Transcript: Episode 6

This tran­script has been edit­ed for clar­i­ty. There may be dif­fer­ences between the audio and this tran­script.

Men’s Unheard Whis­pers of Grief


[00:00:00] John: Join­ing me today is Karl Rabke, an extra­or­di­nary per­son I had the plea­sure of meet­ing at a grief work­shop led by Fran­cis Weller. Our con­ver­sa­tion today cen­ters on a press­ing ques­tion sur­round­ing grief and spir­i­tu­al growth. Why do we hear so few men’s voic­es? So let’s begin. Carl, would you kind­ly intro­duce your­self?

[00:00:24] Carl: Yeah. By way of intro­duc­tion, I do a lot in terms of work in the world. I’ve fol­lowed these Wind­ing threads of somat­ics and embod­i­ment work and move­ment and soul work, Grief rit­u­als and men’s work. And for me, they’re the same thing. As Michael Mead likes to say, “the pri­ma­ry move­ments of soul are slow and down” ” and it’s often the same thing with our embod­ied pres­ence, that to return to our embod­i­ment it requires a slow­ing down and [00:01:00] drop­ping in and back from the kind of up and out and speed of mod­ern cul­ture. So I find the 2 help each oth­er. And many times, in wit­ness­ing embod­i­ment and move­ment com­mu­ni­ties, I sense that they could use more soul.

[00:01:17] Carl: And in being in soul­ful com­mu­ni­ties, some­times they could use a lit­tle bit more Embod­i­ment to real­ly be with, the felt real­i­ty of what they’re work­ing with. So That’s some­thing that I’ve done for many years, and I also fol­lowed sim­i­lar paths with my wife, Erin. We teach togeth­er and host a pod­cast togeth­er. That’s it. It’s how I got to this moment of sit­ting here talk­ing with you, John.

[00:01:41] John: How did you come across this move­ment

[00:01:44] Carl: So I was like many of us, I was pret­ty dis­em­bod­ied I was also active. I was ath­let­ic. I played lacrosse, but I, would use my body as an object and was­n’t real­ly Sens­ing myself, and I got pret­ty injured play­ing that sport [00:02:00] in col­lege and wound up hav­ing back surgery at the age of 21 and spent most of my col­lege years with ongo­ing chron­ic pain. And I always say that I’m grate­ful to my 21-year-old self because the moment I came out of anes­the­sia from the surgery and felt the nerve pain gone, there was this recog­ni­tion that if I did­n’t have some sort of rad­i­cal reori­en­ta­tion, I’d be back in that same sit­u­a­tion.

[00:02:24] Carl: So it caused me to look at how I was relat­ing to body, which was how I was relat­ing to life itself. short­ly after that, I moved where I was Liv­ing in Cape Cod, Mass­a­chu­setts, US, and then I moved out to the moun­tains of Utah and came across All these dif­fer­ent teach­ers; I start­ed prac­tic­ing mar­tial arts and yoga and met a med­i­ta­tion teacher who worked with the prac­tice as a real Somat­ic embod­ied prac­tice. And then I just fol­lowed the thread of mas­sage school and train­ing [00:03:00] and Feldenkrais, which is anoth­er kind of move­ment aware­ness modal­i­ty.

[00:03:06] John: is this where you were first intro­duced to your men­tors

[00:03:09] Carl: Yeah. Most of them came in mov­ing out west, although cer­tain seeds were Plant­ed. I actu­al­ly remem­ber the first book I read in Utah was Claris­sa Pinko­la Estés’ Women Who Run with the Wolves.

[00:03:24] Carl: then I remem­ber being intro­duced to my dad’s copy of Iron John and devoured that book, which real­ly opened up this whole realm of the mythopo­et­ic and men’s work. So those seeds were start­ing to come ear­li­er.

[00:03:42] John: You met Erin when you were out west. So, is she a big influ­ence on your devel­op­ment?

[00:03:48] Carl: Yes. Yeah.

[00:03:49] Carl: We have influ­enced each oth­er sig­nif­i­cant­ly. And, we have res­onat­ed with the same kind of essen­tial fre­quen­cy [00:04:00] of what lights us up about Bud­dhism and the dhar­ma and what lights us up about deep ecol­o­gy and soul work and work with Grief and Joan­na Macy’s work that recon­nects. So we fol­low our threads, but we also real­ly have this cen­tral refuge of con­nect­ed to free­dom and also con­nect­ed to Meet­ing the great chal­lenges of these times and the times we’re liv­ing in and the times that are com­ing. So I think each of us feels very grate­ful to have each oth­er to bounce ideas off and to be inspired and to teach and hold space togeth­er.

