... to Support Your Journey

Video Interviews

Watch video interviews of Herb Stevenson talking about the Natural Passages Program, along with individual interviews of men who participated in the program.

Watch Interviews on Vimeo

Audio Interviews

The EVRYMAN Podcast
Presence and Leadership: USC Radio Productions
Four Principals of Leadership: 1st Principal
Four Principals of Leadership: 2nd Principal
Four Principals of Leadership: 3rd Principal
Four Principals of Leadership: 4th Principal


Daily Prayers

Acknowledging Your Soul Intention



The Magician:
Sage/Shaman or Innocent/Trickster

by Herb Stevenson

The magician is the keeper of wisdom and transformative processes. At an early age, men learn to assess, analyze, and contain so that they can create with their minds and their hands. Reading, writing and arithmetic are magical processes that unravel and reveal the magic of life.


Trust: A Self Examination
by Herb Stevenson

Typically, we tend toward a perspective that trust either exists or it does not. We tend to act as if it is a passive process based on our experiences with other people, be they bosses, peers, direct reports, spouses or friends.



Facing Regret
by Herb Stevenson

Modern men often are plagued with regret about some aspect of their life, whether it is related to dreams unfulfilled, to missing the mark in a major project, or to making decisions in haste that later lead to a wish to have done differently.


Male Intimacy

by Herb Stevenson

Robert Bly and Robert Moore are often associated with saying that male intimacy occurs shoulder to shoulder as father and son or as close male friends walk or work together while never making eye contact. It is a pregnant moment that seems delicately balanced between anxiety1 and excitement that is safely contained, sometimes, for only a moment or two. The anxiety2 is like a deep knowing that this is important and something that has been internally sought and fought for many lifetimes and may last only for a brief moment or two. The excitement is like the potential to bring satisfaction to a deep yearning that has existed long before time.


Existential Courage to Face Life and Death:
The Experience of Being—Alive and Dead

by Herb Stevenson

Otto Rank introduced the existential contest between life and death. He felt we have a "life instinct" that pushes us away from joining and towards individuation so as to become individuals, competent and independent, and a "death instinct" that pulls us away from our individuality so as to be part of a family, community, or humanity. (Boeree, 1998) In many ways, these are the determining factors between whether we approach life with courage or out of desperation. Both instincts create a tension that, if held throughout life, supports living on the edge of life in a state of being (or creating). When the balance is lost, we become overly enveloped by one instinct to the point in time that the other instinct erupts creating a sense of desperation to re-balance the tension between. Often experienced as an internal disintegration, the re-balancing process creates massive internal chaos until a new equilibrium is found and established.


The Courage To Be

by Herb Stevenson

Courage is taught to men from the beginning of life, or should I say, the courage that has become culturally acceptable is taught to men from the beginning of life. This generally accepted form of courage is portrayed as “charging the hill” in battle whether the battle is real as in the Viet Namese or Iraqi wars or imaginative as in a John Wayne movie on television or metaphorical as in creating a totally new concept within an organization that meets a wall of resistance. In truth, these battles can be arguably stated as examples of courage, when it reality, it often reflects willfulness, an important piece of what is courage.


The Ideal Self Verses the Real Self

by Herb Stevenson

Throughout this program, we have suggested that you journal about your experience and apply the learning to your life. Peter Koestenbaum in Managing Anxiety suggests an even deeper form of journaling for those that truly want to know themselves. He suggests that the key is to focus on emotional, intellectual, and fantasy (day and night dreams) material. More specifically, the focus would be to record daydreams and night dreams as fantasy material to reveal what we hope or wish for our lives. Often, we are so close to these fantasies, that we never closely examine their content nor the impact it is having on how we live our lives. In actuality, we may not be aware that these fantasies may be covering the source of our deepest fears, insecurities, unacknowledged parts or dreams and hopes. At a minimum, it acts as a comfort and enable us to use our imagination to release a burst of anxiety.


Principals for a Present Centered Existence

By Herb Stevenson

According to Peter Koestenbaum, existential philosophy reflects our pursuit of the authentic meaning of human fulfillment. (1979) Using the phenomenological method, existentialism “accepts as authentic or original data, those experiences which are presented to us in immediate consciousness. The true nature of the facts of human experience are as they appear to the apprehending ego in their unadulterated form, that is, without assumption or presupposition.” (1971, 64-65) “Both the method and its ensuing theory have many of the characteristics of scientific inquiry: analysis of reality based on descriptions of the actually observed facts and structures of existence rather than on a priori categories.


