A heavy dose of sharing with Andy as I share from my heart about terror, emotional tunnel vision, and the challenges I’ve chosen to face this year. Real Men Feel isn’t just a slogan or catch phrase, it is how I live.
“Life is amazing and life is on your side.” ~Andy Grant
I did this as an impromptu video on Facebook the morning of Friday, March 8, 2019. I recorded and posted it. I didn’t watch until 24 hours later and decided to release as a podcast episode as an example of man willing to openly share his feelings.
Topics and Questions Include:
I’ve been crying half the days I’ve been home since vacation.
Feeling the Fears
A debilitating Terror
3 Challenging Things on my plate for this year: Kabballah, Ritual Master, Mount Kilimanjaro
My wife and I recently returned home for a two week trip to the Middle East, spending one week in Israel and the next week in Jordan. The rock-carved city of Petra was the main reason behind the trip. But both countries had a lot to offer and warrant repeat visits.
We had a fantastic time full of ancient sites, sacred places, and friendly people. I learned a lot about the religion and politics of the area and found I had many misconceptions about the Middle East from growing up in the US. My time in Israel was probably the most intellectually and politically challenging trip I’ve taken. We talked with Arabs, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Palestinians, Isralies, and Jordanians.
Toward the final days, I noticed moments of sadness that things were winding down. The sadness was mixed with a feeling that two weeks was long enough and I was ready to return home. I recalled years earlier when it was normal for me to feel depressed with days remaining of a vacation because I so dreaded my return to daily life.
Some people like vacations of sitting on the beach and doing nothing. I prefer active holidays where I do things I don’t usually do, especially when I worked as a cube dweller for corporate America.
When I tried to just lay on the beach in the past, my thoughts would turn negative. I’d focus on all the things I didn’t like instead of relaxing. Then I’d drink to remove those thoughts. That worked in the short term, but if I just wanted to drink, I could do that at home much cheaper, so I quickly stopped those sort of trips too.
I’ve visited such places as Machu Pichu, Stonehenge, and Easter Island. I’ve been white water rafting, rappelling, and hiking in Europe, South America, and Africa. A staycation can be nice, but my favorite vacations are ones when I need another vacation to recover from them.
Floating in the Dead Sea
Even today, I can recall being in the jungles of Belize in 2005, but feeling very down because the following Monday I’d be back at work. It was a time that I thought I hated my job, and sometimes my life. Yet, a few days prior, I was enjoying myself and life.
These realizations helped me learn the power of being present. When fully present, I felt better. I wondered why was it that I was time traveling in my thinking.
Why was I ignoring the fantastic experiences I was having to jump forward to my return to the mundane?
I decided that since I could be full of energy and joy on a vacation when I was present and focused on what I was doing, that I would do my best to live like I was on vacation. All the time.
I did pretty well at that for a long time. Treating each day like it was new. Looking for things that were unusual, special, and fun. If those weren’t apparent, I find a way to bring those elements to what I was doing.
The Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
So as I noticed some sadness as this trip was winding down, I explored what exactly I was feeling sad about. I was going to miss the people. We were a group of 13 in Israel and then 16 in Jordan. I liked my instant family of global citizens traveling, sharing, dining together for long days full of once in a lifetime experiences.
Back home, I often work in isolation. I sometimes forget to admit to myself that I actually like people. I was going to miss having a guide take me to amazing new places every day. I was going to miss having every day planned by someone else when I just needed to show up and be marveled. I would miss walking into restaurants and recognizing a dozen faces. There was no responsibility or stress. Just being present and amazed.
Realizing that I was sad over what was ending as opposed to what I was returning to, made me smile.
This week on Real Men Feel, Andy Grant is joined by photographer, writer, and coach, Timothy Wenger, direct from Belgrade, Serbia to talk about his global quest to define masculinity, one person at a time.
“I have often wondered what it means to be a man, but in 2014 I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. So I started this project.” ~Timothy Wenger
The Man Effect was started all because of this one question, “If you were to describe what it means to be a man in one word, what would it be and why?” Every person interviewed, over 300 so far, has answered this question.
Topics Covered Include:
How did you end up in Serbia?
What prompted your desire to define masculinity?
What is The Man Effect project?
Where have you been?
How many men have you photographed?
Has there been a common theme in the answers?
Do you recall an answer that surprised you in any way?
Have answers changed based on where you are in the world?
What is your ideal goal for this project?
What was your life like before starting this quest?
Timothy’s favorite questions to ask.
Has your definition of masculinity changed as you’ve met more men?
