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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 talk about:
- Staying resilient during this emotional onslaught in the dark days of approaching winter (and the world around us), even if you have fear and even if the most insidious things you suspect are actually true, and taking full responsibility of your own reactions and life,
- Cultivating awe,
- You’re not alone and how to find community to remember that.
Curt Storring 0:00
Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host, I'm the founder of Dad.Work. This is the November 19 2021. Friday reflections, we have got a couple of things to announce. First one is that we will be starting a an eight week men's group for dads very soon. And I want you join if you feel called, if you want to do life with other men alongside you, other dads who are experiencing what you're experiencing, if you would like some prompts and processes and a container to go deeper into your own life and psyche, if you would like to share and be seen and heard and supported and challenged by speaking your truth in an open sharing setting to other men. If you want to be held accountable if you would like to learn practices to calm your nervous system and stay grounded, why don't you join us in our next eight week, men's group for dads by Dad.Work, you can apply for the waitlist at Dad dot work slash men's dash group. That's da d w o RK slash m e n s dash g r o u p dot work slash men's dash group sign up there for the waitlist. It's an eight week commitment, we are going to be going deep, we are going to be connecting with other men and other fathers, it's going to be amazing. So sign up for that because we're going to get going soon. And we'll be on Thursday evenings, Pacific Time, afternoon or evening. We are working at the exact time right now. The other thing I want to let you know about is that I am probably going to put a workshop together on creating goals and values and excitement for the next year of your life so that you can start 2022 absolutely ready to go absolutely ready to crush whatever goals you want to crush. Because I seem to be pretty good at doing this. myself. And I have talked to guys on Instagram. And a lot of you said that you did want to have some sort of workshop or event or get together where I share some of the things I do, too. Yeah, just live the life I want to live a little bit of background is I haven't had a real job in the last 10 years. I've created my own businesses, I have done cool projects I've consulted I've bought, built, sold all sorts of different websites and businesses. And yeah, I've been able to do pretty much what I want when I want for 10 years. We say there's a lot of hard work there. But a lot of it comes down to what goals I had, what values I used to hit those goals, what habits I created to hit those goals and the regular check ins and accountabilities that were built in to those goals as well. We, we spent two years traveling with the kids when they were three and one. We went to Thailand, we did Eastern Europe, we traveled more of Asia. And all that was possible because we had goals and we stuck to them. And they were regular and they were accessible. And we yeah, we were just able to do a whole lot of amazing stuff. And yeah, I've now been doing this work for a few months, only a few months. It's crazy to think but have goals to continue to do this for years because this is serious stuff. For me. It's my soul's purpose, my heart's purpose. And I have a bunch of goals set around Dad.Work. So if you want to learn why I've been able to hit my goals pretty consistently for the past 10 years, and you know, been able to live this life, which man, sometimes I lose sight of the fact that how amazing it is and how free I am to do exactly what I want, when I want, I will be announcing this New Year's workshop. And we're gonna go deep into how to do all this, how to set goals, we're gonna do meditations to get clear on what you actually value in what you want the next years of your life to look like. And if you want to be sure to to get notice about that make sure you follow me on Instagram Dad.Work Kurt on Instagram, or even better sign up for our email list, which you can find Dad dot work is our website, there are multiple email list signups on there, don't miss it, it's gonna be super cheap, it's gonna be like 10 bucks. And the reason I'm doing that is because I want you to have some buy in everything that we do is, and this is just coming from a business perspective, everything business perspective wise that we do to help people, if they get it for free. Not enough guys actually follow through. And that's just a fact. And so like most of the stuff we put out is free on Facebook and Instagram and the podcast, and the website, like all these things are free, and I know that people are getting value. But man, I gotta say, when you put your money where your mouth is, you are so much more likely to actually do stuff because the fear of loss and waste money is actually quite a big motivator. So that's what I'm going to do here. It's 10 bucks. It's not a lot, but it's something that gets you to buy in for the next year and maybe decade of your life. So we're going to be announcing that I'm super excited. Stay tuned probably next week on Friday for the Friday reflections. I will give you a link to sign up for that if you're interested. If not, no worries, and we will connect on something else.
