Dear Earth Talk


Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard about “Zero Waste” grocery stores in Europe where everything is sold in bulk and customers bring and fill up their own reusable containers and bags. When will we get some of these here on this “side of the pond”? — Jane Smith, Boston, MA

Many mainstream American grocery stores and chains now have bulk sections for dried foods like nuts and spices, though most everything else still comes sealed in plastic, cardboard, aluminum or glass, which customers then recycle or discard once they devour the contents.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that containers and packaging make up almost a quarter of all landfill waste, with the average American generating four pounds of trash a day, most of it food-related. Furthermore, Americans throw out about a third of the food we buy, largely because we’re forced to buy more than we need due to the way food is pre-packaged for sale.

One solution to both of these problems is the “zero-waste” grocery store which sells in bulk (or “loose”) to customers who bring their own containers and shopping bags and fill them up with just the amount of food they will eat. Besides the obvious environmental benefits of reducing the stream of waste to landfills and energy-intensive recycling processors, zero-waste grocery stores also tend to be easier on the wallet—given that packaging adds upwards of 40 percent to the cost of many everyday food items.

Zero-waste food stores began turning up in Europe in just the last 15 years. The success of stores like Germany’s Original Unverpackt, France’s Day By Day, Denmark’s LØS Market and the UK’s Bulk Market and Earth.Food.Love shows a strong proclivity, at least in Europe, for a green grocery experience.

Zero waste markets are a harder sell in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped a few entrepreneurs from trying. The nation’s first zero-waste grocery store, In.gredients in Austin, Texas, opened with fanfare in 2012 but had trouble competing with a nearby traditional grocery store—and finally shut its doors for good in April 2018. “We realized…we weren’t changing shoppers’ habits,” Erica Howard Cormier, In.gredients’ former GM, told CNBC. “You have to plan a lot to go to the grocery store with your own containers, and people would go to the store across the street because they forgot their container.”

Nevertheless, others have ventured forth undaunted. Some of the biggest are Precycle and the Filling Station in New York City, Dill Pickle Co-op in Chicago, Simply Bulk Market and Zero Market in Colorado, the Refill Shoppe near Los Angeles, People’s Food Co-op in Portland, OR and Central Co-op in Seattle. And in Vancouver, BC is Nada, one of the biggest and most successful zero waste markets in the world. The store claims to have diverted some 30,500 containers from landfills since opening in 2014.

A search on the Litterless.com’s “Zero Waste Grocery Guide” turns up dozens of zero waste grocery options in most major U.S. metropolitan areas, even if some are smaller specialty stores or just sections in traditional markets. So grab a few Tupperwares and that old college reunion tote bag and get shopping!

CONTACTS: Original Unverpackt, original-unverpackt.de; Day By Day, daybyday-shop.com; Bulk Market, bulkmarket.uk; LØS Market, www.loes-market.dk; Earth.Food.Love, thezerowasteshop.co.uk; The Bulk Market, www.bulkmarket.uk; Nude Foods, nudefoods.co.za; The Refill Shoppe, therefillshoppe.com; The Filling Station, tfsnyc.com; Simply Bulk Market, www.simplybulkmarket.com; The Zero Market, www.simplybulkmarket.com; Nada Grocery, www.nadagrocery.com; Literless’ Zero Waste Grocery Guide, litterless.com/wheretoshop.

EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss for the 501(c)3 nonprofit EarthTalk. To donate, visit http://www.earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

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This post was previously published on Earth Talk and is republished with permission from the author.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

The post Dear Earth Talk appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2I706nW

Toxic Masculinity In 2019… It’s Going Nowhere

For thirty years, Gillette has always had a consistent tagline, believing they are “The Best A Man Can Get.” In January of 2019 Gillette expanded on their trademark tagline, believing it reflects standards men should be reaching to achieve. They highlighted an apparent acceptance of responsibility, as they released television ads calling out the bad behavior we’ve come to describe as ‘toxic masculinity.’ The commercials were meant to take a stand, and encourage men to stand with them, by challenging the men who idly stand by without discouraging their toxic brethren.

It was an interesting angle, yet Gillette’s stance was met with heavy criticism instead of cheers. In fact, the YouTube posting of the commercial eventually had comments disabled and YouTube’s thumb rating system leans toward heavy disapproval. The commercial and its message were defended by Gillette, explaining it opened a dialogue as intended.

