‘Us’: A Metaphorical Puzzle in a Good Way?

In Writer and Director Jordan Peele’s “Us”, it all begins in 1986: Little African American girl Adelaide, played by Madison Curry, encounters her doppelganger in the carnival tent on the Santa Cruz beach; her eyes widen in terror.

Now 2019, on the family vacation car ride, Mom Adelaide Wilson, played by loving and beautiful Lupita Nyong’o, jokes with her children, daughter Zora, played by Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Halloween mask-wearing son Jason, played by Evan Alex. Adelaide and her husband Gabe, played by solid Winston Duke, drive to meet up with friends Kitty, (Elizabeth Moss), and Josh, (Tim Heidecker), and their twin daughters for their Santa Cruz summer holiday. Yeah, that’s Jordan’s discreetly frightful foreshadowing.

Funny. Santa Cruz might be an homage to Joel Schumacher’s 1987 “The Lost Boys”. Although, “Us” is not about the indigenous vampire. Jordan’s narrative is somewhat more sinister: Our “tethered” doppelgangers (personal doubles) possibly live in the millions of subterranean tunnels in the U.S.

Or so we are made to believe according to Jordan’s movie prefaced research.

Scary movies are really not my deal. Yet, my movie critic buddy Michael told me that “Us” is worth seeing. That was good enough for me.

The first 2 Acts of “Us” are amazing narrative and visually foreboding atmosphere from a master storyteller. Lupita brilliantly disguises Adelaide’s unresolved childhood fear, safeguarding her children with all her being. Winston Gabe is comically at a loss in discerning his wife’s seeming turmoil. Also Adelaide and Gabe’s dynamic with Kitty and Josh occurs as the social status comparison game. Oh, well.

Then one night, the Wilsons receive uninvited guests at their rented beach home. They’re also the family of four. Jason says, “It’s us.” They’re the evil versions of Adelaide, Gabe, Zora and Jason.

Or are they really ‘the evil ones’? Terror and havoc ensue on screen.

Act 3 of “Us” is totally WTF? No worries. No spoilers here. At a certain point, I didn’t know what was going on. Jordan seduces with the bloody mayhem. Yet, there is something more subversive in his narrative, perhaps about our own human nature?

I didn’t find “Us” so much scary, rather it’s entirely disturbing – in a good sort of way. Later, I confirmed with Michael about a storyline that might have been obvious, to others. For sure, other theories surrounding “Us” will emerge. Wait for it.

Amazingly, Jordan circles back his story to the movie’s seemingly innocuous premise, and he fosters further discussion in his shocking conclusion. Lupita’s compassionately humane performance as Adelaide anchors “Us”; keeping us watching; keeping us in Jordan’s master guessing game.

I’d love to see “Us 2”. I’m also guessing that’s part of Jordan’s master narrative. Just saying.

The post ‘Us’: A Metaphorical Puzzle in a Good Way? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project https://ift.tt/2IaBbPx

Letting Go

  • Soul can never reflect anything inferior to Spirit. –Mary Baker Eddy

 

  • The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image. –Thomas Merton

 

  • The greatest act of love is to love someone exactly as they are. –Jim Lockard

 

  • God’s fun is letting us be a little ignorant. –Satchidananda

 

  • Others can only help with the pain, but not with its cause. –Nisargadatta

  • Suffering arises in remembering the past, spreading it into the future, and leaving the present. –PF Ambulans

 

  • Be happy. You will get what you like most. You will be what you like best. –Mary Frye

 

  • Affirmation: My desire for something better is not based on my insecurities but an expectation of infinite good.

 

  • Breathing the words below on your in and out breath trains your mind in both focus and direction.

 

..…accepting………

 

..…expecting.…….

 

..…loving…………

These quotes are shared by Robert Rannigan, LPC, to touch, inspire, and motivate moms and dads to reflect upon what is important in their lives and those of their spouses and children. The role of fathers has been slowly changing over the years. Dads are now expected to be more emotionally involved with their kids and–most of all–desire more emotional closeness with them. To do this, men have to establish a sense of safety, certainty, and knowing within their own internal environments. Through increased mindfulness and focus, they will then be able to create these very things for themselves, as well as for the families they love.

Grouped by a common theme, “Quotes for Parents” bring words of wisdom, almost daily, from great minds—current and old—into the lives of modern parents (and the rest of us) to nudge them (and us) ever so closer to the mindfulness and self-awareness we should all be practicing every single day.

