Monday, March 28, 2011

Craig Filek - The Strength of Masculine Support

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I met Craig at the Evolving Men Conference last summer in Boulder - good guy. He's been involved in men's work for a while now and has a lot to offer. He recently posted this on his Facebook page - it's a nice example of how men can support each other in getting real - and the strength that comes from supporting each other.

The Strength of Masculine Support

by Craig Filek on Friday, March 25, 2011

On the last men's leadership training, I stepped out on the carpet because a man asked for challenge.

It was late, the room was charged, and the man was workin the edge of his shadow. We danced. I felt fear.

He started talking shit to me. I leaned in. He said he wanted to feel my power. He just wanted to push on me and feel my strength.

He was asking for permission. I wanted to give it. I wanted him to feel it. I wanted him to feel supported by me.

And I knew he would topple me. So I asked for support from the men standing around us in circle. Holding space.

Instantly, there were 10 hands on my back. I saw these men had hands on their back. I was invincible. He knew it.

He put his hands on my shoulders. He stepped back in a loose runnners lunge. He looked me in the eye. He pushed.

As I stood there, effortlessly supporting this man in his desire to feel my strength, I knew it was not my strength at all.

It was the strength of the men who supported me he was feeling. I was merely holding space for his work.


2 comments:

weston said...

Read it twice and just can't get what impressed you about it.

Just seems like the usual new-agey meaningless jargon that pervades what is commonly referred to as "men's work".

This is the type of stuff that just turns me off from getting further involved.

WH said...

Weston,

I think this is the good side of men's work, as opposed to beating drums and talking about Jungian archetypes.

Yes, there's jargon - but there is also the primal energy involved in pushing into strength - the other man wanted mock combat and Craig couldn't do it alone, so he asked for support.

Any exercise in which men can learn to ask for support from other men seems to me to be valuable. We are trained NEVER to ask for support, we are trained to NEVER show weakness or admit we can't do "it" (whatever it may be) alone.

In that sense, I see this as a good example of men's work - very different than some of the MKP stuff I have read about.

And of course, this is not going to be for everyone - it obviously doesn't work for you, and that's cool.