48 hours that will change your life forever
When is the last time you spent time with men you trust in a deep way? Sure you watch football together or play a round of golf together. You may even bond. But when was the last time you were real with each other for more than 30 seconds?
Maybe it was in school or the military. If you are like most of us, it wasn’t any time recent. You are the norm. We all default to the superficial conversations. That’s how we were trained.
If you want to ski better, you buy better equipment, get in shape and get instruction. If you want a richer life as a man, you get new tools, learn, and then apply them. If you are smart, you do it in a way that is fun and sustainable.
The tools are simple tools that thousands of years ago were given to boys. Their training was an apprenticeship on how to develop as a powerful man.
The essence of these tools lay dormant in your genome as a man. When you put a group of committed men together with trained facilitation, it is as if some part of you remembers how to be that man you dreamt of being. In a group of men being men, a man starts to wake up what was not allowed to develop.
We got into this because we wanted a new future. Our success, relationships or passion were stalled. We all had achieved what we were supposed to achieve as men, but we knew there had to be more to life. Together in our groups we created a new future for ourselves.
The f2w Experience Men’s Groups developed from years of study and practice honing what makes a group powerful and determining the most effective way to free a man.
Thousands of hours of collective experience show up to form the basis of Free to Win (F2W) team skill set. This ability to immediately create a safe space has men going deep into parts they never felt or expressed – as if they were playing an amazing game of basketball with their buddies.
Owen Marcus – founder of F2W
35 years ago I started my journey to be free. Once I began to be free I wanted to win, so I did post graduate training in any leading edge discipline I could find that would have me win or help someone else win. I was able to study with men and women who literally wrote the books in several arenas. My fascination with finding quick and sustainable ways to win had me teaching employees, colleagues, corporations and the public.
Fifteen years ago I realized I was missing the masculine component, so I dove into all I could discover about being a man. Quickly I realized I had a lot to learn, so I went for it. In part to reinforce my learning I began men’s groups. With these groups I grasped aspects of being a man that were never taught, I quickly started writing about and teaching what I learned.
All this lead to writing the book, Grow Up: A Man’s Guide to Masculine Emotional Intelligence, a blog, presentations at conferences, and a new passion – this business. After working with thousands of clients, students or group members I realized that with the right tools, virtually any one can be free to win.
I have been involved with the Sandpoint Mens Group since 2008. This journey has led to other related paths over the years including trainings through The Garden Company, The Mankind Project, and The Four Winds Society. I am also one of ten men featured in the new film “About Men” that documents a man’s journey in a formal “Men’s Group.”
“Sitting in a Men’s Circle has enhanced my life in a variety of ways, I am more open and aware of my emotional state, I take more vulnerable risks in my life, and I have a powerful sense of belonging.” My passion for what a Men’s Circle experience can do for men has motivated me to facilitate men’s workshops. Over the past two years, I have facilitated workshops with Owen Marcus and Chris Blair. “The experience I receive in Men’s Circle cannot be taught and is even difficult to explain…it is a powerfully unique environment that has to be experienced.”
The men's group was the most surprising, moving and amazing experience. It has changed my life. I was initially asked to go by a friend who had been to a similar meeting in another city. My friend wanted to set up such a group in Chicago. I went because I trusted my friend (not because I felt that I needed—or even wanted to go.)
However, in just two days we set up a safe and warm environment that allowed us to form a brotherhood of friends, a “safety zone” where we were encouraged to express emotions that normally go unexpressed to others, AND unrecognized by ourselves.
These buried emotions have lingering and occasionally dramatic effects that we are unaware of. The amazing part is that facing them, not cognitively, but emotionally allows for a type of processing that promotes real healing. I would not have said I was sick, but I certainly feel healed. And I am grateful
A life not lived
What in your life have you not fully lived? Do you have the relationship you want with your partner? Do you have a partner, assuming that is what you want? Is your career giving back as much as you give it? Do you have a circle of men that have your back?
In you is great potential. How much of it are you living?
Do you give yourself excuses to why you aren’t living that life you dream of having? Do you have the support every man needs to achieve those dreams? Are you alone in your quest to be that man? Or are you solely relying on your partner to be that support?
Are you willing to settle being like you’ve been, like all other men? Are you willing to struggle alone to survive as a man?
Create a new set of genuine friends—a new brotherhood
Rediscover your purpose and passion
Learn how to increase your masculine emotional mastery
Laugh so much it hurts
Experience what it is like to have men watch your back
Be a significant contribution to other men in their process
Living full is much easier than others would have you believe. It is also a lot more fun doing it with a team of other men.