Even in its defense though, a new campaign appeared on its heels. This new commercial shifted to traditionally American ideals, highlighting veterans as heroes. That might be a weird flex, but OK. The veteran slant certainly wouldn’t offend, as it promoted deodorant while portraying heroes that sweat too. The shift in advertising was enough to quell pushback on the issue of toxic masculinity. Moving on from those expressing discontent with the message also mitigated the possibility this stand may be toxic itself, another contributor to the downfall of the “MeToo” movement.

I feel the need to preface my forthcoming personal opinion of the commercial by associating it with my personal view of the “MeToo” movement. I took an oath, I swore to support and defend the constitution of the United States. I feel it’s a dangerous place we’ve come to as a society when our all too common knee-jerk claim of offensive speech overrules the basic tenets of free speech granted by our forefathers in that constitution. Simply put — I could do with less PC police.

As a man, and a combat veteran comfortable with my masculinity, I couldn’t relate personally to the complaints and found a stronger connection to the disdain of toxic masculinity than any emasculating qualities emanating from the advertisements. As a father and role model to both boys and girls, the commercial’s imagery left a reaffirming feeling that I was doing my part in raising children to become productive members of society, with qualities and values that would make me proud.

This toxic masculinity callout garnered more attention with a release during Super Bowl season. That alone was enough for it to join the landscape of conversations in New York City, a hub in the advertising industry. It was a discussion within my small circles of advertising friends, including ladies, fathers, and men. Writ large, the conclusion about the sentiment was this — only those men deserving of the callout could have any reason to feel emasculated or insecure about their behaviors. In effect, the campaign does facilitate the conversation as intended.

Our conversations about advertising, and how to impact a change in behavior and actions, raised several other strategies. For example, instead of opening the door to accusations of negative reinforcement and political biases, why not shift to creating a bond through the use of real-world examples with today’s non-toxic men? Just to name a few, you have “The Rock” Duane Johnson, NFL superstar J.J. Watt, even Navy SEAL turned US Representative Dan Crenshaw, if you wanted to lean in politically.

But here’s a lingering question — why tiptoe into the realm of the callout about a topic so politically charged in America today? The MeToo movement has been exalted in political circles by those claiming to be champions of the people. Unfortunately, today’s political environment is filled with low-blows from both people and groups who insist they “go high.” Why jump into the ring with a heavyweight topic and pull punches? Why not go all in? The holy grail of this political Molotov cocktail is “locker room talk,” and skirting the elephant in the room mimics the exact behavior, of looking the other way, that it claims we need to correct. It gives the appearance of being judge and jury to classifying which behavior is toxic. It also gives a pass to our elected officials in Capitol Hill at a time when they deserve to be scorn for the discord they sow in the name of representation.

Our current political class is a dysfunctional assortment of people so focused on their reelection potential, yet insecure in their ability to represent Americans, that they relate to their constituents through memes and Twitter “dunking” as a replacement for actions of governance and legislation in our most hallowed halls. I have a unique view as a soldier, I correlate cutting and pasting a meme with squeezing a trigger. They’re interchangeable, if you can do one, you can do either. Yes, all soldiers squeeze triggers. But soldiers, and men, distinguish themselves with their actions, by taking a stand. With few exceptions, our ‘leaders’ are less distinguished and more oxymoron — poster children for the very behaviors we attempt to refute.

It seems this MeToo, toxic masculinity conversation starter, came to the table with our political poster children and bit off more than it could chew. It smacks of advice from a past career as a soldier, never pick a fight you can’t win. Gillette took a beating in the backlash from the political division, without actually addressing the toxic masculinity of politicians they tiptoed around with their message.

But… did they really? Having another advertising campaign in the chute seems to indicate a strategy, maybe anticipation of fallout? Or maybe they reached for help from the depths of their sinking message?

Clearly, Gillette fell victim to the political divisiveness inherent in the argument itself, and therein lies the rub. In their effort to encourage men to be best — to stand up and be the best a man can be regarding toxic masculinity — they reached toward the bottom of the barrel. They first reached toward men entrenched within this politically-charged arena to confront injustice. Only after they erred did they reach for those capable of, and experienced in, driving change — veterans.

Overall, this leads me to the conclusion that we, whether leaders, veterans, or even just garden-variety American men, cannot publicly claim to be winning in any sense of the term. I sign off with a final, valid question. Where are the rest of this generation’s men?


Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.

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The post Toxic Masculinity In 2019… It’s Going Nowhere appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2I8HXGj

12 Things Your Soulmate Wants You To Know Before You Meet

When you’re waiting for your soulmate to finally show up, it can feel like you’re living in limbo.
Either you’re in a dating desert or all the guys you meet are complete and total duds. “Where is he already?” is your daily mantra.

If only you knew how to find your soulmate and hurry things up!

