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REWIND:The state of boys and men outside the ‘man box’ with David Jurasek

 

The man box is a sociological term coined in the 1980s describing a rigid set of behaviours men and boys are expected to conform to become ‘real men’ in society, including aggression, dominance, mental and physical toughness, self sufficiency and emotional restraint. Dismantling this old map of masculinity has been important for moving closer to gender equality.  However, the absence of a clear vision for a generative form of masculinity to replace the man box has resulted in a generation of men who are struggling to find purpose, direction and belonging in a rapidly changing world.

In almost every metric of success including education, career advancement and earning potential men have fallen behind the opposite sex. In this conversation I speak with David Jurasek, psychotherapist and mens coach about the current state of boys and men and the often overlooked causes of antisocial male behaviour, under performance and inability to access emotional help. We also discuss ways conscious men can re-access the power latent in their biology and psyche in healthy ways that serve others and open to greater love and a sense of purpose.

Show Notes

If you enjoyed this episode of AIR on the state of boys and men you might also want to check out episode 025: Risk tolerance, risky play and resilient youth with Nevin J Harper

 

Episode transcripts

Silas Rose 0:40
Greetings, dear listener, my name is Silas Rose. And this isAwake In Relationship. The opioid crisis has been in the news a lot lately. And for good reason. Here in British Columbia, we just passed a grim milestone. It’s been seven years since the provincial government declared a public health emergency around addictions and mental health. And since that time, over 11,000 people from all walks of life, have lost their lives due to the toxic drug supply. It’s a complex problem, and in some sense, a symptom of deeper issues within our society. But I think it’s fair to say that, for all levels of government, this has been a unmitigated disaster and failure, of policy. A short walk in downtown of any city in North America you will see evidence of the human misery resulting from the epidemic of mental health. You might also notice that a lot of the people struggling and acting out on the streets are men, seven of the 10 deaths due to overdose, or deaths of despair, including suicide, are men. Again, the reasons for this are complex. And some of those we will kind of dive into in this interview. But it’s fair to say that men and boys are struggling to adapt to a changing world, and changing social norms. In almost every metric of success that matters, women are really surpassing men, and that includes education, career advancement, and income potential. This isn’t to suggest that the patriarchy has somehow been magically dismantled. Of course not. There are still plenty of examples of inequality, and violence towards women in society. But things are trending up. Just like women, men are not a homogeneous group. So I can only really speak to my own experience and perhaps the experience of the men I grew up with in the 1980s, and 1990s. In general, many of us rejected the traditional man box, which is the sociological term, defining a set of behaviors and expectations around masculinity. This might include a proclivity towards dominance and aggression, maybe even violence, but also physical and mental toughness, a stoicism the sense of self sufficiency, which seems to make it really tough for men to access health, especially in the emotional realms. So educated men in my generation really didn’t want to become part of the problem of patriarchy. We didn’t want to become like our fathers, who might have fallen into the macho jerk category perhaps, emotionally unavailable or absent. The problem is, we didn’t really have a clear vision of what generative masculinity might look like. We also didn’t have positive examples of men to follow in our culture. Just watch any action flick from the 1990s You will know what Iam talking about, men seem to be good at blowing shit up, but not much else. We became meek and agreeable nice guys, which at the time was affectionately referred to as a sensitive New Age guy or SNAGs. This new presentation and masculinity was certainly more safe, but also lacking fire. The positive sense of passion, drive and purpose, add to the mix digital media, things like video games and social media and pornography. It’s no wonder that men and boys are struggling to find their stride. So I thought I invite a friend, David Gerasek, psychotherapist and men’s coach, to have a conversation about the state of the masculine principle outside the traditional man box. In this interview, we talk about some of the often overlooked, causes a bad male behavior, underperformance and in particular, why it’s so hard for men to access help when they most need it. We also talk about how conscious men, maybe that’s you or someone you love, can re access some of that fire, dynamic power within the biology and psyche of men, in a healthy way that serves others and deepens a sense of love and purpose. I hope you enjoy.

David. Welcome to the show.

David Jurasek 5:55
Hi, Silas. Thank you for having me.

