Author: Advisor to Men

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY 2020

Every Valentine’s Day is a little special to me now, whereas for a long time it held little appeal. Possibly because it was often a painful reminder of my inadequacy as a kind and thoughtful partner. Or, maybe it was that I didn’t care, or could not care. It’s easy to throw stones at capitalism’s manipulative commercialization of human sentiment. Heck, much of that criticism is justified.

But, here we have it, and there are only so many days of the year where a man is called upon to demonstrably honour his significant other: anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Mother’s Day is for her children and less her husband, but some think it should be included. A rule could be if your mother is alive, it is she who takes precedence. With an option to honour the mother of your children once dear old ma has passed. Missus taught me that after I went to visit my mother three hours away while she stayed home with our six-week-old daughter, on her first Mother’s Day.

Of course, men love rules and this one could be debated. Debate away, I say.

Then, there’s the “I celebrate her every day!” angle. This is a fair assumption. Many men do.

I know I’m angling for any reason to show my daily appreciation for Melissa. It’s a small pastime of mine, perhaps truly a way for me to practice being prosocial. I’ve learned it’s easy to take each other for granted so I’ve made it a habit to appreciate more this time around. I’m fourteen years in.

Of course, with my background, I needed to work at being nice. Maybe, most of us do.

I was a nice kid. Nice like the fluffy white lamb-shaped cake decorated with white icing signifying purity, and ample white coconut to mimic lambswool, which my Godmother Marie Chenier had made for my First Communion. For me? Yes, for me! Over the years that followed, from altar boy and class president and cub and boy scout and neighbourhood chore entrepreneur, there was a silencing of the lamb. A fractious relationship with my father anchoring and compounding my confusion in a small house filled with frightened children, I emerged a decade later decidedly a Black Sheep.

Funny how that works. It should be no surprise I’m an extravert, scoring in the 95th percentile on the Big Five Aspects scale. Assertiveness? More than 97. You know how those glib psychopaths are, friendly, talkative, their glad-handing masking darkness.

I have some of that. It’s handy.


Where being an extravert (spelled like Jung did) has its advantages, it’s that damn French saying again: I think it’s spelled, “Ont as tous les defauts de nos qualities.” What it means is we all have the faults of our qualities. All of my qualities are tempered with faults. I know , context is everything.

Extraverts live very much in the present. Yup. Confession: I’ve never been able to read Eckart Tolle’s famous book, The Power of Now. It’s right here on my bookshelf as I type this, still unfinished after two decades. To me, it’s the most repetitiously hypnotic text and for this reason, I recommend it to my insomnia clients. Of course, there is danger in reading to go to sleep. It could mean any reading eventually makes you slumber. Cross that bridge when you come to it, I say. If you are kept awake by a ruminating brain, for now, read Tolle.

Introverts live a little more in the future. That’s not me. Thank God missus is introverted, or I’d never have an educational saving plan for my children. I never would have figured out the Riddle of Addiction because it was her nudging which prompted me to take a good hard look at the whole phenomena, its trends and implications. After practicing and tweaking my approach, I’ve been able to reach folks with this. Doesn’t seem to matter what obsession, I can help you cure any addiction in 90 days.

Which brings me back to Valentine’s Day, the one at my place. I’ve written before how when missus and I were first dating I gave her fair warning. I admitted that I would likely forget all the aforementioned days she was due my acknowledgement. She was amused at my confession. And, she was ahead of me.

She didn’t suggest but TOLD me what to do. “Here’s what you are going to do,” she said, before instructing me to head to the nearest drugstore or card shop. “You will buy up a supply of cards for my birthday and whatever else days you want, and you will keep them in that filing cabinet of yours. So, if you wake up some morning and realize you have forgotten, you can wait until my back is turned and get one of those cards, fill it out, and leave it on the kitchen table so I will know you care and thought of me.” I was dumbfounded, of course.

“Will that work?” I remember asking. “Yes, it will,” she assured me. It was at that moment that I knew she was something special. Decades of guilt and shame about forgetting birthdays and anniversaries came tumbling down at once. So, off I went to the drugstore and did exactly as she instructed.

And, it worked. In fact, it worked earlier this month as she sat on my office couch and asked me point blank, “Did you forget my birthday?” before heading out. I could have lied. I’m glib after all. If anyone could look her straight in the eye and offer her some version of bullshit, it’s me. Yet, I also know that when people are looking for bullshit, it’s much easier to find. I learned decades ago that gig is up. Honesty is my policy.  It’s not worth the time and effort nor the consequences for either to dabble in deception.

“Yup, completely,” I admitted, adding, “I thought I had this one because I’ve been thinking about it since the new year but sure enough, come the day, it’s out of my mind.” She smiled, in a sort of womanly self-satisfying way, perhaps knowing she chose long ago to not make this hill hers to die on. God, I lust after that woman. I’m just as sure her smile was deeper.

You see, when she instructed me all those years ago by offering her brilliant practicality, effectively to “let me off the hook” I’d put myself on, I’m pretty sure she knew exactly what she was doing.

Unbeknownst to me , slipped into her instructions was the element of time. So grateful was I to escape the shame of my decades of disappointing other women, that pain serving as motivation, I followed her orders blindly, I never considered the bigger picture.

She had just made me commit to years with her. Years son. Damn, she’s good. Women are closers.

So, it was this morning whilst the two of us were awakening to the sounds of children and a dog scratching in her crate, missus wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day. I promptly grabbed her ass. “Oh, that’s right,” I answered, “Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.” Forgot completely, again.

It’s not like it wasn’t mentioned in the house. Early this week, the kids were busy filling out cards for their schoolmates. Howie brought a single fake rose to each of his teaching assistants. Last year he gave one of them chocolates and said he loved her. Since her husband forgot Valentine’s Day completely that evening, Howie stole her heart. I’m not sure her husband registered the competition as she told him.

Missus went off to work for a few hours this morning. I work from home and today is the second in a row opportunistic no-school day thanks to striking teachers in the province. With Monday Canada’s Family Day (an excuse to have a long weekend in February), the teachers gave themselves a five-day holiday. Me and the kids checked the card stash. They know about the card stash because of mom’s birthday less than two weeks ago. I think that was a strike-day too.

The cool thing is my father died in November. Not that it was cool that he died, nor that November was a cold month. Although he suffered his last year as dementia ravaged his mind, it was bittersweet to see him go. The cool part is when it was decided by my sisters that dad would no longer be able to return home, it was me who took his records and old photos for safekeeping. That included his filing cabinet, old correspondence and folders chock full of carefully labeled newspaper clippings for reference.

But stashed in the back of his cabinet was a big stash of cards. Blank cards for all occasions.

They say it’s inevitable we find in our partners something of our parents. I supposed it’s easy to stretch what you like about somebody into something you appreciate in your parent or parents. It’s natural enough and this can work out well or poorly, depending.

The very first occasion where missus met my family was at Ma’s 80th birthday party. It was held at a private club downtown and I sent ma and her pals to the party in a big white limousine. Sure enough, ma and missus hit it off. Both were introverts, wall flower types, and spent the time sitting together. Missus never felt more appreciated than that day, remarking how alike her and ma were. I beamed at her happiness, oblivious to the wider implications.

Looks like dear old ma had contrived the same card hack for my father decades before missus did for me. Why haven’t I ever heard of it before then if it’s so common? Probably because dad felt the same shame I did, and ma was as introverted as is my missus. I suppose if you have too public a system for making the effort to acknowledge someone else it might also detract from the gesture somehow too.

I know this because of another thing about Valentine’s Day. It’s often not so much the private gesture but if a girl has her druthers, being singled out at work in front of peers as a box of roses arrives just for her from a romantic interest is heady stuff. It says she is loved; that despite the competition all around her she has backup. I had to own a flower shop at one point to learn that one. Women told me.

But missus went deeper and helped me understand things more clearly. After some of my antics while out with others early in our time, she summed it up this way. “I want others to look at us together and want to be me, not look at us and feel sorry for me that I’m with you.” Boom!

I was probably fifty when she told me that. This young woman from humble beginnings is in so many ways much wiser than me. Women are the primary caregivers the planet over and most of them possess a depth of understanding men often lack. That’s been my experience. She knows how to line up allies and cut loose competition. The good ones don’t have time for assholes of either sex.

Good women also make good men better. A man with a loyal woman by his side has the wind at his back; though, he better stay-out in front of her if he expects to feel it.

A lot of what holds people back in life has to do with shame. Can’t take compliments or criticism? That’s usually shame. Chronic procrastinator? Perfectionism rooted in shame. Not living the life you know you were meant to live? Look at how much shame you carry. It’s a consequence of our interdependence on each other. By itself, it is neither good nor bad except the meaning we give it. A mild corrective within a family can, with repetition and escalation, evolve into a crushing sense of unworthiness.

When we feel like there is something wrong with us, that we are “broken” on some level, shame has taken hold and acts as a burdensome filter through which life is seen. It can become like wearing heavy winter clothes at the beach on a warm summer’s day. Sometimes, it can be like trying to swim with heavy work boots on.

That’s the thing about fatherhood. It’s not a right as the Incels would suggest. Not at all. It’s a not even just an obligation though plenty of men in or from difficult marriages will unfortunately sometimes see it that way. It’s more that fatherhood is a privilege, something that can define a man. If motherhood is part of a woman’s Hero’s Journey, fatherhood is similar. More so, it’s a chance to be someone’s hero.

My father held on to his shame for most of his ninety years. His own father disowned him, despite their looking like different-aged siblings. As my grandfather’s only son, the youngest child with three older sisters, my dad needed his father. It was not to be. Grandpa spent most of my father’s early years institutionalized and didn’t reconnect with his family for decades. Grandfather was still a jerk.

My father did his best but inevitably passed along his pain to his children. He never apologized but he demonstrated his regret. For example, as an editor, he taught me to write when I was in my late forties. It started when he sent back a letter I had written home corrected with red editor’s pencil. At first put off, I quickly realized his corrections made sense.

I decided to take the high road and wrote him back in thanks. He answered. Told me if I was going to write him to make it double spaced so he could do his job. So, I did, and after several years he handed back an essay I had given him and said there was nothing to correct. I’ll never forget that day.

