An interview with Frederick
Frederick Whitmeyer has done it all as an engineer,
a teacher, a successful business man, and a Ritual
Elder in the ManKind Project. He is also trained in
Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Healing Touch, Reflexology,
and Reiki. He is Chairman of A Man Overboard's
advisory committee, a friend, a true brother, and
my personal coach. So, this piece may be a tad
biased for him because I think the world of him.
He's a lot like Authentic Movement - you really
have to experience him for yourself. He's a
beautiful and talented man.
The day I spoke with Frederick for this
interview, I had just visited a friend in the
hospital who had "water on the brain" caused from
too much stress, according to his doctors. He had
viral meningitis because his immune system was worn
down, they said. It made me wonder if taking care
of ourselves as men is not simply a luxury - but a
matter of life and death.
I've never known anyone who takes care of
themselves as conscientiously as Frederick
Whitmeyer. He is particularly aware of his body and
how it reacts to food, sleep, and the energies of
others. Authentic movement helped him attune
himself to this kind of sensitivity, he said.
He first encountered the Jungian based work by
accident at a workshop entitled "Men and Intimacy"
a dozen years ago.
"At one of the break times, a man by the name of
Dale English invited some of us to come move with
him," Whitmeyer recounted. "He put on some music
and got about 40 guys to move with him."
Whitmeyer said he stood back by the wall,
"terrified" of walking the ten feet to where the
group was assembled in a circle.
"I was just going to watch, and Dale said,
'c'mon, c'mon, get into the circle,' over and over
again until the next thing I knew he had me closing
my eyes and moving."
For 45 minutes the men interacted in a "contact
improvisational" movement with music blaring and
eyes wide open. Initiatially, the men did not
touch, but mirrored each other's actions.
"It was very scary to have that much closeness
to the energy of other men," Whitmeyer recalled.
"It really scared me. I'd never been that close to
my own body, let alone to another man's
Unsure of what was happening to him emotionally,
Whitmeyer said fear came up for him, and later he
realized the feelings were about his
"I was exposed to more feelings than I was used
to feeling," he said. "I processed it for many
He said he knew there was "something important"
in what he experienced at that session so he
contacted Dale English and told him "I don't know
what you're doing, but there's something very
The result of the phone call was Whitmeyer's
first movement workshop aptly called "Creative
Movement for Men." The workshops continued for
Whitmeyer eventually co-led the trainings using
the Jungian model of processing the movement
afterwards with drawings.
"It became natural for us to do it," he
explained. "We used pencils, oils, cloth and Touch
Touch Drawing is like finger painting without
the mess. A fiber board is covered in a thin layer
of oil paint. A piece of tissue paper is then laid
on top. When a finger draws on the paper, the paint
is picked up on the other side.
"It's a way of creating art that's very
spiritual," Whitmeyer said. "Spirit moves one to
create some pretty fantastic pieces of art. The
processing time following the art becomes more
lengthy than the movement. I find it essential to
do processing after any kind of movement, otherwise
I become overwhelmed."
With all his own natural ability, Whitmeyer
attributes his success in life to a close
relationship with spirit.
"What I've learned is, I'm never doing anything
alone," he stated. "Energy and spirit are always
involved in what I'm doing. I either open that door
and I let it in or I keep it closed. I view that
everything I do I co-create with spirit. I use
spirit as another way of saying 'when I'm in touch
with my body I can feel things and when I'm not in
touch with my body I'm not feeling anything and I'm
not in touch with spirit.'"
Whitmeyer appears to have come full circle from
the left-brain engineer to the right-brained
empath. He studied petroleum engineering in Golden,
Colorado at the Colorado School of Mines. He then
studied at Lousiana State University in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana. Afterward, he worked for Humble
Oil and Refining, now Exxon Oil.
Forever the inquisitive student, he went back to
Lousiana State University where he received an MBA.
He then taught at the University of Southwestern
Lousiana in Lafayette for two years. He
matriculated at Harvard Business School and was a
professor at Boston College and Wake Forrest
University. He also ran his own computer software
business. He's truly the Spiritual Renaissance man!
My own coaching sessions are always filled with
that ineffable quality of spirit. He works from my
insides out. He's helping me learn that what I
create in my internal world attracts what happens
in the exterior world. It's created spiritually
before it happens temporally.
"I trust spirit to guide me because I'm a highly
sensitive person," he continued. "I'm very
intuitive and clairsentient. I can feel the
feelings of other people and other energies. I ask
spirit to guide me and help me separate 'my stuff'
from 'somebody else's stuff,' my feelings from
their feelings, so I can respond to what I'm
picking up from them."
Whitmeyer said he feels a sense of
responsibility within the spiritual realm. If he
gets "a hit" about a person from a feeling in his
body, he uses that sense to help clarify what the
other person is saying. Helping a person understand
they are not alone is the most important part of
"I tell them that everything they create is
co-created with spirit," he said. "It's too much of
a burden to create everything ourselves, in fact we
don't. All we can do is manage our energy to
attract to us what we want."
There are plenty of distractions in day to day
living as one drives through the city or walks
through a mall, he said, and Authentic Movement is
a powerful way of being in touch with one's body.
