- Casual Conversations: The Art of Self-Discovery
- Episode 57: Masculine vs. Feminine vs. HUMAN
- Casual Conversations: Don’t Apologize for Being Human
- Episode 56: The Complexity of Simplicity
- Casual Conversations: The Paradox of Perfection
- Food For Thought: Jealousy vs. Envy
- Food For Thought: Thankful vs. Grateful
- Episode 55: To Care for Others, Care for Yourself
- Casual Conversations: Anxiety, Boundaries, and Meditation
- Episode 54: Accessibility & Equity in Mental Health Care
- En Español: El Poder de la Mente Sobre el Cuerpo
- Episode 53: Sexual Liberation & The Wisdom of Aging
- Episode 52: Cohabitation, Gender Roles, and The Summer of Love
- Episode 51: The Lies We Tell Ourselves About The Truth
- Episode 50: An Industry of Injustice (4/4)
- Episode 49: This Is Actually Happening (3/4)
- Episode 48: Standing By vs. Being An Ally (2/4)
- Recommendations & Reviews: Boogie Nights
- Food For Thought: Contradiction vs. Complementation
- Food For Thought: Curiosity vs. Criticism
- Episode 47: Sexual “Empowerment” Sells (1/4)
- Recommendations & Reviews: The Culture Map
- Food For Thought: Celebrating The Small Wins
- Food For Thought: The Many Roads To Happiness
- En Español: Sexualidad e Igualdad
- Casual Conversations: Communication, Mindfulness, and Pleasure
- Food For Thought: Operational Definitions
- Food For Thought: Memory Tissue
- Episode 46: The Nutrition Facts of Life
- Casual Conversations: The Lost Art of Letter Writing
- Food For Thought: Attribution Theory
- Food For Thought: Coronavirus vs. Connection
- Bonus Episode: The Psychology of Solitary
- Episode 45: Love, Loss & The Meaning Of Life (2/2)
- Episode 44: Love, Loss & The Meaning Of Life (1/2)
- Live Workshop: Navigating Anxiety During COVID
- Episode 43: The Body Knows Best
- Episode 42: (Un)Censoring Pleasure
- Episode 41: Bring On The Heat (2/2)
- Episode 40: Bring On The Heat (1/2)
- Episode 39: The Myth of Marriage (2/2)
- Episode 38: The Myth of Marriage (1/2)
- Episode 37: Same Page, Different Book (2/2)
- Episode 36: Same Page, Different Book (1/2)
- Episode 35: Humans In Progress (2/2)
- Episode 34: Humans In Progress (1/2)
- Episode 33: The Strength In Our Scars (2/2)
- Episode 32: The Strength In Our Scars (1/2)
- Episode 31: Masculinity & Authenticity (2/2)
- Episode 30: Masculinity & Authenticity (1/2)
- Episode 29: Addiction & Intimacy – From Harm to Healing (2/2)
- Episode 28: Addiction & Intimacy – From Harm to Healing (1/2)
- New Trailer: Let’s Get Intimate!
- Episode 27: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See (2/2)
- Episode 26: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See (1/2)
- Episode 25: Why Relationships Fail vs. Flourish (2/2)
- Episode 24: Why Relationships Fail vs. Flourish (1/2)
- Episode 23: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (2/2)
- Episode 22: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (1/2)
- Episode 21: “Pleasure Is The Measure” (2/2)
- Episode 20: “Pleasure Is The Measure” (1/2)
- Episode 19: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (2/2)
- Episode 18: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (1/2)
- Episode 17: DON’T Fake It ‘Til You Make It (2/2)
- Episode 16: DON’T Fake It ‘Til You Make It (1/2)
- Episode 15: Mindfulness For Sexual Connection
- Episode 14: Keeping It “Casual” (2/2)
- Episode 13: Keeping It “Casual” (1/2)
- Episode 12: The Birds & The Bees (2/2)
- Episode 11: The Birds & The Bees (1/2)
- Episode 10: Love & Death
- Episode 9: Communication- Mind and Body
- Episode 8: The Power of Sexual Healing (2/2)
- Episode 7: The Power of Sexual Healing (1/2)
- Episode 6: Redefining Masculinity and “The Million Dollar Point”
- Episode 5: Creating Body Maps and Reconnecting with Pleasure
- Episode 4: (In) Fidelity in The Time of Technology
- Episode 3: Let’s Get Cliterate! Narrowing The Orgasm Gap
- Episode 2: Today’s Not So “Liberated” Sex Culture (2/2)
- Episode 1: Today’s Not So “Liberated” Sex Culture (1/2)
- Episode 0: Google doesn’t have all the answers
- Trailer: Let’s Get Intimate!
