Why Gather with Men?
In life there are many moments and stages of the unknown. For many the mystery of the unknown can feel frightening, unnerving, disconcerting, ungrounded. Often to bypass these feelings we barrel through them to quickly get to the known as fast as possible so we don’t have to feel the discomfort or unease. When we do this we miss out on something.
We as a people have entered into liminal space on many levels – individually, in our home/family units, as communities, and on a global level. We have left who we used to be, and we have yet to arrive at who we will become. We are in that space in between. These times may seem more heightened in the uncertainty, but the principles of sitting in the mystery with eyes open remains the same.
What we have learned is that slowing down and staying present in the unknown is an important stage in itself to find out who we are now and what strengths and possibilities are emerging to better inform the pathway for forward movement that is akin to what our self and soul and what our people and the world are needing now.
With this physical distance era and the fight for equality and justice happening in so many communities the only thing that seems to be constant is change itself. In these changing times there is so much that is uncertain and unknown, and what we have learned from the last 35 years of gathering together is that men need time to share what’s on their hearts and minds and souls, especially in times of big change. In this new age of social distancing we still need to be witnessed and to witness each other.
Perhaps more than ever, we’re needing to adapt and respond to our changing world and how we can hold more intention and attention for the ways we want to show up today and in the future. These times offer tremendous opportunity for evolution, transformation, and change. There is still choice and agency in how we respond to our changing world and there is still support for all of us taking our next deep breath and making our next right steps.
What needs to be said?
What are you needing for self-care?
What is your soul asking of you right now?
What support do you need? What support can you give?
What are these times asking of you?
Come be inspired by each other, be open to listening, healing, and connection. Together we will learn how to better care for ourselves in these times so that we can inspire our circles with clear passion and direction from an open heart.
What Will An Online Retreat Be Like?
If you have been to one of our in-person retreats before you will find this online retreat to have a very similar feel to it. We’ve been doing online courses for several years now, and for men who have experienced those you know that heartfelt connection is possible online. We will have large group councils, guided experiences, small group time, solo time, and much more. You will find the interactions and connections to be just as personable and connective, with ample opportunities for personal and collective growth.
If you haven’t been to a retreat with us before it is important for you to know that everything we do is very experiential – meaning it is not much sitting and listening and more engaging in a variety of experiences and then sharing about those experiences in small groups. So even as we gather online we all will still be standing and engaging in experiences together (which means you are not just sitting there for hours at a time).
What Do Past Participants Say About This Retreat?
Take the risk. Zoom is not the same as in-person but it can be as powerful in new ways. It’s easier to attend, no travel, and you will be able to meet men from any geography that you might not have.
~ Neal – Lakewood, CO
Community is my life blood and the community of MLA brothers nourishes my heart and soul. MLA helps me to maintain an intimate honest relationship with my wife and son. It reinforces my belief in the importance of community and service to create an inclusive loving world.
~ Dan – Nashville, TN
I am able to communicate better to people around me and have self-awareness that I never did prior to MLA work. Generally now I am centered and conscious, knowing who I am and what I want, which naturally creates a life that is in line with my beliefs and values.
~ Eric – Broomfield, CO
MLA is very closely aligned to my soul’s purpose. Engagement with MLA offers a space to learn and lab out my own purpose independently and under inspiration of other male community leaders.
~ Seth – Durango, CO
Whether you have yet to attend an MLA retreat or attend regularly, a retreat is always a beautiful gift to honor yourself, reflect, reconnect with yourself, connect/reconnect with a supportive community, and be accepted/embraced as you are. The online format has similarities and differences to the in-person format and offers different opportunities to connect and integrate. The ability to sit in circle online has made a huge difference in my life through these unusual times. It has provided an anchor during a year that has included plenty of turbulent waters. I encourage anyone who values deep soul work to give it a shot….and I’d love to sit in circle with you soon.
~ John – Boulder, CO
How Do You Address Online Fatigue?
We know that many men are experiencing online fatigue. Many of us are in front of screens a good part of each day, and thus the initial response to being online over the weekend as well can feel like too much. We too are feeling the effects of lots of screen time – And we know that the kind of connection provided in this retreat is important for your personal growth and self-care, especially in this time of lack of in-person connection.
As stated above, much of what we do during our online retreats is experiential – meaning you won’t just be sitting in front of your screen the whole time. We will be moving around during many of our group activities. And we also will have times where we spend solo time away from the computer (and encouraged outside).