So last thing please would you leave us a review on Apple? Go to the podcast app in Apple scroll down Dad.Work podcast go to ratings and review leave us a whatever star review and whatever wherever star rating and whatever star review you want. That'd be fantastic. Love to hear what you think if this has been helpful, today we are going to be talking about my perspective on this dreary gray fall winter season we're getting into as it relates to everything else crazy going on in the world right now and how I have been staying grounded, and not letting the external world get to me and ruin my days, I'm going to be talking about the importance of being awestruck. This is just this amazing idea of this lack of emotion, ah, in our lives right now and what it means and how to get it back. And we're also going to be going through why community is so important. The fact that you are not alone as a dad, there is a path that has been trodden by many countless followers before you, and then how to find that community. All that being said, I am so grateful that you are here. Thank you guys for continuing to listen and grow in this podcast, it is reaching a lot of men now a lot more than I thought it would so soon. And then we are just continuing to grow and have conversations with amazing men and fathers and experts, all with the goal of helping you become a better man, partner and father to suffer less, love more and parent confidently. With all that being said, Here is more of me with my takes on today's Friday reflections.
Alright, everybody, I'm gonna be sharing a little bit of what's going on in my life right now, as well as some thoughts I've had and shared earlier in the week elsewhere on the Dad.Work platform, either Instagram or email, or, yeah, just talking to guys, I have done I think five or six interviews for the podcast this week, which is insane and amazing. The amount of connection and extension that's happening right now is just fantastic. And I think my network and group of men that I know who can help other dads is just growing and growing, which is probably the best part of this entire project. So I'm excited to bring those to you. There are some fantastic conversations coming up with all sorts of men with all sorts of backgrounds, all of whom have something to say about fatherhood. And the first thing that I want to talk about today is just this like general sense of, particularly if you're sort of more northern in North America, and perhaps in Europe, this sort of sense of darkness, and cold. And at least where I am rain. And this is
a time of year when a lot of people suffer from seasonal depression, it changes things, it's just not the same. We don't get enough sunlight, and everything just starts to feel like it's sort of pressuring in on us things are closing. And that's how I'm feeling, at least in the dark. In the cold in the rain. It feels more constricting. I don't like that. And as we get into these dark days, the end of the year, we think back to the end of last year when everyone was pumped for 2021 Oh, yeah, 2020 is going to be over, we're going to start this new year, things are going to get better, everything's great. And they basically happened. And that's a lot for the nervous system to handle just that disappointment that need for normalcy. And things are slowly going back to normal in some places, depending on whether or not you have done certain things. And I'm not going to get into that. But the general idea is that this season is one of darkness. It is one of going in side yourself. Rather than exploring and sunshine in this open feeling. I'm just feeling pressured. And when I was thinking about this, I noticed that I was much more resilient than I have been in years past. While I see a lot of people struggling. And I was thinking about that. And I think the reason is that I understand now that no matter what's going on outside, I am responsible for my own internal reactions, the way that I see the world are completely dependent on how I think about the world. And therefore my day to day reality and my reactions and my feelings. My emotions are largely driven by how I interpret the data around me. And so rather than believe that this is gloomy and dark, and there's a negative aura hanging over us, and that supply chain issues and big government and bad guys and this and that rather than believing that this is all this big conspiracy to conspire against me, actually, I'll do a side point here, even if it is from this is an important point, even if it is all of the most insidious things that you