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Rhett Smith Podcast

Therapist + Writer + Speaker In this long-form interview format Rhett explores the lives of various thought leaders to discover what helped them thrive in multiple areas of their lives, and what lessons we can learn from them. Rhett is particularly interested in the intersection of self-care and relationships, and he loves to explore how one can thrive physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He interacts with people such as therapists, athletes, spiritual leaders, entrepreneurs and many others, covering a variety of topics from fitness, leadership, mental health, and spirituality. What would your marriage look like when you are thriving? What does your parenting look like when you are thriving? What does your work look like when you are thriving? What does your faith look like when you are thriving? When we thrive in these areas of our lives we become people who are "life-giving." And when we are "life-givers" we impact all the relationships around us in positive ways. So engage the podcast and discover how you can thrive personally and relationally.
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Dec 14, 2015

Anxiety is a topic that I love to talk about. I have written extensively about it on this blog and in my book The Anxious Christian. And the reason I write about it so much is two-fold: 1) I know that everyone struggles with anxiety at some point in their life, or throughout their life. It's part of the human condition. 2) My life has really been transformed when I have had the courage to face my anxiety and grow from it. Ultimately, I see anxiety as an opportunity for growth in our lives if we listen and lean into it.

 

So this week I wanted to record and post five shorter podcast episodes on the topic of anxiety. I have talked at length about anxiety in earlier podcasts here (where I talk about how to identify anxiety in your life and use it as a catalyst for growth) and here: where I talk about specific tools and exercises to help you with your anxiety, but this week I wanted to keep it short as we head into the transition from the year end holidays and the new year where people often experience a lot of anxiety.

 

In this episode I talk about when to see a therapist and what to expect:

    • The importance of having a safe and non-judgmental place/person to discuss your anxiety with.
    • The importance of seeing an opportunity for growth in your anxiety.
    • The importance of a plan to help with your anxiety.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith
Be Not Anxious: Pastoral Care for Disquieted Souls by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, TX. I specialize in relationships, both marriage and non-marital, as well as working with individual men and women, and adolescent boys. Some of the topics that I specialize in are anxiety, depression, transitions, spiritual issues, and all forms of relational struggles. I am the author of the books The Anxious Christian,and What it Means to be a Man. Check out my weekly podcast where I interview guests and cover a lot of these same topics.
#marriagetherapy #marriagecounseling #marriagetherapyplano #marriagecounselingplano #anxiety #depression #relationships #mensissues #plano #frisco #mckinney #prosper #75093
Dec 14, 2015

Anxiety is a topic that I love to talk about. I have written extensively about it on this blog and in my book The Anxious Christian. And the reason I write about it so much is two-fold: 1) I know that everyone struggles with anxiety at some point in their life, or throughout their life. It's part of the human condition. 2) My life has really been transformed when I have had the courage to face my anxiety and grow from it. Ultimately, I see anxiety as an opportunity for growth in our lives if we listen and lean into it.

 

So this week I wanted to record and post five shorter podcast episodes on the topic of anxiety. I have talked at length about anxiety in earlier podcasts here (where I talk about how to identify anxiety in your life and use it as a catalyst for growth) and here: where I talk about specific tools and exercises to help you with your anxiety, but this week I wanted to keep it short as we head into the transition from the year end holidays and the new year where people often experience a lot of anxiety.

 

In this episode I discuss a variety of tools and exercises to help with your anxiety:

    • The importance of proper breathing to help regulate anxiety.
    • How journaling can help you externalize your anxiety.
    • Why self-care is so important in the regulating of anxiety.
    • Etc. (see the above podcast where I talk about these tools at length (Episode 16).
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith
Be Not Anxious: Pastoral Care for Disquieted Souls by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, TX. I specialize in relationships, both marriage and non-marital, as well as working with individual men and women, and adolescent boys. Some of the topics that I specialize in are anxiety, depression, transitions, spiritual issues, and all forms of relational struggles. I am the author of the books The Anxious Christian,and What it Means to be a Man. Check out my weekly podcast where I interview guests and cover a lot of these same topics.

#marriagetherapy #marriagecounseling #marriagetherapyplano #marriagecounselingplano #anxiety #depression #relationships #mensissues #plano #frisco #mckinney #prosper #75093

Dec 14, 2015

Anxiety is a topic that I love to talk about. I have written extensively about it on this blog and in my book The Anxious Christian. And the reason I write about it so much is two-fold: 1) I know that everyone struggles with anxiety at some point in their life, or throughout their life. It's part of the human condition. 2) My life has really been transformed when I have had the courage to face my anxiety and grow from it. Ultimately, I see anxiety as an opportunity for growth in our lives if we listen and lean into it.

 

So this week I wanted to record and post five shorter podcast episodes on the topic of anxiety. I have talked at length about anxiety in earlier podcasts here (where I talk about how to identify anxiety in your life and use it as a catalyst for growth) and here: where I talk about specific tools and exercises to help you with your anxiety, but this week I wanted to keep it short as we head into the transition from the year end holidays and the new year where people often experience a lot of anxiety.

 

In this episode I want to help you grow from your anxiety:

    • I explore how anxiety gives us an opportunity to grow in our lives.
    • I talk about how the Bible stories are implicit with anxiety in the journey to follow after God, and how anxiety keeps us in pursuit.
    • I want to encourage you to see your anxiety differently.
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith
Be Not Anxious: Pastoral Care for Disquieted Souls by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, TX. I specialize in relationships, both marriage and non-marital, as well as working with individual men and women, and adolescent boys. Some of the topics that I specialize in are anxiety, depression, transitions, spiritual issues, and all forms of relational struggles. I am the author of the books The Anxious Christian, and What it Means to be a Man. Check out my weekly podcast where I interview guests and cover a lot of these same topics.
#marriagetherapy #marriagecounseling #marriagetherapyplano #marriagecounselingplano #anxiety #depression #relationships #mensissues #plano #frisco #mckinney #prosper #75093
Dec 14, 2015

Anxiety is a topic that I love to talk about. I have written extensively about it on this blog and in my book The Anxious Christian. And the reason I write about it so much is two-fold: 1) I know that everyone struggles with anxiety at some point in their life, or throughout their life. It's part of the human condition. 2) My life has really been transformed when I have had the courage to face my anxiety and grow from it. Ultimately, I see anxiety as an opportunity for growth in our lives if we listen and lean into it.