Life can become a team sport. You can have your work as a man by practicing your game with other men. Yes, it can be a workout, and it can be fun.
You know it is a lot more likely you will get up and do it when you are doing it with others. When you have your commitment to them and they are watching your back… and kicking you in the ass when you don’t live up to YOUR standards—you get moving.
What is at risk?
What happens if you don’t step up? Who loses?
You risk living a life that might be what someone else wanted for you. You risk coasting through life taking what is given to you. You risk having your biggest success in life being surviving.
Who else loses? What does your partner get? Or that future partner get? Who do your kids get? What kind of foundation are you building for them?
What's your contribution to the planet?
What is bigger – the fear of failure or your pain of a life not lived?
What is possible?
Knowing what is FULLY possible is difficult if you’ve never seen it or experienced it. Yet some part of you does know there is more. You might not know what exactly it is or how to get it.
Being present with your partner comes naturally once you’ve discovered how to be present with men. Going from a continual adversarial position with your partner to one of exciting polarity transforms your relationship. The spark that was there in the beginning returns. You remember how relating was fun back then.
There are no panaceas. There is showing up in a safe space, taking small risks, getting acknowledged for your courage and relaxing into allowing yourself to accept the win.
Institutional learning will not teach you how to be a man. It will teach you how to be a robot in a factory.
Learning to be a man is like learning to excel at a sport you love. You find a group of men to play with and you play hard. You bump up against them and your limits. You sweat, risk, screw up and occasionally win. Others may beat you, yet you know you played full out and for that you are so appreciative of your own persistence and your team who was there with you. All your games got better. You learned. It was fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Owen. He has a vast knowledge of men's work and was able to work with our group and get us to deepen our experience within the first 10 minutes of our meeting.
Owen knew how to cut through the crap and get to the real essence of what really needed to be expressed in our group and personal dynamics.
We learned tools and ways to navigate into a more powerful and meaning space. Our group feels much stronger after our workshop. I would highly recommend working with Owen
A new model
Unlike other workshops that promise to train men to become “sensitive,” the men of F2W promise to put you onto the path that will allow you to become the man you’ve envisioned.
The type of sharing experienced in thef2w Experience between men creates authentic change. The facilitators quickly ascertain each man’s needs, and they ensure they’re consistently addressed. No man is left behind. Each man has an equal voice. There are no traditional leaders in our retreats. Even the facilitators are all in.
The f2w Experience Men’s Group is a retreat that isn’t like the rest. It’s about the experience of being that man you dreamt of being. For 2Days YOU will deconstruct then rebuild your life as a man.
We will take the science of being a man and help you craft it into the art of being YOUR man.
The f2w Experience isn’t some New Age workshop about learning the latest affirmations. It’s about getting real – it’s about experiencing the power of just being a man.
For 48 hours distractions, excuses, and restrictions are removed. That alone makes showing up powerfully easy. Once you do it with the men of your group… doing in your life gets MUCH easier.
You have NEVER experienced the support, certainly from men that you will experience for these two days. It’s been so long since we have had that support we forgot what it can do for us.
We don’t instruct men in any traditional men’s modalities, but instead, encourage men to create their own work using the principles developed over years of working with men.
Friendships are born out of this process, and it’s common for men to maintain these connections for a lifetime. That’s the power of this retreat.
Throughout the weekend you are encouraged to ask questions and openly communicate. The more you show up, the more you get. We want you to get more than you can image getting.
All types of men enjoy the weekend
Shy men quickly become engaged, and a lifetime of self-limiting behavior evaporates once the safety and confidentiality of the retreat participants is assured.
Angry men discover how to transform the limiting behavior that makes them too risky for anyone to trust.
All that is required is the desire for change. We will provide the tools for that change, and each man becomes a guide for other men.
Men need men
Sitting together and talking about issues with other men is more than hanging out, it’s focused intention and purpose. Absent the distractions of everyday life, men experience a kind of camaraderie they want it in their lives permanently. Working with his new band of brothers allows each man to let go of all the ways he protects, performs and projects.
Each man’s partner, family and career take on a new perspective, based on confidence and a newly discovered competence. Maybe that’s because he’s getting renewed or maybe it’s the new found joy he feels, knowing that more is readily available.
Working with Owen, and I don’t mean to be overly dramatic may have saved my life. And if not physically, certainly emotionally and spiritually.
