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Getting Your Needs Met

Getting Your Needs Met

This past weekend I was teaching a music and yoga festival. It was an amazing weekend of deep work with men and couples. After polling 100 men, I found that more than 75% of them felt they fit into the “people pleaser caretaker camp”. The people pleaser caretaker (or nice guy) is someone that doesn’t like to rock the boat, they feel more at ease when they are seeing to others needs and will often hear the phrase “you are such a nice guy”.   The people pleaser nice guy often feels dissatisfied with his sexual/intimate relationship. It is often the “people pleaser caretaker” that stews in dissatisfaction. He doesn’t have the kind of sex, affection or adoration that he yearns for.   Problem #1   He rarely if ever puts himself first.   The “people pleaser caretaker” doesn’t speak up to get his needs met. He doesn’t speak his desire, he thinks of his wife or partner before himself, his efforts are aimed at what he thinks is the noble thing: “making others feel good”.   The habit of putting others first leaves him to secretly sulk in frustration of not having his needs met. His already low self-esteem spirals downward into the whirlpool of the “poor me victim”. He then gives, even more, attention and loving to his partner to make up for his feeling of low self-worth. Breaking this habit can be terrifyingly difficult.   Solution #1 Own Your Warrior   The first step is: ‘Own Your Warrior’. Owning your warrior means coming into the awareness that you must make your own needs your priority. You... read more
Let the Sadness Be Sweet

Let the Sadness Be Sweet

After a breakup lying on the ground in front of my meditation altar tears pouring out of my eyes. Feeling alone on an empty beach watching the sunset in a soft and quiet sadness. Sitting on a park bench in Germany feeling confused in what to do next in life, unable to move as grief flows over me. These were a few of the many times of my life where loneliness, sadness, and grief have washed over me. In so many of these times of sadness the interesting thing is that the emotiondoesn’t arrive alone. When I have allowed the loneliness and sadness to be fully alive within me, a secondary feeling arrives, a sense of sweetness wrapped up in an underlying longing to be free. There is a gentle mood of reflection when the sweetness arrives. I could also describe it as a sort of tender melancholy. I’m not referring to the kind of melancholic depression or emotional resignation, but rather the feeling of being emptied out. The act of “allowing” invites a sweetness to join hands with the sadness. When I’ve been in resistance to the pain then the sadness turns sours and creates a self-judgmental loop. As a man this was not something I was taught, I had to move through endless amounts of pain and sadness to figure this out. And through my years of work as a coach and mentor I’ve seen countless men experience the same. The way through resistance is... read more
The Subtle Shaming of Men and Vulnerability

The Subtle Shaming of Men and Vulnerability

            A man I knew rarely if ever shared his emotions with his wife. He would often feel unsure and insecure about their relationship; his coping mechanism would be to go into hyper pleasing mode to try and make her happy. His nice guy pleasing mode was a nasty habit of neediness that he fell into often (and didn’t like). He never felt brave enough to share this issue with her. Another guy I knew went through a long period of money challenges and felt he wasn’t living up to his big ideal of what a “good and powerful man” should look like. The way he dealt with this was by being overly defensive to any criticism or feedback from his wife.  He would get easily offended because he was judging himself as not being enough, not being successful. In both cases the men were clear that there was “no way” they were going to be vulnerable and share these issues with their partners. Not vulnerably sharing is death to emotional intimacy in relationship, which amounts to inauthentic relating. Not only does inauthenticity impair loving connection in relationship, but in sex, friendships, your relationship with yourself, and in all the little moments of time in your life. The conundrum for men in being vulnerable: we want to be vulnerable, share our pain, our fears, even our darkness, but we also know that women (this is a generalization of course) find our confidence attractive. Mistakenly, however, men think of confidence as excluding vulnerability, when in fact, the foundation of true confidence is our ability to... read more
Be Less Tolerant

Be Less Tolerant

              In my 20’s I hung with this guy that was often critical, judgmental and not really enjoyable to be with. It was challenging being around him, but I chose to hang out with him because I felt his good heart beneath his shitty attitude. When we were hanging out and things didn’t go his way or if I would do something he didn’t like he would lob personal insults; and if I argued back with him, he would verbally attack me immediately. So why did I take his abuse?  For reasons unknown to me at the time, I tolerated his rude, judgmental and unkind behavior. Thinking about it now, it was pretty crazy that I tolerated someone treating me that way. The truth is, the unkind, critical guy was living inside of me, and it was me! When I made a mistake and screwed something up I would slam myself with insults. If I saw someone more successful than I am, I would put myself down to drive the point home of how I was “less than” him. If I felt sad I would judge myself as weak. Anytime there was an opportunity to find something wrong with myself, I would. I know many of you do this as well, you don’t give yourself a break, and you’re relentlessly hard on yourself. You tolerate a harsh inner critic. One reason I tolerated this unfriendly behavior to myself, is the same reason that someone stays in an unhealthy or even abusive relationship; because it’s what we know even if it’s unpleasant. We tolerate... read more
Vulnerability Better Sex and Intimacy

