Archive for Posts 2012

What is Addiction? From Jed Diamond’s The Warrior’s Journey Home

The disease of lost selfhood

Addiction: The disease of lost selfhood

Today, the West Coast Men’s Support Society wants to focus on Addiction.  Addiction plays a part in so many aspects of our lives.  Whether it is work or love or play, addiction quite often drives a lot of our actions.  Jed Diamond thinks of addiction as the disease of lost self-hood.
Quite often, addictions can come up as a topic in either our Dads Make a Difference Group, Men’s Circles, or Respect & Compassion Workshop.

Here are the seven aspects of self that Jed Diamond believes addicts have lost their connection with:

1.  Physiological Loss:  How is the person out of touch with his body and it’s normal functioning.
2.  Psychological loss:  How has the person lost touch with his sense of self-esteem?
3.  Familial loss:  In what ways was the family a person grew up in dysfunctional or abusive?
4.  Interpersonal loss:  Has the need for healthy friendships been replaced by an addictive peer group?
5.  Social loss:  How have social pressures – such as racism, sexism, or social isolation – limited support from the community in which a person lives.
6.  Cultural loss:  How has life in a dominator/domesticator culture cut this man off from his partnership roots?
7.  Spiritual loss:  What are the ways in which this man has lost his connection with the spiritual dimension of life?

Please have a look at our various programs that may offer you some support in your life.  Thanks for connecting!

Grant M. Waldman
Executive Director
grant@westcoastmen.org

Some quotes to share

Quotes that relate to men's workI wanted to share some quotes with you today.  I believe that they connect with the programs that West Coast Men’s Support Society deliver.

Here are some positive quotes about men:

Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t’were his own.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My theory is that men are no more liberated than women.  Indira Gandhi

No man stands so straight as when he stoops to help a boy.   Knights of Pythagoras

It’s not the men in my life, it’s the life in my men.  Mae West

Alas! it is not the child but the boy that generally survives in the man.   Arthur Helps, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd, 1835

Here are some quotes that concern me.  It is sarcasm that causes both sexes far too much anger and sadness.  Until mutual respect happens, the sadness and anger will continue.

Men are beasts and even beasts don’t behave as they do.  Brigitte Bardot

Three wise men – are you serious?   Author Unknown

Never trust a husband too far, nor a bachelor too near.   Helen Rowland

Principles of Manifestation

Here is a wonderful article from The Emissaries of Divine Light, that I wanted to share. We at the West Coast Men’s Support Society totally relate to the ideas that are being delivered in this piece.  Our Men’s Circles and the Mankind Project constantly aspire towards improved accountability for men.  Our Fire & Bones program focuses on telling our truth, blessing, and trust.  I hope that you enjoy this!  I look forward to your comments/thoughts!

Grant Waldman – Executive Director

Any Moment

Any moment of hating,
Any moment of lying,
Any moment of resentment,
Is a moment of dying.

Any moment of loving,
Any moment of giving,
Any moment of thankfulness,
Is a moment of living.

All our moments add together
Like the digits in a sum,
And the answer tells us plainly
Whether life or death shall come.

                 Martin Cecil

Whatever the human intention might be, the principles of manifestation determine the outcome of any endeavor according to the causative factors in human experience. So we are very interested in a study of the principles of manifestation, and most particularly the understanding of what it takes to bring the manifestation of life through the human form. As that is really happening, we have the basis for creating a thriving world.

Humanity has developed a strange relationship with its leaders, in which it is hoped that leaders will change the way the principles of manifestation work. It is hoped that all the moments of the lives of people at large will be caused to add up differently because of our leaders. In the United States, people look to the President and the Congress and ask that they do something so that the sums will add up to life, and there is anger when they don’t. That scenario shows itself in the national debt. You add it all up, and it just doesn’t add up; and it is thought that Congress or the President ought to do something about it.