 

So this week I wanted to record and post five shorter podcast episodes on the topic of anxiety. I have talked at length about anxiety in earlier podcasts here (where I talk about how to identify anxiety in your life and use it as a catalyst for growth) and here: where I talk about specific tools and exercises to help you with your anxiety, but this week I wanted to keep it short as we head into the transition from the year end holidays and the new year where people often experience a lot of anxiety.

In this episode I want to explore two things:

  • What are the roots of your anxiety?
  • What would it look like for you to take an honest look at your anxiety to better understand it?
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith
Be Not Anxious: Pastoral Care for Disquieted Souls by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, TX. I specialize in relationships, both marriage and non-marital, as well as working with individual men and women, and adolescent boys. Some of the topics that I specialize in are anxiety, depression, transitions, spiritual issues, and all forms of relational struggles. I am the author of the books The Anxious Christian, and What it Means to be a Man. Check out my weekly podcast where I interview guests and cover a lot of these same topics. #marriagetherapy #marriagecounseling #marriagetherapyplano #marriagecounselingplano #anxiety #depression #relationships #mensissues #plano #frisco #mckinney #prosper #75093

Dec 14, 2015

Anxiety is a topic that I love to talk about. I have written extensively about it on this blog and in my book The Anxious Christian. And the reason I write about it so much is two-fold: 1) I know that everyone struggles with anxiety at some point in their life, or throughout their life. It's part of the human condition. 2) My life has really been transformed when I have had the courage to face my anxiety and grow from it.Ultimately, I see anxiety as an opportunity for growth in our lives if we listen and lean into it.

 

So this week I wanted to record and post five shorter podcast episodes on the topic of anxiety. I have talked at length about anxiety in earlier podcasts here (where I talk about how to identify anxiety in your life and use it as a catalyst for growth) and here: where I talk about specific tools and exercises to help you with your anxiety, but this week I wanted to keep it short as we head into the transition from the year end holidays and the new year where people often experience a lot of anxiety.

 

In this episode I want to impart to you two things:

  • It's okay to be anxious. You are not alone.
  • What anxiety looks and feels like, and what the numbers are in terms of anxiety and the population.

 

 

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith
Be Not Anxious: Pastoral Care for Disquieted Souls by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.

 

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, TX. I specialize in relationships, both marriage and non-marital, as well as working with individual men and women, and adolescent boys. Some of the topics that I specialize in are anxiety, depression, transitions, spiritual issues, and all forms of relational struggles. I am the author of the books The Anxious Christian, and What it Means to be a Man. Check out my weekly podcast where I interview guests and cover a lot of these same topics.

#marriagetherapy #marriagecounseling #marriagetherapyplano #marriagecounselingplano #anxiety #depression #relationships #mensissues #plano #frisco #mckinney #prosper #75093

Dec 8, 2015

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, Texas, I get the opportunity to work with a lot of families. And in working with a lot of families I get the chance to see the varying parenting styles that different parents use. So in this episode I want to focus on four different parenting styles that I think are the most common (at least in my experience), and to encourage you to think about whether or not you struggle with any of them. The truth is, none of us are perfect parents...it just doesn't exist. But at least we can become more aware of what styles we use that might be destructive, therefore, helping us make efforts to change some of them.

 

As I mention in the podcast, none of us are perfect parents, and we all struggle with different styles of destructive parenting (whether or not it's listed below). Sometimes we struggle with all of them. The one I struggle with the most is the "helicopter" parenting style -- which almost seems ludicrous when I think about it. How did I, who was raised with lots of freedom by Baby Boomer parents, become so overprotective. Some of it has to do with my pain cycle that I talked about in episodes last week. For example, because of the death of my mom at age 11, I tend to feel secure by taking control of certain things...myself...situations...and sigh....my kids. That doesn't excuse my behavior, but I think understanding our pain cycle is helpful in understanding how that may influence our parenting.

 

So as you listen to my struggle in the podcast, hopefully you will realize that you aren't alone in your destructive parenting styles. But hopefully the realization can lead to positive change.

 

In this episode I explore:

  • four different, destructive parenting styles that I come into contact a lot in my counseling office.
  • 1) passive or disengaged, parenting style
  • 2) "helicopter" parent, parenting style
  • 3) vicarious living, parenting style
  • 4) busyness or activity driven, parenting style
  • these four different, destructive parenting styles, and some ways to combat them

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Plano, TX. I specialize in relationships, both marriage and non-marital, as well as working with individual men and women, and adolescent boys. Some of the topics that I specialize in are anxiety, depression, transitions, spiritual issues, and all forms of relational struggles. I am the author of the books The Anxious Christian, and What it Means to be a Man. Check out my weekly podcast where I interview guests and cover a lot of these same topics.

#marriagetherapy #marriagecounseling #marriagetherapyplano #marriagecounselingplano #anxiety #depression #relationships #mensissues #plano #frisco #mckinney #prosper #75093

Dec 3, 2015

RSP43 This last week I have spent some time talking to you about the Pain Cycle and Peace Cycle in Terry Hargrave's Restoration Therapy model. I love the Pain and Peace Cycle because it has transformed my life. It's transformed me as an individual, as well as my marriage, my relationships, vocation and more. But how do you practice the Pain and Peace Cycle in your own life? To do so I recommended 4 steps to practice. As you begin to use these steps and work through the cycles you create a safe emotional connection which also fosters a real strong sense of "usness" in the relationship. And it is out of this place that couple's can really solve problems. Without a safe connection, problem solving is difficult, if not impossible in a relationship.