It was as if the more I knew myself the more I knew him. It was our unspoken understanding, and our private conversations in his last few years were honest and warm and unreservedly candid.

I realized later I had subconsciously become a gangster to protect myself from his wrath experienced in my early life.  It took years and deep dives into my subconscious to unburden the pain I held within me in exile. The tough guy was my protector.

Little Chrissie, that’s what they called me as very young boy in short pants. Well, I got you now Little Chrissie. No one will hurt you again. We are a team you and I, and I’m strong enough and tough enough for us both. Stick with me kid, I have this figured out for us both. It’s going to be OK.

Dad held his father’s hand when grandpa passed away, secretly hoping for a reconciliation that never came. With several of my siblings, in November I held my father when he died. No reconciliation required.

I’m so glad I forgot today was Valentine’s Day. I’m so happy to find this card tucked away in my father’s collection of cards. Thanks Pops. Also, grateful my children were here with me this morning so that they could participate in writing in a little something for their ma to which I added my expected flirtations for the woman I love, my Melissa.

She came home and found the card in its red envelope on the kitchen table with her name on it. I could hear her voice exclaim, “A card? For me?” She was thrilled. Oh Jiggles…

It was from all us: from where we have been and where we are going.

We exist in each other.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Christopher K Wallace
©14 February, 2020
all rights reserved

ckwallace.com
advisortomen.com
Advisor & Mentor
For a free strategy session click here 

TRIPPING

Should you do ‘shrooms for depression and anxiety?

Is micro-dosing the way to go?

There’s been greater curiousity around this subject in the last few years, particularly as the war on drugs is acknowledged as failed policy. Ayahuasca improves mindfulness and cognitive flexibility a day after its use and has been shown to produce brainwaves like a waking “dream state.”  Magic mushrooms (psilocybin) can reset the depressed brain. There are studies coming in regularly on the beneficial use of psychedelics for anxiety and depression and to bolster cancer survivors.

From the original use of the current party drug ecstasy as a marriage therapy communication tool and the widespread use of LSD under the influence in part of misunderstood Harvard professor Timothy Leary in the 1960s and 70s; to the ayahuasca clinics popping up all over Costa Rica for everything from addiction to existential angst; to John Hopkins in the USA recently opening a psychedelic clinic for anxiety and depression, psychedelics are making a comeback. Not yet mainstream but more and more acceptable.

And millennials brought up on the widespread use of ADD medications are now using micro-doses of LSD and other psychedelics to maintain focus and “live life to the fullest.”

Psilocybin was my thing many times in the 1970s, and LSD was THE THING for a while. The Brotherhood of Brotherly Love out of California supplied the whole North American market. Out on my own and searching to replace my big brothers, I hooked up with those in the inner circle.

It was a different time. In the early 1970s, just walking down Montreal Road in the Ottawa satellite Vanier on a Friday you’d be accosted every half block by someone selling Green Moroccan, Brown, Red or Blonde Lebanese, Afghani, Nepalese, and other hashish. Kashmiri hash seemed to be a water pressed variety and was slightly streaked with feint white mould often reported to be opium or heroin, which, of course, was bullshit. Psychedelic mushroom or microdot or blotter acid (LSD) was just as ample and the working stiff looking to escape stress on a Friday night paycheque in hand had choices galore. .

I took many psychedelic trips during those early years, part escape and part cultural pressure. Only, often I’d have to babysit someone as their operating system was updated or torn down on a trip.

Regularly, reality and the effects of the drug became blurred as the person believed their mind entirely, refusing to accept it “just the drug.” I never had that problem because I never doubted the effects I felt in my body and my brain were fully drug induced and would eventually go away. I knew I would come down. Others I have done these trips with?  Not so much. One day I will write of my last acid trip.

Applying what I know now against those experiences, I would say it can help temporarily dismantle ego from what I remember. If rigid ego-constructs are an impasse to someone’s progress in dealing with their malaise, under the right conditions I can see how it would be helpful.

I have seen it and applied it to myself at a time of great personal turmoil. What I think it does is bypass ego which tends to obstruct the true self, allowing the person to experience a greater connectivity to all living things while retaining a sense of supernatural or mysteriousness. It’s as if one can peer behind the doors of consciousness and see something of the soul and spirit at your core.

But, be forewarned: it’s a crap shoot.

I’ve seen people benefit from a single trip and it resulted in them adopting a new life regime.

The day after tripping with them, things were different. They changed internally and more changes were to follow in the coming weeks and months. It’s almost as if they had seen the future during their experience as they were, rejecting that needy or mistaken part of themselves, and had a new path in front of them finally. One thing all of us felt was a sense of awe. That can scare you or uplift you.

I’ve been there when trippers beside me spoke of love not forthcoming from their parents, instead finding a more powerful version of it in a greater entity, as if their experience on the drug gave them a glimpse into the wisdom of the universe and their vaunted place in it. At some point talking it out, they acted as if seized by a otherworldly spirit giving voice to the soul.

Off they’d go get busy making sure they lived their vision, somehow unburdened and free while retaining humility and awe, perhaps even a slight fear or maybe just a great wonder. They had seen things from beyond while their brain was on overdrive, fired up by not only adrenaline and cortisol but also by dopamine and oxytocin.

“It’s all love man, we are all loved, I love you, we are all children of God,” they might say. Peace.

I’ve seen others do it, and like it so much they do it again. And, again. Because the pain of staying who they were before the trip is greater than the fear or uncertainty of stepping into who they might become while under their hallucinations. It’s as if their imagination and creativity had become trapped and cries out to be let go, to be set free.

During their trip they become reacquainted with a truer self, often a younger version of self long buried and they desperately want to NOT lose contact with that part of themselves ever again. There is a power in communing with your environment on a universal plane, knowing your part in it all was assured.

Until after a few months THIS reality you and I know doesn’t compare. The ego that calibrates every day living cannot be summoned to perform the ordinary duties of self-concept. Self concept is destiny.

My little buddy Mikey (one of my old reps) came out to Vancouver to visit in the late 90s and told me about a summer of doing shrooms back in Hamilton. He was a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon, sent here by his father with his stepmother and her children, his half-siblings. He was an outcast, skinny, bad skin, a huge nose. We taught him how to go door to door and he developed a huge booming voice and confidence that got him noticed. In grade eleven, he was selling joints to his school mates and suddenly became popular for the first time in his life.

Handing back the joint on that first night during his visit, he said, “Sometimes at home in our apartment, I know my brother is watching me. I can just feel it.” Oh no. BINGO! I looked at him and asked him a few innocent questions to confirm my suspicions.  “Mikey,” I said calmly, “that’s paranoia and the beginning of drug induced psychosis. You will need support as you regain your ego capability. So, here’s what I want you to do: go back home and get your stuff and move out here right now. Can you do that?”

He agreed. I tended to look after my reps and often I was the big brother or father figure they didn’t have, the only male influence in their lives who gave a shit about them.  If I asked him to move near me he would do it without question. I spoke with him a few days later after he landed back in Hamilton as he arranged to move out here more or less permanently. Only, he never made it.

The next night he threw himself off the 7th floor balcony of his apartment and died. I will never know the full story but managed to confirm with my old Hammertown reps his story and his drug use history.

As near as I can tell this is what happens. The ego is what you take on from your environment, parents, teachers, grandparents and others who teach you how to conform and become part of the tribe. It’s how we form a self concept. Self concept is how you see yourself contrasted against how you believe others see you. It’s a balancing act of various parts of your personality which allows you to benefit from the interdependence of your tribe. It means survival.

Yet, the true self, that inner self part of your psyche is always there. It lays hidden, dormant, but nevertheless yearns silently all the while, relaying the stirrings of your soul. All your ancestral influences coupled with the collective unconscious of mankind and added to by your databank of prior experiences since birth contribute to soul. Soul very much exists in the present and past for it is a great memory of you and your place in universal history. The soul’s voice is the spirit.

Psychedelics can open a portal to the inner self of the psyche. It can bypass ego and self concept and allow you a visit with the interconnected being you were born as. That little boy or girl playing outside in the backyard at 3 or 5 or 6 years old has much of that inner spirit in play. Remember those years if you can and appreciate the naturalness and wonder of your existence.

You don’t need psychedelics to reach this part of your self, but you can’t know that. You haven’t seen it like I have. It would be unfair of me to pass judgment on you because I have seen what is beyond the curtain and come back intact while presumably you have not. I have seen good trips and bad trips, too many to count. You don’t need to go but if you do, I wish you a good one.

But be very careful my friend. Some disconnect from the ego and regain it again.

Some do not.

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

©CKWallace, 2020, all rights reserved

Advisor and Mentor
BOOK A FREE CALL WITH ME HERE

 

 

Read this about depression for background

DEPRESSED?

GETTING OVER A FATHER

GETTING OVER A FATHER (in 6 steps)

You can do this exercise even if you don’t know your father. If you do or did, that is know him and felt loved and can say you had a great relationship, I thank him on everyone’s behalf (as do you). We need good men. Though, even if he wasn’t part of your life you can still take from this essay a kernel or two of wisdom. I’ll give you my example, you can take it from there.

Not all but many men have problem relationships with their fathers. The post-second world war period as the west re-industrialized under new technologies meant many men worked away from contact with their children for most of the day and week. Lots of men continue to make not much more than an evening appearance at home and spend scant time with family and children on weekends. Feminism probably didn’t help men’s contact with their children, especially as divorce laws were liberalized to favour mothers.

These six steps I used to deal with my father issues were important for me to gain perspective, to put things in black and white. I knew in the end where my anger came from, my nice guy compensation, and several other compromises I unknowingly accepted in developing my personality. I also learned to understand and accept several of my father-derived traits for which I had no prior appreciation, including a multi-generational understanding of influences. This helped me take better charge of my life.

First step: Acknowledge your father’s weaknesses and strengths while identifying which you have adopted as your own.

Undoubtedly, he left his mark in some way so take an inventory. First, put aside resentment if you have any and try to see things as objectively as you can. Even if you don’t know your father, your ma can give you hints: If you have a trait that is clearly from her, but others that are not, assume those other part of you came from dad. Simple elimination.