Silas Rose 5:57
Yeah. Let’s start with your background. I was reading on your website that you were actually a child refugee.

David Jurasek 6:09
Yeah, you know, I was just in a men’s group this morning. And we were all reflecting on grief. And some of us who have specific grief going through our marriages or health crises, and I have grief that’s come up recently around seeing the state of the world. So many people dying on the way to get to safety. You know, it brings me back to when I was a child running away from Eastern Europe. As a refugee with my parents and how grateful I am. We gotto Safe Harbor. So we’re on what’s home originally, originally, we came from Czechoslovakia, which now is Czech Republic and Slovakia. And we escaped through Yugoslavia, which doesn’t exist anymore. And we were refugees in Austria for a year and then we got accepted into Canada.

Silas Rose 7:10
How old were you when you escaped?

David Jurasek 7:14
I was seven years old. Old enough to kind of grasp what was going on. And, and still for it to be surreal, you know, what’s happening around me.

Silas Rose 7:31
I’m curious about the through line to the kind of work you’re doing now, especially as a psychotherapist, and, you know, a Sensei, you wear a lot of hats.

David Jurasek 7:43
I do yeah, I think or what I’ve discovered, because we moved about 35 times in my life, so far 36 times actually with this house. So I had to really, like uproot myself and find new soil many times in many different cities, different schools, different jobs, workplaces. And there’s something in ingrained in my spirit, about community, and about finding a sense of home when you don’t have a physical place. So that’s, that’s a big theme of my life. And as I get older, I’m trying to weave all the threads and bring all the halves together. So I’m slowly retiring as a therapist. So I can work primarily in community, being a mentor, because that way that allows me to bring all of myself to my work.

Silas Rose 8:48
What I initially got a new interest in men’s work.

Speaker 2 8:54
I think, in my 20s, I felt really lost. And I was training as a therapist and I realized that therapy wasn’t enough. I needed initiation, I needed a rite of passage, I needed mentors I needed. When I first joined a men’s group, which at the time was mankind project, which is a really great organization that I’m still a part of, and I treasure. It taught me stuff then I didn’t learn anywhere about integrity, accountability, taking ownership, speaking with authority and authenticity. You know, I didn’t get that from therapy. I didn’t get that from school. I didn’t get that from sports or or anywhere else. So yeah, since my 20s I was I was longing for it. It was missing in my life. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of many men’s groups since then.

Silas Rose 9:58
A reason I wanted to invite you on to the show, because men’s work has been important in my life as well for I would say, you know, probably 10 years. And a lot of that was really about trying to resolve what might be called the father wound. Myself, and I’m sure a lot of men listening might be able to relate to this, for whatever reason, whether our parents were failing or wasn’t up to the task or was absent, there was this kind of interruptionof a sense of transference. And because of that, you know, I really felt like particularly my 20s a great sense of anger and resentment towards my father, and the world. So, I want to explore, what is that missing transference?

David Jurasek 11:00
Yeah, a friend of mine, Michael McCarthy, has put it really well recently. And I think we’re longing not just for, like our biological or physical father, to Father us. affirm us love us in a certain way, you know, challenge us in a certain way. But we’re also longing for a sacred kind of father, just like we’re longing for mother nature or greater Mother, you know, I think there’s just an innate instinct in us as boys to seek model and to seek a greater authority greater authority than ourselves. As we try to make sense of ourselves, our boundaries or limits of who we are, we want to push against the universe, and we’re looking for where the edges are. And I think our fathers are opted, often haven’t grown up emotionally, psychologically, they stepped up to maybe take care of us financially or, you know, be there for us in some ways, but a lot of fathers that I know, and I’ve worked with families for 25 years, the men are particularly haven’t grown up, they’re still boys in a father skin. And so, when we are raised that way, it’s really confusing. And it leaves us with longing and anger, right? When my dad lost his temper with me, he would beat me and my brother. I mean, that was not an adult that I could trust or rely on, or, you know, that was, that was someone on control, who, whose own little child was out of control. It taught me to be afraid, it taught me to be angry. So I, when we kind of come into the world, and we’re parented that way, then we seek, we seek better role models, you know, or different role models, sometimes we just react reactive, my dad was to this, so I’m looking for the opposite in the world, you know, just to find balance somewhere. Or we look to the mother to meet us in all the ways that she can, then we are disappointed. So I think, you know, you’re speaking to this wound that I think all men have to some degree, and, and some of it is tragic. And I think we could do a better job of raising human beings to be more mature adults, better, better humans. But I think some of it is just developmental, just no matter how wonderful your parents are. There’s going to be waste, they break your heart, and they disappoint you and they don’t give you enough. And we need to go out into the world searching for it.