 

In today's episode I want to tie all four episodes together by talking about the concept of differentiation, and giving some examples from different perspectives of what it looks like. In this episode I share the concept of differentiation from some literary writings of Rainer Maria Rilke and Kahlil Gibran. I also look at how renowned sex and marriage therapist David Schnarch defines it. As well as looking at the concept from well known therapist and Rabbi Edwin Friedman.

 

In this episode I explore:

 

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast
Restoration Therapy

Terry Hargrave

Marriage Strong

Sharon Hargrave

Rainer Maria Rilke

Kahlil Gibran David Schnarch

Henry Cloud

John Townsend

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Edwin Friedman

Galatians 6:2-5

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch

Dec 1, 2015

RSP42As I have mentioned in the previous podcast blog posts, I am spending time talking about the Pain and Peace Cycle, and the 4 steps to practice it in your life. These tools are found in the work of Marriage and Family therapist pioneer Terry Hargrave and his Restoration Therapy model. As I talk about in previous episodes, the Pain Cycle and the Peace Cycle, and the 4 steps to really practice to help it transform your life, have forever changed my life, marriage, relationships, friendships, and work. It too can transform you, your relationships, your marriage, your church staff, your corporate staff...and more.

 

In this episode I want to teach you a couple of new techniques from the Restoration Therapy model that I believe can really take your relationship to the next level. As you begin to work through your Pain and Peace Cycle, you will discover how that creates a sense of connectedness and teamwork, or what Terry Hargrave refers to as "usness." In this episode I talk about this created "usness" and how it can help you problem solve in your marriage and relationships. So besides looking at the concept of "usness", I will walk you through 7 simple steps to problem solving that I have found to be super effective.

 

I like to think of it often in this way. Couples have issues to solve in their relationship. But you can't solve issues if you don't feel emotionally safe and connected. So you begin by working on your Pain and Peace Cycle to create a sense of "usness." And as that "usness" develops you will be emotionally connected and safe to begin problem solving. And sometimes...just feeling safe and connected will solve problems.

 

In this episode I explore:

  • the concept of "usness"
  • 7 steps to solving your problems/issues:
  • identify and externalize the problem/issue
  • walk through your Pain and Peace Cycle
  • brainstorm options/solutions
  • narrow down options/solutions
  • set time aside for prayer/meditation/reflection on the options/solutions
  • choose an option/solution (win-win)
  • schedule a future time to re-evaluate option/solution

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Restoration Therapy
Terry Hargrave
Marriage Strong
Sharon Hargrave
Dec 1, 2015

RSP41This week I am spending time talking about the Pain and Peace Cycle found in the work of Terry Hargrave and his Restoration Therapy model. As I talk about previous episodes, the Pain Cycle and the Peace Cycle have transformed my life, marriage, relationships, friendships, and work.

 

So in this episode I want to teach you how to use the 4 steps of the Restoration Therapy model to help you practice the Pain and Peace Cycle. I love the simplicity of the model in helping people create change, but like any long lasting, transformative change, it takes practice. And I find steps to be helpful guard rails to keep people along the path as they seek change. Often in conflict, people are in fight or flight mode, and so their ability to make good decisions can become limited. But if you have steps to help you in the midst of the conflict, they can be a great tool to bring order out of chaos.

 

In this episode I explore:

  • review of the Pain Cycle
  • review of the Peace Cycle
  • the 4 steps:
  • Step 1: Say what you feel
  • Step 2: Say what you normally do
  • Step 3: Say your truth
  • Step 4: Say what you will do differently
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Restoration Therapy
Terry Hargrave
Marriage Strong
Sharon Hargrave
The Hideaway Experience
Dec 1, 2015

RSP40In the previous podcast episode I talked about just how life transforming the Pain and Peace Cycle work have been to my life both personally and relationally. Ever since I learned these tools when I went on staff at The Hideaway Experience in 2010 I have continued to use them in all the work I do. I use them with clients. I use them with church staff. I use them with corporate organizations. And in all cases I see lives being transformed and I get good feedback about them.

 

The Pain and Peace Cycle were created by Terry Hargrave and can be found in his book Restoration Therapy where he talks at length and in depth about this model. Because I have found this model and these tools to be so helpful, I spent this last year in training with Terry Hargrave and became a Level II Certified therapist in Restoration Therapy.

 

So in the previous episode I talk about the Pain Cycle, and in this episode I want to focus on the Peace Cycle. If the Pain Cycle is the negative pattern we create over time between our feelings and coping, then the Peace Cycle is about the positive pattern we create over time between our truth and actions. These two patterns comprise a different way of being in relationship with yourself and others. It's simply one of the best models out there, especially for couples and marriage.

 

In this episode I explore:

  • what the Peace Cycle consists of
  • what it means to connect to your truth
  • how to identify your truth in the Peace Cycle
  • 3 sources of finding our truth
  • what it means to act out of your truth
  • how to identify your truth in the Peace Cycle
  • theological examples of being in a Peace Cycle

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

 

Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Restoration Therapy
Terry Hargrave
Marriage Strong
Sharon Hargrave
The Hideaway Experience
Mark 1:9-11
Genesis 32-33
Henri Nouwen
Dec 1, 2015

RSP39One of the tools that has changed my life in such an amazing way...that at times it's really hard to explain...is learning the Pain and Peace Cycle in the work of Terry Hargrave in his Restoration Therapy model. In fact, in Episode 21 of this podcast I talked about how it can change your life, your relationships, as well as church organizations and corporations. In fact, I have taught the Pain and Peace Cycle in all these settings and see it do just that...change lives.

 

So this week I wanted to dive in a bit more deep on this topic, but in a short manner. The reason, I get a lot of people contacting me about what the Pain and Peace Cycle is. They see me write about it, post about it on social media, or they might have heard me speak about it in person. But it's something I definitely talk a lot about in my work. I believe in it because I have experienced it first hand.

