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…