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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 the ultimate balancing act that dads need to play to become the best men, partners, and fathers possible.
I don’t mean finding the balance between work and home life, I’m talking about something deeper here.
This is the thing that I think separates me from many other dads out there, and I want to let you know about it.
Listen to the episode to find out more!
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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 the Friday reflections for December 3 2021. And we are going to be talking about the ultimate balance. I struggled with this one because it doesn't sound cool. To be quite honest with you, it sounds like a balance. Yeah, we're always trying to look for it. But this is like the fundamental principles that I live by when it comes to parenting, there's like this balance that we have to get right. And I'm gonna go into what that is. And in fact, this is one of the things that I have seen, play out and be true over and over and over again, in so many parts of my life. And it all has to do with balance, maybe not the balance, you're thinking, not the balance between work and home. Not that sort of balance, but something deeper. So I'm going to go into that today and just give you my thoughts, because I've been trying to articulate exactly what this means to me, because it is so important. And I think it's What sets me apart from all the other guys in this space. And what sets me apart from most other parents, to be honest. So we're gonna go into that, and we're gonna see if it resonates with you. And if it does, I hope it does. Yeah, let me know, I want to let you know, we just finished the first meeting of our latest men's group for dads. And I just got to tell you the power in that space with this container, meeting with the other dads who are just like so hungry to get the work done to be better men, partners and fathers, it is amazing. It's so nourishing to me, it's energizing to the guys in there. And yeah, I just want to let you know that we're doing that. So if this is something that you've ever thought about, if you got an email from me before about this, if you're like I could really use some other men in my life, I could really use some directed guidance on sort of where to look to become a better man, partner and father, you should apply. If you go to dad dot work slash mens dash group. There's a button on there, it's yellow, just hit it says Apply now or something like that. Hit it and select a time and a date that works for you and apply because we will be launching more of these in the near future. With that being said, the last thing I want to mention is last time I looked, I think there's only like six reviews on on Apple. And I know I've asked before and I don't want to be overwhelming here or overbearing or needy. But I'd really really love it. If you've sent me a quick review. Would you do that? If you're on Apple, could you just pause it, go to the Dad.Work podcast, scroll down, there's ratings and review, you can either just tap a star rating, don't even worry about the review. Or even better. Let me know one thing that this has helped you with, what's the one thing that the podcast has taught you or made you think about or has you know altered your mind in such a way that there's like a reframe that lets you think more clearly. Or if you just hate this and you're listening, because you're, you know, enjoy hurting yourself. For some reason, let me know that too. I want to know the good, the bad, the ugly. And you can do that at just apple and then scroll down to the Dad.Work podcast, down to the bottom reviews and ratings would very, very much appreciate that. I know there's more than 60 of you out there listening. Alright, with all that being said, let's jump into this episode of the Dad.Work podcast on balance.
Let's talk balance. And I don't mean the balance between work and home life, I'm talking about something that is sort of at the core of what we're doing in this project Dad.Work. And what I have done as a father, to become a better man, partner and dad. And it's so hard for me to talk about this because it's so boring sounding. And I'm trying to come up with a better way to to get the point across there other than just say, Oh, it's about balance. But the balance I'm talking about is a balance between doing the inner work, the self healing, spirituality, polarity, a lot of guys are stuck in that. And it's like a one sided street where it's like, I just got to get better. And what they don't see is that they're not actively doing the other part of what needs what they need to do to become a better dad. And that's this. You have to balance the self healing spiritual polarity doing inner work side with the actual parenting required to effectively show up for your kids and build a secure attachment. Sometimes that means challenging them, sometimes it means supporting them. But basically, there's this like, feeling of being grounded, giving our kids what they need, challenging them. Parenting, like a caveman, if you will, if you listen to one of my last Friday reflections, doing the real basic stuff to feel connected like a human in this earth to raise strong resilient kids. So on the one hand, I see a lot of people in the spiritual or New Age space focus solely on doing the inner work, being gentle healing trauma and giving yourself a break. You know what That's perfect that is so, so fundamentally important to this journey. And I think this is the part of the balance structure that most dads miss. And so that's why we talk about this more than most other things. Because a lot of men have been conditioned not to go there. We all have wounds, we