Meeting 4-3
Focus: Life Stories

The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.

Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.

5) The Big Bit in the middle - the leader announces the focus of the meeting

Focus: Life Stories

"In this meeting we honour one of the men in our group, who now has the chance to tell his life story. This is a story he may never have told before, even to himself. In the telling of his story, we all receive a blessing - the speaker for being able to speak his truth, perhaps for the first time - the listeners in experiencing the 'respect' they are able to confer on another man, and also in receiving the insight & 'wisdom' of another man's reality. This is one man's story, but today we all share it with him."

"Let him begin now and if he needs to ask for anything, we are ready to hear that too."



Exercises

  1. At the end of the story, the group should mark its completion with some kind of ritual, which may be asked for in the moment, or discussed previously.
  2. Let the man who shared his story reflect on how it felt to do so and share that too. What came up for him as he was sharing?
  3. What came up for you as he was sharing?
  4. What did it 'mean' to you to
    1. help create this event?
    2. hear this man's story?
  5. When would you like to share your Life Story? What do you need to ask for?

Notes for Meeting 4-3

There will normally need to be some prior preparation/discussion before this meeting, so as to decide who would like to and is ready to tell their life story next week. On the other hand, a man may be willing to jump in 'cold' and eager to have this opportunity and not ask for any preparation time. That's ok too.

The image I have in mind is of an expectation building, and even a celebration, where each man in the group knows that next week is going to be a 'special' meeting where one man is going to be honoured and witnessed in a way never before experienced. This is a special meeting, and this is an opportunity for the group to mark this event in a special way.

However, having said that, we still need to bear in mind that each man's story will create a certain feel, or energy-space that needs to be recognised and respected - for instance it may be inappropriate to set up a party if a man's story goes deeply into grieving and releasing core issues and wounds. Follow your heart.

This typically is a meeting that a man will request when he is ready for it. He will ask the group to slot it into its agenda in the upcoming weeks. Some men may take a long time before asking for it, some may never ask, some may need to be invited…

Group should decide how long to give each man for the telling of his story: perhaps one whole meeting, or even two, maybe just an hour, or perhaps as long as it takes; of course normal check-in and check-out is still observed so all men have a chance to share in each meeting.