Write a list of characteristics and assign them accordingly.

Step two: Assert your reasons for change and gain leverage

Why do you want to do things differently than your father? Recognize, we exist in each other. Epigenetic influences on ancestral DNA are handed down for several generations through the methyl groups and are part of your soul. But you can still make decisions for yourself so it’s best to decide out of anger or out of love how you will proceed with your life. The better you understand the forces operating on how you got to where you are, the easier it is to steer yourself to a better existence. I was damned if I was going to parent as my dad did.

You are bound to have some of your father’s tendencies so it’s worth spending a bit of time deciding which to keep and which to update.

We exist in each other. I tell my kids when they are getting strapped into their car seats, “Watch your fingers, watch your toes, canteen open, canteen close,” the same ditty my father learned in the navy and he used to say to us when piling nine kids into a ’67 Pontiac Parisienne. When I repeat those words, my father in me is speaking.

There are stories of twins separated at birth who find each other decades later and they are dressing the same and have similar interests. While not as drastic as that perhaps between father and son, ancestry might be a third of soul. We can’t get away from that stuff so make peace with it.

My father, Howard Carew Wallace and grandson, Howard Thomas William Wallace (my boy)

Step three: Surmise where dad’s influences may have come from. He had parents and grandparents and lived in a different era.

This is where your natural curiousity comes into play. Even if you don’t know your father you can conclude quite a bit from the area of the country and the generation in which he grew up. These things are easily researched. What would a man who has these traits (name the ones you have that are not from mom) growing up in this area at this time be like? That’s what you’re dealing with.

How little or how much you know about your father’s background shouldn’t prevent you from doing this exercise. What’s important is you develop a narrative about his life that allows you to reconcile his existence in so far as it concerns yours.

In my case, I learned my dad was never accepted by his father. My father’s first memory was of his dad smacking his mom around in the kitchen when my dad was just four. He could hear them and remained frozen at the top of the stairs wanting to intervene but afraid, he told me a few years ago clenching his fist. He was just four years old at the time he witnessed it all, mid-eighties when he told me.


My dad and his big sisters

Regrettably, the argument was over my father’s paternity, dad found out later. Dad’s three big sisters were fine and accepted but somehow my grandfather got it into his head grandma had borne him an illegitimate son. It ended up defining my father’s life and he was still mad about it when he told me about it eight decades later so you can imagine.

My grandfather was institutionalized for many years and didn’t appear in our lives until the 1960s when he showed up with grandma, introduced to us nine kids as “Uncle Gimpy.” It was only later we found out he was our lost grandfather and were given permission to call him Grandpa Gimpy. During some visits, I witnessed my father and grandfather arguing in the living room, shouting at each other, presumably over the paternity issue.

My dad spent some time in an institution himself in the 1970s, suffering from what they called manic-depressive back then, bi-polar now. It forced his early retirement from the navy as he tolerance to stress became less and less. He swung back and forth emotionally in what I call a crazy 8 pattern, from anger and rage to loneliness and brooding self-pity and back to anger again. Once the “horses are galloping” as he put it to me once, it could take him days and days to settle down.

Dad was holding his father’s hand when he died at age 98 in the Rideau Veteran’s Home here in town around 1990. Right to the end, my father hoped for a sign, something which would acknowledge him, or perhaps even a death-bed reconciliation. He got nothing.

I saw his pain retrospectively, with him discussing what his influences were while looking at his life. Though, he eventually got dementia and spent his last two years in a locked ward for his own safety, for two years before he went in, I purposely moved nearby from another city and visited him at the family home each week during the day. We spoke less as father and son and more as men.

He told me many stories of his early years and lifetime. He lived in his living room with floor to ceiling bookcases and read thousands of books. As a kid, we were afraid to ask him something because you might get a half hour lecture about a culture or place in the world. When you are a learner, you must teach.

When he died in November, a month shy of five years since he lost ma, his partner of sixty-two years, a few of his nine children were present, including me. It was at the Perley Rideau Veterans’s home built on the grounds of the old Rideau Vets home where his father died. We held his hands in turn, no reconciliation necessary.

Given the uneven attachments and unpredictable violence of my early years, I gained a good understanding of why my father was weakened so in his lifetime despite it all: his pain was large and lifelong.

Ma was not much better off. Born into a family of nine in Newfoundland, she was given to her grandmother as a child because her mother “couldn’t bear another.” Though cared for, she never got over this separation from her family. At some point in her early teens, she was allowed to stay overnight at her mothers and announced defiantly in the morning she wasn’t leaving. You can imagine the deal she had to make with herself just to stay and be near where she believed she would be loved.

And my grandfather Gimpy, my father’s father. As a boy he heard his two older sisters, the ones tasked mostly with looking after him, crying to each other in the night sick with scarlet fever. In the morning he found them both dead. It was the late 1890s, the milkman had infected the whole neighbourhood.


Then, his mother bleeds to death over three days while delivering twins at age forty, despite the neighbourhood women taking shifts to staunch the blood from her ruptured uterus. Then a wicked stepmother enters the picture.

In 1914, he goes off to war and is shot by a sniper and thought dead. He miraculously recovers leaving an ugly pink scar more than a foot long on his leg and giving him his nickname, Gimpy. He takes up flying, done with the infantry, comes back from a bombing run at war’s end and crash lands in the fog, staying hospitalized with brain damage in Britain until 1921.


While there, he loses his father back in Halifax. My great grandfather is killed racing his horse and buggy through a short cut by a train at a hidden crossing racing home after seeing another of his sons, long before they had those lights and barriers common today.


Thomas Patrick Wallace with his three sons, Howard Vincent, soon to be named Gimpy is on the right.

Looking up my ancestral records, sleuthing through the genealogical tree, I find my great-great grandfather, John Wallace dies of “exhaustion due to excessive drink” on a Saturday night in Oshawa Village. He worked at the carriage maker which later become part of General Motors and leaves a conscientious woman, Mary Hart, in charge of his five kids of whom Thomas Patrick was one.


John Wallace, b. 1824 Ireland (we don’t know for sure) d. 24 May, 1875.
His schedule C gave the reason for death as “exhaustion from excessive drinking.”

John Wallace was the only son of Thomas Wallace, my founding immigrant, who fought in the Gibraltar campaign of the Napoleonic War before sailing to Canada to fight for Her Majesty in the War of 1812. Arriving in 1814 at war’s end, he settles in Oshawa Village.

Thomas Wallace gravestone, Oshawa, Ontario

I can trace five generations of Wallaces before me through these men and see the pain they have transferred to each generation.

Step four: accept, forgive, surrender

Call it compassion, sympathy, cognitive empathy while realizing we are people makers. It is only by understanding that each person lives the best they can under the circumstances and makes the best decisions for themselves at the time. Of course, they do, self-interest is always paramount. If they knew better or could act differently, they would.

Seeing a previous generation through the lens of today’s values and morality is called presentism. It drives historians nuts. Let this knowledge signal greater tolerance and compassion for those who came before you.

Not only were the cultural values different way back in your father’s time and his father’s time, so was the environment. Times of war or of social justice upheaval or economic hardship far removed from our experience precludes our ever being able to completely reconcile their journey. “You had to be there” you have heard people say. Well, we could not, so judge less on that basis.

We didn’t live through the advent of electricity, women’s emancipation or even the vote being extended to all citizens for that matter. We know nothing of two world wars. Most can’t remember the sixties. Two hundred years ago life expectancy was less than fifty and most were living hand to mouth on the family farm or in tiny communities. Religion was stronger and laws often looser.

Step five: seize control and take the stand all men must make.

Ask: am I going to allow my history to determine my future? Or, shall I create a life of my own?

What will be my legacy to others? How will I improve upon my ancestral line so that my legacy flows into the distance intact and strengthened?

Make the declaration. THE PAIN STOPS HERE!

Use this powerful stance to decide your future, ensuring you are an improvement on the previous generation. I remember visiting my mom and dad from out of town once when I had then missus and my first son in tow. Dad noticed how I interacted with my boy and remarked to all around, “Christopher is determined to not act like me.”

He was right. I’d be damned. I haven’t been perfect, but I haven’t been him either, not by a long shot. Though I recognize him in me when shit hits the fan. That’s been an important part of my personal legacy.

No one becomes a parent with anything but the best intentions. No one has kids and intends to fuck them up on purpose. Good intentions are tossed aside when stress hits and we revert to our family of origin programming. Be aware of this and make plans for how you will counter this if necessary when it happens, because it will.

Step six: Reclaim your power and gain your freedom.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. wrote at one point: “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never shrinks back to its original dimensions.” Think of that for a moment.

Whatever circumstances came before you, you can live differently but only under certain conditions. This is because we live emotionally and interpret things later. Most of what we do happens subconsciously. It’s only by bringing something into awareness that we can bring about the possibility of change or control. It is only with insight where free will begins, not before.

If the soul is comprised of the epigenetic influences on ancestral DNA, contrasted with the collective unconscious of all mankind’s history and then added to by your databank of emotional experiences since birth, the spirit is its voice. You are a unique combination of these influences and to deny any is to deny them all. It is to deny your spirit.

The more aware you are of your history, and the more you accept and surrender expectations and the futility of should have, could have, would have and what if,  the more you can take charge your present and future. Life is lived forwardly, not regressively, though the past has lessons to teach.

Now that I know all this, I get to decide. Some of my father lives on in me as a shadow aspect of my personality. Knowing my shadow allows me to live in the light.  It is a light of my choosing. Power equals agency.

I consciously blame him for this violence in me I had to learn to tame on my own. I blame him for my disregard for money and for my nice guy tendencies earlier in my life. I also blame him for my love of books, for my memory, for my athleticism, for my sense of justice and for the simple love of teaching. He taught me to write when I was fifty. I blame him for that too.

Using our power in service of ourselves and others is how we find meaning and freedom.

Ask yourself: How will I live?  Powerfully or in weakness? How will I be an improvement on the generations which preceded me. As Horace Mann once suggested, “Be afraid to die until you have won a victory for mankind.”

