“I’m sorry.” Two simple words and yet two of the hardest to say. We easily utter them in response to trivial matters like accidentally jostling a stranger on the subway or giving the cashier the wrong change. Yet in important matters and to those who mean the most to us, we can find ourselves practically choking on the words. But the inability to apologize can critically wound all of our relationships, from home to work. Learning how to properly apologize is a necessary step in moving from boy to man.
Why We Don’t Apologize
Pride. Apologizing can be particularly hard for men because it involves the admittance of fault. It’s hard to say that we messed up. That we were wrong. Our pride gets in the way.
Embarrassment. If we messed up royally, doing something truly boneheaded even though we knew better, it can be difficult to talk about it to the person we hurt or let down. We feel stupid and would rather pretend like it didn’t happen.
Anger. Things that need apologizing for are rarely a one way street (more on this later). We probably did something wrong, but the other person probably did too. And sometimes our anger over how they offended us is so great that we justify what we did and can’t get past it to apologize.
The antidote to all 3 obstacles? Humility. The reason we put up these walls is that we have an overinflated view of our true selves. We’re always right; we always have it together. But it ain’t true. We’re human. We mess up sometimes. You have to accept your imperfection as a part of life. Suppressing it will cut you off from others. Embracing it will allow you to grow as a man.
When to Apologize
Even when it’s not fully your fault. There is a breed of man who will not apologize unless he feels 100% at fault for something. “But it’s not my fault!” is his battle cry. He’s not at fault for throwing away an important document at work because no one specifically told him to hold onto it. He’s not at fault for hurting his girlfriend’s feelings because she shouldn’t have been listening to his conversation with his friends.
But almost no situation is 100% one person’s fault. If your wife flew off the handle and called you some cutting things for seemingly no reason, it’s not because she’s just an ice princess; she’s hurt because you’ve been working 80 hour weeks and not spending enough time with her.
Even if the fault split is something like 1%/99%, you still need to work hard to humble yourself and come to an understanding of what that 1% is rooted in. Don’t live your life as though every day you’re pleading your case before an imaginary court, presenting evidence for why you are not at fault and are innocent as charged. It’s not as important to be right as it is to have healthy relationships with others. Would you rather be right than give up your relationship with someone? Would you rather be right than lift the hurt feelings from another? Being self-satisfied in your justice offers little benefit but the feeling of smugness. And smugness won’t keep you warm at night.
You don’t have to apologize for what truly wasn’t your fault, but you can find the things, no matter how small, that you could have handled better. Once you apologize for those things, that will get the ball rolling for the other person to own up to their mistakes. Don’t let pride stop you from being the bigger person and taking the initiative.
Even when you haven’t been caught. As a boy, did you ever break something and then run away, hoping that no one would notice, and that if they did, they wouldn’t connect the crime back to you? This is how a child handles his mistakes. A man owns up to his mistakes and offenses whether or not he thinks he will be held accountable.
Quickly. Apologize as soon as you can after making a mistake or committing an offense. The longer you wait, the more resentment is going to build up on both sides, the harder it will be to make the first move, and the more awkward the situation will become. Be a man and nip it in the bud.
When Not to Apologize
For your beliefs. If you offend someone by standing up for your beliefs because you failed to debate like a gentleman and ended up being snarky, attacking the person personally, or generally acting like an ass, then you should apologize for your boorish behavior. However, if you’ve made a completely respectful argument in favor of your position and a person is simply offended because of the nature of your beliefs, then you should never apologize for that. Don’t be sorry for what you hold near and dear to your heart.
For not meeting unreasonable expectations. You know this guy. His girlfriend expects him to kowtow to her every wish and treat her like a princess 24/7. When he fails to do this, she expects him to grovel in repentance. This isn’t being sensitive, it’s being a whipped weenie.
For everything. This man apologizes for his appearance, for things that aren’t his fault that no one is saying are his fault, and for perceived shortcomings that no one notices until he brings them up. And he keeps on apologizing. Over and over again when everyone else has moved on. Being a compulsive apologizer is highly emasculating and instead of getting you into people’s good graces as you might assume, will simply erode their respect for you.
How to Apologize
Write it if you can’t say it. Sometimes our embarrassment or pride prevents us from going in person to apologize to someone. While a face to face apology is always ideal, if you absolutely can’t do it, then it’s better to get it out then not do it at all. And sometimes a letter or note is actually a superior medium to talking because it allows you to express all of your feelings without forgetting what you want to say or running the risk of setting off another argument.
Use humor when appropriate. Some self-deprecating humor can break the tension and cause you both to laugh. I’ve found that drawing little cartoons of me and my mishap can instantly dissipate my wife’s anger. Note that I said, when appropriate. If you cheated on your girlfriend, don’t crack jokes or make cartoons about it. “And see in this panel, that’s me making out with your best friend.”
Be sincere. This is the cardinal rule of apologies. An insincere apology is in some ways worse than no apology at all. The person’s hurt over your offense will merely be compounded by their anger at your hypocrisy. An insincere apology may take the form of saying you’re sorry but saying it in such a way that your lack of contrition is patently manifest. Another form is the famous “I’m sorry you’re sorry” apology. This apology admits no fault but pretends like saying you’re sorry that the person was hurt or is angry is still pretty big of you. Don’t bother; it will make the person want to stab with you a trident.
Take complete responsibility. Never, ever make any excuses while you’re apologizing. They instantly ruin the weight and sincerity of your confession. Don’t use any “buts.” As in “I’m really sorry that happened, but….” A man takes full responsibility for his mistakes.
Express your understanding of why you were wrong and the weight of your mistake. A person wants to know that you fully understand the seriousness of the situation, that you have thought through exactly why what you did was wrong and the full consequences of your actions. Nobody wants to hear an apology from someone who clearly doesn’t know why they’re in the wrong but feels like apologizing is what they’re “supposed” to do.
Offer to make restitution. This is a key part of the apology process. You should almost always offer to try in any way you can to make up for your misdeed. This obviously isn’t always possible. If you break your wife’s 5th generation family heirloom vase, you can’t go to Target and buy a replacement. But if a situation can be fixed and rectified, that you should pledge to do whatever it takes to do so.
