October Newsletter: End of Year Fundraiser & Free TTC Handbook

“Real human warmth, compassion and connection makes life worth living…”

Awaken

10/8/13
Dear Friends,

For the first time in nearly two decades, we are having a virtual fundraiser this year to keep Teen Talking Circles healthy for the rest of the year. The reason: I’m on 75% Sabbatical this fall and winter, after 19 years as Founder and executive director of Teen Talking Circles. Why 75% and not 100% — because TTC is that important and I simply can not completely let go… I’m too concerned that we won’t be here if I do, and I know how life giving it is, how life saving it is, and I can not let that happen.

For the next six months Lilly Schneider will be helping me take care of TTC. She and Eric will be here in the office each week, making sure everything and everyone gets paid. But, we need your help. We know that we need $10,000 by December 31st. This always comes in for us in November when we hold our fundraising party. But this year, we are reaching out like this.

Please help us reach our goal of $10,000 by December 31st. Do it now, while you are reading this…and then read the rest. Simply, click here and email Lilly to make a pledge, and she will get back in touch with you.

To thank you for your pledge, we’d like to gift you  a free copy of our new, 3rd edition TTC Facilitator’s Handbook. Thanks to our printer, Alpha Graphics, we have 200 to give away! You might know a teacher, parent, counselor, homeless shelter, or other non-profit organization you’d like to gift one to. This makes two gifts!

Thank you for helping us make this end of the year campaign as successful as the year has already been. Thank you for helping us get here and keep going! Thank you for giving young people a way out — out of the pain of feeling separate, unseen, unfelt, confused, and despairing. TTC is love, pure and simple — and we all need it, especially in these teen years. “”The simplicity of circles is just incredible. You only need yourself, and two others, or three others, or however many. It transcends age, and gender. Boy, girl, young, old, it doesn’t matter. You’re all there for each other. And that’s the most important thing.” Claire Widman, Puget Sound Community School.

Love, Linda

ruins tables The Ruins, 2012 Fundraiser
Next year, we will party at the Ruins to celebrate 20 years of TTC
Stay tuned.

PPS — Here’s the skinny about 2013 thus far!

  • Over the past 12 months, our teen circles, programs, handbook, trainings, retreats, fundraisers,Youtube movies, radio interviews, magazine articles, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, TTC Blog, and conference presentations have reached thousands of people. (Included are TEDx Elliott Bay Women, Women Rising Radio, Lilipoh Magazine)
  • 40,000+ people from over 150 countries around the world, as of today, July 31st, 2013 have viewed and shared our Girl’s and Women’s Empowerment film, I Am A Full Woman (https://vimeo.com/35541100) and the comments they share are quite powerful.
  • We’ve provided 32 people from 24 organizations TTC Facilitator Trainings this year. (Included are people from Washington, DC Ethical Society, Tomales Bay Youth Center, Cliffside Malibu Rehabilitation Center, Oaks Christian School, Native American Community Academy, and  Marin Indy High School)
  • We reedited our TTC Handbook, and added new stories and experiences. It is our 4th edition.
  • We were given 200 TTC Handbooks (3rd Edition) to give away, as a donation from our printer. So, get your free copy!!!
  • We produced two fundraisers, which 284 people attended.
  • Our 2 Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have over 800+ people as friends.
  • In an initial search 40+ partnering organizations and important people are presenting TTC on their websites (including, chomsky.info; bainbridgereview.com; seattlechildrens.org; ojaifoundation.org; womenintheworld.org)
  • We have been invited to be consultants to 3 different programs, including my being present at the Generation Waking Up 4 day workshop, as an elder.
  • 13 people are on a list for a worldwide distance training (as soon as we can figure out how!)
  • Countless youth and adults have benefitted from this past year’s ways we have continued to offer TTC into the world. We can’t even keep up with the many ways those who have been touched, trained, or involved with our work is unfurling in the world. We do know that there are currently 2 master theses and 1 PhD thesis that are using TTC as the central focus of their study.
  • September 14th – A Japanese film crew from NHK, the PBS station in Japan hired TTC to run a circle of 13 youth on Bainbridge, which was filmed for a series on cell biology and teen emotions for a National Geographic Special to be shown next year.
  • group shot

September 2013 TTC Interview with David Franklin, author of Radical Men, Simple Practices for Breaking the Myth of Masculinity and Embodying Your Authentic Self

Lilly Schneider: What motivated you to write your book?

ImageDavid Franklin: It’s complicated. I’ve been doing counseling, coaching, workshops and facilitation for years and have a strong desire to create a new paradigm around what being a man could look like. I’ve realized that so many of us share a similar struggle. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that one day I’d write a book. The idea came up, and my partner was like “Just do it.” So I sat with it for a couple weeks, and then I just started writing it. I think I wrote it in three weeks.

Lilly: Wow, only three weeks? That’s awesome.

David: It just kind of came out. There really wasn’t much planning or forethought, but it’s a culmination of the work I’ve been doing for the past twenty years.

Lilly: Could you tell us a little about the work that you’ve been doing and the work you’re doing now?

David: I do individual coaching, and I also facilitate groups and workshops for men. In my work, I emphasize embodiment and presence. Rather than only talking about issues, my work focuses more on creating present moment change, in a way that men can then practice and take into the rest of their lives. Rather than a theoretical experience, it’s about providing practical tools men can use, to ultimately feel more connected to who they are, and discover more of their authentic self. My work combines numerous modalities and practices that I’ve studied over the years –from meditation to ecstatic dance, to music, to core energetic therapy, to various coaching styles all rolled into one.

