DadsNews   May, 2006   Volume 2,  Number 6 

Ken Mossman MFA, CPCC, PCC              518.580.0550


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In this issue:

  1. Greetings!
  2. Feature: "The King and I"
  3. Quote of the Month
  4. Happenings...


Greetings!

Howdy,

The view from the second floor ain't so bad this time of year. Sure, the lawn is a spring-ish monument to the grubs that seem to be showing up in record numbers, but after last week's application of milky spore and some beneficial nematodes that are expected on my doorstep any day now, it's only a matter of time before I become the scourge of destructive beetle larvae everywhere...

The gardens (apart from the lawn) are full of color and promise. My father and I are on the phone with one another regularly to check the progress of our various plants and to compare notes on hummingbird sightings. (We've seen a few over here. As of this writing, my folks - Al and Judy - haven't actually seen a hummingbird, but the sugar-water level has dropped significantly in their feeder. We suspect hummingbirds...) The seven yards of soil and compost mixture that was delivered a month ago has been distributed around the yard and I'm waiting for 20 new plants to be delivered. Aside from losing patience with one of my favorite lilies - I damaged it rather severely digging it up and moving it to what I hope will be a better location - all's well in the plant kingdom.

From the plant kingdom we segue into another kingdom...

...Which brings us, good reader, to this month's feature: "The King and I." No, this isn't about Yul Brenner, even though more than a few have compared our ample foreheads...

Have a good read... and keep your eyes open for royalty!

Yours,

Ken

PS: As always, I'm grateful to you for spreading the DadsNews to friends and fathers the world over... Thanks!


The King and I 

I met the King the other day.

No, I didn't have a conversation with Elvis...

Over the past few months I've been exploring masculine achetypes and archetypal energies. I've been looking at them under a microscope, poking at them with a variety of sticks, bones and other pointy objects, even trying on enough to make Carl Jung raise an eyebrow or two.

Warrior? Nice fit. We're buddies...

Magician? Merlin ain't got nothin' on me...

Lover? Yup...

King? What... is royalty afoot? Whence cometh the king..? You lookin' at... me..?

Let me offer some background, (and some transparency, too) as I think all this turning of archetypal pages requires some context: I've recognized the importance of the king for some time. That said, there's also been significant resistance on my part to "own" him. After all, what if he's a "bad" king - nothing more than a deadly tyrant? What if, on the other hand, he's a divinely appointed, powerful and wise leader?

I have to admit, the latter was a tougher proposition for me to wrestle with. The tyrant I could handle. That's familiar, practiced territory that, I believe, any man who ever tossed a spoon off the table as a kid can access at the drop of a hat. (Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette do a wonderful job of describing the "High Chair Tyrant" in "King, Warrior, Magician, Lover..." And no, the High Chair Tyrant ain't always a three year-old...)

The integrated, healthy and self-aware king (I think we'll capitalize "King" from here on out...) struck me as a thornier issue for a number of reasons: First, the King has a clear, big-picture vision. He can see the whole landscape of his kingdom and understands that the parts integrate into the whole, even in moments when he's not exactly sure about the "how" of that integration. He has a level of trust that over time, polarities find a balancing point, so long as one particular outcome isn't pushed or forced.

Next, I don't think the King knits responsibility and heaviness automatically into the same cloth. He sees that responsibility is a birthright rather than a burden. Responsibility, shame and obligation, for instance, can't occupy the same space. The actions that result from shame and obligation may be the same as actions taken from responsiblility, but they don't have any space for joy or self-expression. As I see the King, when he acts responsibly, he sees his entire kingdom in himself. He's a reflection of the whole system and knows it, which serves to guide his decision making process.

Simply put, if I do something that is injurious to any part of the system, I end up injured. On the other hand, when I care for the system, I care for myself. Likewise, when I care for myself, I care for the system.

I think that's been a tough one for me to wrap myself around, if only because it can look or feel "selfish." After all, isn't is really, really, really better to give than to receive..? Hmmmm... Don't all natural systems have ebbs and flows? Don't some kinds of trees need fire in order for thier seeds to germinate? Doesn't that imply that the forest must burn in order for new growth to happen? Doesn't a giver require a receiver for giving to happen..? If there's no receiver, do we call the giver a dumper?

The King knows that he must set the pace as both receiver and giver.

Third, the King has as much patience with his "subjects" - including his family, and even more importantly, himself - as he does for the trees and the seasons. Yes, there's a whole mess of wisdom to be found out in the natural world. Lilies sprout and bloom and die on thier own time frame, not mine. My son grows when he grows, regardless of whether I tell him to grow faster, slow down or hold his pace...

There's one more thing... The King knows that there's no shame in asking for help. He knows he can't fly solo and that thinking otherwise is nothing short of a delusional invitation to struggle and suffering.

What fun is that?

The King, after all, does know how to have a good time...

Interestingly enough, the King doesn't have much time or patience for grandiosity. He seems far too grounded for that sort of thing. He's awake enough to recognize that he has to take care of himself first and foremost, and he has to have his own reasons for doing what he does.

Yes, other people are important, it's having others as one's primary, blind motivation that just isn't sustainable in the long term. There has to be a raison d'etre that's closer to home than "for someone else." Paradoxical, of course, because the King does much for others and is, after all, responsible for his entire kingdom...