It can help a person concentrate like a form of
Paraphrasing one of his mentors, author Wayne
Dyer (The Awakened Life, There's a Spiritual
Solution to Every Problem, Choosing Your Own
Greatness), Whitmeyer said we are taught to believe
after we "see it."
"It's like 'I'll believe I got the money when I
The personal coach encourages people to use the
philosophy that "when you believe it, you'll see
it. Create it first spiritually, then it will
happen in reality."
"When I believe that my energy is connected to
spirit then I have the emotion - the energy in
motion - to move into the world of form. When I
believe I'm responsiblie for my own life, I create
my own reality. I'm not a victim anymore. Victim is
an important word. I grew up believing I was a
victim. Having experienced childhood abuse, one can
be a survivor and then a thriver."
As a man, Whitmeyer said he was taught not to
feel his emotions. That block made his connection
with Archetypal energies difficult.
"It's been a lifelong endeavor to get in touch
with the Archetyptal," he said. "Anytime I'm
feeling my feelings, I'm opening the door to spirit
and Archetypal Energy. Spirit and Archetypal Energy
are one and the same."
Whitmeyer described that Archetypal Energy as
"life energy, desire, passion, and clarity."
Prior to his work with Authentic Movement, he
said he was unable to have a successful
relationship with a woman.
"Once I began to get in touch with my own inner
feminine in a relationship with myself, I could
then have a relationship with a real female person
without being overcome by fear."
Whitmeyer holds out a hope that someday men and
women will do their personal work together.
"That's what I like about Authentic Movement, we
process by owning our own stuff," he said. "The
greatest value for me was learning to witness by
focusing on owning my judgments and projections and
really going down to what I was witnessing. It
requires the most powerful container I've ever been
a part of ... and then it turns out to be a very
clean process. Creating this container of safety
for people provides a place where they can step in
and do their work."
As a Ritual Elder in the ManKind Project (MKP),
Whitmeyer said he discovered a "freeing
environment" working separately with men.
"MKP has created a place for me to find my
masculine essence inside me," he said. "It's the
kind of thing I would hope that fathers would
create for their sons or at least older men around
younger men. We need to be able to create an
initiatory way to bring this masculine essence into
Interestingly, Whitmeyer said he has found that
being authentic about anger has been more welcomed
by women than men.
"They [women] are so welcoming to a man
being honest about his feelings," he explained.
"However, in order for a man to feel safe with a
woman, he has to be himself with men. Men need to
touch their own edge to know how to create a safe
Whitmeyer said his feeling of emotional safety
with Authentic Movement co-facilitator Sydney
Hughes-McGee helped him know that he could "be
himself at all times and not be judged or
"If I can honor my archteyptal energies, my
anima, then I can honor her energies," he said.
"I'm able to even honor the sexual energy I feel
from her and I speak those feelings to her. I will
say to a woman 'I love your sexual energy' and
that's not a dangerous thing to say."
Me, personally, I don't know how he gets away
with it. I envy him. I'm still worried about
"It's more natural for a woman to be in her
body," he continued. "She is required to be in
touch with her body every day, in touch with her
feminine sexuality, her menstrual periods, and
giving birth to children. It's natural for her to
be in touch with her body. It's very unnatural for
me. I was trained not to."
So, what keeps motivating this man who can do it
"It seems like I've always wanted something
difrerent than I had," he recalled. "From the
dysfuctions of family life or even the work I did,
I was drawn to things like teaching Sunday
His course curriculum at church came from author
Scott Peck's "The Road Less Traveled."
"I didn't even know what spiritual growth was 15
years ago," he said. "I was drawn to it without
knowing why. I also love teaching and
Doing something he really loved took the fear
out of the unknown.
"I was in a place I really loved so it didn't
feel so scary," he explained. "I'd say, 'oh, this
feels interesting, let's try this.'"
Whitmeyer said he wasn't sure he could go back
to teaching Sunday School again because they might
"throw him out."
" ... because my concept has gone way beyond
what the church taught. I've included spiritual
concepts like meditation, Budhism, Hinduism, and
other spiritual practices in my life."
Whitmeyer has a wide range of skills at his
disposal. His experience and training in Authentic
Movement is just one of many arrows in this man's
"Something touched me with Authentic Movement
when I knew I had a choice," he said. "That's what
is so wonderful about choice - it's when you
recognize you have power. When we think we don't
have choice, we give up our power. Authentic
Movement taught me I had the choice to move in or
to move away. It's the same in life and everything.
That's what's so empowering."
Whitmeyer concluded our conversation by inviting
men to experience Authentic Movement.
"You don't need to force yourself in any way,"
he said, in his powerful yet gentle tone. "Let
yourself swim in it ... and it's going to be
beautiful. You'll love it." Contact Frederick
Whitmeyer at 336.427.2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2005 Reid Baer
* * *
The fame you earn has a different taste from the
fame that is forced upon you. - Gloria
Reid Baer, an
award-winning playwright for A Lyons
Tale is also a newspaper journalist, a poet
with more than 100 poems in magazines world wide,
and a novelist with his first book released this
month entitled Kill
The Story. Baer has been
a member of The ManKind Project since 1995 and
currently edits The New Warrior Journal for
The ManKind Project www.mkp.org
He resides in Reidsville, N.C. with his wife
Patricia. He can be reached at E-Mail.
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