Pledge better behavior in the future. Notice that I said pledge and not promise. While some would argue that if you’re really sorry, you’ll never make the same mistake again, our failings as human beings dictates otherwise. I might be truly sorry for losing my temper on someone, but I’m pretty sure that no matter how hard I try, it’s probably going to happen again somewhere down the line. When you promise someone that something is never going to happen again, you’re setting yourself up for a huge rift to develop if it does. The person will be justifiably doubly hurt, because after all, “You promised!” There are of course some things that you can be almost 100% sure you’ll never do again, and if you feel absolutely confident in that, then make a promise. But generally you should simply pledge that you’re going to be working hard on fixing whatever personality or behavioral faults led to your current offense. You can promise that you’re going to be making an effort to change and turn things around.
Prove your contrition with your actions. In the end, words will matter very little if your actions don’t match them. After you’ve apologized, stop dwelling on it. Simply start acting in a way that demonstrates the sincerity of your apology.
Move on. Once you’ve given your sincere apology, don’t apologize again. Having you continually apologize may be what the offended party thinks they want from you and it may make them feel better in the short term. But in the long term, it’s going to ruin the relationship. If you continue to grovel then you’ll always be in the inferior position instead of having the person treat you like an equal. Deep down they won’t be respecting you as a man. Either the person accepts your apology or they don’t. If they do, then there’s no need to keep groveling. If they don’t, then the person doesn’t trust you and the relationship has other problems that need to be fixed.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Read the rest of this post.
At some point, most men ask the big question—Is She the One?
Since my first girlfriend at 17, I had been asking “is she the one?” with almost all my girlfriends. I even spent two years wondering if my wife was “the one.” This caused us both unnecessary suffering.
I do meet some men who report knowing “she’s the one” within minutes of meeting her. Not me.
I dated several women prior to meeting my wife, and many of them I thought might be the one, even though I had no interest in marriage at the time.
During my time dating these women, I often would torment myself with this “is she the one?” question. I would pick them apart, finding all of their faults. I made all of them wrong. Looking back, there was nothing wrong with these women, however, I was a pretty defended, idealistic guy with a very naïve view of love.
By focusing on what was “not perfect” with the women I dated, I could avoid taking responsibility for my own fear, unexplored blocks, and issues.
To understand this dynamic further, we have to understand what kind of love we are looking for.
Romantic Love, Perfect Love & Relative Love
In general, we men tend to have a very young, boyish, romantic notion of relationship.
In the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, everything can be amazing. Fireworks, great sex, passion abound, lovey eye-gazing and more. But for most guys, this ends after a period of 1-6 months.
Then what? Because that feeling goes away, most men blame their girlfriend for the feeling going away. “I’m just not feeling it anymore.” “It was fun while it lasted.” “I think I love her, but I’m not in love with her,” and on and on.
So, these guys keep chasing that honeymoon, romantic feeling and have a hard time settling down with one woman.
For example, remember the movie Jerry McGuire?
Some men think that there is actually one person who will make them feel perfect—everything will be okay. “If I just find the right person, she will satisfy the longing inside, fill the void, and as Jerry McGuire said, “you complete me.”
Do you see that this is a trap?
You know you are in a kind of romantic love-state when you are overcome with an almost euphoric, drug-like feeling.
Romantic love is where we become infatuated with a woman when we hardly know anything about her. Essentially we fall in love with our projections of who we think she is, rather than who she actually is.
Not once did any of these relationships last for me.
When we are in a romantic love zone, we taste the possibility of perfect love.
Pefect love or absolute love is a term coined by psychology and Buddhist author John Welwood. Welwood describes it as “the perfect love we can know in our heart.” In other words, perfect love is like the sun, radiating and penetrating—always there, on fire.
We are all capable of perfect love and when we experience it we feel like we are coming home. Perfect love is a bit more grounded and penetrating than romantic love. Perfect love is who we are at our core.
Perfect love wakes us up to what is possible in relationship with another person. This is what each of us longs for in every cell. We want this unconditioned love so badly we’d do anything for it. And when we experience it, we desperately attempt to hang on to the fleeting feeling.
But herein, is the trap. It is impossible for another human being to provide perfect love in an ongoing way.
Relative love is our ability to experience perfect love. Because we all have issues, wounds, and limitations in relationship to love, we remain clouded from consistently giving and receiving the perfect love that is always present.
Watch yourself in relationships. What patterns do you repeat? What ideas about love and women do you have? Do you ever get stuck and frustrated in intimate relationships? If so, that is relative love and it’s part of being human.
So why does this difference in love matter?
As Welwood states, “That is why it’s important to distinguish between absolute [perfect] and relative love–so we don’t go around seeking perfect love from imperfect situations.”
This is the great trap: In our society we are taught to believe that one person is supposed to meet our needs and make us happy so long as we both shall live. But let’s be honest. If you want to grow as a man and become stronger, more open, more whole, then having someone meet our every need probably isn’t best for you.
So, when you ask “Is she the one?” be honest about what you are expecting. Are you wanting perfect love from an imperfect person, which we all are?
Do you have any idea that it is possible to weather the storms and discover deeper and deeper love?
Once you begin to see the difference, you can make mature, conscious choices about the woman you are with.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Here is some info from Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person on what exactly a highly sensitive person is:
Doesn't sound very masculine does it? Imagine growing up this way with all the messages we normally get about what it means to be a boy or a man. It's not easy. But it doesn't make us any less masculine. So if you too are an HSP, you are not alone.
In defining the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron provides examples of characteristic behaviors, and these are reflected in the questions she typically asks patients or interview subjects:
- Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
- Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
- Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
- Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
- Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
- Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
- Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
- When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?
Dr. Aron explains that in the past HSPs have been called "shy," "timid," "inhibited," or "introverted," but these labels completely miss the nature of the trait. Thirty percent of HSPs are actually extraverts. HSPs only appear inhibited because they are so aware of all the possibilities in a situation. They pause before acting, reflecting on their past experiences. If these were mostly bad experiences, then yes, they will be truly shy. But in a culture that prefers confident, "bold" extraverts, it is harmful as well as mistaken to stigmatize all HSPs as shy when many are not. InThe Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron reframes these stereotyping words and their common application to the HSP in a more positive light and helps HSPs use and view these aspects of their personality as strengths rather than weaknesses.
