Like most people I was pretty affected by Covid-19. The pandemic suddenly stopped the world, removed all of the distractions, I was furloughed from my job, my partner and I split up and I was left with only myself.
The summer prior I had already begun my journey of exploring myself. I was seeing a therapist to help me answer some of the nagging questions that kept arising about who I was, how I did certain things and why I acted in certain ways sometimes. Something was bugging me, who I thought I was didn’t quite match up with my actions and feelings.
Having to sit with myself shined a much brighter light on what I was beginning to discover already. In hindsight it was a blessing to be forced to sit with my emotions, feelings and vulnerabilities without any ways to distract from them. At the same time it was tough. Coming face to face with who you are and why you do things when they are rooted in an unconscious pattern learned over the course of your life can be a scary thing. And it was…
To find out that I really didn’t know myself outside of this inaccurate definition of what it meant to be a man was…well shocking. I realized that men are just as emotional, vulnerable and have an equal amount of feelings. I also realized that we tend to push all that down to fulfill a societal stereotype of manhood that is so wrong it’s harmful. It’s harmful to ourselves, the people in our lives and to our potential.
And then that realization turned into research. My lack of self-awareness turned into powerful knowledge. And all those emotions that I had suppressed turned into emotional intelligence.
I flipped all my weaknesses as a man into strengths. But it wasn’t easy, there weren’t instagram profiles or free therapy outlets or pages and pages of valuable information out there on how to become more emotionally intelligent… or so I thought. How wrong I was. The more I tried to find myself, to explore my more, the more resources I found, the more outlets I reached, the more tools I learned. It was all there, it is all there for us to use, to help all men explore our more.
What I found though was the awareness of these resources was and is lacking, the majority of men don’t know about them. The majority of us won’t go seek them out either. So I decided something then and there. I was going to create a brand to raise awareness for men’s mental health to shed light on the need to change our view of men and bring together all these resources and make them more accessible to us all!
Men4more was born! Out of the pandemic and into the fight for men’s mental health. We are here to advocate and raise awareness to save men’s lives, to sock the stigma and to make these resources more accessible. We’ve only just started! We’ve already raised $5000, created spaces for men to talk and, having summited Mt. Kilimanjaro just a couple of weeks ago, we began our campaign to climb all 7 Summits, (highest point on each continent) for men’s mental health. Just a taste of what we will achieve together.
We believe that climbing mountains, just like our journey through life, can have its ups and downs, is filled with tough moments and can be grueling at times. Ultimately it’s worth the work, and getting through the tough times always has positive outcomes and allows us to reach our peak potential. The lows allow us to enjoy the highs and we’re here to help everyman on their path to reach their peak.
We are emotional, we have feelings and we are vulnerable, it’s time we embrace that and create a world that celebrates emotionally intelligent men!
We believe so strongly that we will affect change, that we will move mountains for men’s mental health! And climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, a year and half after the journey of my own self discovery began, shows the potential of all men to reach their own peak. This past year has been an emotional rollercoaster. Filled with so many stresses, uncertainties and loss. One thing is certain though, we always have ourselves. And when we do the work, ‘explore our more’ and discover who we are we find the best versions of ourselves. We learn how to show up for us, for our families and for our communities. We are emotional, we have feelings and we are vulnerable, it’s time we embrace that and create a world that celebrates emotionally intelligent men.