The Alchemical Four Chambered Heart
& the Phantoms and Shadows of Fear

by Herb Stevenson

The four chambered heart consists of being fully centered (in our heart) and actively maintaining a strong, clear, full, and open heart. The strong heart means that we have true courage that is based on our internal authority of whom we are. We are able to show up and be present without preconceived notions, while having the Ability to Take Action and Enforce Boundaries. The clear heart means that we have removed our personal biases and blinders and developed a clarity about self so that we can see clearly whom we are by having respect for self and for others without confusing external temptations that can lead down the destructive path of envy or entitlement. With a clear heart, we are able to assess, analyze and contain, while saying what is so when it is so, without blame or judgment. The full heart is a heart that can love itself, having been nurtured by self, family, nature, and life. It does not measure against a bucket emptied by draining one’s source of life by not accepting the innate sense of being loved regardless of circumstances. With a full heart, we have the Ability to Connect and Feel, while paying attention to what has heart and meaning. The open heart means that we can embrace all of life with a sense of wisdom and acceptance. It is an awareness that there are as many stories of what is life as there are people; hence, though we can influence others, we must always be open to them and their evolving story. With an open heart, we have the Ability to Initiate, Support and Create Order while being open to outcome.


For a more complete collection of Herb Stevenson's Articles, Poetry, and Book Chapters, please visit


These are basic books that could support your journey. If you have specific interests, let me know and I will suggest other books. Check or for any books that are out of print or if you want to get lower prices.

Remembrance of Relations

Animal Speak, Ted Andrews. A book that describes the medicine of animals and what they can teach us. It brings back the childlike innocence of meaning making lost while we are formed into young men.

Nature Speak, Ted Andrews. A book that describes the medicine of nature and what it can teach us. It brings a remembrance of what we have forgotten since childhood or possibly from our ancestors.

Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and the Psyche, Bill Plotkin. A powerful book about crafting our soul through returning to nature.

Synchronicity: the Inner Path of Leadership, Joseph Jaworski. An insightful book of how allowing our internal authority to return leads to a life of meaning and whole-heartedness.

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski,and Better Sue Flowers. A cutting edge book on the emergence of the soul. Integrates many theories into a nature-based return to manifesting one’s future as an individual or organization.

The Archetype of Initiation: Sacred Space, Ritual Process, and Personal Transformation, Robert L. Moore, edited by Max J. Havlick, Jr.

The Inner Game of Work, W. Timothy Gallwey.

Men's Issues

I don’t want to talk about it, Terrence Real. An insightful book about male depression, its prevalence in this society, and how it undermines fullness of life.

Sacred Manhood, Sacred Earth, Joseph Jastrab. A book on reclaiming the sacred masculine by communing with nature.

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. A book describing the rediscovery of the mature masculine. There are four more books by these authors that go into more detail about each of the male archetypes.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell. A book describing the various forms of hero’s journeys that have been employed to catapult the boy into manhood. A failed journey requires the boy/man to constantly save the world and become a hero in some way.

Warriors of the Light: A Manual, Paulo Coelho. 2003. New York: Harper Collins.

The Hear Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, David Whyte. An interesting exploration of the healer/magician energy. He has several tapes through that are excellent.

Unholy Hungers: Encountering the Psychic Vampire in Ourselves and Others, Barbara E. Hort. A Jungian analysis of masculine and feminine energy gone awry.


The following books are by David Deida. Powerful books that cut through the typical illusions of masculine and feminine energies. Not for the faint hearted.

Blue Truth: A Spiritual Guide to Life and Earth and Love and Sex

The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire

Dear Lover: A Women’s Guide to Men, Sex, and Love’s Deepest Bliss

Finding God Through Sex: Awakening the One of Spirit Through the Two of Flesh

Wild Nights: Conversation with Mykonos about Passionate Love, Extraordinary Sex, and How to Open to God

Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence

It’s a Guy Thing: An Owner’s Manual for Women

Other Deida books-----

Cross Cultural Sources

The Four-Fold Way, Angeles Arrien. A book describing the process of walking the paths of the warrior, teacher, healer, and visionary

Native American Wisdom, Kristen Maree Cleary. A collection of sayings.

