Home > Feelings by Dr. Kevin Thurston > My Recovery: A Physical and Spiritual Journey

My Recovery: A Physical and Spiritual Journey

Dr. Kevin Thurston is in.

Dr. Kevin Thurston

Dr. Kevin Thurston is an expert on men’s feelings.

Much more was broken than just my wrist when I slipped on that ice.  Much more.

And that’s why I attended a Warrior Training Adventure.

It was a group of about 30 men. In line with our commitment to ecological awareness, we were asked to utilize alternative methods of transportation to the training site. I rolled myself there in a wagon.

I was guided on my adventure by a bearded man in a sweater vest named Keith. Keith was not aware of my expertise on the subject matter of men’s feelings and, therefore, I had trouble respecting his methods. Nevertheless, other men may find some of the activities useful in working through some of their own physical or spiritual “fractures”.


The Separation: This is about moving away from the familiar. Keith elected to go with team-building exercises and a low ropes course (methods which are now generally regarded as antiquated) as well as indoor group exercises wherein the modern male psyche is purged of accountability, leadership, confrontation and competition. Dinner consisted of a light rice dish and some gelatin.


The Long Descent: An exploration of authentic male emotion, conflict, crying, purpose, and healthy restrained power. Keith elected to revisit the horrors of our individual lives (we went over time during this segment as I found that I couldn’t stop talking) and building connections to the challenges ahead. Lunch, which consisted of roughly-cut meats and uncooked roots, was hidden in the woods.

The Ordeal: A challenge to embrace full authentic masculinity, to step into raw power, and to experience the full potential of mature manhood. Keith elected to go with the “round cushion hunt”– a recreation of primal aggression and war (with the cushions replacing weapons) and we split into teams. Unfortunately, Keith gave me a bright orange pintuck cushion with button tufts that could be easily seen in the forest. I was captured almost immediately.

The Initiation: Accepting responsibility as a man among men. Exploration of group dynamics, diversity, more crying and similarity. A test of solidarity and trust (Keith elected to go with the hackneyed “falling into each other’s arms” exercise which I disagreed with). I also voiced my complaint about the round cushion hunt. As punishment, I was kept out of the first circle of men. Later, I wrote an obscene poem about Keith on a bathroom stall which I now regret.


The Integration: An exploration of legacy, connection, fear, purpose, relationships and intention. Understanding our connections to nature and men and feelings. All of which, I was unable to participate in because Keith found out about the poem.

The Joyous Ceremony: A feast of victory held on some picnic tables. I sat off on my own. Nevertheless, the fierce and rigorous self-examination has been beneficial to me. My wrist feels better and my feelings feel better.

We will be incorporating some of these methods in our next FEELINGS, NOW! session.

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