think you still can choose not to buy into the fear. And that's what I'm choosing. I struggle with this sometimes I feel disease, dis ease, not disease, dis ease, unease, whatever you want to say. And I feel fear. And that's okay. I sit with that. And I want to encourage you to sit with that. I want to let you know that it's okay to sit with those uncomfortable feelings in meditation in the middle of the day when they come up and notice them and they're okay. You don't have to get rid of them. You don't have to judge them. It's Normal. One of the things I was talking to my wife about this week was that things are way more mentally taxing these days, not just because there's this new cycle of never ending doom and gloom, which there's always been, but it's, you know, 100 times worse right now, that's one of the reasons I don't watch the news. And if you do, I strongly suggest you stop. But one of the things that I've noticed is that, like, my mental capacity seems to run out quicker. And I need to take like recharge breaks when I'm not working as hard when I'm doing less actionable things. And I think the reason for that is because we have sort of lost trust, with everything with even as fundamental as the way we thought our lives were going to go. This is not the life I anticipated. This is not the plan that I anticipated, I didn't think that I would have this existential dread and angst based on what's going on in our world right now. That's something that I need to grieve. And one of the things that we have lost trust in is news, and what's real, and how bad things are, and other people whether they're out to get us. And when we lose this undercurrent of trust, what I've found is that rather than being able to just have things on autopilot in my brain where I know certain things, I trust certain things, therefore, I can believe that certain things will go the way they have always gone. When that autopilot gets switched off, it makes a conscious it makes you have to make a conscious effort to figure things out much more often. So I have to do the mental calculations consciously now as to whether or not I can trust something. And this happens all the time, because I feel as though I'm losing trust, all the time. And what this means is that it's just taxing. And that's something we have to notice. And it's not bad. It's not good. There's no judgment here. But man, when you take away that very fundamental layer of like, you just know what's going to happen, because it's the way things have always gone. And you have to like do the actual mental gymnastics of figuring out do I trust this person? Do I trust this new source? Do I then have to go and research more? Who can I trust? When I do my research? What does it all mean? In the long run? If these things are true, what does that mean? We're all doing these mental gymnastics, and it is exhausting. And so the point of me telling you this is just to give you some perspective, because I have in the past, got stuck in these waves of needing to figure things out and feeling depressed and feeling anxious, and not being able to manage how things are changing around me. And that's due to a need for control. And we can go into all sorts of reasons why I end other people need control, often feeling out of control as a child or feeling like when I was in control, at least then I would know that you know, whatever it was that hurt me as a kid or what scared me as a kid wouldn't happen. So anyway, I have a lot of control in my life today. And that makes me feel safe and good. And I've been practicing surrender where I can, because I can't control everything. And instead of controlling the outside world, as I have often tried to do, I have learned that the greatest control is actually controlling your internal world, your reactions to things. First of all, it's the only thing you can actually control no matter how hard you try how loud you scream, or how much you are in people's faces. You can't actually control them. But what you can control is your reaction to things and your reactions to things can control how you actually feel. And so this is a way for you to lean into surrender, and for you to lean into true control, which is a control over the reactions you make to the feelings you have. I tell this to my kids all the time. You can feel whatever you need to feel, and you are responsible for how you express those feelings. And this is an important basic point to remember. We are all stressed right now we're all wondering what's going on. There's a lot of trauma being inflicted right now.