One of the great things about my training work is that I get lots of coaching from students. Much of the coaching I had last week was about uncovering new perspectives regarding many of my current circumstances. In examining new points of view of my work, I saw very clearly that much of what I do, well - I do it to please others. I also came to see that even when I have time in my planner for creativity and "slowing down," I still manage to fill the empty spaces with business-as-usual to-do items or busy work. In essence, I don't slow down at all.

While at one level none of this was new to me, at another level it cut deeply. I have a couple of clients who've recently taken retreats - thanks in part to challenges from yours truly to do so - and they've come back so alive, energized and crystal clear that it was actually painful to listen to them - only because hearing them struck a chord of deep longing in me that screamed "that's what you know is being offered, what you want so badly... and you won't slow down to receive it..."

Ouch.

In one of the perspectives I explored last week, I came face to face with the King. Unwilling to settle for anything less than the truth, he pointed me toward the mirror and said, "Slow down and see your own royalty. Receive it and don't apologize for it..."

I'm going on retreat in a couple of weeks. A day or two with just me and my journal and the natural world. No books, no video, no phone, no music, TV or any other media...

... Oh, and I'm going to bring the King along, too. We're going to slow down and listen - together...

Catch you on the flip side...


Quote of the Month

"If the king loves music, there is little wrong in the land."

Mencius


Happenings...


"This Father's Day weekend for men is about choice and change," says Sean LeClaire, author, poet, actor, coach, and friend of mine. Sean is holding a workshop entitled "Honoring Father: a gathering of whole-hearted men" at Kripalu in Lenox, Mass, June 16-18th.
The workshop is specifically designed to give attendees ample time to dive into their learning and still get home to connect with their families on Father's Day.
To register, go to: Kripalu or contact Sean.


The Power of Polarity


Expanding Our Capacity as Humans by Exploring the Edges of Masculine and Feminine Power

Here's what past "Power of Polarity" participants have to say:

"This was a life transforming/solidifying weekend for me. I changed at a cellular level. I'm not the same person I was when I arrived... Thank you all and keep it coming!"

"I'm able to finally feel fully the energy that I have known was always there. Anything is possible! You guys rock! The passion, love and commitment just oozes!"

“The workshop was life enhancing for me. I broke through to something I have been trying to access for years.”

“Thank you for creating a space which allowed me to get more in touch with some of the hidden or rejected parts of me...the good, bad, feminine, masculine, sensitive, defeated, rebellious, fragile... the works... Thank all of you for the time and effort you put into this work... It feels big and important.”

Join us for a 3-day experiential journey to…

o Gain a deeper awareness of masculine and feminine energies within yourself and others.
o Learn to discern between masculine and feminine energies that serve you… or hold you back.
o Experience your own personal blend of aligned masculine and feminine energies, creating a third energy – a new spark of life force and creativity.
o Explore and experience archetypes and “shadows,” and learn to consciously harness their powerful gifts.

More from past participants:
“This work has been at least as powerful as my experience of leadership. I would say, ‘get yourself there as soon as possible.’”

“The design of the workshop was nothing less than brilliant.”

“The importance of this work is that although it is complex and the imbalances may be ingrained, the Third Way provides a very accessible portal to creating the balance we seek.”

“(This lens) is important because it appears to be out of balance worldwide and permeates everything from the environment to world peace. Any lens that can help human kind find divinity within will only serve to better our inter/intra personal relationships, community, and world at large! It's huge!!!”

We’ll begin with an examination of how social constructs - conscious and unconscious - silently influence how we view ourselves, each other, and the world…
From there, we’ll explore pathways to awakening and expressing our unique and evolving masculine/feminine energies.

As our journey continues, you will:

o Discover the composition of your own unique Masculine/Feminine “masks.”
o Learn how to express, work and play with Third Way energies.
o Take home a conceptual framework, language, exercises and tools to apply this work in tangible ways—in your view of yourself, in your relationships, and at work.
o Be a vital part of groundbreaking work and a growing community… be a leader in the much-needed evolution of these energies in our world.

Discover how to work with these powerful energies to invite more joy and creativity into your work, your play, and your relationships!

Logistics:

• Course Dates: June 23 - 25, 2006
• Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM
• Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM
• Workshop Location: Best Western Sovereign Hotel, 1228 Western Avenue, Albany, New York, Phone: 518-489-2981
• Lodging: Holiday Inn Express Albany, 1442 Western Ave., Albany, New York 12203, Phone: 518-438-0001 or 888-651-0040. Be sure to ask for the "Third Way Workshop - Block Code TWW. Please call by May 27, 2006 to reserve your room, as rate ($157) will no longer be available after this date.
• Nearest Airport: Albany, NY
• Course Tuition: $500 Early Bird (Before May 27, $600 After...)
• Course will be led by the "MF3" Team: Sam House, Mary Kuentz, Ken Mossman, Debra Wilton-Kinney

For more information, visit my "Programs" page or contact me at: 518.580-0550 or via email.

To find out more about the work of the MF3 Group, visit our blog!


More cool stuff is available at the Cirrus Leadership website!

Next issue of DadsNews: Thursday, June 8, 2006.
Until then, celebrate your royalty!


DadsNews ©2006, Kenneth Mossman, MFA, CPCC, PCC,  Cirrus Leadership®
Use and distribution permitted and encouraged, providing attribution is... well, attributed!