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"Not every successful man is a good father. But every good father is a successful man." R. Duvall

To A Child Love Is Spelled T-I-M-E
Bronze Bow Publishing

"To become a father is not difficult, but to be a father is." Unknown

"Adventure isn't hanging on a rope on the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles of life - facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown, and in the process, discovering our own unique potential." John Amatt.

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Welcome to the Blog of Fathering Adventures

G’day, my name is Darren Lewis, I am the founder, facilitator, and fatherhood coach at ‘Fathering Adventures’.

What would you have loved to experience with your Dad? What would you have wanted to receive from, or hear from him? Offer those things to your son now.

Upcoming Adventure Dates.

Saturday
Nov122011

Courageous - Honor Begins At Home

I don't get to the movies nearly as often as I would like, but this week, I've gone twice... and to the same movie no less. On Thursday 10th November 2011, the movie "Courageous" opened in cinemas throughout Australia. From all I had seen and read, I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed. On Thursday evening, I took my two eldest sons... my eldest son Brandon (17 years) to my Left, and my second eldest son Isaac (15 years) to my right. The following morning I took my wife Melissa. We all loved watching "Courageous" and discussing it as a family afterwards.

So what did we love about "Courageous"? Well first and foremost the story. There's not too many movies you can take your family to these days, that have a storyline quite as compelling, and containing such noble and honourable themes, as "Courageous" does. And speaking about compelling... the first time I watched it, I expected that the movie must have only gone for approximately 90 or 100 minutes, because it flew by so quickly... but when I looked down at my watch, I realised that it had gone for over 2 hours, and not once did I get restless during the movie.

And of course I loved the themes! This is what makes me most come alive... raising the awareness of the destructive nature of "fatherlessness"... or absent fathering... even when Dad is still in the home... upon our children, upon our families, upon our society. And those responsible for "Courageous" did it so well... creatively through the use of a great story and a diverse range of great characters. It spoke into the issues typically not addressed in our society today... of how a boy becomes a man, and what a real man is. It spoke about rejecting passivity, accepting responsibility, and leading couragously... those attributes that define a real man. It addressed men and families who were married, single Dads, absent Dads, fathering sons, and fathering daughters, the importance of ceremony, unemployment & disappointment, loss & grief, healing & life, and the testing of integrity.

And there were times where I wondered which genre the movie best fitted. There was action, there was drama, there was laughter, there were tears, there was more laughter, more tears, more laughter yet again, and still more action, not to mention a stirring, powerful, inspirational call-to-action at the end.

So I encourage you men of courage... go and see this movie whilst it is still in cinemas across Australia. At present, the only guarantee is until next Wednesday 16th November. Rise up and tell others to go and see the movie. Rise up and courageously initiate living life alongside other men who have the heart and resolve to be the man, husband, and father you desire to be. That kind of life is not a life that any man can achieve on his own. Live Courageously!

Thursday
Nov102011

Ceremony in the Process of Initiation

In many cultures throughout history, a teenage boy is taken through some type of ritual to mark his official passage into manhood. I believe one of the greatest tragedies of Western culture today is the absence of this type of ceremony.”  Dr Robert Lewis (Author) from his best-selling book, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”

Every knight remembers his dubbing as the first day of his existence.”  Georges Duby (French, influential Medieval Historian, specializing in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages)

Ceremony marks the transition from one season to another. It says powerfully, forcefully, and regally, “From this point forward, life is going to be different!”

The most incredible man I’ve ever met would have to be Dr Robert Lewis. He is a man who has lived well. He has lived a life of great strength and courage, honour and integrity. He’s been like a father to me... a mentor... and I’m honoured to call him a friend. In Robert’s best-selling book, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”... he lists four common characteristics that every good ceremony possesses. I felt it important to share them here...