Silas Rose 14:02
Hmm. Yeah, well, I think that’s evident everywhere. There js just so much walking wounded, you know, for both men and women, but I’m really noticing that particularly when it comes to the opioid crisis. on our streets, you know, I think it’s three and a four people who die from despair, and that can be suicide, or overdose are men. I guess what I want to explore with you some of the conditions that are exacerbating that wound, and, in particular, why men find it so hard to to get help?

David Jurasek 15:06
I think there’s many ways to talk about it. What I found talking to many boys and men, boys, teenagers and men of all ages, is, I like to call it the lone wolf. You know, there’s part of us, that gets wounded at home. And then we go out into the peer group and we get wounded in the pack. We get socially wounded, because we’re more sensitive or because we’re just more honest. We get ostracized, shamed, humiliated, rejected, put down. And so the, the most natural instinct is to protect ourselves, and to become a lone wolf. And then we go about our own lives. Being a lone wolf, even wondering if we get married, we have kids, or even when we belong to a soccer team or go to a workplace, we, we kind of know instinctively, we’re not safe. We have, we have only ourselves we can count on. And, and that’s, and you know, we don’t even get to know ourselves so that the lone wolf doesn’t heal himself, he doesn’t take care of himself very well, he just survives. And it’s literally like in the wild, lone wolves die much younger, and they die of disease and loneliness, and hunger, right, and it’s the same for men. I’d say there’s an epidemic of lone wolves. And sometimes it’s, it’s kind of hidden, sometimes you see a man who’s gregarious, friendly, very generous with others, but he has no one he can talk to. He has no money, he doesn’t even know how to talk to them, even if he had them, because he spent so many decades burying his own feelings, his own inner child, that he doesn’t even have the language anymore. And so he’s you know, we can have certain masks or ways we show up in the world. But the lone wolf to me is the that’s what men stay. That’s how men describe it. I have to do this alone, I have to be alone, I have to figure out on my own. My marriage is falling apart, I just have to read more books, I have to figure out what happened. What did I do wrong? How do I fix it? Everything is centered around the the I that that individual, alone in space. And sometimes even like coaching and therapy reinforces that, you know, coaching, so a lot of coaching, I find, I’m going to make generalizations here, right? Because there’s a lot of wonderful coaches and wonderful therapists. But I say there’s a shadow in both fields where coaching, talks a lot about mindset, and action and strategy. And if you just think you just tweak your mindset, if you just figure out the right strategy, if you just take the right action, you’ll be fine. You’ll succeed. doesn’t talk about relationship. It doesn’t talk about partnership doesn’t talk to enough about how you need a village to raise any one of us. Therapy is also very cloistered, right? It’s like you and the therapist, they can be wonderful. They can care it care about you mentor you, help you heal and grow. But it’s this very private relationship that you I’ve seen men who like, have serious conditions and problems and they go to a therapist as a lifeline. It keeps them going. But they have no one else in the world they can talk to. I see the tragedy of that. And there are some therapists I’d say some social workers and systemic therapists who see the problem there and and see half of our job as therapists is to help men develop roots in the world and robust social structure, and encourage them to join men’s groups and communities where they can. They can be themselves and be really part of a fabric.

Silas Rose 19:21
What are some of the common threads you’re seeing, or challenges you’re witnessing in the menuyou are working with right now.

