I was recently driving through Northwest Wisconsin en route to Minnesota, where I would meet with the three other Mentoring Men founders for a weekend of deep relating with one another and to celebrate what we’ve created while envisioning where the Mentoring Men community is headed.

I had set out early that crisp, clear autumn morning, eager to see these close brothers and discover where our weekend would lead us. I had six more hours to go on a sixteen-hour drive I had begun the prior day.

Often I enjoy peaceful solitude and reflection when driving since I get few long durations of such in my day-to-day life. However, sometimes, I like to reflect by losing myself in music that feels like it matches my inner dialog.

This morning, my inner dialog was expansive and open-hearted as I reflected on the global community of men we’ve assembled around four important virtues: Unconditional High Regard, Ownership, Self-Reliance, and Brotherhood.

My morning music choices were quirky and diverse on my trip as I allowed songs to pop into my awareness that seemed to fit the occasion.

The old song hit me in a new way.

One of the first songs to float to the surface as I encountered the glorious dance of sunshine on the rolling countryside was “Closer to Heart” by Rush, one of my favorite bands from my growing-up years.

Here’s the official video from Closer To The Heart. Yeah, I know. I’m old.

I’ve listened to this song thousands of times, but this time, I was struck by how this anthem from my youth so closely matched the community we’d built.

Who knows, maybe that is the power and influence of songs in our life.

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart

Songwriters: Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart / Peter Talbot
Closer To The Heart lyrics © Ole Core Music Publishing, Anthem Core Music Publishing

High places? Are you kidding?!

I’m under no impression that forming a community of a few hundred men on Mentoring Men is the “high places” Rush had in mind in this first verse of their song. Nevertheless, my co-founders and I consider it a “high place” to stand with a man in the most painful and vulnerable moments of his adult life. Moments when he seeks to sort through the rubble of a life he’s spent years building and now feels in ruins.

That is a high place because what happens next for that man creates consequences that ripple outward for the rest of his days, the lives of his wife, children, their eventual families, and so on. The restoration and wholeness we guide men to matters because it changes things for the better.

As I pondered this, I felt a simultaneous sense of pride, sobriety, and inspiration, as I pondered that we, those guiding these heroic men through such times, truly must be the ones who start to ” mold a new reality” or the same sad realities of devastated men, families, and communities, will continue unabated.

A deep sense of satisfaction, as I thought Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neal Peart would be proud of us. I realized that we were indeed molding a new reality in the hearts and lives of men and those they love and, in doing so, slowly transforming society.

Transforming society into what?

A society of men living farther from their ego and “Closer to the heart.” While I am certain Rush didn’t have my men’s community in mind, I’m confident they had in mind the spirit behind it.

Let me tell you why.

The blacksmith and the artist
Reflect it in their art
They forge their creativity
Closer to the heart

Songwriters: Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart / Peter Talbot
Closer To The Heart lyrics © Ole Core Music Publishing, Anthem Core Music Publishing

We’ve created a community for men to forge the lives they want

We believe that the deep desire to create something is fundamental to men’s hearts. To expand, multiply, and make good things in the world.

Men are born with this innate ability and desire to forge. The heart of man is artistic.

Unfortunately, once little boys discover shame and begin to create with their brains the version of their “Self” they think others will approve of and love, they quiet their hearts as they follow the neurotic leadership of their ego into adulthood.

These men get married and work hard to be faithful husbands, providers, achievers, and more – all while gushing their hearts and living with increasing amounts of fear, anxiety, insecurity, and more.

One moment they’re building a family, and in what seems like a flash, they’re suddenly looking at a spouse full of contempt, a bitter stonewalling wife, or a separation agreement or divorce papers that were just served to them by surprise.

What happened? How did men get from hearts that create and forge to hearts that hurt as families break?

Here’s what happened: Men lose sight. They forget that they’re heroes and start living small lives of trying to make sure others are happy, bills are paid, and lawns are mowed.

What turns all that around? Men that will remind a man that he was born for greatness, not just to live out his days as a taxi service, security guard, cash machine, and handyman. To live differently as a hero, men must be reawakened to their hearts where they’ll find the hero is alive and well.

And that is precisely what my community help men experience in our Renewed Masculine Man experience.

We help men become the heroes they’ve always longed to be, surrounded by the kind of men they’d long since lost hope could guide them there.

Philosophers and ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart

Songwriters: Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart / Peter Talbot
Closer To The Heart lyrics © Ole Core Music Publishing, Anthem Core Music Publishing

A community not based on smarts but by heart.

Our community is filled with diverse men with really only one thing in common; the painful experiences of their lives led them to look for a better way.

From the grease-covered hands of the small engine mechanic (“the ploughman” to the more manicured hands of educators and surgeons, our community is filled with men with different-sized intelligent but same-sized hearts. No man is there to impress another; each man knows his part.

No matter their education or social status, every man in our community is there to “sow a new mentality.” But to do so, they must abandon the bankrupt ways they learned to create the life they want.

This new and deeper way is unlike others. It’s not like life as they’ve been living it. One where their value was based on achieving more education, more money, younger women, larger houses, and endless striving didn’t work.

Something else is needed. Something more heroic. Something closer to the heart.

You can be the captain
And I will draw the chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the heart

Songwriters: Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart / Peter Talbot
Closer To The Heart lyrics © Ole Core Music Publishing, Anthem Core Music Publishing

A community that knows the way; and is showing other men how to sail.

For a man to truly live a great life, he must be the captain of his own ship. Our community honors this with our four key virtues that insist that he is the owner and leader of his life.

However, a man that wishes to lead his life well must have a good map and a solid band of brothers offering support and guidance. That’s where we come in. We’ve “drawn the chart” to life as a wholehearted man.

We’re eager to share the experience we gained on a journey that took us years, pain, and toil to discover and sail ourselves.

We’ve literally “drawn the chart” since then and created a community and a deeply personal, highly-relational group mentoring program that is all about a way of living life closer to the heart.

We’re eager to share our chart if you are ready to sail into a better destiny.

Ready for an experience that is closer to your heart?

Need to talk about it one-on-one first? Schedule your FREE Closer to Heart Clarity Call, click here.

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