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Today’s guest is Todd Adams.

We go deep talking about:

  • Dealing with conflict and other difficult aspects of life as a parent
  • How to use fatherhood as a means of going deeper into your self
  • Not reacting in ways that will build resentment
  • Exercising prudence in our parenting since children mimic our behaviour, which may have an impact on what they perceive to be normal as adults.
  • Being able to recognize and articulate feelings that are buried deep within you.
  • Celebrating our wins as fathers instead of just focusing on our shortcomings 
  • Why it’s important to raise emotionally intelligent children 
  • Working through your childhood trauma and being able to recognize your triggers as a dad
  • The need to join a men’s group and share authentically as a dad

Todd is an advocate for men supporting healthy masculinity, conscious relationships, and prosperous careers.

For nine years he has co-hosted Zen Parenting Radio, a top-ten kids and family podcast on iTunes, and co-founded MenLiving where he leads monthly meetings and offers annual adventure retreats.

He is in the process of obtaining a 15-month coaching certification through the Conscious Leadership Group (

Todd is a member of The Mankind Project, a staff member for the New Warrior Training Adventure, and a blogger for The Good Men Project.

He also received his life coach certification through the Tony Robbins Core 100 Life Coaching Program, and is a certified instructor for the Institute of Heartmath where he was trained in stress reduction and relaxation. Cathy and I have three school-age daughters.

Find Todd online at:

Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. This is episode number 68 Zen parenting finding joy and vulnerable authenticity with Todd Adams. We go deep today talking about dealing with conflict and other difficult aspects of life as a parent, how to use fatherhood as a means of going deeper into yourself, not reacting in ways that will build resentment, exercising prudence in our parenting since children mimic our behavior, which may have an impact on what they perceive to be normal as adults, being able to recognize and articulate feelings that are buried deep within you, celebrating our wins as fathers instead of just focusing on our shortcomings. Why it's important to raise emotionally intelligent children, working through your childhood trauma and being able to recognize your triggers as a dad and the need to join a men's group and share authentically as a father. Todd Adams is an advocate for men supporting healthy masculinity, conscious relationships and prosperous careers. For nine years, he has co hosted Zen parenting radio, a top 10 kids and family podcast on iTunes, and co founded men living where he leads monthly meetings and offers annual adventure retreats. He is in the process of obtaining a 15 month coaching certification through the conscious leadership group. Todd is a member of the mankind project, a staff member for the new Warrior Training adventure and a blogger for the good men project. He also received his life coaching certification through the Tony Robbins core 100 Life Coaching Program, and is a certified instructor for the Institute of HeartMath, where he was trained in stress reduction and relaxation. Todd and his wife Kathy have three school aged daughters, you can find online at Todd Adams As well as all of the other places I mentioned in his bio, if you go to, you'll find this episode with Todd Adams there. And I will link to everything I just meant including Zen parenting radio, men living and everything else that you just heard. This was a really good conversation. And I particularly like the part where we talk about joy. And this was such a good pattern interrupt for me. Because, man, it's hard to feel joy. And we talk about that quite a lot, actually. But it was one of those things were just talking about a brought me back to this moment. In my own childhood, when I learned it was not cool or safe to express joy openly. And man, it was just so good to have Todd hold space for that I think was useful as a discussion point to talk about that in relation to men's work and growing as a father, that we don't have to be in the shadows all the time. It gets exhausting. And there's another side of life, which is joy, and happiness and contentment and excitement. And all of these things that are more positive. So as you'll hear me say in just a moment, at the start of this I really love were taught and Kathy go in there is in parenting radio show, because I think we probably agree on the fact that to become a better parent, you need to start with yourself, look sort of in the mirror and do the work it takes to become a better you know, at least for father, man, husband, father, if you've enjoyed listening to the show recently, the Dad.Work podcast, I would really love it, I would appreciate it very much. Actually, if you left a quick review on Spotify and Apple, you can rate the podcast on Spotify, if you just go up to the top of the page on the Dad.Work podcast, you can hit that little star rating and leave a rating or if you're on the Apple podcasts app, you can scroll down at the bottom of the Dad.Work podcast page and click the star rating and then leave a review. I would appreciate that so much. It's one of the best and easiest ways to get this work into the hands of Mormon. So if you have benefited even just a little bit from listening to this podcast, I would appreciate it so much if you'd leave a rating and review. That's it for now. Thank you for listening guys. As always, let's get into this episode number 68 of the Dad.Work podcast with Todd Adams. Here we go.

Alright guys, welcome back for another episode of the Dad.Work Podcast. I'm here with Todd Adams from Zen parenting. And I'm very excited to have you on because I was just saying before that I came across your motto, which is the best predictor of a child's well being as a parent self understanding, and your most popular podcast episode, which is about fault and responsibility, which is something I talk about all the time here. And so I feel an instant connection and a desire to get to know you better. And so could you maybe start by walking us through why you even started this project in the first place. Why is in parenting? What does it mean to you?

Todd Adams 4:18

We started this with my wife. It's basically my wife and I just talking and sometimes we have interviews, but most of the time, it's just she and I. The quick answer is the reason we started is because my wife asked me if I wanted to be on a podcast 11 years ago, not many people knew what a podcast was. And I was and still am a sales rep. So I have a nine to five job but my wife is a therapist, and is in this world of self awareness and mindfulness. And I said so she was on a kind of a virtual book tour and somebody asked her she asked if somebody would

be willing to help us kind of start our own podcast. My wife asked these people who hosted their own podcast Hey, how

I do that, and they helped us and but the one thing they said to her was, if you're going to do it, it's probably best if you do it with somebody just because it's a little bit more dry if it's just one person talking the whole time. So she came upstairs and said, I signed you up for this podcast. I'm like, What's a podcast? And what did you sign me up for? But we started because my wife and I've always had these wonderful dynamic of having kind of really kind of deeper, authentic conversations with each other. So we basically just decided to do the same thing and instead have a few microphones in front of us so So why did we start it? Or why did she started, we it's it's really not a parenting podcast, that's kind of a we bait and switch people to be quite honest with you. It's a self awareness podcast. And it doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a grandpa or a mom or a dad, or we have a lot of teenagers that listen to us. It's just a vehicle self awareness. So yeah, the the motto that we actually stole from Dr. Dan Siegel, who is written a bunch of parenting books, was the best predictor of a child's well being as a parents self understanding, I think I make up a story that a lot of parents want to just teach and guide their kids and make sure that they're doing everything we want them to do and be the person we want them to be. And we forget about our modeling, you know, and we'll talk about that the 6030 10 thing that I said we might want to talk about, it's has very little to do with what we're telling our kids, it has to do with how are we navigating our own lives? Are we? How do we deal with conflict? How do we deal with when we get in a reactive defensive place, and I think parents are so quick to try to teach their kids and they forget about their own work. So all Kathy and I do on the podcast on a weekly basis is kind of like, just tell our stories of how things are going in our worlds and how we reacted? And do we have an opportunity to kind of, you know, get quiet and not react, but instead respond. So it's it's just an it's a dialogue, in that sense. Hmm.

