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Welcome to this episode of Friday Reflections by Dad.Work!

Every Friday I share the best of what we have been doing in the Dad.Work community, to provide perspective, new ideas, and motivation for you to continue on your journey to becoming the best man, partner, and father you can be.

This week we are going to dive into my 9 and true ways to becoming a better dad this year, 2022. With this steps, you’ll be able to set up your family with years of closeness and resiliency.

We’ll talk about:

  1. Committing to doing your inner work to become your authentic self
  2. Start/expand a mindful practise to start noticing how things are
  3. Self-care as dads
  4. Figuring out what your kids really need
  5. Tapping into your inner caveman
  6. Communicating compassionately
  7. Finding a community of authentic men
  8. Imbodying the lover and sexual polarity
  9. Finding and pursuing your purpose

Mentioned on this episode:

Open her by Karen Brody

The Way of the Superior Man

#24. 9 Parenting Tips From My Inner Caveman – FRIDAY REFLECTIONS

Curt Storring

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. This is another Friday reflections episode and today I'm going to be talking about my nine tried and true ways of becoming a better father in 2022. This stuff has taken me almost 10 years to collect implement learning. Still, as always, I will continue to tweak this. But these are some of the most impactful things that I have done on my journey that I only wish someone had shared with me earlier. If you are serious about doing this work, you will feel better day to day, you will love more deeply. Your kids will appreciate and respect you more. Your relationship will give your life deeper meaning instead of pain and resentment, you will have more sex, you will be happier, you will set your family up for years of closeness and resiliency and your life will be full of meaning. How does that sound? Pretty good, right? So these are the nine things that I have done over the years and that I continue to practice in order to become a better man, partner and father, this one is fresh for 2022. To set you up on the right track, we are going to be doing a lot more things like this to give you the tools and wisdom and practices that I have used and that the experts I interview have used. Let's get into this one. Here are the top nine tried and true ways of becoming a better dad in 2022.