David Jurasek 19:33
The men who seek me out at this stage are looking for something deeper. So they’ve gone to therapy, they’ve gone to couples or they’ve done retreats and AI Wascana and plant medicine they’ve done a lot lots of stuff. And then they get to this place where that’s not enough. Maybe they’re still struggling with an addiction. to porn or alcohol or something, or work, maybe they’re very smart. And they’ve got all these tools, but they’re still struggling in their relationships, you know, or with, with some core shame, their sense of confidence in the world who they are. And they seek me out because I have a Relational Approach or paradigm. And I work in community as a mentor more and more than a therapist. And so they have this instinct that maybe there maybe I need something more comprehensive, and something that takes me deeper than where I’ve been able to go thus far. So they come in with all different kinds of problems, but the men that I find are most ready to grow, are men who start to see that it’s not about one thing, it’s not about my sleep, or my marriage, or my, you know, pot use, or whatever it is, it’s, it’s how they’re relating to everything that they start to see. Okay, there’s something going on. And they resist blaming themselves and blaming others, and they’re seeking something deeper, deeper understanding of what’s what’s going on. And how can I grow at this stage of life, you know,

Silas Rose 21:19
How does accountability fall into that?

David Jurasek 21:23
Accountability is a funny thing. It’s used in men’s culture a lot in the last 20 years. Some men use it as a, as a cudgel to beat themselves with, you know, or use it as a source of pride, well, I take responsibility, I take accountability, why don’t you or if only I was more accountable, and I kept my word, and I wouldn’t make these mistakes. And I would, you know, they kind of beat themselves up about it, I started to think about accountability, as much more ecological interdependent process. My wife and I garden and grow a lot of our own food and medicine. And nature has its own accountability, there’s a time to plant seeds. And if you miss that window, you’re gonna go hungry, and there’s weeds that are strangling your fruit. And if you don’t tend to them, harvest them in some way, they’re going to, they’re going to take over, there’s a time to compost and let things die, you know. So I’m thinking more these days, in countability, in that way, and, and I’m seeing the power of social accountability, where men speak to each other about their, their longings, their mission, their vision, what they’re trying to do. And we can support each other with compassion, that tends to work really well. The old model was to shame each other, you know, or, or not to get into it, or all the old conditioning for men. And so while that’s not my business, good luck with that, or in men’s groups in the past, I’ve seen it’d be like leaning in and telling each other what to do. You just have to try harder. You know,

Silas Rose 23:11
it’s an interesting segue to my next question, which relates to this notion of toxic masculinity, which, interestingly enough, was really a term coined by the mythopoetic, men’s movement started by Robert Bly to essentially describe the wounded masculine. What do you feel the impact that term has been, I think now is used more as kind of a catch all for everything that men are doing wrong, or bad behavior. And certainly, there’s a lot of examples of that. But what has been the impact of that in terms of self perception, particularly for developing boys and young men?

David Jurasek 23:55
Why I think you’re right, in a sense of that it can be used as a weapon, that term and it can be mis mis attributed. And I get, I get pretty annoyed by how men unpack that without actually, you know, it’s the same thing about racism. Right now, critical race theory, if you actually read two sentences and find out what the what that’s actually about, you probably would agree with it. But if you react to what somebody else told you, it’s about somebody else’s trying to use it to divide you and other people, then you’re gonna get very angry and defensive. And I think the same thing with toxic masculinity. If you actually unpack it. I’d say 99 out of 100 guys would say yeah, that’s, that’s true. That’s happening. I’m, I’ve been infected by it. I’ve suffered because of it. And it’s ruining my marriage, or it’s ruined my relationship with my brother or sister or father or mother. I think men know. But we’re in a very polarized somewhat toxic environment. where even the truth can be weaponized, you know, turned against us. So I don’t like shying away from that term and trying to find a friendlier term, I think it’s a, it’s an accurate description of a condition. But I don’t lead with it myself, because men already come in with a lot of baggage. You know, they come up with a lot of ideas, they listen to Jordan Peterson, or somebody online, who fills them up with one side of a story. And they come in really defensive. And, frankly, I think they carry a lot of shame. And that shame gets externalized as anger, as defensiveness. And so I don’t throw that term out. Right at the beginning, you know, I sort of men find it find their own ways to say the same thing.

