Daddy Brain Classics: Was Buddha a Schmuck?

I’ve been thinking about having a Daddy Brain Classics series for a while now.

Some of the posts I wrote way back in the beginning of Daddy Brain didn’t get too many hits, because not too many people knew the blog existed. Although I always want to provide fresh material, a few of these classic posts deserve a larger audience. So I’m finally jumping off the fence and giving this series a try.

Today I’d like to present one of my favorites a post that questions Buddha’s decision to abandon his family in order to find enlightenment…

Was Buddha a Schmuck?

And remember, you are not alone…

Sex and the Daddy

Tyler over at Building Camelot beat me to it.

He talked about sex, and what he had to say made me realize that I’ve been avoiding this topic for too long.

I’d like to highlight Tyler’s article in its entirety here. It touches on many good points about the dynamics of relationship, which is a great place to start…

What Comes First In Marriage? Sexual Or Emotional Fulfillment?

by TYLER on JANUARY 11, 2009

It’s like the age-old question “What came first? The chicken or the egg?” Does sexual fulfillment or emotional fulfillment come first in marriage? I was watching the Today show a few days ago and they were doing a segment on relationship resolutions and how to start off on the right foot for the new year. It was a panel discussion which focused on people who are in either committed or non-committed relationships and what steps they should take in the upcoming year to find happiness. 

When the discussion turned to those who are married, or at least in a committed relationship, one of the guests, Shannon Ethridge, author of The Sexually Confident Wife, said something that has been stuck in my head that I wanted to share and get your opinion. Fast forward to the 3:20 mark to Shannon’s part.

(Link to the msnbc video. Sorry, having trouble  imbedding)

Shannon mentions that at the beginning of each year she evaluates what she needs to do in the upcoming year to inspire her man (she’s been married for 17 years) to meet her emotional needs. I love that she uses the word inspire! It’s certainly a word that’s lost in many marriages these days especially if you have children or you’ve been married for any length of time.

She goes on to clarify that if a woman meets all of her mans sexual needs then he will fall all over himself to meet her emotional needs. I agree with her and here’s my question; does his sexual fulfillment or her emotional fulfillment come first in marriage? Does the wife make sure her husband has all of his sexual needs met first or does the man support his wife emotionally before his own needs?

In a good, healthy marriage I think the answer to the question is simple…it’s both. How can it be both? How can his needs be met at the same time as her needs? If you both make it a priority and work on fulfilling each others needs at the same time, mutual fulfillment can be achieved. If you value your marriage, neither you nor your spouse can afford to sit around and wait to have your needs met.

I doubt that I’m going out on a limb when I say that every man wants a wife who is confident and fulfills his sexual needs. On the flip side, I’m sure the same women want their man to be able to fulfill them emotionally. It’s just as important for men to support their wives emotionally as it is for women to leave their men sexually satisfied.

The one thing that I know I struggle with is recognizing, reacting and inspiring my wife’s emotional needs. I’m always selfishly thinking that she should satisfy my sexual needs first, but we should be working on mutual fulfillment.

What do you think? Drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

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I hope you’ll take some time to visit Tyler at Building Camelot and read some of his other articles. He certainly has a lot to offer, especially to us dads out there.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
Sex and the Daddy, Part 2

Dads are Not Second-class Parents, Part 4: Dads Need Help Too

This is a video I came across on Twitter. It’s made by a “dude” named Hugh Weber. Although he’s still awaiting the birth of his child, that hasn’t stopped him from beginning the transition “from dude to dad.” His powerful message is a perfect fit with this series…

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You can find Hugh on Twitter, or visit his page @ vimeo.com

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Want to share your own Second-class Parent story? Submit it as a comment and I’ll be happy to highlight you on my blog. Click the widget on the right-side tool bar (near the top) for more info.

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And remember, you are not alone…

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Additional Dads are Not Second-class Parents Articles:
– Part 1
Part 2: And Then There’s Dad
Part 3: A Divorced Dad’s Perspective
– Part 5: Perceptions & Paradigms
A Question for Dads: Have You Been Treated Like a Second-class Parent?

Where’s the Dad in Toy Story?

Family Blogs
blog

Can You Let Go of Wanting Security/Survival? The Sedona Method, Part 5

The Sedona Method is a powerful & easy-to use program that helped me learn to let go of negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors that were holding me back in every aspect of my life from health, to career, to relationships.

If this is your first look at the series, you might want to check out Part 1 for an overview before you get started.

Part 2 focuses on letting go of resistance
Part 3 is about letting go of the need for control
Part 4 introduces how to let go of wanting approval

This installment focuses on letting go of wanting security/survival.

Wanting Security/Survival
“When we want security, we feel like we don’t have security. We approach life as though it’s a battle for survival. We see everyone, at least on a subtle level, as an enemy.

