Kenny Mammarella D'Cruz be the love share the love podcast cover art

In this episode, I’m chatting with Kenny Mammarella D’Cruz. Passionate to make space for the voices of men to be heard by self and others towards a more authentic, loving, conscious, and sharing world, Kenny is the man whisperer and helps men their life, relationship, and career goals. Founder of Men Speak men’s groups. Kenny facilitates workshops, works privately with individuals and partners, has held men’s groups for 20 years, and trains men, women, therapists, coaches, anyone who wants to communicate better with men to hold safe, conscious spaces to allow men to be heard and turn around their lives.

Kenny’s incredible life journey has taken him from refugee camps, through overcoming OCD and mental health issues, to working with Mother Teresa and taking part in dangerous sports all over the world. Turning around his own traumas and dramas has enabled him to meet men where they are and facilitate life-changing shifts in perspective and life.

Now, one of the UK is and leading men’s personal development consultants, Kenny loves helping men and women gain the awareness and tools to consciously embody their potential and meet all of life’s challenges. According to Newsweek, “he’s a gentle voice in the ears of the many men who come to him for help with life, a man whisperer”, and Daily Express calls him “coach consultants and guru of all things men”. 

We recorded this episode on Oct. 5, 2021.

When we meet in these places of trauma or drama, then it’s almost like reclaiming ourselves back from them.

Your Challenge Invitation

  1. Spend time in reflective listening. When you take time to listen and hear another person, there is a different level of connection because you can meet them in a place where you can have a conversation together.
  2. Be in the question. Come from a place of curiosity, of “I wonder”. Slow down, take time and be in the question together. Leave space to explore what is happening and what is needed rather than jumping straight to action.
  3. Follow your heart and live your truth. Be present and connected and feel the way forward.
  4. Use descriptive praise. Share what’s wonderful and what you want more of. The way to do that is by giving energy to what you want to grow rather than giving energy to what you want to go.

Contact and follow Kenny by going to

You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.

Be the love, share the love and pass it on. – Kenny Mammarella D’Cruz

Related Episodes

Timeline of the Chat

[00:32] Intro
[04:25] Creating the Environment for Deep Conversations
[11:04] Building Connections
[14:18] The Surprise of Discovering Freedom
[16:46] Male Friendship
[21:03] The Importance of Different Types of Relationships in Our Lives
[24:44] The Difference between Child and Adult
[28:56] Developing a Practice
[33:13] Be Who You Are
[35:27] The First Rule of Relationships
[36:44] How to Break the Addiction to Thinking, Fixing and Second-guessing
[42:49] Three Invitations for better relationships

Breathe and be present here and now.

Quick Links

Give energy to what you want to grow.

Transcript of the Episode

From the beginning

[02:14] Kenny Mammarella: Thank you so much. I love the title of your podcast. I guess the thing that I’m most known for is working with men and getting men to speak and getting men to understand ourselves and therefore be better in our lives, better in our families, our communities, et cetera. So I started men’s groups over 20 years ago because I needed to be met at more depth. So I traveled the world for five years. I did the dangerous sport. I worked with Mother Teresa, I worked in development in Fiji. I did all of my adventurous stuff. I came back to the UK and I noticed that I missed my closest friends more while I was with them when I was away because they got distracted by drink, drugs, love, sex, money, power, God knows competition and they lost themselves. So I, I got about a dozen men in my lounge and I basically said, I need to be met at depth. I’ll go out partying and everything with you. We can go to the forest, whatever, but I need to be met at depth. And that’s where it started with my own needs. That was my Small need.

I had no idea that 20 years later there’d be thousands of men around the world, mainly in the UK, but since lockdown, we’ve been holding groups every day, saving a lot of lives, saving a lot of relationships, saving a lot of marbles. And it’s a normal thing. Meanwhile, it was just for my friends in my lounge because it did something for me. So from something very small and personal, it’s like, oh my God, how did that happen? I don’t think I could have planned it. 

[04:04] Damianne President: That matches so well with a lot of what we talk about on the podcast too where you need to take action for the path to emerge often. And sometimes we get caught up with thinking about things and worrying and wondering about it, and we don’t get to the action step, but that’s really a necessary part of the learning process and the discovery process as well.

