As we approach Father’s Day, our team was reflecting and sharing about our fathers…. Having lost my father when I was seven, this holiday has long been a little bittersweet for me. As we talked, we realized that most of us grew up wishing we had a different, deeper relationship with our father. Many of us had fathers who abandoned our families either physically — by leaving or being largely absent — or emotionally, remembering our fathers as being distant, remote and unavailable.
Our fathers — the Baby Boomer generation of men — were socialized to believe being a provider is paramount, much to the extreme cost to the emotional wellness of their family and themselves. Rather than allow themselves to feel, many of them turned to workaholism, developed an alcohol dependency, suffered from anxiety, depression and addiction or abused their families. Without the skills to access, feel and express the full range of human emotion, sadly many of our fathers only felt safe expressing anger in response to vulnerability, insecurity or their perceived lack of control over their lives. Others kept a “safe” distance, always away, always working. Raising a generation of children with this as a model, it’s vital to our collective healing and evolution that we begin by healing and evolving our own individual hearts.
All this month we’re focusing on our Fourth Chakra — our Heart Chakra — at our Soulstice studios. This is the energy of our heart-space and, when in balance, allows us to give and receive love without restriction, express empathy, feel compassion and catalyze caring action. Due to socialization, parenting, and media messaging men seem to have more challenges with this chakra more than any other… Underneath it all, men are emotional beings — lionhearted, devoted, well-intentioned — but many struggle to find a balance between their “thinking minds” and “feeling hearts.”
When we thought about the most meaningful gift we could give our fathers this year, it was a gift with heart. One that holds the promise of alignment and balance between the head and the heart, helps him get into his body and feelings, and gives him he potential for a more emotionally expansive experience of life and relationships.
Here are our favorites:
Massage + Meditation Classes: Give him the gift of relaxation! Relaxing the body and mind is a wonderful way to access the practices that lead to self-care, openness and freedom for the body and mind…. Massage Therapy provides amazingly effective physical benefits (better sleep, greater flexibility, injury prevention) but it also opens your heart, relaxes your nervous system and brings a sense of peace to your spirit. Give him the Gift of a Soulstice Gift Card (HERE) and we’ll help him create the perfect massage or class package.
Cacao Ceremony + Journey: Plant Medicine is ever-increasing in popularity as an effective means to bring about stress relief, invite restful sleep and open our heartspace. Twice every month, Nicole Gnutzman of Soulscape Coaching guides a beautiful Cacao Medicine Journey for our community at Soulstice. In a recent share, Nicole describes the unique benefits of Cacao for men; please read more HERE. Beginners to plant medicine are invited & welcome! Give the special man in your life this gift on Saturday June 15th at 4PM — this is a wonderful experience to share together! For information and registration, please click HERE.
Evryman Retreat: We adore the powerful work that Dan Doty has created with Evryman — a fast-growing nationwide movement of inspired men’s groups and wilderness retreats. I had the great fortune to witness one of these groups in action, and it was one of the most profound things I’ve ever seen. Witnessing men fluently and fearlessly able to express their feelings, fears and dreams among each other was incredibly touching and inspiring. This is possible for EVERY man, and men who do this work will change our world. Lest you think this is some weird new-agey thing, trust me when I say this group is as Absolute Dude as it gets. Dan’s stated mission is as simple as it is transformative: to help men to move from their heads into their hearts… to challenge, to change and give a new perspective on what it means to be a Man. Give the man you love the gift that can change his life and relationships for the better — in every way — while enjoying the spectacular outdoors. More HERE.
We wish all of you a Father’s Day full of connection and fond memories, and celebrate our potential to grow, learn new skills and evolve together!