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Jan 232012
 

Yesterday afternoon, men all across the country (I’m sure the world) were engulfed with the very thing so many of us have trouble explaining…feelings.

I know I speak from experience when I say that I was so anxious, scared, happy, pissed off, shocked, and disappointed as I watched “My Baltimore Ravens” GIVE the game away. In fairness, even if we made that very routine field goal in the end it wasn’t a guaranteed win but damn, did we play an amazing game!

Something occurred to me this morning though. I thought about all those emotions that go along with supporting our favorite sports teams. There are some guys that can watch a game, come out feeling happy or slightly disappointed (depending on the outcome of the game), and then an hour later act as though nothing happened. Of course, the reality and what’s much more common is mass emotions. If their team wins they are elated, the world around them is the most amazingly beautiful place and everyone is treated with love and kindness.

What happens if his team loses?

Watch out! Weeding out those guys that will actually get physical with someone you’re still left with your average dude. The average dude is going to be pissed if his team loses. Not just pissed for a few minutes either but for a while, maybe even days. He may take it out on his wife, his kids, his co-workers but he’s going to be pissed.

This morning I wondered why many men, myself included (in the past), take these things so personally and just get so upset! Many men are performance driven. We’re praised on the things we accomplish and criticized for the things we underperform in. What’s worse, many of us live under a false belief that we’re not good enough.

In the beginning of this post I intentionally referred to “My Ravens” and “we” when talking about the Ravens. I was born and raised in Baltimore so of course I support the Ravens. However, it’s more than that. The Ravens have somehow now become me. “We lost”, “We won”, “If only we…”, “How could we…”, and a myriad of other things we tell ourselves about “our” team. Some how the success or failure of the teams we support become personalized and we define ourselves by their actions. What happens is that the false belief of “I’m not good enough” gets reinforced. It’s not just that the Ravens lost. It becomes, “we lost”, “we suck”, “we’re not good enough”….

Of course, we don’t go around actually saying, “we’re not good enough” but that’s exactly what we tell ourselves inside. Afterall, what would explain acting out like a small child, screaming, pissed off, and overall sour over game?

We’re not going to be able to resolve these not good enough feelings in this post but the next time the guy in your life ruins the rest of his day, your day, and everyone else’s day around him remember the following:

He’s not this mad that the (Insert favorite sports team here) lost the game. He’s this mad because he’s been lying to himself about who he is and he was just reminded about that lie. Validate his feelings and let him know it’s perfectly okay to be pissed. More importantly let him know how much he’s loved and how important he is. Any opportunity you have to remind him that he is good enough will go a long way to ensuring that he doesn’t have to wait for his team to win to feel like a winner. He’s already a winner, he just doesn’t know it yet.

Jan 202012
 

Although the word “Street” is in the title of my blog I don’t often have the opportunity to talk about one of my passions…cars.

About a month ago I was approached by Chevrolet to take some pictures. The pictures were to be used for a new online campaign called, “Road We’re On”.

I was excited for a couple of reasons. First, I love taking pictures and it’s a big hobby of mine. If you follow me on Twitter, FacebookPinterest, or Instagram you’ll quickly discover I’m not afraid to post a shot or two. The second reason I was stoked was that I was able to combine my passion of photography with cars. It also doesn’t hurt that I happen to live along some of the most beautiful coastline in the Country.

I was all stoked for the photo shoot! I decided I’d use my iPhone 4s for all the shots. I love shooting with my DSLR but over the last several months have exclusively been using the iPhone and been very happy with the shots. So, I thought it’d be an interesting challenge to combine iPhone + car + scenery. I had everything in place except for the car!

Oops!!

While Chevrolet did reach out to me, I didn’t have immediate access to one. I had recalled a close friend of mine telling me he had a red Corvette that he rarely drives. After a quick call to my friend I found myself behind the wheel of his beautiful 2000 Corvette. I took it out for a couple of hours driving around the Monterey Peninsula. I caught shots from a local winery, a farm, and then down the coast along Highway 1.

Please check out the 3 links below which will take you to the 3 sets of shots I have. Feel free to leave any comments on their site and let me know what you think!

Corvette Road We’re On Set 1

Corvette Road We’re On Set 2

Corvette Road We’re On Set 3

Disclosure: I was compensated for the work associated with producing these pictures in addition to this post and any outreach associated. The views and opinions in this post and all posts are mine and are in no way influenced by said compensation.

Jan 192012
 

My last post was about how we as adults have paradigm shifts early on in life. I spoke about how we begin to give ourselves false beliefs, essentially lying to ourselves about who we are. Those paradigm shifts started taking place at a very young age.

It’s become clear to me that the reason we made that paradigm shift was out of self defense and preservation. As children we were abused on one level or another to the point of having to protect ourselves. This abuse could have come in many different forms. Again, it’s not about what form the actual abuse was in but rather how it impacted us personally. That abuse/trauma could have taken many different forms including but not limited to:

1. Physical abuse

2. Sexual abuse

3. Emotional abuse

4. Abandonment

One form of childhood trauma that I think doesn’t get talked about enough and would probably fall under emotional abuse is shame. Shame is one of those things that has become so common in today’s society that I don’t even think most of us notice when it’s happening.  I know because I was shaming my children without even knowing or being aware of it.

 One common thing I’ve said before and I’m sure you’ve heard is when a parent gets mad at their child and says, “What were you thinking?” or “What is wrong with you?” On the surface it may not seem like much. However, to a small child or toddler this can go very deep. To a child, their parents are the God and Godesses in their life. Hearing this kind of abusive language makes them feel “less than”, “stupid”, “embarrassed”, “confused”, among other things. This shame that they feel as a result of hearing this can last for a lifetime and certainly well into adulthood. It’s language like this that sets the stage for how children begin to see themselves and think about themselves. When children feel these “less than” feelings early on awareness of their inherent nature gets obscured with lies. The child that was born loveable, good enough, worthy, and intelligent now sees him or herself through new lenses. A paradigm shift has taken place and now every meaning that child assigns to the thoughts they have is blurred by these new lenses.

 So, as parents we have an incredible gift and responsibility. While our children are young and still living life aware of their inherent nature we can foster that. We can take steps to remind our children of their inherent nature. Every time we shame or abuse our children in any way we put holes in their inherent nature and help them form false beliefs about who they are. Children aren’t old enough to have boundaries and they are extremely impressionable. The shame, pain, and unresolved hurt that we carry from our own childhoods can’t be given to our children. Once we understand that much of who we are today is a result of what we were “given” as children we can begin to take the steps necessary to stop that cycle.

 Loving our children isn’t just a feeling we have. To love our children is an act and an intentional one. Love has to be intentional, thoughtful, and with purpose. Loving our children starts with loving ourselves. Take a look at yourself and think about how you feel about yourself. Do you think you’re good enough? Do you think you’re attractive? Tender? Thoughtful? Intelligent? Worthy? Precious? Loveable? If you have difficulty in thinking  any of these things could be true about you (and most of us do) then that is the first step. Just being aware that you feel this way about yourself will help to identify whenever you may be passing that on to your precious, loveable, worthy, and tender child.

 

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