As I work to recover from a political hangover, I remember many of the similar emotions I have experienced resigning from the corporate world two months ago. Feeling a need to detox from a wounded masculine culture containing toxicity led me to feel "stuck" or "trapped." I felt the need to enter "corporate culture rehab." With my new-found scheduling flexibility, I decided to take a road trip.
I had planned to visit my elderly mother, who lives in Portland, Oregon, over Mother's Day weekend until the COVID 19 pandemic changed those plans. Since I live in Minnesota, I had always flown out to see her and my brother, who lives nearby. I was not excited to get on a plane yet, so I made Portland the destination of my road trip.
Having grown up on a farm, I am used to spending 12-15 hours by myself driving a tractor doing fieldwork. So, the thought of spending three days on the road by myself was not intimidating in the least. I enjoy this time alone, driving because it gives me an excellent opportunity to let my mind wander and free associate. I call this my "tractor time."
I always feel like a "bird let out of a cage," when I take my vacations in the Great American West.
While tethered to my desk, computer, and telephone in the corporate world, my world could feel pretty small. I found this was especially true with my national and global business travel's grounding due to the pandemic. As I drove west across the Northern Plains, Big Sky Country, and the Palouse, I could feel my soul begin to open up to the universe. The toxins trapped in my soul began to seep into oblivion. The grandeur of Father Sky and Mother Earth enveloped me in a way that was liberating. I was able to let go of the stress, cortisol, and wounded masculine blindness.
Upon returning home after two and a half weeks and 5,300 miles later, I had a spring in my step and a lightness in my heart. I had discovered a new path on which I will travel, working to help men find solutions to "what keeps them awake at night." As I make preparations for this new journey, I admit that I have had moments of vulnerability. Times when I started to feel the old self-doubt and insecurity creep in around the edges of my vision. I have discovered that slowing down, breathing deeply, and listening to my intuition; allow me to regain my balance and move forward—one of the most powerful tools that I have discovered in joining a men's group. Evryman has given me this opportunity to virtually participate in these groups, which I would not have had access to before the pandemic. I have the chance to find other brothers to walk with me on my journey. I intend to work towards being that type of journeyman to other guys in this powerful organization. I encourage you to spread the word about Evryman and help us all detox from the challenging world that men face in our culture.