Vulnerability Better Sex and Intimacy

                      Vulnerably sharing is one of the things that a woman want most from a man, and it can also be one of the most difficult thing for a man. A man being challenged in sharing his feelings is not a new subject or perhaps doesn’t sound that interesting. But, vulnerability is key to creating a healthy loving and juicy relationship. Vulnerability traditionally means a place in which one can be injured. I like the image of the vulnerable places in the Knight’s suit of armor (namely the neck, armpit and even back of the thigh are the vulnerable places). In this example the vulnerabilities can mean being seriously wounded or killed, and for some men, that’s how it sometimes feels to share a hurt, pain or shame.   In my experience, vulnerably sharing a fear or insecurity has often felt like pulling teeth. Sharing anger is often easy, but confiding in what is underneath is not just scary, but also can take some practice in even figuring out those deep-seated emotions. Usually what is locked away is sadness. Rather than “going there”, I have often ignored or hidden the thing that could have been shared. It then becomes this secret internal burden that I must bare alone. And that ultimately will turn into shame or guilt.   There are different methods we employ to avoid our hurt and pain. One of the most common ways is to ‘numb oneself’ with external sources like porn, alcohol or obsessive shopping to name a few. Another way to avoid dealing with... read more
Man Did I Suffer In My 30’s

Man Did I Suffer In My 30’s

              A short journey into my spiritual life   In my coaching work with people over the years I have seen a majority of people go through their personal growth crisis in their early thirties. I as well found myself at an intense turning point at 30 yrs. old. Here is a snapshot into what I was experiencing: * My marriage of over 10 years had ended. This unhealthy and destructive relationship had taken a huge toll on me. I was suffering greatly. I was confused and unclear about what to do with my life. And I had a son and stepson that I was partially responsible for. * I was stressed out as my two businesses were failing and crashing. * My life as a musician and trying to “make it” was no longer appealing to me.  Playing in bars and clubs had lost the “sexy” appeal. * The beautiful (post-divorce) relationship I was in ended. That was the final push into my unavoidable tailspin. You could say I was a wreck.  Everything that I had cultivated in my life was burning. In my suffering and loneliness I had suicidal thoughts plaguing me often. I would spend hours alone in tears and self-hatred. I did not like my life, nor did I like myself and the ways I acted. As I sit here writing this and feeling into the devastation I felt at that time, I can sense into the darkness that was slowly trying to swallow me whole. I had a choice.  Break down or break wide open.  It is the... read more
How Men Disempower Women

How Men Disempower Women

I’m changing the title to How Men Can Empower Women (and themselves)               Evan was a mama’s boy growing up; he’ll be the first to admit it. As a kid he felt responsible for his Mother’s happiness because his father was rarely home. With his father busy at work most of the time he took it upon himself to provide the love and companionship that his father should have been giving. When his mother was upset he would distract her, either by entertaining her with his silliness or with his owns needs. Evan shared with me that he would emotionally care for his mother; he was always gauging his mother’s emotional moods. Through pleasing her, he was alleviating the guilt he felt for his absent father. When he did this, he would gain approval from his mom. One mistake he made was in confusing the approval he received from her, as proof that she was happy.  He was diligent to get good grades in school or anything else that might bring more approval. He became addicted to her approval of him and his actions. Why do you think I’m sharing this story with you? Because in my work with men I see a great number of men with these two connected issues. Men that that do not see women as their equals And Secondly men that live with an unhealthy need for approval by women Here is how I see these two things intersecting Evan doesn’t see women as his equals, he sees them as something that needs to be taken care of... read more
Prison of Porn

Prison of Porn

The Prison of Pornography           If you view porn more than once a month please read this!   Are you a man that is hooked on pornography? Well you’re not alone. The staggering statistics online say that 70% of men use porn (and the number might be higher).  And I myself struggled with this years ago.   Mostly this comes out of habit and ways of coping. It is our human nature to resist any uncomfortable feelings in life, so we check out through trying to feel only what we deem “pleasurable.”   Many of my clients reveal to me, after we begin to build a trusting relationship, that they are addicted to porn. This causes deep shame for them and yet, because it is so secretive, they are unsure what to do.   The truth is…   It isn’t something to be ashamed of. Rather, it can offer us an opportunity for radical growth, if we can shift our frame of reference.   Although there are some upsides to using porn (we’ll discuss this another time) there are an overwhelming amount of downsides.   Here a few reasons to curb or give up your porn habits.   Too many unrealistic ideals and “shoulds” After watching porn, ever notice that you begin to judge how your sex life should be, how your partner should act, how you should act, how your partner should look, how big your cock should be? This sets unrealistic ideals that we can never achieve. Bad education (this follows on the thought of unrealistic ideals) Porn can be a huge reason... read more
Why You Shouldn’t Care

