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An occasional bulletin on men’s development

edited by Alan Heeks

In this issue:
  • Finding yourself in a wood: September 2-4
  • Grayson Perry
  • Men's Resource: cultivating friendship
  • Guest Blog: Starting a men's group
  • A Great Book for Midlife Men
Dear friends

Welcome to the first issue of an occasional e-newsletter for men.  I am starting this for two reasons: firstly, to share news about my events and resources for men, and secondly in the hope that other men would like to share this channel with me.  It was back in 1991 that I got inspired about men's work by Robert Bly, and I am still looking for networks, websites and other means to connect up the fragmented world of men.  Please send me any contributions you would like to share in the second issue.

With best wishes
Alan Heeks

Finding yourself in a wood: a men's weekend

Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury

Friday - Sunday September 2 - 4

This is an invitation to relax, renew and explore in the company of men, and the magical setting of this 70-acre wood.  The talents of the group and the wisdom of the wood offer a stage on which we can explore shared themes or personal situations as we want, through a range of approaches, and just being here.

In this very different setting, out on the land with a campfire, there’s scope to meet new aspects of yourself, find the subtler voices and the deeper melody, change an old story, play a new part, and hear the collective wisdom of the group.  Several Shakespeare plays use the forest as a place to find your true values, and this wood can help us explore male archetypes in the play of life.

This is a peer group hosted by Alan Heeks and David Owen: group size limited to 14 - book now to be sure of a place.  Cost £130 including food and basic accomodation.  For full details click here or contact Charles Kemp: m: 077379289

Men's Resource: cultivating friendship

Good friendships can oil the gearbox, making big change easier, and ice the cake, adding extra delight to life.  But there's an art to growing and sustaining good friends, especially for men.  Here are my top tips on this:
  • Be willing to experiment: trying a range of approaches with a variety of people increases your chances of success.
  • Realise that there are many kinds of friendships.  Be aware of the various kinds you would like and try to sense early on what your potential friend wants.  For example, the level of openness and emotional sharing may vary hugely.  In many male friendships, all this is unspoken: remember Last of the Summer Wine.
  • Imagine a new friendship as a spiral process: don't plunge in, but let it deepen gradually.  Listen for clues from your friend about the subjects they do and don't want to talk about, and guide them on your preferences.

Grayson Perry: men, power, women

Grayson Perry is a fascinating, unclassifiable part of men's voices in Britian.  Check out his current Channel 4 series, All Man, exploring three very different male milieux and what masculinity may mean.
Or a fascinating blog on his talk on men, and what they really need - for themselves and in society - at the (mixed) Women of the World Festival: follow this link.

Starting a Men’s Group

Guest blog by Daniel Korner

It’s interesting to think of how the men’s group that I got involved with in Devon first started.

It was actually the women in the community where I lived at that time that brought in the idea.  From their interest in sharing a women’s circle, and conversations about women’s work we men started to investigate what equivalent activities would be available for us.

What was initially quite out of most men’s comfort zone grew over the period of 14 months into a beautiful, committed brotherhood of men.  We met every 2nd week around a fire … to share, be witness and support for each other, and explore together what it means to be a man in these times. For full blog, click here.

"A great book for midlife men"
"a rich and thoughtful book lightened by humour and a sense of grace"
"a good read"

"Whatever age you are, buy it!"

'Goodness me - a well concieved and written book to address the post industrial dilemma of what relevance and role modern men have in society.'

Yes, I admit these comments are about my book, but they're from readers, not me. Out of the Woods: A Guide to Life for Men Beyond 50 is relevant for many men from somewhere in their forties - and women are finding it useful too! The book covers all the big midlife topics; purpose, relationship, work, health, family, elderhood and more.  There's a lot of research behind this book, and each chapter has a Resources listing.

If you buy it from Amazon and would like to post a review, I'd be very grateful.


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Copyright © 2016 Alan Heeks, All rights reserved.

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