Zen Lessons: The Art of Leadership, Thomas Cleary. A thoughtful book of Zen lessons on character, integrity and leadership.

The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks. Selected stories and poetry from the Persian mystic.

The Elements of the Qabalah, Will Parfitt. The core of Jewish Mysticism. A basic text that stretches the mind to include mystery and spiritual possibilities.

Who Were the Celts, Kevin Duffy. A way to find ones European ancestry that preceded the invasion of Rome which became the core of Western Civilization. A nice peek in to where you came from.


Mythology, Richard Cavendish. A collection of myths—teaching stories– from around the world.

World Mythology, Arthur Cotterell. A collection of myths—teaching stories– from around the world.


Integrity & Ethics

As a Man Thinketh, James Allen. A treatise on positive thinking written in the late 1800's.

Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl. Surviving the holocaust, the author reveals the bases of presence through an I/Thou relationship with life instead of and I/It that depersonalizes oneself and others.

There is no such thing as Business Ethics, John Maxwell. An excellent book on living an ethical life, which in terms of this program means living life as a mature man.

Why Courage Matters : The Way to a Braver Life, John McCain. An excellent book about why courage is required to live a full life.

Character Is Destiny : Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember
, John McCain.

Character Is Destiny : The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life, Russell Gough.

Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose Between Right and Right, Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr. Outstanding book that shows that life is full of tension, often between two right choices.


Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler. 2002. Powerful book that implicitly embraces the four principles, especially how to say what is so, when it is so without blame or judgment.

Crucial Confrontations: Tools for resolving broken promises, violated expectations, an bad behavior: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler. 2005 A next step from Crucial Conversations.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what matters most. Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen. Focus is on how to stay present and speak your truth. Based on the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Fierce Conversations: Achieving success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time. Susan Scott. Supporting acting with courage, care, and confidence.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Marshall B. Rosenberg. Discusses how to create your life, relationships and world in harmony with your values.

Managing Intercultural Conflict Effectively. Stella Ting-Toomey and John G. Oetzel. Culture is like water to a fish. Understanding what cultural we swim in and how it differs in what culture others swim in can lead to conflict resolution and reduced misunderstandings.


On Dialogue. David Bohm. The pioneering book that opened the eyes to the world what was already known by indigenous cultures.

Dialogue: Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Partnerships at Work. Linda Ellinor and Glenna Gerard. Powerful book to lead how to say what is so when it is so.

Dialogue and the art of Thinking Together. William Isaacs. Top shelf.

Responsibility and Ways of Thinking

UnStuck, Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro. An examination of how we get stuck with our selves, our teams, and our organizations.

How Full is Your Bucket. Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. Written by the grandfather of positive psychology and his grandson. Powerful book about how we choose to show-up in life.

The Radical Leap. Steve Farber. A personal lesson in Extreme Leadership. A novella.

Leadership and Self Deception: Getting out of the Box The Arbinger Institute. An insightful novella.

Polarity Management, Barry Johnson. A very clear model of how to understand polarities.

Trust: A New Vision off Human Relationships for Business, Education, Family, and personal Living. Jack R. Gibb. A well centered and well written book on presence and showing up in life. A free copy can be downloaded from the internet by doing a search on his name.

The Four Powers of Leadership: Presence, Intention, Wisdom, and Compassion, David T. Kyle A book on the diamond model of living a centered life.

Blink: the power of thinking without thinking, Malcolm Gladwell. A provocative book.

Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell. An interesting view of how new fads get created.

The Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the Workplace, R. Brian Stanfield


Like the books, these are basic videos that will support your journey through the Medicine of Men program. Many of these videos are about claiming the deep masculine energies, which is what was lost when initiations were removed from this country.

Note: Pay attention to emotional, physical and mental reactions during the movie. Take some notes. These reactions are how you act (or want to act) and/or defend yourself in similar situations. To bring these to consciousness will support your journey to be more present.

Spirit: A Journey in Dance, Drums, and Song. Peter Buffett and Chief Hawk Pope. This is a video about the birthing of a man. It is a musical that combines traditional and modern dance and music. It is about returning to the center of who you are to birth the fullness of yourself.

