Greetings Sacred Path Community,
If you find your spirits sagging some due to the waning days of summer, remind yourself that the start of football season is just around the corner. I often hear people make that comment with a tone of enthusiasm and excitement. And, as an avid USC fan, I’m up on my toes about our season ahead. It is important to have something to look forward to; but, even if football isn't your thing, I’ll offer something else to get you into anticipation mode.
It is that our 31st Annual Sacred Path Men’s Retreat is just two and a half months away and we’re putting the finishing touches on a program that is going to be fantastic. Whether you’re a football fan or not, this retreat will be a touchdown in more ways than one.
First of all, it’s another opportunity for you to be with the great men that you’ve come to know over the years, if you’ve been attending for years. If you’re new to this and contemplating whether to attend for the first time, I can assure you that you’ll be in the company of some of the most remarkable men that you’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know. Participants will fly and drive in from all parts of the country. For somewhere upwards of 100 times we will once again create a village, where we will do our work to plumb the depths of our Psyches, search our Souls, and share with each other what it means to explore conscious masculinity in the service of Mindful Manhood.
The theme of the upcoming retreat is The World We Live in Today: From Surviving to Thriving. I frequently hear people express that they feel overwhelmed with the challenges that they face on a day to day basis. I hear people express dismay about the many issues that they are confronted with and that the one word that they wish they had more of is RELIEF.
We all know something about SURVIVAL. Perhaps our lives were actually on the line at one time or another in which we weren’t sure if we would actually survive or perish. Maybe we feel that we’re in constant survival just from trying to hang on and not go down and out financially, or health wise, or due to a relationship that’s not doing well, or our lagging career issues.
How much do we know about what it means to THRIVE? During the upcoming October 19-22 retreat you will have the opportunity to hear from presenters who will share their experience on a variety of topics central to the theme of the retreat. For example, we will have three separate Breakout Sessions on three pertinent areas of relationships. As those of you know, who have been with us before, our retreats are grounded in experiential processes.
We believe that true knowledge is gained through having experiences that are primary teaching tools that educate us about life and living. More than acquiring a set of external beliefs, we encourage people to put themselves in safe experiences that allow for internal awarenesses to arise that foster the incorporation of reality based knowledge. We further encourage you to use what you know with purposeful intention to uplevel your lifestyle.
In addition to the gathering of men who have been the life force of our community, we are inviting Veterans and First Responders to join us. We are tailoring some elements of our program to be well-suited to support these men who have put their lives on the line for us. Some may carry the scar tissue of the wounds that they have incurred in the line of service. We offer a safe harbor for them to be able to work through whatever needs attention and healing.
Some of the First Responders who will join us are the valiant LA County firefighters who serve and have served so selflessly. Captain Michael Henry, CEO of Firefighters Down Organization will be with us along with some of his men. There will be a fundraising concert to be held on the auspicious date of September 11th at Pepperdine University. I have been invited to offer a brief presentation on PTSD and what can be done to make a positive difference to give back to someone who has suffered in the line of duty. I invite you to attend the concert in support of the cause and as a great way to build the momentum for our upcoming retreat.
Bill Arena is putting together the information about our program. You can read in this newsletter initial elements of the framework (click here) that will serve as the scaffolding structure for what will be created on The Mountain. I encourage you to take advantage of the early enrollment discounts. If you know that you’re participating, please sign up early. Help us build the momentum. It puts wind in our sails when we experience the registration process commencing early and building from there. Consider bringing a family member and/or a friend with you. Share the event with someone you love.
In the spirit of thriving, enjoy the remaining weeks of summer,
Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30 years. He is a gifted therapist and master facilitator for the experiential journey that unfolds during his counseling sessions and workshops. Dr. J is a skilled and seasoned psychotherapist who has the sensibilities of a wisdom teacher. He provides a safe space for freedom of expression in accessing one’s pain while fostering transformation, personal expansion and spiritual growth. Click here to visit www.DrStephenJohnson.com
Dr. Johnson is author of "THE SACRED PATH: THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR," an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better men . . . AND for the women who care about them.
The MCLA Wisdom Council honored Dr. J's amazing 30 years of mindful men leadership and mentorship with a special commemorative film that debuted on the mountain at the recent 30th Annual Sacred Path Men's Retreat. Click here to view "The Sacred Path."