Honest leadership requires a realistic accounting of what is going on. The realistic accounting says that you can’t keep hating and lying and resenting and expect to live. And there are certainly plenty of those qualities in the public square. There are principles of manifestation for a person, for any body of people, and for the world as a whole. When those principles are harmonized with, there is life. Loving, giving and thankfulness bring life. But for a person who hates, lies and resents, the same principles of manifestation bring death because they are absolute Laws that bring results according to the causative factors in human experience. We live in a just universe.

There are two life-giving factors that are available from within anybody: inspiration and blessing. Have you discovered that there is actually no lack of inspiration? You can fail to go to the well and drink the water of inspiration; you can become worried, distracted and preoccupied. But anytime you go to the internal well of inspiration, it is there. The well of creative thinking, of vision, of understanding is always available from within. It only takes an internal quietude and an openness to drink from that well.

There is something else that is available from within—blessing, which is a quality of love. Anytime a person stops and opens themselves to receive it, blessing is available. There is the opportunity to know that we are loved by the power within that made us in the first place. We have always been loved, and that has never changed. We can choose not to drink of that love; we can fail to let it flow through us and into our world; we can cut off the flow of it, just like we can cut off the flow of inspiration. But that doesn’t mean it is not there.

It is a happy person who drinks from the well of inspiration and blessing. When a person does that, it becomes available in their world, through them to other people, as night follows day. Where there is a body of people who are drinking from the well of inspiration and blessing, it flows freely among them—unless they start cutting it off.

But there is something more that has to operate, according to the principles of manifestation, if there really is to be life. It’s wonderful to be inspired, but that inspirational thinking has to be applied to bring life. We have to find a way of acting on that inspiration.

Some of you know that I am a songwriter. So this cycle of inspiration and blessing is very familiar in that context. For me, it’s like tuning in a radio station—I tune in songs from somewhere within. The inspiration of those songs comes through as if they have already been written someplace else and I am just being handed the song.

At some point, that flow of inspiration is over, and the message I get from that is “Go sing the song!” Go share the song; go perform it. Don’t be greedy; do not forever be tuning in for more songs. You’ve got a song—go sing it. Share it with the world. It’s not yours anymore. It is time to perform it, and that takes another kind of process. That takes action; that takes manifestation. It is a different phase of the creative process, and it is a fulfillment of the process of inspiration. If I heard the tune, the tune’s got to be sung. It’s got to be written on a piece of paper and somebody has to perform it according to how it emerged.

Inspiration has to take action. It takes action through the direction that we set for our lives—intelligent direction based on how we are inspired. To be creative, that direction cannot just be a knee-jerk reaction to the latest impulse that has entered our thoughts and feelings. It must be a well-thought-out direction, not something half-baked. Not just half the song, not just the melody and no chords, not without the ending. No, the whole song, chords and all. If what we are doing together is going to manifest something that is alive, we have to manifest the whole song, based on the inspiration we receive, so that what comes out still has the life that it began with. It’s not corrupted by our lazy thinking, our distracted or self-interested thinking. It is not altered beyond recognition with an “I’d rather have it this way” attitude. How was it born into consciousness, whatever it was? Did it stay what it was by the time the song was sung? Or did it become something else?

That is how a human life can get. In the actual singing of it, it can become something different from the inspiration that is ignited within us. The complete thinking that allows inspiration to take its true form is true philosophy, which is the love of Sophia, the love of knowing. True philosophy is thorough thinking founded upon inspiration.

And how about blessing? We can receive blessing from Source, but when it comes to what we are conveying to another person, is it still blessing? Is it still love? Is it encouragement? Is it an energy that brings life? Does it still contain the seed and essence of blessing? Or did something else creep into it?

Inspiration and blessing bring life, but only if they come to their natural fulfillment, only if they come all the way through in our thinking and in our feeling. All the way through—not just a moment of feeling good, but a dedication to living a life of compassion and a life of service to other people, so that what comes through is unaltered by whatever resentments and hating and lying we might fall prey to if we let ourselves. So the principles of manifestation require some hard work—the work of thinking things all the way through and acting on that thinking, and the work of allowing what we have received of blessing in our life to come all the way through, intact, to other people—as Jesus said, so that the people of our world might have life and have it more abundantly.