Let's Get Intimate!
Episode 32: The Strength In Our Scars (1/2)
Thanks so much for joining us today. Excited to chat with you to start out I kind of love to just ask people you know, what is it in your personal life either events or experiences that may have brought you to where you are today?
Do you have 37 years to listen? Because that’s how long it will take me.
I do well, I you know, if we put it on 2.0.
right, sure. Yeah. Be 19 and a half or something.
yeah, I guess just highlights.
Yeah, the the quick highlight reel is a childhood in the Midwest with a really loving family. But both a family culture and a wider culture that was really frozen emotionally. It was quick. It was frozen, literally seven months of the year, eight months ago. I grew up in North Dakota. So that was that was sort of like the underlying substrata of, of the mission that I’ve taken up. But moving past that I was a pretty normal functioning young guy. I played football, I was in heavy metal bands, I was really into the outdoors. After college, I well actually an important thing that’s come up more lately is, is during college, I started traveling the world pretty intensively. And that really just shattered my small view of the world and, you know, really kind of opened me up to a heck of a lot more possibility than I was used to living with. But then right after, right after college, I my first real career became a wilderness therapy guide. So there’s all these programs for kids who are struggling to go out on these long wilderness adventures to find themselves and learn skills. Some of them are hardcore therapeutic with clinicians and therapists and others are hardcore correctional. So it’s, you know, an alternative to going to juvenile detention. And I spent several years and really just found my place for a couple reasons. So the the connection with nature itself was probably first and foremost. But the connection with these young men and I work only with young men, I think out of, you know, close to 800 900 days out in the field, I think only two of those were with young women. It’s just what happened. It wasn’t really chosen that way. But I became really obsessed with the mental health, the maturation process of a healthy man. Really, just this whole journey of I really, honestly, I just fell in love with these kids, because they were amazing. And they were, they weren’t fitting into their families or society and people didn’t know what to do with them. And yet I spent, you know, 24 hours a day with him and I’m like, you guys are freaking awesome. And, you know, I see I see See these sticky points that aren’t working? That really was, you know, huge I came out of that experience. I spent several years doing that with the clear, strong desire to want to do something like that in a more preventative or proactive model, not waiting until the shit hit the fan, until the kid had to be sent away to get things together. But really, I feel like I was let in on a secret of some of these basic human needs that we all have that we’re not getting. And for whatever reason, the wilderness is a great place to learn those. And that really started my journey.
You kind of mentioned the the role of nature in there and it was funny, I was listening to your interview with Joe Rogan as I was snowshoeing, and you guys talk a lot about nature and it resonated so much with me and being this incredible tool that enables To enhance and kind of tap into the connection with self. But either through breaking down all the the noise around you or somehow also brings other people together and I think can cultivate connections with other people in a way that you can’t necessarily replicate in other settings.