[04:23] Kenny Mammarella: Huge. huge. 

[04:25] Creating the Environment for Deep Conversations

[04:25] Damianne President: So, how do you create these environments that allow these conversations and some might consider them difficult conversations or certainly uncommon conversations to be able to happen and flourish.

[04:37] Kenny Mammarella: Yeah, that’s such a brilliant question because I forget that these aren’t mainstream conversations. I guess I just, I normalize what’s normal for me. So with the men’s groups, the women’s groups, you know, young men, mature men, whatever, we’ve got ground rules and they include confidentiality. Confidentiality is you can share what you’ve learned. You can share your own experience but other people cannot be named or even hinted at. So share the wisdom, share the experience.

Another ground rule, one of my favorites, is play bigger than the rules because it’s not play small to be liked and to be part of the pecking order or to not be excluded, it’s play big enough. So you actually get met at the edge, and that’s where the growing is. That’s where the learning is. That’s where we really meet rather than surviving and being nice. And second guessing.

So the ground rules kind of hold a space where we own what we say it’s I, not we or you. There is no option of bullying, aggressive or passive aggressive. So it’s a clean space. So people agree to the ground rules. I ring my bell; I’ve have a wonderful magic bell, and we have two minutes silence just to get here together and to empty our heads and to be present. And then in the daily groups, there’s a very basic check-in round, your name so you take your space, how you feel right now so it’s about feelings and the present moment, and anything that’s up. So people say whatever it is that’s up for them. And then from there, the conversations start going.

There’s a facilitator, but the facilitator takes part and it’s totally non-hierarchical. And I guess for me, the reason that we got into talking about perimenopause and menopause is during lockdown, there were so many men who turned into scared boys. What have I done wrong? How do I fix this? Why is she like this. What’s going on there? There were also quite a few, quite a few being more than half a dozen women during lockdown who were having affairs. And they were mainly mothers and it’s like, what’s going on? They just didn’t, didn’t get it.

I asked my, my female friends, therapists. I did an interview with Dr. Christine Page and then Davina, is it Mikael, McCall, did a documentary on menopause. And it’s like, I need to know this because the men are trying to fix something that couldn’t be more natural. We need information not to turn into scared little boys. And then the conversation started opening with the women, with the men, with needs – what do you need – with boundaries, with clarity of communication.

You know, one game changer in relationships that I always tell men is if you’re speaking with your partner, I guess male or female, it doesn’t matter, and he or she is debriefing their day and it might be painful, it might be dramatic, it might be traumatic, then rather than jumping in, ask the question, do you wish me to hear this and just listen, or do you wish me to fix this? 9.9 times out of 10, the answer is no, I just want you to listen. And then the male needs to be with his own feelings of personal discomfort, where fixing it is I’ll fix it and then I’m not uncomfortable and she’s not. No. Feelings are feelings. Good, bad, and ugly, it’s normal to have feelings. It’s normal to have a life experience. And it’s wonderful to share the experience and to be in community and learn and grow together.

[08:29] Damianne President: So you have these groups that meet on some sort of regular, at least there’s an opportunity to meet on some sort of regular basis. Are people in cohorts, do people come in and out and how is this different from therapy or coaching?

[08:46] Kenny Mammarella: I hold personally about a dozen close groups and that’s the same men together in six month batches, once a month. Some of these groups will have their own groups within the groups where they might meet weekly. One of the groups organized a couple of trips to Morocco or take care of the fire or the food when we do our annual camping. Every group has a WhatsApp group, so it’s almost like a pod of close friends that know each other, and will share the journey. Those are the closed groups. And they might come to open groups or check in groups or whatever it is they want. They might train to hold their own groups.

We train men and women to hold groups for their own purposes, including therapists, coaches, et cetera. So people can come and go. And it’s not that we have a special language or we’re a cult to you have to be like this. The question is more, who are you? Who are you and how could you be you more rather than sadly people come in going, what’s wrong with me and how do I do me better? It’s like, no, who are you, and how do you be you?