These quotes are provided as encouragement to observe the power of words and to choose your words carefully. In the morning, choose one (or some of their impactful words) to meditate upon and guide you in a positive direction as you navigate the day’s challenges.

 

This post was originally published on Robert Rannigan’s Daily Quotes for Parents and is republished here with his permission.

What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.

We are proud of our SOCIAL INTEREST GROUPS—WEEKLY PHONE CALLS to discuss, gain insights, build communities— and help solve some of the most difficult challenges the world has today. Calls are for Members Only (although you can join the first call for free). Not yet a member of The Good Men Project? Join below!

RSVP for Intersectionality Callshttps://goodmenproject.lpages.co/leadbox-1531499076.js

 Join the Conscious Intersectionality FACEBOOK GROUP here. Includes our new call series on Human Rights.

Join The Good Men Project Community

All levels get to view The Good Men Project site AD-FREE. The $50 Platinum Level is an ALL-ACCESS PASS—join as many groups and classes as you want for the entire year. The $25 Gold Level gives you access to any ONE Social Interest Group and ONE Class–and other benefits listed below the form. Or…for $12, join as a Bronze Member and support our mission, and have a great ad-free viewing experience.

#rcp_user_login_wrap {display: none;}.rcp_form fieldset {padding: 10px !important;}

Register New Account

Username

Email

First Name

Last Name

Password

Password Again

Choose your subscription level

  • Annual Platinum – $50.00 – 
    1 Year

  • Annual Gold – $25.00 – 
    1 Year

  • Annual Bronze – $12.00 – 
    1 Year

Credit / Debit Card
PayPal

Choose Your Payment Method

Auto Renew

Subscribe to The Good Men Project Daily Newsletter

By completing this registration form, you are also agreeing to our Terms of Service which can be found here.

Please note: If you are already a writer/contributor at The Good Men Project, log in here before registering. (Request a new password if needed).

◊♦◊

ANNUAL PLATINUM membership ($50 per year) includes:
1. AN ALL ACCESS PASS — Join ANY and ALL of our weekly calls, Social Interest Groups, classes, workshops, and private Facebook groups. We have at least one group phone call or online class every day of the week.
2. See the website with no ads when logged in!
3. MEMBER commenting badge.
***
ANNUAL GOLD membership ($25 per year) includes all the benefits above — but only ONE Weekly Social Interest Group and ONE class.
***
ANNUAL BRONZE membership ($12 per year) is great if you are not ready to join the full conversation but want to support our mission anyway. You’ll still get a BRONZE commenting badge, and you can pop into any of our weekly Friday Calls with the Publisher when you have time. This is for people who believe—like we do—that this conversation about men and changing roles and goodness in the 21st century is one of the most important conversations you can have today.

♦◊♦

We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.

Photo credit: By Artur (feature pic) and Rawpixel (support) @ iStock by Getty Images

The post Letting Go appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project https://ift.tt/2UAUcl7

Challenging the Negative Thoughts

An event (action) happens, we create a thought, thought can become a belief, the belief becomes a feeling, and we act upon that feeling. This is the typical thought process, neither healthy nor unhealthy, simply a process. However, when dealing with depression, this often times becomes a very unhealthy process that one needs to monitor and interrupt. This visual will help to understand the process:

It is easy for one to create a negative thought to just about any event when depressed.

I’d like to share an example: Let’s pretend that part of Sam’s role is to provide peer reviews for articles at his place of employment. Now let’s say that one of Sam’s colleagues said to Sam, “That last review you wrote was quite a review”. Sam will then create a thought to that comment. If his thought is, “That sure sounded like he didn’t like it”. His belief attached to this thought may be that he feels that his reviews are no longer of high quality or respected. This may cause Sam to become discouraged and to feel sad and incompetent, perpetuating feelings that he was most likely already having due to his depression. Sam may then change his actions and choose not to review peer work any longer. In other words, the negative thoughts that Sam invented based on a statement may very well change the entire trajectory of his job and career.

However, this entire scenario may have looked completely different had Sam had a different thought to the initial action. Again, let’s say that Sam’s colleague stated, “That last review you wrote was quite a review”. This time, however, imagine if Sam’s thought was, “Yes! Another review that’s receiving powerful, positive feedback”. His belief that he writes well would be heightened and he may be feeling more confident and proud of his writing. He may even offer to do more peer reviews than he had done in the past.