Curt Storring 7:03

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And I love Dan Siegel recommend all of his books, I just finished brainstorm myself and suggest to all the younger dads listening, our dads with younger kids listening to read the power of showing up, that was very fundamental in my journey as a father, and how old are your kids?

Todd Adams 7:21

My oldest is 18. My middle is 16. And my youngest is 14 three daughters.

Curt Storring 7:26

Okay, so you started the podcast after you'd become a dad? And what has that done for you? Like, did you start this whole parenting journey with a mindfulness and self awareness background? Or was this sort of along the way?

Todd Adams 7:39

No, no, no, no. So when I when I became a dad, I was 30 years old, and I was working hard. And I was loving my wife, but I was also, you know, I was still in, I still felt like I was 22 years old. So I was out drinking and everything else. And then, and then my kid showed up, and I realized that I was still behaving. Like I was 22 years old, even though I had a daughter. And I even remember, like, just catching myself one time I was I was just kind of rocking my daughter, my infant daughter to sleep one night, and as romanticizing my college days, like how independent and free I felt. And then I like I caught myself, I'm like, oh my god, I'm just like, the most insane person in the world because it doesn't get any better than a sleeping infant that you helped create. And I was romanticizing these stupid drunk stories of when I was in college. So I caught myself, I'm like, I thought, I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. So, you know, over time, I became a little bit more responsible. And yeah, and you know, to this day, I'm still I still have stops and starts as far as how I show up in my wife's world and my daughter's world, but I'm certain I would consider myself much more self aware than I did back then back then it was all about, you know, some more selfishness and things like that. So

Curt Storring 9:05

thank you for sharing that I it brings up to my mind, a man in one of my men's groups was going through this exact thing, which is like, oh, man, I kind of long for those days of independence. And was there a larger process behind that? Like, did you have to grieve the loss of that? Or was it just like, Hey, dude, this is what's real now. Like, get your head together. It was more like finger

Todd Adams 9:26

it was more of a ladder and and I don't mean to picture paint myself as having this problem with alcohol. I would, you know, I would probably get drunk once every few weeks with my friends. But it got to the point like I remember one time, I had to have my wife, stop the car, so I can go throw it behind a dumpster and my kid was in the her. My kid was in her baby seat. I'm like, What am I doing? So it was just kind of a, you would think I would have had those awarenesses when my wife was pregnant, but instead it it waited until my kids actually showed up and I'm just like, Like, this is stupid. And you know, the older we get, I'm almost 50. Now, you know, alcohol does not, I don't have the same relationship with it now than I did back then back then I would have been night partying with the boys, and then wake up feeling good. The next day, if I have more than a few beers, I get a headache the next morning and I'm tired and our bodies, my body is nice. It's just not built the same way it used to be. So it's easier to you know, skip that part of my life. So, yeah, no,

Curt Storring 10:29

I feel that too. And it's one of the worst experiences I've ever had was waking up after like three hours of sleep with my children jumping on me after I had been drinking the night before. And from that moment, I was just like, oh, man, this is not worth it.

Todd Adams 10:42

There is nothing worse than being hungover with an infant. Like, because, you know, usually it's like you went out the night before. So you're in charge because my wife was in charge the night before. And I don't think I ever really did that. Because i i forecast of what that would be like, because it would be awful. And so yes, I completely feel that. And it's the worst. It's the worst.

Curt Storring 11:06

Yeah, yeah. And it's nice to hear that becoming a dad was like the impetus for this greater awareness, because that's what I felt. And all of my work is like, Oh, my goodness, my children are reflecting back at me. Everything that I don't like about myself. And like, there's such an opportunity to be self aware if you have the right mindset. And so do you talk to dads about this at all? Do you talk to men in your men's work to talk about this in the podcast? Like how to use your experience as a father to actually go deeper in yourself?

Todd Adams 11:38

Yeah, I think my kids are by far my biggest teachers, for sure. And I guess I'll start with a light story. When I would walk my kid to school, I would be walking her to school, like point a point B shortest distance between two lines, let's get her to school. And she would like stop and look at ants and look at the sky. And I'm like, no, no, no, come on. We're supposed to be going to school. And you're sitting here, looking at the ants on the sidewalk or looking at the clouds in the sky. And then once again, I caught myself, I'm like, Todd, what are you doing? Like, she is completely present. And I am completely not present. I'm thinking about we have to get her there at a certain time. And we need to, because I have other things I need to do after I drop her off. And she was a, you know, when our kids are born, you know, there's no past no future. And even when they're younger, when they're toddlers, like they're, they're present. So, yeah, the gift of presence was a wonderful lesson that I learned from my toddlers. And then as they grow up, yeah, our kids are really good at finding out what our triggers are. And, you know, for me, the definition of a trigger is, you know, there's a stimulus and the reaction is much bigger than the stimulus. And you know, let's say my daughter talks back to me or something like that. That's a learning opportunity. Like, wow, she just touched a part of me that I have yet to resolve myself. So instead of me reacting and saying, Hey, I don't appreciate being talked back to like that. It's instead, how is this familiar in my life? And what have I not looked at? So and you know, everybody around us can be that, but our kids are experts at it. And I think if we have partners and spouses, they're also good at it. So when I'm in relationship, on a good day, I'm always looking at it through the lens of what is it here, what's here for me to learn? And it's usually based upon, you know, my reactivity or what I get into this, you know, reptilian brain where I'm like, wow, I'm really pissed, and I don't sure why. So yes, the answer. Your question is, for me, my kids and my wife are by far my best teachers more so than Dan Siegel, or any other smart book that I might read. It's, it's the experience of it versus reading in a book.

Curt Storring 13:48

Yes. And applying that self awareness to your day to day life and noticing all these why's rather than just being indignant as to like, oh, how dare you treat me like that? And I have to ask you, so this was a lighter story. Is there a darker story?

Todd Adams 14:02

Um, no, I mean, that was just more of a, you know, I just figured I'd start there. But there's plenty of dark stories, but no, nothing is coming to mind. So I'm not.

Curt Storring 14:12

I just had to poke there just in case. But I

Todd Adams 14:15

need to go to these deep, dark places. If they if we get there in this interview, like I'm, I'm happy to reveal every kind of dark shadowy part of myself. Because in my judgment, that's what kind of helps us get through things is to share it and to talk about it versus hide it and pretend it's not there. So

Curt Storring 14:33

exactly. Yeah, I just wrote something about that on Instagram yesterday. And then in my in one of my men's groups, we did the secrets process yesterday, which is sharing that which I don't want you to know. And in that process, you reveal parts of yourself but you shine a light on the shadow and can then either realize it's not so scary, or it allows you to see where the repair work needs to be done. So I really appreciate that sort of energy from you and I would love to move on now to what you just mentioned by modeling in this 6030 10 cycle, and we get it backwards your way. So where can you take that from here?