Sensitivity is anything but a flaw. Many HSPs are often unusually creative and productive workers, attentive and thoughtful partners, and intellectually gifted individuals. According to Dr. Aron, HSPs could contribute much more to society if they received the right kind of attention - and her national bestseller proves that this 15 to 20 percent of the population is eager to get off on the right foot in asserting their unique personality trait.
Wednesday August 26, 2009Categories: Video Posts
If you have ever wondered why you don't fare well in noisy places, why it takes you so much longer to adjust to change, or why your feelings are so much more intense than your friends, you will appreciate this video. I explain what it means to be a highly sensitive person, as defined by Elaine Aron in her bestselling "The Highly Sensitive Person."
I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I won't say anything more before you watch the video.Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
We develop in our inner life.
Ovi Magazine offers this short post on how to develop our inner sense through contemplation. We do not need to be Buddhist to have a contemplative life. We can be Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, of atheist. We are not talking about religion, we are talking about discovering the deepest levels of who are as human beings - and this is a big part of being a mature man.
This article is a little on the woo woo side, but it offers some more off the beaten path meditation ideas. In the future, there will be more traditional material posted here as well.
Awakening the Inner Sense - Some Methods and Meditation Objects
by Floco Tausin
What we know as our weekday is a tide of miscellaneous information which we receive with our five senses and put together to an integral picture in the brain. The sense organs are the gates of our body – they connect the outside world with the inner world and determine, dependent on our state of consciousness, how we experience this world.
But is there more to human sense activity than touching, seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting? There is, according to many cultures and religions where we find the notion of an inner sense. This sense is thought of as a mode of perception which directly and intuitively gives insight to the essence or true nature of the object perceived. Often this subtle or inner sense is linked to the eye as a widespread symbol of light, cognition and truth. It is then addressed as the “inner eye”, “third eye” or “eye of the heart”, common among mystics who experienced the divine light. In Indian mythology, for example, this inner sense is expressed as god Shiva’s frontal eye that gives him unifying vision. Accordingly, tantric yogis try to open this third eye by activating the “Ajna Chakra”, located between the eyebrows. Likewise, the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama received enlightenment through a “celestial eye” (prajnacaksus) which permitted him to understand the forces of existence and their manifestation in the chain of causality. The Greek philosophers spoke of an “Eye of the Spirit” which has to be opened and purified to see the truth. While the Old Testament calls the prophets “seers” and refers to an all-seeing eye or “Eye of Providence” that turns to those who fear God and gives them superior insights or strength, the New Testament takes up the Greek philosopher’s notion of the “Eye of the Soul or Heart”: the eye becomes the object of purity (Matthew, 6.22), and the Eye of the Heart has to be opened in order to see God (Acts 9.18). Over the centuries, Desert Fathers, Gnostics, and Mystics alike further reported experiences of the inner sense as inner eye or eye of the heart or soul. Since the early modern period, Western esoterics and scientists interested in unifying the scientific and spiritual traditions are trying to find a physiological correspondence of this inner sense. In recent years, for example, the inner sense was associated with the pineal gland, based on scientific insights about the light sensitivity of this gland.
Meditation for the development of the inner sense
Developing our inner sense, therefore, is a way to improve our spiritual life. In fact, many of us are doing this already, more or less consciously. For example, while meditating, many have come to experience subjective visual appearances, ecstatic feelings or intuitive insights – first aspects of an inner sense waking up. But if we want to develop that inner sense to its full bloom, years and decades of constant exercise are necessary. In any case, awakening the inner sense means choosing a meditation method which works directly with the inner sense or with its objects and function. Generally, meditation can be carried out on material objects which stimulate the inner sense; or on subtle objects which can be conceived of as objects of this inner sense.
Material meditation objects
Material meditation objects are perceived through the eyes, not through the inner sense, but concentrating on them can stimulate the inner sense and lead to subtle appearances. Meditation on material objects should support the inner sense or third eye in its function to mediate between the two brain or consciousness hemispheres. It should make aware to us our right intuitive emotional side as well as our left analytical rational side, bringing them into harmony with each other. This turns out best by means of squinting techniques which have been developed likewise in Western and Eastern traditions. Two different types of squinting must be distinguished here, though: the letting go of the eyes (parallel viewing) in which the concentration point shifts behind the object looked at, and the concentrative directing inside the eyes (cross viewing) in which the concentration point is drawn in front of the object looked at, in the direction of the observer. To distinguish these two types, we call the second type “doubling”. Doubling is the type of squinting ideal for meditation.
The simplest exercise of doubling is looking at the root of the nose, according to the way of Indian yogis. However, doubling can also be applied to distant material objects. Anthropologist and author Carlos Castaneda, for example, mentions a seeing technology called “gazing” which at first means to focus the view on an object, similar to the yogi’s cleaning exercise “trataka”. Sometimes, though, it is combined with squinting in which the practitioner moves apart the two pictures and thus superimposes two equally formed objects. The concentration on this superimposed object synchronizes the two consciousness hemispheres and, regularly practiced, produces a depth perception which carries the practitioner into other spheres of consciousness.
Another example of this form of meditation is the meditation on the “Tables of Chartres”. The tables are three legendary geometric figures of equal surface area, made from red and blue colored metal pieces shaped as rectangle, square, and circle. They are put down before oneself in two rows of alternating color and shape and doubled until a superimposed third table group appears in the middle. The knowledge around this old meditation type was maintained and passed on by gypsies and published by the French author Pierre Derlon for the first time.
The subtle objects: Subjective visual phenomena
Subtle meditation objects can be feelings and thoughts. For developing the inner sense, however, those objects are particularly well suited which appear through the fusion of the inner sense and the visual sense. I’m referring to those subjective visual phenomena which are known in ophthalmology as “entoptic phenomena”. Entoptics are phenomena which are believed by the observer to be seen outside of him- or herself, though, physiologically explained, they are generated by the observer’s visual system. The following entoptic phenomena are suited as meditation objects for most people:
Afterimages: contrasting colored afterimages may be explained as the continuation of the effect of a visual stimulus when this stimulus has gone already. For example, blinking into the sun for a short time period will produce the colored afterimage of the sun in our visual field.
Meditation on afterimages includes producing these images by shortly glancing into a light source, e.g. a bulb or a candle flame. Against a dark background or with the eyes shut, we observe these colored luminous spots until they lose their intensity. Again, we generate another afterimage and observe it until it fades and so on. Observing the afterimage, we actively move it with our view and watch it change its form and intensity; we study its proper motion and the influence of our eye movements on its luminosity.
