Which is better: the masculine or the feminine?

female exec


“If you pay close attention, you will see that the most masculine man has a feminine soul, and the most feminine woman has a masculine soul.”

Masculinity is a trait of strength.  One that leads and solves.

Femininity is a trait of strength.  One that nurtures and creates.

Judging one as better than the other is a lost cause.  Both spirits are necessary.

And a life without either is a life that is devoid of beauty.

 

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Life: His and Hers

“Health insurance is a scam,” he said. “I refuse to purchase this useless farce.”

He set down the enrollment papers and looked at her.

“What? You are not.” she rolled her eyes.

“Nope,” he said. “Don’t need it. I am strong. Like bull.”

“Bull is right” she snapped, then went on. “Now, I don’t think you need it if you’re healthy and take care of yourself-”

He came to attention, his eyes focused on hers, “YES.” He paused, contemplating her. “You know?.. you are so sexy when you make sense.”

She rolled her eyes again: “BUT… you need health insurance in case there’s an ACCIDENT.”

He grew distant. She was no longer recognizing the appreciation he was giving.  “Leave me,” he said simply.

She had a look of confusion. He explained: “Leave me there. At the accident. No hospital, none of that technology that only extends our life into dementia and incontinence. What a terrible place to be, so confused that I’m unable to wipe my drawers after I shit myself!”

She shook her head, “The technology is there to save your young, dumb life. And you can’t refuse care if you’re hurt. They’re obligated to give you care-”

“WHAT KIND OF AUTHORITARIANISM ARE WE LIVING IN TODAY?” he burst out, making her flinch and then look at him, tired and disgusted.

He saw her reaction but rambled on, “A man just can’t be left alone to die? Why are we forcing unwanted medical procedures on our citizens?!”

She sighed, “We live in a society now. So you need to leave the cave and join us in this century.”

“I’ll tell you what all this health care is, at its core…” he leaned in like he had a secret gem he was revealing. She opened her mouth to cut in, but instead of her voice out came his:

“Health care is a system of manipulation…by the owners,” he proclamation.

“You’re a weirdo,” she responded, and started checking her fingernails.

“No, it’s true,” he was adamant. “All the industrialists, you know, the BIG ones. Multinational, international, the powers that be…It’s an elite club. And they want only one thing.” He paused.

She allowed herself to be drawn in: “And what’s that?”

He answered, “To make sure they stay on top, of course.”

She shook her head and took out her phone. She raised it above her head, checking angles on a selfie. He ignored this and went on, “…even those in government. They want to make us think we need them, so they force us to have insurance.”

She had settled upon the optimum angle for her selfie, and conjured up a seductive smile. He continued,  “…across every continent. The leaders in each major sector, they are all synchronized,” and this is where he brought his hands together and interlaced his fingers to put a finer point to it:

“They’re organized into a net, no, a web, that goes across everything, from government to business…They both know it’s far better to squeeze as much capital out of the workers, basically, to keep them busy working….then health care is there to provide them the healthy worker to keep everything going. Bring them in to work, clock in, releasing ownership over their lives. You know… to the overlords. And then they clock out, obediently, because the checks they get are like a bribe, a little treat, like a mouse running in a laboratory maze.”

She finally gave him her full attention and snapped, “Are you serious now?” It was a stern reprisal, like for a dog that peed on a rug…a rug that really tied the room together.

He was brimming with righteousness at the injustices of modern society, and then his face softened, “I don’t want to live past my prime. So, as a preemptive message to you, before I get too old to make my desires clear:” he paused, and then, “I’m dying with my boots on.”

“Your boots…?” she said with genuine wonder at what he meant. She asked, “Who ARE you?”

“What, you’re not impressed by my act?” he said with raised eyebrow. “I’m an entertainer,” he stressed the word, entertainer. A giggle escaped her lips.

“See, I do this because I know you enjoy it,” he smiled and reached out to pull her close to him.

She smiled and let him. “I do like it,” she said quietly.

He brought her face close to his and very slowly kissed her, then let his lips hover just out of reach of hers, so that they felt the heat of their breath on each other’s faces.

He said softly, “Actually… I love doing it. It doesn’t matter who it is I’m with.”

She pulled back, and then leaned in to push him forcefully with both hands. Her eyes were indignant but her mouth twisted into a smile.

“You’re a dick,” she said, and got up and walked away.

“What…?” he called after her. “You’d said you wanted honesty!”

I was radically honest, and she ignored me

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(35 seconds to read)

“Those jeans fit you almost perfectly,” I told her.

She looked at me and said nothing, but turned back around to wait in line for the cashier. I stood behind her awkwardly, then asked brightly, “How are you doing?”

“Fine,” she murmured without turning around.