Todd Adams 15:10

Well, and I'll try my best to use I statements, I make up a story that most of us get it backwards. So most parents are really hooked on, what do I say to my kid when this happens, and they're less concerned about their own modeling of that, and they're less concerned about the way in which we're presenting whatever it is that we're presenting to our kids. So then my story 60% Most parents think that 60% of parenting is what we say to our kids. 30% is how we say it and 10% is how do we model it, and I kind of just want to flip that upside down. And if if I said nothing to my kids, yet, I just role model being a, a self compassionate, self loving, individual towards myself, towards my wife, towards my kids, and I showed that behavior through modeling, they're going to pick up so much more through that than anything I ever say to them. And then that middle part, the I call it the text of what it is. So it's not just what you say, it's not just what I say, it's how I say it from what place Am I saying this from? And you know, that, you know, example I gave to you just a few minutes ago of, you know, say our, my daughter talks back to me, and I respond, from what place am I responding from? am I responding from a place of React reactivity? Or am I going to take a pause? And I'm going to breathe before I respond, because that's when we get into trouble is when we're responding from reactivity. So, yeah, for me, 60% of my parenting is modeling 30% is, from what place? Am I saying it from? Or from what energy Am I saying it from? Or what is the what is my relationship in this experience? And then 10% is, is what I say to because kids are smart, and they can pick up on energy, a hell of a lot more than they can pick up on, you know, the words we're saying. So,

Curt Storring 17:10

yeah, I see that all the time. And you even hear it. I mean, the worst case scenario is when your kid picks up a four letter word. And that sort of snaps me into realizing that what I do is way more impactful than anything I say to them, because I tell them, that it's not polite, and you know, people will look down on them if they do these things. And then if I do it, they're like, Okay, that's acceptable, because I'm such a role model as a father to them good or bad. And so that's why like, my focus in this project of Dad.Work, is to become a better like husband and father, you got to work on yourself first, because that's what they're seeing over and over and over again, right?

Todd Adams 17:47

No doubt about it. Yeah. So I have three daughters, and I make up a story that they're going to compare any relationship that they have now I have three daughters, one of them is gay, she's 18 years old, we actually did a podcast with her about her coming out story and all that. And, you know, we'll see about the other two. You know, it's funny, like, I don't even want to, like assume they're straight, you know, coming out parties, supposedly, just for people who are gay, or bi, like, we should have coming out parties for everybody. So that there's not an assumption that everybody straight because I feel like that's not really that fair. But let's just say my middle daughter straight, she's gonna compare any relationship she has with a man based upon how I treated her mom. So we're teaching our kids one way or another, we're either teaching them how to treat their significant other in a loving, compassionate way. Or we're teaching them that it's simply okay to, you know, verbally abuse or any type of other abuse there, they're going to think of that as normal one way or another. So, yeah, for me, I'm always trying to think in the back of my mind, when the way in the way in which I interact with my wife, and I have a wonderful relationship with her. And we have plenty of disagreements, but we don't yell at each other. And that's not to say that if you do that you're a bad dad. It's like that's even that's an opportunity for some good repair. So even the conflict, and maybe you're not proud of the way you show up in conflict, there's an opportunity there as well, I used to have this huge aversion to conflict, and I still do so we can talk about some of my secrets, or my deep dark stuff. I my childhood baggage is my parents. When I was younger, my parents would fight all the time, you know, verbally, emotionally, physically, and I would shut down because to protect myself. And now I now realize that conflict isn't necessarily that bad of a thing, but I have this childhood pattern of conflict equals badness. So I would instead avoid all conflict at all costs. And that's not the way relationships work, relationships work. You know, there are good days and then there's bad days when there's conflict. So that's something I'm currently working on. So but yeah, my daughters are going to whatever it is, that they see is going to be normal in my judgment. So what I want to do is just show them what it means to be a man. And what it means to be a man is to have an A have a sense of equality in a marriage, and there's no hierarchy, and that mom and dad are of equal footing, and there's no yelling or screaming or abuse. So that's at least that's my hope. So

Curt Storring 20:20

yeah, thank you for that, I very much feel that. And that's what I am trying to be aware of, unlike you, I am. So I have a hard relationship with conflict. Because again, in my childhood story, it was if I had the needs that conflicted with other people's needs, then I was selfish or bad, or whatever. And so I just stopped. And now conflict coming up for me feels very scary, because I equate it with what happened before, which was not a pleasant experience. And I just finished reading getting to zero by Jason Gattis, which was quite a good book on conflict resolution, and talks about everything, including why you know, we feel these ways in the first place. So that's a recommendation for anyone listening who shares those conflict

Todd Adams 21:04

avoid, have you had on your show yet?

Curt Storring 21:07

We actually have an interview two weeks from now. So

Todd Adams 21:10

he's a friend of ours, and we've had him on a bunch of times. And he's he's a total rock star. And yeah, that book, how I'm talking about how I've kind of evolving through my relationship with conflict is because I read that book, and I read a lot of books. I listen to a lot of podcasts. But if, if I can recommend a book, aside from my wives, which just came out called Zen parenting, Jason's book is awesome. So I'm looking forward to having your audience be able to hear from Jason for sure.

Curt Storring 21:37

Yes, 100%. I'm very excited for that conversation. I'm glad to know that you guys are tight like that. I didn't know that. So thank you. I have to ask, before we get any farther, do you have go to practices to develop mindfulness, self awareness, because what I noticed there was you call yourself a number of times, and you said, I make up a story that Mm hmm. And that is such a an ownership and self awareness practice that I really appreciate from you. And I wonder, like, what has helped along the way. And you know, if it's just the basics, then that's great. I'd love to hear that. Before we get any deeper though, like, I just noticed in you a very grounded energy and self awareness. So what has worked for you?

