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Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night, 02-23-2011

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m a big proponent of people getting out and talking to people face to face.

No matter how charming you are on line, you will always be more impressive in person. Additionally, I say that you should have a goal when you go to events, and those that have a focus intrinsic to them are even more likely to find like minded people. To that, I’m attending the Boston Spirit Magazine’s GLBT Networking event at the Copley Marriott. Its from 6-9 pm and it will have break out sessions and have Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, as the keynote speaker. I encourage anyone who can to attend. They have 1200 RSVPs, so there should be a lot of people to meet. If you see me, please come up and introduce yourself!

Wondering if you’re utilizing this event to it’s fullest?  Check out my comments about networking. My goal is to let as many people know about my Finding Your Calling Career Exploration retreat at Easton Mountain on March 18-20, 2011.  Been thinking about what you want to do with your life?  This might be a good way to move that forward.

So, what are you doing to let others know about you?


On Friday, December 17th at 1:00 p.m. EST, I’ll be a guest on Harry Faddis‘ Show, The Quest of Life, on WRPI Radio out of Troy, New York.  The topic for this session will be How to Connect Your Spirit and Your Work, and I’ll be talking about the following five points.

  • Listen to Your Heart: Dreams deferred come out somewhere.  We tend to life out other people’s dreams. (Family, society pressure, etc.) Need to be in a space to listen to yourself.
  • What do you need to feed your spirit?
  • Identify your Values: What are the important aspects of your professional life.
  • What role does your career play in your life?
  • Career Planning: Come up with a long range goal and work on the next steps.  Unless there is forward momentum, you’ll feel stuck.

You can listen live by going to at 1:00 p.m. or you can subscribe to the podcast (more information at  It’s a tremendous podcast which covers all aspects of queer spirituality and how we make our way in the world. The show is every Friday from 12 noon – 2 p.m. and they only play music by LGBT musicians.  Give a listen!

I just returned from Easton Mountain where I took part in Single Men’s Weekend, which was an opportunity to reflect upon the state of being single, how I am with that, and what I need to do differently if I want to change that situation. As many if you know, I’ve been single for five years and am in a pretty good place as far as bring happy with myself and what I want in my life. This weekend did give me the chance to look at how I’m being in the world and if that’s serving me in the long run.

Here are a bunch of reflections that I’ve had since coming back:

  1. Too often we think of a date as a Big Fat Hairy Deal. We could just use it as another opportunity to have a good time and not put so much pressure on yourselves to see if this is “the One”.
  2. I need to practice dating like I need to practice meditation or playing the hammered dulcimer. I’m not expecting to get it right all the time. I’m going to make mistakes.  Plan for those.
  3. You need to compromise in a relationship, but you shouldn’t compromise yourself.
  4. You need to bring all of you into a relationship. Otherwise you will be giving incomplete information to your potential mate, and he won’t be able to make a good decision if you’re not being truthful about yourself, and you’ll feel nervous about being “found out”.
  5. Ask for what you want, but don’t “spook the sheep” by unleashing it all at once. This assumes you know what you want first.
  6. I’m just as busy as everyone else in this culture. Am I using my busyness to keep me closed off from openings to be with a potential partner because “I don’t have the time” ?

The parallels between dating and job search should be obvious, but if it isn’t, substitute the word ‘job’ for ‘partner’ or ‘date’ in the above thoughts.

So, where are you keeping yourself from a relationship, whether work or romantic?

Hello all,

Below is a YouTube video that I’ve put together to let people know about the contest to win a free weekend at Easton Mountain.  Please share and let people know about this!

Contest Rules:
Twitter: http;//

Easton Mountain Singles Weekend:…
Easton Mountain:


In collaboration with Easton Mountain, I am giving away a free weekend at their Single Gay Men’s weekend this October 8-11, 2010 (a $595.00 value!) As those of you who have read my blog know, my experiences at Easton Mountain over the past two years have have been nothing short of life changing, and I want to offer this opportunity to others as well.

The rules are:

  1. You must have never participated in a program at Easton Mountain. This opportunity is to introduce new men to the magic that is Easton.
  2. You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Easton Mountain.
  3. Fill out the Application Form, which includes a short essay of less than 500 words as to why you would like to attend the program. Entries must be received by Friday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
  4. Selection of the winner will be completely up to me, but you can increase your chances by having one or more of the following:

Please let your friends know about this great opportunity. I will be advertising this far and wide, but the more you let your friends know the better.  Even if they don’t win the weekend, I would recommend attending the event anyway.  The facilitators (Harry Faddis and Bob Bruillard) are great and I’ve been to many programs that they have facilitated.

Questions? Ask me below in the comments section!

I’m just returned from my vacation at Gay Spirit Camp at Easton Mountain, and am in that phase of trying to reintegrate myself back into my life here, but also integrate the special things I got from my experiences. I took some great workshops, met some great new friends, reacquainted myself with established friends, and really just tried to be in the moment and not have an agenda (granted my playful self had an agenda which was to not have an agenda.)