Nobody knows who to trust. And it's a lot less upsetting on the day to day basis. If you surrender to simply being okay with your own mind with your own experience, no matter what happens. So meditate. If you haven't meditated recently, maybe right now let's just take three deep breaths
I noticed in my body, my belly as I was breathing in my belly, the softening, just talking about this kind of stuff is activating me just a little bit and those brats actually gave me some energy into my my head, my brain area, soften my belly and hope it did the same for you. So remember that you always have access to the breath You can always meditate. Simply place your attention on things you don't even need to sit and meditate. You can do meditation throughout the day by noticing how you feel or what you're thinking. Give yourself a break, lay off of the TV, the Netflix, the news, social media, put your phone away. Like I said, a couple weeks ago, I think I believe I shared it on the podcast, I have significantly lessened my own phone usage. I was doing four hours a day. And you know, some of that was for work on Instagram, and Facebook, and all that kind of stuff. But a great deal of it was just me getting sucked into it. And I committed the start of q3 to get that down to two hours a day. And I have been there for the last number of weeks. And it feels great. It is significantly less stressful, because I'm not getting all these inputs that I don't want, I'm more in control of my environment. And man, it just feels way better. So all of this to say, acknowledge that things are hard right now acknowledge that the change of seasons makes things feel more insidious than they likely are. And also acknowledge that if things are insidious, do what you can prep what you can prep. But at the end of the day, you have to live with your mind. And that's the only thing you can control. So start there and stop worrying about what everything else around you is doing and focus on you. Because you're the only one you're going to be with for the rest of your life every single second of every single day. It's your responsibility to keep your reactions and your feelings and your motivation up. Feeling whatever you feel. So there's a little rant for the dark days of winter as we get into it. And, yeah, we're going to get through this together. And I'm going to be here I'm going to be bringing amazing messages of hope from these men and from my own life. And let's move on now to this thought I had of all, in all is like this last emotion. And I think it's like one of the worst things that this modern society has done for us is this lack of all, we used to live as a as a species, I suppose, is this human humanity. Under the Stars in nature, there was no light, there was no disconnect from the fact that we were a part of nature and the environment, just as much as the grass and the trees and the lions and the bears and all the rest of that stuff. And we could be wiped out by an act of nature at any time. And we could control nature, to a great extent, with our minds. But we were certainly not the masters. Because we were constantly reminded by how incredibly awe inspiring and insane this world in this universe is. Because we could see the stars if you've ever looked up and seen the Milky Way It Is flipping unbelievable, like awe inspiring. I saw a picture the other day of the Milky Way, taken deep in the wilderness away from light pollution. Unlike I have seen it in years at least since I think I was in the the Utah desert in 2019. And I was awestruck by an image on a screen. And it made me realize how divorced from all we truly are. And the other day locally, there were some pretty huge rain storms, there was extreme wind, and there's floods everywhere the highways are wiped out, basically were cut off where I live from the rest of the country, because there's no way through. And it was this massive storm and just like realizing and surrendering how insane it was. And there's a little bit of fear there because I understood just how wild things could get. And there was nothing I could do about it. Yes, I was in my house, I was sheltered I was safe, whatever. But there was truly nothing I could do if I wanted to go outside and feel warm and feel sunny and just feel like easy. I couldn't because nature was raging. And there was this idea of our being completely overwhelmed with the enormity and the beauty and the fantastic reality of nature. And as I experienced this tiny sheltered sense of awe, it struck me as one of the most important things to continue to seek and cultivate. And I'm not sure why it hit me so hard. But it feels profound. We can't see the stars anymore. We're sheltered against nature, we can't see how truly small and insignificant we are. We lack perspective. And in lieu of nature in the universe, which used to smack us in the face to be like, Hey,