 

So this week I decided to put out a few episodes focusing on the Pain Cycle, the Peace Cycle, and how to practice it.

 

Today, I talk about the Pain Cycle and how you becoming aware of your own will change your life. It will change your life on both an individual and relational level.

 

In this episode I explore:

  • Violations of Love and Trust
  • How Violations of Love and Trust create your negative pattern of coping known as the Pain Cycle.
  • What the Pain Cycle is
  • How to identify the feelings in your Pain Cycle
  • How to identify the coping behavior in your Pain Cycle

If you want to work through this at home, here is the initial Pain Cycle homework that I give my clients and others to work through. It's a pretty simple sheet to work on, so check it out:

Identifying and Practicing Your ‘Pain Cycle’

 

Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Restoration Therapy Terry Hargrave Marriage Strong Sharon Hargrave The Hideaway Experience
Nov 25, 2015

I have tried over the years to do a better job of giving thanks daily and living in gratitude. But like many of you I struggle. It would seem that I would have starts and stops, and then I would get excited about it again when a holiday like Thanksgiving rolled around to remind me about the importance of giving thanks.

 

But this is something that I know is important. The letters of Paul in the New Testament are filled with this idea of being thankful and giving thanks. I particularly like the Greek word for eucharist that Paul uses. The word means to literally give thanks and to be thankful (among other things), but also embedded in the word is the concept of grace coming from the Greek word charis (English translisteration/spelling). So eucharist is both an acknowledgment of what we are thankful for in the act of giving thanks, but it's also a recognition of the grace of God in our lives. I think giving thanks and living in gratitude is about both....being thankful and experiencing the working out of God's grace. Now it's been 16 years since I studied Greek and the finer points of my Koine Greek scholarship may be a bit rusty...but I think this view of eucharist is really important to our lives.

 

About two years ago I noticed that most of the people I listened to on podcasts, and the books I was reading, and the videos I was watching...there was a common thread. And the common thread was the importance of a daily practice of being thankful and living in gratitude for all these people. What was even more interesting was that this practice was a common thread across all kinds of factor such as race, gender, faith/non-faith background, socioeconomic status, etc. Everyone I was coming across was talking about how important this practice was to their lives. In fact, it was such a huge factor that despite circumstances, being thankful and living in gratitude changed the trajectory of their day, and of their life.

 

This may seem like common sense, especially from someone who grew up in the Church around the tradition of eucharist (communion, Lord's supper, etc.), and who is taught to give thanks in all circumstances. But knowing something and living it out are two different things. So this last January I asked for the Five Minute Journal for my birthday, and the beginning question in the journal is to name 3 things you are thankful for. This began my more disciplined practice this last year of daily looking to be thankful, living in gratitude, and experiencing the grace of God in my life.

 

In this episode I explore:

  • the meaning of eucharist as both a giving of thanks and receiving of God's grace.
  • ways to practice giving thanks and being grateful.
  • journaling our thankfulness; verbalizing our thankfulness; creating a thankfulness tree.
  • something you can practice this week.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Five Minute Journal

The Bible

Nov 18, 2015

Hanging out at our Marriage Strong training in Malibu, CA.

Hanging out at our Strong Marriage training in Malibu, CA.

This last week my wife and I spent two days training with Sharon Hargrave in her Marriage Strong curriculum. There were several reasons why we wanted to attend the training: 1) We know how much working through our Pain and Peace Cycle has transformed our own marriage; 2) We have a desire to lead these groups in our neighborhood, community, and at workshops and conferences; and I in my practice. 3) I absolutely love the work of Terry and Sharon Hargrave.

 

In 2010 my colleague and good friend Todd Sandel started telling me about these amazing 4 day marriage intensives taking place at The Hideaway Experience in Amarillo, Texas. After going up and sitting in a few of these marriage intensives, I eventually went on staff as one of the therapists, and helped co-lead marriage intensives there until 2014 when I eventually stepped off staff because of time constraints with my own practice and family life. It was here that I learned about the Pain and Peace Cycle through the 5 Days to a New Marriage model developed by Terry Hargrave and Shawn Stoever for The Hideaway. I put this model to work fairly quickly in my own marriage...and it was then that a radical shift took place that has helped us really transform our marriage into what it is today.

 

I then went back to my therapy practice and began using this model not only with couples, but also individual clients and I saw people's lives dramatically change. It was through these experiences that I came to realize and really believe in the work of the Pain and Peace Cycle, and I wanted to do everything I could to become a better practitioner of it. So this last year I spent time training with the founder of the Pain and Peace Cycle, Marriage and Family Therapy pioneer, Terry Hargrave. Through my training with him I officially became a Level II certified therapist in Restoration Therapy.

 

I have used this work with individuals, couples, families, church staffs, corporate managers and directors...and I have seen it transform people in all of these areas.

 

So when my wife and I had the chance to go train in Marriage Strong which has Restoration Therapy as it's foundational piece, we jumped at the opportunity.

 

We had a great weekend learning more about each other and talking about how we can intentionally continue to improve our marriage. As we spent time doing this I came to realize that there are a certain number of skills that I think if couples practice, they would benefit greatly from...they would see their marriage shift in some really positive directions.

 

So in this podcast I took all of my training that I've learned at The Hideaway Experience, Restoration Therapy, Marriage Strong, and other things that I've learned and developed along the way as a clinician...and I boiled it down to 5 skills. Of course there are a lot of varying skills couples can practice, but instead of always looking for that "silver bullet" to fix everything in a marriage, I think more couples need to really focus on a few skills and just practice...practice...practice...practice...practice. You get the point. Marriages grow and become strong through practice, not through some shiny or sexy new skill that will fix everything.