Stay powerful, never give up: You will sleep better at night

cw

©January, 2020, all rights reserved
Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to men, mentor at large

book a free call here

NATURE’S EDGE: valued women

NATURE’S EDGE: valued women

You will often read me saying women are more valued by nature and that men are the expendable sex. Sometimes a guy thinks this means I am putting women on a pedestal. Of course, this is nonsense. It’s as if they are saying unless you have contempt for women, you are glorifying their existence. Bullshit.

Perhaps we should glorify each other, which is more in line with what what I teach, and that is a long way from pedestalizing women. Don’t be a fool about that but we should look for opportunities to appreciate each other. A lot. I just realize women’s value is a biological reality and I will tell you why: I see examples of gynocentric favouritism all over the planet in both the animal and human kingdom.

For example, there will probably always be rape. It is why women will never be able to walk the streets in the night anywhere half dressed expecting no one will molest them. It’s not fair but then again, life is often not fair. There will likely always be some lesser value male who cannot compete for females effectively who resorts to stealing something of value from a woman, with tragic results.

It is also why women have been “spoils of war” since forever. There is not a culture on the planet where women have not suffered in war because of their value, and either been raped and killed or become captive slaves or concubines for a conquering army. Note, this goes on around the world to this day, for example in Nigeria and the Syrian caliphate war of late.

Look up any Indigenous tribal culture and raiding for women was rampant. In one wonderful book in my library, A Stolo-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, it details how rival tribes used the tides to raiding advantage heading up the Fraser River in the south of British Columbia.

In what used to be freshet flooded plain between the cities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, BC, the natives who lived there became known as “people of the reeds,” because they would run really fast over the swamp, knowing just where to step, and escape into the hills, They bought extra time by seemingly walking on water while their pursuers would stop and sink into the bog where they could be killed by warriors lying in ambush.

In the old growth forests overlooking the plain, the tribe had constructed hiding places, camouflaged earthen caves dug into the mountain where women and children would wait while the men fought the intruders.

Women have value, and that value is sought after by men. Put all the men over here in one group and all the women over there in another group and soon you will see the men drift towards the women. It’s an irresistible pull, a natural force of nature itself programmed deeply in mankind’s psyche.

It’s why when the Titanic went down, we put women and children in the lifeboats first. It’s the first thing honourable men protect in a society: women and children.

That doesn’t put them on a pedestal but just recognizes this truth. The w.o.w. effect (women are wonderful) is a measurable reality. Right or wrong.

So is a woman’s other side, her tendency to compete covertly using mean remarks, social exclusion and by trying to win over your friends and allies. Her power can be abusive when it’s turned against you.

Neither is recognizing abuse of empathy as her birthright pedestalizing her.

I’m older, experienced and more educated than my missus—all things which count for fuck-all when we argue.  It’s recognizing her power and according it respect. Value judgments are secondary to appreciating how she is made and operates.

Get bitten by anything in the animal kingdom and the chances are it will have been by the female of whatever species. From mosquitoes to lionesses, females are survivors of the fittest kind first and foremost.

There are key differences between men and women. Don’t listen to the social constructionist “move to androgyny” narrative prevalent in western society. Equality of opportunity is one thing, but generally men and women are too different to be considered equals. This post is about her value to nature, so I won’t go over our many differences. It is enough to say the case is strong nature makes her more valuable than men and that men, therefore, are more expendable.

There are good and bad in both sexes, and context is everything. Using scarcity—a widely accepted measure of value—women are more valuable based of their shorter fertility window alone. She has roughly 20 good years, between ages 15 to about 35, before risk to her and baby go way up.

Men have triple or more her fertility period. I’ve already told you about the 90-year-old farmer in Rajasthan who fathered a baby girl with his fourth wife in 2007. I myself am 62 with an eight-year daughter and six-year old son. Women can’t do that and if they do, it makes international news.

Heck just look out at the bird feeder and see the male Cardinal in his bright red plumage (or most other songbirds). Meanwhile, the female is more buff coloured. If a Sparrow Hawk (American Kestrel) happens to catch the couple unawares, he’s getting it first. That is expendability.

This same male expendability is reflected in society where men are 90+% of workplace deaths, up to 95% of deaths from war, etc. These are all things you know. To think men are not the expendable sex is to deny reality. Seems to me we can accept this with grace and make the best of it, or we can whine about it.

We are also far more likely to die in childbirth and die earlier in life. Our life expectancy is less than a female life expectancy.  There are  more developmentally challenged men as well as more bright ones at the two ends of a Bell curve. Women cluster more safely in the middle of distribution.

I agree there were constraints on women in days of yore that do not exist today. This is largely irrelevant to this discussion and so I’ll skip the presentism to theorize about the merits of old cultural norms.  But it’s also true that: “Ont as tous les qualites de nos defauts.” Translated:  “We all have the faults of our qualities.” Both sexes are good and bad. On that we are equal.

I’d like to see more discussion in society about women’s and men’s preferences and differences but without the blaming (and anger). I also think a man can get stuck considering these things and embrace a disdain for women, and I see evidence of this every day. If your view of women rings with contempt, I suggest that is an unsettled part of your personal maturation as a man. Same goes for women.

Just as men have great gifts of aggression, sometimes this gets the better of us. In one context aggression is critical, in another it’s a detriment. An aggressive man who wants to fight you is one thing, one that will back you up in a fight is entirely another isn’t it?

A woman who can maneuver covertly and win over people to her cause is a bitch when it goes against you. But when she uses her power in your favour. it’s more than tolerable, it’s encouraged. I’ve seen this too many times to discount it. Context.

I have spent the last few decades learning sex differences as a result of being disappointed with my father when I mentioned I was having a hard time understanding women. He answered, “You’re not supposed to,” which I thought was weak as fuck. Resolving to do just that I found my father was wrong: we can understand each other, and it’s not that hard.

I have been following along from a behavioural science viewpoint while observing how women work through my relationship with Gallup and as a Strengths Coach.  As VP for the largest paid sales newspaper company in the world where ran teams of teens and young adults in close quarters for a couple of decades—giving me access to a live lab of sorts.

I was never a red pill type, but I listened to Tom Leykis in the early 2000s for a few months and saw the reality many men were facing (with the traditions of womanhood, shall we say, long on the wane). I also lived through feminism’s heyday, something I find contemptible now. Well intentioned but mistaken idealists I call them.

I just think the answer is to know our strengths and weaknesses on each side of the gender energy divide. I’m aware of women’s faults, but also appreciate her gifts. I’m aware of men’s faults but appreciate his gifts. We are a team, and a people, and knowing our tendencies and proclivities is critical to having any chance at winning any kind of game, the game of life included.

I’m not intimidated by either gender’s powers gone awry; nor am I deterred from finding the awe on each side. That’s the thing about male maturation. If you are to become an elder of your tribe, as a man you will need to discover the inter-connectedness of all things, including this energetic female force you may presently find so befuddling.

Men and women have been banding together since the dawn of time to benefit from each other’s strengths and shore up each other’s weaknesses. If we were the same, if she were more like me, there would be no need for each other. Think about that for a moment: what kind of egocentricity demands others be more like us?

Fact is, her depth and wider perception balance out your narrowness and single-mindedness. Her power with people and your power with things are what makes you an unbeatable team. Striking a balance which respects differences while recognizing each other’s value and place in the natural order of things is what makes the pair bond interesting and rewarding. What’s bad about her? Instead, try: what’s good about her? Men lead; women command.

It is only when a man is fully secure in his power that he can appreciate the intricacies of his relationships and see magic in those around him. You must push yourself to find this wellspring of strength, even if it is pain which motivates your quest for consciousness is slow. So little of your existence makes its way into awareness that each small realization is a gift of body and mind and heart.

This is what a man’s power really is: it is agency over his being. It’s him taking the hidden parts of soul and the quiet voice of spirit and finding and living his potential and possibilities. You have a bigger mission in life than just understanding women. Make that part easy.

Find it early, find it late, we must all find love.

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

©2019, Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to men, mentor at large

BOOK YOUR FREE CALL HERE

The rose breasted grosbeak at my feeder. The darker male has white and black colours with a rose breast while the female sitting on top of the feeder just blends into the background and is barely visible…

SLEEP HORROR


SLEEP HORROR
Sleep in this morning? Needed it maybe? Not worried? Maybe you will “catch up” later? Good.

Perhaps you are on modern society’s treadmill, a pawn of the bankers and their capitalist soldiers using interest to create scarcity and competition. Like a junkie’s tolerance, their heroin is ever-increasing growth at any cost, never enough, more and more. That’s life, right? Can you keep this up?

Indeed, chances are for you there will be a  “personal reckoning” of some kind. You suspect this already. Sleep was your God-given right. It was your blessing from the universe: your dreams a therapist’s couch and an art school within the confines of your head.

That you are not alone in this struggle offers little comfort. “We die together,” might be our valiant stance. How honourable. For what cause was this again?

Best get on it. Why? Think you can scoff at your body like that and get away with it? Modernity is relatively new; Mother Nature is old. “Don’t be obtuse,” said the warden to the prisoner…

“Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer. Insufficient sleep is a key lifestyle factor determining whether or not you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Inadequate sleep—even moderate reductions for just one week—disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic. Short sleeping increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, setting you on a path toward cardiovascular disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Fitting Charlotte Brontë’s prophetic wisdom that “a ruffled mind makes a restless pillow,” sleep disruption further contributes to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and suicidality. (Walker, Matthew. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (p. 3). Scribner)

Fuck me. Walker takes all the fun out of insomnia. Speaking of which, I suffered this way from about single digits until my 30s. Unluckily, once out my parent’s home at 15 years of age, I gained access to intoxicants to knock me out each night, from hashish to booze to heroin. I say knock me out because although I was unconscious, apparently sleep still evaded me. What did I know?

In my thirties, I temporarily gave up all that shit. Oh my, and insomnia returned. It was like meeting an old bully you thought was left behind years ago and then after transferring into a new school, you find them there, well-established and hanging with those you intend to make your friends.

