By Jim Selman | Bio
I am spending a few days with my best
friends—11 guys who get together a couple of times a year to share our
experience of our lives and support each other through difficult times
or to celebrate accomplishments. We usually meet at Vince’s farm at
least once a year. It is a magnificent property in Western New Jersey
with geese, chickens, horses, a couple of llamas and lots of deer on a
rolling green framing a revolutionary era stone house and two imposing
We are all more or less in our sixties with one younger and one older. We are all in business or retired and we’ve all succeeded by most standards. Aside from lots of laughter and a few tears, we spend a lot of time listening to each other. The space we create for each other is one of unconditional love and respect, which generally allows us to express ourselves in ways in which we don’t normally have the opportunity. We are never judgmental, and whatever ‘coaching’ we can offer to each other is in a context of unconditional love.
Many of us are working on various projects together throughout the year, but some of us only connect in person when we meet together as a group. We all know that we’re ‘for’ each other and don’t have a doubt that whatever we might need is there if requested. Our conversations address every aspect of our lives. We’ve been through births and deaths of family and loved ones, career crises, big victories and emotional traumas. We’ve engaged in projects to take on things we care about and to contribute where we can.
This has been going on for seven years: our group has grown a bit and we’ve lost one fellow that didn’t want to continue. There are lots of clubs and other ‘men’s groups’ that are usually organized around camraderie, having fun, sports or ‘recovery’. This is the only one I know that is organized around just ‘being’ together without any intention other than a deep commitment to each others’ lives and wellbeing.
I think I could speak for all of us in saying that my life is not only richer because of these relationships, but also who I am would not be the same without them. Growing older is a lot more interesting and satisfying with true friends who are willing to be vulnerable and authentic with each other on a regular basis.
© 2008 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.