Lord of the Rings—Trilogy. These three movies reflect a series of intertwined archetypal journeys that can inform us about who we are.; e.g. Gollum is the shadow. Have fun and find the warriors, magicians, healer/peacekeepers, and kings and their respective shadows and phantoms.

Emerald Forest. This is a video about a boy taken by an indigenous tribe in the jungle who becomes initiated into manhood by the tribe. A video that indicates how when we are not initiated into manhood, we lose some of the clarity and magic of whom we are.

The Patriot: Mel Gibson. This is a video that shows the struggles of being a man. It clearly portrays the struggles between the warrior and the king/father archetypes. It shows the moral dilemmas of war. It shows the primitive side of man that can erupt when driven to fight for freedom and/or self preservation.

The 13th Warrior: Antonio Banderas. This video is about the hero’s journey. However, it also portrays the Viking warrior, magician, healer, and king archetypal energies. It shows the shadow King as a wimp. A powerful video that should be bought and watched three or more times. It shows the progression from irresponsible boy/man to a responsible mature man that has faced himself.

The Gladiator: Russell Crowe. A video revealing the warrior, the sovereign king, the shadow tyrant king, and the sage archetypes. A powerful video of the mature male struggling to live within his integrity while grieving the loss caused by shadow injustices.

A Beautiful Mind. Russell Crowe portrays a Nobel laureate in economics that suffers from schizophrenia. The power of the movie is his awareness that he must stay fully present and conscious choose how to live each moment—in the illusions of his mental illness or in the day to day trappings of life.

Spy Game: Robert Redford. A video portraying the terrorist/tyrant, warrior/king, the magician/warrior, the warrior/lover, and the unconscious bureaucrat. A video of integrity around national/world relations, man-to-man relations, and personal integrity.

The Last Castle: Robert Redford. A video revealing the war between a warrior/king and a warrior/tyrant, while others play-out the various roles of boy/man becoming a mature man. Interesting twist for a movie about integrity being within a military prison. It portrays that under the correct conditions, we all can make mistakes......and we can have the integrity to deal with them responsibly.

Tears of the Sun: Bruce Willis. A video of integrity where the warrior/soldier becomes the samurai/warrior. A video indicating how responsibility for our actions as well as for the larger picture of life is very much apart of how we mature into men.

Open Range: Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner. A western that portrays the shadow king/tyrant, the warrior/king, and the immature warrior/boy trying to become a mature warrior. This video requires watching several times to understand the intricacies of manhood. There will always be moral dilemmas and there will always be times that a man must stand up for what he believes even against total oppression and opposition. And, there comes a time to take action.

Hildago: A true story of a warrior/magician boy that moves into manhood by claiming the fullness of his heritage. A story of wit, determination, and lots of heart.

Road to Perdition: Paul Newman and Tom Hanks. A movie about male maturity for a father and a son. A mercenary father that learned to open his heart to himself and his son and to assume responsibility for moral justice of himself and from others, and a son that learned to understand the importance of integrity and life choices.

The Emperor’s Club: Kevin Kline anchors a movie on personal integrity, his own, and that of the students entrusted to him to learn the lessons of life. An amazing portrayal of learning that though we hold hope for every human’s potential, it is always up to the individual to choose the road taken.

Life as a House: Kevin Kline. A father/son relationship movie. Depicts the bitterness of a father that must be healed with his own father so that he can embrace his son, who has assumed the family bitterness and cynicism.

Behind the Red Door: Kiefer Sutherland. The story of a man dying from aids overlain with the story of him and his sister remembering and healing their childhood traumas.

The Last Samurai: Tom Cruise. The hero’s journey of a man caught in the trickster energies that prevent his moving into mature manhood entwined with the wise master energies that teach integrity even in battle.

Radio: Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding. A powerful movie about how a walking legend as a football coach, reaches out as a man to a mentally challenged young man and demands that he not be discarded by the local community. A heart opening movie.

Million Dollar Baby: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hillary swank. Must see rites of passage film.

Mystic River: Clint Eastwood film depicting the difficulties of doing the “right” things in life when our internal needs as a man, father, and husband, exceed the speed and capacity of the external world to provide answers and to take corrective action.