I learned self-hypnosis and defeated insomnia. Defeated it. Although, I eventually allowed substance use to creep back into my life, I was a more of an intermittent user. Functional, until those last few years that is. Both these things were gifts. I solved that addiction riddle too. Defeated it.

It’s the dreams you see, you can’t escape them. And, for better or worse, we need them. I can sleep in a gas station parking lot with cars going by now. I almost slept through the birth of my second son sitting in a chair ten feet from the missus. “Wally, you’re going to miss it!” was her cry. I awoke to find her and her sister and the nurse giving me the look women give men for being men. Oh, I know that look so well.

“They went painlessly in their sleep,” should be everyone’s hope. To go out that way is to gift wrap the inevitable. Link up years of sleep deficits with how sleep tunes the brain up each night and your chances of facing significant mental decline increase exponentially. It could be the difference between dying horribly and dying healthfully in your sleep, your DNA clock simply having wound down to zero.

Rob yourself of sleep and you may face dark dementia days ahead. With dementia, your brain slowly breaks down, and the horror is you are aware of its every step into madness. The horror, yes. You see and feel yourself slowly getting stupider and there is nothing you can do about it. Stupider, yes.

Your frustration falls on sympathetic but capably deaf ears, speaking of which the voices of those you love become garbled. Garbled, yes. And this might make you mad, so angry you fight back, swinging wildly in self-defence and at other times in righteousness. Whereas most of your life you were occasionally wrong and corrected yourself with humility and an apology, now you are always wrong.

You might take a walk down the hallway of your locked ward, this institution where you now live. You see others and take a seat among them to rest. You put your hand on your cane to steady yourself as you sit. Someone gets up to leave and wants your cane. You refuse to give it up, a struggle ensues. You get the worst of it. You are 89 and both your eyes are blackened. The horror… it was their cane after all.

You just don’t understand…. Anything.

Your speech goes from full sentences down to phrases. You nod a lot at those who visit… if you have visitors at all. For a while, at times you read better than you hear so some take to writing notes for you, you know, so information can enter what’s left of your mind using a different pathway. Soon the letters on the pages might as well be Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Eventually, your confidence is so shot you are afraid to even venture a word and instead, stare silently doing your best to convey your mood with your eyes and facial expressions. A smile, a shrug, the odd eye-contact is what you are left with. You may feel like the family dog now, and so you sleep. You can still eat if it’s put in front of you, a lifetime of putting food to mouth not gone yet.

Until you are left staring straight ahead, in the stink from pissing and shitting yourself, great blistering red rashes burning your balls and ass. You scream in pain and lash out at your well-intentioned tormentors, your only salve the drugs you are given to knock you into unconsciousness once more. That’s when you shit yourself again and your torturous cycle of shame and humiliation begins anew.

The pain of your care awakens in you glimpses of injustice. These are triggered deep inside you as if you are being molested while mentally in a coma yet physically capable but weakening more by the day. It’s like you are immobile while being operated on without anesthetic, and your screams go unheard. Powerless, you are outnumbered, and alone.

You realize this is an awful way to go: and you never thought in a million years it would come to this. How can this be?  You are awake and it’s as if brain worms are slowly consuming your reason, but you can’t stop them. They are locked inside your head, slithering among your neurons, multiplying in your Glial spaces, swimming in your cerebrospinal fluid, laying eggs, building a hungry army of young consuming your brain whilst you are alive and listening. Oh, the horror.

Get your sleep. How will you make it a priority? How?

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

©CKWallace 2019 all rights reserved
Advisortomen.com

Get help with your insomnia by booking a free call here


Lieutenant Commander H.C.Wallace (ret)
1929-2019
You’re life counted dad,
cw

THE CRAZY 8

THE BOUNCE The emotional crazy 8 involves bouncing from one negative extreme to another. Following the graphic , you see it goes from versions of sadness over to versions of anger and back to versions of sadness and back and forth again and again. You observe it in folks all the time, and you’ll notice […]

GRIEVING LOST LOVE


Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

Regrets? I’ve had a few…
After a breakup, it’s almost certain we will find ourselves a little sad. For some of us, it’s a process akin to grieving. Should you show sadness, concerned friends might inform you of the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. “Grieve!” they will tell you with the best of intentions. I’m not so sure. Kubler-Ross’s five stages were developed from her observations of people struggling to accept terminal illness. Only later was the paradigm applied to grief and eventually, to any general loss.

Fact is, loss is not a one-size-fits-all process. While important to consider if you get stuck, there is no rule which says you must pass through all or any of these stages to regain your sense of self. On the contrary, many people are liberated after a breakup, reveling in their newfound freedom, even asking why they didn’t do it sooner. Others have their whole model of the world shattered and require time and work to find their footing again.

New interpretations of the 5 stages of grief emerge every so often. One with good keywords shows up in search as the 7 Stages of Grief. These include 1. Shock and denial; 2. Pain and Guilt; 3. Anger and Bargaining; 4. Reflection, Loneliness and Depression; 5. The Upward Turn; 6. Reconstruction; and 7. Acceptance and Hope.  I suppose these seek to expand the stages to include wider loss by adding key ideas about the moment we might turn things around as well as the work involved in rebuilding a life after loss. I like the expectations in these, they seem familiar.

In some respects, this is a variation of the Hero’s Journey, which also follows a predictable pattern. Derived from extensive research by the mythologist Joseph Campbell adding to the work of CG Jung and others, we go through a series of these Hero’s Journey’s as we live our lives, usually in these predictable steps.
1. Hero confronted
2. Rejects challenge
3. Accepts challenge
4. Road of Trials
5. Gathers Allies and gains power
6. Confronts evil and is defeated
7. Dark Night of the Soul
8. Leap of Faith
9. Confronts evil and is victorious
10. Student becomes Teacher

The Hero’s Journey always means transcending ourselves for someone else or for a greater good. A sure way for women to do this is to give birth, whereas outside of war, men must find other means of moving & growing through its challenges. That could mean college or university, joining the marines, training for a charity marathon, moving cities or taking on a new job somewhere. I say breakups are one of those ways.

Let me give you another perspective: we exist in each other. The idea that you and your loved ones are separate entities is an inadequate way to describe human existence. It’s far more likely that our attachment to each other encompasses more than just a physical safe haven we return to. It also involves a much deeper connection at the soul and spirit level, and more obviously using intellect and memory.

Think of a pod of dolphins. Evolving in the ocean for fifty million years, they are said to have a greater para-limbic system—the emotional part of the brain. One dolphin hits the beach and suddenly, the rest of the pod follows suit. The good citizens in the area rush to the seashore to “rescue” the dolphins from the horror of beaching. And what happens? Sometimes a freed whale or dolphin swims merrily back out to sea. Often though, if one dolphin is still on the beach, the others simply beach again, over and over, to everyone’s frustration. It’s as if they must as one pod; it’s as if they exist in each other.

Every close relationship we have with another person means part of that person is “left” with us, just as we leave part of ourselves with them. I find myself saying and doing things like my father and mother did when they were alive.

When my son shits his pants out back a couple of years ago after being at the top of the Chokecherry tree and not being able to get down on time to go, I knew exactly how to handle it with kindness, patience and generosity. Why? Because my father had done the same for me more than half a century before when I was about four or so and had an accident out in front of the house in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In fact, it’s my first memory of my dad, one of a half dozen or so I’ve never forgotten. Confronted that day with my boy’s dilemma, it was not me but my father who answered.

This is what happens when we love someone and lose them in whichever manner. My father died a couple of weeks ago, surrounded by sons and daughters, He went with his hand held just the same way as he had held his own father’s hand back in 1990 near the same spot in the veteran’s home. Where I exist in my father was put into doubt at that moment. This could sustain my grief longer as the existential question, “where is that part of me now?” remains open and unresolved. But where my father exists in me is never in doubt.

One’s beliefs play a part in how loss is maintained. It’s the idea a part of me “over there” (in the other person) is now unknown… whereas it WAS known until recently. Religious faith can take advantage of metaphors like heaven and earth, purgatory, or reincarnation to lessen our pain. An aspect of this dynamic is present in any loss. In a breakup especially, it is as if the other person is leaving with a part of you. Absent the metaphors of religion, how do you handle it?

In the case of loved one’s death we welcome this idea of existing in each other as comforting, for they are never really gone. Their influence and the memories of our shared existence echoes endlessly down through time in those left behind. When I shut my car doors with the kids strapped in their car seats, I say, “watch your fingers, watch your toes, canteen open, canteen close.” It’s the rhyme dad learned on the ships in the navy and which he said before slamming the car doors of his 1967 Pontiac Parisienne loaded with his nine kids all those years so long ago. He’s not gone at all.

And what of the other half of that equation? If we exist in each other and she has left with part of me, that means she has also left part of her behind. Now you might be thinking, “that’s my problem!” and you’d be partially right. Can we realistically excise a part of another from our soul once it has been placed there by love? It’s unlikely.

If the soul is the epigenetic influences upon your ancestral DNA passed along through methyl groups and added to your emotional experiences since birth, then contrasted against humanity’s collective unconscious, the spirit is its calling. Lifted at sunrises, at the stars, at nature, and sometimes or often at each other, the spirit is an action which should regularly awaken awe within you. It is a deep stirring, an indomitable will to live, a creative calling to serve the universe with the gifts of your unique potentials and possibilities.

In that context, what should you do with this part of you left behind by your former lover? Should you poison your own spirit out of fear and loathing? Should you deny the lessons learned and the love once shared? To toss the whole of it is to cut of your nose to spite your face. You were once good together, that changed. Lessons learned, perhaps even cherished.

The problem is often one of self-concept. That’s comprised of how you see yourself contrasted against how you believe others see you. You play a balancing act between those two most of your life as a social animal. To do the work is to rebuild the self-concept so that it is once again imbued with confidence. Both parts are under our locus of control.

Everyone one of my long-term relationships left me something beautiful. It’s up to me to find this wisdom and claim it as my own. From Sylvia and Claire to Marie as teenager and young man, and as a mature (debatable) adult with Debbie and the women in between, each of whom I trusted and was vulnerable with to the best of my ability, each of whom taught me to be a better man than I was with her, each of whom sent me forward to be more. This is nature’s way, the calling of the universe.

