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Today’s guest is Tim Corcoran

We go deep talking about:

  • The definition of “purpose” and how it embodies itself in our lives as human
  • Embracing our mistakes while being steadfast in our commitment to our parenthood journey and our life’s purpose
  • Why we need to connect deeply with nature and how nature plays it’s role in our journey to finding our purpose
  • Fostering a relationship with our children by accepting responsibility as mature adults to encourage long-lasting interest and passion in our children
  • Our emotional maturity as dads, as well as our ability to accept and express our feelings in healthy ways
  • How developing a spiritual relationship is equally as significant and different from an emotional connection for our purpose

Tim Corcoran is the founder of Purpose Mountain, where he offers Nature Based Purpose Guidance to support people with a love for wild nature who feel a deep yearning to discover their purpose.  Tim also serves as co-Director of Twin Eagles Wilderness School, an organization he co-founded with his wife, Jeannine Tidwell, in Sandpoint, Idaho in 2005 dedicated to facilitating deep nature connection mentoring, cultural restoration, and inner tracking.

A leader of vision quests, holistic rites of passage and men’s groups, Tim has been facilitating spiritual initiations in the wilderness since 1999.  Healing the cultural rift between the mainstream and indigenous cultures, transformational consciousness work, the spiritual journey, ancestral work, deep nature connection, family and health are all deep commitments in his life.  Tim is a heart centered father of two brilliant sons and husband to a magnificent wife, and lives in pristine Sandpoint, Idaho.

Find Tim Online At:

Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad.Work Podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. We are going to be talking to my guest Tim Corcoran today on this episode called finding purpose and bonding deeply with your children through nature. We go deep today talking about the definition of purpose and how it embodies itself in our lives as a human, embracing our mistakes while being steadfast in our commitment to our parents journey. Why we need to connect deeply with nature and how it plays a role in our journey to finding our purpose, fostering relationship with our children by accepting responsibility as mature adults to encourage long lasting interest and passion in our children, our emotional maturity as dads as well as our ability to accept and express our feelings in healthy ways, and how developing spiritual relationship is equally as significant and different from an emotional connection to our purpose. Tim Corcoran is the founder of purpose mountain where he offers nature based purpose guidance, to support people with a love for wild nature who feel a deep yearning to discover their purpose. Tim also serves as co director of twin eagles, a wilderness school and organization he co founded with his wife, Janine Kidwell in Sandpoint, Idaho in 2005, dedicated to facilitating deep nature connection, mentoring, Cultural Restoration and inner tracking. A leader of vision quests, holistic rites of passage and men's groups Tim has been facilitating spiritual initiations in the wilderness since 1989. Healing the cultural rift between the mainstream and indigenous cultures transformational consciousness work, the spiritual journey ancestral work deep nature, connection, family and health are all deep commitments in his life. Tim is a heart centered father of two brilliant sons and a husband to a magnificent wife and lives in pristine Sandpoint, Idaho. You can find him online at purpose or twin You can find those notes as well and those links in the show notes at Dad.Work/Podcast. And before we get into this one today, guys, can I ask for three seconds of your help just whatever podcast app, you're listening to this, can you just scroll down leave us a rating and review. It is literally the fastest and easiest way you can help support the show. We don't do ads on the show, nor will we do ads on the show. And that is just because it's not a great experience. And I have no reason or will to do that. So in place of that, I would really ask for just a moment of your time. Rather than listening to 15 minutes of ads or 30 seconds of ads. Can you just take those seconds and leave a rating and review if this has been helpful for you in your life as a man, husband and father. It helps this message and this podcast get in the ears of more dads who need it. And from the reviews we've been getting already from the emails I get from the dads this is actually changing men's lives. So I'd very much appreciate it if you helped me along that journey. Change more fathers lives and the family of those fathers lives by leaving a quick review on Apple or Spotify. Finally a quick reminder if you're not already following me on Instagram, head on over to dadwork.curt on Instagram, DADWORK.CURT that is where I am most active and we'd love to see you there in the DMS in the comments or just as a follower. That's it for now we're going to jump in this episode with my guest Tim Corcoran.

Okay, Dad, I'm very excited to have another episode of the Dad Work Podcast starting right now we have got Tim Corcoran, making sure that I said that right this time, Tim, is that accurate? You got it. Beautiful. Okay. Well, Tim, I'm excited to have you today, you run purpose mountain. And I just want to give a quick overview for what I took from your website. It looks like you lead people through spiritual journeys in nature, you have been doing this for decades now. To help people discover their authentic purposes and purpose in life, including deep spiritual fulfillment, and a financially rewarding career like this. This to me just sounds like yes, please, I would like this. Where do I sign up? And so I want to talk to you today about all of that purpose and nature. And you're also a father of two boys, both of them almost teenagers from what you were just talking about. Yeah. So we'll go there, too. But I think maybe I'm interested in hearing what your thought about purpose is because I talked to a lot of guys who are like, I don't know what my purpose is, I don't even know where to look like, I'm just so disconnected. I got so many jobs as a dad, and a husband and an employee and all of this. Like, I don't even know if I need that. Like it's just it's too I don't know what it is. So how maybe let's define purpose to begin with, and then go into, like, how do we actually start looking for it? And especially if we're not local to you to have a guide to bring us through this? Sure. Well, great, great place to start. And just I want to start by saying thank you really appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation with the Curt Yeah, of course. Yeah. And the other thing to note is I also have another organization I also run along with my wife, we run twin Eagles wilderness school here in Sandpoint, Idaho, where we live. And we've been doing that for quite a while since 2005. So 17 years now, and the work there is really entirely focused on connecting people to nature.

Tim Corcoran 4:51

And so we do youth and adult programs there and, but that's relevant to your question about purpose because how I define purpose

As Curt is, well first off, I would say that, at the at the deepest level purpose is actually something that we cannot define. So it's a bit of a paradox. If there was a place in in us that knew our purpose,

it would be our soul. Right. And I mean, in a simple way we could define purposes, one's reason for being or anything is reason for being.

But when it comes to us as humans, other ways to speak about this are our calling, our vision, what brings us fully alive, the way in which we express our essence, that way of being and doing. And that's an important distinction, I think, purpose encompasses both being and doing that, when fulfilled, at the end of our life on our deathbed, we can rest easy knowing I accomplished in this life, what I came here for.

