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EP26: Why You Should Join a Men's Group - Solo episode

"I had been part of other men's groups and men's retreats over the years and learned from those experiences just how much was there for me, how much there was in being in conversation with a bunch of other guys about emptying ourselves out, instead of building ourselves up." - Jim Young

On today’s solo episode of Expansive Intimacy, I take some time to read from the ancient Chinese philosophical text the Tao Te Ching, which I was introduced to by the leader of the first men’s group I ever attended.

There's a passage in the book that explains that, much like a house has four walls but its usefulness lies in the space inside it, the value of a person is measured by the soul. That metaphor speaks strongly to my experience of working in men's groups, as both a participant and a leader, over the past 12 years.

Like so many of you, I have often attempted to quantify my value using numbers and metrics and other tangible measures of worth. Because of that I was eager to prove my worth in the first men’s group meeting I ever attended. I felt like I needed to be ready to show what I could do.

It didn't take long for me to realize that it was my ability to be open to listening and learning, to stay present, to be open--that's what mattered most. Said differently, it is when I was ready to be empty that I had the most to offer.

A dozen years later, I'm no longer reluctant to take the first step to connect with other men in ways that create profound meaning for each of us.

And while I almost never offer advice to strangers, I encourage any man reading this to join a men's group of your own. I am pretty sure that it will fill you up, just like it's done for me.


"I think one of the things that I tend to get stuck on is measuring myself by some number, by some measure of worth that I think can be quantified and recognized." (5:22 | Jim)
“I wanted to show up and let people know what I was and what I could do in order to prove myself. And it ended up not mattering. What really mattered was that I was just myself, and that I was able to be open and willing to learn, willing to share, and willing to listen.” (6:09 | Jim)
"It's not even a nice-to-have. I think it's crucial for men to be in conversations with other men where they get to show their cards and they get to do that in a way where they're not going to be judged, where they're going to be supported, where they're going to be seen for the struggles that they have." (13:25 | Jim)
"Expansive intimacy is a tool set for men to navigate this modern world in a way that they can thrive and their relationships can thrive and all the people around them can thrive and their organizations can thrive." (13:49 | Jim)
"This is where men get resourced and supported and can come out of the counting type of self worth stories that we tell ourselves." (14:45 | Jim)

If you are ready to join a men's group, but don't know where to start, here are a few great resources to check out:


If you like what we're talking about on the show, would you consider sharing it with someone important in your life who might also appreciate it?

I'd also love it if you would rate, comment, and subscribe to Expansive Intimacy on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.


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