Blogs About…

About the ConneXions Intensive Weekend

  • ConneXions Workshop at Camp Collins Was a Real Delight! October 9, 2017 Bob Jones

    The ConneXions Intensive Workshop we held on September 29 through October 1 was a pure delight for me. My wife of 42 years, Donna attended as a participant. Although she has proof read every slide and every manual page many times, experiencing the workshop as a participant gave her a whole new perspective.

  • Listening to My Body July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

    On July 4th, 2017, I awoke with severe back pain. My wife suggested that it may be kidney related and urged me to drink lots of water. I did, but the pain was even worse the next day. A visit to my doctor took kidneys off the list, but an X-Ray yielded a diagnosis of "diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis" (DISH) for short which is a strange form of osteoarthritis.

  • Bellingham ConneXions Intensive Huge Success May 6, 2017 Bob Jones

    The first ConneXions Intensive was held on April 28-30 at Anderson Creek Lodge outside Bellingham, WA. It was a huge success. Here are some of the things the participants had to say about it.
    "I was amazed by the deep dive into all of the material presented, including the additional resources offered with the connexions.world Website, and I look forward to participating in the ongoing community of ConneXions attendees!" - Dan G

  • An Embarrassment of Riches September 1, 2016 Bob Jones

    The feedback on my ConneXions workshop is starting to come it and it is both good and... well, challenging. I have so much content that the advice I am getting is to break it into several one-day workshops.

    The other feedback is exactly what I was both expecting and most concerned about. I need more exercises that get people moving and in their bodies. Kim Illig just gave me lots of ideas like using some ecstatic dance to demonstrate meditation.

Behaviors that Impact Connection

  • Connection Busting Behaviors September 1, 2017 Bob Jones

    How we behave has a huge impact on the quality of our connection with both self and others.  In this post, I am going to explore two classes of behaviors: those that deepen connection and those that tend to bust connection wide open.

    Let's start by making a list of some of those behaviors:

  • Listening to My Body July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

    On July 4th, 2017, I awoke with severe back pain. My wife suggested that it may be kidney related and urged me to drink lots of water. I did, but the pain was even worse the next day. A visit to my doctor took kidneys off the list, but an X-Ray yielded a diagnosis of "diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis" (DISH) for short which is a strange form of osteoarthritis.

  • Blame July 5, 2017 Bob Jones

    Ever blame someone else for what is happening to you? This light-hearted video by Brene Brown talks about blame and how corrosive it can be for relationships.




  • Emotional Maturity January 4, 2017 Bob Jones

    Growing up is about developing Emotional Intelligence (understanding of human emotions) and Emotional Maturity (EM), the ability to use and apply Emotional Intelligence (EI) to connect more deeply and authentically with yourself and others.

    Peter Vajda does a wonderful job of explaining the process of growing up ...

  • Getting Clear January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

    There is a process we use in our men’s work called a “Clearing”. In this process, we separate data, judgments and feelings, then look for shadows that may cause us to project an unhealed wound onto someone else.

    A clearing may be needed if, for example I yada yada yada

    Although a clearing can ...

  • Data, Judgments and Feelings January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

    In resolving conflict, it is useful to separate or parse the active elements involved in the conflict. These elements can be broken into four groups:

    • Data – the facts of the situation. The “objective truth” that can be easily agreed upon. An example would be, “The temperature ...
    • Judgment January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

      The difference between a judgment and a discernment is really quite simple. A discernment is something I see dispassionately and clearly without any emotional charge. I may or may not be correct in what I see, but I am able to hold it very lightly. ...

    • The Victim Triangle January 1, 2017 Bob Jones

      The Victim Triangle

      The Victim Triangle (also known as the Karpman Drama Triangle) is a simple but profoundly useful way of looking at dysfunctional relationships in action. I was introduced to this model by Garth Alley who was my counselor in the late 1990’s.

      He used it to describe ...