Why You Shouldn’t Care

                When you are beginning to date a new woman, caring too much about how the first few dates will go is a waste of your energy. When I was dating and I was concerned about putting on my best face, my best show, my most confident self, I would end up feeling the crappiest. I was too attached to the outcome of the date, I cared too much about what she thought about me. If I was really attracted to her, I would pay extra attention to how I showing up, because I REALLY wanted her to go out with me again. I am not saying you shouldn’t be caring and mindful in how you are relating to her. I am not saying you shouldn’t be kind, funny, attentive or sweet with her. Not caring is not about being disconnect from her, its about being lovingly present with yourself. I am suggesting to release the intensity about caring if she thinks your amazing.  If you really want her to like you If you really want her to be impressed by you If you want her to be in awe of you If you want her to think you’re sexy If you want her to think you’re a worldly and spiritual dude If you want her to swoon If you want her to want you Don’t! Caring too much about what she thinks about you, gives off a certain odor, a stink if you will. Women can feel the energy behind your actions, don’t fool yourself guys they really can. Try going... read more
The Years End

The Years End

New Years is a great time for reflection, to look back on the experiences of our past year. It’s such a quiet, deep time. In the darkness of winter, I can really take time to review our collective experiences as a local and global community. We may not realize the collective experience we are having when national or global events occur. Whether it is a terrorist act or a teenager receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, it affects all of our lives individually and collectively as we are all in relationship. One place we have a collective experience is when public figures pass away. I always get choked up when I see the “who we lost this year” segment on the news.   BB King’s passing is sad not because I was a huge fan, but because he was a groundbreaker who changed the music world. Scott Weiland’s (Stone Temple Pilots) death hit a little closer to home since I had some close ties to him. He was still young, and had young children.   Death from drug addiction is always tragic because it feels so avoidable. Bobbi Kristina Brown’s death was especially sad not only because she was so young, but because she died almost exactly as her mother did. We were rooting for her, hoping she could break the cycle that her mother was a part of.   Even though he shared that he was not at all afraid of death, and that he had lived a great life, Wayne Dyer’s passing had the most impact on me. He taught us that nothing really dies, that we are... read more
Another Holiday Hell? Or Another Opportunity?

Another Holiday Hell? Or Another Opportunity?

 Another Holiday Hell? Or Another Opportunity, Its Up To You! I am preparing for my upcoming visit to my fiancées family for the holidays. As I reflect back on past holidays I think of how challenged I felt at times over the years at holiday gatherings.  Triggered by family members, feeling alone or awkward. At times it seemed like the only thing in common was that we were family. It can be challenging for any of us to be with family that may not share our views on the environment, spirituality, or other core life subjects. This is a common theme amongst men since we do not address our emotions as fluidly as women (complete stereotype but you know what I mean).  We tend to keep our emotions hidden behind our manly facade. When we are not in tune with our emotions nor communicating them through our words or creating boundaries, we end up tight and contracted.  I myself have spent holidays in my own internal hell as I sat in tension and judgment. Now I know that this is a challenging task with family because even though they are family, we might not feel a deep heart connection.  We many not feel as connected as we do with our friends and community.  And yet, here is an opportunity to touch into our wounds and to create space for healing. How can we make this holiday more meaningful? How can we use this holiday as an opportunity for conscious growth not just making it through? How can we bring more joy to others? Food One of the big challenges... read more

Purpose Over Relationship Confusion

There is a growing misconception that men have around purpose and relationship. Many modern men are aware of the idea that a man must make his purpose a high priority in his life, a higher priority than his relationship. While there is absolutely truth in this, the problem is in the misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the idea. The misinterpretation with this idea is that if a man chooses to make his relationship more important than his purpose it will weaken him, his partner will be less attracted to him, that he is less masculine or less empowered. (recently a man shared with me that he must not be a very masculine because he always makes his relationships a priority over his life purpose). I’ve met many men that are ridiculously hard on themselves because ‘they don’t have a purpose’.  Purpose is healthy A man on a mission is filled with juice, with fire, with energy. It feeds us on so many levels, gives us confidence and meaning. Your purpose matters, it is your responsibility to share your gifts, skills and talents. All the inherent challenges in living your purpose can keep you inspired, motivated and in action. There is a healthy approach to living one’s purpose. As a man lives an inspired and purposeful life he can then bring all this energy and juice into his relationship. Your purpose keeps you motivated to be your best. Challenge  Some men that don’t have a clear mission, depend on their relationship to feel fulfilled in life. When we don’t have a reason to wake, to work, and to serve, men often feel... read more

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