[00:04:38] John: When did you come across Weller?

[00:04:40] Carl: We came across Fran­cis Weller in the Sun arti­cle. That is how a lot of peo­ple were intro­duced to him.

[00:04:47] Carl: It was short­ly after the Wild Edge of Sor­row came

[00:04:50] Carl: out, And Erin had a through a jour­ney, had some spe­cif­ic instruc­tions to work with­hold­ing space for grief, [00:05:00] and she real­ized she had had no idea how to do that. So she reached out to Fran­cis and start­ed men­tor­ing him, and then I start­ed men­tor­ing him as well. And, Yeah. That was that. We’ve both appre­ci­at­ed him as a men­tor and friend, and there’s such a beau­ti­ful body of work that he has cul­ti­vat­ed around both work with grief and loss, but also in look­ing at what it helps peo­ple ripen into adults and a lot of The com­mu­ni­ty build­ing and vil­lage grow­ing work that Malido­ma Somé so deeply influ­enced him,

[00:05:42] Carl: his friend, he taught along­side for sev­er­al years. And, yeah, we’re very grate­ful to help Hold com­mu­ni­ty with Fran­cis.

[00:05:50] John: I remem­ber when I start­ed to read Weller’s book and Carl, it just over­whelmed me with France’s soul­ful lan­guage. It was such a light for [00:06:00] me. I can’t say enough about Weller’s work.

[00:06:02] Carl: 1 of those books. It’s prob­a­bly 1 of the ones I’ve giv­en away more. We have so many copies that we’re con­stant­ly just pass­ing out because it is a life-chang­ing book. Inter­est­ing­ly enough, some­thing in the field: The year that Frances’s book came out was that Stephen Jenk­in­son Had a book com­ing out work­ing with grief, and Martín Prech­tel also had a book com­ing out around grief and praise.

[00:06:29] John: Oh, yeah.

[00:06:30] Carl: That, I always am fas­ci­nat­ed when dif­fer­ent move­ments come up. It’s like some­thing just need­ed to be like, grief was call­ing out to human­i­ty to tend to it Through these beings who were lis­ten­ing and could each write so elo­quent­ly on the top­ic.

[00:06:48] John: Oh, for sure. Yeah, that was Die Wise, was it for Jenk­in­son and Patel’s?,

[00:06:54] Carl: The smell

[00:06:55] John: That’s right. Rainy dust.

[00:06:57] John: Yeah. So when you’re did you [00:07:00] have a much of a his­to­ry with your grief? I can’t imag­ine any of us get­ting to a cer­tain age and we’re not touched by it.

[00:07:08] Carl: Yeah.

[00:07:09] Carl: Yeah. I was moved. Stephen Levine, Stephen and Andrea were ear­ly influ­encers for me on the talk­ing about grief and talk­ing about grief in the body.

[00:07:20] John: Mhmm.

[00:07:20] Carl: And both Fran­cis Weller and Michael Mead, many teach­ers talk about this spir­it-soul con­tin­u­um, that spir­it has a ten­den­cy toward Ris­ing and ascen­sion and one­ness, where­as soul has a ten­den­cy down­ward toward root­ed­ness And entan­gle­ment and the dark and mod­ern dom­i­nant North Amer­i­can cul­ture tends to move in the direc­tion of spir­it, like one­ness always on the up and up Ascen­sion, there’s a

[00:07:50] Carl: lot Down equals bad dark equals bad in our lan­guage. And so I went In my ear­ly twen­ties, I [00:08:00] got pret­ty heav­i­ly into Bud­dhist prac­tice, and I’d say I went in that direc­tion of spir­it And noticed that I had it kept me at a dis­tance from grief Because there was a sense of oh, it’s imper­ma­nent. It’s the cause of suf­fer­ing, And there would be almost like this wit­ness­ing, but not being touched. And it was actu­al­ly in the Moment I had a very spe­cif­ic moment when my son, who’s now 13, was born, and I Caught him inter­est­ing­ly in our lit­tle med­i­ta­tion room. We had a birth, and You know what? Birthing tub set up, but there

[00:08:39] John: Oh, beau­ti­ful.