Currently, missus gets the best version of me though I’m not done yet, not by far. And, neither should you be.

If we are not expanding into the night and days of our travel through time, we are stagnating or retreating. A man using his power in service of himself and others finds meaning and freedom.  What is love but an internal projection, a part of self reflected outward onto other as if they were a tableau upon which you are laid bare. Think of that for a moment.

Like two comets streaking across the sky at night, you and your ex’s orbits were just sufficiently different to ensure your eventual separation. Blame physics if you must.  It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault unless the pain of your regret serves you in some way, perhaps by letting you know that to feel hurt is to be alive, to suffer is to exist. I am reminded pain is inevitable in life, though suffering is usually a choice.  Be careful of that one.

What if we haven’t lost love at all, but instead, have been given the opportunity to find a deeper love within us? Unshackled from unsustainable confinement, insecure attachments can next become secure. Now you get to check in with the soul and answer the spirit, and to rebuild your self-concept in a version of your choosing.

What if you exist to learn to  love and give? What if living IS giving? What if this your Hero’s Journey, your pain a Dark Night of the Soul awaiting its Leap of Faith? How will you rebuild even better than before?

Find it early, find it late, we must all find love.

Stay powerful, never give up,
cw

©2019 CKWallace, all rights reserved

Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to Men, Mentor at Large

Reach me here for a free call

MOTH TO FLAME: orgasmic love

One of the things I espouse is the idea men are often hampered by expectations around the subject of love. Particularly, I see unconditional love as a myth unintentionally perpetuated mostly by women in the normal course of providing care and attention to their children.

The child fully buys into the idea of mom’s unlimited love as a survival-based strategy. Bonding with mom could mean the difference between life and death. She answers the child’s every cry, nourishing from her breast while expectations for her attention become unconditional in the child.

The connection to the mother is so fundamentally etched into the youngster’s psyche that his growing world revolves around her attention. Understood, accepted and encouraged in children, anything more than remnants of this force is suspicious and pathetic in an adult male.

The sooner a man can disabuse himself from the expectation of unconditional love, the faster and more assured will be his ascent into manhood. This separation is painful and tends to be avoided but must happen. Define manhood, or even adulthood, however you like but it must include a goodly measure of autonomy from reliance on family of origin programming, the mother’s influence especially.

A man who does not do this will search for his mother’s love in his partners. You will still find something of your parents in those you choose in life, that’s the depth of their influence.  The people we love are simply a tableau upon which we project our inner needs and desires. Beware of expecting unconditional love.

What about love in general? It’s defined down through the ages by poets and scientists to great writers and ordinary individuals.  Oliver Wendell Holmes said that love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness. While others say love is an exquisite adaptation, a coping mechanism that ensures species survival.

I say it’s an almost useless concept in your relationship. Men should be aware of its power and give a nod to its existence, but not much more. It’s too vague, too immeasurable, too prone to illusory definitions rooted in personal history to be of much use as a guiding force in your marriage.

Concede love describes attachment and leave it at that. Take it off the shelf and give it a poetic turn now and again, but not for day to day utility. Instead, use lust as your measure. Each of us is possessed with anima/animus, the influences of each sex; love is the anima, the feminine, while lust is the animus, the masculine.

Stephen Porges speaks of a love code, saying it has two parts: “Phase one is social engagement, which uses cues of safety via engagement behaviors to negotiate proximity. Phase two deals with physical contact and intimacy.” (Porges, Stephen W. The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe p. 123. W. W. Norton & Company, New York).

So, phase one: presence, phase two: physical intimacy. I don’t know if you can extrapolate from this to the attachment questions suggested by Prof Sue Johnson: “Are you there? Are you with me?” Truth is, these two forces—connect and contact—are the essential elements of love.

In the Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex (Reinisch, St Martin’s Press, 1990. p. 76.) Dr. John Bancroft of the Centre for Reproductive Biology in Edinburgh, Scotland, speculates the non-reproductive functions of sex include strengthening of the pair-bonding, fostering of intimacy between partners, providing pleasure, bolstering self-esteem and reducing tensions and anxiety. No kidding John.

Masters and Johnson write about a person’s readiness for love whereas Kinsey Report author Dr. Reinisch thinks this is worth expanding further to the idea of a readiness for sex. Now, we are getting somewhere.

Consider women’s sexual peak is later than men’s, and by a far margin. The report says, “Most men in adolescence and young adulthood report more frequent orgasms than do older men from all sources, including nocturnal emissions, masturbation and intercourse… On the other hand, women experience their highest number of orgasms from their mid-twenties to their mid-forties.” So, why would that be?

In my view, given these years are smack dab in the middle of her pair-bonding days, and she’s likely long with child if it’s destined to be so, we ought to realize female orgasm is less about reproduction and more about intimate attachment. Same with men.  Each ejaculate has from 40 to 1.2 billion sperm. At just once per day, the math for procreative possibilities in a year are mind-boggling. Fuhgeddaboudit.

Remarkably, a woman’s ovulation period is 12 to 24 hours once per month. Yet, she can blow her stones every day of the week all year long at any hour she chooses. Why would nature give her that ability for just 12 hours ovulation 12 times per year? Or, 12 days out of 365?  At 3%, something doesn’t add up.

I think the reproductive aspects of sex between adults is a minor function embedded in intimacy which primarily uses orgasms as its bonding agent. The bonding hormone oxytocin is released during childbirth and when else? Orgasm, with benefits from increased serotonin to greater blood flow to the brain. Post-orgasm, women keep producing oxytocin for a period of time.

It’s about the orgasms. OK, I’ll go further and suggest sperm is the glue which holds us together. And, that’s not even considering sperm as nutrition, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and which may also play a role in mitigating a woman’s anxiety and depression. Come on.

Also, just think of what that means, to have an orgasm in front of someone. Usually stripped naked, the body and its every crevice is exposed so that your partner has full access. You lack weapons or protection: no armour or shield, nor a dagger hiding under your cloak or fur. Caution is thrown to the wind.

There is no hiding during orgasms, it’s a surrender to each other. The abandon of orgasm sends your face into contortions of pleasure where you must risk your partner’s glances. Only she sees you this way, just as only you see her.

For me, if a woman doesn’t make good faces when she’s coming, there is no hope for us. Her smell and climaxing facial expressions are what determine if we shall meet again unclothed. If she shudders during the moment, even better. I have no idea where this comes from in me, seems shallow but it’s real.

Think of the moment of orgasm and its inherent temporary loss of control. Who “stands on guard for thee” while you engage in your moment of bliss? Of course, your companion does. We do it to and for each other.

What is she first… this woman you profess to love? Is she first a mother? a worker? a businesswoman? a friend to her gal pals? an advocate for your children’s education? a community member? a churchgoer? All these and more I’m sure.

But she is first a sexual human being. This is her essence and no amount of time or bearing of children changes this essential fact. She is sexual, treat her so.

What of it that her best fertility years are two decades between 15 and 35, though her best orgasm years go another decade or more far beyond? What does this say? When you consider living to 50 years was a full lifespan until a couple of hundred years ago, it means she gets hornier as she ages.

Orgasms equal trust. When we have regular orgasms with someone, we trust them. Orgasms between a couple are the ultimate physical manifestation of “are you there? are you with me?” the two essential ingredients to attachment. As I like to say, “without trust, you’ve got nothing.”

My mother had ten pregnancies in twelve years producing nine children. My sister moved into my parent’s basement suite when the old folks were nearing their eighth decade in age so she could keep an eye on them. Every Friday night my dad tiptoed into my mother’s room and they were intimate; she could hear them. They went like this until ma got cancer at 85. Dad died recently but he could still get his dick hard from what the staff at the old folks’ home told us.

The need for sexual touch never leaves us. We are always down to let our partners play with our balls and to fondle her pussy. It’s the grand and not-so-secret privilege and submission we each accord other… and it never goes away.

My woman will “service me” when she’s not up to a full copulation. I often “service her” in the mornings when I’m half asleep and she’s… well, just lying there. The point is that quickie orgasms between a couple are one of the easiest ways to ensure and protect your intimacy bond. “It is I who has access,” it says.

So, how do you swing this with your woman? You need to negotiate it. It’s either that you assume the sale at the beginning and secure her agreement, that this part of you never shall wane, or you need to kick start it now. Men lead; women command.

What if there are children? More reason to set this tone outright or reclaim it.

When the airline attendant does a pre-flight address, they announce something like, “In the event of a loss in cabin pressure, masks will fall from the ceiling in front of your seat. Please ensure you put on your mask first before attending to small children.” This is a good simile for the mindset you need regarding you, missus and the kids. Parents need to put themselves first. It’s the pair-bond that must hold priority, for without it the children are imperiled.

The best thing you can do for the children is stay together. The best thing you can do for yourselves is to live harmoniously putting your marriage and relationship first. Orgasms are like insurance against divorce. Rare is it we leave someone who is giving out regular orgasms. Orgasms also act as an attachment barometer.

I encourage you to have this discussion, to tell your woman some of what is contained within this essay. See if you can get her to agree to make your physical life together a priority. Over the years have found most women who embrace this are quite good with it, feeling as salty and as earthy as nature intended.

I flirt endlessly with my gal careful to never appear needy. The idea is to sell her on our differences. She can express herself verbally and perhaps get her nurturance needs through her girlfriends and the caring of children and in some cases, elderly parents. You admire the scope of her emotional life but share no such tendency of your own.

Instead, like many things about men, you are rather unidirectional. It’s one of your great masculine gifts, the ability to concentrate on one task to the detriment of all other distractions. You also are less hampered by needs for emotional regulation compared to women. We express ourselves physically, and our lust is its primary manifestation. Can she feel lucky she is the object of your desire?

Never let a man leave the house hungry or horny, says the maxim. Plenty of truth to this one for sure. Everyone likes to be someone’s chosen.