That would be my short definition,

taking a stab at what is probably impossible to completely define. But I think a really important distinction to make there is being verse doing, most guys in the modern experience will automatically associate purpose with some sort of action with some sort of outward actions, some doing state some what do I have to do? I certainly did for the vast majority, especially with my younger years as a young man. And what I've come to find is that, while yes, the actions we take can be purposeful, and there's some that are not and that's important.

What comes first, is the being state. Or in other words, who do I have to be in order to embody my purpose? I know that probably sounds a bit nebulous and maybe mystical. But experience has shown that when, when we lean into that question, Who do I have to be? How do I have to be? What is yearning to what is my deepest essence yearning to express in terms of my way of being that when we lean into that question, the answers that we're really seeking tend to become clear.

Curt Storring 7:16

That was really good. By the way. I was going okay, one of these, sometimes I asked, you know, to define these questions, and it's like, oh, like we work with them all the time. And it's almost too close to define well, and I really got that. And I really appreciate that. And what you said about being versus doing I've talked, I've heard I think Dan Dodi talked about this as well, no dancer, dancer good friend, actually. Oh, yeah. I wondered about that. Because I saw every man on your site, and I wondered, oh, yeah, that's amazing. I figured you guys probably had crossed. It sounds like you guys do some similar work, which is amazing. I love Dan, he was on I think episode eight. But the B versus do in men's group. Sometimes we talk about, you know, sometimes there's an accountability aspect. What are you going to do this quarter we're going to accomplish this year, what are you gonna accomplish 10 years from now. And sometimes I go in and I try to break it down. And I flip it on its head from what guys typically go to, which is, here's what I want to have. Here's kind of what I want to do. And then like, usually not, here's who I want to be. So I like to focus instead on Who do you want to be? And then what do you want to do? And then okay, maybe what do you want to have? I don't even care about that at this point. And that is super interesting. And how did you come to that understanding in your life? And how do men get there? Because in my head, I'm going like, This is it? Like, I'm so fired up about this stuff? It's vitality. It's like as if it really Yeah, and nobody's doing it. So like, what's the problem here? Well, that well and notice the language, even nobody's doing it.

Tim Corcoran 8:45

Nobody is doing it, but some people are being

and I'm just kind of razzing you there. But

how did I come to find this? Well, the hard way I can tell you that.

The other thing I actually want to back up and say about purpose is because I work a lot with nature. I've been professionally dedicated to connecting humans to the natural world, you know, I mean, all of my adult life. I'm 47. I been doing this Yeah, for 25 plus years. And I would say that another way to define purpose, Curt is

purpose is when we are embodying our most natural way of being.

Like it's not about changing something, if anything, it's about shedding, so that we can just surrender or allow our most natural way of being to emerge.

It's almost cliche, but there's a little saying we use that that I like to use, when one immerses in nature. One's nature is

becomes apparent, right when when you spend time in nature, you get clear on your nature. And I would say that's another way of defining purpose one's nature.

Ah, gosh, how did I, you know, come to embody all of this. And by the way, I don't do this perfectly in case anyone out there is wondering, I make mistakes all the time. No, imagine that. But I am committed to the journey. And I'm certainly committed to fatherhood and purpose in my own life.

Well, how deep of a dive do you want here, I could go all the way back to like growing up and give you the whole journey. Or, you know, I would wish

Curt Storring 10:30

I would, that's the most important thing for me is getting real visions of men who have done this work before, who are also able to touch the sort of meta over overarching understanding of it so that we can have both the actionable anecdote and the principal and bring those together. So that's what I like best, I think that's most helpful for the guys listening. So let's start there. And then we'll sort of break it apart afterwards. Okay, sure.

Tim Corcoran 10:57

So I think the short of it is that

like many guys raised in this western world, I have an unconscious bias towards action, and towards doing for most of my life, and it was really only, you know, they say that we teach what we learn. So I teach how to connect with your purpose, how to connect with the natural world, and it was really only through years, I mean, in my case, decades, two decades, plus, of consciously going after my calling my purpose in life, my vision, through my connection to the natural world.

That and in the early years, really thinking like and having the mindset of, oh, there's, there's another action I need to take, I need to get married, I need to start a wilderness school, I need to become a coach, I need to facilitate group process, I need to lead a men's group, I need to be the best dad I can be. There was a hint in that one, I need to be the best dad I can be. You know, it was really through through trial and error and a lot of suffering, of being overly focused on the on the doing, Curt that slowly, you know, I began to realize through feedback from others from brothers, from my wife, from my own sons, from my own experience in life, that

and from the natural world, you know, that in my deepest moments of connection, there actually was no doing. You know, as I look back on moments with my dad, some of my best moments weren't when we were doing anything outlandish. It was like, sitting with him watching the rain, or in a canoe, you know, my best moments with my wife are like, in the absence of doing when there's that deep felt connection that actually feels nourishing on on a deep heart level on a soul level.

The same for my moments with my sons, you know, oftentimes these happen in nature. And so there's a hint there.

The same for myself my deepest moments of connection with myself or when I was in the absence of doing and thankfully, I've had mentors and teachers through the years that have helped point me in that direction.

Curt Storring 13:19

So that would be the short answer to how I came to it, there's certainly a much larger, larger answer in there for you, but that we can get to Yeah, that's so interesting, Tim, because my experience in slowing down and sort of being is quite new within the last sort of 18 months. And I thought it was within the last three years. And I was I was kidding myself, to be honest, when I finally sat with it. And that's how it came up. For me. Everything changed. I felt like I integrated everything that I had been running from. And I don't know if that's how it felt to you. But I went through a failure of action. I had never let myself fail before. And here, this thing comes up and I failed at it. And in that failure, I could do nothing but sit with it. And interestingly enough, I sat in nature quite a lot. And it was in those moments of stillness, and silence that all of the to do list mindfulness stuff, I gotta meditate. So I can exercise so I can journal. So I can do this. So I can do that. It's like, Oh, I'm getting 10 out of 10 on the doing aspect, and zero out of 10 on the beat, right? So I swapped that and it was like, oh my goodness, then you just feel and you just get to sense and you get into the flow of the Earth really. And I've I've always wondered, How can I help guys get there without having to hit them with that proverbial Mack truck, which is like, Oh, hey, you're at the bottom of your ladder. You're, you know, you're at the bottom of the pit. kind of wake up. I guess you do this in a sense, but what tips can you give without, you know, giving the whole kitchen sink away? How can we encourage guys who are like Go Go Go