[00:08:41] Carl: And so I caught him, and there was just a well that broke. And I just wept like I had nev­er wept before in my life. And that cracked through some­thing that then has stayed open in me. So, I’m very grate­ful for that cat­a­lyst moment.

Carl, you [00:09:00] know, your sto­ry just brought back a mem­o­ry for me. my par­ents divorced ear­ly in my life. And through my ear­ly years, I nev­er real­ly knew my father. I was essen­tial­ly raised in a matri­ar­chal fam­i­ly. Years passed, I was mar­ried, and my first­born was a daugh­ter. Sev­er­al years lat­er, uh, we were blessed with a son. I was elat­ed to have 2 beau­ti­ful chil­dren. And unknown to me, it would soon enough be a sec­ond son. I don’t remem­ber when this hap­pened, uh, but I real­ized that I did­n’t know how to raise a boy. And then, a slow-grow­ing depres­sion set­tled into my life, and my love for my chil­dren was­n’t affect­ed, but rather it was an inter­nal strug­gle that was awak­en­ing from hav­ing a son.

[00:09:47] Carl: Yeah.

[00:09:48] Carl: It’s it’s an inter­est­ing place we are because I think, many men have for­got­ten how to be with oth­er men. And, yeah, that’s part of what I [00:10:00] think is the strong response to the men’s move­ment in the late eight­ies and nineties with James Hill­man, Michael Mead, and Robert Bly. This sense of men being togeth­er not in Busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion or but com­ing togeth­er in a soul­ful way with poet­ry and music and rit­u­al And start­ing almost to rehy­drate those seeds of Men that have been, you know, as long as our species has been on this plan­et, there have been ini­ti­a­tions and Gath­er­ings and such pro­found nour­ish­ment that comes from deep friend­ship and con­nec­tion with oth­er men. There aren’t those Con­texts in mod­ern life for many of us, like going out to a bar or Going to watch a game togeth­er or some­thing does­n’t always get to that the same depth that would come through, doing [00:11:00] an ini­ti­a­tion for the young boys com­ing up or Return­ing from a hunt­ing-gath­er­ing or some­thing like that.

[00:11:08] John: Mhmm. Yeah. The lack of rit­u­al for young men,

[00:11:12] Carl: Yeah. I think the sense of hav­ing rites of pas­sage and just hav­ing a sacred­ness to acknowl­edge tran­si­tions in life has been lost for Chil­dren of all gen­ders; there’s not that sense of some­thing end­ing, and now you’re step­ping into some­thing, A new iden­ti­ty with the bless­ings of these wise elders who are look­ing at you and rec­og­niz­ing what your med­i­cine is and what sort of spark you’re car­ry­ing and feed­ing that in some way. We have much more of a cul­ture of con­for­mi­ty and just things influ­enced by your val­ues being What you can pro­duce or the kind of career you have or those sorts of things.

[00:11:59] John: Yeah. [00:12:00] And I sup­pose I was think­ing of my own pro­fes­sion being in EMS, and it’s 1 of Cer­tain­ly is of ser­vice. And it’s prob­a­bly was 1 of the best things that hap­pened to me was work­ing in EMS for such a long time. That’s such a, so many pos­i­tive influ­ences on my life, but at the same time The idea of being any kind of weak­ness was the guys would­n’t show it.

[00:12:27] John: And I guess the last 20 years more women have come into the pro­fes­sion. And the last ser­vice I was with, I think we’re at 52 per­cent of our pop­u­la­tion were women, which I think was the best thing that ever hap­pened to that that that job was that Now we’re get­ting some­thing dif­fer­ent. We’re get­ting more of the nur­tur­ing influ­ence as opposed to being Tough. And I know a lot of guys at the time, I always thought they’d been watch­ing way too many police shows because They were act­ing like that, but that’s not the job.

[00:12:58] John: But so a hin­drance [00:13:00] and I guess That just made it hard. But in Iron John, Bly talks about the wound of the moth­er and and the influ­ence of that. And I’d have to say that I cer­tain­ly expe­ri­enced that as a child of rein­forc­ing the mas­culin­i­ty or what was thought of being strong. Did­n’t work so well for me.