David Karchere

 

Fathers without Fathers – Aboriginal Men in Canada

Good Day,

I was told about the below article earlier by a colleague, and wanted to post it for our readers.  I believe that it connects with the type of work we are doing here at The West Coast Men’s Support Society.  Our Dads Make A Difference program is a support group for new dads and fathers in crisis.  We are very interested in bringing this group to communities across BC because of situations that this segment of CBC’s The Current highlights.

Today, The Current comes to you from the Yukon Art Centre before a live audience to discuss a topic hiding in plain sight but rarely mentioned Fathers Without Fathers — Aboriginal Men In Canada.

In this special forum we hear from the first Canadian academic to start tracking Aboriginal men … Aboriginal fathers. We meet others working with Men who grew up without their dads and who want a different life for their own kids. And we hear from the audience as we explore this issue.

We’re in the North because Yukon Northwest Territories and Nunavut have the highest percentage of people with an Aboriginal ancestry. But this is an issue that has implications across First Nations communities and across our wider country.

PT 1: Absent Aboriginal Fathers

There are many statistics. The percentage of Aboriginal children being raised by a single parent — usually the mother — is double the percentage of other Canadian children. One in 5 First Nations women over the age of 15 is a single mom. And if statistics don’t change, a growing number of Aboriginal boys will typically become absent dads themselves. We hear from CBC Reporter, Geoff Leo who has been looking into this story and from a professor at the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria

Click here to listen to the radio show

PT 2: Absent Aboriginal Fathers (cont’d)

We continue to take about Aboriginal fathers – a demographic that has been called the greatest untapped resource in the lives of aboriginal children. That quote from Ed John, Grand Chief of the First Nations Summit in British Columbia. We hear from two people working with Aboriginal men – anxious to find new purpose in their lives, and the lives of their children.

Click here to listen to part two of this broadcast

Top 5 Regrets of Dying

I came across this great article that I wanted to make available to our readers since it relates to our men’s grief group.  I look forward to your comments.

Top Five Regrets of The Dying

By Bronnie Ware on November 30, 2011

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.  

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Sources:

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/11/top-5-regrets-of-dying.html

http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html

Be Inspired in 2012!

We hope that we can inspire you at the West Coast Men’s Support Society!  We hope that our programs and resources provide you with a sense of possibility – that there is another way to be in the world.

That men can reach out and ask for help.

That men do grieve in a different way from women.

That boys to need the support of healthy mentors to become healthy adults.

Imagine a world with loving healthy men rather than a world where men want to be powerful tyrants.  How would that world affect all of us?

What inspires you?  What drives you to take action and make a difference in the world?  We ask for your support in promoting our society to communities across BC.

Here’s a link to a wonderful book by long time motivational speaker Zig Ziglar.  We hope that it inspires you!

We thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Grant M. Waldman
Executive Director

Christmas Wish and New Years Hope

On behalf of the West Coast Men’s Support Society, please accept our sincere wishes for the very best of the season to you & yours.  Our Christmas Wish & New Year’s Resolution for all of you, Men, is that: (i) you will ask for help when you need it, rather than waiting until it’s too late, and that (ii) you will reach out for support in your time of need, and not isolate yourself.  Our West Coast Men’s Support Society is honoured to serve you.  We have programs and resources to support you & your families in creating full, healthier lives. Please feel free to call upon us, and may 2012 be your very best ever!!

 

Grant M. Waldman, Executive Director
www.westcoastmen.org

Welcome to the West Coast Men’s Support Society Blog!

Welcome to our new blog!  This blog will incorporate the input and insights of a number of men and women across British Columbia and beyond.  We hope to have at least two new blog postings per week that will stimulate topical discussions.  The discussions will include conversations around our programs:  Dads Make a Difference, Men’s Circles, Fire & Bones, Senior Men’s Circles, Men’s Grief, Restorative Justice, & Respect & Compassion.

Please read our blogs through our RSS feed.  We look forward to receiving your feedback!

Joy & Peace,

Grant Waldman
Executive Director