Here are some random thoughts about what I got out of the week-long retreat:

I, and about everyone in our society, is touch-starved. For a whole week, I would get a hug just about every 10 feet I would walk. The culture there is one of not denying the body as part of your spiritual self and safe, respectful touch is encouraged. I had some lovely hour long talks in the main hammock while cuddling with some new friends (thanks each to Scott and Jim) and also took a workshop on Hugging as a Spiritual Practice.

When we deny part of who we are, we are so much smaller for it. I took a great workshop on Respectful Confrontation with Joe Weston, and my major learning for myself is that I need to be on environments that let me be all there. That includes work, relationships, friendships, housing, activities, etc. I might not be big physically (only 5’7″) but I’m big energetically.  I need to be in spaces where I don’t deny myself that.

One of my main goals of the week was not to rush. I normally am very goal oriented and find myself in these weeks thinking “By the end of the week I’ll be relaxed “. I decided this time to try being relaxed the entire time. I limited myself to one workshop a day, made sure I had time for lying in hammocks or having a leisurely conversation.  I needed to practice this so that I can get better at it in the rest of my life.  I’m finding that practice comes up in every facet of my life, whether it’s music, exercise, relationships, work, anything.

What have you learned from this summer that you can take into the Fall? What are you practicing?

I’ve just returned from an intensive weekend program at Easton Mountain called Authentic Eros, facilitated by Kai Ehrhardt and Don Shewey. I had heard great things about this program and knew that it would force me to look at myself more closely to see how I was being in my interactions with other men.

I came onto this workshop with the intention of being present all the time. Like many others on this high speed world of ours, I tend to always be thinking about many more things than what I’m doing at the moment. While my meditation practice has helped me be more centered, it’s much harder for me when I’m out in the “real world” and have more inputs.

We also did a lot of exercises on saying what you want and negotiating when that doesn’t align with others wants. This is a big one for me. As someone in the helping profession, I want to help others, many times to the detriment of my own needs. It’s and ongoing learning process, and this took me one more step.

Some of my key learnings were:

  • I have a difficult time doing more than one thing at a time – I know this is why I like playing the hammered dulcimer (two hands doing similar movements) better than playing the guitar (two hands doing different movements).. My mind just doesn’t function well in that situation. This also got me to recognize my coping pattern of trying to build systems where things are automatically bunched together. That way, my mind thinks it’s all one action.
  • When I’m present in my body and all the voices in my head have been quieted, I can feel the rhythm of my body – We did a lot of meditative type activities (thanks Kai!) and one that really worked for me was when I was invited to take an inhalation and have the back of my pelvis go down. In all the breathing and yoga work I’ve done, I’ve always had the front of my pelvis go down. It probably just came at the right time, because it felt like my whole trunk relaxed. I then was feeling a pulse of my body like when I’m laying on the acupuncturist’s table.  This revelation felt like finally finding your balance when learning to ride a bicycle. Now at least I know what it feels like and I can shoot for getting that feeling again.
  • I tend to go out in the world with armor on – I’m finally accepting something that I’ve denied for a long time: people find me attractive. This may seem a silly thing to many of you, but it’s been something that gas been difficult for me. I’m realizing that I’m in such need of control, that I get scared if men approach me and I’m not interested. I sort of freeze up and armor myself against everyone, or at least the shields cone up when I sense “danger”. More practice needed in claiming my own power to get what I want in the world, and to gracefully decline what I doesn’t serve me.

Any similar experiences?  If you were at the retreat, please feel free to leave your own comments.

Every two years, I get sucked into the Olympics. It doesn’t matter whether it’s speed skating, curling or crew, I’m fascinated by it all and will spend hours watching the events (which unfortunately also means I have to endure hours of commentary also).

Now, I was formally a decently competitive race walker and coach, so I know first hand about the amount of training that it takes to perform at the highest level (which is to say a lot more than I ever did). What really pulls me in is the hours of practice, focus, dedication and sacrifice to get to the proficiency that you need to compete at that level. The intensity in their eyes, the planfulness of each action; each action speaks to the focus of the goals they’ve set and the determination to achieve.

Too often, we all set goals, but don’t put in the plan the actions that we need in order to achieve them.  We see on the TV screens at the Olympics the coaches that support these athletes and motivate and train them. They are usually the difference between a talented athlete, and a talented athlete that excels.

I’ve recently hired a coach to help with my own goals, and I have to say it’s been incredibly helpful for me. (Thank you Richard!  Check out his website.) What I do with people is also coaching, but I don’t tend to call it that. I don’t get people jobs, but I help them clarify, plan, focus, and execute.  I do many of the same things as now as I have done as a track & field coach.

So, what are your goals, and what are you doing to move towards them?  If you don’t have a plan, you probably won’t get there. Let me know your thoughts below.

PS – There are still open spots for my career exploration workshop for gay men at Easton Mountain entitled Finding Your Calling: Making Connections Between Spirit and Vocation on February 26-28, 2010.  Call up soon and get the homework and plan for setting the plans for your life!

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

I am a career consultant who specializes in the connection between what your spirit wants to do in the world, and how to marry that to the work that you do in order to support yourself. While I work with people in all fields, I specialize in working with "creative entrepreneurs" and the LGBT community.

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