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Lilly: So then does your book, as an extension of your work, provide exercises, and things people can do, with clear guidance?

David: There are fifty practices in the book, and they probably comprise the majority of the book. The rest of the book is more talking about where I’m coming from, what I’m proposing, and then how to actually achieve it.

Lilly: Was there an intended audience for the book?

David: It’s really meant for everyone. I think to some degree, the men who are going to get into it more are men who have already started thinking about it a little bit, or might have some idea that there’s more to what it means to be a man than what everyone takes for granted. I think anyone could pick it up regardless of where they’re at, and really get what I’m talking about—and do the practices. I also was hoping that women would look at it as well, hopefully women who are moms, or who are involved in raising boys— it will give them greater awareness around the possibilities of what it can look like to be a man so that they can parent or work with boys differently. Or for that matter with their partners—although a lot of times I’ve found that for men, when their partners want them to do something, they’re even more resistant to doing it.

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Lilly: So how did you get on this path? How did you find that this was your work?

David: Since I was young I had a sense of wanting to create real change on the planet. I didn’t necessarily know what that would look like, but I knew that something else was possible beyond how things were, and I just felt a strong call to do something about it, to step into leadership and to take action to create change. As a teen I went to a lot of counseling, as a client, and in my very late teens started exploring more spiritual practice, spirituality. Through those things I began to become a lot more aware, and also a lot more self-aware. I was twenty or so when I first joined a men’s group. I’d heard about men’s groups from a friend who had joined one and at first I was like, “Huh, that sounds kind of weird, I don’t understand.” Then he explained his experience and I was like “Wow, that sounds awesome, I would love something like that.” From that point on I experienced a strong resonance with it, both because of my own struggles as well as connecting and seeing how it impacted so many men. How men are expected to be seemed like such a burden to so many men, and I just really felt called to do something about it.

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Lilly: What do you see in our society that concerns you, that motivates you to do your work?

David: Men, historically and in our culture, have more power. And I think that men with that power very often misuse it, in a lot of different ways, because they’re so disconnected from themselves and from other people. A lot of our political leaders are men. A lot of people in positions of power and who make decisions are men, a lot of people who have control over how things get done are men. Realizing that, if you look at our world and the things that are happening, a lot of those things come as the result of decisions that people in power (men) have made. I think women have more so than men been willing to look at themselves and become more aware, maybe challenge themselves and challenge a lot of norms around how things are in culture. Many men really haven’t gotten there yet, and are either ignorant or in denial or stubborn, or just really don’t want to give up their power. If things are going to change, men are really going to have to step up and take the initiative and not wait for women to tell them to change or do it in reaction to that, but because they feel, “Wow, this really isn’t working” and that they have the power to do something about it.

Lilly: I think most people in the Western world would say they’re aware of the gains of feminism, the women’s liberation movement, the women’s empowerment movement. But this could be a men’s liberation movement hat perhaps the average person isn’t aware of. Carol Gilligan says in a recent interview we did, “matriarchy is not the opposite of patriarchy, it’s democracy.” Democracy is power with, not power over.

ImageDavid: In the late seventies, early eighties, there was definitely some men’s movement stuff going on, but at the same time it was nothing like the women’s movement. Where it gets tricky is people say “Oh, what’s the need for a men’s movement? Men have all the power. They’ve got it easy, they’ve got it good, so what do they need to change anything for?” Unfortunately that’s what keeps everything in check. People assume that men don’t suffer from the patriarchal system. But if you look at a lot of things that are going on in the world, it’s because men have problems and they’re not really looking at them. That impacts everyone. It impacts men, it impacts women, it impacts children, it impacts the planet. Men have all these things going on that aren’t really being acknowledged. Sure, they do have the power, and at the same time, look how they’re using it. Or misusing it.

Lilly: What are the challenges that you see facing you in your work—and what are the challenges that men face?

depression David: In my work there’s the initial challenge of just getting men to acknowledge that there is a problem. Because most men don’t want to look at it. Getting men to be open to the possibility of something beyond what is, or getting them to really look at themselves, is really challenging. And a lot of time it takes something really drastic to force men to look at themselves. It takes a midlife crisis or some severe event before men are like “Whoa, I feel totally disconnected from myself, from my family, I don’t feel happy with my work, I don’t really feel intensive meaning or purpose in my life, I feel kind of empty.” But a lot of men just don’t want to admit that. And again there’s the catch-22, because men’s programming sort of enforces the “don’t look at those things” attitude. The programming focuses them on achievement,  being big and powerful and having a lot of money; all those things that ultimately empty — not really fulfilling. So just getting men to hear the message is probably the biggest challenge. And again, the challenge is getting past the conditioning men have, getting men to be willing to feel and express their emotions, and communicate more openly with other people, getting them to have accountability for themselves and for their lives; getting them to be more active parents, and more active partners, and to actually do work in the world that’s meaningful, and that means something to them, rather than just doing it for a paycheck, just because they think it’s something they’re supposed to do.

Lilly: Thank you for talking with me today, David. Your work is so important. Best wishes.

Radical Men can be purchased online at David Franklin’s website, or checked out at your local public library. For more info go to: www.davidfranklin.net

For more info on important work by men, check out TTC board of advisor mentor, Jackson Katz. http://www.jacksonkatz.com