“Stay positive!”

“Just have fun!”

“He’s just around the corner!”

All your friends and family are saying the same thing. But, it’s hard to stay positive when you just got ghosted for the umpteenth time by a guy you were already on the fence about. How in the world can you stay positive when, clearly, the universe is on a mission to keep you and your soulmate apart?

Knowing that your kindred spirit is out there and that you two will be together is the first step in getting closer to actually being together.

To help you stay positive, excited, and hopeful for your soulmate’s arrival in the meantime, there are some things he wants you to know now.

Here are 12 things your soulmate will say when you finally meet him:

1. “To me, you are perfect just as you are.”

You are worthy to be loved. You are worthy of my love. You are good enough for me. You are incredibly beautiful to me, makeup or no makeup. Filters or no filters.

I absolutely love your body. I adore your imperfections. I am the luckiest man alive because I get to spend my life with you.

2. “I want to be in a partnership with you.”

I want us to work together as a team. I want our relationship to be healthy.

I want us to feel safe to talk to each other about anything: our fears, joys, and concerns. I want us to work together to nurture our relationship. Date nights, love trips, and quality time binge watching our favorite shows are must-dos.

3. “I can’t wait to spend my life with you.”

I want to be with you. I love spending time with you.

You’re all I think about. You bring out the best in me. Life is sweeter with you in it.

4. “Do whatever it takes to let go of your past.”

Please heal yourself of any unresolved relationship issues or other issues. It could be with an ex, your parents, a friend, a traumatic situation, addiction, or anything else that you still haven’t let go of.

Let go of any old judgments, fears, expectations, or misunderstanding. Have your heart be open and free to love me completely.

5. “Do whatever it takes to love yourself, completely.”

You won’t really know how to love me if you don’t know how to love yourself. And, I want you to love from the overflow, not deplete yourself to be with me.

Our relationship will be more connected on each level: physical, sexual, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Make sure that each of those levels is ready to receive the intimate connections that will be created between us as soulmates and twin flames. Know that you are amazing.

6. “Trust that everything happens for a reason and timing is everything.”

Though I may not be with you yet, I promise that I am on my way to you.

Be patient. Know that I am coming and that I cannot wait for us to be together. And every relationship that isn’t with me is to support you in getting ready for me.

7. “Become the best version of yourself now.”

Don’t wait until I show up because that’s the version of you that I will recognize. That’s the version of you that will attract me into your life.

Having an attitude of gratitude and being someone who is hopeful and positive will be powerful attractants to me.

8. “I want you to be completely yourself with me … warts and all!”

I want you to know that it is safe to be completely yourself with me.

Over the next 50 years (more or less) that we will be together as life partners, things about us may change.

We may put on weight or lose weight. We’ll get sick. We’ll experience things we never thought we would.

But through it all, whether you put on 50 pounds, or vomit for days, I will never leave your side.

9. “I am your best friend and biggest cheerleader!”

I am here to support you, encourage you, empower you, and love you as kindred spirits.

I will have your back no matter what. I want us to spend hours talking, or just sitting quietly holding hands.

I want you to accomplish your dreams and will do whatever I can to help you make that happen.

10. “I want to have fun with you!”

Life is difficult enough as it is.

Let’s enjoy each other and enjoy our lives together. Let’s explore new places, new foods, meet new people. Let’s go on adventures together. Let’s laugh a lot together. Let’s play together.

11. “I want you to continue to do you.”

If we enjoy common interests, then we can do those together.

But, if there are certain things that I don’t enjoy doing, I want you to still do them.

Spend time with your friends. Take your yoga classes.

We’ve got our whole lives to be together, so time apart can be a good thing.

12. “Tell me how to love you.”

One specific thing that I want you to be able to tell me is how I can love you.

We all like to be loved in different ways. It would be a tremendous help to me if you were clear with me about how I can meet your needs.

Become your soulmate’s soulmate now and watch what miracles occur that will help you find him.

He really is on his way to you now, so use this time to prepare and to be in a healthy place in your life so that you’ll recognize him and be able to fully receive him.

Originally published on The Minds Journal

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The post 12 Things Your Soulmate Wants You To Know Before You Meet appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2Ijff53

Just Before You Write That Suicide Note…

You may have come to a point in your life when it seems like the only available option is to throw in the towel.

You may have been laid off from a job you gave your all to…

You may be going through a financial bottleneck that has taken you to the brink of bankruptcy…

Your house may be about to be foreclosed on and you’re way behind on the car loan…

Whichever category you find yourself, it is a very difficult place to be.

