The Mens Ecosystem – Pillars, Practices, Rituals, Traditions, Projects and Purpose

I spend alot of time thinking about exactly what it is that we do and how to articulate it to others.  

From a structural perspective our vision is to create a complete eco system for men.

We call it the Toybox Collective and the key to the Toybox is the meditation practice which is why it is also our Foundation (level 1) course.

Sitting twice per day introduces the idea of a consistent practice and doing something wholesome for ourselves. By wholesome we mean that it serves us and it serves others by virtue of its impact on us and them.

Exploring where the meditation practice fits in and how embed it int our lives becomes an exploration into what is important to us, what are our values and how do we spend our time.

All of that is explored in our level 2 course (embedding the practice)

This enquiry mentioned above encompasses all areas of a mans life as he gets to see that each facet of his life is expressed by the specific actions and activities that he performs within that specific facet.

We call this a “mans rhythms”

In my experience men are often unclear of their purpose or how to articulate it in a simple and practical way. It also and often seems to be collapsed with what a man does for his work as distinct from how he lives his life in all areas.

I was first introduced to the idea of a Mission Statement, written as my own eulogy by
Stephen Covey in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was on the one hand great fun to create but on the other, had no real practical purpose.

So while I liked the idea of regularly checking it, in reality, that did not really happen nor was it clear how to implement it in my life.

A positive that did come out of it has been the mission statement as a “word” because that has allowed me to distill the distinction of purpose as a way of being. Those words for me are(were) curious, gentle, grateful and graceful. In 2019 I had them tattooed on my forearm as a permanent reminder – each word in a different language, Sanskrit, English, Arabic, Hebrew .

The next step on the toybox collective journey is our pathways. 

Each pathway is designed to give men a structure that matches their desire and or commitment to engage with the men and the toybox.

Our pathways also fulfil on our mission to create programs that are affordable, edgy, cool, practical and relevant.

Pathway 1 consists primarily of a quarterly workshop where all the men from all cohorts come together for a half day workshop with two specific intentions

1/ To review the previous quarter

2/ To create the next quarter.

The workshop is also an opportunity for men to connect with each other, learn about new hacks and ideas that we have come across, have an opportunity to share and to keep evolving within the eco system.

Pathway 1 is also supported by weekly morning movement and meditation sessions and online pillar practice resources.

Pathway 2 is a deeper dive for men who are prepared to commit 2 hours of their time per fortnight into their purpose practice and taking cultivating their capacity to the next level. Pathway 2 assumes that a man will attend mens circle on every other week.

So on a fortnightly basis he will be with his mens circle where he will feel held, witnessed and seen and have a really safe space to share.

On the alternate week he will meet with his pathway 2 cohort for a deep dive into living his purpose. This will include creating a rhythm for his life, and key projects and then being in a forum that supports him to sustain it.

Pathway 3 borrows from the same format as pathway 2 but is done one to one instead of in a group environment.

In an amongst that we offer a range of experiences including things like retreats, sunrise meditation and training, and mens connect nights known as MES nights to name a few.

All of these pathways and programs are supported by regular activations and experiences so that the toybox remains a living breathing organism filled with aligned men.

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