all have traumas, we all have feelings. And a lot, a lot of men repress those. And that just shows up in so many negative ways in your life, and your kids lives and your wife wife's life. And so great, if this is where you are, go there, be fully in it. If your core wounds are still exposed and unhealed, you'll always be reacting to things and you'll keep making the same mistakes over and over because your kids will keep triggering you. And so that's why this is so fundamentally important, build up the habits, build up the guardrails to help you so that you can start doing that deep inner work. Why do I feel this way? What are my triggers? What are my habits? What are the things that I believe that I only believe because I pick them up from society or my parents, not because I truly believe them in my core. So do this kind of work. This is the kind of work that I spent years and years doing got to do this, you got to go there. On the other hand, I see a lot of people in the get shit done and be a man space, focusing on teaching skills, discipline, building resilience, challenging their kids. And you know what? That's great, too. We have to go there. And I don't mean in the macho sense. I mean, that's what a lot of guys take it to. But there is this need to live in the real world. And when you're doing a lot of the self healing work, it can be hard to go like, Well, yeah, I don't want to come back to the world, though. I don't want to like live my life, because it's triggering and it sucks. It's boring, whatever it is. But I think, and I haven't explored this fully I'd like to in another podcast, I think that spirituality for me, is connecting to a greater power spirit source, whatever you want to call it, while maintaining a boots on the ground approach. So for me it is through the mundane it is through being of this earth that I access spirit personally. And that's important for a lot of reasons. But I think it's important to remember that this is like a very necessary thing to do. Because our kids need something from us, it's not enough to just show up and go through the motions. There is specific things that boys need that girls need that children need. And one of the best ways to start with that is by reading the power of showing up by Dr. Dan Siegel. He talks about secure attachment. And the four S's children need to feel safe, seen soothed and secure. My friend Jason Gaddis often replaces that last one with supported and challenged which I think is dead on. And this is like real world stuff. So you got to go there, too. If your kids are coddled, if you're a helicopter parent, if you never let them take risks and suffer the consequences, they'll become spoiled, they'll become victims or become entitled, and basically, they're just going to become weak humans. So both of these are extremely important. And they are required to become mature fathers who raised children with purpose, self worth, confidence, and resiliency. They are each necessary. I'm talking about each side of the balance polarity or self healing versus boots on the ground, great parenting, they're both necessary, but neither are sufficient parts of being a good dad, you need both. In my experience, all good things come from exploring the extremes and then embodying the balanced middle ground, where you can intentionally mindfully choose to use the tools, skills and practices from each end of the spectrum. There's a few other things that fit this bill. One is finding the center between your masculine and feminine energies. Being in flow state, where you know, you're just sort of in the state and I don't mean flow state is in like you're really dialed in. I mean, letting things come to you being very spontaneous. Not having a really rigid schedule, and versus getting shit done. Another one is what I'm talking about here, inner work versus grounded reality. There's also a balance between healing from your own parenting wounds, the wounds caused by your mom and dad. On the one hand, a lot of guys will feel nothing for a while or they'll feel like sad. And then once you start doing the work on this, you'll often feel like angry like, oh, how could that you'll start to feel like a victim. And then you sort of come back to the middle where it's like, actually, I see that they were human. I appreciate what I got everything I got gave me what I have today. And I'm just grateful for my parents and so like there's this exploration of extremes and then a settling in the middle when fully integrated and healed. And the one of the things that I love most about this in the balanced space is this masculine and feminine idea. And if you haven't heard about this before, I very strongly recommend reading the Way of the Superior Man by David data, and also following John Weinland. He is an extraordinary teacher, he is all about this kind of stuff. And it's not what it sounds like if it's if you've never heard of this before, and it sounds a little bit woowoo or weird. It is like life changing stuff. When I started actively showing up in my masculine and I talked a little bit about this with Isaac codec on the podcast, when we talked about the masculine archetypes, when you start showing up as this embodied, grounded masculine, and there's a few things that go into that, while maintaining a relationship with your feminine, you sort of go between the extremes, some men are very comfortable in their feminine, they are flowy, they are full of love. They're full of emotion, but you know, they're not masculine. And the other guys on the other hand, are very masculine, hyper masculine, and often immaturely masculine. And some people might say toxically masculine, where it's all about aggression, go go go get shit done. But the healthy forms of these are life changing. When you