It did not occur to me, when I took those first wobbly, new-gig steps down my career path a couple decades ago, that I’d find myself leading courses for rooms of men.
Of course, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d front a rock & roll band, either… but synchronicity does its own thing.
A recurring theme (one of many) in the world of men’s work is the hunger for real connection with other men. Real versus the shallow slap on the back, how ya doin’, fine and you, let’s talk sports so we don’t have to admit to each other that there’s anything less-than-ideal going on below the surface.
A continuing group of IAM graduates met earlier today and, among the things we played with was this simple phrase: “My heart is open to you.”
We used it as the starting place in a breakout exercise and, because the numbers worked, I got to be leader and participant.
To be transparent, I make it a point to do both at the same time for many reasons, including the fact that the instant I start to read my own press, hand things off to my ego, or otherwise think my work is done, I’d be a liar and developmental toast.
The egoic stuff ain’t exactly part of a healthy breakfast!
But I digress…
The point is, that short prompt, “My heart is open to you,” opened all kinds of doors, windows, gates, and other things that are typical (if metaphorical) aspects of walls of separation.
The cool thing is that my breakout partner and I were both moved in profound ways. When we came back to the larger group, we found that our experience was universal.
And here’s the thing: as one man wisely observed, this intimacy stuff – even between men – can be simple. When we allow our heads to step aside and our hearts to be open, deep, surprising connections happen.
By the way, I’m not suggesting wandering the world boundaryless. That would be foolish and emotionally naïve. What I am pointing to, however, is looking at the relationships you’d like to deepen and, once you’ve chosen one or two, take the lead in opening your heart.
Be discerning as to who you choose, of course. And do feel free to borrow our prompt as a starting place.
Because if there’s anything this world could use right now, it’s more open heartedness.
And yes, my heart is open to you.