At this point in your life, you’re weighing a lot of options – taking the wrong lane, shutting out everyone, or even suicide!

Regardless of how bad your situation might be, you can still thrive.

How do I know? I have been there. I have once written a suicide note. I felt there was no reason continuing with life.

I will share my story…

My dad was everything to me. He was what I could call “a good man”. He sacrificed his personal pleasures to get me educated.

I struggled all through high school. It was a Herculean task getting a University degree. I gave in my all and I promised to make my dad proud. While in school, I was involved with a writing club, where we wrote articles for journals and magazines.

After graduation, it was very difficult to get a job. I was 25 and still stayed at my parents’. Frustration set in and it gradually led to depression. Everywhere I applied for a job, there would always be a reason why I would not be taken. I kept trying again and again, yet to no avail.

The jobs I would get wasn’t enough to sustain me, not to talk of my family that was looking up to me. My depression led me to contemplate suicide. I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone anymore.

Just in the nick of time, my suicide note written and sealed, I got this call that changed my life for good.

I was offered a freelance writing job that paid me heavily.

I grew it from that point forward and today, my story is getting better.

Every mother will attest to the fact that they feel the pain more just when they are about to deliver.

If you have come to the point of considering suicide, then it means your breakthrough is closer to you than ever. Just hang in a little while, you will soon smile.

Even when the chips are down, you can still thrive.

Is it a Curse to Be a Man?

I read up interesting statistics that are very revealing. In 2008, it was reported that suicide occurred about 1.8 times more often among males than among females. Another 2015 report placed the fraction at 1.7.

Let me put that in perspective. For every time 10 women committed suicide, 17 men have committed suicide. In the western world, males die by suicide three to four times more often than females do.

Here’s what worries me: Suicide attempts are between two and four times more frequent among females. So, females will manage to find a way out of suicidal thoughts, while men will not hesitate to throw in the towel.

So I ask again; Is it a curse to be a man?

I’m both worried and concerned at the same time.

So, why are men dying of suicide?

In order to find a solution to this problem, we need to know the factors that promote it. Here are a few risk factors that lead men to commit suicide:

 

  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse: A lot of men in trying to cope with the stuff they are dealing with resort to drug and alcohol. This, in their opinion, helps them deal with emotional challenges, relationship and marriage issues, stress and pressure from work, and many other challenging issues. According to Rehabs.com, the risk of alcoholics and drug addicts committing suicide is five times greater than non-addicts. Further research shows that addiction to alcohol is linked to about 50% of all suicide cases.
  • Social Isolation: There’s a level of loneliness that leads to depression. This has contributed immensely to the rate of suicide in men. A 2013 suicide report in Australia showed that men accounted for 74.7% of the 2,520 incidences of suicide. And the most common risk factor was linked to social isolation.
  • Unemployment: Every man feels a sense of responsibility at some stage in life. Top on the mind of a young man is to be able to take care of his financial needs. When a man can’t afford to take care of himself or his family, the risks of committing suicide are high. An analysis in the Lancet Psychiatry journal shows that unemployment was responsible for 45,000 suicides between 2000 and 2011. I personally can identify with this. My suicidal thoughts were facilitated because I had no job at 25.
  • Mental Illness: If a man is mentally disturbed, it won’t be surprising to see him attempt suicide. That’s one of the risk factors that promote suicide in men.

 

How Can You Deal With Suicidal Tendencies?

Well, the truth is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach here. Every man with suicidal tendency has a particular approach to dealing with the tendency.

My one strong advice is to always get help any time you’re feeling depressed. Talk to someone. Don’t always think you can carry the weight on you alone. It will crush you. It will take you to the point of contemplating to jump from the bridge.

Depending on any substance to help you deal with depression, stress or pressure is a no-brainer. You have to talk to somebody.

After I came out of that episode, I sought help from a therapist who became my confidant. I have had a lot of setbacks since then, but suicide has never been a consideration for me.

One more thing: Always remind yourself that you can always scale through any difficult time. It may be rough now, but hey, you’ve got the strength to pull through.

Don’t write that suicide note, get help!

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is help available.

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2VD8dvS

To the Father Whose Child I Denied You


Eighteen years ago, our daughter was born. She was large, nine pounds three ounces and round, so round, and so beautiful. So wise. As a child in my womb, as a new born, she was already wise. Of course she was. She came through us.

You never got to place your hands on my stomach or witness the pregnancy. You wanted to come close and yet, my family and I pushed you away. Everyone was terrified that I was pregnant at eighteen, and you, dear man, were made to be a monster. Truths were falsified against you. Your child was being denied you, you were panicking, but you didn’t receive acknowledgment for that.

