Updated: Oct 24, 2022
At The Living Project we believe that our slow adventures with the wild give each participant the opportunity to contribute towards and own some pretty powerful outcomes, not just for themselves but for the wider group. After a few years of delivering carefully curated experiences we know this to be true.
"At the heart of our approach is a belief that we are all interdependent. Our individual physical and mental health is interrelated with the health of our wider community and the wider planet. We are connected."
As human beings, at this moment in time, we are facing a myriad of interconnected inner and outer challenges. We are all too familiar with the headlines around climate change, mental health and the endemic of chronic disease.
And living through and with COVID has been a testing period for all. Some of us have found the enforced slowing down and isolation a transcendent experience while others have felt great personal turmoil and loss. Perhaps we can relate to both at the same time.
In this context the opportunity to go on an adventure with the wild provides the ingredients for feeling the reality of the interdependence or the mutual arising of all things in a very real way.
This leads to some powerful emotions and questions. From even a relatively short immersion, questions when listened too with love and gratitude can bring about the possibility of a new truth and a letting go. From this new seed can come renewal and healing.
This lived experience is captured within our philosophy, Be True. Live Wild!
The wild is the secret ingredient, along with a safe and lovingly curated journey. All humans deserve to have the opportunity to experience a wild adventure.
In our efforts to reach out to all we have recently explored women’s wild adventures: for women by women. Women make up the vast majority of our clients, but still the opportunity to gather as women is popular and powerful. There is clearly a need and value to gather to celebrate the female yin energy and consider the role of women in healing themselves, community and our world.
What about Men? Well, we have been wondering. Our own empirical research suggests that there is an important need for men to also gather together to listen and explore who they are in the C21.
It was a hot weekend in early summer 2021. Along with my fellow Director, Josh and our wonderful assistant, Ember, we patiently waited in a remote car park in Dartmoor National Park for our four clients, all men from a prestigious private school in the south of England.
We were excited and nervous. We had agreed to lead the group on a WILD 24 - a 24 hour journey in the wild, in which we would sleep out in an ancient woodland under the stars.
This was one of our early adventures with fee paying clients. Whilst experienced expedition leaders, I suspect our nervousness was partly related to the fact that our clients were 4 men and not only that but leaders in their teaching fields. Furthermore the weekend was an opportunity for us to facilitate a space for joint reflection and chat about the provision of wellbeing adventures for young people, hence the excitement.
After the initial meet and greet it became increasingly clear that we would have to review our expectations as to the purpose of this particular wild journey. Early on during the wild adventure, when given the opportunity to find their own space, the four male Teachers instead congregated on top of the highest TOR.
In review I told them I was surprised that they had congregated together when given the opportunity to spend some time alone. Their answer surprised me.
Essentially, while they worked at the same school they hardly saw each other (partly COVID related) and so when the opportunity presented itself they wanted to come together.
They craved togetherness.
I suspect it was also the unconscious male ego at play. They all wanted to scramble up to the highest point! They spent a good 25-20 minutes huddled like a troop of king monkeys talking and taking in the awe inspiring view from the top of the TOR. It was a very powerful and memorable moment.
Whilst quietly observing the group Josh & I realised that we would need to let go of our expectations and purpose. It was evident to us in the moment that we would need to let our guests own their own outcomes. We could do that by simply curating a loving and supportive space for these four men to journey with the wild. The wider discussion of wellbeing adventures for young people could wait.
As it turned out this was a good decision.
Of course there were moments that simply would not have happened in a mixed group or women only adventure. The masculine yang energy did present itself. Hopefully Josh & I were able to be with the occasional chest beating and expertly connect us back in touch with our female yin energy, in which gratitude, compassion and empathy could dance together with rational thoughts and need for action and proving oneself.
Since this experience, while we have considered the need for a men's only space, we haven't - until now - committed to it. We needed to do some more research into understanding the dynamic and approach to bringing men together. We wanted to get clearer on our why.
The men’s literature is deep, and the opportunities for men to come together are numerous, although can often, in our view, be toxic. We subscribe to the belief that men in a western patriarchal society have a domination of space and place to gather as men already. To justify a men's only space we have to acknowledge the need to consider the whole man and person, including the feminine energy.
Danielle Boido puts it like this.
“A healthy man that embraces his female energy instead of suppressing it will NOT lose his male energy, on the contrary it will be enhanced and become a better quality of male energy, strong and gentle and he will feel complete. In the next stage of evolution female energy has to be the leading force in women and men. Of course women have a stronger female energy within them than men. That is why in the next stage of evolution women have to help men to embrace female energy.” (The Human Being of the Future).
It is this spirit we will offer a space for men to get together with other like minded men. We seek to create a circle for deep listening, sharing and exploring who we are, in relationship to others and the wider world.
Throughout the wild will awaken our teacher within and challenge us to become the man we want to be, that our loved ones deserve and that is needed to contribute to a better future for our planet.
During a Men’s Wild Adventure we will merge with Wild Water to awaken the flow of our warrior spirit.
We will enliven our Kingly nature through grounding with the Wild Earth. We will light Wild Fire and become the alchemist, able to process and let go of unhelpful emotions and blocks.
We will allow ourselves to feel free by playing and laughing with Wild Air. We will learn that our true nature is wild. We play our part, we take responsibility and become our own healers, honest, strong mature men for the C21.
Our Men’s Wild Advance is not a lecture, not a solution or cure. It is a place where pain or suffering is not judged but acknowledged.
And, we will explore our own need for health & healing, by being true to our nature. The creation of a living community to support our realisations and evolution also takes place. Essentially, we offer a conversation on being human, men in a changing world. As always the wild will be our non-judgemental teacher.
"Expect opportunities for honest conversations, deep listening, group & Individual coaching, healthy food, yoga, meditation, and fun and laughter. Most importantly we head out into the wild for an adventure."
Remember, you will own your own outcomes and decide what contribution you will make. Your male leaders will serve you and curate a natural flow to support your wild journey.
To find out more check out our website www.thelivingproject.life or message Cormac or Josh. We’d love to hear from you.
D, Boido (2012). The Human Being of the Future: A Non Spiritual Guide To Spirituality. London. Feed a Read.