Yeah, hugely, I mean, to me, nature is the sort of the end all be all, you know, it’s the physiological, spiritual, emotional, just sort of baseline connections that are enhanced by being in at the natural pace of life out amongst natural settings. It just subtly but firmly resets our system back to a more receptive and humble and less narcissistic and more interrelated interdependent way of being and, you know, there’s a lot of Around the world, there’s different movements going on, you know, there’s Earth movement, there’s the tree bathing movement in Japan. And so, you know, scientists, science is catching up to this simple, but we all know it. We all know it on a very simple fundamental level that when we go outside, and we chill out, we feel good. You know? So it’s, it’s just, it’s also just where I’ve always felt the most at home, and the most happy and the most peaceful. And I do I do feel like the capacity for human connection. It’s a great place to start, but a lot of my work and a lot of what every man has done and what I brought there, and beyond, really, I think one of the big linchpins for me is that I’ve spent I mean literally thousands and thousands of days out in roadless wilderness in the deep wilderness and i what i found that’s been really helpful and important is that what i what i get out there, myself or what I help other people Get out there, that same level of groundedness of connection of interrelatedness all of these things. They can be simply and directly cultivated. Anywhere, right? Like right where you are on a train and on the subway in New York and a car in LA, like, wherever you are, once you kind of have those in your body and in your heart and in your mind, and you have that imprint or you have somebody who can kind of guide you there. Actually, I have this very short story. So I I did that wilderness work.
I then moved to New York City, I became a high school teacher in the Bronx. That was my next chapter. And had my quarter life crisis kind of blew things up, had a release. Yeah, it’s very real. just totally imploded as a person. And in the midst of that, I found a meditation practice which has been very central to my life. But the first time I ever went, I went to this meetup on a Sunday morning. close to you. Union Square. And it was on like the fifth floor walk up of this building. First thing they had us do was lay down on our backs and basically relax and drop down and imagine ourselves connecting with the earth with with the earth itself. And it was a moment of massive impact on me. I just started bawling. I started crying. And I was laying there and I recognized that because I was in the city and I was scared. I was lonely and I was lost and I didn’t have my I didn’t know what’s going on, but just laying there with a few simple instructions, I found the same feeling that I used to feel in the wilderness, just laying in my sleeping bag ready to go to sleep that sort of grounded connected feeling. I’m like, holy shit, okay, this game changer. I can find that level of I can find that here. It was just like whoa, what?
I need to work on finding that that elsewhere and being able to kind of tap into that mindfulness or kind of state in which your your barriers come down intentionally not because you’re caught off guard, that I personally am working on
that’s actually a really wonderful and clear way to say a state where the barriers come down intentionally that might be the best description of, of what we do what every man what I’m what I do, maybe that I’ve ever heard. I’m going to use that on my website. Thank you for that.
I really wish I could go on in every man retreat, by the way.
I did. Well,
We’ll talk more about that later.
yeah, we can talk more about that. But I do work with men and women, individually, too.
You mentioned in the beginning, that kind of at the root before these other experiences was the realization that are the facts. that you had come from a family who perhaps was kind of frozen emotionally and absorbed that as I think many of us do, but I think that many of us don’t necessarily ever realize that’s happening. And so I was wondering if you could speak a bit, too, when you actually were able to become aware of that and say, Oh, I am perhaps emotionally stunted. Or, you know, because I think I think we all most of us, lots of people, especially, I think, in the United States, and it’s changing, but yeah, How and when did you become aware of that?
I spent my entire 20s slowly rolling toward that massive like, realization. I, I do think that you know, some of the international travel and living and the wilderness. I mean, listen, I spent, you know, four or five years in a row before Basically delivering and sharing curriculum and about emotional openness. And it’s interesting at that time, I think I felt like I was all the way there. You know, and because here’s what I need it right? What an arrogant young person, but but I just think that’s kind of what happens. But here’s the thing, I could be there for other people at that time in my life, like I could totally be there for other people be helpful, be supportive. But when it came to my own self, my God was I ignorant, right? And it took me going and the you know, the biography here is part of it. Because moving to New York, I became a teacher become I became very overwhelmed at work. It was a very unhealthy life style. It was just too much and it pushed me past my edge. I had romance issues. The only time I ever cheated on anybody, I had this long term relationship. I ended up cheating on my girlfriend and in a terrible way and it just like I just popped it just popped. It’s like, who I thought I was isn’t real. I don’t know who I am. I’m doing these things that are so against who I think I am. And I did blew up, right. I had I had like a total meltdown. And, and that was, I think that was that was the moment. That was the moment, right? That was the moment where it all came to a head and like, holy shit, I am not prepared for this life thing in a way that I thought it was. And I don’t know what the hell to do. And so I really dove into really, I mean, what I tend to when I do things, I do them pretty all the way and so I really dove into personal inquiry and meditative practice and men’s groups and therapy and some other sort of healing modalities, plant medicine and things. I really went hard for a while. But yeah, that’s what it was. It was that it was that sort of total breakdown, freak out. I think I was 27 or so.