I am still faced with a lot of financial pressure. And in spite of that I am happier and am enjoying deeper more meaningful relationships in my life. I have been married for 25 years and there were times I thought there was no way this relationship would survive. Not only has it survived it’s the best it has ever been.
Wayne, Cleveland, OH
Men come with one expectation, then discover what is possible.
I am a wander, first by circumstance and now by design. I am 32 and recently moved across the country to pursue my dream of starting a mentoring business. I have been on a path of self-exploration for the better part of a decade and continue to work to allow myself to be a stronger, more patient and open man. I was excited for the chance to attend a weekend men's intensive with Owen to get some direct feedback on how I've been doing.
Going into the weekend, I couldn't say for sure that there was a struggle in my life that I wasn't already well on my way to addressing. I planned to be present for the others who attended and help create a safe space. Not long into the weekend, I was helped to discover that there was a blockage, something I wasn't dealing with, that I had pushed to the side because it wasn't a current concern in my daily life. I realized that because I was willing to take abuse from my older brother, I was allowing this to happen with others. More so, the idea that I had of myself that I was a person who stands up for himself and takes care of himself first was challenged. When I attempted to flee, back down, or minimize its impact, I was confronted by the group and pushed to go deeper, to not hide. In one exercise, I was even able to physically fight my issue and release all of the energy and tension that I had been storing up and pushing aside.
Since the weekend, I have been very aware of times when I enter into a situation with a fear that asking/pushing for what I want will result in retaliation. I have taken a moment in these situations to breathe and orient myself back to the present circumstance and have in almost all cases been successful at speaking my piece. I have found that the retaliation I continue to expect doesn't happen often and when it does, I am prepared to negotiate with an open heart, knowing that I have done what was needed to take care of myself.
I am grateful that this was brought to my focused attention at the time it was. As soon as the weekend ended, I began a new job as a manager, a big step up from only having 3 months earlier graduated from school in my the field of counseling. I have consistently applied what I took away from that weekend in my new position, finding the time to reassure myself that my needs are as important as those I manage. What I have noticed is that by empowering myself, I am empowering those around me. I now can see what a disservice it is to those around me to allow them to get their way at my expense. I am growing quite skilled at being an assertive objector.
Owen's management of the group over the course of the weekend I can only describe as magical. Coming from an academic background in therapeutic group environments, I was in awe of his mastery of many of the skills I had been taught as a clinician without using them in a formal or seemingly intentional way. Owen's tact, vulnerability, and example were just the recipe to create a space that allowed for caring confrontation and rapid growth. As he pointed out many times, we need other men to hold a mirror up to us if we really expect to make strides in our growth. This weekend intensive was my foray into this type of work and I have much excitement about continuing my journey self-exploration now with the help of other men.
Shawn Helvey, Bozeman, MT
The f2w Experience adds to your success
Men may think that doing one of our weekends is for men who are struggling. Sure we get men who are in a significant transition. Yet most of our participants are men who have lives that are working.
As men we see or feel what is missing when we achieve what we wanted. There is always more. Men are now discovering the new more is not material, it is emotional and social. We want deeper and more satisfying relationships. We want to contribute more than giving our money.
As men we want who we are and what we are doing to impact others. Making a difference in another’s life is easy when you are free from the old binds of what you were taught to be. Winning becomes supporting others with whom you are being. A weekend with similar men can launch you on a path of this new success.
Within each of us is the primordial need to be in a tribe. The retreat is every man’s opportunity to feel the joy from being supported by other men, and the deep belly laughs that can only be shared by men who know and trust each other.
We will also be there for you after the retreat. Beyond beginning your own Hero’s Journey we are available to train and support you in creating or participating in your own men’s micro-community, your own men’s group.
The f2w Experience may NOT be for you if
- The status quo is good enough
- Believe being and doing it alone is the way to go
- Unwilling to challenge your assumptions and to not be open to giving new approaches a chance to succeed
- You believe the only way to succeed is to annihilate fear rather than move forward with it
- Living someone else’s life is more important than living yours
- You aren’t willing to stretch yourself in a safe space
- You expect a simple list of instructions on how to be
- You believe the way to change is to be confronted, shamed, or forced
- Note: we will speak to every participant before the retreat. If either you or we feel it’s not the best investment you could make, we will suggest another option for you.