 It’s different from therapy and coaching because there is no clever educated leader with any answers. There are facilitators who are trained to listen and ask questions and take part as much as anyone else. So it’s, non-hierarchical, it’s transparent and it’s open to anyone and everyone to learn to facilitate. I’ve got people from across the board holding groups for us and with us, or to support their own work or to support their business, their organization, their communities, just sharing the tools.

 During lockdown I wrote an ebook. I think it’s about a quid on Amazon or maybe it’s free on Kindle. It’s sharing the tools, sharing the tools to know how to communicate, how to be in the question and how to open things up for a better, more authentic life and to contribute to community. 

[11:04] Building Connections

[11:04] Damianne President: Tell me about the development of relationships within the groups that you have been part of and that you’ve facilitated. How do the relationships start off and how do they change and evolve over time?

[11:17] Kenny Mammarella: The very sad thing about a lot of men is that these days, few men have friends, true friends, real friends. Some men have got drinking buddies, but even that’s gone down since lockdown. Some men have uni friends. A lot of men have their children’s friends, parents and some people have, you know, maybe sports friends or friends they’ve had for years. Very, very few men have a space where they can be who they really are and change and develop into whatever’s emerging from inside of them.

So to be able to be met and connected at this level of exploration, authenticity, reality, talking about fears, talking about maybe confidential relationship issues or work issues that they may not be able to talk about that their work colleagues or the people that know them, love them, and maybe don’t really want them to change. So people have their communities, or maybe they don’t. And then there’s this fresh new space where they can explore who they are. One of the things that I say is I love that in the men’s groups, I can let go of who I no longer need to be. I can let go of the shoulds and the oughts, even explore them and test drive who I think I might be and see if that’s more authentic, and even ask for feedback.

So with that level of authenticity and connection, people open up so quickly and so normally, that it just feels safe. It just feels like I found a home. I found a place where I’m not going to be fixed, I’m not going to be feared, I’m not going to be freaking people out, but I can be heard. I can hang out with other men. I can be heard. And I can get real about things.

And it’s so similar with the women’s groups where people can talk about such a cross section of issues to do with the partners, their children, their families, their experience in life, spirituality is another thing that sometimes men and women don’t talk that much about, or even sexuality, and to have the both within five minutes in a conversation where people can just show up with, well, this is who I am. Well, this is where I’m uncomfortable, or this doesn’t quite fit it. Or how have other people dealt with this? So, it’s like, it’s like the village, it’s like the old fashioned safe village or church hall where we’re all on the same side, caring and sharing. It’s really as simple as that. What could be more normal? What could be more nourishing? It’s not clever. No one’s selling anything. 

[14:18] The Surprise of Discovering Freedom

[14:18] Damianne President: What has surprised you and what has surprised participants about being in these groups? When people join, at some point do they realize, oh, this isn’t quite what I expected, this is better, or this is different. What kind of journey do they go on?

[14:33] Kenny Mammarella: What’s really surprised me is exactly that. There could be a big, burly, bloke riddled with muscles and tattoos, or they could be a really posh young boy who’s only known people from his posh school or village, and they’re in the same room and they can share experience. They can share wisdom and the men find what’s in common and support each other and meet people from every race, every culture, every background that otherwise in life, they would never have that experience.

What’s really, really surprised me in the last two weeks, which has been more than ever, is the amount of tears there have been, not necessarily of sadness. It could be tears of joy, tears of openheartedness, tears of recognition, just being met, with no drama, just as a normal passing, and the number of men that have talked about love and how much they love each other. And it’s with no funny trips or anything like that. It’s just for being here, just for listening, just for caring, just for asking, just for being familiar. And I think in our society, that’s really quite unheard of, especially across the races, the classes, the cultures to be coming from that purity of best friends in the playground who were shameless and free.

Men learn to be men and that way, the pure spirited boys in them can be free again. And they reclaim their passion. They get a sense of purpose. They’re ready to meet the world beyond the stuff that’s been going into their heads, feeling that they’re not alone, that topped up and they can take part. And the way that I’ve heard it’s changed families and communities, even businesses. And these days where there’s a lot of fear around, it’s like, oh my God, this is just wonderful.