We may often feel and react to even the smallest changes or decisions as if our lives are threatened. We may avoid taking risks, even if that means giving up success. We may avoid confrontation, even if it’s necessary. We may walk around expecting the next disaster.

You can recognize wanting security, because it may include a sense of being threatened, uneasy, in danger, on guard, or impending doom. In the extreme, it’s a paralyzing fear – we feel like we’re about to die. We also feel like we’ll do anything to get it back.

Synonyms for wanting security include wanting safety, to survive, to get revenge, to protect ourselves and others, to attack, to defend, to kill, and to be safe, to name a few.

As we let go of wanting security, we feel safer, more secure and at home wherever we are without feeling like we have to achieve safety at other’s expenses.”

Hale Dwoskin, CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates

Lester Levenson, the creator of The Sedona Method, had this to say about how fear affects us: “Fear, and it will appear.” These words do more than rhyme. They contain a truth about how we manifest our reality. The more we keep a fear in mind, the more we attract it.

There’s another saying, “What we fear, we create,” which is a slightly different way of looking at it. Have you heard of the law of attraction? It states the same thing. The more we focus on something, positive or negative, the better chance it has of becoming reality. For more on this, you can read The Road to Nowhere: It’s not too late to recreate your reality.

So let’s get started with letting go of the need for security/survival.

This exercise, taken directly from The Sedona Method course, will give you an idea of what it’s like to let go. You may find it hard to do, or you may find it easy. Either way, it’s OK just the way it is. Remember this is only one “slice” of the program. There’s much, much more to it than I am able to explain here.

And remember, it’s OK to take each step as slowly as you need to…

Take a deep breath and focus inside.

Think of a situation where you felt the need for security or survival.

Could you welcome the feeling for a moment? Let it fully be here.

Could you let it go?

I find that taking a deep breath and exhaling while I let go is helpful. If you repeat this process a few times, I think you’ll find that at least some of your need for security/survival has dissipated (if it hasn’t already).

Remember, this is only a small part of what the Sedona Method has to offer. If you explore the course further this will all make a lot more sense.

If you’d like to learn more, or try the CD program risk free, click here. You can also purchase the Sedona Method book, available at Amazon.com and fine bookstores everywhere.

And remember, you are not alone…

Dads are Not Second-class Parents, Part 3: A Divorced Dad’s Perspective

A Divorced Dad’s Perepective is written by by guest blogger Derek, dad of two.

 

Derek is a very involved dad who puts his kids first. He is constantly looking for ways to become a better dad and a better man. The story he relates here is one of many instances where the school system has treated him like a second-class parent…

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Without getting too detailed about my situation, I must say that as being a divorced dad I feel I have been treated like a second-class parent many times.

 

I’m a very involved, hands on dad — from changing diapers when my kids were little, to potty training them, to reading them books at night.

 

I believe that there shouldn’t be labels put on tasks when raising your kids, such as “mom’s always cook dinner, unless of course it’s easy mac (and cheese) or dad’s putting something on the grill.” Or doing laundry and grocery shopping to name a few.

 

These were things that growing up my mom would do, and rarely if ever I saw my dad do. He was in charge of the man things around the house and did a good job at that but I believe those times have changed.

 

On my own now being divorced I am forced to “do it all” and doing great with it all. I honestly have most things under control. I always know what my kids schedule is for school and extracurricular actives, I decorate their rooms and make sure sheets are clean, make sure that we all are eating healthy and not taking them to Mickey D’s all the time!

 

And I would be this way even if I were married. It’s called being a parent!

 

What is hard for me is dealing with how the system or people in our society make us dad’s feel as if we should just be a “traditional” dad and not a parent and modern dad.

 

Recently, I called my son’s school and asked if I could have some info about his hot lunch monthly billing (for the last couple months). No big deal right?

 

The first question the lady asks is “now you and your son’s mother are divorced right? And she has primary custody right?”

 

At first I felt like asking: “am I speaking with my lawyer’s office?” I thought better of it! I answered her and she continued talking about how she’d see if see could get that info to me.

 

She could see??? See what? She doesn’t know if I pay for the hot lunch bill or if it’s my son’s mother who pays. She was not telling me what I needed to know. She told me that she would mail me the info…well that was 3 weeks ago and I have not received a thing.

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Want to share your own Second-class Parent story? Submit it as a comment and I’ll be happy to highlight you on my blog. Click the widget on the right-side tool bar (near the top) for more info.

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And remember, you are not alone…

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Additional Dads are Not Second-class Parents Articles:
– Part 1
Part 2: And Then There’s Dad
Part 4: Dads Need Help Too
– Part 5: Perceptions & Paradigms
A Question for Dads: Have You Been Treated Like a Second-class Parent?