This week, journalist, poet, and speaker, Cameron Conaway, drops in for a discussion around modern masculinity, art, and his path from mixed martial arts to poetry. Cameron spent nearly a decade training to be a professional mixed martial artist, but while attending college at Penn State Altoona, he fell in love with poetry. To him, poetry was as much about mindful living and the radical pursuit of new perspectives as it was about writing.
This week Andy Grant and Appio Hunter are joined once again by author, poet, artist, and coach, Rick Belden, to discuss defining masculinity and finding wholeness if you are a Highly Sensitive Man. Rich first wrote about being a highly sensitive man 4 1/2 years ago in a post that has been shared over 2,000 times.
“Sensitivity in men is not generally encouraged or valued in our society.” ~Rick Belden
Being a highly sensitive person (HSP) is not a weakness or disorder. It is based on a personality trait called sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). High sensitivity has pros and cons. It is not a defect, and 1 in 5 men are highly sensitive.
Topics Covered Include:
What do you mean by a highly sensitive man?
Are there low sensitivity men too?
Sensitive to what?
What are the pros of being an HSP?
How was it growing up as highly sensitive?
How do you embrace your sensitivity?
When did you know you were highly sensitive?
How does this relate to introverts and extroverts?
Do highly sensitive men try to alter there sensitivity?
The importance of boundaries.
Do you think it is easier or more difficult to grow up a sensitive man today?
What can be done about being a highly sensitive man?
This week Andy Grant goes solo with a member of the RMF private Facebook group who was upset with him and wanted to leave the group.
True to the title of the show, we bring some internal upset out into the light.
Last month, in the private Real Men Feel group on Facebook, one of our men took offense with something that Andy shared there. It was a video from a group of guys called The Try Guys.
Andy says: I had shared a video from them before and it was well received. I admit I hesitated about this but obviously decided to post it. The first comment on the video in the group was – “This is disgusting. I’m leaving the group.”
I was horrified that something I shared had driven a man to leave. It was a man I don’t recall ever speaking up before which made me feel even worse. I wondered what to do, to leave it be, reach out to him… I noticed he hadn’t left yet so I asked via reply to his comment if he would be willing to come on RMF in 2018 to talk about this.
He agreed. So here we are.
Topics Covered Include:
What offended you about that video?
The positives and negatives of Facebook.
Stereotypes about masculinity.
Andy’s reaction to Steve saying he was leaving the group.
What drew you to the Real Men Feel group to begin with?
Had Steve ever listened to this show?
The courage it takes to speak up.
The coolest thing Steve’s learned from all the men’s groups he’s in.
At a time when masculinity seems under attack, it is important to remember that good men owning their power can be a fantastic positive force for everyone. This week Andy Grant and Appio Hunter are joined by fulfillment coach and speaker, Sean-Patrick Maher, to discuss how men can embrace their power and create deeper connections with themselves and others.
A key to men owning their power is operating more from their heart and less from their head.
The conversation begins with Andy sharing that he blew off Sean-Patrick last year, but that he was impressed by Sean-Patrick’s reaction and was eager to get him on the show once Real Men Feel was flowing again. The interaction was a great example of men communication with openness and honesty.
“Being grounded, heart-centered, and connected to all parts of myself is the greatest gift I can give to the world.” ~Sean-Patrick Maher
Topics Covered Include:
Authenticity and integrity
The fear of showing up in our full “manness” today
The importance of operating from the heart over the head
Masculine energy is not only domination and patriarchy. That is a distorted aspect of masculine energy. An excellent discussion unfolded on labels, language, masculine/feminine, and mindset. Allowing ourselves and others to flow on a spectrum of labels can be liberating, but if we ever think we ARE the label, that brings trouble.
Being an integrated man, allowing full access to our femininity and seeing the strength of our masculinity as equally beautiful and powerful is the sweet spot.
“Let our hearts be the laison for everything entering and exiting our field.” ~Sean-Patrick Maher
This week on Real Men Feel; Men having fear is very common. Men talking about their fear is not. In this episode Andy Grant and Appio Hunter dig into their own fears.
Andy shares his recent fearful state as well as many common fears for men; fear of being unlovable, fear of being a failure, fear of being inadequate, fear of being a bad man… All of which are based on distorted beliefs and imagining future scenarios that we do not want.
“Fear of feeling is at the root of so many of the fears men deny” ~Andy Grant
Andy, Appio and guests discuss a variety of fears including; financial Loss, excessive emotionality, commitment, absence of commitment, being a slave to an undesirable job, midlife crisis, raising children, visiting a doctor, and fear of death.