Physical Support

I don’t claim to be in great physical condition.  In fact, I’m overweight and out of shape. However, over the years, I’ve been encouraged to keep from going too far over the edge by the Men’s team.   Next week I am signed up to ride my bike in the Solvang Century.  I had said I was interested in riding in Solvang and one of the other men said, OK, if you say you are interested, then let’s do it.  I agreed.  He signed up and then asked me if I had signed up.  I was bound to my word and signed up.  That support moved me from thoughts to action. There are other members who are likely to join us next week and the team as a whole is very supportive.

Over the years, I’ve run six marathons, done a couple of triathlons, ridden some century bike rides, all of which I would not have done without support.  Having one or more people supporting you by partnering with you makes a tremendous difference.  When somebody has your back and you have theirs then the excuses fall away.  You can’t bail on them when they are not bailing on you.

Physical support might look like a weekly meeting at the gym, a run, a bike ride, a walk, or a hike.  You don’t have to have a men’s team to get physical support, but it’s a built in part of being in a support group like Team Samurai.

Of course the support thing can cut both ways.   You can support each other in doing something, and you can also support each other in not doing something.  When you “let each other slide”, you can be in collusion to “not” do something while maintaining the illusion that you are being supported by each other.  On Team Samurai we have some “come to Jesus” discussions every so often to expose those places where we are letting each other slide.

Come to think of it, we haven’t had one of those in a while, maybe we are in collusion to “not” have one of those meetings :-)

OK back to the positive side of the coin.   The physical support that I have gotten from Team Samurai has and will continue to make a significant different in the quality of my life and I greatly appreciate it.

Onward to Solvang!!!

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Seminars, Seminars, Seminars

Over the years I have attended many personal growth seminars.  These include:

  • The Men’s Weekend
  • Lifespring (Basic, Advanced, Leadership)
  • A course with Alexander Everett
  • The Forum (Basic, Advanced)
  • The Six Day
  • The Mastery of Empowerment
  • The Self Expression and Leadership Program
  • The Wisdom Course
  • Breakdown Seminar, Money Seminar, Creativity Seminar…..
  • Best Year Yet
  • Community By Design
  • Collaborative Way
  • Tony Robbins Firewalk Experience

And and few more I can’t remember right now…  Some would say that I am a seminar Junky, and that might be true.  However, the core truth for me in taking seminars is that I am interested in understanding and improving myself.  These courses have all been useful in showing me a new perspectives that I was not seeing before I took the courses.

To give a couple of examples, I learned that when things are going wrong there is a core of good news there.  When something goes wrong it’s because at the core of it you are committed to something.  If you don’t care about something it can’t go wrong.  It only can get messed up when you care about it.   If you look for what you are committed to inside of the thing that is going wrong you can focus on the positive force of your commitment.  For a long time I was single, I used to think that there was something wrong with my relationships.  When I looked at it through this new perspective I saw that at the core I am a person who cares deeply about relationships.  When I recognized this as a strength things changed overnight.  I met the woman of my Life, Chimene, and I have been happily married with two wonderful children for almost 18 years.

Another example is completing things.  I had been known as a procrastinator and I wanted to work on completing things faster and more effectively.  I constantly felt incomplete with things in my life.  I thought that by learning to do things better, faster, and more efficiently I could resolve these in-completions.  The work that I did in the Seminars showed me that my thinking was upside down.  I found that I needed to look at the in-completeness inside of me first, confront the fear and guilt stop avoiding the feelings.  When I deal with the in-completeness first then the doing just happens.  Weird isn’t it?  You would think you need to do something to complete it.  What turns out to be true is that you need to complete something to do it.

Of course one of the major benefits of seminars has been my Men’s Team.  Although I’m pretty good at it, it is hard to “hide out” when you meet each week with a group of men that are committed to supporting you.  I trust these men with my life and have, in fact, done so on many occasions, scaling a 600 foot cliff, kayaking down river in the rain forest of Belize and many other exciting adventures.  But that’s not the only kind of trust.  I trust that I can tell them the truth about what is going on for me no matter how embarrassing it might be to say it.  They listen and they understand and often they have similar things going on for them.  Being a man there is an obvious commonality that I have with other men.  But it took the Men’s Weekend seminar and my participation in Team Samurai for me to really understand the compassion and support that is available in that shared experience.

They have my back, and I have theirs.

So, call me a Seminar Junky if you like, I’ve gotten quite a lot of value out of seminars.

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Team Samurai

I have been a member of a Men’s Team (Team Samurai) for over 22 years.  It started with us all taking a seminar called “The Men’s Weekend” from The Sterling Institute of Relationship.  This was a good thing for me to do at the time as I had never really considered what it means to be a man and what is the value of my relationship with other men.  I didn’t necessarily agree with everything that the seminar put forward, but it made me think of what my own answers were to questions I had never asked myself.  At the end of the seminar they took men who lived in proximity to each other and suggested we get together and form a men’s group to support each other.  I went to the first group meeting and found myself mixed in with guys I never would have hung with otherwise.  I’m a computer guy and the others were general contractors, lawyers, chefs, truck drivers, psychologists, inventors.  In supporting each other and being supported I found that I had a lot more in common with these guys than I ever expected.  We picked a name, Team Samurai.

This began 22 years of meeting every week to support each other, our families and our community.  We have done many projects for our community, renovating schools, working for charitable organizations, putting on fundraising events, and generally helping people in need.  One most notable event that we created ourselves is called “Senior Wish Day” where we provide services to low income seniors for a day and do various small tasks, fixing small plumbing issues, cleaning and organizing, fixing computer problems, gardening and other miscellaneous work. Sometimes the most important service we provide is just listening.  All the things we have done have helped our community and enriched our lives.

We have also done some great things for ourselves.  Every year we go skiing and camping together.  We regularly host couple and family events.  Also we have gone on  some larger trips, one to Hawaii and one adventure trip to Belize, very fun stuff.

Part of what I have done for the team is create the Team Samurai website.  What you can’t see (unless you are a team member) is that I have a team calendar, address book, picture gallery set up for the team.  There are some great php web applications out there and it’s been fun setting it all up.  Recently I decided to include a blogging section based on WordPress and offer it to any of the men who might want to have a blog.

For my blog, I’m going to talk about my experience of being on a men’s team.  I won’t be sharing any details of our meetings because a major element of our meetings is maintaining confidentiality.  However, I will share the value that I have gained from having support from other men in my life.

So it begins.

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