Well, ok then, I thought to myself, I can’t do anything else. So I stood in line behind her and waited for the cashier.

It can be embarrassing putting your heart out there. But it’s not about how you’re going to be perceived or accepted or respected. It’s about being true and doing good. And those two things together are never wrong. It’s about her, too, and her feelings.  And him as well, because everyone deserves to be complimented if you think they are deserving of one.

It’s a cascade that starts with your initiation and then moves to their feelings: Just be genuine and go from there, because whatever happens is ok if you’re putting positive vibes out there.

She said something, and I missed it

Cell-Phone-Conversation


(1 min to read)

So that’s why I had to leave, she concluded.

Ack, what was she talking about?

She’d been talking about her mother, and how her mother had helped her sister, and not her, and then something…I’d gotten lost. I hadn’t been paying attention.

All attention is paid for. I paid my attention to…god-knows-what… instead of her. We all must lose something in giving something. Opportunity cost: I choose to go out to this movie, with this person, and so I don’t get to go to the park with that other person, or I sacrifice reading a book, or writing a book, or a writing a song.

And then there’s the attention you put towards everything in life. That attention is your time, and you’re paying it constantly, towards your choosing. But even when you’re not choosing, you’re still choosing to do something with your time. You’re paying… I’m paying… for everything, all the time!

The payment of your attention is a special payment. It’s the payment that invests. With the person you’re interacting with, you pay attention in order to gain something and give something directly back.

It may be the highest payment a person can give.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

 

You should give me your number

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“I don’t feel comfortable doing that,” she replied.

“I won’t bite,” I said.

Some people are shy, so they hide themselves away. Not literally, by staying at home, or not socializing. Actually, many go out regularly, and some even want attention…but they can’t handle it. The exposure of their vulnerabilities is too much for them, a challenge that they’re not quite ready to face. Many of them are strong in other areas and passionate about things. But not the people right in front of them. Or maybe they’re too passionate about them?

“When was your last serious relationship?” I asked.
“About a year and half ago,” she replied.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I think that’s personal,” she said.

I thought nearly a half hour conversation with me would’ve made her more comfortable. There was a silence, then she said:
“I don’t know. I always end up with effeminate, sensitive ones.”
“You need a man,” I said without hesitation.
“Maybe I’m just sabotaging myself,” she replied, resignation in her voice. After a moment, she got up from the couch, and I watched her walk off.

We all probably know, not after too long, what we’re doing wrong. In our hearts we know this. The question is, do we have the courage to change?

When I realized that a love is not enough.

naked embrace

Life is frighteningly meaningless unless you can find meaning in it.

Sometimes finding someone who will love you is enough.

Sometimes you’ll need something more. Something internal, something that comes from inside you, which you create for everyone. And this creation extends that love from one partner, from one family, to the love from many.

Because not only must we do something of value, but we must be valued by others.  And that value grows in benefiting a partner, a family, and ultimately, in benefiting your community and humanity.

What’s your true love?

I had shaved it all off, all because of her.

back

The cold came and went. The frigid single digits and then a week later it was 50. I was shaved, my face bare and smooth and comfortable. And then I saw another temperature drop on the horizon. The next week would be polar, wind chills making the temperature feel like negative degrees. So cold that the thermometer couldn’t keep a positive scale. Ridiculous!

So I started in, with the growing. I followed my mistress, my girl, because she was always right, in this realm. And it wasn’t an effort anyway, as if I need to reroute supplies to send to my face follicles, or recruit legions to begin growing my hair. Quite the opposite. I was going to simply stop shaving, but what many of the non-bearded don’t know, because they don’t have the experience, is that the end of the first week of an infant beard was like the terrible two’s of human infancy.

The young beard is exploring its home, and it is antsy. It provokes, and pokes you. It’s an itchy period of time. And after we’ve committed several days to this, tolerating all our little ones settling in and learning how to play nice together on the world of our jaw, there’s an annoyance when you soon find that the days are warm, without a cold wind to sting your face.

And so after growing it in over a week for the cold, I shaved it because of the warmth, to feel the wonderful warm on my face. And now the temperatures have plummeted… again.

I am annoyed with my woman. But I tolerate her whims. Because that’s what a man does. Our power comes from resilience. And our power comes from respecting her power: The earth shattering forces of the storms and the sea and the earth quaking, and the roller coaster of warmth and then cold and then warmth of her changing moods.

That’s the price of admission to ride. And I want to ride.

Not getting any love? I’ve got an answer for you.

Love your self

As I started my gratitude meditation, my cat came exploring around me. He sniffed my knees, then my hands which lay upon my knees. I watched him, thinking I would need to send him away, but I stopped, and let him climb up into my lap and find a place to settle there. He started purring after a second and I smiled and thought, “This is exactly what the gratitude meditation is about”.