Yeah. And I think that being able to be there for others. versus yourself is just, I think people think of it as kind of Oh v1 and v2. And to me there’s, you know, v1 through five is maybe being there for others and then being there for yourself is V 10. If not, v 100. It is just a whole other level that I want. I hope people can realize how difficult it is how important it is. But that even people who are doing work like this, like you and I, it’s not something that is second nature nor easy nor, you know, for me, it’s for sure, still a very much ongoing process and will continue to be forever.
I just think there’s something there there is that I don’t know what the right word for it is. But self so there’s this meme in our culture about self sacrifice for the welfare Others are putting others before you, which I think is you know, it’s I’m not at all saying it’s wrong headed and I think like in the right frame it, you know, it’s beautiful but in in my meditative tradition and lineage there is this sort of concept that if, if you’re out there helping others leaning into do what you think is helpful to others, but you’re just a giant scramble inside and it’s it’s all this ego projective thing of just trying to do what you think is right is actually potentially even harmful to other people. And I think that’s a, you know, a more extreme way of thinking. And I’m not sure that I’m totally in line with that all the way but I do know for myself, that to actually be to really be able to love other people and really be able to show up for them all the way it does, there does seem to be a very strong correlation with how in alignment I am myself seems to be primary.
Yeah, I think that, you know, while it might not be damaging for others, I guess I could see how it could be damaging to oneself in the sense that, you know, you could be out there thinking, Well, you know, I’m supporting everybody else, I’m helping their growth or emotional development, asking the tough questions, really digging deep. And in that way, kind of taking the load off yourself by getting that kind of fulfillment, and kind of disillusionment a bit as to the emotional journey you’re on because you’re living it through others, rather than turning the tough questions around and asking yourself the same things and really digging deep and, you know, being able to give a great advice.
that’s it. That’s such a great point. And that’s, you know, and if I’m skipping ahead, you can stop me and pull me back. But it’s in a very important element at every man that we do this collectively and peer to peer And even our facilitators and our leadership is all participatory leadership. Right? So one of the fundamental things is that when, in our case, when guys get together and go through major learnings and healings, everybody who’s present gets a part of that everybody who’s present does get. So yeah, in no way. Do I feel like you don’t have to have your shit together to help other people. Right. I actually think that being humble and going through your m&s is sort of the whole premise of every man a lot of ways is by getting together and being willing and vulnerable enough to just share our dark stuff and our healing right in front and with and through everybody. It compounds the benefits throughout the whole community that’s there. So that might be that might be a little bit paradoxical to what I said earlier, but that I know for sure,
yeah. I think that I wanted to ask You kind of about the importance of having that that community and that support and creating a space where it is kind of men coming together, and how that changes the dynamic, I guess, in the literal sense on kind of an individual or one instance basis, but then in the big picture as well.