can sit in your masculine with purpose, as the strong container, feeling what you feeling, feeling what you feel showing up fully, being open with your heart, and your chest wide, open your belly ready to receive, and you can penetrate the world with this masculine energy. And you also understand how the feminine polarity fits into that. Rather than being on either side of those, you can sit in this just powerful place of masculine container with the feminine sort of playing out within that so that they're not on the extremes, they don't need to run your life, you're grounded as you are be grounded, and then can hold so much space for yourself, for your wife or your kids. It's a beautiful thing. So this is I'm so passionate about this stuff, I just it's changed my life, I was like always looking for what to do, how to show up, what do I need. And within the last couple years, this is the type of work I have been doing is just to find that basis of masculinity, while not rejecting the femininity, and allowing my wife then to be more feminine, and to take on those roles. And it's just been a beautiful, beautiful experience. So that's quick side note on just the polarity and the balance that can that can come from this kind of work. And so the moral of story is we have to do both, we have to do the self healing work, we have to know how to show up effectively for our kids and get a secure attachment with our boots on the ground, to challenge them and support them and love them. And so for the dads who are exclusively exploring the spiritual healing path, learn about what your kids actually need from you read that book from Dan Siegel. There is a book from John Eldridge called Wild at Heart. And this has some very, very good ideas on what boys and girls need. So learn the fundamental archetypal needs of boys and girls that only a father can provide. And one of the things he said is that boys need to know this, this burning question throughout their lives. Am I enough? Am I good enough? Do I have what it takes? And and girls have another question that I'm not gonna I'm not gonna say now because I want you to read the book. It's so so good.
Find out more about rites of passage and initiation and I don't just mean for your kids. Yes, for your children because it's often in nature. It's outdoors. There are certain elements of it that are you know, exclusive, exclusively manly. Being out there together, it has to happen with other men. Yeah, there's so much that can be done for young boys listen to my podcast with Nikki Wilks, as well as Episode Two with Brandon Archer, he talks about an initiation experience he created for his son. Those are two great resources. And think about this for yourself too. Have you been initiated into manhood? Do you still feel like a little boy who needs rescuing? Go there, find out how you can get your own experience that will finally bring you into masculine maturity. For the get shit done dads who haven't explored their own mental health and healing? Well, first of all, I don't think there's too many of you out there. But if there are, meditate, sit in silence. Breathe deeply. Notice your inner world, your feelings or sensations, your emotions. All of this stuff can be done little by little. So if you're like, I'm not going to sit for half an hour meditate. I don't know what the breathing techniques are. I don't know how to notice just sit for one minute. You can even pause this and just notice how you feel. And I mean, like literally how you feel what does your body feel like? Because those feelings in your body are often related to emotions and by feeling and noticing our inner world. We can start to get a better sense on these things and build a relationship with them inside of ourselves. Make sure that you know how to be introspective and you can journal this really, really helps and if you come across A behavior or a habit that keeps coming up, ask yourself why over and over and over. Why do I do that? Well, this is why Okay, well, why that? Well, because this okay, well, why is that important? Well, there's well, what is the value behind that? Why, why, why? And what you can do is you can get to the very base of most of the things that are troubling, troubling for you. Yes, sometimes this has to be done with a trained professional, a therapist, a counselor, a coach, a breath worker, in men's group, even, I just strongly recommend that you do this work with other people when you're ready. And I know there's probably going to be a period when you are lone wolf thing, and I know I did for years. But there's, there's a limit to that. I've really, really good at self work. For some reason, I don't know why. And honestly, for me, I could only get a very small portion of the way there even as good as I want. So I strongly suggest to do this work with other people, but start doing it, start doing it. Ask yourself why journal, figure out like what your inner experiences, just slow down, find some pauses in the day, even if they're one minute, three minutes, five minutes, and just start noticing and the more you do this, the better you'll develop your muscle to do this, and you'll start doing it in the moment. And you'll be able to choose how you act rather than it react. Finally, understand this masculine and feminine polarity. I was just talking about, learn about emotional intelligence, learn about love, learn how to communicate compassionately, learn about empathy. These are some of the basic things that I talked about in our course, actually conscious fatherhood, which is dad.org/cf. And they're just like, so so important to make sure that our kids actually feel loved and don't go into adulthood, just full of wounds, because we didn't understand how to connect with them on like, a spiritual, emotional