 

So in this episode I talk about these 5 skills:

  • identifying and practicing awareness around your negative pattern of interaction made up of your feelings and coping (Pain Cycle).
  • taking responsibility for yourself (your Pain Cycle) and learning to emotionally regulate yourself, rather than expecting your spouse to.
  • identifying and developing your positive pattern of interaction made up of your truth and action (Peace Cycle)
  • learning how to problem solve out of your Peace Cycle.
  • fostering your sense of "usness" in the marriage.

Resources and People Mentioned in the Episode

Marriage Strong The Hideaway Experience 5 Days to a New Marriage Restoration Therapy Terry Hargrave Sharon Hargrave Todd Sandel LifeGate Group Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy Using the Restoration Therapy Model to Transform You, Your Relationships, Churches, Organizations, and Corportations

Nov 10, 2015

Imagine you are in a room and two different type of men walk in. One is encouraging, inspiring and vulnerable. He's not just there physically, but he has shown up emotionally as well. He's connected to those around him. And because he shows up this way, others will feed off that and grow. He's what I call a life-giving man. But the other man is there only physically, not emotionally. He's not connected to those around him. He tends to be critical, lives in fear, and is often quick to anger or be impatient. He's someone who sucks the life out of those around him...the total opposite of a life-giving man.

 

In this episode I share briefly this idea of life-giving man which I have written about extensively, but I also dive into 3 important messages that life-giving men communicate to those around them. In this episode I talk a lot about the father/son relationship, but just because you may not have a son, there are probably other men in your life that need you to be a life-giver. And if you are woman listening to this episode, then I talk about the importance of having this insight into the men in your life.

 

In my book What it Means to be a Man, I quote a passage from Richard Rohr's book, The Wild Man's Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality. In this quote you get an essence of these two very different men.

"When a father tells a child that he can do something, he can do it. I don't know why that is, except to say that there is some mysterious energy that passes from the male to his children. It is some sort of creative energy that can make things be when they are not, and without which things cannot come to be. When male energy is absent, creation does not happen, either in the human soul or in the world. Nurturance happens, support and love perhaps, but not that new 'creation out of nothing' that is the unique prerogative associated with the masculine side of God...Without the father's energy, there is a void, an emptiness in the soul which nothing but that kind of energy can fill. I have seen it in too many people, men especially. It is a hollow yearning that feeds on praise incessantly and is never satisfied. It is a black hole that sucks in reward after reward and is never brightened by it. It becomes a nesting place of demons--of self-doubt, fear, mistrust, cynicism, and rage. And it becomes the place from which those demons fly out to devour others."

In this episode we explore:

  • what a life-giving man is and isn't.
  • the three questions that a father "needs" to communicate to his son according to Larry Crabb in his book The Silence of Adam.
  • how men can use those three questions to be life-givers to those around them.
  • how to look for opportunities to be a life-giving man in your relationships whether in marriage, parenting, the work place, etc.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

 

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

What it Means to be a Man: God's Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes by Rhett Smith

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World Full of Chaos by Larry Crabb, Don Michael Hudson, Al Andrews

The Wild Man's Journey: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr and Joseph Markos

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

Derek Redmond and his inspiring 1992 Olympic run. (In my podcast episode I mistakenly referred to his Olympic run as being in Seoul in 1988, rather than in Barcelona 1992).

Nov 6, 2015

In the last episode (Rhett Smith Podcast 34: Nine Practices and Disciplines That Will Help You Transform Your Morning Routine) I talked at length about my morning routine and the nine disciplines and practices that accompany (on most good days). But in that episode I didn't address a couple of very important issues, even though after I recorded it I was thinking that I had missed talking about some things.

 

But a couple of people contacted me to ask if I had any thoughts or suggestions on the morning routine in various stages of life...most specifically with an infant, or young kids in the house. And the other great question was how to you navigate maintaining your own morning routine in a relationship with a person who also has/wants to have their own morning routine as well? One that wasn't mentioned, but that I thought of as I was recording this follow up was single parents and the difficulty then often have maintaining a morning routine.

 

So in this short episode I address these issues:

  • how to navigate the morning routine with infants or kids in the house.
  • the importance of acknowledging the stage of life you are in and making allowances for that.
  • how to explore, support and encourage the morning routine of your partner.
  • what does self-care in a morning routine look like for a single parent.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Nov 4, 2015

It seems to me that how I start my day off...especially the first 1-2 hours, often dictates how the rest of my day goes, or to what degree I will navigate the ups and downs of it successfully. And I’m not alone in thinking this. It’s not surprising that many of the podcasts I listen to often ask their guests what their morning routines or rituals look like (i.e. Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll, Lewis Howes, etc.). They do this because they know that a lot of research both statistical and anecdotal point to the fact that how we start our morning plays a big part in how are days go.

 

As a life long night owl this has been a really hard reality for me to not only wrap my head around, but actually come around to practicing it. But if a 12am-2am’er such as myself can go to bed by 11pm so he can start his day off right the next morning..then maybe that tells you all you need to know about how important our morning routines are.

 

I have by no means mastered my morning, and I really doubt I ever will. Because life is life, and sometimes it gets complicated and busy. But I can tell you this. I have worked really hard over the last several years to experiment with and implement different disciplines and practices into my life to see not only how they would affect my morning routine, but to really test out if becoming a morning person was all that important.

 

And after much trial and error I’ve come up with 9 disciplines and practices that I use pretty regularly in my morning routine. The routine is not perfect, but more often than not when I’m hitting on all cylinders, these 9 practices are evident in my daily morning routine (even as I write this post for the podcast I did have 8 of the 9 disciplines present in my morning routine -- Headspace didn't happen today -- that tends to be the one I trade off with the journal). And even when I’m not running on all cylinders, you can find me practicing most of these disciplines on a daily basis.

 

The good news is that after much experimentation and practice with one discipline at a time, I was slowly able to add another one, create a habit, till eventually most of my morning routine is less of a laborious conscious effort, and one that has developed into a nice flow and rhythm in my day.