Core PrinciplesMasculine Emotional Intelligence™ – How men’s emotions can be different then women’s Manhood 2.0™ – What limits you is not you, it’s the old paradigm Not bad or broken – You were never taught to be that man you dreamed of being Zero to Hero – From a life that’s not yours to being your own hero Free to Win – Free of what restricts you, you can be your own man Micros – the new men’s group – Connecting to the primordial nature of micro-communities Experience the Brotherhood every man needs – Going beyond doing it alone to having men watch your back Sounds good, but…
Hey, we all are men. We know that as men our tendency is to invest in others before ourselves. One thing our partners often do is to make sure we get our physicals and see the dentist. Many men come to the f2w Experiences because their partner said, “You need to it.”
As smart as we are as men, we often hesitate to take action to move our own life forward in a meaningful way. We will work our asses off to pay for braces for our kids or save for their college. But we procrastinate when it comes to investing in ourselves.
We regularly get men wishing they did one these trainings earlier in their lives, avoiding a failed marriage or a bad career choice. Loss and its grief is bad. Regret from missed opportunity is worse.
If you see the possibility that a two day investment will work – go for it. It should feel scary. Changing your life is always scary. Showing up to a strange place to spend two days with men you don’t know takes courage.
Every man shows up scared. It’s just that their desire for something more didn’t stop them. That is courage – showing up for something without being in control of it.
Details of the f2w Experience Men’s Group
- Registration is limited to 12 men to maintain the power of a men’s group
- We start at 9AM on Saturday morning, so arrive by 8:45
- We end on Sunday between 4 – 5PM
- All meals from Saturday lunch to Sunday lunch are included
- We hold our f2w Experiences at luxury homes usually in resort area
- The participants spend the night in the large home
- Bring what you need to be comfortable
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes
- Set it up so you are free – tell the world you are unavailable for two days
- The tuition is $695. (There is a limited scholarship program and a payment plan available. Please use the contact form below to inquire about more details.)
Develop Your Masculine Vulnerability
Emotional awareness and emotional integrity are key components in every healthy relationship. Fear of vulnerability and lack of trust can prevent men from enjoying the deep emotional connections that are an integral part of every relationship.
- Make a difference in other men’s lives
- Learn what was never taught
- Receive deep support
- Be seen for who you are
- Leave renewed and recommitted
- Discover how empowering it is to share your true self with other men and be supported
Who do you call at 2AM when all hell breaks lose?
When you were a boy, you had best friends. Who are you best friends now? They’re more important now than ever because your challenges as a man can easily overwhelm you. You need and deserve authentic friendships.
The f2w Experience Men’s Group is guided by Owen Marcus and a select group of the senior men of Sandpoint Men’s Group (SMG). These are the same man along with the entire group who are the focus of the first documentary on a men’s group, About Men to be released in the spring of 2014.
Register by clicking the above button or contacting Owen at 208.265.8440 or owen [at] owenmarcus [dot] com.
When you sit with other men who are also being themselves old masks dissolve away. Authenticity naturally shows up, breeding more trust and deep change.
Your ancestral part which remembers what it was like to have a tribe of men comes out. You relax knowing that all the other men are just men. Being vulnerable goes from, “I will never” to “I’m in” – risk taking is fun with a group of men you trust.
You can remember the times you trusted men and how that caused you to stretch. For two days the group will keep building on that trust taking you deeper into releasing what never worked for you. Your group will take you into connecting up with that deep, dormant part that is the seed for a new outrageous future.
Leave with a new future
When you show up as the previous men of our f2w Experience Groups showed up – we can guarantee that your future will be different. It’s not rocket science. It’s being a man.
Men will invest in new sporting equipment, tools or some hobby endeavor… this time, invest in a new future that will reap the returns of a new life.
You could leave with a life that is connected to something more than surviving. You could leave with a deep reconnection to lost places within you. It’s easy to move forward in life when you have your own back and feel inspired.
Your Future Needs You – Give It Two Days
The Healing Journey that Owen Marcus facilitated for me was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. In this safe space I was able to be vulnerable and emotional, and I realized some of the things that have been holding me back, including trauma I can trace back to childhood. I now know that anger, fear and resentment were suppressed and held in my subconscious mind and have been affecting everything I have done in my adult life.
Owen’s gift is his ability to take a man deep. He took me to a place where I externally expressed what had been up to that point an inward struggle. I also witnessed Owen hold space for others who similarly emerged as new men. Owen is a phenomenally talented leader of men and I would recommend him to all the men in my life.
P.S. You, your partner and family as well as your future waits for you to develop your future. Let us help you craft that new future.
P.P.S. Do what others have done, bring your friend, son, brother, father… a man that you want to connect deep with.