Author, Rick Sharpe, joins us to discuss his experience with depression following the end of a relationship and discovering the power in his own vulnerability. Note: Rick joined us from Dubai and the video froze a few times, but the audio is solid.
“I was the posterchild for avoiding vulnerability. I avoided it at all costs.” ~Rick Sharpe
Rick’s book and this conversation focuses on discovering the power in vulnerability as well as learning the difference between reacting and responding.
Topics and Questions Include:
What has you living in Dubai?
What prompted your book, The Price of Heartbreak?
Was this your first breakup?
What was your healing process like?
Discovering Brené Brown.
Where did you learn it was wrong to be vulnerable?
What was the goal of the book?
What’s the best thing that has happened from writing, The Price of Heartbreak?
Were you afraid to know yourself?
What stands out as a key to your growth and healing?
Some men respond to heartbreak by giving up on relationships entirely, is that something you considered?
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 Andy Grant and Appio Hunter are joined by therapist, sex educator, author, and dad, Jo Langford, to discuss talking with teenage boys about sex. The technology of today makes discussing sex with teens very different from what it was when you first heard “the talk.”
“Fear and ignorance around sexuality cause problems.” ~Jo Langford
If you have a teenage boy, there’s a 50 percent chance that he’s already sexually active, and a 33 percent chance that he’s been solicited by an online predator in the past year. How prepared is he for the risks and realities of sex?
Jo’s mission is to provide healthy social and sexual information to teens and their parents, in a multi-pronged approach consisting of live speaking events, books and a number of resources for youth, their families and other professionals around that intersection of adolescence, sexuality, and technology.
Topics Covered Include:
Did you have a fantastic sex talk with your dad as a kid that set you on this path?
The guys each share what their sex talks were like from their parents.
Does technology make discussing sex with teens different today when we were kids?
How does internet porn change what teens know when it comes to sex?
What do parents look out for that says it’s time for a discussion?
The positive aspects of porn.
Jo’s journey from peer counselor to sex educator.
Is there a common mistake parents make when it comes to talking about sex with their kids?
The widening language around gender and sexual identity.
“One of the biggest assumptions is that a guy is a stay-at-home dad as a last resort. That he had no choice.” ~Hogan Hilling
Hogan’s mission is to dispel the unfair stigma of dads as incompetent parents and more importantly prove Fatherhood Is Alive and Well! He loved being a full-time caregiver to his kids, but everyone around him kept telling him it was wrong. He got tired of defending himself and having to justify his choices in ways stay-at-home moms never have to.
“I haven’t lost any masculinity by staying home!”
Topics Covered Include:
The stigma stay-at-home dads face.
What assumptions are made about stay-at-home dads?
The one thing Hogan focuses on as a father.
“Coming out of the pantry.”
Dads are not replacements for moms.
The power and benefits of dad support groups.
The danger and splintering of so many parent support groups.
This week Andy Grant and Appio Hunter discover the path to the creation of The Men School, a school dedicated to cultivating the divine masculine in all of us with Jan Darwin Hutchins.
“Why, after having been a lone wolf all my life, did I feel so alone?” ~Jan Darwin Hutchins
Jan was successful at a young age, living the dream as a TV sports anchor, yet he felt rather empty. In his 50s he realized he had made no real friends over his life. An experience witnessing the support a dying friend received from a men’s group made him realize he was not alone and that he could trust other men. He discovered there was an initiation he could do to become one of those men. Jan did it and confirmed that he was not alone, didn’t need to be alone and could trust men.
“The problem with life is there is no end to the problems.”
Topics Covered Include:
Jan’s background including TV news, politics, yoga and more.
What lead to the creation of The Men School?
The masks we all wear.
The need for and benefits of doing the inner work.
The power of men’s groups.
The current state of The Men’s School and plans for the future.
Do we ever graduate from Men School?
Jan shares some research on wolves in Yellowstone.
All three men answer the question: If there was one thing you could teach or make all men aware of, what would it be?
“We are a learning community cultivating the sacred deep masculine in us all.”
As social animals, we require a source of stabilization from outside ourselves. Our shared connections and, co-corrections, literally keep us sane.
TheMenSchool is here to:
—keep learning to model the divine masculine
—see you excel in your individual life
When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.~Byron Katie
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
Real Men Feel host Andy Grant goes solo again to share some personal insights as well as a few tools for dealing with depression and negative or suicidal thinking.
Andy opens up regarding some recent conversations, discoveries, admissions and rationalizations. He also shares three simple yet powerful tools that anyone can use to help deal with negative or suicidal thinking. The tools include pivoting, witnessing and expressing.
Life is meant to be simple and enjoyed. Make choices that result in you enjoying life more.
Real Men Feel returns after 9 weeks with Andy Grant going solo to explain where he’s been.
Real men feel lost, alone, desperate, apathetic, and everything else. Real men feel like shit. Real men can feel like they are not real. They can question whether they are men. Real men feel – or can feel – disappointed in themselves. I know all this is true, because that is how I’ve been feeling for many months.~ Andy Grant
Andy comes up for air after trying to overdose on apathy and attempts to explain the feelings of disappointment that can lead to attraction of his own demise.
If you’ve listened to this episode, here is a bit of closure to some of what Andy shared.
On July 3rd we were told my dad had days to weeks to live and my wife and I decided we couldn’t sell our home and deal with that at the same time. Especially since moving into my dad’s home for his last few months to care for him was one possible landing spot for us, so we pulled our house off the market.
And Sadie is okay, she’s on medication and has had seizures once since the original night. We’ve learned dog’s having seizures is much more common than we knew.
This week on Real Men Feel, Andy Grant and Appio Hunter are joined by speaker, author and coach, Rev. Jody Bailey, to help men embrace intimacy and tap into their core life force energy for health, wealth and happiness.
We explore what intimacy is. That it is different from sexuality, and all the areas of life intimacy shows up in. Jody shares some of the most common challenges men have to intimacy which include social conditioning and fear. The fear of intimacy is much bigger than the fear of sex.
Authenticity is beautiful. Vulnerability is attractive.
Jody also shares a great exercise to develop more self-love by standing naked in front of a mirror. Appio has done this and talks about his experience.