Over a year ago I met with Teertha to see if I was an appropriate fit for the men’s group. He asked what I was looking to get from attending the group. I told him I was looking to be more grounded with my peers and looking to spend more time connecting with people. I was tired of meeting people in bars, making plans and getting flaked on. I was looking for something more, and I wasn’t sure what the men’s group would be but I knew it would be different than what I’d tried before.
7pm the following Monday I found myself in a small circle of strangers. We sat on comfortable chairs and couches surrounded by shelf after shelf of books. Taking turns introducing ourselves we met each other. Over the weeks as we shared our struggles, we began to know each other. Over the months as we grew accustomed to each other, the depth of the sharing grew and we began to bond as brothers.
Showing up in each other’s lives regularly with honesty and vulnerability gives us men a place to open up and take a look at ourselves as we truly are.
Only now looking back can I see how much we’ve all grown. Each of us joined for unique reasons. Each of us found much more. Showing up in each other’s lives regularly with honesty and vulnerability gives us men a place to open up and take a look at ourselves as we truly are. Many times we are too harsh on ourselves; too critical. In other areas we are too lenient and undisciplined. The brotherhood allows men a place to be open and vulnerable without fear of attack or fear of ridicule. It’s a workshop for the soul. We’re all better for it.
True friendships have blossomed through the group. Above and beyond the scheduled group meetings, brothers choose to spend time together. Be it for a few pints after work, a birthday party or indulging in masculine hobbies, life is more fun when you have quality people to share it with.
As the time has gone by, I’ve noticed my needs change and thus a change in my reasons for returning every Monday. My original goal, to be more grounded has long since been met. The energy in the room is unlike anything else. It feels like I’m recharging my batteries. The main reason I’m back every week is to simply be there for the other men. I’d like to return the favour that’s been paid to me.
In returning the favour, I’ve made a concerted effort to listen intently to the other men in the group and provide the kind of feedback that had helped me so many times. Now I’m taking a big step forward in responsibility and commitment. I will be co-leading my own chapter of the Arka Brotherhood group. This will be a challenge, but it’s one I welcome. I look forward to the growth that will be required of me.
Had I been told 2 years ago where I would be today, I’d have never believed it.
If you want to stagnate on the easy path, avoid the brotherhood.
If you want to be challenged and to grow into the man you are meant to be, come join us.