[00:13:19] Carl: Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of unhelp­ful cul­tur­al mes­sages around what it is to be a man. And I think that’s when you ask about where have all the men gone in grief cir­cles. It’s that sort of thing because grief does require a cer­tain being cracked open, a cer­tain vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty, a cer­tain lack of, func­tion­al­i­ty. And because Mar­tin Prech­tel says, like, when you grieve, you should look bad. It should real­ly have an effect on you. And in terms of that spir­it soul com­mute Con­tin­u­um. It’s not about get­ting stronger, faster, bet­ter, exceed­ing grief. It’s some­thing where [00:14:00] you are Tak­en down. That’s 1 of the things that Fran­cis talks about grief as being this kind of rev­o­lu­tion­ary emo­tion because it will not adhere to the demands of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. It will not adhere to cap­i­tal­ism. Grief is its own wild pres­ence.

[00:14:21] John: Yes.

[00:14:22] Carl: Yeah.

[00:14:23] John: The in that Book Griev­ing Beyond Gen­der Doka and Mar­tin they talk about basi­cal­ly 2 types of pat­terns of griev­ing. 1 is an intu­itive where it’s the affect the emo­tion­al aspect of it. And then the oth­er end of the spec­trum, they talk about being instru­men­tal where it’s grief is expe­ri­enced phys­i­cal­ly such as rest­less­ness and in or cog­ni­tion, they talk about it. And so that’s where they say that the men lie is that it’s not that they don’t grieve. They argue that it’s the, They gave an exam­ple of 1 man who was griev­ing at the loss of his daugh­ter, [00:15:00] and the wife was obvi­ous­ly very dis­traught through her Draw it through her grief.

[00:15:04] John: But he built her a stone head for the the grave. And for him, that was using his hands and putting every­thing that he had into the cre­ation of This tomb­stone that I assume is just a work of art. I was hop­ing Weller would get an oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk a lit­tle bit about where have all the male voic­es gone.

[00:15:25] John: Mhmm.

[00:15:26] John: Any thoughts?

[00:15:27] Carl: Yeah. I think that there are move­ments, like, where my dear col­league, Alexan­der and I are host­ing a men’s grief rit­u­al this com­ing week­end, and it’s filled with men who are eager to be in that Space, and I find it to be quite a fruit­ful space when men can gath­er in that way. And part of it is to look at, what are the obsta­cles we face to griev­ing as men? Some of those things we’ve talked about the, need­ing to fall off the horse, so to

[00:15:57] John: Mhmm.

[00:15:58] Carl: and be tak­en [00:16:00] down some­times by grief. And, also, I think many men are con­di­tioned to be more com­fort­able with Anger with depres­sion than grief. So grief can often be masked. that what’s under The hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty the hyper per­for­mance is some ten­der young boy in there, and how to get what’s what can be under the way that grief can be pushed to the side and replaced with anoth­er lay­er­ing emo­tion that’s a lit­tle more palat­able. But I do think that that they’re out there.

[00:16:34] John: If you have a lot show­ing up at your place, you’ve been able to make them feel safe. what kind of mes­sag­ing are you giv­ing them?

[00:16:41] Carl: Yeah. I think it’s Authen­tic­i­ty is a big 1, that there’s no per­for­ma­tive qual­i­ty to it. And that, for Alexan­der and I, this is just how we live. We’re show­ing up as ordi­nary men, who have learned some things about mak­ing space [00:17:00] to tend to sor­row and tend to loss and to Be in com­mu­ni­ty with oth­er men and to have a space that is both sacred, but also Just very ordi­nary. To think that we need to be taught how to grieve is so symp­to­matic of the prob­lem because It’s real­ly 1 of the most com­mon thread that links every­one across

[00:17:25] Carl: gen­der, across cul­tures. Every­one knows Loss and death and ill­ness and dis­ap­point­ment, and though that’s usu­al­ly what we try to keep tidy and away from oth­er peo­ple or that men try to keep tidy and don’t bring, but it’s what it’s what unites us. Often, We’ll start a grief cir­cle just by going around the room and each per­son intro­duc­ing them­selves with just 1 thread of grief they’re car­ry­ing. And it can be, much more so now. The grief is [00:18:00] com­ing for The cli­mate and the world, not just per­son­al grief around, my moth­er or rela­tion­ships or things like that, but this sense of What’s real­ly mov­ing peo­ple is the place we’ve got­ten to in the plan­et with or an extinc­tion. And But when you hear a room, there’s it’s 1 of the great­est Just instant drops into inti­ma­cy and into reli­gion.