Phosphenes: Phosphenes are colored spots and blurs in the dark, often seen with eyes closed. They are said to be discharges of visual neurons. Meditation on phosphenes works similar like meditation on afterimages. However, it is more difficult because it has to be done without the stimulating effect of an external light source. We close the eyes and watch the colored spots taking shape in the dark. They tend to disappear from our awareness and therefore have to be made aware again and again by realigning our attention. An elaborated system of consciousness development focusing on afterimages and phosphenes was created by the French scientist and inventor, Dr. Francis Lefebure; the exercises of his “Phosphenism” combine visual concentration on afterimages with (neuro)physiological rhythmics.
Eye Floaters (mouches volantes): Eye floaters are scattered semi-transparent dots and strands appearing with bright light conditions in our visual fields and following the eyes’ motions. In ophthalmology, they are regarded as a normal opacity of the vitreous due to progressing age. Eye floaters meditation means that we bring these the objects into our field of vision and consciously look at them. We explore them, get to know their forms, constellations, and movements. We notice that the floaters constantly drift away, mainly down, and try to keep them in the field of vision. More advanced meditators of eye floaters will begin to see changes in movement, size and luminosity. The teaching of my mentor, seer Nestor, provides elaborated seeing and ecstasy techniques to work with eye floaters, as well as a spiritual interpretation of these dots and strands.
Blue field entoptic phenomenon: this formal term refers to “flying corpuscles” or “luminous spots”, tiny luminous spheres moving fast along in wound tracks. It is best seen in the blue sky (therefore: blue field entoptic phenomenon), but can become very strong in situations with extreme physical challenges like shocks or blackouts. From a medical point of view, it’s related to white blood cells flowing in the capillaries of the retina.
Unlike the other entoptics, the luminous spots can’t be fixed with the eyes directly but are seen in the peripheral field of vision. Observing luminous spots, therefore, improves our alertness in the whole visual field, rather than our ability to concentrate on particular objects.
Dr. Wilhelm Reich, the Austrian-American psychiatrist and founder of the orgon theory, explained the blue field entoptic phenomenon as a kind of orgon radiation. More spiritually oriented followers of Reich suggest concentrating on these immaterial luminous spots, in order to silence the inner dialogue and find inner peace.
By consciously looking at entoptic phenomena like the above mentioned we withdraw our five senses from the material sense objects and channel the energy usually needed to maintain their functioning to the inner sense. This way, we awaken the inner sense, which in turn will help us recognize and feel immediately and with great intensity the higher significance of these dots, spots and strands as well as their relation to ourselves. We then intuitively understand why such entoptics were watched by people of all times, often provided with religious meanings and used as concentration objects.
The name Floco Tausin is a pseudonym. The author has studied at the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of Bern, Switzerland. In theory and practice he is engaged in the research of subjective visual phenomena in connection with altered states of consciousness and the development of consciousness as such. In 2009, he published the mystical story “Mouches Volantes” about the spiritual dimension of eye floaters.
Bókkon, István: Phosphene phenomenon: A new concept, in: BioSystems 92 (2008): 168-174
Chen, Spencer C. u.a.: Simulating prosthetic vision: I. Visual models of phosphenes, in: Vision Research, vol. 49, nr. 12, June 2009, p. 1493-1506
Castaneda, Carlos: Voyage to Ixtlan, 1972
Castaneda, Carlos: The Second Ring of Power, 1977
Derlon, Pierre: Die Gärten der Einweihung. Sphinx Verlag, Basel 1978
Lewis-Williams, J. D. / Dowson, T. A.: The Signs of All Times, in: Current Anthropology, vol. 29, nr. 2, April 1988
Meslin, Michel: Eye, in: Eliade, Mircea (Ed.): The Encyclopaedia of Religion (2nd ed.), 2005, p. 2.939-2.941
Pennington, George: Die Tafeln von Chartres. Die gnostische Schau des Westens, Patmos 2002
Sinclair, S.H., M. Azar-Cavanaugh, K.A. Soper, R.F. Tuma, and H.N. Mayrovitz. "Investigation of the source of the blue field entoptic phenomenon." Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 4 (1989): 668-673.
Tausin, Floco: Mouches Volantes. Eye Floaters as Shining Structure of Consciousness, Bern: Leuchtstruktur Verlag 2009
Tausin, Floco: Kokons und Fasern – Leuchtkugeln und Leuchtfäden. Mouches volantes als Inspirationsquelle für Carlos Castaneda?, in : AHA Magazin 5/2006
Trick, Gary L.; Kronenberg, Alaina: Entoptic Imagery and Afterimages, in: Tasman, William; Jaeger, Edward A. (Ed.): Duane’s Ophthalmology, Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2007 [electronic edition]
Inner sense – inner eye
Third eye and pineal gland
Inner sense or open eye meditation
Two kinds of squinting: cross viewing and parallel viewing
Blue field entoptic phenomenon
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When the great universal teacher Shakyamuni Buddha first spoke about the Dharma in the noble land of India, he taught the four noble truths: the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path to the cessation of suffering.This is a rather long four-part series, but the teachings are very profound.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Read the rest of this great article.
Mon, Aug 24, 2009
In last week’s SSM, we talked about how to move into and beyond the pain—and why it’s so absolutely essential for growth.
This entry prompted many people to question: “Should you always move through the pain?” “Isn’t there a time when we really listen to the pain?”
That’s what makes this week’s SSM so ideally timed. (No, it wasn’t an accident. You’re right.)
This week’s Challenge Wisdom is about trusting yourself and having the Strength to stop and take a knee or perhaps a seat of some sort.
While at a glance it may seem to contradict last week’s message about moving through pain, it’s actually very much in concert with it. For this is about having the awareness, the ruthless sense to know the difference between wanting to stop and needing to stop.
When you’re pushing the limits your mind will be the first to send a limiting message, to exaggerate the hurt, to entice you to slow it down or take a break. If you’ve been training hard or pushing it, you might start justifying taking it easy. The first clue here is the inner message, “because I deserve it.”
“Because I deserve it,” is common trap in Transformation Challenges too. You’ve been making some strides, eating right and training strong. Just as you’re feeling good about your progress out pops the “because I deserve it” excuse. Maybe you’re out with friends or in a social environment of some sort, let this one loose and you’ll regret it.
