The Good Men Project announces Men’s Work column edited by Tim O’Connor. We’re looking for contributors.
Men’s work. Man, that doesn’t seem like anything that I’d want to do. I might have to make an effort, get really uncomfortable. Do stuff that I’d rather avoid.
Cleaning out the garage, cutting the grass, sorting through email—that type of work I’ll take on. But sorting through my interior garage? Yuck.
But I have chosen to do men’s work—for about 10 years now, since I was initiated into the Mankind Project in 2003, which opened me up to a whole world of awareness around being a man.
There’s thousands of men—and women—who do men’s work, and I want to share those experiences, insights and wisdom in the new Men’s Work section of the Good Men Project site in my role as editor.
This is an invitation to you to write about your experiences of men’s work, whether personally, professionally, as an observer, family member, partner—whatever your point of view. If it’s a great story, I’m interested.
So what the hell is men’s work? I believe it means doing the challenging grunt work that will ultimately make me the robust and vital father, partner, son, uncle, neighbor, colleague and world citizen that I really want to be—a man engaged, accountable and authentic who abides by a strong set of values.
In an effort to do that, I devoured self-help books, magazines, psychology journals, listened to DVDs, and I even went to therapy.
I just didn’t change. It was like living with the mute switch turned on.
Since my initiation into the Mankind Project and expanding my awareness, I learned that moving from an old way of being to a new one takes work—getting past my fears and going into the dark places that I have avoided most of my life.
With support from men in my circles, I have gone down into the dark. The battles I wage are often profane, ugly, messy. Other times, it’s just stepping through fear to tell my partner what I really think, or telling someone ‘I f**ked up.’
I’ve come to learn that men’s work can be a lot of things, such as:
- Forcing myself out of my head so I have to deal with my feelings
- Becoming a mentor for young people as a coach or leader so that I can model mature masculinity
- Using Warrior energy to take a stand and get things done
- Owning my projections and judgments so I can be present with the important people in my life
- Asking hard questions about my relationships with drinking, pornography, money, status, etc.
- Taking stock whether I follow through on my commitments
- Determining if I use work to avoid dealing with difficult family situations
- Taking a hard look at whether I allow people to see that I’m scared, sad, ashamed or even joyful?
Boy, a lot that sounds so noble. And nice. A nice guy would do all that.
It’s just that I don’t want to most of the time. My wounds, my stories, my patterns make me want to play small and turn away.
But when I step over that line of resistance—then, I’m doing men’s work. And most every time I do, I feel lighter, better, stronger. I know that I am moving forward, incrementally, peeling off another layer of that onionskin.
I have used the perpendicular pronoun—the I-word—to authentically articulate my experiences with men’s work.
But I want YOUR stories.
As editor of this space, I want to share your posts about men’s work: your thoughts, wisdom and experiences.
I invite you to send me your blogs, articles, essays (scribblings on parchment but in digital format, please) so that we can share them with the large and diverse readership of The Good Men Project.
We’re generally looking for posts that explore, investigate and document all different kinds of men’s work.
The most powerful posts have a strong first-person point of view—so feel free to use the perpendicular pronoun—in particular stories about experiences that have genuinely affected your life. We want well-written stories, including those that have been published before.
The only formal instructions are as follows: Your non-fiction pieces of 500-1200 words (give or take) must adhere to the Good Men Project Style Guidelines. I think that stories of about 750 words or so hit the sweet spot for reading on the Internet.
My role as editor is to publish the best stuff, and to help you write your best stuff. It’s very exciting. If you want to check me out further, click here.
Submit your queries and stories to [email protected].
I look forward to receiving your stories and queries.