[16:46] Male Friendship

[16:46] Damianne President: How do you define male friendship? What is valuable about male friendship and what is male friendship?

[16:53] Kenny Mammarella: I think it’s very different for different people. I remember one guy who came to the groups because he was in the army and he could not get that level of connection anywhere. He said the closest he got to it was in the mosh pit. Do you know what a mosh pit is? So it’s like dancing and jumping around and then if someone falls, someone else picks them up and they get on with it.

And then I’m thinking of another guy who was in his seventies when he showed up for the first time. And his boss told him about the groups, his best friend from when he was eight years old died and he was really depressed. So he came up, he showed up at the groups and instantly people loved him. He was just such an openhearted, honest, wonderful guy. And as soon as he nipped off to the loo, so many of the other guys would say, when I grow up, when I’m older, I want to be just like him. And then he’d come in. And he was, he changed. He opened up to other men. It wasn’t just him, his wife, his best friend. And then his wife got ill and he was very, very upset. So he came to the groups and he shared the journey with us. And then his wife died and he was devastated and then lockdown came and he used to come to the groups and he was safe enough to talk, to cry. When he comes to the live groups, he’s honest enough to say that he needs hugs, he needs to be held.

It’s not dramatic, overly expressed emotion, it’s just real. It’s just normal, real people that aren’t hamming it up or vamping each other. And he’s just become one of the men, a very respected man who comes to his close group, who comes to the mature men’s groups and he needs and loves the company. And then there are young guys and some of the young guys who have been so lost, they’re lost in the world of computer games, maybe porn, isolation, a lack of ability to connect with other people, and they’ve only had computers in their lives. And to learn how to connect and communicate and have conversations and even facial expressions and connect with people beyond the computers, it’s amazing how many of them have been lost and depressed. And this generation of guys, when they have an issue, they will turn to their computer and they will Google things and watch YouTube, and the computers will feed back to them the trouble that they’re in. They won’t necessarily give them solutions, but they’ll take them down the rabbit hole. So it breaks the spell on that. And we get to hang out intergenerationally and share our stories and share our experiences. So the term is, I think, standing on the shoulders of giants. Why should we all fall down the same hole when we can meet and say to each other, by the way, there’s a hole over there, you might want to walk around it.

[20:07] Damianne President: Yeah. And when I think about friendships and relationships and social connection, those are all kind of related ideas and not necessarily the same, but we know that humans are social creatures and we do need to have that connection. There’s a lot of work from Esther Perel and others that talks about how sometimes, nowadays especially, we expect one person to be everything to us, people to have their wife or their husband, and really we’re missing some of those other connections that can really help support us, especially in times of, times like now where so much seems uncertain. We do need that community. You talked earlier about the village, but we do need that community or that village around us, even for those spontaneous interactions that happen that may not even be friendship. I find those to be valuable too. 

[21:03] The Importance of Different Types of Relationships in Our Lives

[21:03] Kenny Mammarella: That’s so spot on because it’s not about, I have a friend or a partner, hold on for dear life; you’re responsible for everything. It’s about the moments, the moments of connection, the moments of insight, the moments of fear that can be witnessed and shared, the moments of love, all of these moments. And then it turns more into unconditional love. And it’s amazing how many men have found their best friends or their group of friends or their tribes or their flatmates, or their traveled the world friends or whatever it is because they meet people in a place of vulnerability, authenticity, and trust. I said this to my own best friend a few years ago.

 I remember saying, do you know, I feel so close to you right now that I fear you and I don’t want to have a drama so I can run away from you. How shold I do this, but to be able to articulate. It’s talked about quite a lot in the groups, especially with the older guys, the biggest abuse in the playground used to be a slight on homosexuality. No one wanted to be called gay or a poof. And it’s, I’m not even sure that it’s anything to do with sexuality, but it’s about being outcast. Meanwhile, men can be scared of men because what will he think? Am I after having sex with him? Do I want his money? Do I want his group of friends? Is it status? What’s he after? And it’s the same, there’s this suspicion with so many people, what are they after? What do they want?