When I Took a Knee
In my first post in this series, 10 Lessons in Success I Learned from the Triple Bypass, I gave the vivid details of the first place I “took a knee” during this bike ride.
I was nearing the half-way point towards the end of a long, tortuous stretch of road where the pain in my ass, my left little toe, my right big toe, my left shoulder and my lower back all reached threshold at the same time. I’ve been told by many bikers that you can ride through just about anything; cramping, fatigue, dehydration but pain is the beginning to the end. It will stop the strongest riders.
And when I say “pain,” this isn’t the pain one has from pushing themselves. It’s not the burn of a biceps on the 20th rep but more the sort of pain of having something broken. It starts as an ache and grows. I could feel it reaching a threshold where I was certain that it would no longer be a decision if I went forward. Where the pain would literally stop me in my tracks.
Wisely, I stopped, glancing left as a rider in his 60’s moved swiftly by—probably in a dance with his own pain.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Check the comments, too.
Male disposability is so deeply ingrained into the very fabric of our culture, that we rarely even think about it. And yet, it is one of the defining features of what it means to be a man. Throughout history, men have filled the roles and performed the tasks that demanded that you risk your life. The only risk that couldn’t be removed from women was that of child-bearing, but apart from that women have more or less always been kept out of harms way.
Now let’s not make the mistake that many contemporary feminists do and start talking about women’s evil oppression of men or something along those lines. Men being defined as the disposable sex was not a personal thing nor was it some kind of gender war (there wasn’t any room for a gender war in historical times). Women simply needed to be kept safe to ensure that the next generation was large enough to sustain or increase the influence of the community in question.
Nevertheless, it is important to analyze and raise awareness around male disposability, because it is truly the missing link of the gender discourse. As the early feminists put forward the very just demand that men and women be given equal rights and equal access to the labor market, the whole issue of male disposability was forgotten. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that it hadn’t even been conceptualized, since it takes a higher intellectual development to deconstruct a gender role than it does to notice that men and women aren’t equal in the eyes of the law.
Early feminism was an honorable struggle, and while it may not have been the perfect way to kick of the whole gender liberation movement, focusing on women’s rights was certainly a pressing concern at the time. However, what was forgotten was that men’s rights in the public sphere, had always been accompanied by pretty harsh responsibilities (go to war, perform the dangerous jobs, work all day so you hardly ever see your family). So in one sense women were handed the rights of men, without being expected to share in the responsibilities. Another example of this way of thinking is that feminists demand that half of all board members be women, without demanding that half the soldiers or half of the garbage collectors be women.
So what are some of the ways that men remain disposable?
- War. In every country where people can be drafted or be forced to do military service, it is only the men who are forced to fight for their country. And even when people sign up voluntarily, it is mostly men who do it (eg. US forces in Iraq).
- As a (straight) man you are expected to protect your girlfriend/spouse/wife at all times.
- Dangerous jobs are predominantly done by men: police officer, fire fighter, construction worker, etc.
- Outdoor jobs are predominantly done by men: lumberjack, oil platform worker, garbage collector, etc.
- Men still perform most of the jobs where you are expected to work insane hours, and only see your family at weekends (at best).
What’s interesting to note is that feminism often depicts male disposability as a form of male power. The men who work long hours are the men with power. The military is a sign of male power. Being a heroic fire fighter is a sign of male power, and so on.
However, as Warren Farrell says, true power is about having the freedom to shape your own life, and as long as many men automatically choose dangerous professions in order to be eligible for marriage and a family–then men cannot be said to be free. The argument could be made that women are freer than men nowadays, since every young woman knows that there are many acceptable options for a woman (work fulltime, part-time or be a housewife), and there is no expectation of choosing a “disposable career”.
This is not to say that men need to stop performing the jobs that men currently do. As you may have noticed from reading this blog, I do not believe that men and women are identical on the inside; as far as I’m concerned there is ample proof that innate sex difference exist in the brain and in behavior. This means that men may be more likely to continue choosing the dangerous jobs as well as the outdoor jobs. But the choice needs to be made consciously, rather than automatically. Also, society as a whole needs to become more conscious of what male disposability means. The people who perform dangerous jobs should be adequately paid, and safety measures should improve continually.
I also believe that a sense of appreciation for what men do for society, and for what each man does when he’s a 24 hr lifeguard to his spouse, needs to be reinstated. At this point, especially in Western societies where feminism is strong, the appreciation for male sacrifice has dwindled, and there is more focus on the negative aspects of masculinity than on the positive ones.
The reason that society has been able to evolve so rapidly the past few hundred years, is that male sacrifice and male disposablity has been far greater than male violence or male brutality, something that we would all do well to remember.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Go read the whole post.August 21st, 2009
Like most of us, many of the clients I work with suffer in one way or another. It might be financially, it might be depression. We all suffer to some degree.
Because of this, many of us attempt to feel better through a variety of means. We seek to get out of the pain, move away from it, avoid it or even stuff it. At the same time we push away our pain, we also seek pleasure. We seek whatever will make us feel better.
So, we do things that seem to minimize our pain by adding pleasure to our life. We eat food that may not be the best for our body but it tastes soooo good. Or, if we are having a bad day, we hit the bars with some friends to cheer us up. We might even take stimulants or medication to help us feel better.
Mainstream marketing and advertisements do their best to address your pain points and promise you a remedy, or they will hit the pleasure seeker in you that will buy whatever makes you feel better.
In Buddhism there exists a great teaching about the nature of life. These teachings are called the 4 noble truths. Rather than get into a lengthy discourse on Buddhism and its teachings, I will just mention these in layman’s terms. If you want to go further, resources at are the bottom.
4 Noble Truths and How to apply them to your Life
The Buddha taught that in life we suffer and struggle. No one is above this fundamental truth. Look around the globe or watch the news. Suffering is everywhere. To pretend otherwise, is to discount the truth of life. We all suffer.
Stop pretending that everything is either “great” or “miserable.” Look around at reality and see for yourself. Acknowledge that you and others suffer.
Our wanting to avoid our own suffering and the suffering around us by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, causes the suffering. In other words, suffering starts and grows by our own desire to get rid of it.