Todd Adams 22:13

Well, it's interesting. Yeah, when I use, I make up a story. That's just what I would, you know, before I did some of this work on myself, I would just judge people, like, Oh, I think that your shirt is ugly. That's one thing you can say. Or you can say, I make up a story that your shirt is ugly, like, you're basically saying the same thing. But you're not saying with any type of definitiveness. So how does that help in relationship? I don't know anything. I'm simply given my opinion of everything. And I'm going to own that it's just an opinion versus fact. So so but to get back to your question, like, what are some of the things that I do? I, you know, I'm constantly trying to check myself, in relationship with my family. I do read, you know, a handful of self help books, I'm a life and leadership coach. So I, I educate my brain quite a bit. It hasn't quite penetrated my body, I now have this belief that, you know, intelligence resides in the brain, it's the EQ, right. But there's also something called the BBQ the body intelligence. And that's something I'm still working on. And what I mean by that is, whenever I've anger or sadness, or joy, or whatever emotion you want to say, I do have this belief that it resides in the body, and what I'm not very good at. And you know, this is a dad's podcast I'd make I make up another story that a lot of dads out there are not really good at identifying low identifying an emotion. So this is emotional intelligence stuff, identify the emotion located in your body, express it in a healthy way, doesn't mean you get to dump on anybody because you're angry, express it in a healthy way, and then find the wisdom from whatever that emotion is. That's something I have been stunted on. I think a lot of men are stunted on that because the only emotion that we're we're encouraged to display in my judgment is anger. And it's not just the uncomfortable emotions I used to call emotions good and bad. I don't think there's any bad emotions anymore. There's certain ones that are more uncomfortable like I'm not comfortable when I'm afraid. I'm not comfortable when I'm sad. Like it kind of like hurts but there's also some wisdom in some of these emotions. So yeah, so that's my current work that I'm doing on myself is can I pause take some breaths notice what I'm feeling you know like joy you know, I'm 49 years old. And I'm make up another story that a lot of guys out there are not good at expressing joy. We have to be so cool and everything like you know, ask you Curt just for fun. When was the last time you literally jumped for joy? Like in other words, not you weren't happy? Like it was a physical manifestation of joy. I just wonder if any memory pops to you in this moment.

Curt Storring 25:00

Oh no. And I, you know, this is almost triggering for me because of my relationship with it. And I am working right now I literally have a reminder on my phone in the morning that says, What if this was fun, just to remind myself like, oh, that could be possible. And in a men's group, I went through a process where we had to embody anger, shame, sadness, and joy. And nobody could do joy, any justice. And the closest I got was being so happy and grateful that I had engaged on this healing path, if you will. And then it made me feel better. And I didn't feel terrible all the time. And that really lit me up. And that was maybe the closest in the last 510 years.

Todd Adams 25:42

One of the things that, what is our aversion to it, and I judged that the aversion is we don't look cool, like we are taught from when we were in fourth grade, that we have to look cool all the time. And it's not cool to look like you're jumping for joy. And even like, in some of my like, I love playing sports, I love playing pickleball at Alpine basketball, like even that I treat it with the seriousness like this competitive nature. And I'm now getting better at just really letting joy because all joy is here to teach us is something needs to be celebrated. And if we're just celebrating it between our ears, it's for me, that's not as fulfilling. So we need to kind of let these emotions express themselves to create space for the next emotion to show up. And, you know, you work with a lot of men. And it seems like you and I have a lot of the same stories, which is awesome makes me want to connect with you, beyond this interview for sure. If I can do anything for men is let's just know that when we were four years old, we were experts at this. So when somebody's like, well, I can't do that anymore. Well, you used to know how to do it. So it just happened to that in a way that seems friendly to you. And it's funny, there's this video, I was in a workshop, and there's this video of this man being told that he was he was going to be a grandfather for the first time. And there was like a security camera or whatever, like a nanny cam. And he like hugged his wife and all that. And then his wife left the room. And then he literally jumped for joy. So in other words, it was in him. But he was too cool to celebrate this with his wife in a way that it needed to be expressed. So I think it's in there for all of us. It's just Are we really good at, you know, being willing and being brave enough to look silly? And some of the times I am and sometimes I'm not.

Curt Storring 27:29

Man, this is such a strangely important work, you know, we go into the shadow all the time. And it's like, okay, what is there to heal? And like, what is your relationship with joy? Oh, my goodness, this is bringing up a lot for me. And I just had a birthday party for my two oldest boys, they have birthdays, like a week apart. And they're seven and nine now. And the kids were just going wild, like absolutely thrilled. Nothing in the way of the joy as they were chasing each other around this like Ninja parkour gym. And that was a good lesson for me to go like, Oh, I don't know if I can do this. And in fact, when you said it's not cool, what that brought up for me and I just would like to share this very short story. When I started playing hockey in a league when I was six or seven years old. I remember scoring my first goal, and I jumped for joy. And somebody on my team said why did you jump? And from that moment, like maybe that was maybe that's this like bomb in my head that doesn't let me think that I can do that without feeling uncool. And so that's a very important thing that I'm going to do some work on. I really appreciate you brought that up. Dude,

Todd Adams 28:34

I just got goosebumps when you told that story. Because I mean, maybe there's 10 other stories like that. But if I were to make a guess like that is exactly it. The fact that you can zero in on a moment is so powerful and I'm just so glad that you're able to even become aware of that because most of these memories are buried and it's hard to get get to them. And you have it available to so yeah, I mean, it would be interesting. I would love to talk to you more about that as like what do you want to tell that little guy How old was he? When when seven so what would you want to tell that little guy or even better what does that little guy want to tell you right now so anyways, and you said you have two sons how many kids you have three sons now? Oh my god dude,

Curt Storring 29:17

that's seven into That's awesome. Yeah, ya know, there's a lot of inner child work to be done there. And like I can feel the energy right now in my body going like Oh, I could say all these sorts of things which is like because I'm happy because it's awesome because I just scored because I love playing hockey. And this is actually where I'm finding my joy nowadays is trying to is in hockey again. I stopped playing for a long time and in the last number of years, even when I score you know you sort of do a fist bump and it's like oh celebrations are like one of those things now that you can look extra cool. Yeah as you see it in like the NHL you see in the NFL guys are doing like super cool like dances and remember, and you can't just like put your hands up in the air and be like yes, I love this is amazing. You have to like look Cool in your celebration, so maybe I will use that to explore joy.

Todd Adams 30:04

Well, it's so funny. And we have these models like NHL NBA like think, you know, when they win the World Series, there's a bunch of men who are behaving like boys jumping for joy. So we have those models, I have those bottles yet I'm still trying to fit this set of lies of what it means to be a man and a man needs to be in control all the time and all that. And then one quick thing, I don't know if we're gonna get to the men's work piece or not. But I regarding this men's group that I co founded about eight years ago, I've been part of a lot of different men's groups, mankind project and some others. And I think that they're wonderful organizations. But the one thing I think most men's groups miss, and I wonder what your comment is, I think that we're so into shadow. And we're so serious about how important this is. I think that there's a half of it that we're missing is, can we celebrate our wins and not just beat ourselves up for the way we showed up when yesterday or last week. So that's something that we do the deep shadow, we work in this men's group. And we also we just came, we just finished a 31 person weekend and Wisconsin and it was pretty well balanced. Half of it was like serious, looking inward. And the other half is us, you know, playing floor hockey and dodgeball and doing all these kind of silly fun things that we would have done if we were eight years old. So I just wonder in your men's groups, what is the balance between let's call seriousness and levity?