Oh, you know, they got a neutral and a fifth gear. How do we encourage them to slow down and really do what we're talking about here? Yeah. Well, again, I think it starts with

Tim Corcoran 15:11

being clear about what does it mean to be the best dad possible, right? Because for the fathers out there listening, I would really ask you guys to consider like, when were your best moments with your father? Your own father, what were you really seeking? What were you really yearning for? Maybe it's your story is oh, I this is what I didn't get. And I learned from my dad how not to be a father or which is really common Of course, these days? Or maybe not, maybe it was, well, I had some moments, you know, and I would bet that like myself, you know,

because yeah, one of my mom, it's I always remember with my dad was

probably eight years old, grew up grew up in the Midwest, South Bend, Indiana, and the rains would come the big Midwest rains, you know, springtime maybe. And he would sit, I remember those old aluminum lawn chairs with the the plastic woven, you know, seat and back on it. And he would grab one of those and he would sit, he was a smoker. So he would, he'd be smoking his camels. And he would sit just under the edge of the garage door, and the boy, the rains would just come down. And he was silent. He was just it was like he was in his deepest meditation, he was connecting with his deep sense of self and his own personal nature, as he was connecting with the nature of the rain. And I would just sit there with him, Curt. And I would I, in those moments, like I was, I've always been a sensitive guy, right? I could just feel His presence. And it was like the best possible hug I could ever get on the deepest level. And not a word was spoken. But he was present with me as he was being present with himself as he was being present with the natural world. And

that just filled me up, man. And that just filled me up. And yeah, we had that moment and canoeing, and we had that moment. And other times.

But as I imagined the guys listening, and I know how it is my God, I've got the most ridiculous to do list in the world. You know, and so I would I would offer, the idea that the best gift we can give our sons is our depth of presence, you know, the deepest expression of who we are as men as fathers.

That's the one thing that nobody else can give our, our sons is us, you know, so So it begs the question, well, what does that mean? Like? And I know that, again, it's maybe mystical or nebulous, but who am I, you know, like, what, what does it mean for me to give me to my son? Well, it's more than just, you know, checking off boxes on the to do list and cracking the whip. You know, it's a deep felt sense of presence. And that implies that you have received that yourself first, because I don't think it's possible for human beings to give something to someone else that they haven't first experienced or received. You know, and that's much of the work I do is helping people connect deeply, to their own sense of presence, that in a lot of cases, you know, certainly was the case for me. People just don't experience that our modern world is not good, connecting people to nature and connecting people to their deepest sense of self. It's just not. And so

you know, how to go about doing that? Well, that's a big journey. And we can talk more details later. But if we're holding that, yes, you can connect deeply to yourself, then,

you know, it's like, rather than adding something, maybe it's about taking something away. Maybe it's about creating a space where your daughter or your son can just come to you and feel like a deep sense hearts sense of coming home of feeling held. Maybe that means kind of like yourself,

you know, and you were kind of speaking towards Curt and I know I've gone through this and many others that

because it's like this it to us the nature connection metaphor, when we connect deeply with nature, what's going on? Well, on a sensory level, we're sensitizing ourselves to the natural world. And we're learning to pay greater attention and give more awareness to things. So a simple bird call that maybe last week walking through the park, I didn't even notice my mind didn't even register. Now my mind is registering it. And I'm noticing and I'm looking and I'm seeing oh my gosh, I can see a flash of wings. And who is that bird? Maybe, you know, I come back and find it in a field guide or something.

So as we connect with nature, it's about deepening our sensory awareness of the outside world. And what happens is, as a natural and organic response is as we sensitize our outer senses to the world around us, we can't help but sensitize our inner senses.

To our inner landscape, our inner nature, if you will. So what that means, of course, living in the modern experience and all the trauma and the craziness of modernity, there's a lot of tough stuff we've got to face. You know, when I first started the journey, it was like, Holy crap, there's so much I'm not at peace within myself, thus beginning the long journey of you know, inner healing, and, and so on and so forth.

But what you'll find is that over time, you have these little moments of deep connection, when it's like, wow, there's a deeper me that's underneath all of that. All the busyness, all the layers of trauma, all the unhealed wounds, all of that. And in moments, we can connect with that. And it's from that place, I, I'm a big, big believer that one of the best things we can do to help our kids is to work on ourselves, you know, on an emotional and spiritual level, even soulful level. And so in those moments of connecting with that, it's like, our batteries are refueled. And we can bring that loving sense of connection. I mean, we just, it's just emanates, we kind of glow with it. And our kids feel it kids, especially young kids like young, six and younger dogs and cats, animals are really sensitive to this as well. You'll notice that little kids and animals totally attracted to people who are who are connected in this way. And

and then it's a matter of bringing those moments to our kids, you know, and maybe it's just unconscious at first, they're just receiving it. Over time, we can make those we can create even structure around that and facilitate those moments for us and our kids are, there's there's lots of different ways to do that. But yeah, those are a few thoughts on on your question there, man. I just want to like, put this on loop for the next

Curt Storring 21:52

40 minutes or whatever, because that that to me just went like oh da, you know, like, just go outside. And notice. And I guess the question that's coming up is, is it really that simple to start with? At least? Yes, yes. There are people like you who bring people around and, and do these journeys. But if I just start going out in nature with my kids without my phone intentionally, which means to say I might have to schedule it in my calendar with the way I do things, I might have to schedule being time in my calendar, perhaps? Is that a good place to start? That's where were there other ways? Yeah. No, it's a great place to start. Especially when your kids are younger. You know, for the you were saying your oldest is nine. Is that right? That's right. Yeah. Once you kind of get into the preteen years, and definitely when you get in the teen years, it's a different, it's a different thing. It's a different based, you know, boy, when your kids are little, for goodness sake, just get them outside. Yeah, turn those phones off and connect, you know, one of the great, you know, these days, we hear a lot about how

Tim Corcoran 22:55

different generations feel disconnected from one another. One of the great gifts that connecting with nature has to offer us as fathers is it provides a shared story that we can experience with our kids. You look I'm I'm 47 I grew up in the 80s the world back then was so different. We have like three shows on the TV. And there was only like, one or two good. three channels on the table. There's only a one or two good shows a week, you know, and beyond that we were always outside running around, you know, and the whole thing and these days, it's it's not so you know, I mean, are you kidding? Not only do we have 10,000 channels, but then 10,000 notifications on the phone every 10 seconds. Yeah, it's just nuts. So, so we got to learn to slow down, you know, and I'm sure in I've also got a men's group I've been doing men's work for since 2010. So I don't know, a dozen years or so and love my men's group here in Sandpoint.