[00:18:26] Carl: Because if you hear 20 peo­ple each share a grief, There’s always gonna be some thread of oh, yeah. I’m hold­ing some aspect of that. Oh, I feel I was­n’t even aware that there’s some­thing that is hold­ing that grief or that sor­row. And so it is some­thing that just can bring us togeth­er.

[00:18:45] John: Yeah. I’ve nev­er seen a room that jells quick­er than when you have peo­ple shar­ing their grief sto­ry or as you say, through an aspect of it. And the oh, what is it?

[00:18:56] John: I just I don’t know. Is it they talk about Some peo­ple would talk [00:19:00] about con­ver­gence of the hearts. That, that ener­gy just seems to go around the cir­cle and Uh, some­thing spir­i­tu­al­ly takes place.

[00:19:08] Carl: Mhmm. Yeah. I would say it 1, it just cuts through all the bull­shit. Gets you to what’s real?

[00:19:15] John: Mhmm.

[00:19:16] Carl: all the pre­tense or, all of the ways that we can show up, whether it’s Men are a mixed room, but that it gets us to what’s real under there? And, also, I think, Now Fran­cis Weller has this beau­ti­ful line of the task of a mature human being is to hold in 1 hand and grief in the oth­er and be stretched larg­er by them.

[00:19:40] Carl: And when we can real­ly enter the grief And the loss and the sor­row, it opens a space to expe­ri­ence much more Vivid­ness in our joy and our grat­i­tude and our appre­ci­a­tion, and so it stretch­es The capac­i­ty of [00:20:00] the heart to real­ly be touched by life rather than a sort of numbed out mid­dle range that many peo­ple are liv­ing in where you don’t get too affect­ed by your grief. You also don’t get too affect­ed by your joy and appre­ci­a­tion, and there’s just this sort of going through the motions. And so I think It opens us up. And that for me also ties into the somat­ic piece of our bod­i­ly habits because many of the hav­ing done hands on work with peo­ple and taught move­ment for many years,

[00:20:35] Carl: many of our bod­i­ly ten­sion Pat­terns are con­nect­ed to the grief and loss that we car­ry, and ten­sion has, There’s a rela­tion­ship between our relax­ation and our capac­i­ty to feel, and when we soft­en ten­sion, We’re going to feel more, and we’re not just going to feel the good things more, but we will feel the whole range of [00:21:00] human expe­ri­ence, Which is why peo­ple tend to keep ten­sion and keep such a fast pace, because if we actu­al­ly slow down,

[00:21:09] John: Mhmm.

[00:21:10] Carl: and feel we’re gonna feel every­thing that is undi­gest­ed in terms of grief and loss in our­selves and in the world, And we’ll also be touched by the beau­ty, and the won­der, and the awe that isn’t felt.

[00:21:25] Carl: So for me, it’s a There’s a strong con­nec­tion between what’s hap­pen­ing in our body and what we have access to around both grief and Grat­i­tude and joy or the whole spec­trum of emo­tion­al life.

[00:21:39] John: Mhmm. So do you intro­duce the men in your cir­cle to the somat­ic exer­cis­es?

[00:21:44] Carl: Yeah. Yeah. We do Work around breath, free­ing restric­tions in the breath because that’s con­nect­ed to, par­tic­u­lar­ly places through the tor­so where the feel­ing life tends to exist more. So in the

[00:21:56] Carl: neck, in the chest, in the bel­ly, in the [00:22:00] base of the pelvis, where a lot if peo­ple have pock­ets of numb­ness or just don’t feel a whole lot.

[00:22:06] Carl: So it’s like we work with move­ment lessons to peel off lay­ers of the onion so that inner space can be more acces­si­ble, and again that we can shed some of the armour­ing, and some­times it takes a lit­tle bit. It might not hap­pen on the first gath­er­ing,

[00:22:23] John: Mhmm.

[00:22:24] Carl: But to start to even if you can soft­en just a lit­tle bit, it makes a dif­fer­ence. And grief works in a group if 1 per­son gets cracked open to access some­thing they weren’t able to feel before, We share a field. So that’s that bring­ing grief not as an indi­vid­ual process, but, like, when 1 per­son grieves deeply, We all those who wit­ness also

[00:22:49] Carl: are a part of it. And that’s anoth­er thing about grief rit­u­al because peo­ple can have pres­sure on them­selves oh, I hope I am able to access some­thing, but, no, some [00:23:00] some­times your role It’s just to wit­ness, just to be there,

[00:23:05] Carl: anoth­er per­son and say, I see you.

