Every year in January our company hosts a life changing event known as EPIC,( Empower People – Inspire Consciousness). Over the years we have had the greatest of great motivational speakers, modern day philosophers, movie stars and average people with pretty incredible stories.
So what is this all about. Well, it is a three day time out to cleanse, to push the pause button on life, to be present and to rid yourself of emotions that are not serving you well.
Because of the nature of the stories there is not a day that passes without tears flowing. They flow from everyone, the big burly ex-NFL lineman, the Ex-Marine, the Hard-ass manager. They flow freely in this corporate meeting for many reasons.
As the CEO I cry in front of my staff to the point people are wondering if I am downing Costco Size Estrogen Beverages. But more importantly, I give people permission to cry and encourage them to cleanse themselves of the past. Even the celebrities who speak are so caught up with the energy in the room that they cry in front of people they have never met.
Last year a very macho manager approached me and said, “I cried more at EPIC then I have in 20 years. I don’t cry in front of my wife or kids and have never ever cried at a place of employment. I don’t cry all year but I cry every day when I’m here.” That was very sad to me.
I remember when I fell off my horse at age 7 and it hurt like hell, my cowboy dad said, “Stop crying or I will give you something to really cry about.” I grew up playing Pee Wee Football and at age 10 a kid knocked me out of my shoes with a monstrous hit. I cried and my coach yelled and said, “Don’t be a sissy, stop crying.” Or the time I cut my leg with a saw in shop class and was bleeding like crazy and crying, my shop teacher an ex -marine said, “Real men don’t cry son.”
Well, I am here to tell you real men do cry. All these voices from my past have broken ideas of what real men are.
So do your family, your community, your company a favor, give them permission to cry. You will be surprised at how freeing an event this truly is.