[00:01:13] All right, alright, here are my nine steps to becoming a better dad in 2022. Number one is committed to doing your inner work, engage in healing and growth work with the intent of becoming more authentically who you truly are. This requires healing trauma, unraveling societal and family conditioning, getting very clear with who you are under your ego defenses. It can look like exploring emotions, processing anger, finding stillness, joining a men's group, engaging in therapy, reading, meditating, breathwork, or anything else that gets you closer to understanding who you truly are, and healing the pain and wounds and traumas that cause triggers to come up in you that result in destructive or negative outbursts and consequences. Number two is to start or expand a mindfulness practice. This is perhaps the very first thing that I try to teach guys who are going through my course or my men's group is that it is vital to start noticing how things truly are, it's one of the most powerful things you can do to become a better man, partner and father, I used to think that self awareness was the one overriding factor in people that I liked and appreciated and wanting to spend time with. And while that is true, it is not the whole story. I think that self awareness leads to authenticity. And for me, authenticity is showing up how you are exactly how you are with all of the worries, and the good and the bad. That is the thing that I value above all in my relationships. But to get there you have to have self awareness. That means actually noticing how things are in your mind getting attuned to your body. So choose something here that you'll do daily, at least once in the morning, if not also before bed. In my course conscious fatherhood, I talked about the daily to mindfulness practices one in the morning, one right before bed. And this can look like meditation, breathing, journaling. There are a whole ton of ways to do all of these things, which you can learn about in that conscious fatherhood course. Or if you email me, I can send you a list of different types of meditations that I use. But you can use the waking up app by Sam Harris, you can use the headspace app, you can go on Insight Timer, I have actually recorded some meditations on there for dads specifically or you could simply sit and notice your breath for 10 minutes or five minutes. Or you could go for a short walk five or 10 minutes, even half an hour. If you really have the time. Just notice the way your feet hit the ground, how your breath is, all it takes is noticing how things are without the judgment or the desire to change them. For breathwork. Breathing, simply waking up each morning and taking five to 10 very deep belly breaths is a great way to start. You can do Wim Hof, you can do Breath of Fire to activate some warrior energy in your body. You can breathe in for six seconds and out for six seconds to just get a sense of slowness and peace. There's a whole lot of things you can do. If you want to learn more, you can read the book, just breathe by Danbury lay sort of an overarching guide to breath work. I do a lot of work with a breath, day to day and as well as sort of a spiritual practice that you can go deeper in as well. And finally journaling. As I mentioned, there are again a million different ways you can do this. I like to dump my thoughts into a journal because often I will think about them and then they will swirl around in my head. And unless I do something about them or get them out onto paper, they'll just live in there forever. And I will feel cluttered. So I like to just write freeform, anything that comes up. But I also like to do journaling prompts based on either shadow work or relationship work or anything like that. That comes up. And there's also the end of the day, one of the things I do is I journal into this app called Daily Oh, and it allows me to make a note of how the day was the things that I did that led to that being the outcome. And that gives me a place to write notes and I typically go through what I did during the day when I'm thinking about things I want to work on and just Make sure that every day I do some journaling. Number three is stop sabotaging yourself, otherwise known as basic self care. Most men can exponentially improve their lives by committing to basic self care habits than to go neglected. As a busy father. Most of this revolves around fitness, not all of it, but the body impacts the mind significantly. And the rules are simple, eat less, eat better, more whole foods, only drink water, stop drinking pop or anything else that's not water, coffee, tea is fine. But try and make it not full of sweetener and sugar and all that crap. Exercise 30 minutes every day, whether that's lifting weights, or yoga, or running or walking or stretching, just do something to move your body stretch regularly. Don't snack before bed, read more, drastically reduce your screen time. And these are the things that a lot of dads say, Well, I just don't have time to do that. So I'm just going to get by, but you're actually sabotaging yourself, if you're not keeping up on yourself care. And you're doing these things because you think well, you don't have time, there's quicker to do the worst thing which is not work out, which is to watch TV, which is to not read, which is to not spend a few minutes with your kids, which is to you know, drink a pop or an energy drink or something when you're feeling down. That's the easy way out. And that's what a lot of men and a lot of dads do because they think they don't have time. But it is actually self less, not selfish to do some of these things for yourself, you will show up so much better for your kids, for your wife for yourself, you will feel better and simply feeling better makes everything else better. There's a quote and I cannot remember the attribution right now. But the quote goes something like a healthy man has 1000 dreams and goals. But a sick man has only one. And if you're feeling sick, if you're not feeling optimal, the only thing you'll truly be focused on and your awareness will go toward how you feel and how you are sick of feeling sick. So stop self sabotaging and get some self care. And number four is learn what your kids truly need. Figuring out what your kids truly need from you is a game changer. They don't just need you to provide financially. They don't want you to work more they don't need you to stop yelling. They do need these things, but they need an active participation as well. They need secure attachment. Boys need to know they have what it takes. Girls need to know they're desirable and worth fighting for. Read Dr. Dan Siegel. Look into rye parenting ri e parenting, read Gottman Reed Eldridge think back to what you needed as a child. The problem with many of us, or at least for me was that I was focused so much on what I needed to stop being a negative influence in their life. And eventually, if you get that on control through meditation and the things, the first three points we've talked about, you stop becoming the most pressing concern in their lives. And that is a beautiful place to be. But it also increases your responsibility to take action on what they need from you, on a day to day basis, not just doing the self work to stop being a terrible father, like I felt I was, but to actually breathe some life and some affirmation into their life. What do your kids need? How can you show up for them? How can you build that secure attachment? Figure that out so that you can actually start showing up intentionally for them, rather than just thinking well, at least I'm here, or at least I'm paying for sports, or at least I go to work so they can eat? There's much more to it than that. Number five is to tap into your inner caveman. I did an episode about this previously, and other Friday reflections, you can listen back to that. But basically, the idea is that humans are physiologically programmed to do and excel at certain things. A couple 100 years of industrialization has not overridden our natural programming. So go outside more, get more physical closeness with your kids by carrying them holding them wrestling with them. Ask yourself, what would my inner caveman do? One of the things you can do and it doesn't work for everything, but it's kind of a fun idea is if you cannot imagine a group of cavemen or hunter gatherers doing a thing. Don't do it. Can you imagine them sitting around lazing around in front of a TV all day long and doing nothing? No, of course not. They'd be you're on a fire, they'd be squatting in the dirt, they would be talking to one another, they'd be out on a hunt, they'd be doing something. So that's a fun little mind game to play. Another part of this is to trust your intuition. The caveman had to trust his gut, knowing that that sound that he might have heard in the jungle behind him was a saber toothed Tiger, for example, you need to trust your intuition, because it's often right, less screentime for you and your kids. Let your kids do more during risky, adventurous things. We need to let them know that they have what it takes to do hard things and that we trust them to handle the consequences rather than trying to stop any consequences. Negative ones particularly from happening to them, we have to get out of the way a little bit and that will in fact allow us to be closer to them when they feel better about themselves and they know that we trust them. Number six is to communicate compassionately so many men I talked to make things worse every time they open their mouth around their wife Are there kids leads to fights, it leads to judgment, it leads to resentment. Few of us were taught communication skills, but it's now your responsibility to learn. In my experience, it makes literally every part of your life better. So my suggestion is to read nonviolent communication. Read the art of communicating. Learn how to express your emotions non destructively. And this, of course, starts with being mindful and actually understanding your own inner world. Stop repressing the feelings, set boundaries, healthy boundaries, make reducing suffering, your communication goal is tick, not Han suggests. Communicating compassionately and empathetically, and allowing the other person to really feel heard and understood is one of the surest ways to deepen relationship. There are a lot of tools out there, but they mostly start with understanding your own triggers, your own desires, your own needs that are not being met, start with yourself, but also extend that compassion to everyone with whom you speak. Number seven is to find a community of authentic men, we have lost the sense of community that humans desperately need to thrive, known only to children require a village. But so do we, as men, we are not meant to shoulder the entire burden of parenting, we are not meant to suffer alone. Not only is having a group of men who have your back generally a more pleasing way to live. But it makes all of your healing growth and inner work much easier and more potent. This is perhaps the single greatest thing that I have done over the last three years. After I had done a lot of inner work on myself, which took a long time, I spent a lot of money doing courses and workshops, and working with coaches and counselors and all this kind of thing. And it was only after I joined a men's group did things start to land, that things start to integrate, I was doing all this by myself. But I was almost in my own way. And I couldn't see, nobody was reflecting back to me who I was truly showing up as in a community of men, not only does that feel better, like I have almost never felt joy, like having people over for dinner, just sitting with them being in the company of them. And I feel it very acutely, because I spent years without friends or without community without establishing relationships. And as someone who had that void in his life and didn't know about it, it is life changing to have it in your life. So go deeper with your current friends if you can, if you feel vulnerable enough and courageous enough to do so. Otherwise, join a men's group, join a community like the Dad.Work community, I will have an upcoming announcement on that shortly, we are going to be putting some amazing things together this year so that you can get your very own community of authentic men. Number eight is to embody the lover and sexual polarity. Whether you're in a relationship or searching for a partner, learning to embody the lover in a grounded masculine way is essential. Read the Way of the Superior Man by David data. I literally read this book three times in a row and took copious notes. And it has changed my life. I actually did what he was talking about, I actually embodied the masculine energy that he talked about. And it really changed my relationship to myself to other men and especially to my wife. Another book you can read is called open her by Karen Brody and takes a lot of the ideas combines them with masculine archetypes, and give some clear ways to implement them in your own life. Learn from John Weinland, that amazing teacher, be the man of her dreams. Go all in on your relationship show up at 100% Not 50% expecting her to meet you halfway. That is the worst piece of relationship advice. If you are not authentically yourself showing up at 100% willing to go all the way willing to be hurt if things don't go well. That is the only way that you can go deep in relationship and expect that things will feel good that they will feel right that they will be meaningful. Otherwise, if you're coming in and 50%, nobody's ever going to really be themselves, they're going to potentially go into codependency they're going to potentially hold back, they're going to assume that the other person can quote, complete them. And that's not how a relationship should work. Show up as yourself for yourself in relationship. And then surrender to the beauty that can come from being 100% yourself with someone else being 100% to discover your own masculinity and then share those gifts you have with a feminine partner. Whether that is the container you can bring, whether that is the purpose and the discipline and the drive you bring these things if you are in a mainly masculine energy yourself and your partner is in a mainly feminine energy herself. These are the things that you can give that are uniquely yours to give. And last but not least, is to find and pursue your purpose with point number nine masculine men require a higher purpose to live a truly meaningful life, something bigger than yourself. Do not fear that you're harming your family by taking time to pursue this purpose. Realize and in doing so you'll be showing up for them

