I was at the Adventure weekend at the Comb in September 2012. It was certainly one of the most unusual things I have ever done!
The Adventure weekend was indeed quite an experience for me, positively challenging in some ways, empowering in others, and generally a place to learn quite a few things about life and others. I don’t know if it was a milestone that will give me the power and courage to take life in my hands and decide and risk and do so many other things that I need to do, but it certainly gave me an insight into men’s struggles in general, and it gave me courage and the sense that I am not alone.
What have I personally gained by participating in the weekend? Overcoming my fear of meeting new people and of being amongst men. A better general understanding of myself, especially regarding the issues that are keeping me from living my life freely and more empowered. Realising that, while I can seek advice and insight from other people, in the end the duty and responsibility of making a choice belongs to me. Acknowledging that I cannot undo the past, my background, but I can own the shadow and use it in a positive and motivating way. Striving to discover a mission, a purpose for my life, and a way to live in integrity regarding it, rather than in denial and evasion.
Two aspects have especially touched me over the weekend. First, the courage and determination of so many participants in knowing and also sharing themselves so as to develop themselves to be better men who live in accordance with their expectations and dreams. Second, the dedication of the staff who were facilitating the whole weekend in service for us. They were an inspiration for me through their knowledge of humanity in general, their strength of character and integrity. My sincere thanks and deep appreciation goes towards all the men who have staffed the September weekend! I am truly grateful for their effort and dedication!
Especially, at the end of the Adventure, on Sunday afternoon, there was the good-bye ceremony which involved all the members of staff and weekend participants. As we were doing this, I noticed so much kindness, encouragement and love in men’s eyes, and many of them had tears in their eyes. Their images, their faces, have deeply touched me, and for some reason this saddens me (perhaps realising once again, both the greatness and transience of human beings).
To conclude, there aren’t many environments nowadays in which men are encouraged to communicate and share deep and profound experiences, to be true to themselves, to discover themselves, to show their emotions and to strive to live in integrity. I think ManKind Project’s relevance resides precisely in encouraging this work and offering this space for men.