Two of the guys of which Oh, and Marcus and who founded it. And then Dan DoDI, who we were speaking about, they founded everyman, which is an amazing national men's organization that I also run programs for. So, but back to the My point there.

When we slow down, you know,

we kind of realized that we're operating at like 100. And we need to bring it down to like a, like a five.

And that there's an adjustment period there, you know, there's an adjustment period. But when we do that and connect with nature, then we have a shared story that we can share with our kids. So like, I look at my son's now, you know, my 12 year old who's still a boy and my 15 year old who has gone through a formal rite of passage which we could talk about rites of passage, so I don't refer to him as a boy anymore because he's not he completed boyhood and he's now a young man.

They are passionate naturalist and frankly, they have so much time on they're also homeschooled, so they've got are more unschooled. They have so much time on their hand. They're taking nature connection to this whole other level beyond beyond in some ways what I have been

It's a shared story point, so they can go off and have wild adventures, right and come back, and they know I'm going to be able to receive it. And then I care about the subject matter. And, you know, compare that to Pokeyman, or Minecraft. It's like, my kids coming back with that.

I'm gonna have a hard time connecting with them, because I don't, I'm not interested in that. And I think that's one of the tragedies of our time. So if we want to have a good connection with our kids, yes, it's about the being state which we've spoken of some, but it's also about taking responsibilities as mature adults, and, and initiating passions, helping our kids initiate interest and passions and curiosities. That can be last. And that can be a shared story. And that can be a context within which we can maintain connection. And I can't think of a better one than the nature.

Curt Storring 25:54

I obviously could not have said it better, but could not even think to have said it better. That was so well said and what you said a few minutes ago specifically was, you know, the best thing we can do for our children as fathers is to become better men, basically. And that is the whole purpose of what I'm trying to do here is that you become a better man, and a better husband, or sorry, you become a better father, a better husband by first of all become a better man. And doing this and taking it seriously, which you're going to have to because if you honestly look at your life, for most men these days, we are so clawed by the talons of social media and technology, all the rest of it, that it will be hard. And I just want to say straight up if you try and go outside, and you're like 10 minutes, and you're like, I'm bored, I'm not going to do this as a stupid, like, No, that's wrong. Actually, if you took it more seriously, you probably see the fruits of the labor. And I mean, I'm going camping, literally an hour from now after we finish our call, for the same sorts of reasons. We booked at least four days every month, and hopefully more. Because of this exact reason. I want to slow down. I want to be outside. I want the kids to have that. And like my kids right now are my oldest especially like he just sits in the garage and wiggles spears. Nice. Oh, yeah, I love it.

This is so good. I'm so proud that he does that. And you know, there's this, you said poke him on that that has been a thing. And these days, it's not so much because there's so much to do outside, there's so much to play. And if I can just use them as almost leaders in that sense. As I in this like modern world of, you know, whatever masculinity is these days, I feel like I lost some of that, that magic. And someone was using them to introduce me to that. And another thing I wonder if you agree on is one of the best ways to become a better parent is just removed the four walls. You know, it's so it's so much easier, right? Course? Oh my Yeah.

Tim Corcoran 27:49

Especially for us guys, you know, because because we like to move we like to move. I read a study that talked about modern schooling and how girls on the whole this is in America tended to do better. And boys struggled more, because and the study was more about the males, the human males tendency towards physical movement, and that we actually process emotions and our spiritual journey and souls through physical movement. Like, I'm sitting here, you know, we're doing this podcast, I'm sitting and I'm in front of the camera. But when I do like all my work, what I do one on one mentoring and coaching, I always do it on the phone. And part of the reason for that Curtis, because I'm always moving, you know, and in school, it was like, oh, sit down, tell me, you know, you're too hyper or whatever. And it's like, No, maybe not. Maybe I'm processing in that way. And maybe so many others are so oh my gosh, yeah. Remove the four walls, conflict resolution, peacemaking, defusing anger. Are you kidding me? That's the number as soon as things take a turn for the for the start going sour. As soon as I get even smell it. I'm like, outside, out, out, we go out we go. And it always goes better. Beautiful. Invariably. Yeah, I'm actually excited to continue to talk to you. I would love to just continue a relationship. By the way, I don't know how you feel about that. But I have so many questions about unschooling and homeschooling, and you know, all this rites of passage and nature based everything. So I'm just gonna throw that out there. And we'll connect on that later, hopefully. But I would love now to talk about the emotional maturity aspect, because I think that probably relates a little bit to the rite of passage, but I know that we are we talked a little bit before about, you know what we're going to talk about this podcast and you mentioned cultivating masculine emotional maturity. And I would assume that touches on a lot of what we've covered already, but I want you to sort of take that because this is one of my absolute favorite topics. I think when I think of the so called toxic masculinity today, it's simply the fact that it's not real masculinity. It's a material boy psychology, you know, it's as they say, in King warrior magician lover. It's the boy psychology. It's the mature version thereof. So I wonder

Curt Storring 30:00

What do you think about this? Because it's very important to me.

Tim Corcoran 30:03

Yeah. So this is a big, big topic. And of course, I'm very familiar with the modern men's movement. My dad gave me iron John, when I was, I don't know, 20 or something. Wow, that's incredible. I didn't get into it that deep back then. But he's got started in earnest. Yeah, maybe a dozen years ago when I was about 35. So how about well, let's go back to a definition, then how would I define emotional maturity in general is the ability to be aware of emotions, to accept our emotions, and to express our emotions in healthy ways. So awareness of acceptance of an expression of emotions in healthy ways. That would, that's kind of my simple explanation. I hold that most men raised in the modern experience, did not grow up with this because our dads didn't get it.

