Robert Raphael Schwenkler

The Conference for Men ruined my life – Here’s how

Written by on May 2, 2014

Posted in: Masculinity


My life will never be the same.

All thanks to Mike Hrostoski.

When I bought my ticket for The Conference for Men I sort of had an idea that this might sort of happen. But I sort of didn’t expect things to end up like this.

What left me while I was at The Conference I will never get back.

I lost some really important things. They’ve been with me for most of my life. They’ve kept me safe and they’ve kept me alive, I think. And now they’re gone. Just like that.


For a long while I never even thought to wonder who I’d be if my life were to be ruined in the way that it is now.

How would I know who I was?

How would others know me? Could we still be friends?

Could I still have friends at all?

My family?

Would I be totally alone and isolated if this were to happen?


For the bulk of my life none of these questions passed through my mind, not a single time.

Something in me died last weekend.

I’ve still got quite the mourning process ahead of me. I’m taking care to honor this. I’m eating well. I’m reaching out for support. I’m waking when my body says “Up!” and I’m being outside in the sun and lush green that’s flourishing in the Pacific Northwest springtime.

I’m meditating, paying attention to my body, breathing through it all, and taking care to notice the abundance of good moments that I exist within.

The earth breathes its deep, steady breaths.

Inhale and life is created.

New eyes let in the sun’s light for the very first time.

Blood courses through veins and hearts drum out their rhythms.

Flowers turn their faces skyward and the bees fall upon them, hungry and single minded.

The rain falls toward the earth and the earth opens up to receive this gift.

The earth breathes out and life is extinguished.

Hearts beat their last note.

Darkness comes.

Fruit rots on the ground beneath the fruit tree.

Tears are shed.

Lives end.

So what about this death of mine, this ruined life? After all, this blog IS all about me, right?

That’s what you came here for, to hear me talk about what’s lost and how I’ll never get it back, right?

Or did you come here for something different?

Did you come here to feel more connected?

Did you come here to shed something, to lose something old?

You might not know exactly what it is you’re looking to lose. You might not know you’re looking to lose anything at all.

But you’re here, and I feel certain this means that there’s a part of you ready to die. There’s a life you’ve been living that’s waiting, hoping, holding out to be ruined.

Am I right?

You’re here for deepened connection.

With yourself, firstly. It has to come from you first.

With others, secondly. When you have the first you’ll be abundant in the second.

Love, joy, purpose, emotion, authentic self expression, power.

That’s what you’re here for.

Am I right?

Turns out I’m no different than you are.

I’ve been looking to let go, to shed some past versions of me.

I went to The Conference for Men expecting to lose something I valued, a part of me that had kept me safe as a boy.

A part, perhaps, that knew I’d be ostracized or hurt or killed for being attracted to other boys.

A part, perhaps, that dared not experience anger for the felt sense that it would destroy me and everyone else around me.

A part, perhaps, that knew I had to be separate to protect myself from the pain of what it would mean to create connection and then feel it severed.

I went to The Conference for Men knowing I would gain something far greater than anything I’ve ever lost.

The intense power that I feel deep within me.

The fire that burns down at my very core and radiates outward and fills up my chest and my head and my arms and legs and explodes outward into the world with a blaze so bright that I’ll be seen for miles around.

What’s possible in the world when I’m living a life like this?

I see deep, meaningful connection with other men, all of whom inspire the hell out of me. Thank you right now and in advance for showing the fuck up. For committing to your purpose and passion.

My life is ruined because if I ever thought that I could continue in comfort and let my gifts lie dormant those hopes have been shattered.

Mike Hrostoski created an experience that will change the lives of scores of men. Each of these men will pass this gift on to the people in their lives and what he’s given us will multiply exponentially out in the world.

I’m saving men’s lives, whether spiritually, physically, or both. This is my life, my purpose, my passion.

If I ever thought I could do this work and still live small I was dead wrong.

If you’re interested in seeing what big plans I’ve got in the works please sign up for my news list. I’ve got big things coming up but I can’t do it alone. This work, by its very nature requires that I have amazing men like you to share it with. If you’re a woman please know that we’re each others’ greatest allies. You’re invited to sign up as well.

And if it crossed your mind, I’m not ashamed to ask you to sign up for my news list. Not a single bit.

I know that my intentions are true. I have nothing to “sell you” except a life that’s joyful beyond your wildest dreams. I’m here to serve and I will do it until the moment I take my last breath. I can provide you with guidance, but I can’t simply tell you what your dreams are and then sell them to you, can I?

I hope your answer was no.

It’s my honor to support you, man. It’s what I’m alive to do.

And it feels fucking great to be alive and doing it.

Life is cyclical. Death is just another stitch in the pattern.

I like this.

I like you.

I like me.

I love men.

Welcome to my life.

Welcome to yours.

It’s good to be here with you.

[Image Credit]


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