 

In this episode I will explore my 9 practices and disciplines that embody my first few hours of my day...my morning routine:

  1. Body Movement (running, lifting weights, yoga, stretching, cycling, swimming, etc.)
  2. Listening to podcasts that inspire growth and challenge beliefs.
  3. Avoid the consumption of technology that dictates my day rather than keeps me from creating (email, news feeds, social media feeds, etc.) for the first 1-4 hours of my day.
  4. Make the bed.
  5. Make a green smoothie
  6. Connect with my wife and kids.
  7. Do the Five-Minute Journal
  8. Use the Headspace app
  9. Prayer

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Rich Roll Podcast

Lewis Howes' podcast The School of Greatness

Tim Ferriss' Podcast

On Being Pocast with Krista Tippett

The Five-Minute Journal

Headsapce

5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win the Day (Tim Ferriss in this podcast episode talks about his morning routine and the importance of making the bed)

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Success Magazine)

The Morning Routines of the Most Successful People (Fast Company Magazine)

My Green Smoothie Recipe (This is the typical green smoothie I make each morning, though I will change things up. You have to adjust to your own liking, but this is my typical measurements for two people. By the way, I'm known to not really measure things, but this is what I typically aim for. If there is a brand we typically, and consistently use, I mention it here. And I use a Vitamix which creates a great consistency: Coconut Almond Milk (2 cups, Califia), Plant Based Vanilla Protein Powder (1.5 scoops, Garden of Life Raw Meal), Maca Powder (1 tbsp, Navitas Naturals Organic Maca Gelatinized Powder), Chia Seeds (1 tbsp, Nutiva Organic Black Chia Seeds), Hemp Hearts (1tbsp, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds), Kale, Spinach, Dates (3 pitted dates), Goji Berries (1/2 cup of berries), 1 tsp of Spirulina, 1 Banana, 1-2 cups of Ice.

Here is the video on shot on my morning routine about 7 months ago. In it I talk about The Five-Minute Journal and Headspace

Oct 27, 2015

There are two stories in the Bible that have gripped my imagination for the last 5-6 years. One is the story of Jesus at his baptism, specifically in the gospel of Mark 1:9-11, which records the voice of God the Father in Heaven declaring to his son Jesus (while the Spirit is descending like a dove), "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Here is the passage:

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)

The other story is found in Genesis 32-33 and records the story of Jacob as he prepares to be reunited with his estranged brother Esau. In earlier years jacob had stolen Esau's birthright and blessing and is now preparing to meet up with again...with some fear and trembling I might add. I am fascinated by the story of Jacob wrestling with God. I am fascinated with this scene:

24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

But what is really fascinating to me is the ensuing encounter that Jacob has with Esau after he has wrestled with God. There is a beautiful play on the word for eyes in Hebrew, and a very beautiful encounter of not only seeing God face to face, but seeing his brother Esau face to face. Both of these stories are examples of a person being and living out of their Truth, and therefore, they lend insight to us about what that might look like for us to be and live in our Truth in our lives.

Identifying, acknowledging, being, and living out of your Truth is a hard task for most people that I know. Many feel they don't know or have a Truth, while others struggle to practice and access it in their daily lives. The reality is, is that living in our Truth is not a work of perfection, or arriving at it permanently, but rather an ongoing struggle to believe and live beyond ourselves. For when we do this, not only are we transformed, but so are our relationships.

In this episode I explore:

  • what it means to be in our Truth
  • Jesus' baptism and the model it presents for being in our Truth
  • Jacob wrestling with God and what it teaches us about being in our Truth
  • how being in our Truth impacts not only us, but our relationships
  • 3 sources for finding our Truth
  • Henri Nouwen and his book, In the Name of Jesus

 

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

 

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Henri Nouwen and In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

Henri Nouwen and Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

Genesis 32 and 33

Mark 1:9-11

Restoration Therapy

Oct 21, 2015

This last week was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I'm still processing it and will for much time to come. But as I talked about in Episode 30 of this podcast, I set out last February to redefine my success as showing up, rather than just achieving a goal. And in order to do that I set my sights on a monumental goal for myself that held a high risk of failure. So I signed up for the Palo Duro 50 Mile Trail Run in the Palo Duro Canyon outside of Amarillo, TX.

Well that goal came to fruition on Saturday after I crossed the finish line of the 50 mile race in 11 hours and 48 minutes. It was a long, lonely day at many points, but I learned some really important lessons that day that have great implication for my life, for future goals I will set...and I strongly believe that these lessons are transferable to your life and any goals you set out for yourself.

So in this podcast I explore those three lessons:

  • the importance of having a support team on your side when choosing to set and achieve a goal. Setting and achieving goals is never a solo act, and if it is, it often leaves a wake of relational destruction behind it.
  • the importance of being mindful that sometimes achieving certain goals require a level of unbalance in our lives for a season. So how do you work on being healthy when things will be unbalanced?
  • the importance of investing in and including your support team from the beginning through the end...because you are going to need them to achieve the goal.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Oct 13, 2015

I have been looking forward to having Dr. Cameron Jorgenson on my podcast for a long time. Dr. Jorgenson is one of the smartest and most thoughtful people that I know, and so it was with great anticipation that I had him on this week's episode.

 

But first a little backstory. I first met Dr. Jorgenson in and around 1993/1994 at Grand Canyon University when we were both freshmen. A lot of things have changed since we first met in an introduction to philosophy class -- GCU used to be a very tiny, Christian liberal arts college for one; and I'm sure our philosophical and theological outlook has also changed quite a bit since that first class. Dr. Jorgenson didn't have his Ph.D then and I only knew him as Cameron. In our time at Grand Canyon we sort of knew each other, but often ran in different social circles. But in January 1998, six months after we graduated, we both ended up at Fuller Theological Seminary's Southwest Campus in Phoenix. And for the next three years Cameron and I took every class together and studied relentlessly (Greek, Hebrew, Systematic Theology, Church History, etc, etc.). I can't even tell you the thousands of hours we put in studying over coffee in various coffee shops and book stores in the Phoenix area.

