Adding Whimsy To Our Date Nights: The Art of Buying Kale

Recently I read a medium article all about a woman who got annoyed with her boyfriend when they went grocery shopping. She blamed it on her own impatience, but to me it seemed like she was really annoyed because her partner got all soft and floaty in the grocery store. The problem they had was how to buy food while also being in the flow of romantic love.

While it isn’t always easy, here’s how my partner and I create art out of buying kale.

Whimsy Dinner 

Right after we started dating my partner said to me, “Every time I go to the grocery store there’s always stuff I want to buy, like cool vegetables, or random noodles. But I always stop myself because I can’t figure out what I would do with them”

We had been having one of those early relationship conversations where you talk about how you do ordinary things, grocery shopping, buying clothes online, or washing the dishes. 

“Well what if we went to the store and you just picked out what you wanted and I’d figure out how to make a meal out of it?”

She smiled at me. “You would do that?”

I smiled back. 

The feminine at the grocery store. 

My partner’s desire was 100% natural. Since she likes to live in the feminine she likes to follow the flow of her inspiration. She can totally plan and execute her own meals but this was something different, she wanted to be able to listen to her inner guidance and choose food based upon that. 

The masculine at the grocery store. 

When I’m in my masculine I love a challenge. Give me a complex set of things to organize or a difficult conversation to have and I light up. The idea of getting a set of random ingredients I needed to contain into an edible meal inspired me. I also loved that I would get to watch her choose random items and follow her joy. 

The first time we went shopping it was magical. She went from aisle to aisle picking out random food. I didn’t even know what fennel looked like before she put it in the cart and I really wasn’t sure how I was going to work pomegranate into the meal either, but I just let her wander as I followed her with my phone out looking for recipe ideas. 

That night we had arugula, fennel, pomegranate salad to start, garlic rosemary chicken, with roasted golden beets finished with beet greens and honey goat cheese for the main course and assorted mochi for dessert. 

And we’ve done this almost every week since then. 

The reason it works is that we aren’t attached to the outcome. When we do these whimsy dinners, we make an effort to go with the flow and be with each other. We work to embody the whimsy in our relationship. It’s not always easy in the day-to-day, but having specific nights and times set aside to do this works really well for us.


Healthy Adult Relationships Are Boring: 5 Lessons You Need To Know

Relationships are supposed to be exciting.

And I’ve done exciting.

I had an illicit affair at a monastery. I bought an overnight ticket and showed up on a a woman’s doorstep with flowers. I’ve had sex in central park and on the long island railroad.

But despite all that excitement, nothing lasted. Except maybe the heartbreak and the stories. All of this has taught me that adult love healthy love isn’t really all that exciting, in fact it’s actually pretty boring.

Drama is for the movies

In the movies, romance is always exciting, but the love is rarely healthy or well balanced. When you watch movies pay attention to the background couples. The one’s going to work and making dinner, the ones the protagonist who can’t seem to get his shit together is always talking to.

These people are too boring for the main characters but they’re happy. They talk about their problems, they get along, they love each other, without needing to overcome triumphant odds.

Hot sex is never the answer

Immature passion is fueled by conflict and tension. Adult passion is generated from commitment, love, and devotion.

There are adults who are boring and passionless, but it’s easier to create passion with some romance and creativity than it is to create healthy love from dysfunction and co-dependence.

You can have hot sex, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of stability and love. In fact being able to talk about your desires and find excitement means more hot sex as your relationship deepens.

Things that work are smooth

Anything that works well is smooth, a bicycle, a car, a train, a relationship. Yes relationships are hard, and you’re going to have breakdowns. Knowing how to change a tire and talk things out is important.

But if the ride is always rocky and you can’t go a few days without a problem or a total blow up, that’s not workable. It doesn’t mean either of you are broken. It’s rare a breakdown is due to a single part, instead it’s usually the system that isn’t working.

