Why Men Might Avoid Psychotherapy or Inner Work [video]

Healing My Food Issues with the Help of My Kids

veggies from my friend marcus's organic farm

veggies from my friend marcus’s organic farm

Growing up I couldn’t leave the table unless I ate all my vegetables. This set up a dynamic where I had to abandon my body and its knowing in order to maintain a comfortable connection with my parents. If I listened to my body, things didn’t go well relationally. So, to do it very differently and trust my children around food is awesome, and it’s also hard.

Sometimes, I think they need more of something or less of something and I notice how I’ll try to control them. I then catch myself and come back to the question “what if trusted their little bodies?” And, since my kids are actually in their bodies, it’s easier. When kids are living in a trauma state or unsafe environment, they are not in their bodies, therefore they don’t trust their bodies.

Our kids are now eating greens more than ever not because we told them they “should” or “have to” but because my wife and I eat them all the time and our bodies like them. I continue to aspire to have my kids to trust themselves in an over-sugarized, over-processed-food culture. The irony, is that nearly 40 years later, I’m still learning to trust my own body around food.

So, once again, my kids are giving me the opportunity to heal my relationship to food and nourishment at a deeper level.

Me = student.

When it comes to food, we are all listening.

How to Set A Boundary in Relationship [video]

Here’s a Life Hack presentation I gave at the Integral Center here in Boulder. My view is that we all need to learn how to set solid, clear, dynamic boundaries. That is, if we want to go further in relationship.

 

 

On Marijuana

I LOVE that Marijuana is now legal in CO! Thank you voters and thank you ‘me’ for voting! HUGE YES. It’s about freakin’ time. Hemp is critical to the earth’s balance and marijuana is powerful medicine that can truly help people.

That said, more and more I notice grown men who smoke a lot of weed, like daily use. Is that a big deal? On one level no– each person gets to choose how they show up in life. And, I notice of the guys who I know that smoke weed daily, it’s like they have a soft, warm, blanket over them which makes them less available for their lives, kids, partners and me.

I want warriors right now. Men who will stand with me and fight for themselves, their families, and for LOVE. I judge that you are less effective while being high daily. I’m open to be shown otherwise, but I’ve yet to meet that guy. If you smoke that much, chances are you are avoiding your direct experience and is that ultimately what you want to do? Is there a way for us to be in our own personal integrity (not ego’s version) while using a powerful plant like MJ and serve the greater good? Does marijuana help you connect to others or keep you at a distance?

My own view is that marijuana is a sacred plant and it’s medicine. However, when used daily it loses it’s power and becomes another way a lot of folks check out and avoid their experience.

Your take?

How To Stop Looping in the Same Fights With Someone You Love

photo by j. gaddis

If we stuck in a fight with someone we love and we are 1) blaming 2) defensive, or 3) want to be “right,” these are most likely a sign that we are acting like a hurt young one and that there’s something about us we are not seeing. That’s our sign to stop, lay down our arms, and re-calibrate. That’s our sign to step back, and get curious about what’s being triggered in us. Now we are changing the game from the issue being a “problem” into an opportunity. Here we can find the power to grow and heal. Now we can get somewhere!

Sometimes it takes me a while to see that I’m in a loop with my wife.  I can’t always see the blindspot on my own. That’s why it’s called a blindspot! So, this is where we rely on others who “have our back. We MUST have solid community around us to help us see through our ego strategies and games. Folks that are willing to give us some hard feedback or lovingly see through our blindspots. A men’s group, a women’s group, solid friendships, a mentor, or a solid therapist can all do the job.

Lastly, EMBRACE conflict. It’s the fuel that helps us grow!

If you are unclear how to “see it” then go to your people and reach out for help.

To Some Divorced Parents

photo by j. gaddis

photo by j. gaddis

To some divorced parents:

Thank you to everyone who has gotten a divorce because they gave it their all and it wasn’t working. There’s a time to move on.

Thank you for not “protecting” your children because you think it’s better for them if you stay in a dead marriage and pretend like everything’s okay (kids are way smarter than that).

Let’s agree that on the big level, you have no idea what’s best for your kids in the long run. Some kids of divorce are liberated when their parents finally pull the plug. Others are devastated (and, there’s a spectrum of everything in between). Both are an important part of that child’s path and karma. Both are gifts and sadly one is more accepted as such than the other.

So, thanks for having the courage to put yourself first. And, if you are divorced and really smart, you know your relational patterns will follow you until you face them. And for the even more courageous ones, thank you for not blaming your X for your failed marriage. I always know when I meet a mature divorced adult whey they can acknowledged where they came up short, where they were blocked, and where they fell asleep while still holding respect for their partner.

We all have wounds. Welcome to the challenging path of relationship.

Ten Signs I’m Disconnected from Myself

photo by j. gaddis

Prior to having any tools to get connected to myself, I didn’t even know I wasn’t connected to myself.

So, the first step was to recognize and be aware that I’m somehow disconnected. This took me quite a while to figure out. I would not have been able to see it on my own. I needed trusted guides, a men’s group, a powerful woman in my life, and rock solid support.

So, how do I know I’m disconnected now, and what are the signs?

Signs and symptoms I’m disconnected:

  1. Feeling a low grade funk (some folks call this grumpy)
  2. My porcupine quills extend. I’m less approachable and others can feel it
  3. Flatter affect. My face looks serious, dull, and emotionless.
  4. General depressed vibe
  5. Irritability, easily annoyed
  6. Easily triggered by minor things thus i get into silly fights with my partner and let small stuff bother me
  7. Objectifying women which eventually leads to porn use (before I quit porn)
  8. I eat more sugar. I get sugar cravings and eating when i’m not interested in eating
  9. Increased facebook or random email/internet cruising
  10. isolation

The way back into self-connection?

Feel.

The way back home, to my core lovable, beautiful