 

And it was in this time that our friendship really began to develop and grow, and I came to really admire Cameron for his love of Christ, his intellectual rigor, and the way he put those into loving practice in the relationships and communities around him. Cameron and I then went on to live in Antigua, Guatemala with some host families for three months while we studied Spanish, followed by a trip with Fuller Southwest to Syria, Jordan and Israel. And then we ended up rooming together in Pasadena for one year as we finished up our Master of Divinity degrees at the main campus. Cameron then went on to Baylor to get his Ph.D, and now teaches Theology and Ethics at Campbell Divinity School in North Carolina.

 

I give you this backstory to paint for you a better picture of the friendship I have with Cameron. Because when he and I started talking about having him on the podcast he pitched to me the idea of talking about the 7 deadly sins and relationships/marriage I wasn't exactly sure what I thought about the idea. I talk a lot about marriage and relationships, and I'm familiar with the 7 deadly sins, but I wasn't sure of how we might connect them and offer something to the listener of value. So I was intrigued. And my intrigue was not disappointed.

 

In this episode Dr. Jorgenson (sorry I keep switching from Cameron to Dr. Jorgenson) talks about what he refers to as the 7 vices, and why they should be of interest to us today, what we can learn from them, and how they can teach us in more depth about who we are and how we struggle.

 

In this episode we explore:

  • the 7 vices (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride)how the 7 vices point out to us a "disordered desire" for something specific
  • we explore in greater depth sex and food (lust and gluttony) and how they impact our relationships
  • resources to help one better understand and learn from the 7 vices
  • the work of Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung and her book Glittering Vices
  • sex and pornography
  • food and table

 

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Resources and People Mentioned in this Episode Dr. Cameron Jorgenson Grand Canyon University Baylor University Fuller Theological Seminary Campbell Divinity School

Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba

Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food by Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si, of the Holy Father, Francis, On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis

Fight the New Drug

On Evil by Thomas Aquinas

Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith by Fred Bahnson

Pornography and Acedia by Reinhard Hutter

Alton Brown on Foodies, Fame, Fast Food, and Guns

Oct 6, 2015

About 8 months ago I was looking for a new challenge in life. I felt like I had begun to play life a little too safe, and was starting to get too comfortable...you know the type of comfortable where you start making excuses for taking risks? The type of comfortable where you stop challenging yourself? That is a dangerous place to be in life. Why? Because when we stop taking risks and doing scary, anxiety provoking things, we often tend to stop growing as well. So we have a choice in life...take risks, grow, and keep moving forward. Or choose to play life safe, not grow, and regress and move backwards. Those are our options. There is no static state, a place where you can just hit cruise control. Either you are taking risks and growing, or you are playing it safe and regressing.

 

And it just happened that I had also finished Brene Brown's awesome book Daring Greatly the year before. And fresh on my mind was her story of her daughter and swimming. I won't get into the story here (you can hear more about in this episode or read the book), but essentially, Brown talks about the value of showing up ("getting wet") and reframing success. And I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to show up and redefine my success, as not whether I ran a certain time, or even finished (though that's my goal), but that I risked failure by taking a risk.

 

That being said I started looking for a new challenge and I immediately went to an area of life that has really helped me a grow a lot....running. Few activities have transformed me as fully as running. Each time I completed a long and hard training season, or finished a marathon or 50k...or just came back from a morning run...I usually learned something new about myself, and the anxiety provoking experience that led to the growth, also gave me a lot of confidence in the process.

 

So as I chose this new challenge I had just a couple of criteria. 1) I had to show up (I will talk about this in this episode); 2) And there had to be the risk of failure (so not doing something I knew I could do for sure); 3) I saw this as basic criteria to help me grow....show up, but also risk failure.

 

As I recorded this podcast and typed up this post I'm well aware of the fact that I'm about a week and half out from this huge growth experience. On Saturday, October 17 I will be running my first 50 mile race at the Palo Duro Trail Run outside of Amarillo, Texas. Just getting to this point has been a huge opportunity for growth as I've trained really intensely for the last 6 months; had to hot summer days in training; nagging injuries; and just the mental capacity to focus on a task like this for an extended period of time. And probably the most important factor in all of this is that it has been a team effort. Without the support of my wife and kids I wouldn't even be able to do this. They have sacrificed a lot for me to do this event. So I'm really looking forward to driving out there with them in a rented motor home as we experience this race together. Though my challenge just happens to be a running event right now, all of us find our own challenges in life to help us grow. Many of you have set out on challenges that required you to show up and risk failure...and those experiences have helped you grow

 

So in this episode I want to explore with you:

  • what it would look like for you to show up ("get wet")
  • what does it look like for you to risk failure and what can you learn from that
  • reframing success
  • growing vs. regressing vs. static states
  • fears/anxieties of taking risks/growing
  • what your next steps might look like

 

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

 

Topics and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Palo Duro Trail Run

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Sep 28, 2015

I'm always super excited to bring guests on to my podcast and introduce you to new people and the amazing work they are doing. And Jessica Pass is one of those amazing people that I have been wanting to bring on for a while.

I first met Jessica in August of 2005 when we both entered into Fuller Theological Seminary's MFT program in the same cohort. We spent the next couple of years sharing classes, studying, and learning from each other. Since then we have gone on to become really good friends and colleagues, and she is one of the people that I almost inevitably call up when I have questions about my practice or therapy.

Jessica has a private practice in Houston, Texas where she specializes in several things, but is really passionate about her work with women and teen girls. She also has trained in Brene Brown's the Daring Way, as well as recently being trained as a yoga instructor to help her in her work of yoga therapy.