Totally, yeah, two main things I would say about the importance of doing it collectively and doing it together. The first is that a basic underlying principle of healing and psychology and therapy and counseling of all parts is that by having a healthy human connection as you go through some of your scary memories or traumas or these parts that are tender and and not fully, you know, not fully in alignment not fully Okay, by doing that with another human Full presence is that’s just one of the basic underlying principles of healing. That’s how we heal one way is that we do it with other. And there’s a part here that I hold on to very tightly. And importantly is that I’m probably one of the world’s biggest fans of therapy, and train counseling and train therapy. I think it’s massively helpful. It’s helped me in my life, countless times. But I do think that there’s something that we all have for each other, that we can dial up higher, which is our own presence to be there for each other in deeper and deeper ways. And so every man’s basis is that, yeah, go to therapy, go do your thing, like get the specific healing you need. But let’s also show up and look how much benefit you can bring other humans by learning simply to slow down and to be present for them, and to open up your emotional self and your nervous system enough that you can be With them in their dark places. So in one sense, it’s a very subtle but sort of peer to peer grassroots way of turning everybody into an agent of of healing and growth and kind of D stigmatizing, you know, you don’t necessarily have to go to a four year degree program to be able to sit with someone while they’re hurting, you can learn the underlying principles and we can show up and you know, I think the the large scale problems we’re facing so you know, suicide crisis me to global warming, whatever, whatever it is, I feel like we need rapid, rapid dispersed healing and growth throughout the human population. And I think that would take way too long and be too expensive to train enough therapists to cover everybody so we got to get together, learn the basics and get after it.
The degree in rdhg rapid dispersement of healing and growth.
I like it.
It sounds kind of basically I mean trying to democratize therapy mental health skills in the, yeah, the effects and the benefits,
emotional health, I guess maybe one of the simplest way to this baseline, this baseline stance and state that we can walk around as humans were, we’re open to what happens. You know, we’re we can be present with whatever someone’s feeling whatever is happening. You know, I think we generally, emotions are intense. Other people’s, our emotions are intense, ours are intense, but it goes deeper than emotions. It’s just general states, you know, it’s stress. It’s all these other ways of being but if we can learn to be present and relax through them, everything changes.
Yeah. And as you mentioned in the beginning, kind of with that being out in the wilderness and how it takes you back You said to the natural pace of life, and I love that, because when you really go back to kind of this, our natural states, especially in the wilderness, when you don’t have your smartphone, when you don’t have your computer and your, you know, bed, whatever. Our natural state is completely reliant on social systems and our close, you know, friends and family. And so, again, that kind of, you know, trying to kind of replicate that, that natural state and that social circle that at our core is one of our biggest necessities
that’s it. Well, that’s it and that’s that was sort of the second thing that I kind of earmarked in terms of why we do this in groups is that I mean, we are as this species, you know, evolving at whatever speed you think we’re evolving. Our basic safety in the in our origins relied on social communication and presence right? So, whatever your beliefs are, well you know, right you know, way back in history when survival was a much more present thing what we needed to survive beyond Air, Water food was each other actually we need each other to get those things and there’s been some amazing neuro psychological sort of theories and research going on about potentially our natural resting state of our mind our brains natural resting state is one of where is Suzy? Where’s john? Where is you know, it’s this like Wi Fi that connects to the tribe or the pack or whatever animal we were. Right? It is. And that’s another thing about spending so much time in the in nature, you know, just amazing moments when you watch animals in their natural habitat and you know, this is an example I’ve used quite a few times. But if you imagine sitting on a mountain top looking down at a bench or a saddle below you and there’s a herd of 300 elk, and watching them move and watching them stop and listen and like 400 600 pound animals all in a place, they’re in sync with each other to such a degree. And that’s their safety mechanism. That’s what keeps them okay and safe. And so we have our own version of that. And so, you’re right, when we’re out in the woods or anywhere where we don’t. Our our outside reality doesn’t match that quite as much. We don’t maybe have giant birds trying to come eat us, right. But we can tap into that same fundamental human wiring. And it just relaxes us to this degree that we just don’t normally have an awareness of it is it’s fundamentally altering to have that level of relaxation safe
Yeah, I love operating definitions. In terms of, you know, for me, what does safety mean? What am I interpreting that word when you say it versus what are you talking about? And sometimes, because people can be talking about completely different things, so I’d love to know your, your operating definition of safety.
