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Cultivating Connection: a workshop for cis-gendered men

Cultivating Connection in Body, Mind and Heart

A workshop for cis-gendered* men overcoming the limits of masculinity

*cis gendered is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth

In this introductory workshop, open to all cis gendered men, I will offer a series of practices that will support participants in the process of undoing the limiting beliefs about themselves, their bodies, and other people's bodies, which they have inevitably internalized to some degree as male assigned people in a patriarchal culture. These beliefs not only perpetuate an inequitable society and rape culture, but also limit men's enjoyment of life and their potential for real trust and intimacy with others. 

We will approach this work through resting, writing, self-reflection, talking, movement, and non-sexual touch informed by mindfulness practice, conscious communication, dance and performance art, and the Internal Family Systems. No one will be forced to do any exercises they feel too uncomfortable with, though getting curious about what makes you uncomfortable is strongly encouraged.

This workshop may be perfect for you if you:

  1. Are curious about the unconscious ways being male assigned under patriarchy shapes how you feel and what you do

  2. Are in a stuck/unfulfilling/discouraging place around sex and/or dating/intimacy

  3. Struggle with not being able to express or even know how you feel

  4. Are seeking more ease and intimacy (not necessarily sexual) with other men in your life

  5. Have received feedback from women in your life that they don't feel safe or seen around you

  6. Want to dismantle the ways in which popular media and pornography has shaped what you desire and how you orient to sex

  7. Desire more joy and play from your physical and emotional life

  8. Want to show up as a feminist ally to non-male people starting with examining your own conditioning as a male person

  9. Feel isolated

I come to this work as a:

Dance and movement educator for 20 years

Former sex worker, offering sessions in Transformational Domination (2015-2019)

Life-long dancer, performer and artist

Certified yoga instructor since 2001

Dedicated Insight (mindfulness) Meditation practitioner since 2008

Level 1 trained Internal Family Systems counselor beginning in 2016

Party organizer since 2014

I am dedicated to a life of enjoyment and intimacy with myself, others and my surroundings, to curiously investigating the wild experience of having a body and a consciousness and to supporting others to do the same in creative and nourishing ways. I have taught diverse populations and performed internationally and am currently pursing a PhD in Art focused on creative body-based practices towards more livable futures.

I am assigned female at birth, but through my explorations (personally and professionally) in dance, movement, performance, healing, and sex/sex work I have come to understand myself as fluid in terms of gender. I am also attracted to and love a wide range of people and bodies, and have explored sexually in a variety of ways. This gives me unique insight into limited constructions of gender and violating and isolating power dynamics.  

At Heartspace Yoga Center, Troy, NY

Sliding scale $15-50

Email for more information: hjvanderkolk(at)gmail(dot)com

Earlier Event: October 26
tuning, turning, traversing