The Lone Wolf: White, Past Mid-Life & Angry;
Join Us On The Mountain in 10 Days;
Tom Petty Heartbreaker
Hello Sacred Path MCLA Community,
Late in the day, one week ago Sunday, a 64-year-old Nevada man opened fire on a concert crowd in Las Vegas from his 32nd-floor hotel room. Fifty-nine people were killed and over 500 injured in what's been deemed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Survivors say the ordeal lasted around 15 minutes. The man shot himself as police were entering his room.
Post 9/11 America was once again stunned by the horror of an unspeakable act that caught us off guard and this time it appears that we have been attacked from inside. And, by one of our own who happens to be a man with no obvious history that as yet explains why he would do such a thing. However, what we know is that he was white, past midlife and angry. What can we learn from this tragedy?
The truth is . . . there's something troubling many of today's men and very troubling to the world when these men are in trouble. Nearly every recent killer has been dubbed a "lone wolf." The term aptly describes a man who lacks a network. It's a man desperate for a support system. And in our "every man for himself" society, we see the violent effects every day. We see it on the roads . . . we see it in business . . . and we damn sure see it in politics.
Jed Diamond and I have been in communication about what occurred in Las Vegas as well as other current world events. He shared the following, “As I told my clients who just left my office who are struggling with their own relationship anger, I think the stress in the world is getting worse. Just like global warming, we can't predict exactly when the next big storm will hit or how much devastation it will bring, but we know as long as we keep heating up the planet, we're in for a rough ride. Likewise, as long as we continue to live out of balance with ourselves, each other, our communities, and our world, we will continue to see violence increasing.”
Jed went on to say, “I believe the work we are doing can go a long way to healing some of the personal, interpersonal, and planetary wounding going on. Healing men is a big part of what will heal us all.”
In another part of the world a men’s community offers a very unique program to help men who are troubled, angry and possibly violent deal with their pain and tendencies to act it out aggressively. See how the Vikings have inspired a way to heal through the creation of a program based on their history.
Our work in the world, the mission of MCLA for the past 30-plus years, is to support men in dealing with their pain, their wounds and their anger and to become their personal best. The theme of our retreat last year focused on the need for community and the benefits that “belonging” can provide.
The theme of our upcoming retreat, less than two weeks from now, is on moving beyond merely surviving to thriving.
I know that survival is much more on the minds of many these days and that we rarely even hear one utter the word “thriving.” It’s like it has no place in our lexicon any more. That’s why we decided to offer a retreat on a theme that would zero in on what it means to live a life beyond just surviving and what it looks like to actually thrive and experience vitality, exuberance and joy.
There’s still time to sign up. If you’ve been contemplating whether this one is for you, I invite and encourage you to join a gathering of mindful men who have grasped the importance of belonging to a men’s community. It does make a difference to have a network of men who are on the path to conscious manhood. We have 55 who are on board right now and we have room for more. Click here to register.
Our hearts go out to all who lost their precious lives a week ago in Las Vegas and to those whose lives will forever more be altered as a result of the trauma that they have sustained. I also want to acknowledge the First Responders and the heroes who put their lives on the line to be of service during the unfolding minutes and hours of the Las Vegas shooting. We believe that whether you are wearing a uniform and have chosen a career as a Firefighter, or in Law Enforcement or in the Military, to some degree we are all first responders. One never knows when we may be called into the line of duty.
We have a very full program with some amazing presenters that will cover a vast array of topics designed to prepare us to deal with whatever comes our way.
As I wind up my message, I want to acknowledge someone for the gift that he gave the world for over 40 years. In the midst of everything that was unfolding late on Sunday we lost another giant in the world of music. There have been several brief tributes this week and we’ve included herewith a very moving tribute video capturing Florida fans bidding farewell to one of their own. Thank you, Tom Petty!
See you on the Mountain!
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 SACRED PATH MEN'S RETREATS" MCLA's Wisdom Council honored Dr. J's amazing 30 years of mindful leadership and mentorship with a special commemorative tribute film. See for yourself the incredible men's work that we do on the mountain.