[00:23:06] Carl: And there’s the ben­e­fit of that. And that’s some­thing I’ve real­ly learned to trust. And Fran­cis Weller has said his first At least 5 received 6 grief rit­u­als he attend­ed. There were no tiers that he had­n’t accessed that, but he just you stay in the con­tain­er, and it starts to work on

[00:23:25] John: I know that this is sim­i­lar for myself. The you’re feel­ing like, Oh, a not a per­for­mance, but the idea that well, I guess I’ll talk about this.

[00:23:34] John: And when it gets clos­er and you have that oppor­tu­ni­ty to You either, step in or not. All of a sud­den some­thing else comes into the field and all of a sud­den what I was thought I was going to talk about, it just spills out in anoth­er direc­tion, com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than what my inten­tion was. It was just like the the soul just took over and it says, now we’re going to talk about this today,

[00:23:56] Carl: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s that wild­ness we were talk­ing [00:24:00] about ear­li­er, to let some­thing that is unknown,

[00:24:03] Carl: unpre­pared,

[00:24:04] Carl: spon­ta­neous come through.

[00:24:06] John: Now is there a dif­fer­ence in your cir­cles when there are both men and women present?

[00:24:12] John: Do the behav­iours change, or do men shy away if they know that women are gonna be present?

[00:24:18] Carl: I would say yes or no. There’s always dif­fer­ences with who shows up. And I do think part of why I like to hold grief rit­u­als specif­i­cal­ly for men is that there is a sense of maybe they’re a lit­tle more able to access some­thing that they could­n’t express, It’s if their wives or daugh­ters or friends were in the room.

[00:24:38] John: Yes.

[00:24:39] Carl: But I’ve also been in spaces where there’s a spec­trum of gen­ders and peo­ple just show up with great authen­tic­i­ty. So it’s it real­ly varies, but I think so much of it is just the hold­ing a con­tain­er of depth and invit­ing peo­ple to come as they are.

[00:24:59] John: Yes. [00:25:00] You’re right. Being authen­tic is a pre­req­ui­site for organ­ic bloom­ing of heart­felt sto­ries. I had attend­ed a Celtic work­shop, uh, this past sum­mer with 15 peo­ple, and I was the only male. And as we’re wind­ing down, some of the women began shar­ing their sto­ries of grief and so it was­n’t long before I did as well. Sev­er­al months lat­er, I began to won­der, so why no men? So I turned to my shaman­ic friends who teach jour­ney skills, and inquired about the men who show up to their class­es. And you guessed that in com­par­i­son to female stu­dents, not many. Uh, so I’m left won­der­ing, Carl, is there a com­mon­al­i­ty of how men approach grief and spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ment?

[00:25:47] John: And I was won­der­ing, you know, can you speak to this at all?

[00:25:51] Carl: /Yeah. I think it just takes There’s a cer­tain vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty required to fol­low any path that’s going to lead to change [00:26:00] and trans­for­ma­tion. So there has to be a will­ing­ness to not know, and some­times that can be a strug­gle, again, for those The con­di­tion I got­ta pull myself up by my boot­straps. I can take care of this. I got it fig­ured out. Any­thing that’s going to be trans­for­ma­tion­al will require a reshap­ing, And some­times that can be a lit­tle bit more dif­fi­cult. But, again, I see in a lot of the cir­cles I run-in, There are many men who are just hun­gry for that sort of depth and Con­nec­tion and will­ing­ness to be reshaped.

[00:26:38] John: Mhmm.

[00:26:39] Carl: And, I’ve been in the these beau­ti­ful cir­cles in the red­woods with Michael Mead and a hun­dred men of vary­ing races and socioe­co­nom­ic back­grounds grounds and cul­tures and the just the depth of con­nec­tion and vital­i­ty That can come when peo­ple show up and the depth of [00:27:00] con­flict because there’s, a lot of There’s a lot of unme­tab­o­lized rage and loss that exists too, And to have a con­text where dis­agree­ment can hap­pen with­out vio­lence and where We can real­ly I always love this descrip­tion from Michael Mead, and it speaks a lot to What we’re talk­ing around grief and trans­for­ma­tion, and he says there are these 3 lev­els of inter­ac­tion. Lev­el 1 is just sur­face. Talk­ing about the Super Bowl and the weath­er and the kind of sur­face con­ven­tion­al real­i­ty. And then the third lev­el is just soul­ful authen­tic depth con­nec­tion. And the sec­ond lev­el between those is all of the unre­solved grief and anger and loss that exists, and that you can’t get to that third lev­el unless you sink down through that sec­ond lev­el. And it’s where you have a lot of [00:28:00] spir­i­tu­al bypass­ing or things of you just wan­na get right to the one­ness or you just wan­na get right to the soul­ful con­nec­tion, but you actu­al­ly need to go through some­thing that’s pret­ty dif­fi­cult, uh, on route. That you need to see what is it that’s cre­at­ed the dis­con­nec­tion, and hav­ing spaces where we can be in that sec­ond place.