Yeah, and I’m open to changing this, but in the context that I’m using it right now, the best example that I can give you is that I have a three year old and a one year old, and there is this level of let go or let down so I’m putting one of them to sleep or one is, you know, laying on my shoulder. And there’s this level of complete and utter relaxation. There’s this moment when they turn into a sack of potatoes and there’s no more no more having to hold themselves up. No more energy output just complete surrender. So that is the best sort of visual or visceral way to describe I think the extreme end of that where it’s no guard is up, zero. You’re completely okay.
Yeah, that need for vulnerability and trust that needs to go into that and but then that kind of reward you can get by being in that state and in your interview with I think it was with Joe Rogan, you quoted someone who was in one of your men’s groups saying safety is the new Ayaguasca.
yeah, and tobacco. Yeah. Especially when kind of you dig deeper into what is behind safety versus taking it as a, you know, two dimensional face value word. It’s being in that state where, again, those barriers are down. That is the ultimate high, I’m gonna backtrack a little for people who maybe didn’t read The description of the episode and what it is you do to give them a bit more context about every man and I want to read a quote from your your TED Talk to kind of give context. I believe that what the world needs for men today is for us to focus on two big changes. The first is to learn and accept and practice to be vulnerable. And then with that vulnerability, to create meaningful human connections around us, so that we never have to be alone. And so that we can create this web of men who are there for each other, and who are there for everyone else. And so leading with that, I’d love to hear we established a new definition earlier for Evryman but kind of your goals and help people understand how you guys go about doing that.
Yeah, so I wanna Take a second to introduce my he’s not here. I’m not introducing my life. But one of my co founders, oh, and Marcus is from Idaho. And he’s got this remarkable story. He grew up dyslexic and dyslexic, and with Asperger’s, which that’s what it was called at the time, and had a very different experience of life than most of the people around him and he moved to Boulder in the 70s. And he became a golfer. So he learned from directly from Ida Ralph, but he also trained under a few of the sort of pioneers of an emerging type of human work called somatic psychotherapy. So he worked with Peter Levine, who created a system called somatic experiencing, and he worked with Ron Kurtz, and it was in their kind of their first professional trainings of ever, and Ron Kurtz created a type of training called the Huck homey method which are body based somatic-oriented therapeutic processes. And so Owen began to sort of bring that into his own way of working with people. And he began doing men’s work. He began sitting in men’s groups and leading trainings and things like that. And so over the course of 35 years or so, he really came up with the, the underpinnings of this emotional and somatic way that we work with men.
So he started doing men’s groups in Boulder, and I imagine at that time, I mean, considering how new and on the cusp men’s groups are now, I can only imagine
totally so that was the first big wave. There was a big wave of men’s groups in the in the 60s and 70s. And then the mankind project started in the 80s. And there was a it was a huge wave of man’s work in the 80s and 90s. That was based in more union cyclists. And archetypal work and things like that. And Owen was a part of that. And then began his own his own process. And he started what was called the Sandpoint, men’s group in Sandpoint, Idaho. And that’s been a community that’s now been around for 15 years or so. And I moved to that part of the world for a short period of time. And I ended up finding his men’s group and sitting in it for about six months or so. And you asked me earlier when I finally sort of realized that I was not whole. I remember the first first night I ever sat in his men’s group. They would ask me these simple questions like What are you feeling right now? And it freaked me out, because I had no answer. I had I had no way to answer that. They’re like, are you sad? Are you happy? Are you scared? I’m like, No clue. So Oh, and through his life and experience, life experience and his professional experience in his training came up with his very body and emotion based practice, which is truly, truly simple and truly, truly powerful. So what we do it every man is once we slow down, and that’s really important part, we begin a process of just feeling what our truth is. And we start with our bodies because the body is a sort of a guide or a backdoor to know what emotions are up for us. And so we, you know, notice where we’re clenched or tense or really just some very basic somatic awareness. And that leads us to a really simple baseline emotional state two, so we learned to really feel what it is that’s up for us. And the third step, so once we’ve slowed down, and we’ve touched in and felt what’s going on for us, we we open our mouths and we share it with each other. And every time I explain it, I have this moment I’m like, it’s so simple. It really is. It’s not complicated, but this moment Of being this mode of interacting for men is a very, very foreign, oftentimes completely revolutionary act. And by slowing it down and just paying attention to these, you know, fundamentals of who we are. So we asked two questions over and over. What do you feel and what do you want? And by being able to go right to that to have an answer, if you can walk around life with an answer to those two questions, man, it just clarifies and clears up a lot of clutter around us.
