A Day on Mission
Sometime in autumn 2013 I was round a fire at our iGroup and a man checked in with grief; grief at not having found this work earlier and of all the time that he’d wasted.
I’ve heard this before from other men and can definitely relate to it myself. At the time I already had a growing anxiety to get my life on track and live with purpose. There’s an impatience in my potent warrior…. and he can so easily slip into the shadow of destructive self-criticism.
So I know there’s a burning drive for clear visioning which is strong in me. And it seemed men in my iGroup resonated with this, for they called for a day on mission. And so Hugh, Rod and I put one together.
There are various ways in the past which I have come to mission: doing what my mother wanted of me (!); choosing a vocation that looked like it would be fun; taking stock of my skills and seeing how they might be applied to help the world; and doing something so f**king spectacular that others would see that I am enough!
I even thought about how things would look from the perspective of my envisioned deathbed!
The Adventure weekend mission was different for me because I was asked how I might be in mission in addition to what I might do. This move from “doing – having – being” to “being – having – doing” has been an important one for me.
I was very happy with my mission: “To create a world of joy and openness by being completely authentic, playing and letting go”.
Nevertheless, this hasn’t quite been working for me. The mission comes from my little boy, from my wounding, and it’s what I wanted to create in the world of my childhood.
Yes, it still forms a very important part of the man I am today, but I want to get clear in my wholeness what it is I am here to do. I have a good connection with my lover quarter so in mission I was naturally curious about what my magician had to offer.
The Mission Day we devised incorporated bits of shadow work, visualisations and sharing circles. We wanted to create a process where a man could step into sovereign and hear what his other quarters had to say about his mission. We created a space where men could connect with a felt sense of purpose before attaching to any intellectual understanding of what their missions might be.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open….” Martha Graham
To be honest my initial intention for the day as a participant was to construct a bulletproof protocol that I could take out “guns blazing”. A clear statement of my mission and intent which I would carry out into the world and execute precisely like a true warrior – then I’d be a real, glorious, MKP man who was truly loved, appreciated and respected.
What I got from the day was quite different!
My coming to mission has been matured by an appreciation of the tender way in which the men I met on the day were building a sense of purpose, each with his own different process and content, each at a different stage, and that’s not to say the stages are hierarchical.
Some men left with tweaks to their missions, having realised that what seemed to be minor elements of mission were actually the core of their mission. Others came up with clear new missions. For some men the process of reflecting on mission brought up important material and engagement with this inner work became their new mission.
When I opened up to my magician I saw there are parts of me which have always had a clearer sense of my mission than I’ve had in my conscious awareness. In fact, an esoteric flash of my magician revealed where my mission is heading. And it’s this core energy that I must allow.
However, I didn’t particularly like my new mission when it came out. It was a challenge for me to voice it. It has been a challenge for me to live it.
Yet, in truth, I’ve been engaged with this mission for a long time. I know that there’s something inside me which is wise enough not to hand the reigns to “little me” lest I self-sabotage. The fact is, if my little boy writes out my mission there are plenty of parts which he’d called dark, and which he’d rather not let out.
And I think a good mission must be challenging. I also think that to live it, some dreams must fall away.
One of these dreams is having the clearly defined mission I was looking for. There are some men around with these kinds of mission; they are beautiful and I do admire them, but I am not that kind of man and only if I life my truth can I give my gift to the world.
To do this I must accept that my mission right now is not clear or static. I must pay attention to the every changing plethora of micro-adjustments that allow my core urges to express themselves, and I must follow them until I know myself inside out.
In this I see that my work on mission will never be finished. And in that spirit there will be more days on mission like the last one where together we can go deeper into our work.