    • Conflict Resolution December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

      My wife and I have been married for over 40 years, and we have had countless conflicts in that time. And we are still happily married and quite in love with each other. What’s our secret? It’s simple. Here are some basic principles that have worked well for us:

      1. Fight to resolve, not to hurt.
      2. Remember that ...
      3. Integrity December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

        Accountability is about keeping an agreement I make with someone else. Integrity is about keeping an agreement I make with myself. Accountability is external to myself while integrity is internal.

        Wikipedia defines Integrity as “The quality of being honest and having strong ...

Skills That Support Connection

  • Emotional Maturity January 4, 2017 Bob Jones

    Growing up is about developing Emotional Intelligence (understanding of human emotions) and Emotional Maturity (EM), the ability to use and apply Emotional Intelligence (EI) to connect more deeply and authentically with yourself and others.

    Peter Vajda does a wonderful job of explaining the process of growing up ...

  • Shame and Guilt January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

    I have staffed over 40 Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure weekends and helped initiate over 1,000 men into mature manhood. The theme that I see over and over is some variation on, “I am not good enough, ...

  • Getting Clear January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

    There is a process we use in our men’s work called a “Clearing”. In this process, we separate data, judgments and feelings, then look for shadows that may cause us to project an unhealed wound onto someone else.

    A clearing may be needed if, for example I yada yada yada

    Although a clearing can ...

  • Data, Judgments and Feelings January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

    In resolving conflict, it is useful to separate or parse the active elements involved in the conflict. These elements can be broken into four groups:

    • Data – the facts of the situation. The “objective truth” that can be easily agreed upon. An example would be, “The temperature ...
    • Judgment January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

      The difference between a judgment and a discernment is really quite simple. A discernment is something I see dispassionately and clearly without any emotional charge. I may or may not be correct in what I see, but I am able to hold it very lightly. ...

    • The Victim Triangle January 1, 2017 Bob Jones

      The Victim Triangle

      The Victim Triangle (also known as the Karpman Drama Triangle) is a simple but profoundly useful way of looking at dysfunctional relationships in action. I was introduced to this model by Garth Alley who was my counselor in the late 1990’s.

      He used it to describe ...

    • Self-Awareness December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

      How is being aware different from being conscious? The term “Consciousness” has been defined as “Anything that we are aware of at a given moment“, however there is no real consensus among philosophers and psychologists about what consciousness is. Rather than try to engage ...

    • Conflict Resolution December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

      My wife and I have been married for over 40 years, and we have had countless conflicts in that time. And we are still happily married and quite in love with each other. What’s our secret? It’s simple. Here are some basic principles that have worked well for us:

      1. Fight to resolve, not to hurt.
      2. Remember that ...
      3. Integrity December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

        Accountability is about keeping an agreement I make with someone else. Integrity is about keeping an agreement I make with myself. Accountability is external to myself while integrity is internal.

        Wikipedia defines Integrity as “The quality of being honest and having strong ...

      4. Forgiveness December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

        In more than 40 years of marriage, I have made plenty of mistakes. My partner may have made a few too, but that’s for her to decide, but if I think she has made some mistakes, I have a choice to make: do I want to ...

      5. Accountability December 31, 2016 Bob Jones


        A number of years ago, I was traveling to a Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure on Vancouver Island in Canada with three other men who were helping to staff the weekend.  We got to the Canadian border and the border ...

      6. Shadow December 31, 2016 Bob Jones

        Shadow is some part of me that I hide from you and even from myself. In Star Wars lingo, shadow is referred to as “The Dark Side”. Both Freud and Jung defined shadow, but they defined it differently. Wikipedia gives a good definition of Jungian shadow.

        Another way to describe shadow is ...

      7. Empathy vs. Sympathy December 30, 2016 Bob Jones

        Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships of another while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Although compassion is often welcome, sorrow and pity do not enhance connection. All three are reactions to the plight of another, but empathy is ...

      8. Interview With Bob Jones on Voice of America December 30, 2016 Bob Jones

        I was interviewed in early March, 2016 by Alise Cortez in her “Working on Purpose” show on the Voice of America. We talked about my life as a programmer and my experiences with the Mankind Project. The interview aired on ...