Ask yourself if you are a pain avoider or pleasure seeker, or both? Get to know the ways in which you avoid your own suffering and discomfort.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
We all know education is crucial to success in life - and that many minorities are struggling to get that education for a variety of reasons. Many studies have shown that both males and females, irrespective of racial status, do better in single-sex classrooms. Seems worth a try.
Tuesday, July 28th 2009 at 2:31pm
In 2004, David Banks, a former lawyer and assistant principal at a public school in Brooklyn, joined forces with other members of the African-American philanthropic organization 100 Black Men to address what they saw as the appallingly low rates of high school graduation for African-American males in New York City. Their solution: the Eagle Academy for Young Men, a charter school on East 164th Street in the South Bronx that became the first all-male public school in New York City in 30 years.
The school's mission, as described by Banks, was to close both the racial and gender gap in education by reaching out to boys of color who were falling through the cracks. "We're looking for the young men who would be outside on the street corner, outside of the school," he says. "We work with really challenging kids."
Once relegated to the realm of private and parochial, single-sex public schools are rapidly gaining popularity. In October 2006, the U.S. Department of Education instituted new regulations that cleared the way for public school districts to open more single-sex charter schools by no longer requiring that they must offer comparable single-sex options for the other gender. That meant that as long as they offered comparable co-educational options, districts became free to open an all-boys charter school without having to open an all-girls one, and vice versa. Educators quickly took advantage of the new regulations and, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, 542 public schools now offer single-sex classes, other than physical education, for both girls and boys, up from only 11 schools in 2002. Approximately 95 of these are single-sex schools, like Eagle Academy, and many belong to the recently formed Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, or COSEBOC.
Now, Banks is setting his sights on expanding all-boys public schools in the city. Last year, he transitioned from his duties as Eagle Academy's founding principal to president of the Eagle Academy Foundation, an organization that is spearheading plans to expand the model to other locations. The foundation is currently raising money to cover the cost of their extended hours and extensive extracurricular programs like culinary arts and robotics.
At a recent two-day conference at Eagle Academy, attended by approximately 150 mostly African-American educators from across the country, sessions addressed "best practices" in education, like how to develop a successful mentoring program, and issues specific to single-gender education, like how to engage young men in the classroom. In that session, four ninth-grade boys in immaculate uniforms gave a PowerPoint presentation about student-generated learning, discussing things like blogging and literary circles for their English class. Their teacher emphasized activities in which they can play an active role, explaining that boys can easily grow bored in passive environments.
It is this emphasis on educating young men that drew 15-year-old Travis Tucker to Eagle Academy. "I thought there would be less distractions without girls and that I would learn more because the teacher's focus would be on teaching one gender instead of two," he says. Still, he admits that he misses being around girls sometimes. "It can get a little boring to be only around boys."
Nevertheless, Eagle has proven popular with many parents. According to Osei Owusu-Afriyie, Eagle Academy's current principal, the incoming ninth grade received 2,000 applications citywide, while Eagle Academy's Brooklyn school had 1,200 applications for a class of 80 students. The Academy of Business and Community Development (commonly known as ABCD), another all-boys charter school in Bed-Stuy that is not affiliated with the Eagle Academy network, had 1,100 aspiring middle-schoolers apply for 65 sixth-grade seats.
Both ABCD and Eagle Academy High School got letter grades of B on their most recent publicly available progress reports from the Department of Education (DOE). Banks, for his part, is proud to point out Eagle Academy's high school graduation rate of 82 percent, compared with approximately 51.4 percent of black and 48.7 percent of Hispanic students graduating from high schools citywide.
(Eagle Academy's academic reputation took a hit in June, however, when its teachers charged the administration with instructing them to inflate the grades of some special education students, and threatening to transfer students who were in danger of failing to graduate. Owusu-Afriyie has denied the charges, which are currently being investigated by the DOE.)
The reasons behind any academic gains are unclear. "We have theoretical concepts that boys learn differently and need different things, but we have no real way to measure if separating boys is what is actually making the difference in achievement," says Dr. Lionel Howard, research investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina. "Is it really just a matter of good teachers, good practice? Would you see the same outcomes if this were in a supportive, functional co-ed school?"
Opponents, meanwhile, have charged that single-sex public schools represent illegal discrimination. "We think that single-sex public schools raise serious questions under both the Constitution and Title IX," says Emily Martin, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is currently engaged in federal litigation in Kentucky over the legality of the 2006 regulations that opened the door to single-sex public schools.
Clyde Cole, ABCD's founding principal and himself a product of an all-boys Catholic school, counters that his students are being failed by traditional mixed-sex education. "Boys of color start getting treated differently around the third or fourth grade," he says. "They're labeled as needing special education; they have more discipline problems." At ABCD, he adds, "It's a 'boys being boys' mentality, and we don't discipline them. Girls are able to adjust better in school. They are neater, better organized, ready to work, and they even have more camaraderie in recent years. Boys aren't doing as well, and they need an environment that focuses on them and their needs."
Cole says that he finds ways to use what others may see as negative adolescent boy qualities—like the tendency to aggressively compete with each other—to his students' advantage, holding elaborate school-wide competitions across the various homerooms.
Like Eagle Academy, ABCD also has plans for expansion. Bruce Copeland, a former public school principal and the current eighth-grade math teacher at ABCD, is hoping to open another ABCD branch somewhere in Brooklyn as early as the 2010–2011 school year, pending approval of the school's charter by the DOE. "One of the things that I like about single-sex schools is the opportunity to help these boys understand the role that a male should assume in society," he says. "They see a lot of crime. They see a lot of violence. They see a lot of absenteeism. Without someone to show them the other side of the coin, it makes it hard for a lot of the guys."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
If you have ever read David Deida, you likely know that he believes men do the holding and women need to be held. For most of us, that is our experience. We hold our wives or girlfriends when they are sad, or when we cuddle, but we might be never allow ourselves to be held.
I hadn't really though about this much until this last weekend when I was holding Jami (my wonderful girlfriend, who also happens to be a gifted therapist) and she commented that I rarely allow her to hold me. I reflected on her comment and realized she is right.
Since then I have been thinking about that truth. What I comes down to for me, and I think this might be true of most men, is that I am more comfortable being the emotional container for her than I am being vulnerable and surrendering control to someone else, even someone I love.