What Does the Schedule Look Like?
*All times are in Mountain Time Zone*
Friday, February 26
6:00 pm – 6:45 pm – Arrival & Opening
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Session 1 – Intentions
Saturday, February 27
9:00 am – 10:30 am – Session 2 – Personal Strengths and Gifts
10:45 am – 12:30 pm – Session 3 – Gaining Allies
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Lunch and Solo Time
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Session 4 – Connecting to Your Lineage
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Session 5 – Personal Empowerment & Communal Attunement
Sunday, February 28
9:00 am – 10:30 am – Session 6 – Insights and Integration
10:45 am – 12:30 pm – Session 7 – Next Steps
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm – Closing
**If you are joining us for this retreat it is necessary that you are committed to the whole weekend.**
How Do I Make My Environment Conducive to an Online Retreat?
For this retreat you will want to make sure you set an atmosphere that will help you take full advantage of this time. When we are physically together in a room it is easier to set a conducive atmosphere because we are out of our normal routines. In an online retreat we all have to work a little extra to help co-create the atmosphere each from our own homes. To help with this during our session times you will want to make sure you have arranged the following prior to the start of each class:
- Set yourself up in a room that feels comfortable to you, where you can be alone, and where you have the space to move around
- Make sure you have good internet connection
- Have headphones for clearer listening (preferably wireless as some of our activities require moving around)
- Make sure your camera is working (we ask you be on video so we can see you)
- Arrange with partners/children to respect your class time and not disturb you
- Turn off your cell phone
- Close other programs on your computer
- Eat before or after session times
Who are the Retreat Guides?
As a guide, psychotherapist, teacher, and mental health counselor over the last 20 years Jason has felt a deep desire and hunger from men of all ages to have meaningful connection with themselves and others. And he has seen the dire ramifications when that connection is absent. He is actively working to create spaces for men to access their authentic selves, connect meaningfully with their families and communities, and discover their work in the world. Jason has served as Executive Director and facilitator for Men’s Leadership Alliance for 12 years, and is creator of the Holistic Leadership Training Program. His dissertation is entitled Defining a Masculine Self: A Phenomenological Study on the Impact of Men’s Retreats. Jason lives in Riverside, Colorado with his wife, Ellen and their daughter, Coraleigh.
John is a Transformational Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, and MLA Holistic Leader. He has a strong calling to be of service to people and the world. He has dedicated much of his life to personal growth, helping others on their own unique path, and deepening the connection within oneself, nature, and whatever one holds as sacred. John is known for his big heart and brings the intention to hold all that emerges in circle with love, compassion, and sacredness. He feels a foundational aspect to men’s work is “All of you is welcome here” and honoring each person’s experience. He invites each person to openly share with courage and witness the beauty that emerges in each of us through sitting together in circle.
Ted (Teddy) Churchill is currently the Cultural Liaison for The Men’s Leadership Alliance, a MLA Holistic Leadership, a practicing 4 Gateways Certified Coach via Churchill Gateways Coaching, and an Airbnb Superhost offering extended and affordable Denver stays to young traveling students, interns and entrepreneurs. His work for MLA non-profit in holistic education is the sum of a lifetime of personal development studies as a hospitality and retail general manager, performance and education business owner, life skills coach and support group creator, private and community event planner, homeschool parent and teacher. He is a proud father of four with 7 grandchildren, and lives with his partner, Justin, in Denver, CO.
This retreat will also be supported by other MLA Staff and Elders.
How Do I Register?
Registration is required to attend this retreat. Please click on the link above or below to register.
Upon registration you will receive a confirmation email. Shortly after you will receive an email that will have all the information you will need for the retreat, including zoom information.
What is the Investment?
The investment for this retreat is $297.
Space is limited to 20 participants, so sign up now to reserve your spot.
Scholarships & Payment Plans
Finances should never be the reason that keeps you from attending. We believe if you are called to this retreat then you need to be a part of it regardless of your current financial situation. We have two options available to help make this retreat possible for you.
1) Payment Plans – Payments can always be spread out over a number of months.
2) Scholarships – Partial scholarships are available.
If you wish to set up a payment plan or inquire about a scholarship, please contact Jason for the MLA Scholarship and Payment Plan Application Form.
Contact Teddy Churchill with any questions: email@example.com