you guys are nothing enjoy your time down there. Find what you need to find purpose, but like, hey, universe, I'm in charge here. Instead of that, we elevate humanity. As this be all end all we think we are the highest form in the universe. We become prideful, we lose humility, we could become divorced from the reality of being human animals at the whim of nature, the Earth and the universe. We become less resilient, less connected, less respectful. We chase things that don't matter, like money and fame, at the expense of sitting in the overwhelming sense of awe, that we aren't feel. We don't surrender. We grip tighter we crave control. And I just feel like we have put ourselves in proportion to where we ought be with the rest of the universe way too high. And this just distorts reality for us. And it makes people miserable. And it makes people want to grab for power, because they think that it's all within this, like human tapestry of society. And society is simply a construct within nature and the universe and the cosmos and the greater understanding of everything that we experience. And so this is just a reminder to seek a become awestruck. It helps to see what's truly important to understand your limits, to feel mortality more intimately. One of the things in King warrior magician lover a fantastic book on archetypes in men's work, I recommend you read it is that they talk about this idea of the hero as an archetype. It's an immature archetype, because it's in little boy psychology, they call it so the hero seems like a warrior. But the difference is that the hero doesn't know his own mortality, he doesn't have humility, he doesn't know the limits of his own abilities. And so he does things that are rash, he might save some people, he might actually be the hero. But if things were to go wrong, he would perish, because he doesn't have a way of risk assessment based on reality based on what his skills actually are. So the hero might come in and save the day. But he might also come in guns blazing and get wiped out because he didn't know his own limits. I think that's a very interesting point to consider is what being what the lack of art is doing for us as men as mature masculinity? Are we just in this hero mindset? Are we in this little boy mindset, where we think we can do anything all the time and have everything at our fingertips, but we lack this perspective, because we can't see the awe inspiring reality of what's around us. So I'm alive right now, amidst all of this, which is insane. You're alive. This is nuts. Look outside. Notice a bird's wings like this is one of the things in the Da Vinci biography I read. I can't remember the name of the author right now. He's very popular written a lot of biographies. In this DaVinci biography, it it talks about how he was, like extremely interested in the details, he would look at the pattern of how he birds wing, elevated, and then descended. And he was able through that to figure out certain elements of flight that if we just looked at a bird, most of us we'd be like, okay, it goes up and it goes down. But I'm talking about, get that curiosity like Da Vinci had, like children have to look at things and just go like, wow, like, look at a tree outside, look at grass, look at an animal, look at the sky, look at the moon, look at the sun, try to get that sense of all because we could be gone at any moment in the universe, we'll carry on. So for the day, for this moment, I am grateful. I hope you find that too. The last thing I want to talk about is the fact that we're not alone. As fathers. I love to share stories on Instagram and the podcast from other dads. And I love to sit in men's group, with other men hearing their stories because it makes me realize that I'm not alone. I'm not so special and unique as I think I am. And something that came to me last week was that the steps you take, and the gait of your walk may be unique. But the path has been trodden by countless men before you.
And so what this is saying is that you are not alone. You are part of this long history and tapestry of human life, particularly male life, particularly the LIFE OF FATHERS. You're not alone, you may be unique and how you walk this path. But the fact that there is a path is real, that has been created by men before you, men beside you. And there will be men after you who share the struggles these tribulations these trials. So you're never alone. There's always ways to see yourself and other men, if you're courageous enough to be vulnerable, open and curious with them. There are also ways to see yourself in your ancestors. You may walk this path with certain unique traits and experiences but the fact remains that it is a path like I just said, created by endless generations of men before you as recent as your own father, who also struggled and didn't know all the answers and as far back as the hunters and gatherers and beyond the men who were in all of the universe because there was no light pollution. You're inextricably woven into the fabric of humanity and you take up a special place as a life giver. As a father, you need to find community to truly let this point land. Only in hearing from the stories of other men like I share here, like we share in men's group, can you start to understand just how not special you are? And I don't say that, to disparage you. I say that to help you realize that you are not alone. There's always other men out there who will have your back, if you show up in a way that makes them believe that you have theirs, or that you accept their help without judgment, without judgment of yourself. It's extremely important to find community. In saying that, I think I mentioned this in the intro. This is one of the reasons why I'm starting all these communities, whether it's a Facebook group, whether it's on my Instagram, whether it's these eight week men's groups, for dads that I'm putting together, I'm looking into the possibility of creating a mastermind community, a monthly mastermind community for conscious fathers, so that we can meet every day, every month, so that you can get a team of your own, to go on calls with to text so that you can get trainings and ask questions and get feedback and get supported and challenge in your journey as a father. Because in community, you find the support that you need, that you are not alone, that you may have unique issues, but that most other men have experienced things similar to you, if not the exact same and realizing that