Bob


About Bob

I have two skills that are polar opposites of each other: software development and coaching/facilitating men in personal growth processes. I have been a computer programmer since 1967 and I am closing in on 50 years of writing code. I discovered personal growth in 1990 as a part of a highly dysfunctional team at Microsoft and have been an avid pursuer of inner clarity ever since. In 2001, I attended the Mankind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure and have been active in MKP ever since.


My Inner Journey

It’s 7:15AM and I have been up since 2:30AM. Couldn’t sleep… again. I have seen a sleep doctor many times. He is patient and takes copious notes but hasn’t been successful helping me get a good night’s sleep. No blame here. Blame is such a useless concept. But I do face another day feeling fuzzy and tired. And today will be a busy one. I have three appointments to sit with conscious men and look at our lives together today and my Voice of America interview with Alise Cortez goes live today at 3:00PM PST.

I have been working on this website for days now, transforming its look, feel, content and message from the old confusing message to a clearer one. What I want to do going forward is let go of programming for pay and focus instead on helping men wake up, grow up and show up. I am still evolving my vision of how to make this happen, but I am becoming much clearer on what it means to wake up (become more conscious), grow up (develop emotional maturity) and show up (live my mission).

Part of the challenge in making this transition is the size of the leap: from my analytical left brain to my intuitive right brain… from getting paid to teach computers to dance to getting paid for helping men get clarity about their lives. I know how to get paid as a programmer. I have made my living by being a programmer for almost half a century. I have never been paid as a coach, and frankly, I suspect that most people don’t see much value in having a personal coach. I have heard way too many sad stories about people who tried to be a coach and failed miserably. For me, failure means losing my house, and I am not even close to being willing to do that. So I am strongly motivated to navigate this path successfully. I just don’t have a clear map yet.

I have started four men’s circles here in Bellingham. The first one, Bellingham Catalyst is a MKP I-Group and has been active for 14 years. The second died when Lenny Baugh, my co-founder moved to San Jose. Lenny died last summer from cancer. I deeply miss the little squirt. He and I had such a special relationship, but it too died when he left town. The third died because I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted it to be. I started the fourth, Bhakti CIrcle last December. It is an Open Circle for Men that meets twice monthly. We do a couple rounds of check-in, then I do a short teaching piece after which we do a “Work Round” where I facilitate men who want to look more deeply at some issue in their lives. I have been told repeatedly that I am such a good facilitator that I should be charging money for it. And that is at the crux of the challenge I am now facing.

If I am a good facilitator, it is only because I love doing it. I have a bag of tricks I learned in my MKP work and a deep curiosity about what makes men tick. Yes, I am curious about what makes women tick, but I am also wise enough to hold that curiosity at arms length.

To complicate matters, I am working as a contract programmer for MKPUSA maintaining our major websites. One uses Drupal, a powerful “Content Management System” which I barely understand. The other uses WordPress, a simpler system that I do understand pretty well. Unfortunately, the lion’s share of my work is on the Drupal site and it is wearing me down. Add to that my sleep problems and the realities of aging and it is even more difficult for me to do that job well. I have given John, my “boss” 15 months notice, telling him that on June 6, 2017, I am going to give up programming for pay. Why that date? It will be 50 years to the day since I started this long strange trip and I want to end it with ritual and ceremony.

So I sit with the dilemma of how to make the shift from programmer to mentor / facilitator / coach and do it in a clean and transparent way. I face a number of “shadows” along the way, so this blog will be about my journey trough those shadows and hopefully to some sort of clarity. Hope you stay tuned…


Interview on Voice of America

I was interviewed in early March by Alise Cortez in her “Working on Purpose” show on the Voice of America. We talked about my life as a programmer and my experiences with the Mankind Project. The interview aired on March 16th, 2016. Here is a description of that interview.

Introduction

The 1960s women’s movement was of monumental importance to advance the conscious development of women. But what response did it evoke in men? Where do men derive their sense of connection and meaning in today’s times? And how do men navigate their lives against the backdrop of ongoing change in their female counterparts? In this episode, we explore the journey of one thoughtful, engaged man who has spent a quarter century cultivating his own perspective on life on the planet as a man and the wonderful discovery he’s made helping coach his fellow comrades in their common quest toward deeper self-awareness and authentic integration.
BobJonesFor almost half a century, Bob Jones has been a software developer, living in his left brain – his head. About 25 years ago he discovered his right brain – his heart. Since that discovery he has been working to integrate both head and heart into a whole and balanced person. He discovered the Mankind Project, participated in their New Warrior Training Adventure, and continued his path toward deeper self-awareness and authentic integration. The integration has paid off by improving every aspect of his life; as an engineer, a husband, a father, and a human being. His journey through the years has taught him the value of continuously reinventing himself and the importance of deep connection with self and others. As he approaches the end of his 50-year dance with data processing, he finds himself facing his biggest challenge yet: completing his transformation into a mentor and facilitator for men who want to wake up, grow up, and show up by taking full responsibility for their lives.


Play Interview


Multisite Denouement

It’s now October and I am looking back on the entire multisite process. Once I cracked the code and documented the conversion process, it took me only 5-10 minutes per site to bring the site up. I got everything done by the end of August and started the conversation with MKP about the final phase: converting the existing sites to use the new features. I had lots on my plate in September so I didn’t push this, but it wound up pushing back just yesterday. (more…)


Newly Found Respect

I went back to high school in September. Other than parent-teacher nights and occasional class reunions, this is the first time I have been in high school in over 50 years. I am part of a nine-person team (one real teacher) and eight volunteers who are teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science (Java) in one of our local high schools. (more…)


Multisite Day #20 – Perseverance Pays Off

I’ts kind of weird how I can hit a wall, get totally stuck, reach out for help and in the moment that the help arrives, I see the problem. That was what happened today. I used another 1/2 hour from a consultant I paid for two months ago and as soon as he got on line, I spotted the problem with my configuration. A quick fix and the site stopped looping and came up just fine. But the next step is still problematic… (more…)