 I would say lockdown has been a huge catalyst because people are behind a screen and all of these things can just be pushed aside. Anyone can press end and run away from the screen if they want to. No one can hit each other, touch each other, size each other up. How big are your muscles? How much money do you have? It cleared all of that away. And also since lockdown, I heard on a very regular basis, something that I had never heard in my 20 odd years of holding groups. And that’s men saying to other men, I need to be in a room with you; I need to be in a physical space with you. That was unheard of.

In the old days, it was ordinarily going to a pub, maybe getting drunk, saying things in a halfhearted cryptic way that they could deny, saying it was the alcohol talking, but now it’s straight up. I need to be physically touched. I’m getting depressed. I’m having fears about my sanity. I’ve got issues with how much drinking. I’ve got issues with how often I need to go to the gym so I can keep my muscles because if I lose my muscles, then maybe my friends won’t like me and I’ll lose all my followers on Instagram. And people are telling the truth about body dysmorphia, about their addictions, about their fears, and it’s breaking the spell on the things that own them. So to be that close and that honest, it’s a game changer. And again, this is men showing up. Men can show up and tell the truth and sit in the question and the vulnerabilities where boys will avoid it, make a noise, and show off rather than show up and remain isolated and probably very busy in their heads. 

[24:44] The Difference between Child and Adult

[24:44] Damianne President: I think one thing that when you talk about the difference between boys and men, and I think it could apply also as between child and adult, is that it’s not as if, oh, we’ve arrived, we’re now adult all the time. Sometimes we regress back into childhood behaviors, back into boyhood or girlhood behaviors and other times we may be more adult in our reactions, in our relationships. I think a lot of the time it has to do with managing the fear, managing the discomfort, managing the insecurity that we might feel in different situations.

[25:19] Kenny Mammarella: You’ve hit on something that really is a life changer. And this has really, really been huge for us in all the groups. Society has us very often avoiding fear, avoiding pain, avoiding anything that’s not nice. You can drink out of it, you can buy out of it, you can drug out of it, whether it’s prescribed or unsafe and just don’t go there, avoid it like the plague. And that level of suppression turns into either depression or anxiety where it’s just hovering above it, but not actually safe to go into it, through it and out the other side, so much more wise and free. And I feel to be held by one friend or by strangers who get it, or in a group or in whatever situation, to be seen, to be held without being fixed without being saved without being upstaged, just to be heard and held is enough for people to really drop into what’s normal, which is pain and love and fair and all the other emotions and go through it and share the journey and share the insights and understand why.

I have a therapy room that I worked from and I debrief with my therapist if I’ve got difficult clients or things that I’m carrying; it’s healthy. But what I believe a lot of people do with therapists is look for trouble and look for more trouble and fix the trouble, and so much of it is about blame and shame, and this is why, and not necessarily live beyond it. And a lot of therapists have sent their clients to the groups to say look, enough one-to-one looking for trouble, it’s time to turn it around and build a bridge to life. And I would say one of the things that I do with my work and we do in the groups is we find these places, follow the feeling back. And where is the depressed pause button down?

When we meet in these places of trauma or drama, then it’s almost like reclaiming ourselves back from them. It’s the man in me can meet the child in me there, and the child in me can be safe inside of me and not in limbo with a surviving part, protecting me. And that’s a game changer.

Some men, they come back for weeks, months, years, not only to be working through their drama and trauma, but to celebrate life, to hang out, to see how people are. So it’s like Cheers, the TV series or It’s like Friends or whatever. We hang out and we could go from grief because someone has some tragedy, into laughter because there’s something hilarious that’s been said, respectfully including all of us, within a group within an hour, within 10 minutes, because that’s normal and it’s allowed. ,And we have really learned how to respect and include everyone rather than the second guessing and what will people think that suddenly society has been addicted to, or maybe it’s just my family, for generations. 

