Self-Awareness Brings Authenticity to Fatherhood

Natural Awakenings South Central asked three local contributors to share what a man can do to face his own story and learn who he is, accept the pain and glory, as described by Chris Bruno, author of Man Maker Project: Boys are Born, Men are Made , and move to a place of freedom so that he can father his children and journey with them into adulthood. Reverend Dan Landis, senior minister at Unity of Harrisburg, Ian Thomas, Craniosacral Therapist at The Roots of Health, in Harrisburg, and Seppi Garrett, licensed massage therapist, permaculture designer at Urban Edge Farm, in Lancaster, and part of the leadership team for Reclaim your Inner Throne, offer their perspective.

“Three days prior to writing my response for this article, we had my dad’s memorial service,” explains Landis. “He lived 87 full years. Twenty-one months ago, we moved back to the Harrisburg area and had many wonderful times with him. My goals at the end of his life were to make the best memories and to have no regrets. I have none with him. My dad and I were able to forgive each other and ourselves of all past resentments and misunderstandings. We now knew each of us did the best we could at the time. We are complete. I have one regret for myself––I wish we had been this complete 20 years ago.”

“In my experience, the unresolved issues of our past tend to influence our present relationships,” says Thomas. “Those issues may be explored and accessed through the felt senses of our bodies when we bring forward a curious, nonjudgmental awareness. For fatherhood, look to challenges that your body is holding around your relationship with whom you depended on for fathering. Craniosacral Therapy has helped me in numerous ways to release old charges and to gain new insights and choices that help me to father my new step-daughter.”

“I believe that in order for a man to reach a level of preparedness for raising a child, he must first be initiated into manhood himself,” suggests Garrett. “Many men, myself included, have spent our adult lives feeling and acting like children, projecting our own wounds outwards onto those closest to us. The art of initiation into manhood is lost in our culture, yet the need is great for men to find community with other men so that vulnerability and authenticity rises. There are some organizations bringing it back, like Reclaim your Inner Throne and the Mankind Project. Being a father and authentic role model is an art. Through its uncovering, we discover that we have a purpose for being here on Earth and are worthy of walking in our shoes.”


Rev. Dan Landis, 927 Wertzville Rd., Enola; 717-732-9773; See ad, page xx.

Ian Thomas, 3540 N. Progress Ave., Ste. 106, Harrisburg; 610-368-5915; See ad, page xx.

Seppi Garrett, State of Grace Body Work; 717-991-0552.;

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg; Self-Parenting by John Pollard; Full Body Presence by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana; Loving What Is by Byron Katie.

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