fSummer.jpgThis week, after a couple of years of thought (I tend to move slowly with new things), I began a new Meetup group called For Men Only in Malden; Men supporting men.  So far I’ve planned two continuing events for this group which will begin mid-September and will run once a month.  The first is called: This is YOUR men’s group with YOUR agenda. Let’s hear from you! and focuses on men’s issues in general that members bring to the table.  The second group: Highly Sensitive Man? Let’s get together and discuss what this means for us!  is for us guys who know we are wired as highly sensitive or who are close to someone who is highly sensitive.

The purpose of Meetup.com groups is to bring together people who have common interests and needs.  Anyone can start a group based on the most unusual subject or interest.   As long as there’s another person out there with a similar interest, a Meetup group can form.

I want men to have safe place to express themselves, to ask difficult questions, to tell their deepest desires, or to share their experiences.   I’ve asked each member to answer three simple questions:
1. What is the one thing where you feel most challenged as a Man?
2. What’s the one thing that, if you find it in this group, will fulfill you?
3. What one thing that makes your life worth living?

I’ve been amazed at the depth of thought and feeling that members so far have given to their answers.  Men have lot to say about their spiritual lives, core values, intimate relationships, and heart-felt goals.  They often don’t have a chance to speak outside of professional or domestic settings.  Usually being very physiological, men are most comfortable “doing” rather than “feeling.”

I want to provide a judgment-free zone for men to express themselves if they wish, on topics they choose.  My role will be to provide a safe and confidential environment, to facilitate the discussion, to enforce a policy of respect and inclusion, and to design and present interactive workshops that will assist each man in his individual journey.  The groups are limited to 10-12 and I am willing to establish more groups of 10 in order to accommodate all who are interested in participating in this conversation.

Another vital aspect of my Meetup groups is diversity.  I want to bring together men who can simply identify as men, without labels.  Thus I invite single, married, spiritual, religious, non-religious, gay, bi-sexual, female to male transgendered, highly sensitive, and hardy men to join us.  The only requirement is that they be anywhere between the ages of 18 and 100!  We have a lot to learn from each other and the diversity will stretch our boundaries while at the same time offering a wide range of love and support.  I want to offer opportunities for heartfelt relationship as men supporting men in their common struggle to find purpose and meaning and thus change our world for the better.

If you or someone you know lives in the Boston area, please suggest they join my Meetup group.  I look forward to suggestions from men as to what’s on your mind.  Feel free to include them in the comments in this blog post.