How do we get here?
We've done our initial sharing and risk-taking and are starting to feel very comfortable with each other. There may be a sense of 'looseness' or ease within the group, as opposed to tension and 'watchfulness' - we look forward to coming to group - perhaps even mentally plan what we'd like to share at the meeting as we go through our week. The meetings are enjoyable and we leave them each time with a sense of 'fullness' or closeness that comes from the emotional bonding that has and is taking place.
We've set up a 'group process' that is working and meeting our needs in the meetings. We've gone into debate and conflict, and come out on the other side with a group dynamic that we've all helped to create, and that we feel a part of. We have the realisation that we can work together, the proof being that we are actually doing it. And in the face of past miscommunications with men and isolation from men we have the pleasant understanding that there are other ways for men to be together, and that we have the skills to create that.
There is a 'lightness' that comes from speaking our truth, and from being in a place where that is supported and validated - this has to be experienced to be believed - and it can have a profound effect on how we see ourselves and how we view the world. We start to open up to the endless possibilities of 'positive masculinity' and start to create new ways and have new ideas about what we as a group can do together. This of course is supportive to each of us personally and will have positive repercussions in our lives - in the relationships we have, and in the community at large around us - as we start to act from a positive, healthy supported place, rather than from a 'wounded' or isolated experience.
What do these celebratory experiences/meetings look like? Well, part of the fun is for you to create them, but there are also some ideas on the next few pages…
4-1 Playing! - Finding ways to have fun together
4-2 Planning a trip together - Quality time in each others company, and more!
4-3 Life Stories - Honouring and celebrating our journeys
4-4 Community - Acting in the community
4-5 Relationships - What I'm learning