And what of the silly notion she’s always vying for a higher status male? She bet on you when you had nothing, putting the lie to this idea. Only if forced she’d choose in her best interests because she could. Should she not? Trust me, be her powerful man and her preference is to stay put. Why? Because people will do almost anything to appear consistent. You are the devil she knows. Give her orgasms, you devil.

Ideally, even when she’s not up for immediate action she may circle back and take care of you both at some point later. Usually that day or the next. You do a version of the same. You neither pout, nor sulk, nor ever, ever beg. It’s like sleep makes diet and exercise healthful… and orgasms make marriages work. She understands this because there is a part of her that needs it too.

So, it’s a question of mindset. Your woman can understand this precious gift between you needs to be maintained with regular orgasms. It’s how men express themselves and we don’t have a woman’s depth to do it otherwise. Don’t you dare let anyone shame you into believing this is somehow selfish or wrong. Nonsense. That’s an argument begging rebuttal, to be met with unapologetic masculine desire.

I’d urge you to pick your time and have this frank discussion and make sure these desires are not left unmet. Insert orgasms somewhere in your vows, either outright or as a secret word to signal your intent with each other. “In the name of God/The Universe, I, (groom/bride’s name), take you, (groom/bride’s name), to be my (husband/wife), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish by providing endless orgasms, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

What if you have a fight? “Don’t touch me!” might be yours or her reaction. You need an understanding this could happen. Make a deal right now that reconciliation is sealed with an orgasm. Better still, let it be known that each may turn to the other for reassurance at any time and request proof of commitment, sealed not with vague notions of love, but specifically with orgasms. Are you with me?

I have been with missus thirteen years and we have two children, boy six and girl eight. The boy has some medical challenges and she is often up two or three times in the night to attend to him in the next room. She has the same hormonal fluctuations and spotting between periods and horrible cramps as any gal. Outside of more serious sickness, we give each other orgasms.

Because I treat her first as a sexual human being, that honeymoon period people refer to at the beginning of a relationship has scarcely ended. I’m always after her ass. I flirt with her constantly, encouraged by her intermittent reinforcement in the way of attention and access to her body. My father said of his wife that he was like “a moth to flame” around her for their sixty-two years together. He always wanted her, right to the end.

Let me tell you again: everybody loves to feel like they are someone’s chosen. Everybody. You, me, everyone. No exceptions.

Your job is to her powerful man, and she your loyal woman. That’s the dynamic.

Do not apologize for being male (unless it gets you an orgasm) and never deny your masculinity. Just as you appreciate her feminine gifts and all the ways she enhances both of your lives, insist your masculine energy be equally respected so the two of you may celebrate while rejoicing in the safe haven you have found in each other.

As a man ages he gains wisdom and may discover the profound connectivity of everything around him. Your appreciation for art, literature, music, nature and things ethereal may know no bounds. Compassion expands along with it: find it early, find it late, we must all find love.  You may realize the universe does not make mistakes and we are as we should be, including our sexual expression. May your private moments with your partner help you see the awe in each other.

Put lust first and let love take care of itself.

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

©2109 CKWallace all rights reserved

Dedicated to Lt. Cmdr (ret) Howard C Wallace, 1929-2019, R.I.P

Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to Men, Mentor at Large

BOOK YOUR FREE CALL HERE

services here

SHAME FREE

One of the things which plagued me for many years is a sense of personal shame. I don’t mean ordinary shame, the kind you get from using poor table manners or coughing without covering your mouth. Those slight corrections by adults are necessary and acceptable.

Nope, I mean a different kind of shame, stronger in intent and effect. It’s a shame deeply internalized stemming from the messages from those around you, one that says you are broken, perhaps irretrievably. You haven’t simply made a mistake, it’s your operating system which is instead called into question. It makes you the odd one out, the black sheep, tossed aside as part of the cost of doing business in the family making model. In my later years, I framed this contention in the worst possible terms, often referring to it as my “piece of shit” shame. Pain does that.

You see, I felt broken most of my life starting early. My time as a child was not a happy one. When I protested whatever conditions were at the crux of my toddler discontent, ma would laugh. I would say, “it’s not funny ma,” which to her became cute, as if “it’s not funny, ma” was an endearing slogan representing my youthful self assertion. Melancholic disaffection is evident in the recent photo I posted of myself as a wee boy with dad and a few siblings. Misery abound has followed me since.

As it is with so much family of origin programming, into the world at large I went after first finding, confirming, and compounding my worthlessness at home. That day at 15, when father told me there wasn’t room for two roosters under one roof, where I was tossed into the cold October with a weekly stipend of $10 each Wednesday until my sixteenth birthday a month or so away, was simply an inevitable confirmation of my low worth.

I was born a 9 pound and 10 ounce baby and given the name of the Christ-bearer. It was to become my modus operandi: weighted by sin and accumulating more. I went from fat baby to Little Chrissie, a nickname given to me by my older sister and mother. It was only later I returned to Christopher, with stops as The Wolf, The Shooter, The Doctor, The Professor, Wallypops and more along the way. Little Chrissie still resides somewhere… in here.

All of us are born with a soul and a spirit. We can’t measure them, but we know they are there. We have an inkling, and both forces operate beneath the surfaces of our awareness while we are nagged at by each in turn. To deny them as unscientific nonsense is to turn your back on a fundamental part of the self.

When searching for answers, cutting off access to even these ethereal parts of existence is like going into battle with less ammunition instead of more. Everyday life can be as blissful as it is painful, and confusion is a necessary part of our maturation. Life gets better when we get better at life, and an appreciation for soul and spirit is another aspect of personal mastery.

I conceptualize the soul as ancestral epigenetic influences passed down through the methyl groups of my DNA mixed with mankind’s collective unconscious. We know both exist, quantified by recent advances in psychology in the first case and the seminal works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell and others in the latter. Grandmother’s hardships are felt for generations despite completely different conditions. Holocaust survivors pass along their pain soulfully to their children and beyond. Alcoholism runs in families.

The same symbols arise over and over in mythology and religions around the world, often despite no known contact between cultures continents apart. Even my father while writing his own obituary, felt a pull to include a paragraph about his founding immigrant to Canada and the generations since, as if he knew to pay homage to his soulful self alongside his lived life.

It might be better to understand these things by asking just how much awareness we have in the first place. We know the unconscious exists. Action potential in brain firing neurons has already shown we live emotionally and interpret events later. Sperry’s split-brain research a half century ago, continued by his student Gazzaniga and followed by advances in cognitive understanding by Nobel winner Kahneman and added to by Ariely and others cumulatively shows we are mostly deterministic.

Consciousness is slow which confirms an unconscious. When something comes into awareness it has already happened, then we scramble to explain it. Jung would tell us the psyche is buried by the self trying to learn to conform and then buried further because of the personae (masks) we wear in our various roles co-existing among each other during everyday life. It is anyone’s guess as to how large the unconscious is. It might be awareness is 20%, another 20-30% is your personal subconscious, and fully 50% might be collective unconscious. No one knows for sure.

Whatever it be, it’s more than we think. We are all born with a sense of justice. That’s collective unconscious. We are all afraid of the dark. That’s collective unconscious. We come into this world afraid of heights. That’s collective unconscious. Children who have never seen a snake will naturally fear them. That’s collective unconscious.

Suffice it to say there is a part of us which, while immeasurable and mysterious, is no less real. Should we have occasion to be far out in the desert, away from city lights, or perhaps up North in Canada’s arboreal forest, looking up at the night sky will reveal the Milky Way in all its glory. Whose spirit is not lifted in awe at this wondrous sight? What of a sunrise with its first blinding brilliance as it cracks the horizon to the East? Who cannot but feel their spirit stir at such a sight? Great art, music and natural wonders are just some of the ways the spirit appears in us.

Whereas the soul represents some essential part of our now and includes our past, the spirit begs us to add to our soul in the present, but also future expressions of all the potential and possibilities unmistakably bestowed upon us by a universe of infinite wisdom at the very moment of our conception. We see time and time again how the spirit rises in people, how they come back from adversity and confusion only to find their way forward, often beautifully.

I rarely shed tears, and funerals and the death of loved ones only stirs me to attend to the necessary at hand, perhaps as a way of mitigating my pain. But give me an overcoming, show me the undaunted human spirit and I am more surely moved. The underdog story, the impossible triumph occurring when people reach somewhere inside for the spirit’s calling and answer, fills me with an awe attributable only to a collective soul, the part of me that is also a part of you.

Potentials and possibilities, this is what the spirit whispers… Perhaps it’s just a feeling of something more, something unheard, a nagging sense your destiny includes not only a duty to others, but also a duty to yourself. We must listen to hear; it’s how it works. And for that we need to feel safe, secure enough to bend down and put our ear to the ground, listening for the distant rumblings of soul and spirit galloping forward with their message of hope and faith, of aspirations and dreams not yet fulfilled.

What did they call you as a child? Who were you before conformity demanded you squelch the noise in you, turning you down for the sake of convenience? Well-intentioned I’m sure, it’s this imposition of civility upon the savage child which often sacrifices the spirit. We can find innocence and the purity of our imagination lost to rules and uneven punishments for being nothing more than children. If that was you, take my example.

Move to protect that part of you which still exists and needs you now more than ever. In my case, I speak to Little Chrissie and tell him he is not alone. He has Wally, older, wiser, more capable, resourceful, and especially, more powerful to look after him now. The fully mature Christopher can reassure this part of me and re-parent him the way I’d want to protect and reassure my own six-year-old son.

I might say, “I’ve got you Chrissie, I’m here now. No one can hurt you; I won’t allow it. I sense your unease and let me tell you: I’m bigger and stronger and more powerful, and I know all about what you are feeling. You have me on your side. You are safe with me Chrissie, you can come out now, the danger has long passed. It’s time to live your dreams once more. It’s time to fly, to shine, to rise up and do whatever it is you were intended to do. We are a team, you and me, an unstoppable team. Join with me now.” Chrissie listens, he was always a good listener.

