Welcome to the ‘Band of Brothers’ – the name is unashamedly taken from the HBO series by the same title. For the unfamiliar, it dramatised the story of a close knit wartime outfit from the US 1st Airborne division. It represents, to me, everything that encapsulates what seems in short supply for men of this age. Namely, a close knit bond of men confronting emotions – and joy’s together. Overlaying this exists a deep sense of unity and purpose; a brotherhood at arms against a ‘common enemy’. For any servicemen (or women) reading this, please understand that I am not disregarding the sacrifice, privations and horror of war and conflict, for which service I have the deepest gratitude and respect. I only use this aspect of ‘Brotherhood’ to name and illustrate this introduction.
Today, I feel Men live with a different common enemy – living too much in isolation, passive, existing with sometimes shallow relationships, repressed feeling overlaid with much pressure and stress. A confused and bewildering inner world largely at odds with the ‘inner man’ and our core need of expression.
I have felt the need to open and offer a Mens group to all like minded men seeking a better way. We will endeavour to learn new ways to be – in relationships, socially, personally and in relation to each other. As men we come together to seek an intentionality in which we will develop safety, trust, care and respect. It will be run as a closed group of around 10 committed Men, of any race, age or orientation – opening up from time to time to allow others into ‘circle’ as required. We will come together and acknowledge that ‘excepting’ the facilitator’s organisational needs there is no leader, nor guru, teaching or dogma. We will acknowledge that each is the sole expert in his life. We just meet to explore and share what it is to be a man. This excludes nothing, so we examine relationships with others and ourselves. In recognising ourselves as Men we set aside judgement for understanding and treat others with complete acceptance and respect.
It’s hoped that by joining, you will commit to a fortnightly evening from 7 pm to 9 30 pm at a venue on Sydney’s north shore. As the facilitator I will organise, open, run and close the group and look towards a co-facilitator should illness or forced absence be needed. Also, in time, I’d like to open up the group to explore social activities. For example, I personally would like to learn and practice fly fishing, discover wild areas, art, go rafting or contribute to a charity or community project. I’m sure other men would also name similar interests or ‘wild dreams’ that can be explored and shared together.