If you can go to a coach or counselor and get it worked out, great. But be honest if it never was that smooth to begin with.

It’s probably your fault

When things don’t go well we like to point the finger at someone else, but more often than not it’s on you. Not because you’re the one who’s the bad partner, but because you’re not being clear about your boundaries, what you want, and how you’re really feeling.

It’s easy to make things appear good by not talking about anything, but that’s not healthy. You’re just waiting for time bomb to go off. If you talk often, things settle down, they get boring, then even your disagreements become predictable. It’s not perfect, but healthy love isn’t perfect either.

Get responsible, clean up your side of the street, and if they can’t meet you there, walk away.

Life is mostly about boring moments

90% of running a marathon is boring miles and steps. There’s 5% at the beginning where you start and 5% at the end which is somewhat exciting.

That’s basically how life is. I live a pretty incredible life. I’m nomadic. I hike over 10 miles every weekend. I do work I love. And most of my life is boring. It’s just the good kind of boring.

Finding simple joy in the small things is a cliche for a reason, because life is literally made up of boring moments.

Sure it’s nice to look for someone you can run off into the sunset with. But what if instead, you looked for someone you’d enjoy waiting for a bus with. Or someone you wouldn’t mind getting up in the middle of the night with? Or someone you could sit across from dinner and say nothing with? Not because you had nothing left to say, but because you didn’t need to say anything at all.

That sounds like the kind of love worth looking for.


Offering a No From a Masculine Perspective

The feminine doesn’t like to hear the word no. Or at least the feminine in me doesn’t. It can get bratty, resistant, and even a bit defiant. And yet the feminine longs for a strong no, a no it can’t shake or get past.

Recently I did some work with other men, one of the men asked me to take on a practice. I said no. I felt him fully with my heart, I loved where he was asking from, but I was still a no.

It was perhaps the most powerful practice I have offered another man, my complete honest and loving no.

For the masculine the no can feel quite powerful, you draw a line, you put it forth with aggression NAY ANGER, your no is furious, full or power, and solid.

Or the no can be plaintive, rejecting, longing for freedom and throwing no’s like daggers of resentment.

But there is another way. A way to offer the no with love and clarity. A subtle sense that there will be aggression or stand if need be, but for now the no is offered, with an open heart and a strong back.

For a long time I felt afraid to offer my NO this way. I either threw it angrily or flopped it out on the table hoping no one would notice. I’m afraid my no would make her leave, make him mad, and make me bad.

So I hid my no until it became ferocious until my NO was scary enough to be listened to.

Slowly I have learned to see the gift in the NO. NO and I love you. NO and I’m not making you wrong for asking. NO and I mean it.

This gentle loving line, this supple stand, the clear and powerful offering of a NO to the feminine. The feminine may not ‘like’ it in every case, but it learns to trust it. As I have learned to trust my own masculine more and more.


Can You Help Me Meet Myself?

Can you help me meet myself?
Because that’s what you said
That we could never hope that someone would meet us
Not fully
That we could only
In the slow tenderness
Of long nights
And long cries
Meet ourselves

And so
If we’re no longer looking

For an empty piece
For a heart to match our own
For a forever person
Because nothing is forever

All we can ever really hope for
Is for someone to help us

Pick up the broken pieces of the mirror
That we’ve been cutting our fingers on
For so long
That we don’t even remember what a hand
Not covered
In dried or wet blood
Feels like any more

Can you help me?
Pick up these fragments
So softly
That I no longer cut myself

And turning the image
Towards my own tired eyes
Red from grief
Full on longing
And a glimmer of hope

So I can see myself
As you see me
As my friends see me
With love
And understanding

Can you help me?
Reach through
This shard of an image
To touch my own hand
And feel the softness of my own skin
And the warmth of my own heart

Can you help me?
Meet the me
That will show up with love
And give it
Even when I’m certain I’m not worthy
Even when you’ve left me
If even it’s simply to go on a trip
Or to the bathroom
Or for someone else
Or for a destination beyond the beyond

Can you help me?
As I help you
Arms entwined
Each with our own jagged edges
Looking at ourselves

Until we look up and notice each other
Meeting those me’s
And smile


Is it enough?

