I’m sitting here thinking: Why am I writing about this in public? I have to, though. Men don’t talk about this stuff enough.
Long story short, I couldn’t get it up.
A few years ago, I dated a woman I found really attractive. On our first date, we made out in a weird but cute little restaurant in my neighborhood. We were having tons of fun.
But I wasn’t honest with her. I didn’t want to have sex so fast. I liked her and wanted to go slow.
Instead of telling her how I felt, I played along. …
Four words keep coming up when I meditate recently — and when I find myself off the meditation cushion feeling sad, mad, or lonely.
I heard them years ago in an interview with the Buddhist priest Roshi Joan Halifax:
“Strong back, soft front.”
They remind me to adjust my posture. To make sure I’m not slouching. To not strain my back but to straighten it.
And, at the same time, to relax the muscles in my face, my hands, my stomach.
Within minutes — or even seconds — I slouch again. My shoulders fall forward, crunching my lower back. …
Who knew a turning point in my life would happen at a Chinese dim sum restaurant in suburban Maryland?
It was a Sunday, and I’d just gone hiking with my best friends. We were passing around potstickers and stuffed eggplant.
“You’re on Bernie Sanders’s Facebook,” a friend said to me, looking at her phone. “Jeremy’s in a video on Bernie’s Facebook!”
“Holy shit,” someone said from across the table. “Are you serious?” “Whoa!” “That’s awesome!”
I explained that I‘d had a connection in Bernie’s Senate office, and that they’d interviewed me about the immorality of private, for-profit prisons — a…
The other day I was watching the Netflix show Easy when shame screamed in my ear.
I couldn’t stop looking at Orlando Bloom’s ripped abs. How does he look like that? He’s fucking 44. I shouldn’t have eaten that donut.
I’ve gained a few pounds this summer, and like many men, they went straight to my gut. I know I’m relatively strong and healthy. But that doesn’t stop me from criticizing myself when I see six-pack abs or bulging biceps.
I suddenly wasn’t enjoying the show anymore. As social worker Brené Brown writes, shame is a “intensely painful feeling or…
If you’re like me, you feel a constant need to be doing, doing, doing. Working, improving, building, working out, consuming, investing, hustling, grinding.
The antidote to this anxiety is, go figure, not doing. Meditating, going for a walk, resting, doing yoga, journaling, making art. Doing anything that allows the mind to slow down and the body to relax.
Not vegging out watching Netflix. Not numbing out with a glass of wine. (Though, there’s nothing inherently wrong with doing either.)
Not doing is slowing the mind and relaxing the body enough to simply be with what’s actually happening in the moment…
The pandemic — despite its horror and injustice — has had a few silver linings, one of them being that it’s forced us to have more uncomfortable conversations.
About whom to allow into our homes unmasked or — now — unvaccinated. About expectations. About personal boundaries.
I met my girlfriend on a dating app in the heart of the pandemic winter. When we talked about masks and social distancing for our first date, it felt like we were talking about condoms and STDs.
My shoulders tensed and my breath shortened. …
The life coach Katie Shannon (and fellow Baltimorean) recently wrote something on Instagram that made me stop scrolling and put my phone down.
“Anxiety is the price I pay for being my own higher power.”
I pay a high price for my anxiety. I’m almost always worried about something.
Most of the day, I’m either fretting about getting more work done. Or judging myself for having too little money or too much fat on my stomach. Or wishing I’d said something different. Or people-pleasing. Or craving something to numb out with, like caffeine, alcohol, weed, masturbation, or shitty TV.
Spring weather. No masks for the vaccinated. It really does seem like life is returning to “normal” — at least in the U.S. and other rich countries.
But why am I still worn out? Why am I not excited for the rest of 2021 and beyond? Why does it feel like there’s always more work to do?
Because of capitalism, duh.
Despite the Republican Party’s propaganda that anyone who is struggling to get by is lazy, Americans are a hardworking bunch. We work longer hours, have shorter vacations, get less benefits, and retire later than people in comparatively rich countries…
The author and spiritual teacher David Deida tells a story about being at a party and seeing his mentor’s wife talking with an attractive man.
“Aren’t you jealous?” Deida asked his mentor.
“Yes,” his mentor responded. “But that I’m jealous isn’t bothering me.”
In other words, his mentor was choosing how to relate to his jealousy. He wasn’t turning the emotion into a problem. He was allowing it to just be there.
As the therapist and meditation teacher Ralph De La Rosa says, “Our emotions aren’t up to us. What we do with them, however, is absolutely up to us.”
This is for those who’ve never been to therapy. You’re not crazy or weird or broken. You’re just a human living in a society out of touch with its humanity.
Like many men, I probably wouldn’t have ever seen a therapist if it weren’t for a woman.
That’s because those of us who were raised as men were shamed for showing emotions. We were told to “man up” and stop acting “like a girl.” So we shy away from feeling let alone talking about our vulnerability. (Because ours is a patriarchal society, many women experience the same pressures.)