Tag Archives: mature

Infinite Source of Love

Do you find yourself entering into intimate relationships looking for a surrogate mother or father? Do you feel as though your partner plays the role of your child, while you play the role of parent? Do you feel resentment toward your partner for holding power over you, or for not carrying her/his share of the weight and responsibility?

Do these questions make you feel uncomfortable?

Relationships are ideal ways to learn and grow, for your partner acts as a powerful mirror, reflecting a magnified image of your internal world. Struggling with a partner is simply a reflection of struggling within one’s own self… the struggles of the ego. Struggles for power, love, respect.

The mistaken perception at work here is that power, love, and respect are somehow ‘out there’ and must be obtained, captured, and chained up in order to keep them around. The truth is that all the power, love, and respect you could ever want already reside within your heart. All you need do is inquire within.

When you are completely comfortable being alone with yourself, you will find you no longer want anything from others. When you tap into the infinite source of love, located in the heart, you will discover that you no longer experience the urge to throw yourself into the middle of chaos… flashing lights, loud noises, etc. The “fun” you once craved will seem to satisfy less and less.

Go within. For true love, seek intimacy with your own heart. That is the Infinite Source of Love that you’ve been overlooking all along. You’ll find there is no need to look further. You’ve been carrying it around with you the whole time.

For more information, visit www.timbirchard.com.

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ManKind Project Helps Host Keys To High School Success Conference

The ManKind Project (MKP) Durango Area Community in southwest Colorado recently collaborated with Durango School District 9R and other local organizations to host the 2nd Annual ‘Keys To High School Success’ conference for 8th grade boys transitioning to high school.

See the tv coverage here.

The conference, a character development opportunity for more than 200 boys (up from 90 boys served last year), featured workshops focused on nurturing Responsibility, Perseverance, and Respect. Interactive workshops included hands-on experiences with aikido, drumming, low-ropes courses, and other events designed to help the boys identify and articulate issues related to connecting with the Mature Masculine.

Directly in keeping with MKP’s stated purpose of supporting men in leading meaningful lives of integrity, accountability, responsibility, and emotional intelligence, the Keys To High School Success conference was designed and continues to evolve to directly address what eighth-grade boys need most, as prescribed by Ph.D. psychologists Michael Thompson and Dan Kindlon in their seminal study, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Random House Publishing Group, 2009):

  1. Give boys permission to have an internal life, approval for the full range of human emotions, and help in developing an emotional vocabulary so that they may better understand themselves and communicate more effectively with others.
  2. Recognize and accept the high activity level of boys and give them safe boy places to express it.
  3. Talk to boys in their language—in a way that honors their pride and their masculinity. Be direct with them; use them as consultants and problem solvers.
  4. Teach boys that emotional courage is courage, and that courage and empathy are the sources of real strength in life.
  5. Use discipline to build character and conscience, not enemies.
  6. Model a manhood of emotional attachment.
  7. Teach boys that there are many ways to be a man.

MKP has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with School District 9R, and is in official sponsorship supporting Conference needs. For this year’s conference, MKP men were involved at all levels, from providing workshops to writing grants to coordinating conference logistics. School District 9R and MKP Durango Area Community plan to continue to grow and enhance that partnership, with MKP Durango Area Community taking over the conference at some point in the near future.

The Colorado School Public Relations Association (COSPRA), an organization dedicated to helping public school district members build stronger ties with their local communities through the practice of public relations, recently recognized the ‘Keys To High School Success’ conference as an award-winning community effort in the state of Colorado.

What we found particularly impressive about the ‘Keys to Success’ is its ambition to positively change the personal behaviors of young male students to help them succeed. ‘Keys to Success’ is a Medallion Award Winner.”  — Dan Dougherty, Director of Communications, Mesa County Valley Schools

The planning committee is working to carefully document all aspects of the curriculum in order to build a program that can be easily replicated by school districts and communities across the U.S. The program is aligned with and satisfies state education standards for 8th grade health education in three different tracks: Healthy Relationships, Advocacy, and Positive Self Image.

In an effort to increase and maximize opportunities for 8th grade boys to come into contact with examples of the Mature Masculine, one of the next steps in the evolution of the conference is to bring I-Group circles for the boys into local middle schools. By offering weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly opportunities throughout the school year for connection with experienced MKP men who are doing their work, the Keys To High School Success conference will transform from a stand-alone, annual event into the culmination of a year-long process through which boys becoming young men learn to do their work.

For more information about the Keys To High School Success conference, contact Tim Birchard (timbirchard@gmail.com) or Michael Cahn (mfcahn@gmail.com). www.mankindproject.org

Tim Birchard, a.k.a. Coyote Trickster, initiated January, 2013 in Elbert, CO, and has staffed three NWTAs. He currently serves as co-coordinator of the Keys To High School Success conference with fellow Warrior Brother Michael Cahn, and also serves on the MKP Durango Area Community Stewardship Council. In addition to working as an academic advisor to science, technology, engineering, and math students at Fort Lewis College in Durango, he is also an author, a recording musician, and a record collector. For more information, visit www.timbirchard.com .

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My involvement with Mankind Project (MKP): 21 months later

Back in February of 2013 I wrote about my experience with the New Warrior Training Adventure:  https://triptopine.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/mankind-project-new-warrior-training-adventure-2/

How’s my life now? I’m glad you asked! Life for me has gotten better and better each day; not so much because I’m not dealing with struggle (wife’s cancer diagnosis 11 months ago, chemo for 6 months, doing well now); but rather, because now I am part of a larger community… not just a ‘lone wolf’ out there surviving a ‘cruel world’. (That’s how I used to see things.)

Since I wrote that initial MKP article, I have quit a job that had become a bad fit; spent a year doing part-time work and learning more about who I am; and then found my dream job. I’ve been there a little over a year now.

In addition, I’ve done something I would NEVER have done before MKP: I’ve begun volunteering, in a leadership capacity, for a local conference for preparing 8th grade boys for high school (character development… what does it mean to be a man…). In the past, I have avoided opportunities like this, because I believed that being a leader meant 1) having all of the answers; 2) telling people what to do; and 3) giving up all of one’s time. I thought it would lead to misery, because that’s what I saw all around me.

But the fact is, I feel more alive and energized than ever. I don’t need to have all the answers; I invite brilliant people onto our team. I don’t tell people what to do; I ask questions and offer invitations. 3) I don’t give up all my time; I invest in building relationships with people I admire and respect. It feels amazing.

Sitting in my weekly MKP circle has helped me to build strong relationships with other men in my community, and around the country. Before, I felt isolated, like no one could POSSIBLY understand my pain or sadness. Now I can pick up the phone and easily call 100 men and ask for what I need (knowing I might not get it). And there are MKP men I haven’t even MET yet whom I trust with my truth and my heart. I know they will be real with me, and I can be real with them.

This is the hero’s journey. This is YOUR hero’s journey. You are the hero of your own life. For thousands of years, men like you and me have heard the call of the hero’s journey, and for a time, we resist. That’s what EVERY hero does, initially. I can tell you I was invited to do the NWTA for 3 1/2 years before I decided I was ready to answer the call. And what IS the New Warrior Training Adventure? Simply put, it’s an initiation into the mature masculine.

A few times, I came close to losing out on life. Now I’m so much happier, even when it feels like things are not going my way.

For more information, contact me directly: timbirchard@gmail.com

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