I have always been seeking to know more about life, relationships and sexuality, particularly from a male perspective, obviously. However, I’ve discovered that to know about life from a male perspective I must also learn as much as I can from a female perspective.
I was married at twenty four and very soon after we were involved in relationship education programs with Centre Care in Brisbane. In 1978 I completed my training as a Marriage Counsellor and continued to deepen my therapeutic skills in many of the modalities that have arisen over the years. The most significant of these experiences was to spend one month in Virginia US with a most amazing spiritual teacher Paul Solomon, in 1981, learning about Holistic Counselling.Another highlight was in 2002 when I completed Journey Practitioner Training with Brandon Bays and a few years later when I attended a retreat with Byron Katie in the US.
In 1981 I started a non-profit counselling and life skills education centre, which was active for about 12 years. Once again it is alive and well as Being Love Australia Ltd providing the umbrella for the Male Initiative and other activities.
In 1967 I founded an engineering manufacturing business. Now, fifty-four years later, with a team of around 300, it is a national company and a leader in its field. Over the years, with the support of excellent managers, I have been able to remain at the helm of the business and continue my counselling and teaching interests.
My greatest joy in business has been to work beside so many committed and loyal men and women, some of them for over forty years, and to be able to provide a supportive environment for them to develop personally and express their creativity.
Sexuality is a vital aspect of Marriage Counselling and my education in this area was greatly enhanced through the various Tantra and Sexuality workshops I attended over the years. In late 2008 my partner Janet and I first met Diana Richardson and her husband Michael when we attended their Making Love Retreat in Switzerland. We were so impressed with Diana’s teachings that we returned again in July 2011. It was during that visit that Diana agreed to appoint us as teachers of the Making Love Retreat in Australia. More details: www.makingloveretreat.com.au
Why the Male Initiative?
It probably started at age twenty-one while assisting teenage boys at risk with the law and others released from detention. These lads were so confused about what to do with this male energy that could be so damaging to property, other human beings and themselves.
The next influencing factor came in the eighties when I, along with other counsellors, saw the implementation of the domestic violence legislation challenging men to be accountable for abuse to women and children.
We worked in pairs to run Anger Management programs. This challenged me to come to terms with the violence I had experienced as a boy from my father and a school teacher. Also it reminded me of the abuse I saw my mother experience. What was most difficult was to accept that I myself had been physically abusive to my two older children.
In the process of working with the men I felt great compassion as I came to understand the multigenerational influences that we have to deal with.
Also, what I understand now is that we, as men, have this powerful dynamic energy within us. It is so powerful that it can create the spark of new life. When our beliefs are not in harmony with our true nature, we produce emotions that have the potential to cause this dynamic energy to get out of hand bringing pain to ourselves and others.
When we can live in harmony with our true nature, we create an emotionally safe environment for women and children so that joy and love can flourish.
So, the question that often arises for men is, “What does it take to be a man in relationship with a woman without compromising myself or my innate masculinity?” The Male Initiative provides the opportunity to explore this question.