We have the opportunity to monitor and change our thoughts. If we have a negative thought, it’s important to try to stop the thought. The first step may simply be to say “Stop” to oneself. This may help one from continuing down the path of a negative thought that could become a rumination if not kept in check.

One may take it a step further by asking themselves what evidence is there to support the negative thought. Typically, there will not be evidence. When one is depressed, the thoughts we attach to statements people make and actions that occur are often powerfully negative and come with no evidence at all. I think it is also easy, when depressed, to create evidence that is not accurate. For this, it may be helpful to write down the statement, your thought, and the evidence. Once it’s in writing, one can evaluate it at another time, or better yet share with a trusted loved one who can help assess the comments and thoughts.

These thoughts (and even the evidence) that we create when we are depressed are often not accurate and can cause negative beliefs, exasperating the negative feelings and changing our behaviors for the worse; often causing more withdrawal. Another strategy may be to ask yourself, “What would I tell a friend in this same situation, compared to what I’m telling myself?”. Many people are harsher, often times unreasonably harsh, when addressing themselves compared to how they treat others. It’s important to have self-compassion, particularly when depressed, and this is one way to indulge in that compassion.

Much of what I have described comes from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There are many resources online to help oneself work through these thought processes. One resource that I found online that has several CBT tools: Specialty Behavioral Health. There is even a tool that is specifically for challenging one’s negative thoughts. While it is likely much more difficult to challenge one’s own negative thoughts and to work through these thought processes when depressed, it is also all the more crucial.

As always, I encourage you to comment on this post (or any other posts on my blog).

*Note: The graphic used in this post was not created by me. It was discovered on the internet, but I could not find the source.

Originally published on The Depression Files

◊♦◊The Good Men Project is different from most media companies. We are a “participatory media company”—which means we don’t just have content you read and share and comment on but it means we have multiple ways you can actively be a part of the conversation. As you become a deeper part of the conversation—The Conversation No One Else is Having—you will learn all of the ways we support our Writers’ Community—community FB groups, weekly conference calls, classes in writing, editing platform building and How to Create Social Change.

◊♦◊

Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:

Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.

Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:

  1. Get  access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
  2. Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
  3. View the website with no ads
  4. Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
  5. Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
  6. Commenting badge.

Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.

If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.

◊♦◊

Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:

submit to Good Men Project

◊♦◊

Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:

◊♦◊

Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:

Join our exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” — where community members are encouraged to discuss the issues of the week, get story ideas, meet other members and get known for their ideas? To get the call-in information, either join as a member or wait until you get a post published with us. Here are some examples of what we talk about on the calls.

Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas.

While you’re at it, get connected with our social media:

◊♦◊

However, you engage with The Good Men Project—you can help lead this conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Join us!

bottom of post widget GMP community logo (1)

Do you want to talk about how to have richer, more mindful, and enduring relationships?

◊♦◊

We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.

 

Photo credit: Shutterstock ID 536835418

The post Challenging the Negative Thoughts appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project https://ift.tt/2YVUcLM

5 Challenges New Entrepreneurs Will Face While Starting a Business

Entrepreneurship is a field that comes with many obstacles and challenges. It’s important to be aware that sometimes it can be extremely difficult, especially for first-time entrepreneurs.

Before you launch your business, you need to be well equipped to face the challenges that’ll surely come your way. Mark Victor Hansen, Founder and Co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, said “You don’t become enormously successful without encountering a number of extremely challenging problems.”

Here are the 5 challenges that you are likely to face and how you can overcome them:

1. Lifestyle Change

The experiences of entrepreneurship will change you profoundly, from the way you think, to how you act, to your manner of living. You begin to realize you’re not getting enough sleep, have little time for yourself, can’t spend the same amount of time with friends, and you get complaints from people closest to you This is all because you’re putting most, if not all your energy and focus into running your business.

The solution, in order to sustain your passion, is to make some tough choices and identify your priorities. You’ll need to sacrifice much while you learn new things. You can start by organizing your day the night before, by creating a list of your activities for the next day in terms of priority.

Constantly, visualize your destination and surround yourself with people that motivate, inspire and push you to be your best self. By the time you apply these principles, you’ll feel more relaxed and energized.

2. Facing Uncertainty

When you launch your business, even if you offer the best product or service in your industry, you’re bound to face uncertainty.

