Sat, Oct 07|
From Healthy Masculinity to Authentic Elderhood
THE MALE'S SEARCH FOR MEANING AND PURPOSE IN THE FIRST AND SECOND HALF OF LIFE
Time & Location
Oct 07, 2023, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CDT
Delafield, 612 Milwaukee St, Delafield, WI 53018, USA
If you have been keeping up with the news, you may have seen recent reports of men of all ages struggling academically and existentially. High school G.P.A. scores at present indicate that girls occupy 2/3rds of the top 10% highest scores, while 2/3rds of the students in the lower percentiles are boys. One in three men are in and out of work with a only a high school diploma. Women now comprise a significant majority of students in college and grad school, and men have a significantly higher rate of loneliness than women. Men also account for three out of four deaths by suicide or drug overdose.
Mid-life crises are also on the rise among men. There is a common societal assumption that male fulfillment begins when a man launches his career, finds the right job, marries the "right person", buys the right home in the right neighborhood, and maybe then has children. This fulfillment scenario ultimately plays out with the man slowing down, enjoying the fruits of his labor as he ages, and then finishing his life in a comfortable retirement with lots of friends. If this is the path to fulfillment, why is it that so many men are lonely and question their earlier choices as they slide into mild or serious mid-life crises between the ages of 35 and 70 years?
Developmental psychologists have noted that the primary purpose of the first half of life for most men is to develop the survival skills necessary for modern day living, e.g., making money, developing competence, projecting a self-image of importance, and adopting a persona associated with success. Many men in their 20s and their middle adult years struggle with the pressure to perform in adulthood. In the second half of life, it is all too easy for us and others to forget that a real person with a lot of emotional history resides behind the persona. Is it possible to live one's entire life as a form of role playing or as a human "doer" versus a human "being"? Is it possible to live an entire life without ever scratching the surface in search of what lies below?
In this workshop we will experientially, conceptually, and playfully explore various models of healthy aging. Many men in their early to middle adult years are stressed to the max, while a lot of men in their twilight years cling to reputation, imagined security, self-image projection, material possessions, and unexamined habits of behavior and attitude which no longer serve them. No matter what our age, anytime is a good time to retrieve parts of ourselves that got left behind when we had to put on psychological armor to protect ourselves from childhood wounds and societal expectations. No matter where we are developmentally, it makes sense to own and to jettison baggage from the first half of life.
Is it time to recalibrate the trajectory of your life? This "happening" will entail "ripening" exercises, heart-felt discussion, meditations, optional role-play, self-assessment, humor, and practice in the art of blessing. Events will occur in a community room with breakouts in smaller group settings. All adult age men are welcome -- including those in the first half of life but interested in altering their future!!! There is no fee for this event; however, donations to Well House 1900 are encouraged. For lunch, please bring a dish to pass -- enough for four people so that we can all eat lunch together smorgasbord style. We will have a refrigerator and water available all day long. If you prefer another beverage, bring it! Also, wear loose and comfortable clothing and bring a pillow and a sleeping bag or blanket for a floor meditation.
This is a Well House 1900 event inspired by the ManKind Project Wisconsin Elder Community retreats . Planners/facilitators are Craig Carlson, John O'Donnell, Bob Bickner, Dick Silberman, & Erich Moraine. Preregistration is required and space is limited: To preregister, go the Well House 1900 website, click on "Events", then go to the "Men in Search of Authentic Elderhood" listing and click on "RSVP." Questions or registration problems? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com