  1. Memorable ceremonies are costly. The more time, thought, planning, effort, and money you give to a celebration, the more memorable it will be. Memorability  grows in proportion to cost. The more you give, the greater the impact.
  2. Memorable ceremonies ascribe value. By setting aside time, making an effort, spending money, and employing meaningful ceremony, we declare the high value of an individual. Effective ceremony says, you are important! And this moment is important!
  3. Memorable ceremonies employ symbols.
  4. Memorable ceremonies empower a life with vision.

One of my personal favourite moments from each of our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures, and our 4 Night Father-Son Adventures, would have to be the Initiation Ceremony on the final evening. The look upon the face of every son who kneels before his father, as he listens intently to what it is his father is calling him out of (boyhood), and up and into (the higher ground of authentic manhood), is simply priceless. Their eyes are always as wide as saucers. It is a moment in that young man’s life’s journey that he will never forget, for as long as he lives. The culmination of a week of adventure & fun, and training & instruction, alongside his Dad or significant male other, within a community of men... sealed by a ceremony. Now that’s a real process of initiation in action.

You can find a list of dates for all of our upcoming 4 and 5 Night Father-Son Adventures, and all of our Father-Son and Father-Daughter Adventure Weekends too for that matter... here... http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/upcoming-adventures/ . And you can read more testimonials from fathers & sons, and see more photos, from one of our past 5 Night Father-Son Adventures here... http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/blog/2011/7/13/inside-one-of-our-5-night-father-son-adventures.html . And finally, you can watch our short video in the form of a movie trailer here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y_hM88u3ag .

For those of us who are married... we’ve experienced first-hand the power and weightiness of ceremony and celebration. But how many of you have experienced such a ceremony and celebration when it came to your journey to become a man? We’d love to hear from you.

 

Tuesday
Nov012011

Our Freshly Released Trailer Video... A Must See and a Must Share

Finally... after years of facilitating Father-Son and Father-Daughter Adventures around the Nation... we've finally been able to release a Promotional Video in the form of a theatrical trailer... which provides a glimpse of what unfolds during one of our adventures.

Please forward on a link of this video to others, and please share it on your website, blog site, and social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc.

My desire is that it would stir the hearts of men and women alike around the world, and that they would be moved to take action.

Thanks for playing your crucial role in the influencing of this generation of fathers and their relationships, and the generations to come.

Please enjoy, and please share your thoughts here!


Thursday
Oct272011

“Testing & Challenging in the Outdoors” in the Process of Initiation

There are some things that words cannot teach. Reading something is not the same as living it, or learning it. By reading something in a book, you may be fooled into thinking ‘I know that’. And so fail to take the journey or have the experiences that actually get you there. … For thousands of years, these secrets had to be earned, by passing through physical ordeals, fasting, vigils, or deeds of courage.  Steve Biddulph (Australian Psychologist & Author) from his most recent book, “The New Manhood”

It’s one thing to be told you have what it takes. It’s another thing altogether to discover that you do, through some trial brought up in an adventure. … It reveals to you what you are made of and writes the lesson on your heart. For masculine initiation is not a spectator sport. It is something that must be entered into.”  John Eldredge (Author) from his book “The Way of the Wild Heart”

My last blog entry emphasized the importance of “Training and Instruction in the Process of Initiation.” It’s true… it’s essential… but just as importantly, a boy, a young man, and even a mature-age man, also needs to be tested and challenged in the outdoors… in adventure.

The late French Author and Nobel Prize winner, Andre Gide, expressed this truth…It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” How many men today truly know themselves… truly know deep within their innermost beings that they are in fact real men… that they have what it takes to come through in any given situation that requires them to, e.g. fighting for the hearts of their wives and or children, or fighting for a cause greater than themselves? Too few in my experience. Why? Because too few today risk being tested and challenged. Too few have experienced a genuine process of initiation.