Silas Rose 25:50
I don’t want to make any kind of generalizations about the state of men, I can only kind of speak to my own experience growing up, and I grew up and came of age in the 90s, I, unlike a lot of my friends, male friends, you know, I think we’re very well intentioned, that we really didn’t want to be continued to be part of the problem. So in essence, we kind of toned things down in such a way that we became almost gender neutral. We rejected the kind of hyper masculinity of our fathers and became something that was maybe more safe. The problem I see with that, in my own life, and, and what I’ve also witnessed in others, in the process of rejecting all of those kind of stereotypical qualities that might be defined as the man box for a set of expectations that boys and men are meant to kind of conform to and to become real men in rejecting that, I was somehow kind of cut off from a really positive source of energy. And the result of that was kind of crippling to my sense of confidence, and agency in the world. And it’s taken me a lot of time in therapy and meeting with men and, you know, meditation, everything else I’m doing in terms of self care to kind of recapture a healthy sense of confidence.

David Jurasek 27:11
Absolutely. I had the same journey. I think, I think when we don’t know better, we throw the whole baby out with the bathwater, right? Because our primitive emotional brain doesn’t distinguish or differentiate very well. It just says, Well, I’ve seen men be really terrible. I’ve seen people speak about manhood in a way that feels toxic and gross. I don’t want any part of that. But I’m a boy, I’m a man. Well, I Oh, I’m a human being I’m spiritual, find some way to bypass. There’s nothing safe about being a man in this world. There’s nothing safe about being a woman, or transgender, or any anybody, nobody is safe in this world. But we try to sort of learn ways to mitigate risk, I guess. Right? And hide. So I did the same thing. Yeah, absolutely. And tried to adopt qualities more that I saw in my mother. But yeah, it left me with a lot of shame around my gender, and and not knowing how to fight, how to how to assert. Not knowing where the line was, until I had actual role models, men were human beings who are gendered as men, showing me what it looks like to be compassionate and fierce, to be strong and sensitive to be powerful and loving to like, they can you can do that. I didn’t know that was possible till I actually saw it and wit and experienced firsthand, you know,

Silas Rose 28:52
Though Aikido?

David Jurasek 28:58
it was through Aikido it was through Mankind Project MKP. It was through a few mentors I had that just broke the whole mold for me. So wow, you can cry with me one minute. And the next minute, look me in the eye and confront me and push me to my edge. And you I feel I feel safe enough with you. That allows me to grow. Wow, I didn’t have that growing up. I didn’t have anyone in my life that could do that. It was like a superpower. You know. And it made me hungry for like, I want to be like that guy. Holy shit. I want to I want to have that kind of courage and that kind of vulnerability. There’s something so powerful about it. How do I get there?

Silas Rose 29:54
Well, that’s what I’m wondering about. If martial arts is, is a real access point for men wanting to train in that kind of. I don’t know how you call it, like a generative form of masculinity.

David Jurasek 30:13
Yeah. So I would say like anything, it’s about the culture, and the consciousness of the people. So you can go, you know, Aikido is framed as a peaceful martial art. You can find Aikido dojos that are toxic, that have like real assholes running them. Brazilian jujitsu is framed as a very tough, you know, st form, you can find dojos, where there’s a lot of love. And there’s a lot of consciousness in that dojo. So I always recommend to men, or anyone interested to actually go to different dojos if you feel any inclination, any curiosity, to go to those dojos. And like she feel what it’s like to be part of that culture, take a class or to see what it’s like to be around that Sensei, that teacher? Do you feel like you have permission to be yourself fully. And if they’re just too stoic and rigid, or if they’re too soft and mushy, it goes somewhere else, keep looking till you find that place where this is a place where you can grow. So it’s not always the, the martial art, or what the logo is or what the motto is. It’s the, it’s the people like the that have the integrity that hold up the space, right? I found several incredible martial arts schools that were really shaped who I’ve become. And I’ve also found ones that looked really beautiful, and then they were not, not great places to be, you know, I think that’s the same with any, you know, meditation groups with creative communities with anything, right? There’s a promise there, there’s a potential there, but we have to, we have to take the risk to get in there and experience it.

