What support is out there for men who want to be the best they can be? Men who want support so they can focus effectively on their own growth and development into being great people. The mens movement has been gaining momentum and a number of organisations exist to provide assistance to the unique challenges of men who face the ever changing landscape of modern society. I caught up with the organizer and founder of the Mens Fire Circle, David Mollet, to learn a bit more around what the community does and why it started, as it just observed its fourth year running, in the past week.
One evening a month, in a quiet suburban back yard in the modern metropolitan area of Melbourne, a circle of men, fly in the face of the infamous Melbourne weather to assemble around a fire and participate in the ‘Mens Fire Circle’.
Reporter “So David, what was it that led to you creating the Men’s Fire Circle?”
“It was just after turning fifty. I felt it was a very major milestone and then in the days following I noticed myself reassessing life, and one of the matters I was pondering was the way in which I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of spiritual leadership out there in our culture. It seems that our religious establishments have relinquished most of their ethical authority, and then I found myself imagining exactly what my life would possibly be like if I inhabited a tribal culture where individuals related to themselves as an integral part of a tribe … It was about then that a different voice (in my mind) spoke to me stating “You’ve just reached 50 Dave, that means you’re an elder, so exactly what are you going to do about it, guts-ache like a victim or step up, be a leader and then do something about it.”
“That notion really made me sit up and take notice and I chose to initiate a group for men based on the old traditional tribal values of Men meeting around fire to talk over men’s business, and the inspiration for the Mens Fire Circle was born.”
Reporter: “Why did you go for a Men’s Circle, why not just a circle for every person?”
“That’s a good query. At that time I felt a great drive to look in the direction of tribal cultures for insight. I wished to return to something closer to nature, it also seemed to me that in tribal cultures there was a real significance placed on initiation events and also an identification of both the distinct needs, and also the roles among each gender. Moreover I had a hunch that if in their wisdom, leaders of tribes had witnessed value in men and women meeting by their specific gender to examine and hold the space for each other with the challenges common to their own gender, so I concluded, it would definitely be a wise choice for the gathering I set up to be guided by their insight also.”
Interviewer: “How have you found the gender targeted framework to go, is it of assistance or do you lose the counterbalance of the female aspect?”
“At first I was worried about this, yet paradoxically, what I have indeed realised is that it seems to be a lot easier for a number of men to be connected with their feminine side in circle if women are not present. I am of the opinion there are two points contributing to this occurrence. The first is that, in many cases guys would like to relate challenges they are dealing with in their intimate partnerships, and doing so solely with their own gender seems to give them a little bit more ease to exchange plainly and frankly regarding how they really feel relative to ‘the woman’ in their lives. I think they acknowledge that other men will likely be able to grasp their concerns better. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that we have actually all shared the same social conditioning, so we are performing from comparable presuppositions.
The 2nd aspect is, when the circle is all men, there aren’t any sex-related interferences, that I am aware of. There’s no bidding for the interest of the females, no seeking to “make it” with the opposite sex. With potential sexual diversions out of the picture, suggesting this is useful in freeing up everybody to be more intimate in their sharing.”
The Men’s Fire Circle gathers at 7.30 pm on a monthly basis, in Greensborough, which is a residential area of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. You can easily locate the web site which has all the details of get-togethers, as well as the option of subscribing for e-mail notices of the meetings, right here: http://www.meetup.com/Mens-Fire-Circle-Greensborough-Victoria/