware of it. Developing this awareness is a descent into your own shadow, learning to observe yourself. This process of awareness has 4 steps that together make you HEAL. Recognizing, Acknowledging, Accepting and Letting Go of your shadow. Every step is necessary. The most difficult one is Accept, but leave it out, and what you're left with is HELL.
The hero's journey
We often use Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey." He discovered that the heroic tales and sagas from all over the world and from all times tell one universal story: "the hero's journey". The hero's journey is a metaphor for the journey you make as a human being on your way to yourself, your authenticity, your heart. The stories give courage, confidence and inspiration for the road. The 8 phases of the hero's journey offer guidance in discovering where you are on your journey as a human being and what the challenges and pitfalls are. You find awareness about your behavior, your thoughts and feelings.
"It's like the fear of the dark: you're afraid of the dark because you suspect that there might be something threatening out there in the dark. The only way to make that fear disappear is to turn on the light. Then it will turn out that your fears are unfounded. That's exactly how it goes with 'illuminating' your inner world: by putting everything in the light, the fears disappear, and it turns out not to be so bad." (Godfried IJsseling; The Self-Aware Leader, p. 53).