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Posted By Opening the Heart

I'd like to tell you about my men's book club. First, it's all men, but you could probably tell that already. The fact that it's all men is, actually, more interesting to me than the fact that it's a book club. We meet every six weeks or so (depending on the number of pages- I'm probably the slowest reader) at someone's house. We share some trail mix and store bought cookies and diet coke. We talk about the book, and we go home. There are a lot of us, about 16 men, so there are usually 10-12 of us who come for any one week. I've been a part of this group for at least 15 years.

To give you a better flavor of who we are, I'll tell you a true story about our meeting 6 months ago. After the meeting ended, I walked out with my friend, Paul, and I gestured to the two guys walking out ahead of us and I whispered "Paul, do you know the names of those two guys?" He said "I don't have a clue". I said "Paul, they've been coming to book club for at least two years!" He said "Pathetic, isn't it." And we each got in our own car and drove home.

My wife belongs to a women's book club. One Sunday it was held at our house and I was out doing an errand with my daughter, Abby. As we approached our house, I said to her "I want you to notice something when we get home." She didn't notice anything unusual so I helped educate her about the difference between a men's book club and a women's book club. First, there were three cars in front of our house. In other words, Women Carpool! If we have 12 men at a meeting, you will see 12 cars parked out front. Second difference: women dine, men eat trail mix! Each woman brings food - not store-bought - homecooked! Third difference: women may or may not talk about the book! They connect and catch up on each others' lives and their children, and, if time allows, they'll talk about the book.

So, why am I telling you about my men's book club? Maybe, because I just returned this past weekend from leading an Opening the Heart workshop at Omega in Rhinebeck, N.Y. where the men were outnumbered by the women 4 to 1. Sometimes it's 2:1, sometimes 3:1- 4:1 is not unusual. And I give these men so much credit for showing up and doing this work. I think it's fairly easy in our culture for a man to be a warrior- but not so easy to be a loving warrior. And I think about all the men who would never, ever, come to a Heart Workshop- and who might always prefer trail mix to a connection over a home-cooked meal,- and who will always drive home alone.

With Love and Respect, Jon