The Sandpoint Men’s Group (SMG) started February 2005 with 12 men. Their invitations to join came from Owen Marcus whose inspiration came from his years of experience leading groups and from his affiliation with the MandKind Project.
We believe there are three main reasons SMG is so powerful and has had such a dramatic impact on our lives:
- The first is the safety of the container we create and hold men in during every meeting. This container is described more in our guiding principals.
- The second is the quarterly Sweat Lodges that are open to men’s partners and others in our community .
- The third reason is the Healing and Creation Journeys we have refined over the years. The Healing Journey is a gentle process of taking a man back to the origin of what is preventing him from achieving his goals. The Creation Journey moves us forward in connecting to our deepest calling and draws our visions, hopes, and passions into current reality.
The group grew to three circles or sub-groups. In June 2009 several men reformed Sandpoint Men’s Group into SMG 2.0. In 2012 our group was filmed for the documentary About Men. In 2013 we grew again into three circles and reformed as SMG 3.0.
Owen Marcus’ TEDx talk, What 10,000 Years of Progress Cost Men, released at the end of 2015 lays out the need for free men’s groups. The company he formed with other SMG men offer weekend trainings for men. They travel throughout North America training other men how to start and run powerful groups. Owen’s course Emotional Superman provide men with many of the principles and skills that the weekend trainings provide via an online course.
SMG is not therapy; our focus is not pathology, but enhancement. We focus on supporting members in achieving a richer life. There are often times in men’s lives when medication and serious therapy may be needed, the SMG supports that need. We tell these men to consider joining the group when their pharmaceutical treatment is complete.
We ask that when a man joins the group he joins for himself first. The more a man is fully present and fully committed – the more he receives from the group and the group receives from him. A core tenant of the group is feeling and expressing what we feel and want. As simple as this may be, as humans we often struggle with totally showing up. To help each other in this endeavor we ask that the man be emotionally and physically present.
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