level. And if yes, it feels weird to you, you're you're a human being okay. Like, this is what I this is the one thing I like to say, guys are like, Oh, I don't need to feel my feelings. Like, yeah, you do. You're human, there is no human being who doesn't have these emotions. There's no human being who hasn't been hurt at some point. So yeah, you got to deal with them, you got to talk through them, you have to feel through them. And there's a lot of resources out there, I'd be happy to share more about exactly where to look for certain resources. If you're interested, if I've piqued your imagination some some way, send me an email Curt at Dad dot work, and I'd be happy to get in touch with you. And so this is the ultimate balance, guys. It's the balance between doing that inner work it takes to be a good dad. And then like actually doing what it takes in real time boots on the ground, when you're not doing inner work to show up so that you are growing and becoming a more healed, grounded, well rounded man. And so that your kids are actively getting you in their life in a way that is beneficial that breathes love and life into them. So that you're not just going through the motions completely obsessed with your own inner world. And on the flip side, you got to do the work, like I said, so that you're not completely at the whims of inertia, running your life. And you're just reacting, reacting reacting. Well, I'm there with my kids all the time. Why isn't it good enough? Well, probably because you're actually not very fun to be around. And you haven't done your own inner work. So
this is why this balance is so important. I'm going to figure out a better way to talk about this. Because when you hear balance, it's like oh, boring, right. So I don't know if you felt that coming in. But I know that I have this sense that it is so if you have a better idea like how, how I can get this message across without calling it balance. Let me know Kurt at Dad dot work, or dad work dot current on Instagram. But guys, this is like, I don't know how to say this anymore. Clearly, this is the most fundamental point. For me, this is what I want to build the entire Dad.Work project around. I want to get guys doing inner work. And I also want to show them how to show up for their kids so that they can have a secure attachment and challenge them so that we can raise kids who both know that we love them and are resilient and not victims. That's what I want. I want strong heal dads with strong healed children. So that's what we're gonna be doing over the next coming year. I've got some exciting things happening. We have got actually we've just got a few days left to register. We've got a workshop coming up next week. You can go to dad dot work slash workshop, it's going to be on goal setting and planning for the new year. So that 2022 can be your best year ever. That's Dad dot work slash workshop. It's 10 bucks it's going to be a two hour workshop. If you can't make it live still sign up because I will send you the recording as well as the the tools you need to to get going on that. So that's gonna be fun. But I think we're going to be starting a community like a real tight men's group plus Dojo for fatherhood plus teaching and training and expert interviews, office hours with me. book clubs like basically a gym for your fatherhood muscle. That's my Dream. That's my goal for what I'm trying to build this year. And I would love for you to come along for the ride, and I'm not going to send you anywhere yet, I want you to just think about that. What would it feel like if every time you had a problem as a father you were trying to grow, you didn't know where to find resources, all you did was whip out your phone, go to the community and just ask, ask the dozens or hundreds of men in that community to support you for their advice, where they've gone for help. And you just immediately got that feedback. Imagine having a tight group of brothers, that you met with weekly, and that were in your life every day, and you just knew you weren't doing it alone anymore. And that you're having this place where there's training on how to be less angry, how to communicate with your wife, how to ensure you have secure attachment with your kids, how to make sure you're getting out there and doing the self work required and the self care required to show up fully, exercising, meditating, doing things by yourself. Imagine this was there for you, and like your entire life just had this extra layer of support. It's almost like a safety net. It's almost like scaffolding. It's like, like a gym, you go. And maybe you want to do it with other men. So you hire a trainer in this case, and maybe you want to do some cardio. So you you know, you take this workshop, maybe you want to go lift the weights. And so you know, you come to the question and answer period. Like there's just it's going to be like choose your own adventure. But the basis is going to be you are going to be supported by other men at all times to become a better man, partner, and husband. That's it for this episode. If you enjoy what we're talking about here, please again, I would very, very much appreciate it if you could leave a review on Apple, or hit that follow button on Spotify if you're not following already. And of course, subscribe on Apple as well. So yeah, dot work slash pod is where you can find all of those things if you want a quick link. And guys, thank you so much for listening. And there are more and more of you every single week and I am just so grateful. That's it for this episode of the Dad.Work podcast Friday reflections for December 3 Enjoy your weekend man and spend some time with your 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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