      9. Let’s Talk About Fear… October 31, 2017 Cyndi Elliot

        Let's talk about "Fear." How can Fear help? Here’s how: Facing Fear is the key, if only for today, of moving forward. We need to face up to Fear. So, first, let’s talk about Fear.

        Our Fear could be lingering Fear left over from something that has happened in the past. Or, it could be Fear caused by questionable conditions in the present.

      10. ConneXions Survey October 9, 2017 Bob Jones

        We want to ask a simple favor of you: please take a very short (3 minute) survey to let us know your level of interest in our ConneXions Intensive Workshop.
        Here is the link to the survey.

      11. ConneXions Workshop at Camp Collins Was a Real Delight! October 9, 2017 Bob Jones

        The ConneXions Intensive Workshop we held on September 29 through October 1 was a pure delight for me. My wife of 42 years, Donna attended as a participant. Although she has proof read every slide and every manual page many times, experiencing the workshop as a participant gave her a whole new perspective.

      12. Connection Busting Behaviors September 1, 2017 Bob Jones

        How we behave has a huge impact on the quality of our connection with both self and others.  In this post, I am going to explore two classes of behaviors: those that deepen connection and those that tend to bust connection wide open.

        Let's start by making a list of some of those behaviors:

      13. Archetype vs. Stereotype August 13, 2017 Bob Jones

        Archetype and stereotype are sometimes confused terms. But for writers, the differences between them are significant. While one can make your story stronger, the other can ruin it. Do you know the difference?

        Let’s start with definitions. When creating characters, archetype is the model from which your character is created. In art terms, archetype is the ...

      14. Free! Join in on ConneXions Live Q&A Webinars August 8, 2017 Cory Bretz

        We’re thrilled to have scheduled a series of FREE 30 minute webinars featuring our ConneXions Intensive Weekend Workshop facilitators.

        You’ll hear a short presentation from each workshop facilitator about why people don’t have the love and intimacy they want and how to change that. Then they’ll be doing a Q&A session to answer your questions about ...

      15. About ConneXions July 13, 2017 Bob Jones

        Watch this short video interview with Bob Jones, the creator of the ConneXions Workshops to get a clearer sense of what the workshop is about and why Bob created it. Bob shares his personal mission and how his mission helped inform the creation of this workshop.

        This is the first in what will be a collection ...

      16. On Seeking Mind July 13, 2017 Bob Jones

        I have been fortunate to have many mentors in my life, people who have pushed me, prodded me, challenged me and loved me fiercely. One of them is Mike Elser, past president of The Mankind Project USA who is also a Rinzai Zen Priest. We meet ...

      17. Guilt July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

        Guilt is a healthy emotion that informs you that you have made a mistake. Guilt is healthy because it confirms that you have a moral compass. The only people who cannot feel guilt are psychopaths, so be thankful if you can feel guilt.

        Guilt is closely related ...

      18. Vulnerability July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

        Do you believe that if you are vulnerable, others will think you are weak and they will take advantage of you? Every time I sit in circle with other men and women, this toxic belief surfaces its ugly head.

        Brene Brown is a college professor who has ...

Personal Stories From ConneXions Facilitators

  • About ConneXions July 13, 2017 Bob Jones

    Watch this short video interview with Bob Jones, the creator of the ConneXions Workshops to get a clearer sense of what the workshop is about and why Bob created it. Bob shares his personal mission and how his mission helped inform the creation of this workshop.

    This is the first in what will be a collection ...

  • On Seeking Mind July 13, 2017 Bob Jones

    I have been fortunate to have many mentors in my life, people who have pushed me, prodded me, challenged me and loved me fiercely. One of them is Mike Elser, past president of The Mankind Project USA who is also a Rinzai Zen Priest. We meet ...

  • Listening to My Body July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

    On July 4th, 2017, I awoke with severe back pain. My wife suggested that it may be kidney related and urged me to drink lots of water. I did, but the pain was even worse the next day. A visit to my doctor took kidneys off the list, but an X-Ray yielded a diagnosis of "diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis" (DISH) for short which is a strange form of osteoarthritis.

