Imagine … a group of men sitting in a circle in a forest - talking, reflecting, being silent, exercising, taking in, letting go, helping each other … Not a bad thought, is it? But still a rare one…
Men taking time out for themselves, reflecting on their lives and actions, finding themselves - it is still a strange thought in 2020!
Most men have grown up under the slogan ‘boys don’t cry’ and learnt how to suppress their feelings, to be men, to be competitive.
Men all over the world are looking for new ways of defining their masculinity. However, it’s not an easy journey to find that man within you, who you want to be.
At Centennial Parklands, we are proud to support men by running mindfulness programs
that give men the opportunity to engage with each other in a different way, in one of Sydney’s most accessible, beautiful natural environments. Being mindful and connecting back to nature helps us to change the patterns we have been following.
It’s up to us to take responsibility
Men’s circles have existed all through human history – from our ancient forebearers spinning a yarn around the campfire to King Arthur and his knights of the Round table. Words like brotherhood, fellowship, fraternity show us that men have come together to help each other over centuries.
Men’s circles and Mindfulness programs are places where men are showing up to take responsibility for their lives back into their hands. They are places where you don’t have to put on a show – you tune in and if you want to share your thoughts … you will realise quite quickly that you are not alone with those big and little problems that your mind is coming back to. Many circles design their conversations around the Jungian archetypes of warrior, king, jester, lover to give you the chance to check in with all parts of yourself.
Ah yes … you think talking isn’t for men? In this safe space, there’s no pressure to talk, but you may be surprised at how easy it is when a safe space is created – and sometimes a nod often says more than a long conversation.
How does Mindfulness help?
helps you become more present in whatever you are doing - when you eat you eat, when you play with your children – you play with your children, when you listen to your mate – you listen to your mate.
Focussing on the moment allows you to become aware of what is happening in your body, your mind, and your environment. Our daily life throws many things at us and we often become stressed and anxious without knowing the reason.
Taking the time to realize what’s going on relieves you of that stress and helps you to evaluate, relax, and sometime find an easy solution. Your body gets the chance to move from its “Fight or Flight” mode back to the “Rest and Digest” – the time where you can “digest” all the influences from work, gym, traffic, family, home…
Men’s circles combine mindfulness activities, meditation, breath work and some time for sharing thoughts. Making that time for you will help to develop an embodied mindset which will lead you on the journey to the man you want to be.