Each day
Waking to a question in my mind

Is it enough?

This body
with some muscles and some fat
some wrinkles creeping in around my eyes
some part of me leaking out when I don’t want

Is it enough?

This life of making coffee
doing work I love
but making less money than other people make
and more than many do
having less fame then other people have
and more than many do

Is it enough?

The noise of traffic outside
a few plates in the sink
things mostly in their place
but clutter too

Is it enough?

A walk with friend to pick up dinner
talking about things we’ve talked about before
and yet enjoying the new curiosity on old pages

Is it enough?

Knowing the I’ll get old and die
well actually not knowing about the old part

Knowing it will be forgotten
all the laughter and angst

Knowing the earth is getting hotter
that racism is still a thing
that I don’t respect our leaders

Is it enough even though it’s never enough,
more days
I could handle anyway
more money
than I could spend
more life then
I have stomach for

Is it enough?
And what if it was?


Accept It or Change it: Eliminate Suffering In Your Life

If the world were full of angels, or robots, or digital avatars things would have the possibility to be perfect. But the world for good or for ill (and often both) are filled with humans. Humans have the potential for other worldly creativity, love, passion, dedication, sacrifice, and possibility. But they have the equal potential for stagnation, hate, boredom, laziness, selfishness, and scarcity.

You can look at your own life and you can see both. Elements, moments, events, etc that show your divinity, your endless possibility . . . AND failures, bad habits, shameful episodes that show your frailty, fallibility, and even your dark evil parts.

Because of this we often encounter other people and people-created institutions that annoy or frustrate us. The DMV, tax bureaus, bosses, retail stores and clerks, and all sorts of other things. We often wish these things worked differently and so we commit a two way sin
We refuse to accept things the way they are
We have no clear commitment to change these things.

This is where suffering comes in. If we can accept things, even if they are bad, we can be at peace with them. Even if this takes time and work, acceptance is a powerful human trait.

And of course, there are some things we don’t want to and probably shouldn’t accept. If we’re unwilling to accept something our only other choice is to commit to changing it. If we don’t, we’re essentially committing to suffering.

Because A – Things don’t usually change on our time table and B – when we refuse to accept things that we aren’t working on we tend to get very whiny and victimy about those things.

Committing to changing something is daunting because a true commitment to change requires we meet the thing we want to change fully where it is and become responsible for it being or occurring differently to us regardless of other people, situations, circumstances, history, or habits.

And this is hard because we like to blame other people for showing up as humans (even as we ask forgiveness for how we show up that way) is one of our favorite things to do.

But all progress is dependent on people doing just that. Seeing what they can’t accept and working to change it despite the obstacles that arise.

So we’re back to our BIG choice again, do you accept it or do you commit to change it?

Because even if it doesn’t change, working to change it can give you meaning, drive, hope and possibility. And even though acceptance might be hard, accepting something that is can liberate you from the suffering attached to it.

So you’ve got to pick. Change it or accept it. And no matter which you choose, you will be literally creating your world from choice rather than from the resignation that suffering so often causes.


Is Luxury Stingy? Overpriced Hotels and Restaurants

I love staying at nice hotels, but often they feel like a ripoff.

While the La Quinta Inn in Walla Walla Washington offers free wifi, the Grand Hyatt in Los Angeles charges $5 a day.

While In and Out offers free refills on sodas, some five star restaurants charge you $2.00 for every glass you get.

The cost of hosting one more person on wifi or giving someone another $.05 glass of soda is marginal, but the impact is significant.

Maybe most people that go to nice restaurants and hotels don’t care about a dollar or two here or there. But for me instead of creating an experience of luxury, it creates an experience of stinginess. I start to feel like I’m getting nickeled and dimed, because that’s what’s happening.

