Two weeks before the retreat was due to begin, we had seven men confirmed. I knew about nine more that I felt would benefit deeply from it.

I kept reflecting: “How does one entice men to an event that they don’t have a frame of reference for?” Meanwhile, I needed to visit some aboriginal men out on the homelands 300 miles away in the remote western part of the central desert.

The drive there was through rugged, powerful country — a vast open landscape. Suddenly, a tremendous surge of clarity arose. As this came flooding in, I began madly writing (as I drove!).

This is the time for action and commitment. Men need to stand up and voice what really matters, from their deepest integrity. This is a calling to all of you to participate and give, share and mentor others, lead young and old – mentor in your own community. No matter what excuse your mind comes up with, the world needs strong men like you. Turn up and tell us your story – you owe this to you own communities.”

Within half an hour of this insight, out of a clear open sky a very black, intense storm rolled in and the road I was on collided with it. I stopped the car and stood in this warm, sweet deluge, which felt like confirmation and a huge blessing, a force of nature, that was completely reassuring and fundamentally nurturing.

The Retreat? The blessing unfolded before my eyes with David Wiley skilfully creating a humorous, trusting and extremely supportive environment. In my wildest dreams, I could not have hoped that 16 men knowing little about each other could start out rolling around laughing and crying together and end up not wanting to leave – we want to live like this always!

Roger Menadue, Firekeeper, Alice Springs, Australia

Learn more about Firekeeping.

Discover Ukilái, the Sacred Fire Community’s Lifeways Men’s Retreat.

Learn more about Lifeways.