[28:56] Developing a Practice

[28:56] Damianne President: It’s not just your family. What made an impression on me from what you were saying, or what occurred to me as you were speaking was what happens in the group allows people to then carry on some of those habits and practices into life. And so it’s, I mean, this is the best case of what we want to happen with therapy, right? And then there’s conversations about IFS and all of that kind of stuff that’s related to what we’re talking about. This is not therapy, but it’s allowing you to access a pathway to being able to build some habits, to be able to experience things that you may not have experienced before, because you have this space around other people who have the same intention and the same interest.

[29:39] Kenny Mammarella: Yeah, and I’m no way anti therapy. There is a time and a place. And I would say that therapy is more about the past very often, and coaching is more about the future very often, where with this, it includes future, past, present, fear, fantasy, what’s going on in the moment, but it is sitting around the fire together. It’s being with things together, and the therapeutic elements are also very respected.

I mean, to be frank, I made pretty much all of this up. And then I found out much later how similar to therapy it was. With the e-book and the training that I put together, therapists gain CPD points, uh, what is it, continual personal development, and they need that for their certification, you know, you just get so many CVD points every year.

 I love that because it’s not either or; it’s both. And a lot of therapists who want to understand the mind of a man or who want to hold groups, because there are people need groups, they come on a very regular basis, whether they’ve been practicing therapists for decades or whether they’ve just qualified because it’s very much a modern way. It’s a modern way of community and people are crying out for conscious community, conscious, not lying, competitive, we’ll sell you something social media community, but conscious community.

[31:16] Damianne President: I listen to a lot of podcasts and in one of the podcasts that I was listening to, it was the Broken Brain podcast, but the host was talking about how his men’s group meets every week. And I was like, wow, this is so great. And then I heard on another podcast with Chalene Johnson, where she was talking about every year, she goes on this girl’s trip with her friends. This was the first time I thought about, oh, how can we bring some of the people in our lives together? How can we move past?] Okay, this is my friend and this is my friend and this is my friend. How can we build this community of our friends? When do we need to introduce our friends to each other, for example, and expand that community. When might our friends want to be friends with each other and all of that stuff.

So I’ve been thinking about that and one approach I’ve taken is to create a book club. And are all people that are my friends and now six of us meet every four to six weeks or something and talk about books or whatever we’re watching on Netflix or sometimes we’re like, oh, we’re busy, let’s just have a social zoom to kind of catch up with each other.

And I think that, especially as we get more into adulthood, as we age, as we get into our twenties or thirties, or forties, or fifties and beyond, it gets more and more difficult to make friends. For me, a lot of the friends I made earlier in my career in my life was from work now I work at home. So I have to be a lot more intentional about, okay, where are those places I can go, where are those environments I can put myself in where I can create more spontaneous friendships or even have more spontaneous conversations.

So I’m wondering, what would you advise for listeners? So let’s say somebody is in any of those age ranges where they may not be in an environment where they can continue to make new friends. What should they consider when creating friendships? And what advice do you have that they could apply, that we could apply?

[33:13] Be Who You Are

[33:13] Kenny Mammarella: I would say the most important thing for me is for me to do what I love and be who I am, because then I will be attracting people who love similar things and come from a similar place. Easier said than done, because it depends on where you live. It depends on time and availability but in essence, if I was, for example, looking for a wife, and I’m happily married for a long time now, but if I was looking for a wife and I love to be walking in nature rather than going to nightclubs, then what was normal in the old days is you go looking for a wife in a nightclub where you can’t hear anyone, there’s this loud banging music that I would never want to be around again anyways but that was the one.

But for me, it’s like, I want to include myself in all my relationships. And I want to be around people who have similar values, similar purpose, maybe similar morals, maybe if not a similar background, at least a similar flavor. So by coming from a similar place and also who bring out the best in me and that’s important.

What’s tragic is how many people’s still second guess who do I need to be to get into this group who I’m not like anyway, who I don’t actually respect that much, but it seems to be where it’s at. And it’s like what are you doing? What works with the groups is we’ve got the Young Men Speak, the Mature Men Speak, the Muslim Men Speak, the Jewish Men Speak, the Tech Men Speak, the Dance Speak, you know, and it keeps growing and people take the tools into their own communities, their locality or whatever. And they get to know men and beyond the official groups, people just meet like-minded people and they hang out, and they have dinner together, or they go to the countryside together or they go abroad together.