Not until I sat in front of you seventeen years later and began my apology.

We were young when we met, and I remember you first on the back porch of a cabin, in an oversized sweatshirt, jumpy in a nervous and athletic body, but your tenderness certainly apparent and your dimples deep. You were a speech pathology major in college. I believe I was fifteen and immediately had a crush on you. A few times a year, we volunteered at the same camp for kids with disabilities, and when I got to be there with you, something ignited inside of me. I finally confessed how I felt about you my senior year in high school, and you, already twenty three, took me up on it. We traveled the summer before I moved away to college. I remember feeling both loved and smothered by you – it was too intense in some ways for a young girl, and yet part of me loved the intensity. I know it was real love.

When I went to college, nine hours away from home, you wanted me to call nightly. I was missing out on college life. I remember I was opening in brave new ways, like moving my body for the first time, uninhibited, to the drums in the African Dance class. But I’d have to pull myself away to make sure to catch your phone call. I started to feel conflicted.

 

When we got pregnant over fall break of my freshman year, unplanned, I knew by Thanksgiving. I remember I started puking early in the pregnancy, and in the dorm toilets, gagging daily at the site of shared showers and clogged drains. I subsisted on plain bagels and orange juice. My first thought upon hearing I was pregnant was, “No one can know.” I went to the college counselor and cried and cried that my mother was going to hate me. She gave me the information on abortion. I knew somewhere deep inside that there was no way this child was not meant to come into the world. One way or another, for everything it meant, this pregnancy was happening.

As I write this, I call you to ask you to tell me the details, because my brain only begins to remember my pregnancy and my experience with my pregnancy and not many details of our relationship from the moment I found out. It was as if my head went down and stayed down, with a mix of protection and shame. You remind me that yes, you drove nine hours the day after you heard, and we spent the weekend together. You urged me to connect with you, to make a plan. When you left to go home, you said I called my parents, and after that, our relationship became disconnected.

I moved back home to Pennsylvania, into my parents’ house, at the end of my first semester of college to have this baby the following July. You wanted to help. You wanted to be a family. It terrified me. My parents were so angry. I allowed myself to ignore you. I allowed the distance to be enforced, and heavily. My father took over. Law enforcement was involved.

You were losing your child.

My family brought home information about adoption, and yes, I’ll say that they pushed it, though, ultimately, all responsibly is of course my own. It’s why I have to write this letter.
I didn’t speak to you for at least the last half of the pregnancy. The social worker from the adoption agency was your point of contact. We chose a family in New Jersey, a state with a “once and done” signing of surrender seventy two hours after the birth. After her birth, still in the hospital, the social worker told me that three weeks prior, your house had burned to the ground while you were working the night shift. Your two best friends, animals, and all of your belongings were lost in the fire.

My mind couldn’t grasp the depth of this loss then. I knew it was devastating and I still didn’t reach out. There was so much confusion. By this time, I believed you were dangerous. How did my heart turn so ambivalent to your condition? To this suffering? I called you when our daughter was two, for the first time. You told me later that you actually answered the phone high as a kite, you were so lost in drug use by that point.
You had been working the night shift to make extra money to support your child, should I change my mind. I never really knew how badly you wanted to show up for us, how prepared you actually were to make it work. My parents told me that I could not depend on you, and

I believed them. I spent my entire life believing that no man really did want to show up for me. You sat across from me seventeen years later and explained how you so, so deeply had wanted to.

This is a letter of apology. I know that I was young, that I was far too impressionable, and yet, I denied you your child.

Women can do that. And they often do. And, it’s wrong. You are one man in a sea of men who have been denied their rights, openly shamed, and forcibly pushed out of their child’s lives.

I denied you participation in conversations about her fate. I denied you connection that our bond actually deserved, as our love had been real. I denied you meeting your daughter in the womb, or in the hospital, and the way you were framed has lead to you not yet meeting your daughter, now eighteen. I denied you your place in her childhood.

I allowed myself to believe that you were a monster that I needed to protect my child from, where for the life of me, in the last five years as I look back now, I can not find any evidence that this was ever true.

How do I ever apologize? I have tried. You have said that I am forgiven. I know this is true, and I am blessed by your graciousness. Your genuine nature. Your love. We know that life shapes us. We know that this is all for reasons far bigger than you or I alone.