Yet I know that all of us men, even the meanest, strongest, most masculine man you might ever meet, have inner children who crave being held and to surrender to someone else who contains them. This is natural - it is NOT a sign of weakness, or being a girly-man.
Rather, it takes REAL strength - and security in our masculinity - to admit that sometimes we would like to be held, that we can be vulnerable and allow ourselves to surrender to someone else. This may not be our defining characteristic as men, but it is a part of who we are.
We NEED to not always be in control. Most of us spend our lives seeking to be in control of everything - our bodies, our jobs, our relationships, whatever - but control is really an illusion. In Buddhism, we think of this need for control as an attachment.
The most troublesome beliefs are related to our attachments, which are often hard to identify. Attachments are simple beliefs—fantasies, in fact—that have become solidified as “truth” in our mind. They also partake of the energy of desire, which is based on the underlying belief that without some particular person or thing, we can never be free from suffering.Sure we seem to be in control, and it's often enough to keep our egos busy, but there is very little in life we can actually control, even our own minds (we discover this when we begin a meditation practice). It is our attachments, especially the attachment so many of us have to being in control, that leads to suffering.
But we do not have to live this way - and our primary relationship is a place we can learn how to release this attachment.
One way we can prepare ourselves for dropping our illusion of control in daily life is to practice doing so with our partners. We can allow her (or him) to hold us, and learn to release control into that loving embrace. And you know what? Most of us have partners who would enjoy giving us a few moments to relax into their arms and not be in control.
So this is now a part of my practice as a man and as a human being - to learn to surrender, to be vulnerable, and to relinquish control, even if it is only for a few moments each week.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I am not a body builder, and although I like to move heavy weights, I am not a power lifter. And I am WAY past trying to specialize in any one sport. So my training is essentially focused on being strong enough and fast enough and flexible enough to do any sport than I want to do. Basically, I am a strong, healthy man, and I'm a big fan of GPP training.
This article from EliteFTS.com is a perfect introduction to all the variations of GPP training, including strongman work, weights, and body weight exercises.
General Physical Preparedness: The missing link in strength training
By Bryan Mann
Many times athletes will get so caught up in the idea of trying to get stronger that they forget about everything else. They may work out every day, feel strong and think that they’re in great shape, but they can’t walk across the room without having to stop and catch their breath. This is puzzling to the athlete who has put in so many hours of training to be in “such great shape.” Many injuries happen because one variable is left out, things begin to stagnate, and soon after that the athlete gets hurt. This is where General Physical Preparedness training (GPP) often can help.
General Physical Preparedness training is not a style of training like periodization or the conjugate method; it is a component of training. “GPP training serves several functions: 1) the formation, strengthening or restoration of habits (skills) which play an auxiliary, facilitory role in sports perfectioning. 2) As a means of educating abilities, developed insufficiently by the selected type of sport, raising the general work capacity or preserving it. 3) As active rest, assisting the restoration processes after significant, specific loading and counteracting the monotony of the training. These functions define the role of the general-preparatory exercises in the athlete’s training system.” (Medvedeyev, 1988)
If a coach becomes too concerned with one aspect of training, the athletes will get out of balance and either get injured or suffer from burn out. GPP helps prevent imbalances and boredom with both specific and non-specific exercises by conditioning the body to work (Verkoshanksy, 1988). The greater the athlete’s GPP, the easier it will be for them to adapt to the exercises and demands of a sport (Bompa, 1999).
GPP work can be done many different ways. One of the most common ways is to use a weighted sled (Simmons, Tate). There are many different ways to drag a sled, and several articles have been written on the different variations on the sled, so only the basics will be discussed here.
The sled towing can be done in two different intervals, in measurements of time and distance. When dragging the sled for time, usually you will tow for two minutes in one style, rest 30 seconds, tow for two minutes in a different style, and repeat until your time is achieved (Tate). For example, tow by dragging the sled forwards for two minutes, then turn around and drag the sled while walking backwards for two minutes, then laterally for two minutes. Often times people start out dragging for about 14-15 minutes and work up to 20-30 minutes. The time doesn’t increase after you achieve the desired fitness level of dragging a weight for that amount of time, instead of increasing the amount of time, you increase the amount of weight.
Dragging for distance is done for 200 feet (Simmons), stop, rest (if the exercise will be changed, do so now) then repeat the distance. At the rest point, changing the style of dragging is optional. An athlete can change exercises each rep, as explained earlier, in the same manner as explained in time or do all reps in the same style.
If the dragging is done in place of a max effort exercise on the max effort lower day, the distance is cut down to 100 feet and more weight is used. Every trip, you will add more weight onto the sled until the sled cannot be dragged for the full 100 feet.
For many programs, a sled may not be affordable to purchase. However, they are very simple to build. But you can easily improvise instead of building one. All that is really needed is a place to add weight and a way to pull the sled. You can easily improvise a sled by using an old tire, a long piece of rope, a piece of plywood, and some weights. Lay the tire down flat and tie the rope to it. Next, place the plywood in the bottom of the tire giving it a platform a base for adding weight. Now, simply put weight in the tire, tie a rope around your stomach and go to work.
GPP can be trained with various implements, very similar to the Strongman events. A vehicle push, tire flip, farmers walk, wheelbarrow push, plate carries, various implement carries, etc.
The vehicle push can be done by gradually building up, and you can save money by using the athletes’ or coaches’ vehicles. Start out with something small like a little Toyota, and then progress to larger and larger vehicles. If large SUV’s or trucks get too easy, just start putting people in them. It’s nothing fancy, just hard work.
Another cheap and easy idea is the tire discus throw, this idea was given to me by Russell Traphagan at Parkview High School in Springfield, Missouri. Take an old (or new) tire out to the football field, and simply hurl it like you would a discus. Repeat until you get to the end of the field, work up to about three trips. Another idea from Traphagan is to take a 45-pound plate, place it on a towel on the floor, get on all fours and push it. Keep the distance, reps, and sets the same as towing. If this gets too easy make it more challenging by placing 2-25 pound plates on two towels so there will be more stabilization used to push each plate individually.
The tire flip is done just like on the World’s Strongest Man Competition. Simply bend down, pick up a large tractor tire (500lbs minimum) and flip it over. This is a full body exercise. This is one of the few exercises that can actually cost something, if you cannot get it donated by a tire store or an old tire from a farmer. The tires don’t wear out very quickly, so it might be tough to get.