Yeah, I do think that sometimes the simplest questions can be the most complicated like the ones you mentioned, or are you okay? I had recently where somebody asked me that and it wasn’t until they it just brought up a whole unexpected reaction on my part, and it was something that was So simple and you know, it’s not that different from how are you which is something we ask each other literally every day to strangers on the street. But just the wording or if you just actually sit with the question and try and answer it rather than giving your pre fabricated you know, back pocket answer without thinking twice about it. It’s really different.
yeah, definitely. That’s such a mass. Both of those questions are so massive, but another way to frame what we do at every man is we practice a way of being with other people that is body and heart oriented instead of cognitive and mind oriented. And that shift begins a process of deepening relationships throughout one’s life.
In this week’s episode, we meet with Dan Doty, a men’s coach and the co-founder of Evryman, a men’s retreat program that focuses on emotional wellness to destigmatize men’s vulnerability and empower individuals to build deeper connections. We discuss the therapeutic benefits of nature, the importance of addressing and healing old wounds, and the power of presence. We also delve into the toxic nature of repression and why our society, namely men, have been groomed into using repression as a coping tactic.
The Beauty in the Breakdown
To quote The School of Life, “A breakdown is not merely a random piece of madness or malfunction, it is a very real – albeit very inarticulate – bid for health. It is an attempt by one part of our minds to force the other into a process of growth, self-understanding and self-development which it has hitherto refused to undertake.”
In other words, a breakdown is a very clear, and very loud, cry from your truest self that something needs to change — that you have deeper desires that have been ignored, repressed, or forgotten. It’s a call for authenticity. So while it may feel catastrophic, recognize the breakdown as a momentous opportunity for growth and ultimate clarity.
Careful Before Putting Others Before You
It’s important to heal your own wounds before immersing yourself in helping others. That’s not to say you need to be perfectly okay before helping those around you, but be careful of helping others in order to boost your own ego or to feel better about your own issues. People love at their level of consciousness. Heal yourself and your capability to heal and guide others will expand remarkably.
“I do think there is something that we all have for each other that we can dial up higher, which is our own presence to be there for each other in deeper ways. ”
Stop Preaching, Start Being Present
You don’t need a degree or accreditations to help others heal. Everyone is capable of o!ering the most healing gift of all — true presence. The ability to show up for other people and be present in their moments of darkness or pain is one of the most powerful agents of healing. Forget doling out the perfect advice (something our ego loves to do) or trying to fix someone else’s issues. Instead, actively listen and be present.
Into the Wild, The Ultimate Healer
Dan emphasizes the inexplicable healing power of disconnecting from society and going out into the wild. With the forest bathing movement and the recent practice of doctors writing prescriptions for time spent outdoors, it’s clear society as a whole is becoming more conscious of nature’s power. Immersing yourself in the wild allows you to slow down and tune into your somatic awareness, allowing you to tap into your more authentic thoughts and desires.
“Nature subtly, but firmly, resets our system back to a more receptive and humble and less narcissistic and more interrelated way of being. ”
Quick Take: Define Safety
Complete and utter relaxation. Total surrender, where no guards are up.
The Hakomi Method
- Unity: an inclusive awareness of the interrelatedness of things
- Organicity: the recognition and honoring or each person’s individuality
- Mind/Body/Spirit Holism: the assumption that all elements of experience are essential.