[35:27] The First Rule of Relationships

[35:27] Kenny Mammarella: We used to have Men Cook where blokes would learn about food and nutrition and they’d cook for themselves or themselves and their partners all online at the same time and eat together. And eating together for me as a sacred thing, showing up together is a sacred thing. So it’s like, I would say rule number one is know yourself and be yourself and let go of who you no longer need to be and then there is a self to share. And the weird thing is, you know, the line goes, well, no, one’s going to come knocking on your door, looking for you. I’m not sure that’s true. What I always find with the people I work with is when they step into who they really are, not what they’ve had to survive in the past, but who they really are, then coincidence, nature, whatever you want to call it, they will attract people and opportunities and it’s up to them or us or me to have the courage to notice and engage rather than, oh my God, that’s too good, that’s just scary run for the hills let’s find some drama that I’d know how to do and survive. 

[36:44] How to Break the Addiction to Thinking, Fixing and Second-guessing

[36:44] Kenny Mammarella: But yeah, put out the vibe, the true vibe of who you are unconsciously by being yourself and see who and what you attract and the way that I broke my addiction of thinking, fixing and second guessing was firstly, admitting that I’d never actually fixed it, just fantasized and thought a lot. And secondly, I needed to breathe and be present here and now, so I could see what life is bringing me because if I’m disengaged and trying to survive and put on a show, then I’m not here to meet life and whatever it is that life brings me, well, I’ve missed it.

[37:30] Damianne President: Last season, the whole season was on self acceptance. And I think it kind of feeds into this season as well, because a lot of it is sometimes when you’re not accepting what is you’re fantasizing about what could be, and you don’t even notice the ,good that may be present or the opportunities that may come onto you.

[37:52] The Fortunate Trend of Gratitude

[37:52] Kenny Mammarella: I love the way that it’s trendy these days to be grateful where not that long ago, people’s dreams would actually come true and they wouldn’t even notice because they’re chasing more rainbows or dreams without even noticing how good life has been, noticing that who they are right now is who they dreamed of being 10 years ago, but then comparing themselves to the wrong person in order to feel small, not a good deal.

[38:28] Damianne President: I was just listening to a podcast between Oprah and Deepak Chopra and it was so on point with everything that’s trending nowadays about gratitude and law of attraction and manifesting and all of that. And it was from the nineties. So it was like this is not new information but I guess it’s a good thing that people are becoming more aware and open to the possibilities and the capabilities that we have within ourselves. But I was also thinking, wow, I wonder how many people heard this back then and it didn’t even make a blimp to them.

[39:06] Kenny Mammarella: That’s such a good point and I wonder whether people these days have far more choice and opportunity than in the old days. I have so much more than my father,

[39:21] Damianne President: Definitely.

[39:21] Kenny Mammarella: than my grandfather, my great-grandfather. So many people, life has been about survival, not choice. And I find that as some of my clients grow their wealth, it’s exciting while it’s growing and then they make it and then there’s a lot, and then the wealth owns them and then they get fearful of losing it, and then there is nothing but their fear and their wealth, and then they disconnect more and more from their hearts, their purpose, the world. And it’s all about this stuff that owns them; that’s a burden.

 For me, it doesn’t matter about how much; it’s about relationship too, same as everything. It’s not even about wealth; it’s what’s my relationship to this. And some might argue that I would say that these days we have so much more choice. We have the luxury and the privilege of choice that we can listen to these things and choose to follow our hearts. A guy who I met and got on with very, very well, Gerald Jampolsky, I think it was in the seventies who wrote a book don’t even need to read the book with the title like this, Love is Letting Go of Fear. Brilliant book. And then it turned into a cartoon and it was life-changing for so many people. To be frank, it was life changing for so many middle-class, white people, mainly female, because they were the ones that were reading the books and they were the ones that were into this, and they were the ones that had the power and the choice. But now it’s open to everyone. It always was, but those were the main, even these days, it’s the main place.