Curt Storring 31:30

Yeah, it's probably 99 to one, right. That's my experience too. And even when we say oh, we really got to just do a social weekend that gets punted over and over and over until it's like maybe once a year. Yeah. And so I really appreciate that, because I have just started two men's groups for dads with Dad.Work. And as I'm going through, like, what I want this to look like, I like to feel very supportive in this. And so I'm willing to hold space for a lot of the darkness. And it's making me think, and I really appreciate the reflection, where do I help to guide these men, myself included, into joy and into silliness and into fun to not just and this is very important in my life, I went from feeling negative anger, rage, frustration, sadness all the time. And when I found myself in neutral, I was like, Oh, what a relief. Like, thank goodness, I've done this work. And then I went, Well, what about love, I don't know how to feel love now. And I don't know how to feel joy now. And so that has been my work recently is like really trying to step into a full body love, and like a melting of love with my children in my arms with my wife. And again, with all this joy gets, like, thrown over the shoulder like, yeah, we'll get to that like one day or not at all. And that must be okay, because I'm a man. Yeah,

Todd Adams 32:53

we don't prioritize it. I don't prioritize it as much as I should. So yeah, I think you and I are sharing similar experiences here for sure.

Curt Storring 33:00

Yeah, yeah. And I would love to get to the men's group in well, maybe a few minutes here. But I do have questions about like parenting still, because I'm very interested. I considered what my parenting goals were, at one point. And I know a lot of people who say, you know, I want my kid to be able to get into the best schools, and I want my kid to be successful, and all this kind of stuff. And I just wanted my kids to be able to, like, love and be loved. I wanted them to be resilient and acceptable accepting of themselves. These are the things that came up. And I wonder what your parenting goal is? Or if you have anything to say on success, happiness, all that kind of stuff.

Todd Adams 33:40

Yeah, yeah, my goal changes. It evolves. I think, if you would ask me this, when my kids were born, I'd be like, I would say what all parents say, I just want them to be happy. And then I realized that that does not make space for sadness, and anger and fear. So now, I mean, it's probably overly simplistic, but what I want for my kids is what I want for myself and what I want to be as whole. And that's the word I use. Now that means can I create the space for myself to experience these other emotions because happiness is fleeting, just like sadness and anger and fear and grief and all these like every emotion, I think of the waves crashing on a beach, like the anger will show up, and then the anger will dissipate, and then joy will show up. And so when we say we just want our kids to be happy, that's I think that's a dangerous goal for us to have. And you know, we spend a lot of our time making sure our kids are successful. And my wife and I are not close to perfect parents, but I will say something that I'm proud of is we prioritize emotional literacy, emotional intelligence, way beyond actual, you know, school and colleges and all that stuff. Like, we write. We write notes for our kids, if they're having a bad A day and they need to sleep in, we will say, Yeah, I'll reach a note and you can get in third period. So you can sleep it a little better, like a self care day. And I know some people out there that would never dream, because what are you teaching your kids, if you let them, you know, show up late for school or something like that, what I think is I'm teaching my kids how to be compassionate towards oneself. And if you're burnt out, and you need a little bit of time, or even like a whole day, now, it's interesting. If my kids want to take a second self care day, two days in a row, then there's an interesting discussion that's going to need to happen before we sign off on that, but I just make up the story that a lot of us parents are, there's a documentary out there, I think it's 10 years old, called the race to nowhere. And it's this idea that we gotta, you know, it starts so early, like, some people when the kids are born, they'll get on a waiting list for preschool. So because they got to get in the right preschool, because God forbid, they're not in the right preschool, and then you go to grade school, and then high school, and then college. And it's all like, with this end in mind, and we're forgetting about everything that happens in the moment. So if my goal is apparent, is just to make sure my kids get no good college, I think that's a shortcut to what it means to be a human being. Because I know a lot of people have graduated from college with a good job, and they're miserable. So that's, that shouldn't be our goal. Our goal is, can our kids manage the world and you know, as society continues to move towards, you know, virtual reality, and robots and computers, I think the one skill that is going to be really needed is emotional intelligence. And, you know, I'm sure we can teach robots to feel and all that stuff. But I think it'll be a while before those jobs, take the place of all the other jobs that are being taken from, from a technology standpoint. So there's a lot there. I don't know if how that lands for you.

Curt Storring 36:49

Yeah, no, it pardon me, it brings up the flip side of that, which is like, what is the boundary with Okay, now, you've had enough self care days, you know, I need another self care day, so to speak, dad? How do you have those conversations?

Todd Adams 37:03

Well, that's the thing. Like, maybe we'll talk about sex here for a second. It's my goal as a parent. And my wife's goal as a parent is it's it's simple discussion, not discipline. A lot of parents will say, Well, when I was when I got out of line, my kid, my dad hit me or my dad grounded, me, or my mom did this or that. And that just shuts off lines of communication. So what Kathy and I try to do is just keep the lines of communication open. So we'll talk about sex for a second, because that's always a hot topic about how do we talk to our kids about sex. First thing is, it's not a single talk, I don't know you got hurt, but what I got was, my mom died six years ago, she was drunk, because she was so uncomfortable. And she told me, my brother and I, the mechanics of sex. And one thing that she said, was, sex isn't dirty, sex isn't dirty, sex isn't dirty. Like, that's what I remember, I remember where I was in the house, I grew up in the kitchen, I remember exactly where I was listening to this message. And what I got out of that was sex is dirty, sex is dirty, sex is dirty. So and that happened once. So with my daughters, and my wife is such a good model for this. It's just an ongoing discussion. It's not a big talk. It's like two minutes in the kitchen, about whatever. And we use whatever's happening in our lives, or what TV shows are watching, or what's going on with their friends. And we have a discussion. So you get in and get out. Because the minute becomes a luxury, you're done, like you've lost them. So we try to have a whole bunch of really small conversations about it. And of course, there's times when they really need some support, where we sit down at the kitchen table and help them through it. But most of our education, about sexuality, drugs, you name it, it's just quick blurbs. And the more you do that, the more those lines of communication stay open. So

Curt Storring 38:48

yeah, thank you. I was one of the things I was gonna bring up in your notes. You mentioned discussion, not discipline. And it's like, that's such the perfect way to go there. You also mentioned no fear household. And I wonder if that's part of the same sort of side of the coin.