- Mindfulness: the value of being genuinely aware of exactly what is happening
- Nonviolence: a commitment to respect and loving regard
- Truth: the pursuit of the actual nature of things
- Change: the trust that things can and will move and evolve
- Establish Relationship
- Create safety within relationship and within the client
- Elicit Mindfulness
- Create Experiments
- Reveal the held core material
- State specific processing
- Transformation of the limiting experience
- Completion of the work
The Pain of Repression
Dan emphasizes the toxicity of repression, stating that it’s a “maladaptive strategy” to dealing with issues. Studies have repeatedly found that repression of emotions can cause physical health consequences. One study demonstrated “that individuals who repress their emotions also suppress their body’s immunity, making them more vulnerable to a variety of illnesses ranging from common colds to cancer.”
Statistics of Toxic Masculinity
- In the UK, the leading cause of death for males under the age of 45 is suicide
- Globally, 96% of homicides are committed by men
- 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives
- 96% of people who sexually abuse children are male
“When we don’t deal with our own pain, when we don’t have avenues for this energy that gets trapped in us to move through and heal and go elsewhere, we unwittingly hurt others. ”
The Biggest Lessons from Marriage & Fatherhood
- There is no room for putting things o!. Deal with reality as it comes up.
- Get out of your own head and take the time to get on the same page with your spouse.
- When the time calls for it, drop everything else and be totally present.
Dan’s Recommended Resources
With men’s mental health becoming more openly discussed in the media, there are now an increasing number of organisations attempting to help men connect better with their emotions. Founded by Dan Doty in 2016, Evryman does just that, arranging retreats that aim to teach men to slow down, feel their feelings, and express themselves with vulnerability.
International teacher and relationship expert Michaela Boehm answers questions about intimacy, dating, and relationships. Learn how to create ‘the spark’, and keep it alive, while staying deeply connected to yourself and others in an increasingly busy world.
The story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts o! a life of privilege and comfort to seek spiritual fulfillment and wisdom. On his journey, Siddhartha encounters wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, and successful merchants, as well as a courtesan named Kamala and a simple ferryman who has attained enlightenment. Traveling among these people and experiencing life’s vital passages–love, work, friendship, and fatherhood–Siddhartha discovers that true knowledge is guided from within.
“Alone” follows the self-documented daily struggles of 10 individuals as they survive in the wilderness for as long as possible using a limited amount of survival equipment. With the exception of medical check-ins, the participants are isolated from each other and all other humans.
Alysse Doty is a renowned truth teller and remover of obstacles. She has studied with some of the world’s leading masters in sacred healing, meditation, intuitive guidance, and yoga.
More Resources & Research
About the Expert
Dan Doty is a men's coach, mentor, and the co-founder of EVRYMAN, a men’s retreat program that focuses on emotional wellness to destigmatize men’s vulnerability and empower individuals to build deeper connections. Dan works with men to help them access repressed areas of emotion and desire—resulting in relaxed confidence and an increased ability to connect deeply with others. His company, EVRYMAN, is dedicated to helping men connect and help each other to lead more successful, fulfilling lives with the goal of not only inspiring and improving the lives of men, their communities—and humanity at large Dan and his work with EVRYMAN have been featured by TedX, the Joe Rogan Show, The TODAY show, Men’s Health, and CNBC.
Dan Doty is a men's coach, mentor, and the co-founder of EVRYMAN, a men’s retreat program that focuses on emotional wellness to destigmatize men’s vulnerability and empower individuals to build deeper connections.
Dan works with men to help them access repressed areas of emotion and desire—resulting in relaxed confidence and an increased ability to connect deeply with others. His company, EVRYMAN, is dedicated to helping men connect and help each other to lead more successful, fulfilling lives with the goal of not only inspiring and improving the lives of men, their communities—and humanity at large
Dan and his work with EVRYMAN have been featured by TedX, the Joe Rogan Show, The TODAY show, Men’s Health, and CNBC.