To the women reading this post, brace yourself for the following comment: It’s not easy being a man!
Take a minute. OK. Breathe. Sit back down. And we can continue.
The North American male lives under a lot of pressure with high expectations when it comes to their role in relationships, an assumed level of strength, decisive behavior and success.
Yes, it’s true! Stop laughing!
The truth is, there isn’t a whole lot of time or space for sensitivity, vulnerability or exploration of feelings when it comes to thriving as a man in our society. That’s where ManTalks, a new Vancouver-based, community-themed speaker series, steps in.
Developed by Connor Beaton, a sales/operations manager for Apple, ManTalks came to be after Beaton’s own personal “rock-bottom” had him bounce back, looking for more truth and support in his life.
Once a world-traveling opera singer, Beaton walked away from the stage to pursue other interests and his life was set adrift, leading to some tough decision making.
“I had made some really poor choices in my relationship and had lied and cheated on the woman I was with at the time,” he explained. “Instead of coming clean I tried to keep lying.
“The problem was,” he continued, “I had been lying to my friends, family and myself about what was happening in my life. I wasn’t living the life I wanted, but I had convinced myself and everyone around me that my life was amazing. I had convinced everyone that I had an amazing career, an amazing partner, had money in the bank and was on the path to huge success. But it was all a lie.”
Beaton went on to explain how he realized he’d lost track of who he was, digging a hole deeper than he could pull himself out of. He eventually made a conscious decision to promise himself two things: “First, I would speak my truth and live it,” he said. “Second, I would make sure that other men didn’t have to face their challenges and darkest moments alone.”
The goal of ManTalks is to create the largest resource “for men looking to live a powerful, authentic and honest life, contributing to the success of others.”
A few ManTalks sessions have already taken place, with participation from more than 100 men and women (pretty sure the women were there on a recon mission). The last one, earlier this month, was focused on fitness, body image and work/life balance. It featured three speakers with different perspectives or stories about how they conquered some extremely vulnerable moments in their own lives, while audience members shared with each other as well.
Starting in January, ManTalks will take place once a month, each with different themes. January will be themed Wealth Mindset, February will be What Women Want (featuring all female speakers), March will be Spirituality, April will be Fatherhood and May will be Masculinity. More info on Mantalks can be found at www.mantalks.ca