Silas Rose 32:08
I think in a sense, that you’re pointing men towards something like that positive vision of masculinity. I’m wondering how it’s possible to transmit that to younger generations, I’m just thinking of the parents in this audience. How do you communicate that to to young people to kids?

David Jurasek 32:33
Well, first, I don’t, I don’t actually believe in positivity at all. I believe in paradox. I think when we chase positivity, we, we cause a lot of harm, you know, with parenting, particularly right? When I’m trying to get our kids to be patient, or kind or whatever, we can be really destructive, we can really shaming. But if we live in paradox, with our kids, you know, like, let’s say I want my kid to be more patient, right? Or more considerate of other human beings, while they’re more self absorbed, okay? Most parents will get annoyed. And at some point, we’ll sit down the kid and lecture them. And be ashamed of them. How dare you what, why did you do that? Why didn’t you do this? And then the kid just learns the worst lesson, right? And they just look at us like, we’re hypocrites, too. Because we are. So what I find more powerful, and this comes from Aikido, the practice of Aikido is one of the things that I translate into relationships immediately from Aikido is, when someone comes to attack you, grab you, seize you or do something to you that you don’t necessarily want. The best thing to do is not try to run away or block, but to blend with it, who absorbed the energy. And so when I work with parents, I encourage them to be authentic with their kid and use the energy of the moment. That’s between the conflict that’s between them. So if my kid embarrasses me, I’ll help about I own that. But I own that, hey, you know, I have a value of generosity and you’re acting in a way that I feel really embarrassed about. And I want to control you, and I want to tell you what to do, and I want to put you in your place. But really, what’s happening is I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed. I don’t know what to do. I feel out of control right now. Right there, I’m teaching empathy, right? I’m teaching authenticity. And I’m encouraging my, my son or daughter to step into that with me. I’m making space for them. That tends to be something that most parents kind of sigh and go, finally, because there’s a lot of positive parenting bullshit out there. Where extra Kids will go into detail about what parents should do and this and that situation and then sets up so much failure. Parents, you know, read all the books buy into all of it, it sounds beautiful. And then they get angry, sad, scared, hurt themselves, and they do the opposite. And they feel terrible. And it’s just this vicious cycle. So I encourage parents to be authentic. And to study what it means to be a decent human being with their kid. They’re still the adult, they still make decisions, set limits, you know, steer the course at times. But, you know, as kids get older, too, you lose any semblance of control anyway, you never had it, when they were little, you could hold them and swaddle them. But as soon as they could walk, they could run away. And as soon as they have enough ideas in their head, they could tell you where to stick it. So you only really have relationship if you want to influence your, your kid, right? Or your kids. And so, for me, that’s that’s the response I give. And then there’s just paradox. We’re in paradox all the time. While it’s good to be generous and caring. But, you know, we also need to learn where to draw a line, because there are people who will take advantage of us. So there is no do this and do don’t do that. There’s actually learning about discernment, learning how to be generous with people who are not generous, right? Learning how to be a certain way in difficult situations. My biggest hope for my daughter is that she grows up learning to wrestle with paradoxes. And real life, not that she tries to be some goody goody, who emulate some image that her parents gave her. You know,

Silas Rose 36:51
The early men’s movement really kind of grew out of, I might say, a reaction to second wave feminism and know the perceived loss of power for men. How has men’s work evolved over the last 40 years, or not involved?

David Jurasek 37:14
Well, I I’m only 46. So I wasn’t there in the 70s. I was a kid. But I actually was very inspired by the early men’s movement, the mythopoetic movement. It made a huge impact on me in my teens and 20s. It made me seek out and his work, planted the seed. And I think there was a lot of like anything, there was a lot of different threads to it, but the main people doing it and holding it, I think they brought a lot of good stuff into the world for men. And then I think what happened is they got put to sleep. They got it got forgotten. And then decades later, because of me, too, primarily because I’ve been around in men’s work for almost 25 years, it was pretty small. It was pretty underground. Only in the last, let’s say 10 years with me to coming up, as it sort of mushroomed into this big thing. And people actually are aware it exists. People are looking for it. You know, there’s it’s in the zeitgeist, the men’s consciousness, there’s more podcasts, there’s more talk about it. There’s just hundreds of groups, whereas like 15 years ago, there were maybe three or four. Now there’s hundreds. I think there’s, there’s goodness in that. But I think we have to be more discerning, you know, just like mindfulness or yoga becoming popular is wonderful in one way. But then there’s a lot of McDonald’s version of it. There’s a lot of, there’s a few people doing it in a way that’s harmful. And it’s very seductive. Because the need is there because people can make money off of it because it can make some people feel important to represent it, you know, I’d say it’s an interesting time, where there’s a lot of diverse options on the table for men.

