Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • This past Sunday, I served as a woman coach for a men's transformational intensive program called the Authentic Man Program. It was to be the last intensive weekend the company (Authentic World) is going to do for awhile, and its upcoming hibernation had called out men from all over the world: Finland, Australia, the U.K., Canada, San Diego, Austin, and so on. Usually, by the time Sunday comes around and the women coaches arrive for the intensive, the men have already spent two days in rigorous, and sometimes brutal, self-inquiry. Everything from their relationships with their parents, work, women, other men, and especially themselves have come up in truthful, real shares, and when the women come in, they are tender, raw, and nervous.

    During one of the exercises on Sunday, the women are paired up with the men sitting across from each other. The young man from Canada sat down in front of me. After some moments, a smile tugs at the corner of his lips, and I wanted to invite him further; the nature of these intensives may be powerful, but not at the expense of us laughing about what we're doing (in OR out of context)! As we grinned at each other like children, I couldn't help but notice that his smile did not reach his eyes, which looked so sad. I followed that line of inquiry and discovered this:

    He is from a small town in Toronto. In one year at his high school, four deaths occurred within the student body. The first was a girl who died in a car accident, and the three deaths that followed were influenced by the first, a domino effect: suicides, including his best friend, who was the last to die. When the first loss had passed, he remembered his town being in shock. He assessed with me that he doesn't believe the people in his town knew how to properly grieve. At the time, he was reading AMP material, and was growing awareness about himself, his feeling states, his human body, and the world he lived in. He remembered sitting around with his friends, and in shock, they couldn't say or do anything to grieve the girl who died in the car accident. And he sat there and cried. In front of his male friends in high school. Later that night, they all went home. And they cried. The next day, each of them told him that because they saw him cry, they were able to cry too.

    I cried listening to his story. I cried feeling his grief, feeling all of the unfelt sensations and feelings we, as a culture in this society do. I cried for all of the teenagers who committed suicide, because they couldn't bear it. I cried for the humans who aren't safe enough to let go. I cried because I was touched. And I cried because the work that we do at Authentic World, the work that I do has helped impact this little town in Canada, when a group of young men felt permission to cry.

    I feel blessed. I feel committed. This is my path. To love, to allow, to open.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.