Todd Adams 39:01

Yeah. And sometimes I'm afraid. I'm afraid that my kids don't fear me enough. And I'll give you an example. Like, I saw one of my kids one time, taking the, their phone and transcribing stuff from somebody else's homework under theirs, and they're just doing it right in front of you, like I get you kids be at least a little afraid of. But you know, we don't do grounding. And we don't, we never actually we did timeouts with my oldest like once. But we don't do disciplinary stuff. We just tried to cultivate some type of interaction. That doesn't mean we don't have boundaries. Like, you know, there's time when my 18 year old was 16. And she said she'd be home by 1130. She was up shoes. She was out till 1230 And she didn't check in with us. So we're like, you know what, tonight you're gonna you're gonna stay in but doesn't mean like, I'm punishing you blah, blah, blah. Like, we made an agreement. You said you'd be home at 1130 you got home at 1230 And you didn't check in with us. So tonight, we're going to need to stay in. So it's not once again What you're saying it's where are you saying it from? What place? Are you saying it from? So? Yeah, it's just so. But my goal. And this has always been a goal for my parents, is that when my kids come home from wherever they happen to be that day, that they have a safe place to come home to where they're not afraid. And a lot of parents would challenge me on that and say, well, they have to be at least a little afraid. And my judgment is the world is hard enough, the world is going to give them plenty of lessons. My job is to make sure that when they do have that crappy day, that they can be open enough to discuss anything it is with us. So we can help guide them in an in a way that we think will help. Yeah,

Curt Storring 40:48

that's such a, maybe a difficult part of what I'm trying to look into now as I step out of being sort of the most harmful thing in their lives, because I was very angry and Rayji and really mean for some years of my children's lives. And as I come to the other side of it, now I go, Okay, I'm no longer the biggest thing I need to work on. How do I parent? What does the active active parenting look like? And it's like, yeah, it's the four S's it's being safe, seen soothed and secure, as Jason would say, supported and challenged. Yeah. And how do you, you know, challenge along the way, by setting those boundaries, and I think that's so important. I talked about this in my, I've got a free email course that goes into like consequences, and boundaries, not punishment. So how can you set boundaries that feel good for you, and that potentially serve your children without them having to punish or be punitive in your discipline? Because discipline is to teach? Yes, it's not to punish you. And I think we missed that. And I feel good, sometimes in a perverse sort of way, punishing. And I have to catch myself and say, Actually, disregard what I said, I was doing that from a place of anger and fear. What we're going to do is this, here's an only feel, how do you feel about it? And that's a very important skill. Because as you're saying, I feel just in my own life, I couldn't go to my parents with anything. And I got the talks, which was, if you're ever out and you're ever drinking, and you need a ride home, like please call us, it's like, no, man, I'd rather drive home and I know how dangerous that is, then ask you as a teenager, because I didn't have that safety because of the pewter. liveness. And so that is it's very hard, though. Because my judgement is like, well, they need to learn, and what if I'm the one delivering that message, but as I hear you say, the world is hard enough? And can I just be that safe harbor and the launching pad again, go back to Dan Siegel. for their children, it's a very complex discussion just within myself, well, and there's

Todd Adams 42:51

also like, you know, because they're like, Oh, if all we're doing is providing a safe place, then my kid's gonna end up being 28, smoking weed in the basement never having to leave. And that's a story that is made up. And like I said, my parenting philosophy isn't perfect. My children certainly aren't perfect. But it's, it's been working out really well, for us to be able to have this open line of communication. You know, one of my mantras used to be I don't say it so much anymore, is just keep them safe, and get out of their way. Like just keep them safe and get out of their way. And it's funny, you talked about how it does feel satisfying to be punitive, and be angry and all that. And I think it probably does for a moment and then shame will probably set in and you start feeling guilty and all that stuff. So yeah, it's it's all internal work. And not something that does come easy. It takes discipline talks about practices, I go in and out with my meditation practice. But what I do know the scientific evidence is meditation is something that's really important. And it's a muscle that we it's like us going to the gym. And if we can practice meditation, it could be 10 minutes in the morning, it could be two minutes in the middle of the day. But the more we stretch that muscle, the better we are at kind of locating where we are in a certain place. Because you talked about discipline. And you talked about boundary setting, it's funny, it's all kind of the same thing. It's but from What place is this coming from? Because my consequences to my daughter was alright, you're not going to go out tonight. But am I like being like all pissy and mean about it and say, You don't disrespect me like, this is our agreement. And this is what's going to happen as a result of this consequence. You can call that discipline. I mean, you can call that punitive because she can't go out on Saturday instead of because of what we decided but it's it's it's not what we label something. It's Where's it coming from? And usually, for us parents is coming from some lesson that we learned when we were kids, and we're just trying to not screw our kids up. In the same way. Our parents were trying their best but didn't do that good of a job with us. Or they did the best they could but there's plenty of things that I don't replicate that they did to me. Yeah, and

Curt Storring 44:59

that's a very Interesting point is not wanting to screw them up in the same way we got screwed up. And so we overcorrect or at least I overcorrect. And sure, in a way, that's like, are you really going to learn this? Because it really hurts if you don't do it. And it's like, oh, man, I've got to just like, get out of the way, sometimes and let it happen. And then the thing that I didn't happen, the reason that the lesson hurts so bad was because I didn't have the support. And so what if you could do that, and you could get the consequence? And then you had somewhere safe to come back? Well, enough.

Todd Adams 45:28

And what's interesting is like, whenever our kids piss us off, for whatever reason, it's so easy to like, get pissed off and react. But when I'm in a good place, I would I find myself saying, Okay, let's say my kids disrespectful to me. One thing I can do to work on myself is how is it that I'm disrespectful to her? Or how is it that I'm disrespectful to somebody else? So it's much easier to get pissy and Moni to somebody who's showing you a part of yourself that you don't like? So can I bring some awareness around how I'm disrespectful? Or the opposite of that story is like, how is she actually respectful, like, in this one instance, where she talked it back to me, she's respectful. But last Tuesday, when we went for a walk, she was nothing but so it's when we talk about doing our work. That's what it is. It's like, noticing, oh, wow, I'm really pissed right now. Where is this coming from? And, you know, it's a long journey, but it's something I'm trying to cultivate more and more in my life.

Curt Storring 46:25

Yeah, that reminds me of the work by Byron, Katie, when you flip the so called Truth around, instead of like, Oh, my daughter's disrespectful. It's actually my daughter's respectful or I am disrespectful, and then finding those and I sometimes ask my, my children, when have you seen me do this? If they do something that I don't judge to be nice or good or whatever? Correct. And it's like, when have you seen me do this? Because either you're getting this directly from me, or I can shine the light on. This is not how I have attempted to model and you know, maybe where did you pick it up? Or what conversation can we have around that? But typically, it's like, oh, yeah, like, I can see exactly where I did this. And you're picking it up. So it's no wonder that you're now yelling to get your way? Because I used to yell for example.

Todd Adams 47:08

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So so when you say that, do they come up with evidence to back up your story? Hey, have you seen me get angry? And do they? Do they give it back to you? And say, Yes, this is when I see it, Dad,

Curt Storring 47:20

sometimes. And I you know what, to be very transparent. I often will only say it when I know that I'm not the one modeling it. That is like, almost like a lesson because I am feeling weak in that moment. Or I'm feeling like I need to feel better. And this is my version of getting that good feeling rather than punishing. Yeah, so to be fully transparent, that's usually when it comes up. But sometimes it's like, well, yeah, you know, like, I know, darn well, I don't need them to tell me, then I used to scream at them, you know. So when they scream at each other, it's like, okay, I understand, I see that, like you, you have seen me do this. And I've talked to them a lot about this, like when we were younger, I felt this way. And it led me to react and act in a way that I don't think is acceptable. And I'm sorry, that you have to live this now. And I'm trying to do better. And here's what I'm doing. I'm trying to notice I'm trying to meditate, and they see me do all of these things, which I think helps. So yeah, the short answer is like, I'm very strategic when I say that, because I am worried if they do tell me. And you know, sometimes, especially with the anger thing, it's very obvious. And they'll be like, yes.