Your marketing strategy might fail, your customers may not be ready for your product or service because it’s too early, and your competition may be a little bit tougher than expected. Even if you’re able to handle all of this, it doesn’t mean you’ll get your desired paycheck. However, keep in mind, that if you are well prepared, you’ll be in the best position to handle any of these roadblocks without stress.

An important thing to do is to test your product in the marketplace. By doing this, you will observe how the market views your product or service and can get feedback as well. If you do this right, you’ll be on your way to launching a successful business. The joy that eventually comes from launching a successful business is the greatest feeling ever.

“Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.” – Brian Greene

3. Team Building

Recruiting a trustworthy and reliable team is an important part of building a successful business. Every entrepreneur should know it’s important to recruit a strong team because your team can either make or break your business.

Lawrence Bossidy, Former Chairman and CEO of Honeywell, once said “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people not on strategies.” The common mistake new entrepreneurs make is hiring too quickly and if this doesn’t turn out well, you might be setting yourself up for failure before you even begin.

One solution is to hire individuals you already know or get references from people you trust from your professional life. Having the right people around is significant because they will influence your decisions and therefore the success of your business. Choose wisely.

4. Capital Management

One of the major reasons many startups fail within the first few months of business is because of capital mismanagement. The common mistakes entrepreneurs make are spending prematurely and not separating personal account from your corporate account. Spending too early on items like business cards and marketing materials might just end up being too costly for your startup.

You need to stay on top of your cash flow by keeping track of all your business expenses. You need to create a budget and set up an emergency fund account. You may decide to hire an accountant to help handle your finances, so they can assist you in fine-tuning where the money goes.

“Money is usually attracted, not pursued.” – Jim Rohn

5. Loneliness

Starting and running a business can be very stressful. This pressure can cause entrepreneurs to feel alone and maybe even depressed. If it’s extreme, you may develop mental health problems. Studies show that 30% of entrepreneurs report a lifetime history of depression.

It’s vital to reach out to your support system regularly. Family, close friends or mentors can be a big help in getting you back to your best. Once in a while get together with your family and friends and do some fun activities.

Starting a business has it’s challenges but if you’re prepared and know what’s ahead or what to expect, it will be a little less surprising when you run into an obstacle and you’ll be able to take the hit better than you thought!

Have you wanted to start a business? If so, what’s holding you back from pursuing it 100%? Share your thoughts with us below so we can be of service to you!

source https://addicted2success.com/entrepreneur-profile/5-challenges-new-entrepreneurs-will-face-while-starting-a-business/

Baseball’s Greed Mirrors the American Way


The game of baseball extends itself beyond entertainment for me. As a student of baseball and history, I am genuinely intrigued by the way the game has consistently turned the mirror on American culture.

The obnoxious contracts recently signed by Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention in this country. In fact, they’re entirely consistent with America’s current character: The privileged and elites keep pulling away from the common man, widening the chasm between the have’s and have not’s.

But this is nothing new.

Baseball, in its rudimentary form, began in the Elysian Fields of Hoboken, New Jersey, in the mid-19th Century, pre-Civil War. During and following the war, the game was played both Northern and Southern states, prompting the poet Walt Whitman to proclaim that baseball was “the American game” adding that it would “repair [those] losses, and be a blessing to us.”

And for many years, it remained a pastoral game until the turn of the century, until it was irreparably tainted in 1919 when The Chicago White Sox infamously threw the World Series at the bequest of big city gamblers. The game and the country lost its innocence as “The American Dream” took a darker turn (anyone forced to read The Great Gatsby in high school remembers this).

In the carnage of The Black Sox scandal, eight White Sox players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, were banned from the game for life by commissioner Kenesaw Landis—a decision still rippling in the wake of Pete Rose’s campaign to get in The Hall of Fame.
Perhaps, most famous reflection of the American culture—and something that requires little explanation—was Branch Rickey’s signing Jack Roosevelt Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, a decision that many view as a harbinger of The Civil Rights Movement. By breaking the color barrier in America’s pastime, the country finally started to confront the deleterious racism and hate corroding its core.

In 1969, the St. Louis Cardinal’s Curt Flood challenged baseball’s reserve clause and paved a way for both free agency, which—in a time of civil and political unrest—called to question the rights and roles of American workers.

In the 1980s, everything was ostensibly Reagan-perfect and America-awesome until the sport met the Generation X’s colossal ennui and a strike in 1994 that almost completely buried the game.