Where’s the Dad in Toy Story

Family Blogs
blog

My letter to Palmer (America’s Favorite Holiday Candy)

This is the follow-up letter I sent to Palmerâ after I posted Healthy Food Tip #4: Beware of Food Companies That Lie:

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Dear Palmer:

 

I am the father of two and a daddy blogger.

 

Your Quality Pledge on your products states: “We use only the finest ingredients and are proud of all our products. If you are not satisfied, please let us know and we will make it right.”

 

Your company uses Partially Hydrogenated Oils in your products – marketed to kids! This ingredient has been banned in Europe and many states have made it illegal to use in restaurants. So the question is, how is this a quality ingredient? It’s junk and it’s hazardous to peoples’ health. How can you be proud of putting this in your products, especially considering children are the main consumers.

 

You say in your quality pledge that if a customer has a problem, you will make it right. Are you willing to take this out of your foods?

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Peace,

Joey

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I’ll report back with their response.

And remember, you are not alone…

The Four H’s of Self Destruction: Have You Fallen Into The Trap?

I’m tired. All the time. And I’m ashamed of myself that I have not been able to overcome it. Quite simply, I have not been accomplishing what I’d like to in my life specifically when it comes to my blog and the “bigger” plans I have for it.

People struggle with so much more than I do on a daily basis. I feel like a weakling, a 40-year old dude from NY who can’t get his shit together. I’m doing my best, but it never feels good enough.

I’m dedicated to my kids and my wife. They come first, and that’s how I like it. But somewhere along the way I have lost my balance. Being dedicated to my family should not mean sacrificing all of oneself. But in my mind, in a twisted subconcious way, it seems I have done just that  sacrificed my professional happiness in order to be a better dad and husband.

But nobody asked me to.

I just feel there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all done (or so it appears at first glance). And after working long hours 5-days a week, how can I take more time away from my family?

The result is a crabby, edgy, non-satisfied dad who feels unfulfilled in the career department. Since I have no plans of putting my kids or wife anywhere but in the number one position, I need to find another way to make time for myself. Time where I have enough energy and cognitive process to work on Fulfilling Career Stuff (FCS).

Although the term does sound a bit funny, I think just about any parent can understand where I’m coming from.

So I took a closer look at my situation, how I spend my time.

I realized (for the umpteenth time) that there is a small window of opportunity after the kids go the bed for me to be productive and work on my FCS. About 2 hours before I pass out (only to wake up with keyboard face).

So why do I play Internet poker instead of working on my blog, my idea for a TV show or my book? Why aren’t I working MORE on making Daddy Brain a bigger deal, one that can potentially support my family? This is what I THINK & SAY my goal is, so why aren’t I taking ACTION on it?

When the night rolls around, I WANT A BREAK. But then all day long, I WANT CHANGE. I’m getting stuck in wants, and when that happens I find myself lacking the very things I desire. I’m basically stuck in resistance.

Is part of it self sabotage? Maybe, but it think the problem is more complex than that.

It begins with being exhausted. And when I’m this tired I become captured by the Four H’s of Self Destruction: Hobby becomes Habit becomes Harmful becomes Hated.

Bear with me while I explain because this is a dilemma I think most people struggle with. One that traps us in a particular state of mind that makes us incapeable of accomplishing that which is so important to us.

Hobby
Many of us have hobbies, things that are fun, bring us joy, help us relax and so on. Technically speaking, hobbies are harmless as long as they remain hobbies. But sometimes something happens to these harmless things they change and become…

Habit
Let’s take my Internet poker playing as an example. At one point playing Internet poker was just a hobby. But somewhere along the way it became a coping mechanism. It became something that, as the day wore on, I would feel more and more of a compulsion to do.

Don’t worry, I’ve made money and I’m not broke from it. But it has robbed more hours from my life than I can count. Just an hour or two a night, but the hours add up. Put together, these same hours could have resulted in a book, dozens of blog posts or a spec script for the TV show I’m developing. It could have also been dedicated to some extra sleep which would keep me in a better state of mind (making it easier to avoid the Four H’s of Self Destruction).

Another example: a casual drinker who has two or three beers a week. This turns to a six pack a week. Then multiple beers a night until this casual drinker (hobby) has a drinking problem (habit). It could be any hobby that mercilessly grasps you sex, drugs, TV, reading, puzzles, exercise, naps, crosswords… the list is endless.

Harmful
Now your little hobby has turned into a monster. It negatively affects your life, your relationships, your work whatever. And since it’s no longer a hobby, but a habit, it is very difficult to stop.

