Most boys these days are not initiated into manhood. You may not have been either. This can cause pain that is challenging to recover from but today’s guest has a path to find the hero you actually are, but may have forgotten.
In many cultures around the world, boys around age 8-10 are taken into nature and guided in a ritual by the older men.
This serves to support boys to step into their manhood, to find their courage and strength, to understand the responsibilities of becoming a grown up.
Were you ever explicitly guided from boyhood to manhood?
Were you taught what it takes to care for yourself and others, in the midst of a changing and challenging world?
If you were, I am deeply grateful.
Most men in our modern culture have not been guided. And thus have lost part of their strength, grit and well-being.
Jeffrey Erkelens is the author of The Hero in You. It is a powerful book written for boys, as well as for men who struggle to feel their place in the world and their sense of being a hero on their own journey.
In this conversation we discussed:
- The initiation boys need to become men who are not only successful but fulfilled
- An evolved conception of manhood
- The deadly “dragons” that take you from your unique path onto one of following expectations and shoulds
- The ways in which men ARE needed in the modern world
- The life forces a man needs so he can accomplish his goals and contribute to a cause of his choosing
Jeffrey references an African proverb: “If we don’t initiate the young they will burn down the village to feel the heat.”
Are there situations or relationships you have “burned down” in your life, perhaps feeling unguided or misled, or maybe out of a desire to feel your own aliveness in a world that feels deadened?
If so, check out Jeffrey’s stories here and then visit his Facebook page to get a copy of his book.
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So far in my life, I’ve been a warehouse picker, a commodities trader, a plantation owner, an investment banker, Chairman, Manager, mortgage banker, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, telemarketer, door-to-door salesman, and non-profit manager. I have counseled Presidents and bribed Vice-Presidents. I have skirted near the extremes of affluence and poverty, and struggled in the in-between. I have dined in the most expensive restaurants and dumpster-dived for scallops and Jimmy Dean sausage.
On my 55th birthday:
- I realized I no longer enjoyed, nor believed in the story I was in, so I decided to write my own.
- I left my job, and walked away from a promise of a generous lifetime pension in exchange for my freedom.
- I surrendered my possessions to rid myself of distractions.
- I embarked on a journey return to childhood dream, align life with who he knew he was but had not had courage to respond to.