Gratitude means showing some love. And that’s how you get the love.

Let me explain. In my gratitude meditation, I go through all the things we often overlook as we focus on the negatives in our lives. We can’t help it. It’s what drives us to be better people, but also it makes us depressed. It can turn us into unhappy seekers, always looking ahead to a future point, never satisfied, or maybe it can overwhelm us, as we see so much danger around us, that we never bother trying to get what we want.

So the gratitude meditation for me is usually a thanksgiving (without the huge coma-inducing meal to distract me) for what I tangibly have. The roof over my ahead, the dependable car, the job that allows me not to worry about my bills, and so on.

But a large part of gratitude is seeing that there are people in your life that care about you. These could be the unconditional investors in you, like your partner or parents, and maybe an old friend. But it also means the people who you bring value to in their lives. At work, you have an opportunity to be a contribution, not just in completing assignments, but in how you conduct yourself. Do you remember the person who is always on diligent and reliable so you can get your work done easily? What about the person who takes a moment to ask how you’re doing, how your week is going and shows interest in you?

Like a lot of things in life, what we have in hand is less important than the attention we are given and the appreciation we are shown. This morning, my meditation allowed me to not only reach the awareness of what positives things I have in my life that I overlook every day, but also the awareness that I need more than those things. And now I realize that the value we seek from others is something that comes from putting ourselves out there, and providing some value to them, too. A value that could come from a skill you develop, but also just showing interest in them first. Why?

Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves.

Just listen to most any conversation around you. “I’m doing this…I did that…I think that…” So if you find your gratitude waning in the love department, just ask yourself whether the love you think is lacking from others couldn’t be because you’re not putting any out there yourself.

Getting personal isn’t rude.

oldtimer convo

“My mother married 4 times, so I had 4 fathers,” she said.

I told her it must have been tough having her mother get married multiple times.

“What was it like?” I asked.

Then my other friend interjected. “That’s personal.” His tone was incredulous. “You don’t ask about that.”

I hesitated and didn’t ask further, but I’ve thought about it, and I realize that asking about our friend’s problems is not rude. In fact, I think as a friend, it is a requirement.

I believe that if someone isn’t comfortable talking about something, then this is an indication that it’s quite appropriate to ask about it. Friendship is about helping other people, not just with money, or lending a hand, but with your actual interest, asking questions, communicating your thoughts through your words, and encouraging them towards a better place.

Communicating gets thoughts out where you can shine a light on them and ask yourself what you think. Do I want to keep doing this thing that makes me feel this way? And that’s what friends are for. To get you that perspective on a situation that is truly impossible for you to get from the inside. To help you talk about things that you want to change or need to face. The things you don’t want to talk about are precisely the things that need talked about.

Relationships are what make us feel valued. The only way to feel valued by another is when you do something valuable for them, and what’s more valuable than helping them change into a better person? And letting them help you do the same?

Get personal. It’s what friends are for.

Sofia Vergara doesn’t care about your biceps

Sofia-Vergara

I walked into the gym the other day and looked for a cage. The cage is mainly for squats and deadlifts. Those are the exercises that form the foundation of my workouts. But from what I’ve seen in the gym over the years, the most popular exercise for guys is the bicep curl, which it was for me many years ago. Polishing the guns, in every way possible. Standing or seated, barbell or dumbbells.

Sometimes when I see bicep curls being done, I’m reminded of a conversation between an old girlfriend and me. She said that she sees guys doing those exercises in the gym while staring at themselves in the mirror. She said, “I think they’re in there doing it just for themselves.”

I disagreed: “They do it to be more attractive to females.”

But now I think she was right.

This focus on the thing, the form, and not the person, is clearly seen in marketing (big surprise). Sofia Vergara prefers soda pop to men in her diet Pepsi commercials. And the guys in beer commercials pass up the girl for beer. This should be funny because it runs against what we do in real life. But does it actually? Do we chase stuff, like the job, money, beer, or bigger biceps, over relationships? Do we spend more time getting a paycheck and attractive physiques or more time learning to have a conversation, more time trying to connect and build relationships?

Building up a bank account or body is in many ways easier than building a solid relationship, but it won’t get us the kind of people we need in our lives. These kinds of commercials and my days in the gym remind of this almost every day. The challenge is getting into the habit to focus on what others want and what they do. This genuine curiosity can’t come from a place of insecurity, and security doesn’t come from external wealth. It comes from you knowing who you are, and accepting who you are, so all the attention that would otherwise be tied up in stabilizing yourself can be turned outward. I think when that happens, people realize you care about them. And that’s what it’s about in the end…being valued.

And putting diet Pepsi and big biceps in their proper place.