  • Old Bones June 6, 2017 Howard Staples

    Old Bones:

    When I was a teenager, I resented my father for being harsh and domineering. Years of forgiveness and my own experience as a father have helped to soften that perspective. He passed away eleven years ago.

    Recently, my own harsh and domineering side come up again in a situation regarding youth behavior. I still have ...

  • 50 Years Ago Today… June 6, 2017 Bob Jones

    This post marks a milestone in my life and describes part of my journey from head to heart.

    On June 6th, 1967, exactly 50 years ago today, I started a job as a computer operator trainee. On my second day on the job, my boss handed me a COBOL manual and said, “Learn it. As soon ...

  • The Only Constant… Change June 3, 2017 Bob Jones

    I have had a very busy week with lots of changes afoot. Some are external like diving into Facebook or leading a Primary Integration Training for 17 men last weekend… or a Welcome Home ceremony for 10 ...

  • Shifting Gears January 6, 2017 Bob Jones

    In June, 2015 I responded to a Quora post asking, “Why aren’t there a lot of old programmers at software companies?” My post was viewed over 650,000 times and “upvoted” over 7,000 times. I just heard today from a dear friend who spotted a Huffington Post article. ...

  • On The Eve of Destruction January 4, 2017 Bob Jones

    My first ConneXions Workshop is scheduled to start in less than three weeks and I have only five people signed up. I have an interesting challenge facing me: bootstrapping a whole new business where I am responsible for 100% of the deliverables which include the website, the email campaigns, the course content and the event ...

  • Interview With Bob Jones on Voice of America December 30, 2016 Bob Jones

    I was interviewed in early March, 2016 by Alise Cortez in her “Working on Purpose” show on the Voice of America. We talked about my life as a programmer and my experiences with the Mankind Project. The interview aired on ...

  • An Embarrassment of Riches September 1, 2016 Bob Jones

    The feedback on my ConneXions workshop is starting to come it and it is both good and... well, challenging. I have so much content that the advice I am getting is to break it into several one-day workshops.

    The other feedback is exactly what I was both expecting and most concerned about. I need more exercises that get people moving and in their bodies. Kim Illig just gave me lots of ideas like using some ecstatic dance to demonstrate meditation.

Posts About Feelings

More to come soon…
  • Let’s Talk About Fear… October 31, 2017 Cyndi Elliot

    Let's talk about "Fear." How can Fear help? Here’s how: Facing Fear is the key, if only for today, of moving forward. We need to face up to Fear. So, first, let’s talk about Fear.

    Our Fear could be lingering Fear left over from something that has happened in the past. Or, it could be Fear caused by questionable conditions in the present.

  • Guilt July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

    Guilt is a healthy emotion that informs you that you have made a mistake. Guilt is healthy because it confirms that you have a moral compass. The only people who cannot feel guilt are psychopaths, so be thankful if you can feel guilt.

    Guilt is closely related ...

  • Vulnerability July 7, 2017 Bob Jones

    Do you believe that if you are vulnerable, others will think you are weak and they will take advantage of you? Every time I sit in circle with other men and women, this toxic belief surfaces its ugly head.

    Brene Brown is a college professor who has ...

  • Shame and Guilt January 2, 2017 Bob Jones

    I have staffed over 40 Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure weekends and helped initiate over 1,000 men into mature manhood. The theme that I see over and over is some variation on, “I am not good enough, ...

  • Empathy vs. Sympathy December 30, 2016 Bob Jones

    Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships of another while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Although compassion is often welcome, sorrow and pity do not enhance connection. All three are reactions to the plight of another, but empathy is ...

  • On Vulnerability and Safety January 25, 2014 Bob Jones

    I have been creating, leading and participating in men's circles for over a dozen years now and learned the hard way that the single most important ingredient of an effective circle is psychic or emotional safety. In this post, I explore the relationship between emotional safety and vulnerability.

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