I have been an engineer for almost 50 years. I have been a recovering engineer for the last 25 years. My engineer uses my mind to solve problems. My recovering engineer used my heart to connect with my feelings. My head and heart battle frequently. My head thinks. My heart feels. My head speaks loudly, often drowning my heart. My heart quietly informs me that this analytical deconstruction has been brought to you courtesy of my head.
My second awakening started in 1991 while I was working at Microsoft. I was part of a brand new team that wasn’t clicking. Our manager took us all off to a hotel in Seattle where we spent a weekend doing what most people need a week to do; but we were Microsoft. We could do it in just a weekend. By the time the weekend was over, I was starting to see in color. I realized that my analytical brain saw everything in black and white and shades of grey while my heart (which started to open that weekend) showed me color. But the weekend was over and the colors started to fade and I got pissed.
For the next few years I took Co-dependency and boundary setting workshops and found a wonderful counselor named Garth Alley. My engineer brain recognized that what he was doing with me followed a pattern, so I asked him about that. “Gestalt”, he said. “We are starting a class soon. Want to join it?” I did, and I did.
What I learned in the next three years was that speaking from my heart was not easy. As I sat in circle with my classmates, they kept telling me, “Jones, your are in your head.” Eventually I was able to tease out the subtle and well hidden path that allowed me to start to speak from my heart.
Garth introduced me to The Mankind Project in 2000, but it took me a year and a half before I summoned up the courage to take their New Warrior Training Adventure, where I found a new home, a home that required me to bring both my head and my heart to the process of helping men wake up, grow up and show up more authentically and transparently in our lives.
Now, 15 years later, I have staffed Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventures 40 times and helped initiate over 1,000 men. I have taken every course, workshop and retreat that MKP has to offer, but I still have difficulty moving from my head into my heart. It’s difficult, but have learned to begin by noticing where I am in the moment: head or heart?
I have learned how to slow myself down, notice what is going on in my body. I have learned that my body speaks truth, but it speaks softly and it doesn’t argue. It simply speaks. It is up to me to listen to the quiet sound of the first truth that my body and my heart inform me of.