I love the words of Steve Biddulph I quoted earlier…There are some things that words cannot teach. Reading something is not the same as living it, or learning it. By reading something in a book, you may be fooled into thinking ‘I know that’. And so fail to take the journey or have the experiences that actually get you there.“ How true is that of most people today. We read books, we watch instruction videos, we attend conferences and seminars, and whilst many of those things may be helpful, they can only assist us in taking part of the journey.

An ancient Chinese proverb reveals the same truth… “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.” We need to understand this. We need to experience things that take us out of our comfort zones… to be in situations that we cannot control, allowing ourselves to be unsettled… so that our deepest fears are revealed, faced, and overcome. We as men need to be initiated as men. Our families and our world need us to be initiated as men… to engage in the process of initiation, which should always include testing and challenging, the outdoors, and adventure.

I invite you to share some of the lessons you’ve learnt through adventure, and in the outdoors, here. And what are some of the ways that you’ve been tested and challenged in the past?

Thursday
Oct132011

"Training & Instruction" in the Process of Initiation

“The thing we have lost, the ingredient we men ourselves seem to lack, is the inner secrets, the teachings for becoming a strong and solid man.”  Steve Biddulph (Australian psychologist and author) from his most recent book, “The New Manhood”

“Traditionally, 2 things were done to help young men into adulthood. First, they were ‘taken on’ and mentored into adulthood by one or more men who cared about them and taught them important skills for living. And second, at certain stages of this mentoring process, the young men were taken away by the community of older men and “initiated”. This meant being put through some serious growing up processes, including testing, sacred teaching, & new responsibilities.”  Steve Biddulph (Australian psychologist & author) from his book “Raising Boys”

What does it mean to be a real man? It’s a great question! And it’s a question that I myself never had an answer to… until I was 29 years of age… after being married for more than eight years, and having fathered 3 sons at the time. I, like many men, never had a father who prepared me, taught me, instructed me, or trained me in the ways of authentic manhood. In fairness, my Dad, like most other Dads, never had a father himself who provided such things to him, and no man can give what he does not have.

There’s a scene in the movie “Secondhand Lions” where a gang of youths (unfathered and uninitiated young men) encounter a real man… the character of Hub McCann, played by Robert Duvall. I don’t want to give anything away in regards to such a powerful scene, but a few scenes later, Hubb McCann, having earned the right to speak into the lives of those young men, engages them in what seems to be quite a passionate monologue… though the viewer doesn’t get to hear what he’s saying. Looking on from a distance is Hub’s younger brother Garth, played by Michael Caine, and their 14 year old great nephew Walter, played by Haley Joel Osment. Here’s the dialogue that goes on between Walter and Garth…

Walter – What’s he saying to them?

Garth – “He’s giving them his ‘What every boy needs to know about being a man’ speech. A lot of men have heard that speech over the years. A lot of men.

Oh how I wish that were true. That a lot of men would have heard the ‘What every boy needs to know about being a man’ speech. The truth is… very few have heard such a speech. Very few know what it means to be a real man. Very few know what a real man does. Very few know how a real man treats others. Very few know what a real man devotes his time to… what a real man is prepared to live for, and what a real man is prepared to die for. Very few.



The good news is that change is afoot.
Part of what fathers and their sons (ages 13 and above) receive during our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures and 4 Night Father-Son Adventures, is just that… training, instruction, imparting, equipping, and empowering. No-one leaves our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures or our 4 Night Father-Son Adventures, without an answer to the question, What does it mean to be a real man?”. Fathers and sons alike are initiated over the 4 or 5 Nights / 5 or 6 Days, and things for them and their relationships are for the most-part, never the same again.

Our 4 and 5 Night Father-Son Adventures can tend to fill quickly, so please register now to avoid disappointment.
If you’d like to see more photos and read more testimonials from the sons and fathers at our most recent 5 Night Father-Son Adventures, than follow the following web-link here… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/blog/2011/7/13/inside-one-of-our-5-night-father-son-adventures.html .

I hope to see you and your son there.

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