Seven Things That Aren’t Romantic About Everyday Love

Everyday loveWe all want our love stories to be romantic and passionate, incredible reproductions of hollywood tales of danger, commitment, and triumph.  We want to believe that our love is unlike any love that has ever been felt by any of the 107 billion people who have ever existed.  We want to believe that what we have is unique, special, and exclusive.

We say things like:  “I love you forever. I would do anything for you. You are the only one for me. I would die without you. You’re the most amazing person I have ever known.  I’m so glad that I finally found you.”

These sentiments are plentiful during a fresh relationship.  Early infatuation and the passion that comes with it is certainly a wonderful experience.  It is after a year or two of relationship that the trouble comes, as, many times, in the absence of these hyperbolic attestations and loin-girding emotions, a couple feels as though their love has died.

What happened?  Nothing to worry about, in my opinion. Continue reading

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Sometimes You Don’t Know How Heavy It Is


Today, I got some good news I’ve been anxiously anticipating for the past several months.

And, in that moment, I realized how much stress, worry, and anxiety was attached to this news only because it was no longer there.

I noticed the burden first by its conspicuous absence.

In retrospect, it seems obvious that I was increasingly nervous, distant, distracted, fatigued, and moody as the stress deepened and spread.

Naturally, I’m wondering now how I missed it, how something can be so drastically altering my state of being without my permission or even knowledge. Continue reading

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A Servant Leadership Tale


The Monkeys & Their Great Work

An Allegory About the Origins of Servant Leadership
And of Its Evolution into Tyranny

Once upon a time, there were two monkeys.  These two monkeys liked to do great work and great work was what they did.  They accomplished a lot of great work, enjoyed it immensely, and managed to be completely self-sufficient, as there were only two of them.

One day, a third monkey came along and asked to join in the great work.
The others thought they could do even more great work if they had a third member of their group, so they enthusiastically embraced the idea.

Continue reading

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Self Esteem is Like A Pyramid

Self Esteem Pyramid

Once, a little girl asked her grandfather, “What is self esteem?”

He replied “Self esteem is like a pyramid.  It’s something that takes a long time to build, but will stand up to just about anything if you build it right.”

“What do you build it out of?” she asked him.

“That depends on how strong you want it to be.  If you want it to last a long time, and to be there when you need it, you’ll build it out of something solid and long lasting.  You’ll build it out of self respect born from loyalty to your values, from the choices to act with integrity, kindness, patience, and generosity.  You’ll build it out of countless experiences where you helped someone who you didn’t have to help.  You’ll build it out of a clear and honest understanding of your own flaws and weaknesses.  You’ll build it out of your place in your family and community.  You’ll build it out of each and every meaningful relationship you have.  You’ll build it out of an intrinsic sense of your own value.  You’ll build it out of a knowledge of who you are and what you stand for.
If you build it from these things, your pyramid will last a long time, and it will stand up to the most difficult parts of life.” Continue reading

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The Loathsome Boss

Totem Poles This article is about a common creature, The Boss, which can be found worldwide.  Most people have encountered one, if not many.  Recent research suggests that as many as most Americans have one.  This is most unfortunate, as they are a loathsome creature, and serve almost no purpose. Continue reading

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Are Equal & Identical the Same Thing?


I often think that one of the most frequent manifestations of pain & ego in our world is in the comparison of one with another.  You to me.  Me to him.  Her to her.  It is a behavior bred into our culture by generations of comparison.

Typically taking the form of Inferiority or Superiority, comparison is harmful to everyone involved regardless of the shape it takes.

In the guise of Inferiority, comparison looks like self deprecation, envy, and a victim mentality:
“I’ll never be as good looking as her.”
“I wish I had a nice house like that.”
“We can’t all be as smart as you.”
“I wonder what it’s like to be healthy like that.” Continue reading

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Redefining “Perfect”


Perfect is one of those words that is thrown around carelessly, misapplied liberally, and understood vaguely, with the result that most don’t have a good grasp of what it means.

In our hyper-sexualized society, obsessed with perceived infallibility as we are, perfect has come to mean “without flaws.”
As in, nothing that’s not 100% desirable.  No double edged swords or two sided coins.  No bittersweet.  No blessing/curses.
Purely, completely, and only that which society has deemed attractive. Continue reading

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Why Self-Centered Might Not Be So Bad


“He’s so self-centered.”
“She’s a thoughtless snob.”

Ever hear something like this?
Ever say something like this?

I have.

In doing so, we subscribe to a cultural philosophy that throws not caring for others and caring for ourselves both into the same basket, to be labeled “SELF-CENTERED”, and consequently condemned to our judgement and contempt.

In reality, concepts such as “selfish” and “self-centered” have been wildly misused in our culture for a very long time.  Let us imagine, for a moment, what our society would dub the quintessential “selfish” person. Continue reading

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Slaying Mr. Cool

Mr. Cool

Mr. Cool

Who is Mr. Cool?
(Naturally, Mrs. Cool exists too, but this post is about the typical masculine persona that we men so frequently quest after.)

Mr. Cool is smart.  He’s funny.  Unreasonably handsome.  Chiseled bod.  He’s good at everything.  Everyone likes him.  Especially women.  Specifically hot women.  He knows just about everything.  He’s better than most everybody.  He’s almost always right.  He’s basically infallible.

He doesn’t exist.
But that doesn’t stop us from trying to embody him.

We strive for this fictitious, unattainable level of competence, beauty, and perfection.  See wikipedia on The Competent Man.

And in this endeavor, we compare ourselves to a measure that has its basis far outside of reality.  We contrast our qualities and flaws with those of invented characters in books, movies, and TV shows, none of whom do or could actually exist. Continue reading

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5 Universal Practices That Will Help You Stay Awake

Hill of LIfe

Let me start off by defining “awake”.

I don’t mean it to be the opposite of sleeping.

In a nutshell, I use it as a term to describe a state of consciousness where a person is aware of their inner presence, the constructs of their ego, the vessel that is their body, and the true nature of surrounding people and things.

This is a conscious level we all like.  Here are some of the primary symptoms of being awake:
You’ll experience a profound love for yourself, peace with the world, a sense of abundance, compassion towards everything and everybody, recognition of of truth without judgement, and a general feeling of wellness, inside and out.

Continue reading

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