Which makes me think about who I am as a leader and business owner. Because generosity (within reason) almost always leads to a sense of spaciousness and abundance. Whereas holding things tightly creates the opposite impact on both sides.

So the question is how do I want people to experience me as a leader. After all, the word of mouth created by my generosity is much less expensive than the cost of advertising.


Receive Her No With Grace and Graciousness

The true test of a man shouldn’t be how many women he can bed, or how much money he can make, but rather how much grace and graciousness he can show in receiving a no.

No one likes to be rejected, shut down, or told no.

It can give you a feeling of being stifled, shamed, judged, or even of having your worth denied.
But even though you can do a lot to impact the no that’s offered, what really matters is how you react to it.

A no is not something to be worked around. To be cajoled. To be pushed past.

A no is an invitation to pause, to get curious, to reflect, and to lean in with an open heart.

This is especially true when a woman tells you no.
And even more true when she tells you no gently.

It’s brave for a woman to say no.
Because we live in a world where no from a woman is a dirty dangerous word.
So if she gives it, gently and with love it means she trusts you or hopes to.

She is asking with hope that you will be the kind of man who honors this no, feels the fullness of its gift, and is willing to swallow any pain that might arise and simply be with her.

A no isn’t personal anymore than a fenced yard is, or a keep off the grass sign.
No is the simplest unit of a boundary.
No is a line that helps you see where your desire hits her comfort or willingness.

Her no is a gift because it tells you exactly where you are.
It gives you a ground to stand on and explore with her or within yourself.

Sure you can ask about the no, get curious about what might have it be a yes, work through nos that want to be changed, but you can only do this with honor, if you can receive it with grace and graciousness.

The grace to hear it and really feel its power.
The grace to let it land and to pause before you react.
The grace to own what it brings up, while also honoring how it was offered.
The grace to learn from this no and to hear the no behind any yes so that you can feel where the chance for growth (mostly yours) lies.

And alongside these graces, graciousness.

The graciousness that she trusts you to tell you no, (esp directly)
The graciousness to be strong enough to not collapse in the face of it.
The graciousness that she doesn’t want you to step over an edge that might damage your connection.
With a graciousness that she is offering you a chance to honor and even heal her with your loving reception.

This is a true test of what it means to be a man.

Because a man who is strong in himself, truly honors the one he’s with and is capable of accepting challenges with dignity and courage, is a man all men should all work to be.


How I Reply To Social Media Posts I Don’t Agree With

Anti-vaccination posts.
Anti-mask posts.
Posts about Bill Gates being a Lizard King
Posts that spread racist or sexist ideas

You see them all the time. You don’t agree with them. But what do you do about them?

This question comes up for me all the time. And each time I’m torn.

On the one hand, I know that allowing misinformation and bigotry to spread unchecked only makes things worse.

On the other hand, EVERY time I respond to one of these posts I get attacked, piled on, dismissed, or even worse I somehow seem to invite more conflict from both sides.

So what do you do?

To be honest, this is why I avoid commenting on posts I disagree with, but when I do I have found one way to offer a different perspective that seems to create the most space for people to connect around their shared values.

Here’s what I do:

1) Talk about your own experience – Instead of telling people they’re dumb or crazy. Simply share your own experience of you’ve grown and changed in your understanding.

For example, this year I bought a gun for target shooting. I believe in gun control and yet when I went to buy my gun I found the process frustrating. It seemed like there were so many loops to jump through and details to manage. But then I remembered that if I was angry or bent on violence all the steps and safeguards may have given me space to really think about my actions, it might have helped me calm down, and decide to not hurt someone I cared about. I get how annoying it is, but I’m glad we have laws that help keep us safe.