takes such a burden off of your life. And you're better able to let go of things and to realize that you're normal, and that this is not the end of the world. And that helps you show up better for yourself, for your partner and for your kids. So find community, because you're on a path that every other man has been on every other father I should say has been on. And you're not alone. So again, I want to enjoin you, I want to invite you to join our Facebook group, Dad dot work slash FB that will redirect you right to our private Facebook group, you can join there. So I think 3100 men in there now, which is amazing. And I would like to invite you to join our eight week men's group for fathers it will likely be on Thursday evenings Pacific Time. And we're going to dive deep, we're going to be sitting in circle with other men, we're going to have time for open shares, I will walk you through processes to go deeper, to find out things about yourself to move energy to give you a new perspective. And to be honest, most of the benefit will simply be sitting with other men being seen by them being harmed by them being supported, and even challenged by them. Too few men have this in their lives. And I got to tell you, being in men's group over the last two or three years has been one of the most impactful things I have ever done. And that's why I continue to lean into it so hard. Because having a group of men who can reflect back to you who can call you on your bullshit, who love you deeply is what we all grew up with. Our ancestors I should say all grew up with. But we've lost just as we've lost all because we can no longer see the night sky for example, we have lost community because we are told that we have to be so called lone wolves and independent and nuclear families and we've lost this village which humans absolutely need. This is a non negotiable. And I thought for the longest time it was stupid. I thought I was so tough. I thought I was a lone wolf. I thought I could do everything myself, I need to know friends and men did I ever suffer. And looking back now thinking about myself in those days when I even told people like yeah, I don't need friends. I'm hardcore. I'm good. I was so so wrong, and I suffered greatly for it. But so this is my invitation to you to find community, whether that's locally, whether that's going deeper with the friends you currently have, and being the one to be vulnerable. One of the things that a guest shared on this podcast recently was that men
crave deep connection, but never get the invitation. So extend the invitation. And that's me extending the invitation to you. Let's go deep in the private Facebook group. Join us if you can commit to an eight week deep work intensive men's group, find the information on that and apply at Dad dot work slash men's dash group. There's a waitlist application, you simply need to fill out I think six or seven questions in a type form dad.org/ Men's dash group and I want you to join us, whether that's with me, whether that's with a Facebook group, whether that is with your own community, find something so that you know you're not alone. So you don't have to go through life by yourself. Because it sucks. It just sucks to do that. Why are you going to do that? Join a community. That's my invite to you. Alright, that's it for this week's Friday reflections. I hope that something in here was either useful or inspiring or helped to give you a little bit of a mental reframe. A lot of what I do here is just trying to share things that you might not have heard before, so that they can be normalized so that you can then use them to live a life that feels good to you not the life that you ought live or that you should live or that society says you use should do, but a life that feels good to you so that you can show up as the man you want to be a partner you want to be the father you want to be. And sometimes all it takes is just this little idea that you heard in passing. It's like, oh, I didn't even know that was possible. That's happened to me so many times in business and life and marriage and relationship, like, wow, I didn't know I could even do that. And just hearing it, like shifted my entire life. So that's what I'm doing here on the Friday reflections, sharing what's going on with my life, sharing what I'm thinking about sharing ways that I have done, I have used to become a better man, partner and father in the hopes that something will stick just one thing, if it's one thing and it changes your life, man, what a gift. What a gift. That's it for today. If you have Apple podcasts, or iTunes, or whatever it is, if you go down there, leave us a review, I would really appreciate it. We're getting some really wonderful reviews coming in. And it's so gratifying. So if this has been useful at all, would you please head over to Apple and leave a review. If you're on Spotify or Stitcher or anywhere else, make sure you are subscribe or follow us so that you don't miss any more episodes because we have I think I've got literally months already recorded and they're just meant these are getting better and better. I love them. Thank you guys for showing up. We have had our biggest day yet on Wednesday of this week. And there's just hundreds of people listening all the time, which is just unbelievable. So thank you. That's it Enjoy the rest of your week and spend some time with the kids
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 dad dot work slash pod that's di d dot w o RK slash pod. type that into your browser just like a normal URL, Dad dot work slash pod 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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