How many men are called monsters and denied their own children? You and I both know a few. And that is why I write this now. To all the men, on behalf of all the women who also find themselves with a relatable truth through my story. We live in a world of women’s liberation, and yet, it is not healthy if women are using their status as Mother to overpower the decisions of Father. We need to invite men to the table. Mothers will always have that special protective role, and yet, you wanted to help. You wanted to be there. What we believe

is protection of our children is sometimes harmful, harmful denial and projection.

Our daughter, therefore, was also denied access to you. When she went with her family at birth, I sent written letters, stories, and pictures. I know I sent the one of you in the tree on the hill at Warren Wilson College. I don’t think she ever saw it and I don’t know why her parents would not have shared that with her. As I share an open adoption with her family, when she was sixteen, her family and mine were on the beach together. My son, then, six, playing with her in the waves, her mother said, “She has some questions about Jeremy.”

I only ever really offer information when she asks, which is hardly ever, but am always happy to do so. She wanted to know your last name that day, and I asked her if she was going to look you up. She was getting curious. I realized she hadn’t seen pictures. I asked her if she knew who you were or how we’d met, and she said no. I was shocked. She was a sixteen year old young woman at the time, and I said as my mind swirled to realize she didn’t know, “Oh my, oh my. You, my dear, were conceived in love.”

By that time, you and I had begun to talk again, to find healing. I knew that you were safe and that that old feeling of guardedness had largely subsided. I told her there on the beach that day everything I could in the moments that I knew would be too short. I told her how we met, of your good heart, why I had fallen in love with you, that you were an artist like her. I told her about your dimples and how handsome you are. I made connections to her athleticism and yours. I tried to begin to restore your honor. I said, “These are your stories.

You can ask for them whenever you want.”

You and I both are still waiting for her to ask for more.

I know you love her. I know it broke you to lose her, and I carry your heart in my heart now, because that’s how I love you. We talk. We became friends again. You support me in my unabashedly risky endeavors to start a business aligned with my soul purpose, and you honor how this has all shaped me too. We text one another on her birthday, reaching across that heart space of two birth parents with our own version of the story of that day.

We sat across from one another last year in a conversation that was such a gift, it changed my life. And I would venture to say that it changed yours too.

You have land now, you build things with your hands. You escaped the early self-sabotaging behaviors in the years after her birth where addiction could have taken you down, thank God.

You pull yourself up. You do what you have to do. You find heart. You are beginning to create again. You are planting orchards and have dreams of opening your animal farm up to children with disabilities.

Every morning, I put a spoon into the honey that you send to me now from your hives. The sweetness is profound. That I am standing here, back for the last decade in the mountains where our daughter was first conceived, with your forgiveness blessing my heart and your honey in my mouth, is more a gift than I can say.

I am sorry.

I am sorry and I am grateful that we both understand that this imperfect and wounded life can also bring eventual healing. I am grateful that you allow me to tell our story such that it might also allow for others’ healing.

She’s in college now. She doesn’t know it, but she picked your original major. I see in my mind a vision that I trust will come true. The house you are building is finished on your wide open acreage. Your orchard is producing. You are painting again, those incredibly talented portraits and landscapes; I imagine the final evidence of your heart’s liberation. And she and I drive up. We walk through the orchard, the three of us. The sweetness of truth and life and honey on our tongues.

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

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This post was previously published on Embodied Breath and is republished with the authors permission.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

The post To the Father Whose Child I Denied You appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2Uwhr0t

High Performance Leadership Through Feedback, Faith, and Focus

When it comes to being a leader and operating at a higher performance level, Jordan Montgomery seems to have mastered what it takes. Aside from waking up at 4:15 AM, Jordan has some inspiring and helpful tips on how to have a greater impact in your life, work and with your clients. From finding your blind spots through asking for feedback to the importance of relationships, there are a lot of great ways to level up.

Jordan goes over his background, why he decided to go into consulting and who he works with. He discusses the importance of seeking to understand others less than you seek to be understood and how this principle really helps his business and clients thrive. Jordan also emphasizes why you need to be examining what kinds of things you say no to and why focus is so important to being successful in anything.

 LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE:

https://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/200544/57142561

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN TODAY’S EPISODE:

  • Jordan’s background and small-town upbringing.
  • Who he works with and why.
  • The format of how he works with clients.
  • One of the biggest mistakes people make when working with others.
  • A big tip for getting to know people better.
  • How his faith affects his ability to lead.
  • The stats on the coaching business.
  • How he and his wife work together and maintain a healthy relationship.
  • The impact of relationships on your life and vision.
  • The importance of learning to be selfless
  • Why focus is crucial to your success.
  • Jordan’s vision for his company and clients.


Previously published on thetoponepercent.com.