Enter steroids and the long ball and everything totally extreme.

Meanwhile, the children of Curt Flood kept capturing larger and larger salaries as the income gaps in American society became more and more disparate and…obscene.

Now take the contracts signed by those two free-agents—Harper who signed for 13-years and $330 million with the Phillies and Machado who got 10-years and a cool $300 million from a Padres’ team he already declared is going to “try to fight for a Wild Card spot.”

Most of us—at least fans in big markets—can barely afford to go to a ballgame anymore. Yet we possess the cognitive dissonance, in 2019, to explain away the fact that these ballplayers (Harper batted .249 last season) are making more per at-bat than most of make in a year.

Similarly, the average CEO makes 361 times more money per year as the average worker, a fact we all must conveniently ignore to make it out the door in the morning without revolt.

(Settle down, I’m not endorsing Bernie Sanders or stoking a socialist revolution.)

But next up to sign one of those gaudy contracts, Sox fans, is our own Mookie Betts, and don’t be surprised if that contract doesn’t come from Boston. In fact, don’t be surprised to see Mookie in pinstripes.

Then there’s the fact that America’s smartphone addicts can’t focus on things longer than 30 seconds, and the game—unless profound changes to the pace are addressed—is imperiled and could become a niche sport staring down the barrel of oblivion.

If baseball dies…

I don’t want to finish that sentence.

[Update: This column was submitted for editing before Mike Trout, baseball’s equivalent to watching a weed grow, signed a 12-year $430 million contract with the center of baseball’s carnival, the always-electric Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, of Places Where Baseball Could Not Be More Insipid, Save San Diego Who Stupidly Signed that complete jerk Machado. The aforementioned comments belong to Nate Graziano, and Nate Graziano only.]

 

What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.

We are proud of our SOCIAL INTEREST GROUPS—WEEKLY PHONE CALLS to discuss, gain insights, build communities— and help solve some of the most difficult challenges the world has today. Calls are for Members Only (although you can join the first call for free). Not yet a member of The Good Men Project? Join below!

RSVP for Intersectionality Callshttps://goodmenproject.lpages.co/leadbox-1531499076.js

 Join the Conscious Intersectionality FACEBOOK GROUP here. Includes our new call series on Human Rights.

Join The Good Men Project Community

All levels get to view The Good Men Project site AD-FREE. The $50 Platinum Level is an ALL-ACCESS PASS—join as many groups and classes as you want for the entire year. The $25 Gold Level gives you access to any ONE Social Interest Group and ONE Class–and other benefits listed below the form. Or…for $12, join as a Bronze Member and support our mission, and have a great ad-free viewing experience.

#rcp_user_login_wrap {display: none;}.rcp_form fieldset {padding: 10px !important;}

Register New Account

Username

Email

First Name

Last Name

Password

Password Again

Choose your subscription level

  • Annual Platinum – $50.00 – 
    1 Year

  • Annual Gold – $25.00 – 
    1 Year

  • Annual Bronze – $12.00 – 
    1 Year

Credit / Debit Card
PayPal

Choose Your Payment Method

Auto Renew

Subscribe to The Good Men Project Daily Newsletter

By completing this registration form, you are also agreeing to our Terms of Service which can be found here.

Please note: If you are already a writer/contributor at The Good Men Project, log in here before registering. (Request a new password if needed).

◊♦◊

ANNUAL PLATINUM membership ($50 per year) includes:
1. AN ALL ACCESS PASS — Join ANY and ALL of our weekly calls, Social Interest Groups, classes, workshops, and private Facebook groups. We have at least one group phone call or online class every day of the week.
2. See the website with no ads when logged in!
3. MEMBER commenting badge.
***
ANNUAL GOLD membership ($25 per year) includes all the benefits above — but only ONE Weekly Social Interest Group and ONE class.
***
ANNUAL BRONZE membership ($12 per year) is great if you are not ready to join the full conversation but want to support our mission anyway. You’ll still get a BRONZE commenting badge, and you can pop into any of our weekly Friday Calls with the Publisher when you have time. This is for people who believe—like we do—that this conversation about men and changing roles and goodness in the 21st century is one of the most important conversations you can have today.

♦◊♦

We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.

This post was previously published on Dirty Water Media and is reprinted with permission of the author.

Photo courtesy Unsplash.

The post Baseball’s Greed Mirrors the American Way appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project https://ift.tt/2FZKj7d