[00:14:51] more fulfilled, more energetic and is more of a leader. Take the time to feel into what this purpose is and then make any changes required in your life to truly go after it. Alright guys, this is the stuff that has taken me almost 10 years to collect, implement. And I am still learning to be quite honest. I just wish someone had broken this down for me when I first became a dad. So my hope is that in sharing this, it'll take you significantly less time and hopefully less pain than it took me to become a better man, partner. And Father, I'd love to know if there's other things that you're focusing on this year. drop me a note on Instagram Dad.Work Curt or send me an email We'd love to know if this landed for you. And again, if you have been enjoying this podcast, I asked please would you go to apple and now Spotify, they added a rating system would you go to one of those two apps, preferably Apple, if you have an iPhone, and leave a rating and a review, this is the best way to help us get this into the hands of more men. And I truly believe that through helping men heal and grow, particularly fathers, we are helping save and heal the world. And I'm not just saying that that has become very clear to me that this is the mission and the path we are on. It'll take you 30 seconds and it is perhaps one of the best things you can do today to advance this cause of helping dads become better men, partners and fathers I would very, very much appreciate that. I also simply appreciate you for listening. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're doing the work. You are on the right track you are ahead of the game. You are one of the men on the leading edge of fatherhood. And I appreciate you thank you very much. We'll see you back here on Monday

[00:16:23] that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today, including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave a review work with us go to that's DAD.WORK/POD. type that into your browser just like a normal URL to find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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