In this episode we explore:

  • the topic of women and anger
  • the importance of breathing and breathwork
  • her recent training as a yoga instructor
  • yoga therapy
  • how yoga is received/perceived in some Christian communities
  • the work of Brene Brown and her Daring Way
  • etc.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

People and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Brene Brown

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Daring Way

Sep 23, 2015

One of the most powerful and life shaping influences in our lives is our family of origin. It is the primary context in which we develop, and that development continues on through the rest of our lives...this is the reason I decided to talk about this topic on this weeks podcast. Lots of people that I work with in my counseling practice in Plano, Texas, or in organizations and churches, often fail to take into account just how powerful one's family of origin is on their lives. Sure, they are aware of the fact that their family shapes them, but often we assume that as we get older we somehow grow out of that, or are better able to make different choices. But the reality is, what we learned in childhood is just repeated in adulthood, unless we identify the pattern, practice awareness around it, and begin to create intentional change. That just takes time and practice.

In this episode I explore:

  • what the family of origin is.
  • why the family of origin is so important in shaping us.
  • my experience with family of origin.
  • what a genogram is.
  • the 3 day rule.
  • examples of how what we learn in childhood repeats itself in adulthood
  • the power of systems in our family of origin.
  • strategies to work through your family of origin issues.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Restoration Therapy by Terry Hargrave Murray Bowen Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta Gilbert Genogram GenoPro (not mentioned in episode but great tool)

Sep 15, 2015
"The people who are having the greatest impact are the people who have heaps of this one thing... Trust." (Learning to Master the Art of Trust, pp. 1)

You may recognize Aubrey's name from episode 14 which was a very popular episode. In that episode we explored his family's move to Tennessee from Texas last year and their reasons behind that: a desire for family togetherness, simplifying life, and leaving margin for exploration. These reasons really resonated with many of you and led to some great discussions and life changes for some of you.

So I was super excited to bring Aubrey back on to the show with the release of his new book, Mastering the Art of Trust. Trust is a foundational aspect of healthy relationships, and without it...well, it is hard to create a safe environment for people to thrive. Trust is something that almost every person I work with in counseling explores at some point, and it often becomes the key issue on whether or not they can move forward in specific relationships. But trust just isn't confined to family relationships, marriage and dating, but is an important component in any organization structure.

I am very thankful that Aubrey decided to tackle such an important topic and write about it in such a succint and powerful way. What I love about the book is the depth to which Aubrey explores trust in a minimalist approach. This book is not some long tome on trust, but a manifesto with immediate real world assessment and application.

In this episode we explore:

  • the impetus that led to Aubrey writing a book on trust.
  • the important lessons he learned from others when it comes to trust.
  • the key building blocks of trust: communication, relational equity.
  • trust builders
  • trust breakers
  • assessments in the book that can be utilize by individuals, groups and organizations
  • and much more.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Mastering the Art of Trust: Unlocking the Power of Your Greatest Conribution

 

 

Sep 9, 2015

It is not unusual for me to be sitting across from a man in my therapy office as he relays to me the story about when he first learned that it was not okay for boys to cry. It is usually a very powerful moment. I have heard men of all ages and backgrounds tell this story. And though the characters and contexts are different, the take away message is always the same. It is not safe for men to show emotions.

One of the more powerful moments came in my work with a man in his 70's as he recalled with tears in his eyes that incident 70 years earlier when his father told him to stop crying. That event was 70 years ago and it had a profound shaping affect on that man's understanding of masculinity and what defines it.

I am super passionate about helping men identify their feelings. Because if a man can identify them, understand them, name them...have words and language for them...he often begins to not only understand himself better, but so do those people in relationship with him. He begins to own his own story in the words of Brene Brown in Rising Strong. And once he can begin to identify his feelings then we are off and running. He then learns to be able to connect those feelings to the negative coping behaviors that he has probably, and automatically, operated out of most of his life. And it's this awareness that I know eventually leads to powerful change for that man. For without the awareness, one cannot change.

I've seen men's lives changed in this process and it has changed my life as well. So it's important to me to help you better understand why men have a hard time connecting to their emotions, and what role you may play in that for good or bad.

In this episode I explore:

  • our culture's pressure on men to not cry and to just "be a man."
  • how boys are as equally expressive as young girls...but then why that changes.
  • how a man can begin the process of identifying and connecting to his feelings/emotions
  • what role the people in men's lives have in either perpetuating the belief that it's not okay for men to cry...or in helping create a safe place for men to be vulnerable.
  • how to create a safe space for men to be vulnerable.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Two Words You Should Never Tell a Boy (blog post)

What it Means to be a Man: God's Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes by Rhett Smith

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terence Real

Aug 31, 2015

I love to run. It's one of my favorite things to do, and more recently I recorded a podcast episode on how running has changed my life. One of my bigger accomplishments was running my first 50k about a year and a half ago with my friend and neighbor Eric Fortner at the Ft. Worth Cowtown. I loved the opportunity to test my limits and to train as much as I could with other people such as Eric. This last year I committed to run the Palo Duro 50 Mile Train Run with Eric and one of our other friends Clay Shapiro. I tell you all of this because I've just been able to come into contact with some amazing people in the running community and I continue to hear stories and come across even more.

About 6 months ago Eric started telling me about a friend of his, Melissa Martinez. He talked about her passion for both running and her faith, which is something that I am passionate about as well. In the last 10 years that I have really been running I have seen such a beautiful integration of both the physical and spiritual in the act of running. So in this episode I was happy to connect with Melissa and her more about her running journey and how it inspires her faith. Melissa is an accomplished runner at all distances (Boston Marathon for one), and has lately been testing the ultrarunning distances out. So I was excited to talk with her about this and many other things. In this episode we explore:

  • Melissa's history with running and her journey to where she is today.
  • some key turning moments in her training and races.
  • inspiring stories of Melissa's interactions with other runners.
  • what she has learned from her running that applies to her faith and vice-versa.
  • looking for opportunities beyond personal bests and finish lines during a race.
  • her weekly/monthly training regime of running and weightlifting.
  • her participation with Team 413 running.
  • her blog (she posts 5 times a week about her faith and running)

Resources and Links Mentioned in the Episode

Grace Runner 413 (blog)

Team 413

Blog post on Nick Symmonds

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