What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2Ij7fB3

5 Areas of Your Life That Need Improvement to Become the Strongest Version of Yourself

We live in a time of abundance. Despite what you see in the news daily, beauty and opportunity are all around us. We have the ability to create success in every area of our life if we’re willing to do the work. That work is the things that help you become more self-aware and help you implement true self-love.

The work is hard. It’s the reason that too many people quit somewhere along the way. Then, years later, they look at the life that has passed them by wondering where it all went wrong. That doesn’t have to be you.

Become the strongest you and create success by doing the work in these five important areas of your life:

1. Become a Jedi mind master

Mindset gets thrown around like a dirty personal development buzzword. While there are those teaching about it that shouldn’t be, mastering your mind is a skill and important part of the success equation.

Your thoughts have a direct effect on your feelings, emotions, and the action you take. When you can focus your thoughts on gratitude, on what’s possible in your life, and on your goals, you’re putting yourself in the best place to take the necessary steps to create success. Train your mind. Learn to get into peak state, as Tony Robbins often talks about.

When you feel off or a negative emotion, feel it through. Acknowledge what you feel in that moment but then get your mind back into peak state as quickly as possible. Listen to music, watch a motivational video, listen to great podcasts like Addicted 2 Success’, change your state. Master your mind and you’ll change your life.

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it. As long as you really believe 100 percent.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. Treat your health like it’s your only job

Physical fitness and movement have a direct impact on creating success. You’ll need energy and focus to accomplish your major goals. You’ve heard Les Brown say, “your health is your wealth” for good reason. True self-love means you refuse to do anything to your body that doesn’t honor it. That includes what you eat and how you move.

You know how to get and stay fit—there’s a wealth of information online about the tactics. Get there in your mind. Tell yourself a different story in regards to your wellness and commit to doing the work.

There’s a lot of research on the benefits of starting your day with physical movement. It teaches you discipline, gives you an opportunity to release stress, and builds your endurance in many ways.

3. Fire people out of your life that you know need to go

You know that you become who you hang around but it’s deeper than that. You need to fire and cut people out of your life that aren’t aligned with where you are and where you’re going. It’s hard enough to create success and do the work. It gets unbearable when you’re trying to take action while the negative energy of others is holding you back.

This means cutting people out of your life on social media, at work, in your business life, and any other place that needs cutting. Your intuition is speaking to you—listen. Surround yourself with people and the opportunity to challenge your self-limiting beliefs. Model success by surrounding yourself with it.

4. Make more money in a way that brings a smile to your face

We do live in a different time. Today, you can make a living by doing what you love and doing it all over the world. The “laptop lifestyle” doesn’t have to be a cheesy Facebook ad. You can build income teaching on the things that light your soul up. Whether that’s through an online business, a brick and mortar business, a remote job, or a job that you enjoy, we’re surrounded by opportunity.

What you do for “work” will take up a large part of your week. That time could be spent helping you move closer to your goals or it could be spent derailing and depressing you. You can find or create work or a business that you love and that helps you become a better version of yourself.

Use today’s tools, software, technology, and access to knowledge to create work that pays your bills and gives you true freedom. There is no shortage of information online that can teach you how to do that. Don’t settle for “good enough” or worse.

“There’s no shortage of money in this world. Start hustling.” – Grant Cardone

5. Love a person that craves growth as much as you

The romantic relationship in your life is one of the most influential parts of creating success and a better you. You need a partner in crime that understands and craves growth may be even more than you.

A healthy relationship is two complete people coming together and agreeing to support each other as you become better versions of yourself. It’s a partnership in which you come together to build an empire through love.

To get there, you should be with someone who shares your vision and values. Settling in your romantic life is a recipe for failure. This is the person you’ll spend a large amount of time with. Choose wisely and from a place of self-love.

You can accomplish anything if you’re willing to work for it. You can create success and true freedom in every area of your life. You have to believe this is possible for you and take the necessary steps. Work on these five areas and watch magic happen in your life.

What area of your life do you need to work on this week?

source https://addicted2success.com/life/5-areas-of-your-life-that-need-improvement-to-become-the-strongest-version-of-yourself/

A Strange new foe Ravages the City in ‘Superman: Invisible Mafia’

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Metropolis faces a new crisis in ‘Superman: Invisible Mafia’

I have been lucky to read a number of Superman graphic novels lately. They have been really good and has pitted this hero against some real powerful foes. A new threat comes to Metropolis in Invisible Mafia. I was able to read a digital copy of this graphic novel and here is what I thought of it.