A Man Called Horse An old flick with Richard Harris. Shows a Eurocentric, adult male being put through a Native American Indian rite of passage that transforms him into a true mature leader.

Human Stain: Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris. A story of how a white man from a black family loses touch with himself and disowns his family only to later be humiliated and forced to lose his prestigious position at a university based on an unfounded accusation of racism. Truly reveals the unacknowledged and unspoken struggles many people face in this country.

Second Hand Lions: Michael Caine and Robert Duval. A humorous story of two aging brothers, that have seen the world through the eyes of many hero’s journeys, raising a nephew into manhood through story telling and unusual adventures. Many powerful lessons.

Love, Actually. Hugh Grant and a wonderful cast of British actors that portrays the foibles of love and reminds us of the many roles we, as men, may have played in our quest for love, fantasy, companionship, sex, and intimate relations.

The Core. Hilary Swank. The core of the earth has stopped spinning putting the planet in jeopardy. Filled with warriors, shadow warrior/magicians (self-centered scientists without integrity), heroes, etc., the race is on to travel to the center (of the earth) to save the world. Has metaphorical applications to finding and restarting our own centers. A piercing statement about maturity coming from dealing with failures is portrayed.

Man on Fire: Denzel Washington is a guilt ridden CIA assassin that must come to grips with his integrity and mortality. Developmentally, he is stuck in the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels wondering if God will forgive him for his deeds. He matures and accepts what he is when he is revitalized by the love of a little girl that is kidnaped. He finds redemption when he trades his life to save another.

The Clearing. Robert Redford and Willem Dafoe. A poignant story about how an uninitiated male can become a shadow warrior that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion and the tragedy that results.

Rain Man: Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise portray two brothers that have been separated since early childhood who are brought together upon their father’s death. Dustin Hoffman is savant autistic man (brilliant with numbers and otherwise unavailable) and Tom Cruise is in need of male initiation. Together, they grow into a family.


Joseph Campbell - The Hero's Journey

Finding Joe - Movie Trailer

Follow Your Bliss

The Timeless Tale of the Hero's Journey: Full Film!


Outlander | The Series Returns: Opening Scene Exclusive

The opening scene from Outlander Episode 109


University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven

Remarks by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, BJ '77, ninth commander of U.S.Special Operations Command, Texas Exes Life Member, and Distinguished Alumnus.


Larry Ackerman On Identity


What Makes Aging A Purposeful Experience

In this video, Richard Leider explains that there are three basic elements: money, medicine and meaning. His interest is in the third element, meaning. He says if you don't have a reason to get up in the morning, you don't live long. Larry notes that when the spirit dies, the body follows. Richard tells the story of an elder hunter-gatherer in Tanzania he interviewed who taught him how important it is to have a sense of community, a sense of tribe, a sense of purpose. Meaning is as fundamental as money and medicine, in fact, meaning trumps money.


Dick Bolles & Richard Leider on Life Planning

Dick Bolles and Richard Leider are among the best known life-work planning coaches in the country. Bolles is the author of the best selling "What Color is Your Parachute" series[ Leider is a best-selling author in his own right, with 30 years of experience coaching people to live and work with a sense of purpose. I talked with them recently about about their careers, the nature of life transition, and how boomers plan to do retirement differently.


How to Unlock the Power of Purpose

Imagine a pill that would aid cognitive decline, help prevent macroscopic stroke, aid sleep, and add 7 years to your life. How much would you pay for it? Would you take it?


The Fundamentals of Structual Thinking

A training offered in cooperation with Heitger Consulting and especially suited for Senior Executives, Trainers, Executive Coaches, External and Internal Consultants, Human Resources Professionals and Organizational Development Professionals.


10 Responses to the Phrase "Man Up"


Our Story in 2 Minutes

Seventeen year old Joe Bush got a high school assignment to make a video reproduction. He chose history as a theme and tucked it all into two minutes. Take pictures from the internet, add the track Mind Heist by Zack Hemsey (from the movie Inception) and then you get something like this.


Jackie Lowe Stevenson MSSA LISW
Live Like a Horse: Innovation Inspired by Nature

Jackie is a Gestalt psychotherapist, life coach, and consultant. In her talk she explores how people experience personal rebirth through exploring the culture and community which make up horses and the mentality of the herd.