[00:28:20] Carl: And it’s There’s a lot of heat there,

[00:28:22] John: Mhmm.

[00:28:23] Carl: so it requires con­tain­ment. But when we are able to sit in that togeth­er, espe­cial­ly As men, the rich­ness of get­ting to that authen­tic­i­ty of that lev­el 3 is just it’s some­thing that I wish for so many men to expe­ri­ence.

[00:28:39] John: I can remem­ber hold­ing a grief cir­cle for women. What made this notable was the anger that came and spread. Every woman had expe­ri­enced some form of abuse, a held space while wit­ness­ing their anger, their grief, and their loss­es that they had expe­ri­enced. This was incred­i­bly pow­er­ful. And [00:29:00] most of all, it was a tes­ta­ment to the courage of these women.

[00:29:03] Carl: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:29:04] Carl: And it’s anoth­er It’s an edge because there has been and is so much vio­lence and objec­ti­fi­ca­tion against. And so how to bear wit­ness and also how to not equate Mas­culin­i­ty with tox­ic. And, I think this is a Chal­lenge for many boys grow­ing up. They will hear the word prob­a­bly tox­ic mas­culin­i­ty more than they will hear just Mas­cu­line. And, again, because we don’t have these the role mod­els and elders who actu­al­ly mod­el What a healthy rela­tion­ship is.

[00:29:44] Carl: What a healthy rela­tion­ship to the erot­ic world. What a healthy rela­tion­ship to pow­er and respect can be it’s there can be a sense of I’m ashamed to be a man because men have caused so many prob­lems, and we need to sift [00:30:00] out and look at the vio­lence and look at the insti­tu­tion­al­ized misog­y­ny that is present in so many places and to tune toward Some­thing dif­fer­ent.

[00:30:12] John: Yeah. 1 quick ques­tion, Carl before we end for because it was men­tioned where would Peo­ple who want­ed to expand their spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ment or mov­ing through their grief of the dif­fer­ent somat­ic instruc­tions that are avail­able.

[00:30:28] John: Where could take class­es.

[00:30:30] Carl: Yeah. We have class­es that we offer through our web­site, embod­i­ment mat­ters dot com. But there are lots of dif­fer­ent somat­ic Modal­i­ties. I find Res­maa Menakem’s work author of My Grand­moth­er’s Hands, Does some beau­ti­ful look­ing at embod­i­ment and racial­ized trau­ma, how it’s passed down through the gen­er­a­tions. The Somat­ic expe­ri­enc­ing is anoth­er modal­i­ty that helps peo­ple to real­ly work with [00:31:00] embod­i­ment. The Feldenkrais, like I’ve men­tioned ear­li­er, that’s a beau­ti­ful way to learn to move with more ease and pres­ence and Soft­en those rigidi­ties that keep us from feel­ing.

[00:31:13] John: Okay. I’ll look for that and I’ll put it in the show notes. When I get a dig into that one.

[00:31:19] Carl: Mhmm.

[00:31:20] John: but I want to offer you my deep appre­ci­a­tion Carl for this con­ver­sa­tion. I in some ways, I’m speech­less but I’m You have such a beau­ti­ful way of express­ing. I could hear a lit­tle bit of Weller com­ing out

[00:31:40] Carl: Yeah. Me too. I’ll take that as a com­pli­ment

[00:31:43] Carl: for sure.

[00:31:44] John: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:44] John: It even throw in a lit­tle bit of a Steven Jacob­son in there. But any­ways thank you so much.

[00:31:50] Carl: Mhmm. Yeah. Thank you very much, John. It was a delight To talk about all these things we dis­cussed today.

[00:31:56] John: Yeah. You take care