As such, and so a, that's not our fault. And it's not our dad's fault. I could tell you stories about feeling so lonely when I was 10 years old, and waking up in the middle of night walking out and see my dad, you know, drinking his beers and smoking his cigarettes on the couch and lost behind the newspaper. And feeling like he was a ghost, you know, not there. But even that, Curt, you know, was it his fault was he raised with an emotionally mature father, no. And we could track that back and have the whole ancestral conversation of what happened because there was a time when men were connected with their hearts and knew how to express them powerfully.

But holding that off for a different conversation.

It's the very next thing I have to say is cultivating masculine emotional maturity. So, you know, masculine emotional maturity is just the unique expression of emotional maturity that we have as men. And cultivating that is not a process that happens alone, period. It is not a process that happens alone, it is something that needs to be shared and experienced in community, you know, in a course enter the rise of popularity of men's groups.

When we can sit with other men as a man amongst men, and learn to feel in our bodies, right, like we're really good at, at the mind.

We're really good at academics and that kind of intelligence, but when it comes to feeling emotions in the body, allowing them to express fully, you know, the rage, the anger, the joy, the heights of joy, the the depths of sadness, you know, the, the darkness of shame.

You know, all of it,

when we can learn to do that, and

surrender to that and stay connected, and realize that, wow, not only is it okay, but I actually connect deeper with you, when you open your heart to me and when I take the risk of opening my heart to you and yeah, I've got all those voices to that tell me, don't do this. He's gonna hate you. They're gonna hate you, you know, you'll never be accepted. We've all got those you know, and when we can find the real courage, courage, core, the you know, French the heart, take heart when we can find the courage to, to make that journey and express that in meaningful ways. And realize my god and Ella, not only am I not excited for it, I'm actually I my connection deepens with you in that process, something big changes, and we realize, Oh my God, you know, I've lived this life of stuffing emotions and repressing it all and disowning it on and on and on. And yeah, typically, you know, I'm sure you've seen this guys have a lot of work at first, right? There can be years of work, in some cases of like, clearing the dam, Dan DoDI, and I'd like to maybe you've heard him talk about this, you know, it's like we have this giant Beaver Dam inside of us that has blocked up this huge lake of emotions over the last 40 some years. And at first doing this work is like, you know, we'd get a little stick of dynamite or some M 80s or something and, and oh my god, a little water came through and like holy I have water there's water. And then we realize oh shit.

My French there's a lot of water back there. And so there's there's that phase you know, which which takes some time and kind of catching up with ourselves. And then we find ourselves in a place eventually of, you know, wow, I've processed most of what I have to process and, and when stuff comes up, I know how to express it. And I know how to show up in relationship I know how to speak my feelings and reflect my feelings and deepen that connection with my kids with my wife with my or my husband or my my my brothers

and myself.

And through that process, you know, I become a better man for it. I model for my kids. What does it mean to express mo

motions in healthy ways you don't think they've got emotions? sure as heck they do. You don't think they're watching you as dad? wondering, how does Dad deal with it when he's angry? How does Dad deal with it? When he's sad? They're they know, even if we were masters of repressing it, they know when we feel these things, at least subconsciously, you know, and sure as heck they're modeling after us.

So, yeah, it's big work, man. I'm really passionate about it. But I won't end until I say that it's not the end all be all. And that's, that's an important distinction. I think that I mean, there's a lot of guys out there a lot of men's coaches, a lot of men's groups is really, really important. But it is not the end all be all, connecting with the sacred connecting with vision connecting with purpose. That's part of it. But there's another aspect that typically, in my experience, most men's groups and I've gotten freaking amazing men's group,

oftentimes misses, frankly. And I think that's an important distinction to make. So we can talk more about that later. But yeah, okay, well, I can't not ask what was the thing that we're missing?

Unknown Speaker 36:05


Tim Corcoran 36:07

and there's a distinction here, right, like, and so I'll go back to our conversations around nature connection earlier.

Nature connection is more than just gardening, or camping, or even extended camping, or even extended regular camping or hikes.

There's a, and again, what I would offer is that as humans, we've lost our inherent connection to nature, you know, we all have indigenous ancestors that once lived close to the Earth that had a vibrant spiritual life connected to the earth. And it was more than camping. You know, it was more than gardening. It was a way of being it was a worldview. It was a spiritually rooted practice that and a shared story amongst over, you know, 10s of 1000s of generations.

Is, is going out for a hike. I'm not down on hiking and camping. I'm not trying to offer that. But I'm just trying to open up the conversation a little bit and point out that there is a lot more to that nature connection than meets the eye.

And so just like with a masculine emotional maturity, how do we grow into that? Well, could a person figure it out by themselves, I suppose they could, but boy, oh, boy, it's a heck of a lot easier to find mentors, and people who have made that journey themselves. Just like working with a coach or working with a group, like the journey is expedited and can save tons of suffering. You know, so there's all of that. And what we find

at the heart of that journey of nature connection, Curt, and at the heart of the journey of emotional maturity,

is that,

well, the Irish have this proverb, I kind of contextualize this a little bit more, the Irish have this proverb that when they have the emotional experience of any given emotion, let's just take sadness, they don't say, I'm sad. They'll say, sadness is on me. Or, or translates more to, like, I'm carrying sadness. But there's an important differentiation, which is not, not the words they're not using are like I am.

And so there's a little bit of a separation there, from the deep sense of identity while I'm walking through my life, and today, sadness has arrived as a guest. It's kind of like Rumi's, the guest house, maybe you know, that one, greet each each emotion as a treasured guest because they have, you know, gifts, unbeknownst to us.

So when we see it can hold them or emotional experience in that way, what we realize is that one, I, my essence, my identity is deeper than my essence is deeper than just this emotion or that emotion. You know, that's part of it. But there's something much deeper. And my ultimate nature back to the nature connection conversation.

I'm a part of all things. I'm as natural as any mountain or maple tree or moose. You know, just because I'm a modern human doesn't mean I'm not

an expression of the natural world that I'm of, we're all of this earth. That matters, right? Like we evolved of this earth. We didn't get dropped off here from Mars. And even if we did, that would still be nature. You know? So we're of this earth. And in that place of interconnection, with all things like I'm a unique puzzle piece in the great puzzle of life.

What we realize is that

and sorry, one little bit more piece of context. What I've seen through you know, a dozen years of men's work is there's there are guys who have really gone as deep as deep can go with with their emotional maturity journey and still feel that sense of lack of fulfillment still feel that sense of lack of meaning.