Criticism is painful for the shamed. Yet, criticism has a gift as a signal for what needs to be done. Before I let Chrissie know I had his back, criticism stung and devastated, confirming once more my uselessness and waste. Now, I can see criticism as a barometer of my shame, allowing me to measure its dissipation from the inner world of my being. Aroused from its slumber, shame is instead acknowledged. I say, “Oh look, there’s my shame again. That’s what has got Chrissie’s attention but he’s safe here: it can’t hurt us anymore. I’m just going to let that go now…”

Soon criticism is as fine as a compliment, just feedback. Criticism does not speak to my soul nor my spirit for these are part of my inner self, exclusive to me, in my realm alone. It’s just an environmental report representing the reporter as much as any true reality. It’s like when I had a bad hair day in high school and suffered the embarrassment of my imperfections. At some point I realized that no one really cares about my hair, it was their hair they cared about. In the same way it is their criticism, and I only make it mine by choice, the same way I accept kindness. Both are only real when I make them so.

I wonder if you might have a talk with your younger self and see about reassuring them now. Maybe you won’t do that now but soon you will. When you do it’s likely you will find this relationship allows a dialogue to continue and become stronger. As the conversation ensues over the days and weeks and months, suddenly you will find its your spirit with whom you speak.

By making room to acknowledge your soul and nourish your spirit, a deeper strength begins to manifest itself in your life. This is the power of the ages. It’s the gift of your being, the indomitable spirit rising and living its destiny. Answers come more easily; the path forward more assured. A man who uses his power in service of himself and other finds meaning and freedom.

Not because you can, nor because it is something you want for yourself, while, of course, you do. No, not just that at all, for it is more, it is something you owe. By honouring your spirit’s pact with the universe you are set free.

Like the man said: thank God almighty, free at last.

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to Men, Mentor at Large
©2019 CKWallace, all rights reserved

Let’s talk about spirit or anything else in a free call here

advisortomen.com
advisortomen.thinkific.com

THE BODY

Feelings live in the body. Huh? Did I get your attention? It’s kind of an important idea.

Need proof? Well, for one thing we know trauma locks the “freeze” part of fight, flight, freeze and feint into the body. Take that as your “proof.” We can carry trauma in the body for the whole of our lives, can’t we?

I still get a sore back sometimes when I feel powerless in a situation. Hurts like hell, so bad I can sometimes have a hard time standing up. But… no pain, no bliss. Makes me want to ensure powerlessness is not a big part of my life.

Ever tell someone, “you give me a headache” or a version thereof? How about when mom said, “wait until your father gets home” as a little boy or girl? What happens when we anticipate punishment? Do our guts flip? Do our bowels move? Do our hands go cold and clammy?

Let me ask you: what are you doing to take care of that body of yours?

Are you lifting? What? Weights are only for guys? Think again. Humans—both men and women—have lifted heavy objects throughout our history just as a matter of course. Don’t let the last hundred years fool you. We are still the people our collective evolution made. If you are not presently lifting, start there, and never stop. Never.

What about yoga? That’s just for girls? Give your head a shake. Men have been involved in yoga from the beginning, haven’t they?  Look at those swami guys in loincloths bending and twisting. I bet they sleep like babies at night. Fallen out of practice? Restart or continue, and never stop.

Late comedian George Burns did the 11-minute 5BX system every day and lived to 100.

Perhaps you have convinced yourself the body is somehow separate from your mind. That it’s just there to transport you around. Maybe you think it’s sort of the engine room and sewage infrastructure of your being and can somewhat be taken for granted.

After all, the body is beneath you, right? Not a great idea (did I just write that?)

Disconnecting from the body is why we get out of shape, put lousy foods into our mouths, neglect our sleep. We can develop contempt for the body. Where is that from? Maybe from good intentions as we push ourselves physically as children, demanding more and more from our frame and then losing touch with our anatomy as ego takes over and social standing prevails. We go from a narrower internal focus and widen to a more external one as we develop.

Get this: if feelings live in the body, it’s also where your unhappiness resides. Think about that.

Whoa. Unhappiness is something we try to avoid. Is that why we avoid our body? Does this mean if I neglect my body, I am refusing to face my unhappiness? Maybe. You decide.

Let’s talk about those feelings for a moment. How’s that all work anyway?

Feelings are predictive (not reactive) responses based on what is going on in the body (interoception). The vagus nerve complex connects the body and organs to the brain and reports on its condition faster than awareness. Sure, the brain signals the body but when it comes to the vagus—also known as the tenth cranial nerve—more than 80% of its neurons are afferent, meaning they signal towards the brain. That’s a lopsided signalling system for good reason

At any given moment, this basic reporting from below is what the brain uses to predictively meet circumstance and put you in a best-guess emotional state—beneath your awareness—all based on your databank of prior emotional states since birth (what else would it have to go on?). It then corrects after-the-fact according to the social reality before you

Ex. You come home and are snappy at a roommate. Later you eat and realize you were responding to hunger because you had not eaten all day. The body determined your state.

Think about this: A baby has very few feelings, restricted to things like crying when hungry, discomfort when it needs changing, or the need for its caretaker’s gaze and physical attention.  But as its experience grows so does its feelings repertoire. What this means for you and me is this: the only way to create new feelings is to live new experiences.

If you want to shift your state change how you think or what you do. Language and focus are both mental and physical so act as passkeys to unlock the doors of state from either side.

The body is faster. And, more lasting. If someone has an anxiety attack with their gullet flipping and breathing labored and progressively shallower, a painful knot can develop in the sternum area, that center part of the chest where the rib cages meet. Jogging brings relief in minutes.

Feeling a bit tense? Do ten burpees. Can’t do burpees? Why not? Don’t lie to me.

OK. Do ten deep knee bends, or some jumping jacks, or dance for fuck’s sake. Get moving. Even if it’s just to smile at yourself in a mirror. If desperate, bridle a pen across your mouth to force it and feel what happens.

Thoughts reflect what is happening in the body. What heresy is this, you say? How is this possible? The hungry example above explains it. It’s because consciousness is slow. If something comes into your awareness, it has already happened.

What? How can my precious mind not be in charge? Well, it is… and it isn’t.

It takes over once consciousness allows something into your awareness. Not before. That’s where free will starts. The rest of the time you are responding to your body’s needs, and those constitutional signals continue as you think. It’s why the Greek said an unexamined life is not worth living. He was probably a little pissed at realizing how things really worked.

We live emotionally and use our brains to “rationalize” things after. And whose side do you think the brain takes in most of those explanations? You betcha: yours. It’s your inherent bias.

And what is the brain relying on to come up with those handy explanations or rationalizations or excuses? Indeed, messages from the body. Messages whose main function is to keep you safe and which are all based on your prior experience. It’s motherfucking humbling…

I have more bad news. no one else has ever experienced life as you have, and so cannot feel what you feel. I know, I know, some people are em-paths, and maybe you’re not. I call bullshit.

Fact is empathy is always a projection of one person’s feelings onto another person. What we have as human beings is enough shared experiences between us to make it seem as if we really feel what someone else feels. But we don’t really. Some just try a little harder.

And all those times you just can’t seem to relate to someone else? Stop beating yourself up. It’s probably not that you’re an unfeeling psychopath (who are actually very good at what we regard as empathy and use their ability to read emotional states, especially body language and facial expressions, to manipulate people and circumstances for their own benefit).

It’s more like you just don’t have those kinds of experiences being shared and so can’t even fathom what they might be feeling. That is perfectly normal and so, cut yourself some slack.

Here`s something else that is pretty important about the body. Your microbiome. These include the bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists and viruses that come along for the ride. You’ve been colonized since coming down the birth canal and out your mother`s vagina, and then you’ve been adding to them throughout your lifetime.

Ten times as many non-human cells and human cells inhabit “you,” and these suckers need to eat as they perform necessary functions in one of the greatest symbiotic relationship known. They benefit humans and we can’t survive without them. We are only beginning to get them.

Knock out a bunch of them with antibiotics and your behaviour can change. A researcher from UBC had an assistant whose son was sick many times as a child. Antibiotics brought on autism-like symptoms. After a few years of frustration, she gave him a fecal-transplant, and repopulated his gut with her organisms. Symptoms went away. Now the kid has grown and works in the same lab as where his mom once did, under the same professor.

If you have a skinny sister and a fat sister, and the fat sister can’t seem to keep the weight off despite years of dieting, what would happen if the skinny sister gave the fat sister a fecal transplant? By repopulating her gut with missing microbiota, would she lose weight more easily?

What about mood. Think you crave certain foods in response to some mental process? Well, no, we’ve established that’s not how things work. The body will tell you when it needs glucose, we’ve established that too. But what if what if what you eat really does affect how you feel? What if how you feel is greatly influenced by the quality of your diet? What if how you take on the challenges of your life are largely determined by the foods you eat? We think it might.

Oh my, what if you really are what you eat? What will you do with this information?

You think you live someplace. You might even have an address on a street. Maybe you also have an apartment number, and maybe its got letters in it too. But that’s a construct. It’s artificial. It’s a place you go to when you need to park your stuff and pick up your mail or rest your head.

For where you really live is above a mere house or apartment or hut on the savannah or cabin in the woods. It’s much, much more for it is a place where the forces of all time have gathered.

It is where your ancestors used the methyl groups of your DNA to send you their gathered messages against a backdrop of mankind’s collective unconscious, thus giving you a soul. The soul exists because we sense it is there while the spirit is its calling. One is more past, one is more future; one is more static, the other moves.

The spirit is lifted at a sunrise, while gazing at the stars, at art and nature, often at each other. It’s also what calls to us, often as a stirring. The soul and the spirit form the inner self we subjugate as children developing ego while learning to conform. The masks we wear bury them further.

Yet, if we listen the spirit calls us from somewhere deep inside. Usually we point to our heart or guts or halfway between, somewhere inside the middle of our torso as its source.  It is the blessing of the cosmos in its infinite wisdom, the force behind the sun and the stars, the same one which gave us life and demands we manifest a powerful existence.

It is that part of you which contains all of your potentials and possibilities, all safely residing in the body: the universal address of your existence.

How will you get to know it, take care of it, listen to it and move it?

How about today?

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

Chris Wallace
©October, 2019, all rights reserved

Advisor to Men, Mentor at Large
advisortomen.com
ckwallace.com

To schedule a free call
BOOK TIME HERE