 So many men actually love the groups because in personal development, it has so often been a female environment and that can complicate things. The female mind and the male mind with our different experiences, our different hormones, with male testosterone, with male short and sharp and to the point, with male experiences of schools that are very different to female experiences of school, et cetera, it’s like we can speak in our own language and we get it and then we can extend to others. To be together in the same language, exploring life, sharing tools, but not intellectual tools, but what has andhasn’t worked for us; it’s so valuable to learn from other people’s mistakes. It’s not put on a good show so people like you. It’s show up and give the information of where you failed so other people can learn from that because that’s more valuable than the hero’s story.

[42:15] Damianne President: When I was looking up your work, one of the things I noticed is that you’re big on communication as has already come up in our chats as well, and communication being a big part of relationship and of building community.

I’d like to invite you to share with the listeners, with the community, an invitation or a challenge of something they can do, one tool they can use for contributing to society or to having healthier relationships with people around them.

[42:49] Three Invitations for better relationships

[42:49] Kenny Mammarella: I’m going to try for three off the top of my head. Let’s see how we go.

 I would say the first one’s got to be listening. And rather than just listening, it’s reflective listening. It’s a game changer when people feel heard. So for example, with what you just said to me, reflective listening could be, when I think you’ve just invited me to do is to share some tips of how people could communicate better. It could be that someone talks about their day or their life or what they have for breakfast. So I’d say, well, it sounds like the eggs weren’t quite right, but that bacon was bacon to die for. And it’s like, oh my God, he’s actually listening to me. And I find when someone is heard, there’s a different level of connection because they are met and then we’re in the conversation together.

 The second one would be to be in the question. So rather than find an answer, rather than trying to fix, rather than telling another story, it’s I wonder. So whatever someone signs it’s like, I wonder how that might feel. I wonder what your options might be. I wonder how I feel listening about that; let me just take a breath and meet myself here. So it’s just stopping time and being in the question together. People frantically want to fix or have an answer or have a tool or go straight into their head. This is equal to that, and that will fix it, and then that’s the answer. I listened to in a podcast and I read a book about it, therefore, dah, dah, dah, dah, and there’s no space for people.

 The third one has got to be follow your heart and live your truth. So wherever it’s going, it’s like feel it, and feel where the conversation might want to go, feel what might be felt behind the words feel, what might want to emerge between you. Include the heart, include here and now, present and connected and have that connection, the feeling connection.

I would say my best tools in the boardroom, I do corporate work as well, I learnt in parenting class and it’s to do with reflective listening like we talked about and descriptive praise, describing what’s wonderful, say you want more of it. My cheap line is giving energy to what you want to grow rather than giving energy to what you want to go. And when people tell the same old hard luck story, they’re feeding it, feeding it, I’m a victim to this, and I’m a victim to this, poor old me I’m a victim to this. Of course, it’s not going to go. If you want to get rid of cockroaches, you don’t put crumbs out. It doesn’t work that way.

[45:55] Damianne President: I love this example. I do not like cockroaches, but I can totally relate to that example.

I know you have to go Kenny, and as we end, thank you so much for chatting with me today. Where can people connect with you, learn more about your work, and get involved in creating their own group or build facilitator awareness.

[46:17] Kenny Mammarella: So is where there’s information about the groups. There are a couple of recorded groups, there’s stuff about the trainings, et cetera. For men, women, everyone who wants to train, the ebook, it’s all there. There’s going to be an online training, I think late this year, early next year as well so you can just pick up the tools that way.

My private work, I’m so embarrassed to say that it’s because that website is such a mess. It’s all over the place, it’s outdated, and if you look carefully, there’s a personal discovery quest. I need to redo it, I’ve just been so busy with people. It’s like, I can’t be bothered to do internet and look at it.

What’s really fun is YouTube. On YouTube, there are so many tips and conversations and interviews and live groups and things like that. So just by watching the YouTube, you could just pick up so many tools for free. And for me, it’s like be the love, share the love. And since turning 50, I’m 57 now, my mission has been to pass it on. So yeah, be the love, share the love and pass it on. 


About the Author
I'm a curious problem solver.

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