Todd Adams 48:31

My favorite part of what you just said was your honesty like, hey, when I just told that story, there was some strategic, there's a strategy of when I do share it. So it could have been very easy for you to just be like, Oh, no, you could have responded, I think in authentically, but instead you own it, which is awesome. Like, yeah, usually when I ask that question is when I know I'm not behaving that way, because I want to win, because my ego wants to win this argument. So

Curt Storring 48:54

yeah, thank you for the reflection. And I think that's what we're both probably trying to do here is like, where can you just get more honest? Where can you become more Hallward and you become authentic, because if I had been an authentic, it would have been buried somewhere. Like it would not have just slipped away. I feel like the same sort of thing with you, it would have lived in the body somewhere. And I'm really trying to do that so that I don't have any player to hide from myself or Sure.

Todd Adams 49:18

Yeah, and it's scary, scary, being honest. But we got to show those messy sides of ourselves if we're gonna get anywhere.

Curt Storring 49:26

Yeah, this is a lesson I learned within the last month, I was feeling unsupported. And like I couldn't make friends specifically in some of the men's groups that I'm in. And I started asking around and I was challenged. Well, when was the last time you shared vulnerably? Like, well, you know, I lead the group. So I don't want to take up all that much time. And it ended up being that like, it might have been a year since I had shared and as I went to my men's group, and I said, Look, guys, here's what's real. I don't feel like you necessarily have my back. And I think it's because of what I'm doing. And when I shared what I needed, like look to be supportive. I need to be checked on occasionally without me being the first one to say something I need to be celebrated when something happens, I want you to come over and like, bring me gifts when I have a child, for example, that feels good to me. When I said these things, I had a man reflect to me. Well, like when you show up as being so perfect, because that's my defense mechanism, I'll just be perfect. Everyone loved me. When you show up as being perfect, I don't feel like there's anything I can add as an imperfect man to your life. Where do I breathe life into you? When you're so got it all together, there's nothing for me to do. And so in being messy, and in being vulnerable, I'm learning as hard and as painful as it feels, to me that that is where intimacy is built.

Todd Adams 50:42

It's the power of any groups, but men's groups in particular, like, you know, can you show up as, as the part of you that is kind of wounded and broken, and you know, you're trying to create the facade, so all the guys who, by the way, I'm raising my hand, I would, and some sometimes still do that. I'm the co founder of this men's group, and people look, look to me as the leader because I helped create it. And if I want these men to go into this cave, then I got to be willing to go into that cave myself. It's funny, it reminds me one story, when my daughter younger, his do his YMCA princess thing, and it was a interesting experience. And I did it for a few years, and I get so sick of it, because all of the conversations between these guys were so artificial. And so about work, and so about sports. And I'm just like, I just I hate this weekend, because it's just based on all this bullshit. And I don't know if I'm allowed to swear or not. It's just based on all this bullshit. And then one year, I decided I'm going to just go in vulnerably. And I did. And some, you know, I walk up to a man, I don't know. And he says, How you doing? I'm like, actually, I'm not doing too well. I'm struggling my relationship with my wife. Just as a science experiment, just to see what would happen. And I wasn't making it up like I was sharing some, some tougher things to share. And what's interesting is most of the guys jumped in like, Oh, my God, this is so much more refreshing than the BS that we usually talk about. Some of the guys turned around and walked away very quickly, like, wow, I don't know who this guy is. And why is he sharing these things with me. But the point is what I learned from that, and what you learned from that guy who taught you is somebody's got to make a move. And if, if I was waiting for the other guy to share vulnerably, I waited for years, and it wasn't happening. So instead, I just decided to model what it is that I wanted. And what's funny is when we do that, then good things can happen. So yeah,

Curt Storring 52:46

absolutely. This reminds me very much of something that a past guest, David Stegman said on this podcast, he said, most men are thirsty for a deep dive for vulnerability. And very few men ever get the invitation? Yeah, so be the invitation and see what happens. And I say this in the course as well. Like, can you be a little bit more vulnerable to your group of friends? Understanding that some men won't be there? Maybe it will cost you a friendship, but at the cost of what? Carrying on like this indefinitely with nobody seeing your true heart? Is that worth it? I don't I don't think so. Personally, I don't want friendships like that very much like you, I want to go in and be like, Hey, here's what's real. Like, this is just what's happening. I don't have to be like, Oh, can I say this? Can I not say this? And so being the vulnerable one, I think is very important. And I do want to talk about your men's group men living is that right?

Todd Adams 53:39

Yes. That's the name of the organization. So we you brought up a few

Curt Storring 53:43

things. Quality of Life correlating with quality of relationships, the golf weekend that change you forever. That's obviously a huge cliffhanger and four archetypes. So you can go there, or you could go nowhere. But I'd love to hear like what comes up for you when I ask about men living.

Todd Adams 53:59

Yeah, so it started. It's kind of this might be a little repetitive. But I went on a golf weekend when I was like, I don't know, 32 with my college buddies, whom I loved, like, I had wonderful college friends. And I kept in touch with them. And I still keep in touch with not as it's getting a little more difficult. But I got home from this long weekend where we golf and we drank and we went to the casino. And we did all these things that are typically on a guy's weekend. And I got home and my wife said How was it? I said it was great. I'm a little exhausted. But it was so fun. She's like, how are the guys cuz she and I went to school together so she knows who they are. And like their great, great. She's like, I know, but what's going on? Because I haven't seen him in a few years what's going on in their worlds? And I'm like, I don't I don't know. And it's because I spent 72 hours with these men whom I love. I could share with them that I love them. I did not have a single moment of authentic conversation with these men. And I am meanwhile my wife will go out to dinner with her girlfriends for like two and a half hours and know everything about relationships. And what they're struggling with. And I'm like, wow. And then I kind of like get a snapshot in my head, like, I'm on this trajectory where I have really shallow relationships. And it's got to stop. So I started this men's group with a good friend of mine, in my living room where we just talk about, you know, we come on the topic, and we have some authentic conversations around at least that's how it started. Now, we're an international, nonprofit, and we're much more organized. It's, it's something that's very fulfilling to me. And the one thing I was going to tell you is, there's this study, I don't know if you've heard of it, but there's a famous TED Talk. And it was by a guy by the last name of waldinger. And there was a 1938 Harvard study, and it was about adult development. And if you're familiar with it, and they interviewed 268, Harvard sophomores in 1938, this study is still going to this day. And the idea of the study was to reveal clues to leading healthy and happy lives. And what they found out is that the men who are leading the healthiest, most fulfilling lives, the direct correlation is their connection with other people or other men. And it's a better predictor of the quality of somebody's life, based on their relationships than it is how much they smoke or how much they drink, like the predictor is, how deeply connected are these men, because they only studied men, because back in the 30s, we didn't, you know, I say this tongue in cheek, you know, women weren't important enough to study so. But these, some of these men are still alive, you know. And it is crazy to think that, after all these years, that the best predictor of the quality of somebody's life is based upon the quality of their relationships. And for women, I think men and women are wired the same, I think the culture, cultural conditioning is what stops us in our relational tracks. So all I'm trying to do is create a space with this organization and other and support other organizations, I would love to support your men's groups in any way that felt friendly. I just want to keep having creating a space for these authentic, vulnerable connections. And that's what we've been doing for the last eight or nine years. And since then, we, you know, have eight or nine programs every single week, and we have men from all over the world they get on 99% of them are virtual, and 99% of them are free of charge. Like we don't want money to get in the way of a man doing his work. So those are a few of the things about the organization, I appreciate you give me an opportunity to talk about it. Huh,

