Why Men Need Safe Spaces to Explore Vulnerability

Interview by
Dr. Chad Prevost
Dr. Shelley Prevost
Published on
May 6, 2024

In this episode

Today's conversation centers around the importance of addressing stigmas associated with men's mental health and the need for supportive resources and community engagement. Chad and friend of the show, James Dawson, emphasize the interconnectedness of mental health and wellness, and share their experiences with men's mental health retreats and breathwork practices. They discuss the evolution of masculinity and the need for men to reconnect with emotions and vulnerability, and highlight the importance of creating safe spaces for this reconnection to occur.

High Notes:

Mental health and healing through reconnection with oneself and ancestors.

  • James' experience at a men's mental health retreat, highlighting the importance of addressing underlying issues.
  • Intentional gathering, emphasizing the importance of gratitude and ancestral connection.

Men's retreat with breathwork, Tai Chi, and meditation.

  • The leaders of the retreat emphasized that they were not a religious group, but the breathwork and meditations addressed the spiritual realm.
  • James describes experiencing a profound spiritual transformation during a 30-minute breathwork session in sensory deprivation, including leaving their physical body and experiencing a death and rebirth process.
  • The power of collective breathwork in a group setting, imagining a camera that could capture their collective breath and the transformative experiences that occurred.
  • Tai Chi and breathwork retreat that focused on inviting participants to move their energy and attention towards their heart, rather than just their mind or body.

Men's healing and growth through meditation and connection.

  • Doing cold plunges every morning, feeling resilient and empowered after facing the pain of the cold water.
  • Reconnecting with inner child through ancestral meditation and journaling.
  • James's app, H E A R E, offers daily check-ins, weekly meditations, and ongoing support for men's healing and growth.

Men's emotional intelligence and reconnection.

  • Men's groups for personal growth and connection, and the emotional intelligence, vulnerability, and the political climate.
  • The importance of reconnecting with one's inner self and exploring the divine masculine and feminine archetypes.
  • The group shares personal experiences and insights on how to create a more connected and vulnerable atmosphere for men, free from toxic masculinity.

Confronting pain and trauma for personal growth.

  • New research on the impact of beliefs on stress, suggesting that recognizing the potential good in stress can lead to positive bodily changes.
  • James shares their belief that confronting challenges leads to growth and regeneration.
  • Chad agrees, citing the pandemic and shift to remote work as contributing factors.

Masculinity, comfort, and the importance of vulnerability.

  • The hosts discuss the importance of examining our defense mechanisms and projecting archetypes in order to heal and grow, rather than simply perpetuating societal norms.
  • The limitations of traditional masculinity ideals and the importance of empathy and love.

Burgers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with recommendations and insights.

Find out more about Big Self School:

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Learn more about the May 11, 2024 event: Men's Mental Health Matters

Brandon Clift from The ManKind Project and Men Who Chatt - Community For Chattanooga Men, Sydney Guerrette from Be The Change Youth Initiative and @James Woods from Dads Making a Difference - A First Things First Program.

Register here.

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Our Discussion

Guest Speakers

James Dawson