Because what's been missing

Here's the deeper sense of spiritual purpose right? That

their way of being while you know it's been smoothed over they're a better dad for it they're a better husband for they're a better community member for it the habit yet connected and sometimes they do you know sometimes guys do but it's it's I don't see that it's built into the modern men's work movement, right? Oftentimes people don't guys don't connect with that deep sense of soulful purpose, that deep sense of meaning that goes beyond, you know, this conversation of emotional maturity.


yeah, so like, another way of speaking about it is like this, we a simple three worlds model. Imagine upper world, Middle World, lower world, Middle World is the realm of the ego, it's the realm of realm of the mind, it's the realm of kind of every waking everyday waking consciousness, therapy, men's work, women's work, any emotionally emotional processes, dwell in that arena. The journey is like, how do I become a better me? Or how do I better my ego, and I don't hold that word in a bad way at all. Just ego meaning my personality, who I refer to when I say the word AI, how do I give and receive love more freely? Okay,

that's awesome. Then we've got the upper world realm of classical enlightenment, meditation, all is one one is all okay? Don't associate with the

too much with the trappings of the of the physical world, we're all spiritual beings, and we will transcend this. And that can, you know, give us real relief from worldly physical suffering.

But there's another realm, the lower world and this is the realm of soul, if the upper world is spirit than the lower world is actually soul. And in the realm of soul, the essential question is, but why am I here?

Whether I'm wounded or healed, whether I'm realizing my oneness or not, why did I take physical shape as a human being on planet Earth in this year, 2022.

This world does matter. The Earth does matter, our physical lives do matter. And we're here for a reason.

And when we can connect with that, and that's a different journey than the journey of emotional maturity. That's where that deep,

that deep, meaning that deep fulfillment comes from.

So I'll pause there.

Curt Storring 42:42

Yeah, that's, that's like a, let's take a deep breath together sort of.

That almost sounds like the sort of Taoist idea of you know, you're here for a reason your soul picks you now, in this time in this place.

In men, that's unusual for a lot of guys to think about. And I am in multiple I'm run into him in men's groups, some of which talk about what you're talking about, some of which focus more on that middle ground of, you know, sorting out the emotions and the ego and stuff like that. And I Yeah, I'm just seeing now I'm making maybe stories or judgments about men that I have seen stay there and never ventured out. Yeah. And, like, I know, you said your men's group was amazing. And maybe it's just by virtue of the like, powerhouses you and Dan and

Tim Corcoran 43:37

Owen was on Yeah, like, maybe that's what creates it, but how have you seen this really be brought to light in a men's group like this? Is it physical processes? Is it being in nature together? Is it like quests? How do we get there for the man like, Ooh, that sounds like, like I needed? Yeah. Well, I would offer that you know, as, as diverse, multifaceted human beings, we need more than one support group, you know, like, I've got my men's group and, and we do emotions really, really well. You know, I'm blessed to have relationships with some local Native American people and, and one family in particular. And, and that's where I go for, for deep ceremony. You know, I've got a therapist and when there's deep really intense one on one work, she's the one who I call my wife is lives a conscious life, she can support me in certain ways. I've got certain friends.

And is it possible for a men's group to do this? Sure. But it hasn't been so much the case for me, you know, in my group, we've done emotions and we've done them really well. But that's you know, that's kind of where it stops. Do we go outside sometimes sometimes we'll we've got a beautiful lake here. Sometimes we'll we'll do group on a boat or sometimes we'll meet outside and that's great, but

the journey

Connecting with purpose is really different. And I should let you know I'm fresh off the heels of leading a wilderness vision quest down in Southern California, where we just had 10 folks and myself and my co facilitator, which is a big, you know, 10 Day events the heart of Wix is, which is a four day fast in the wilderness solo fast in the wilderness, where people go out with the singular question, what is my purpose? What is my vision? Why did I take birth?

It's not to polish the ego. It's not to rehearse wounds for the umpteenth millionth time. It's not to experience all as one one is all like classical meditation, it's to get a real answer in the body and embodied answer to the question. Why did I take take shape here on take form here on this earth? And for me,

you know, and of course, I'm biased. This is the work I do. But I, you know, that's, that's, that's what I started did my first vision quest when I was 24, I think. And it was, yeah, it was, it was at the heart of it. It was a four day fast and the wilderness held by a team of soulful mentors.

With proper preparation and integration work, this is, you know, some people like to compare this to psychedelics and that whole thing. It's really a very different journey than that.

As well, it's an important distinction. But it's one that required it is a mentored process for sure. It is something that requires significant preparation for in order for it to go well, and significant processing, debriefing integration incorporation work in order to be received well.

That's the best way. If I could snap my fingers, you know, like, boy, boy, yeah, let's all do a big vision quest together, although I like to keep them small. So there's a lot of personal connection.

Curt Storring 46:53

Yeah, yeah. Well, that's beautiful. And thank you for sharing that. And I'm glad that there are people like you're doing this work, because I need mentors and elders and things like that in my life as I go through personally, this, you know, maturation of the middle ground. And you know, staying a lot in the high ground, sort of be, you know, very chill and all that kind of stuff. Going to the soulful place is like, ooh, that's fertile. Just for me. That's fertile to dive into. So please go on, though. If you've got more. Yeah. Well, there's I like working with poetry. Do you guys? Are you into poetry at all, Curt?

Tim Corcoran 47:32

I appreciate it. And I can't say I'm into it. Okay, that's cool. I'll offer this little short poem. I prepared this for our podcast, I had a feeling we might wind up in this conversation. So this is a poem by Rainier Maria Rilke, a real key was a poet who lived 800 years ago. And this poem was actually translated by Robert Bly, who we mentioned, he's the author of iron John, and many refer to him as the founder, right, the grandfather of the modern men's movement.

And so the poem goes like this.

Sometimes a man stands up during supper,

and walks out doors, and keeps on walking,

because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.

And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.

Another man who remains inside his own house, stays there,

inside the dishes and the glasses, so that his children have to go far out into the world, toward that same church, which he forgot.

And so how I hold that poem is the church is representing purpose, or vision, or our deepest, soulful path in this life, and that if we're going to be the best dad we can be, then we have to be fully alive. And if we're going to be fully alive, we have to be connected to that golden thread of something really meaningful. That that gets us out of bed in the in the morning.

For most guys, I'm gonna say beyond being a husband and a father.