Silas Rose 39:16
When I was in my 20s, feeling that father wound, I really, thankfully sought out male mentors, essentially, kind of surrogate father figures for guidance. So I’m a real believer in the role of mentorship and that’s a big part of your work. What is your approach to mentoring men and how is that different fundamentally from therapy?

David Jurasek 39:56
Yeah, thanks for asking that Silas I get it ask that all the time, especially because men come to see me and they think they’re looking for a therapist, or they think they’re looking for something. And then we meet. And I’m big on vetting people. You know, I don’t just work with somebody because so I spend time with people getting to know them, sniffing them out, letting them sniff me out. And then I decide if I want to step into something with them. My best way to describe it, and I like to contrast mentoring with coaching and therapy, because those are the sorts of coaching and therapy are what’s known. And mentoring is something that’s still not very known. And if it if it happens, it happens by accident, or people just sort of, but in my community, we’re pioneering a type of mentoring our communities called powerful and loving, it’s about holding that paradox that Martin Luther King, proposed decades ago, about being both powerful and loving, and one without the other is is not enough. We’re pioneering a type of way of being a mentor. That, to me is deeper than coaching, and is more lasting than therapy. And what I mean by that is, like what I said earlier about coaching is tends to be head based, you know, Mindset, Strategy, action, as wonderful. And that works, in my experience with small, maybe medium sized problems that can be solved mentally and can be actioned on business issues, you know, getting tasks done, it’s completely inadequate when it comes to big life stuff. In my view, it doesn’t matter how much visioning you do, how much mindset work you do. Life is messy, it’s complex. And it grabs you by the balls and the guts and the heart and everything, right. Therapy tends to have some tools that they get into the trauma, the healing the depth of it. But remember, only the last 10 years that therapy become embodied. Therapy for 100 years used to be just talking about our stuff for decades, and trying to get intellectually insightful about it. It’s only been in the last decade where we start to understand the nervous system, the body. And therapy is still an insulated experience, you pay someone in a narrow way to see them for a narrow bit of time. You don’t relate to them outside of that. Right? And there’s sometimes there’s good reason for that, but sometimes I think not. And so what we’re doing is we’re pioneering a way of being mentors, where we’re dealing with the whole man, the mind, body, heart, soul. And we don’t work in isolation, I have a nine mentors who I supervised with, so I bring in, they support me to support the men that I work with, I work more and more in groups, as a mentor, and one on one together. So they get me one on one, but they also get access to other mentors. We have a five element model. So we’re trying to cover all the terrain. Because you know, you don’t, you know, come when you will need to grow in your life, you don’t just sort of want to take care of one little piece there. You want the person to understand you as a whole, right? So I think of mentoring in that way. And I think of what I take on to be someone’s mentor, I think of it as a lifelong, they might, they might just walk with me for a few months or a year or two. But I decide if I’m going to mentor someone, I’m going to care about them for the rest of my life. That’s what I take on. I, you know, I take that to really, personally and to heart. So I’m pretty selective about who I mentor. Yeah.

Silas Rose 44:12
Well, David, this has been a wonderful conversation, I hope to get you back to continue in some form. How can people learn more about your work?

David Jurasek 44:26
Yeah, you can find me in our community at powerfulandloving.com. And there’s lots of ways you can access us. We have written a novel about one man’s experience of men’s work, relational men’s work, and you can find out about different events that we do and reach out to me personally if you if you wish, if you feel called.

Silas Rose 44:53
Awesome. Thanks again.

David Jurasek 44:58
You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

 

 

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