The Farmers Walk is a very simple exercise; take a heavy set of dumbbells and walk with them. Always try to push the athletes to use more weight on this as soon as they can get done what is prescribed. The equipment is there for this if you already own dumbbells, so it is easy to implement into your workout.
If the weight room has Olympic platforms with semi- or completely rubberized plates, simply pick these up on the edges and walk with them to perform a version of a farmers walk called a plate carry. Wheelbarrow pushes and pulls are another good GPP exercise, and will probably cost nothing as many athletes or their parents will have a wheelbarrow in their garage. You can load up the wheelbarrow with either plates or objects and go to town. Not only does this work GPP, but will fry the grip and hamstrings of the athlete as well.
Finally are the various implement carries. Maybe an athlete or coach has an old engine block in their garage, or a huge stone in their back yard, or maybe they have an old oxen yolk in their attic. Be creative with this and use your imagination. The implement lifts should be used to have fun and eliminate boredom during GPP training. One thing to remember though is that you don’t want to hurt anyone, so if it has sharp edges or objects sticking out, either round them, get rid of them, or forget about the implement all together. Watch the Strong Man Competitions and maybe it will give you an idea. Just because they use a $3,000 anchor to tow doesn’t mean you can’t use an old engine block on a rope. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun.
Be creative, and do it for a set time or distance. Maybe it’s two minutes, and just try to beat the distance each time. Maybe do it for a set distance and try and beat the time. Maybe do some sort of combination of events like a relay. Just try to keep it interesting, and go no more than two minutes. Going for longer than two minutes will begin tapping into the aerobic energy system. If you want to do aerobics, join a health club or buy a pair of running shoes.
A common way to train GPP is with Javoreks complexes (Javorek, 2000). They are all combinations of Olympic and explosive exercises designed to increase GPP, lactic acid threshold, and induce hypertrophy.
Upright row x6
Snatch from the thigh x6
Snatch from the thigh x6
Squat & Press x6
Bent Over row x6
Snatch from the floor x6
Upright row x3
Snatch from the thigh x3
Squat & Press x3
Bent over row x3
Snatch from the floor x3
When training GPP with complexes, do multiple sets (start out with three and work up to six). As with the towing, when you achieve the upper limit on volume (number of sets) increase the intensity (amount of weight).
Currently the current most common way of doing GPP is through bodyweight exercises (Davies, 2001). Exercises such as squats, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jumping rope, different jumps, pushups, sit ups, and just about anything that can be thought of can be done. They are set up in one of two fashions. Either they are performed for a set time or a set number of reps and sets. Again, this is another free or dirt-cheap way to work on GPP.
When an exercise is performed for a set time, the repetitions are done non-stop until the time is completed. There is also a set rest interval. For instance, a good starting point is 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off. Start with three sets of four exercises. To increase the workload, one of three things can be done: increase the number of sets, decrease the rest time, or increase the work time. You eventually want to build up to ten minutes of work time. The beauty of this style of training is that it leaves you the freedom to be able to be creative. Let your mind go and come up with something fun.
In conclusion, General Physical Preparedness will be what more athletes and coaches turn to for the edge on their competition in the near future. By using implements, weights, and bodyweight, a athlete can teach their body to go for long times through strenuous exercise at a moments notice. Teams such as the Green Bay Packers in the NFL have already begun to do it and have gotten excellent results by being able to out-play the other team in the fourth quarter.
1) Bompa, T. (1999) Periodization: Theory and methodology of training. Kendall/Hunt.
2) Siff, M. (2000) Supertraining. Supertraining International, Denver, 5th Edition
3) Verkoshansky, V. (1988) Programming and Organization of Sports training. Sportiviny Press, Livonia, MI.
4) Yesis, M. (1987) Secrets of Soviet Sports Fitness and Training. Arbor House, NY, NY
5) Davies, J. (2001) Renegade Training for Football. Dragondoor Publications
6) Simmons, L. GPP. http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls14.htm
7) Tate, D. Dragging your butt into shape. http://www.testosterone.net/html/146gpp.html
8) Javorek, I. (2000) Javoreks Tremendous Pleasure Conditioning Program. http://old.jccc.net/~ijavorek/mf.htm
9) Medvedyev, A (1989) A system of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting. Sportivny Press, Livonia, MI
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The body is the foundation for EVERYTHING else we are and do. If you want to be a better lover, a more emotionally available partner, a more spiritual man - all these are built on a foundation of physical health. This is the ONLY body you will ever have - treat it well and you will live a better and longer life.
What’s your excuse for not being in shape? Is it not enough time or money to go to the gym?
How is staying fit like brushing your teeth?
And what can you do when your partner and you are just not on the same page when it comes to fitness?
This week, big time and big city personal trainer, Joel Harper is on the show to tell you everything you need to know to get off your ass and stay in shape.
Joel Harper is a long-time certified personal trainer in New York City. He trains everyone from celebrities to Olympic Medalists and his training philosophies have been captured in the New York Times best-selling books YOU: THE OWNER'S MANUAL, YOU: ON A DIET, YOU: STAYING YOUNG and YOU: BEING BEAUTIFUL with Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Joel's workouts have been featured in multiple publications and TV programs, from Esquire to Oprah Magazine, all because his simple yet effective, no machines, no barbells exercises get results.
In this episode, Joel delivers a ton of information that will eliminate any excuses you may have created. Time, money, equipment -- it doesn’t matter. He also lays out some fundamentals for working out, how to deal with your partner when you’re not on the same fitness page and confronting any possibility that you may not believe you deserve to be in great shape.
In this show:
- Joel’s Workouts: No equipment necessary, short amount of time
- The 4 Key Factors to Effective Workouts
- Stretching -- when/how to get most benefits
- Why is it easier for certain guys to stay in shape than others?
- Why do you workout? To look better or to be stronger?
- What about the guy that doesn’t have time to workout?
- What to do if you’re feeling pain
- What happens if you and your partner are out of sync when it comes to fitness?
- Do you deserve to be in amazing shape? In a great relationship? In a great job?
- So much conflicting information on fitness and nutrition: What are the facts?
- What’s one thing you can do to feel more fit and strong today?
- Where to find Joel’s workouts online for free