Yes, that's important. Is that part of my purpose? Of course, is it part of most of our purposes, I would garner to say yes, but there is more as well, and it's not about better or worse. But

for most men, there is also more to that deepest spiritual calling. That's the church. You know, it was really tough man. I do these quests. They're like 10 days long. This one was in California. I live in Idaho. I had two days of Trellis 12 days. I hate leaving my family for 12 days. My sons don't like it. My wife doesn't like it. It puts added pressure on them.

But you know what, I go out there, and I am completely filled up. I see men work with men and women, they have deep transformations, they connect to their own calling. We had one guy who, oh, my god, quick story. Within the story here, he was a therapist, who was for years and years worked within the church, the church was his whole community beautiful. And I've got nothing against, you know, modern religion. I mean, it's probably a whole other conversation. But in his case, his church like 10 years ago, blew up lead pastor

was having major problems and hiding it in the shadows, the whole thing, the church blew up with it, his faith blew up. This guy showed up into class, like, seriously depressed, like a black cloud hanging over him. And to the extent where I was even having second thoughts about accepting him initially, but we did. And that was, I was fine with that. And his work on the quest, everyone's work during quest is a little different, you know, but we often talk about what's dying in us, and what's being born and for him what was dying and had been dying for a long time, you know, because he was on and off anti depression meds and all of this. What was dying in him was God, or better said his relationship with God and the old way. But he had never let fully let it go. My judgment.

What he did on Quest was he, this was his call, not not my suggestion, but his choice. He buried God. He said, You know what?

I'm this has needed to happen for 10 years, and I have never done it, and it's going to happen. And so he did. And it was tears, and it was scary and sad and everything. And then it turned for him. And he started seeing the sacred and life once again, birdsong that grabbed the green grass, the blue of the sky, it, the colors were brighter. He came out of that quest, he looked like he was 15 years younger, I'm not exaggerating, and he was smiling, the cloud was gone. He's like, the life of the party. Turns out the guy's super funny.

He's like, cracking jokes. And, and I almost hesitate sharing it, because does everyone experienced that kind of transformation? No. But yes, on the deepest level, right, in this his case, it just took outward shape very quickly, early on. And he had really established his relationship with his creator, you know, with his place in life with himself. And it was so touching, I mean, it we were just in tears, you know, seeing this fella and every, all the other nine had their own similar, you know, powerful, but different journeys.

So, back to the poem, and then I'll wrap, kind of taking some different side turns here. So

if we don't look at the second part, right, the other man who stays in the house gets lost in the dishes and glasses, and then his kids have to go far out into the world to find that same church that he never did. You know, that was kind of my story, right? Like my dad and mom didn't go after deep, spiritual soulful purpose. I had to leave the Midwest and go west young man, and I had to cut ties with my mom, because she was being overbearing, and oh, my god, the whole thing, you know, and then drive drove her crazy. And she thought I was gonna die. Coming back with long hair, and you know, the prodigal son the whole thing. And but I had found my spiritual path in life, I had found my church, I had found my calling, and,

but with it, what was the cost, you know, was a big wedge between me and my folks, you know, that I've worked, and thankfully, bridged.

But I would offer that as men as men, as fathers, we, there is that deeper calling that calls each of us and it is our responsibility to go after that. And that, yes, it's hard, you know, to leave, it was hard for me to leave those 12 days. But then I come back, Curt, and I'm filled up, I can see the problems in the family a little clearer. I've got a little more capacity to deal with conflict, I can give my wife that breaks, she really needs I can really show up for my son's I can feel into what's going on and I can help them and I am I mean, that's what's going on. Like, I'm a weak back, you know, so it's really fresh for me. And is it perfect? No. But is it better than me saying no to that church to that calling? Absolutely. You know, absolutely. And so that's what I think what I would want to offer the guys listening, I know men's work, yes, thumbs up, thumbs up, thumbs up is there's more to it than that, you know, to go after that calling. Maybe it's with me, maybe it's with somebody else, you know, that's fine. My hope is just that guys, that as we continue to evolve in this modern experience, we realize you know, there's there's more to living a full life than just the emotional side of things that cultivating a spiritual connection is just as and that sense of purpose is just as important and unique from that emotional connection. Man, thank you so much for sharing

Curt Storring 55:00

Not from the poem to the the lesson of the depth of that, like, that feels right to me that there should be, and there ought to be almost. And I explained very rarely say there ought to be or there should be a depth to experience, because it is possible to experience that, therefore, why wouldn't you? And maybe I get it, because if you haven't felt that way before, it's like, oh, yeah, whatever, right. But man, oh, it is. So overwhelmingly joyous, purposeful, whatever you want to call it. And before we wrap up here, I just want to make sure we touch on the Father Son wilderness program, even if that's just you giving us like a quick spiel. I would love you to do that, because this is such important work. So could you talk to us about that for two or three minutes? Yeah, I'll try and keep it quick here.

Tim Corcoran 55:48

So I long have had an aptitude with my own sons to take them on wilderness adventures, right when they were little to middle childhood and now into the teen years. And I just found I always found Curt, that that was when our connection was oftentimes at its best, always. No, but oftentimes, yeah.

And it was actually working with another podcaster. First, I don't know if you're familiar with Ben Greenfield, he's a big fitness. I was literally going to ask if you knew him. Okay. Close to you. And he also on schools, isn't he? Yeah, I've been mentoring Ben for years. And his sons, you know, he sends his sons to a wilderness school. And I just took them through their rite of passage last spring. And anyhow, it was Ben, maybe I don't know. It's probably 10 years ago, it was probably 2011 or 2012. That first asked me, Hey, you've got these great nature connection programs for adults and you've gotten for kids, but at the time, we didn't have any for families. And he's like, What would you think about doing a father son one? He's like, I bet I could rustle up some buddies. And we could do this. Yeah, I wasn't sure. Yeah, let's give it a shot. So we did. And I don't know, we had maybe just a half dozen dads and their sons ages, you know, like eight to 13. And I put together this, this program, and it was designed with the intention of connect the fathers and sons to nature, connect them to themself, like individually and connect them to one another, with a little sprinkle of the deeper soul connection, you know, in there. And oh, my gosh, so it's gotten really popular. Now I've run these once or twice a year, and they always fill up and

the heart of it, it's, it's this journey. So I kind of use the Wilderness Survival arc. So we do three days of wilderness survival, primitive survival training. So it's like building shelters with branches and leaves that can actually keep you warm and dry. From a technical perspective, rubbing sticks together to actually make fire. Yes, you can do that it does work.