You can read the plot for Superman Invisible Mafia here:

In costume, Superman is the world’s greatest hero. In plain clothes, he’s Clark Kent, one of the Daily Planet‘s best investigative reporters. But on the streets of Metropolis, there’s a new threat rising that neither of them can see…until it’s too late.

A new power called the Red Cloud has taken over the city’s underworld, and it’s like nothing Superman has ever faced before. As he chases down the story, his mind is preoccupied by the absence of his wife Lois Lane and their son Jonathan–leaving the Man of Tomorrow vulnerable to the mysterious new villain of today!

Even with all his power, can the Man of Steel stop what’s coming for his family and his city?

I really enjoyed Superman Invisible Mafia. There was a new organization that had dastardly plans for the city. A string of fires hit the city, and it is unclear what caused them. Turns out a new foes has come to Metropolis, and they are unlike anything this hero has faced before. Taking them down won’t be easy, and even he isn’t sure where to begin. If you are a fan of Superman then this is a graphic novel you will want to read.

Superman: Invisible Mafia is available now. You can order this graphic novel on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

The post A Strange new foe Ravages the City in ‘Superman: Invisible Mafia’ appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2KnQjvS

People Are Doing the Best They Know How

One of the most difficult concepts to understand is that people—no matter how evil or unethical you think they are—are doing the best they can. Yet, it is factually true, because, just like us, they have been shaped by the environment they were born into and the people and experiences that have come into their lives.

Bullsh*t you say. How can anyone say this in view of adults who molest children, a serial killer or a murdering dictator?

While bad things are happening all around us, we should not let this influence how we view others. Believing that people are doing the best they know how does not justify evil, it simply helps to put it in context.

It is better to forgive than it is to hate

As I come closer to my sixty-eight birthday, I’ve had to come to terms with the people who have hurt me in life. My conclusion is that it is better to forgive those who have hurt you than it is to hate them.

Why is this so? While filled with hatred for my enemies, I have lived in the shadows longing for retribution and recompense for what they did. I allowed the dark thoughts of backbiting, discrediting, loathing and discrediting those who hurt me to enter my mind. What I didn’t realize was that I was only hurting myself while in this state of animosity. Life is sour and depressing when one perceives it from the perspective of hatred. Part of overcoming my three years of depression was in developing an ability to forgive those who had aggrieved me.

If accepting that those who have hurt you were doing their best is hard for you to accept, then opt for this other alternative; let go of hate. Hanging on to hatred is not good for you, it sours your perspective on life. It opens the door to the other companions of hatred; fear, revenge, jealousy, and violence. Harboring these feelings keeps you in darkness by blocking the light of your true self. You cannot find joy if you hold hatred in your heart. I share this lesson so you may come to terms with the darkness that surrounds your soul.

We are not inside another’s skin

We don’t live inside another’s skin, so we don’t know the traumas and suffering that led them to cope with life in the manner we have witnessed. While we can judge their actions, it is important to see that hurting us may not have been their intent. They may be so wounded and so angry that the slightest stress can make them erupt like a volcano. This may cause them to enter a fight-or-flight mode that causes them to sacrifice everything and everyone to protect themselves.

Forgiveness does not mean you embrace toxicity 

While we can accept another is doing the best they can, this does not imply we should continue to come into their orbit and expect the best. That would be foolish.

Forgiveness does not imply that we stay silent about what was done to us. Those who speak out about their abuse clarify for us what unacceptable behavior is so that we can stop it. Forgiveness is understanding we don’t know what goes on inside another and, therefore, there are things you don’t recognize and understand.

Forgive and move on with certainty the same Higher Power living in you live in them. They too are being challenged to find their path and become their highest self. Rest in the faith everything happens in its own perfect timing and those who hurt us will be challenged to come to terms with the consequences of their actions. This is not up to you. Learn to live in the light of love for all knowing we don’t know the full purpose behind the behavior of others.

As always, wishing you a life filled with joy, love, and serenity.

Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.

What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2G4fu0R

America Has Stalled on Equal Pay


Dr. Vibe asks a Black American male leadership leader about the state of equal pay for equal work.

Dr. Vibe asks Galen Bingham for his comments on the following stories:

The Dr. Vibe Show™: It Hurts To See Nipsey Hussle’s Life Not Mattering

The Dr. Vibe Show™: America Has Stalled On Equal Pay

The Dr. Vibe Show™: The Alt Right Is Fueled By Toxic Masculinity — And Vice Versa

The Dr. Vibe Show™: Raising Children Under Suspicion And Criminalization

The Dr. Vibe Show™: Trump’s Sales Pitch To Black Voters — Look At The Economy! — Is Getting A Bit Wobbly

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IsOnQd