Hated
Sometimes we hate the habit, sometimes we hate ourselves for having the habit. Often, people just feel unhappy and unfulfilled and don’t allow themselves to go any further. Let’s face it: turning a hobby into a habit is a great way to hinder ourselves. For many it is a path to self destruction.

In the following weeks, I plan on diving deeper into each of the for H’s. I hope you’ll stick around to read them, and more importantly to share your opinion so we can all become happier, more fulfilled human beings.

A clear indication of whether I’m figuring this out or not will be the amount of blog posts I am able to complete. And the amount of poker I am able to avoid.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
The Four H’s of Self Destruction: When Hobby Becomes Habit
 

Give Your Kids One of the Greatest Gifts of All: Their Own Voice

This holiday season, many of us are facing tough economic times. With little or no “spending” money for holiday gifts, what’s a dad (or mom) to do?

Fortunately, you can give your kids one of the greatest gifts of all. It doesn’t cost a dime, but it lasts a lifetime. And its positive effects are immeasurable.

You don’t even have to wait for Christmas! You can give this gift on a daily basis (hopefully many of you already do)…

Give your kids one of the greatest gifts in the world: their own voice.

No, I’m not talking about a lovely singing voice. I’m talking about something far more important. Every time our kids’ share a thought, opinion or feeling with us, it’s a moment filled with potential — the potential to support their voice or to undermine it. If we’re able listen, we show them respect — acknowledging that what they say (and who they are) is important.

This gift is as simple (and as difficult) as taking the time to really listen to what our children have to say. They might be telling us something that seems completely trivial, insignificant and unimportant. But it’s important to them. If we disregard what they’re expressing to us as unimportant (either verbally or non-verbally), what are we really saying to them? The situation becomes ripe for feelings of rejection and disapproval.

This is not to say that we always need to agree with our kids. It means that we need to hear them out. Not when they reach a certain age, but now.

I firmly believe that honoring our children as human beings is one of the major ways we can help them fulfill their potential in life. I do not want my boys to become “cookie-cutter kids” that fall onto the conveyor belt of life. My job is to support, nurture & love them for who they truly are, and do my part in giving them the tools to discover just who that really is.

Just because someone’s little, doesn’t mean his or her opinion is any less significant than ours. We all deserve the right to be heard. Kids deserve the same basic human rights as us.

Like it or not, we are the ones who play the largest part (at least while they’re little) in bestowing these rights upon them. In doing so we’re shaping our kids’ sense of self worth & self esteem. We are responsible for making sure they don’t grow up to be directionless, opinionless lost adults who are always seeking approval from others because they lack it for themselves.

If we teach them to believe in themselves now, empower our little buggers and let them know they are worthwhile people, I’m hoping this will make them more resilient to the unyielding grind of life. Hey, maybe it won’t even feel like a grind if we do our job right.

Our children are superstars. It’s our business to help them shine.

And remember, you are not alone…

Easy Decorating Tips for the Holidays

There’s a new trend in holiday decorating, well at least there could be if we start it now.

It will leave us all with extra time on our hands. And it just might save us money, too.

It involves using items found around your house, specifically on your floors and rugs and the result is holiday bliss!

Tired of asking your kids to clean up after themselves? Then use their messes as holiday decoration.

Crumbs on the floor from that cracker snack? No problem. Call them Christmas Crummies and be done with it.

Toys scattered everywhere? Stick some hooks through them, hang ’em on the tree and call them ornaments! 

Who needs tinsel when you can decorate your tree, and your foyer floor with all types of shiny recyclables like tin cans and plastic blister packs with ultra-sharp edges? Now there’s a lesson in merchandising & safety, too!

The great thing about this new holiday craze is that you can practice just about all year round. 

Starting around Labor Day (September) is the best. Start off your decorating by letting those beer cans and chicken bones pile up (from the BBQ). If anybody asks, you just tell them its part of your Labor Day decoration. At first, they may look at you funny, but then the next thing you know they’ll be copying you like a Xerox machine.

For Halloween, simply add some orange junk to spruce up and transform your Labor Day decoration into the picturesque Halloween motif. By mid October, the chicken remnants you left lying around should have turned at least partially green with mold. The insects you’ve attracted add a creepy crawly touch that brings the whole look together. 

Now you might be wondering, how can I top that??

Simple. Let the kids make Thanksgiving dinner. A month early. Let them make it on the living room rug, with extra gravy and chunky cranberry sauce. You can use the leftover Labor Day chicken to make bullion for the turkey. Include the bugs in the stuffing to add a bit of crunch and extra protein. Again, easy decorating that the whole family can enjoy.

Best of all, on Christmas Eve tell the kids they need to clean the entire house or Santa’s bringing NOTHING!

You’ve just saved yourself 4-months of cleaning time and your home will be spotless for the New Year.

And remember, you are not alone…