Getting to a NWTA is actually fairly easy as they’re offered all over Australia – and the world. You can find out dates and begin the registration process in about 30 seconds. But what usually happens in the process of getting there is The Dance. One step forward, two back.
The point we’re trying to make about The Dance is that it’s normal. It might even be necessary… A man shouldn’t enter the change process lightly. When we approach change of any kind, one part of us says optimistically, “Maybe I’ll change,” and another part freezes and says, “Oh, oh. . . Maybe I’ll change.” This is true whether it is a job change, moving in with a domestic partner, or buying a house. Change is serious business. If you’re doing The Dance, this means that you’re taking the process seriously. It means that all parts of you have their eyes wide open.
Entering the weekend is jumping into the unknown. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no syllabus, no schedule circulated in advance. So the dance you do when you’re deciding about going to a weekend is the same dance you do when you’re entering the unknown related to any change in your life.
You may or may not know a man who has gone through the weekend. If you do, he may be enthusiastic, but is generally vague about what happens. One thing I guarantee, though. You will be challenged-physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and personally. (Yup, a lot of adverbs). Another unknown is this: how will you respond to the challenges? Will you isolate yourself? Lie to yourself and everyone else? Blow up? Freeze up? Screw up? Open up? Connect? Grow?
Doing the weekend is an adventure. No, you haven’t done this before. After you’re done dancing, if you decide to do it, you may have a hard time explaining to the significant people in your life what you’re doing and why. You may have a hard time explaining it to yourself, like Edmund Hillary did when he made that feeble statement about Everest: “because it’s there.” But you know, as you stand at the foot of the mountain in your life, that there is something which demands that it be climbed–that there is something about that one peak that will orient things and won’t let you rest. No, the weekend won’t climb the mountain for you. That’s your life and your job. But it may help you name the mountain, it may help you begin to hear its insistent whispering.