Learning plants, you can eat simple hunting techniques, we don't do full on hunting in the program to give it accessible, but

so there's all of this like three days of that training leading up to one big overnights where we all leave camp behind, take minimal gear, and then each family's got to build a shelter, make fire, and then find food out there. And manage all the chaos of you know, and the dynamics of fathers and sons along the way. But we do it together as a big tribe. And then on a daily basis, you know, we're doing a men's circle every night after dinner, right when the kids get the wildest you know, and they're like ramping up, I send the kids off the boys with the 20 year old assistants and then I take the dads and we all chill you know for like an hour or two and we have our men's circle and talk about being a dad go deep you know and share emotions and the whole thing and so that builds up and by a man by the time we get through that final overnight at the end, I mean the bond is just incredible because as we know what what connects us as humans, vulnerability, you know, emotional vulnerability equals emotional connection, physical vulnerability, putting yourself out there and testing yourself and your fan your son your family against the, the elements. That's vulnerable. Yeah, big time. So guess what the bonds that form in the midst of that, you know, it's like lifetime friendships and Brotherhood's are formed guys still stay in touch with each other years later.

And at the very end of it all I have, I have dads put together a really special gift you know, and we end it on the last day with an acknowledgement circle where one family at a time takes a turn kind of standing in the center of the circle and first and I prepare everybody for this you know, the first the son honors the father and just speaks his love to his dad. You know, and I always have the dad take a knee you know, see eye to eye with his son and and oftentimes you know with with the the boys there's not a ton of words. Sometimes there are simple ways or eloquent but mostly, you know, God, they're like eight 910 years old, right? Like 11 Like it the palpable feeling of love heartfelt love Curt is so strong. And you know, I mean, we're all usually crying by this point right now

And then the dad honors the son. And, and there's a gift, you know, oftentimes it's whatever the knife of the grandfather who passed it on to the dad and is now passing on to their son or different, you know, orally or maybe it's a storebought thing, but it's something with some meaning, you know, something that's lasting, and just to be acknowledged, and that for the love and the relationship to be acknowledged in that way in a circle of brothers. I mean, it's like, Man, I just want to tear up, I'm feeling almost tearing up thinking about it, because it's so it's so rich, you know, and like,

there's so much love that gets expressed, you know, and it's like, yeah, you know, as men, do we get kind of crazy in action or does, yeah, okay. And that's part of our deal. That's who we are. And we got it. That's part of the journey. But at the end, you know, we've all got a heart of gold. And that just gets expressed so beautifully. I'll say this to the favorite part, that the boys consistently say, yeah, they love the adventure, you know, okay, that's awesome. You know, and we love making it awesome. But one of the best parts I'm always so proud of is, the other thing we do is I do a little practice called the sit spot where Usually this is done alone at most of our nature connection programs. But in this case, I have fathers and sons sit together. And the only task is to sit quietly in nature, it might be 510 1520 minutes, be present in your senses, quiet the mind, and feel one another's presence as you feel the presence of the natural world. And that simple practice, I cannot tell you, everybody loves it, but especially the boys, and particularly on the younger side, when they're connected in that way, like we were talking about earlier.

Man, they just can't get enough of it. And it's like, you know, it's like, I'm under the garage with my dad looking at the rain all over again, you know, but it's that because what's going on? It's the being state, Dad's connecting son is connecting. That's the task. That's the thing he has to do. And we're good at doing fulfilling tasks, right.

And that's like, the most fulfilling thing that the boy has consistently asked for, again, can we do another sit spot today? They'll say, you know, I really want to do that again, you know? So yeah, it's a super fun program. And if guys are interested,

Curt Storring 1:02:11

I can give more information in a minute on how to connect with that. Well, Tim, thank you for doing that. That's incredible. And much needed. And it's actually really funny. I literally didn't put two and two together until you started talking about that. I was going to sign up for this. Oh, when he 20 Right. Before all the travel things, though, right?

Yeah. And I'm in Canada, so it's even trickier, right? But man, I just googled it what you're talking about, and it's like, oh, I recognize this, like, this close. So we'll be there as soon as we can, man. Oh, that's awesome, man.

Yeah, okay. I'm, you know, very, very grateful. And, you know, almost,

I really liked what I read. And I was not sure what to expect otherwise, but the breadth of experience and the depth of experience that you've shared, I am just beyond grateful. And I'm so, so thankful that you were able to share that with us, Tim, where can people find out more to partake in your offerings or the father son wilderness program, he just told about websites, social media, whatever is best. Well, and you're welcome. It's it's it's really an honor for me, I do this work, because I love it. And I love this world. And I love I love the journey of fatherhood, right? And the journey of connecting with purpose. So it's really an honor.

Tim Corcoran 1:03:26

Yeah, so if guys are interested in the Father Son wilderness program that's through my wilderness school that's called Twin Eagles wilderness school that my wife and I founded in 2005. On the web, it's easy, it's just with an s at the So WWW.TWINEAGLES.ORG We've also got tons of summer camps and adult programs and youth programs all focused on nature connection.

For folks interested in the deeper soulful journey of connecting with purpose. My other organization purpose Mountain is the place to go. And I offer one on one mentoring like distance metrics on the phone. And then I also offer these in person 10 day long vision quests we typically these days, we're doing two a year,

mostly because so I don't leave my family too much to go to that church.

So we do September in Idaho, we're nearby where I live. And then we do

march in Southern California outside of Santa Barbara where my co facilitator Mark Tollefson lives down there, and that's the one we just finished up. So if you're interested in that kind of work, connecting with purpose from a nature based perspective, its no spaces or dashes or Beautiful okay, we'll put all of that in the show notes at Dad.Work/Podcast, you can check that out and check him out. I highly recommend working with him however you can and I'm going to continue to be in touch myself to be honest because

Curt Storring 1:05:00

I've really enjoyed your energy and appreciate that. So Tim, thank you very much for being on the podcast and I look forward to chatting soon. You're welcome Curt thank you so much

that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today, including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave a review work with us go to, that's DAD.WORK/POD type that into your browser just like a normal URL Dad.Work/od to find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next time.

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