Curt Storring 57:40

yeah, that's wonderful. And I have been asked by a lot of men, where can I go for a free good experience. And I'm launching a free group, which I think is very important. The, I just I didn't know where else to go, to be honest. And I really am very, very grateful that I've learned about this now. Because now I have a place to send men, which is so vital, if they're on that path, where they just like need a place to go to be seen to be heard, supported in challenge. I mean, these are both, in my opinion, developing secure attachment with other men in relationship. And it's funny, you mentioned the Harvard study, because I was just told about that last week. And it's like, here are the facts. And it's, I see it in my own life play out, like my grandparents are in their sort of mid 70s Now, and they are just like, intellectually, top notch like, man, they could be in their 50s. And it's in my estimation, because they have like, I can hardly get in to have dinner with my grandparents because they're like, Oh, let me look a month in advance to make sure we don't have anybody else coming over. Because they are so social. And I compare that with the other side of my other grandparents. And it's, you know, there's so many circumstances and situations and in this anecdotal report, what I see is, they just don't slow down, because they're constantly engaged, constantly being filled up. Their cup is being filled by other people all the time. And for the longest time, I was scared. I was like, wow, this is the indicator of a successful healthy life. Like I'm gonna die early, because I don't have any friends. And so that's why the last 234 years for me have been diving into men's work building community, like learning how to be in relationship with other people, nevermind other men, like with my own wife, how do I build this relationship now? And that's been my work. So yeah, thank you for bringing that up.

Todd Adams 59:32

Well, one of the foundational teachings in the Senate certainly isn't mine. There's an organizational out there called a call to men and one of the one of the founders is guy named Tony Porter. And he had this other TED talk that was about the man box I'm guessing you probably have talked about that in the man boxes, this box that we put men into and we are only as you know, our worth is only based upon how much money we have or how many trophies we have in the trophy case or how many women we have sex with It offers this incomplete version of what it means to be a man. And we got to start breaking that wide open and splitting it apart and tearing it to shreds. Because, for me, that's not what mature masculinity looks like, you know, talk about being strong strength is being vulnerable with your friends and putting yourself at risk. It's so much stronger than some bully who wants to make fun of you for doing whatever. And it's funny, like, I guess I'll, I'll plead to the guys out there listening, like think about it? How do we show up? How do I show up as a man? So when I'm in the bar, and I'm talking with a bunch of guys, and somebody says some type of sexist, a racist joke, it doesn't happen as often as it used to, but it still does. My question is, we have I have this fear that if I say something, I'm going to be judged, and we're going to, I'm going to be, you know, casted out of the group. So a litmus test for me is how willing I am to do what it takes to start changing the norm around equality and perception of women. You know, how many of us said, you know, you throw like a girl, when you're a little, I heard that all the time. I used to say that all the time. And all I know is I see some softball players out there, they can throw the ball a lot better than I can. So my question, so it's kind of a, this is all good in theory, but how good am I at at it in practice, and I still struggle, there's times when I'm like, You know what, I just I'm too afraid. But there's other times I'm like, you know, what, I would say, I would probably pull the guy aside and say, You know what I've said those things. And I'm just saying, these days, for me, it's just not cool anymore. And because if I attack him in front of a bunch of other guys, and all of a sudden you can get defensive. And sometimes it requires that, that warrior energy to kind of step into a place with this strength and energy. But I also tried to be a little more strategic and how I can show up and make this world a more equal place for my wife and my daughters and my sisters and brothers of color out there. As a white straight man I was born with I was born with this privilege that I didn't do anything to earn. So what I'm trying to do is use some of this influence that I've been given. It doesn't mean I don't work hard, I work hard. But I've been given this influence. And how is it that I'm using my influence, like, just check when, when you're in a meeting with a bunch of men, and maybe some women, notice how often men interrupt women right after me too, I noticed that like, Oh, my God, this woman is being interrupted, a lot faster than some of the men in this group. So can I notice that? And then can I step in and say, You know what, I don't think she was done with her thoughts. So maybe we can let her complete her thought, you know, just some things like that.

Curt Storring 1:02:45

Yeah, and these are? Yeah, and these are such important, sort of, in personal, I suppose personal challenges to be authentic with what we were just talking about before, like, yeah, maybe nobody else would notice. Maybe nobody would know that. Like you didn't say anything, but you will. And how does that land? And do you? Can you live with yourself? And can is that whole? Like you were saying you just want your kids to be whole you want to feel whole? Is that wholeness? If you're holding back what you value and what you what is real for you? Yeah. So I love that as a challenge. And if you take nothing else, you will take so much from this podcast, like I can't even say that. Take everything you want from this podcast and challenge yourself to step more fully into your authentic self taught, this has been unreal, I want to keep going for, you know, another hour. But where can people find more about you and Zen parenting and men living? Yeah,

Todd Adams 1:03:42

yeah. So our website is Zen parenting. My wife just wrote this amazing book. It's her fourth book. And it basically takes we've done 640 podcasts and she takes all of them all the best things that she has learned from being a mom and put them into one 300 page book and she use it through the lens of the chakra system. So it's kind of interesting way that she delivered it. So that's We have 640 podcasts that you can choose from It's free, it's checked out we have a whole buffet menu of items in the way that people can interact with the group. Some guys like you know digital, like with certain platforms, we have connecting platforms like it's kind of like Slack, but it's called discord. We also do zoom meetings five times, five times every single week, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday, twice and Saturday and it's just called Full House meetings to show up and we have a trained facilitators that there to lead authentic conversation. Well, we also do some in person weekend retreats and things like that. And then lastly, I'm a life and leadership coach and that's Todd Adams coaching comm so

Curt Storring 1:04:52

amazing. Todd, thank you so much. I can't wait to continue the conversation.

Todd Adams 1:04:56

Yes, absolutely. It's great having great being on I really Appreciate the time Kurt

Curt Storring 1:05:08

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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