Now when I talk to people who are against gun restrictions I can share this experience. Not from a place of ‘guns are bad and you’re a violent nut for liking them,’ but from a place where I truly honor the desire to do something you enjoy and the frustration with laws that seem to get in the way of that.

By sharing your own experiences of how you relate to an issue, you make your opinions about you. You invite people into a story of your life, rather than creating a story about theirs.

2) Honor other people’s feelings – Often when we disagree with someone we discount how they feel. How can they be angry at immigrants? How can they be scared of something that’s been proven safe? How can they feel so reassured by false facts?

But even though they may have come to a different conclusion, their feelings are real.

SO when you talk to people honor their feelings. Express empathy with their desire for freedom, the longing for safety, their sense of unfairness, and then offer a new way to look at the same issue.

“I understand that you get angry at the thought that people who break the law might take jobs from law-abiding citizens, it makes sense, and I learned something the other day about immigrant labor that made me think differently about that.

“I understand that vaccines feel scary and that after hearing some people’s stories you feel cautious. When I hear those stories a part of me feels worried too.”

When you do this, you’re letting them know, ‘ You’re not crazy to feel that way’ and I have a different take on it. When you really hear people, you make it easier for them to hear you.

3) Don’t make other people wrong – Finally, if you can, don’t make the people you’re disagreeing with wrong. We usually do this by saying things like

“people who don’t wear masks are idiots” or “anyone who doesn’t get their kids vaccinated is a bad parent”

If someone is calling you an idiot or a bad parent, you’re not likely to listen to them.

So instead let them be who they are and simply offer an alternative point of view.

“I get that people who don’t wear masks care about their personal freedom, but for me, I realized that in this case, my freedom might hurt someone I love.”

“I can really feel the love anti-vax parents have for their kids. I care about my kids too and I’m scared they might get sick from some of the horrible diseases we have vaccines for. . . “

By understanding and honoring their intentions even if you disagree with their conclusions makes a big difference.

At our core, we all want the same things. We want our friends and family to be safe and happy. And while the strategies we use to get there might be different, the desire is the same.

Learning how to tap into this, is sort of like a magic spell. One that helps us connect with the deep humanity underneath opinions and points of view. If you can learn to come from this place consistently there’s so much that’s possible. ANd it’s this kind of deep compassion that our world needs now more than ever.


The Annoying, Unavoidable Nature Of Practice

Some people don’t understand practice and the simple power it has.

Instead they imagine there is a way around it. They think if they get the right book on the subject, it will make it easier. Or maybe if they go to the right class or conference, then they’ll figure out a work around they didn’t see before.

They think they’re going to meet someone who will make everything better. Someone who will feature them on their blog, cast them in a show, or give them a valuable connection. But it takes more than books, classes, and luck.

If you want to get better at something you have to practice. Not dabble, not play with, but practice.Tweet: If you want to get better at something you have to practice. Not dabble, not play with, but practice. @mindfitmove

You have to sit down in the chair, on the cushion, in the seat of vulnerability, and actually practice.

Creating work with meaning and value takes practice. And this doesn’t just apply to creatives, it applies to everyone.

Loving relationships take practice. You have to practice communicating, being vulnerable, and working through tough problems.

Strong friendships are no different. You have to practice showing up and sharing your hopes and fears.

Mindfulness takes time, on the cushion, off the cushion, and in super imperfect practice, because most practice isn’t perfect.

My Life

I’ve spent way too much time in my life looking for shortcuts and ways to hack around practice. And while there are ways to lessen the amount of your practice, you can’t entirely avoid it.

I’ve met amazing people, had amazing experiences, and learned amazing techniques. And while I’ve loved each and every one of these blessings, my own internal sense of taste and purpose keep calling me back to the magic that happens in the midst of the slow deliberate practice.

No one else can do it for you. Only you can own it. It is your life, one word, brush stroke, and conversation at a time.

So stop avoiding the practice and get to work. The sea is merely a few hundred miles away, if you simply set your sights and start walking.