Episode 23…Messy but how to clean it Up?

So, I will put this out there first. I never said communication wasn’t important. And never pointed any fingers.

All I Was saying…

Is to maybe look at what barriers are affecting the level of communication.

People, therapists, the “GURU’s” say all you gotta do is talk and things will somehow magically get better.

Communicate…

Those therapists and “GURU’s use it as a buzzword to avoid the laziness that comes with thinking deeper about an issue.

I talk to people all day long. Doesn’t mean it is effective or accomplishes anything really.

Like I’m famous for saying, “Without intention, nothing specific Happens.” What is it you want to happen?

Never heard therapists and “GURU’s” ask that either. Is there really a reason to talk, just to talk?

I even have to be a lot more intentional with what I want to accomplish when having conversation or communicating.

And, just to reiterate last week, what I apparently failed to get across is that before anyone can communicate effectively and deeply enough for transformation and deep bonding safety has to be first and foremost.

I can talk to anyone until I am blue in the face and unless it is intentional and received in safe environment then all the oratory skills Socrates could muster would be met with ill will.

And I am sure most of you probably know that Socrates had to drink poison because he was trying to communicate in a not so safe environment.

Understand this…

Communication is important and much more effective when transpiring in a safe environment backed with the intentionality of accomplishing an outcome.

Otherwise you may just be talking to hear yourself talk. By the way it is messy. And a lot of times happens organically. Begin with an outcome but don’t be derailed by visiting a few other stops along the way.

Thank you for understanding the episode in all it’s messy glory. It’s real. It’s life.

That is the way I like it. Unscripted and raw. Until next week.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

All about that safe….about that safe….no trouble!

Maybe some of you would recognize the title as a play on words of a little tune that was popular a few years ago. If not, no big loss, I tried.

Stand up comedy was never really my thing.

When deciding about marriage and what was important to making it work, I came up with I believed to be the five most important “things” to have. But, of course I couldn’t just call them “things”. I needed something way cooler.

After much thinking I started doing some research on stones. We can think about stones in a couples of different ways. But, what came to mind for me was stepping stones. The way you might use them to go from one side of a river to another.

Assuming the stones are big enough of course.

Well, what I slowly remembered was that a “stone” is a unit of measurement in some European countries. It is the equivalent of 14 pounds. When I multiplied 14 times 5 I got 70.

Upon doing some further research I found out that the number 70 was the number of parables that Jesus spoke in the four Gospels. Not 70 per gospel but 70 if you add up the parables found in each of the Gospels.

So….stones it is.

Now, I like to think that the stones are in no particular order, seeing how each stone weighs the same. But then I realized that in order for everything else to work, the “safety” stone had to be the most important.

What does that mean?

It means that for any marriage to work well, I strongly feel that creating an environment of safety is the most important thing you can do.

Before your spouse can communicate…

They have to feel safe enough to talk to you. They have to feel like they can come to you about anything and you won’t yell, be negative, criticize, tell them there an idiot, or make them feel less than what they are.

Your job as a the head of the household is to make sure your wife (and kids for that matter) want to talk to you first about anything before they talk to anyone else.

They should know that you are not going to lose your cool and fly off the handle. If your wife doesn’t feel safe, both physically and emotionally, in the their own home then you really have to reassess what is happening in your kingdom.

Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 21…To Every Purpose…

What exactly is the point of it all? The purpose?

To communicate?

To conversate?

Why did language develop and why does it continue to do so? Does it actually make things easier?

I think I have more grace with someone who doesn’t speak my language because I know deep down there is some serious barriers to communication. So, that makes me more patient and understanding.

But, it is there I suppose. I am guessing we all use it for a different purpose.

Some just communicate to get what they want when they want it. Think about a crying baby.

Others truly want to understand a process because it will be worth their time to do so. Maybe think of a doctor.

Others may do it because they want to understand another human being. Maybe think a dating couple.

But, how much information is enough?

Will there ever be a point where two people can effectively quit conversing? Wouldn’t you eventually learn everything there is to know, or you want to know, about another person? Is there a natural point where talking declines? Maybe stops?

Especially when the mundane of routine kicks in.

“What did you do today”?

“Well, I went to work. My boss yelled at me. Customers yelled at me. My co-worker yelled at me. Now I’m home and ready for dinner and bed.”

“That’s great hon. Sounds just like yesterday.”

One of my favorite song lyrics was, “I believe I can see the future because I repeat the same routine.”

I imagine that is what talking is like after you get past the decade mark.

I mean you have seen them. That couple that sits in the restaurant awkwardly looking around so they avoid any eye contact, hoping not to spawn conversation. And when it finally does happen it seems to center around the new decor since you were last at that particular restaurant.

Then you ask, “How’s the meal?” As if you really expect that to kick off anything different in the conversation than the previous 42 times your spouse had the same thing.

So, I don’t know. Maybe you can tell me. Of course, I have never been one for words. I just trust what the Bible says about men of few words. We are the wisest.

Because one thing I have figured out. The less I talk, the less trouble I seem to get myself into.

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

To all the Special Ladies!

 

Wow…20 Weeks already. Nearly halfway through the year. Seems like I just begun. But here we are into Mother’s day weekend.

It has been an incredible journey and on today’s episode we have two very special guests, without whom my wife would not be a mother. And I would not have the coolest tribe on the face of the planet.

As frustrating as parenting can be at times I wouldn’t change it and it something everyone should experience. Either biologically or through adoption.

Eight years really has flown by. And most likely in another decade Liz and I will be empty nesters and ready for a different chapter of life.

The tired is still there. The house a mess. Never know if I am coming or going. Always wondering how to pay for everything but I consider that all marks of a life well lived.

And I want to say a big “Thank You” to the mothers out there for all you do. You truly do not get the recognition you deserve. I know Liz doesn’t. It’s easy for us dumb men to get into a rut and take things for granted.

I think I have mentioned before that behind every dumb, strong man is an even stronger woman.

I’ll leave you with a quote that I think is attributed to Mark Twain.

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Episode 19: Potpourri…Part 2!

There is always a continuation. Life and learning are not sequential.

There are many starts, stops, pauses, plateaus, uphill climbs, and downhill skids. You hope to find enough fun filled moments to offset the frustrating ones. You wonder what is next. If you have arrived. If you ever truly arrive.

It all seems so elusive. I keep waiting for my red pill:blue pill moment. What is success anyway? For far too long I have measured it by the good old bank account.

But I digress. I will just stop here and let the episode do the talking.

Photo by shawnee wilborn on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com) 
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 18: Potpourri…Part 1

Yes, it is all over the place. Liz had no idea what I meant by potpourri. But I totally had the whole Jeopardy thing going on. To say that tonight was hard would be an understatement.

Before we even got rolling with the recording we talked for about 45 minutes on what we were going to talk about. It is the oddest thing considering it’s unscripted and we are are not supposed to really know what we are going to talk about. I guess I have done a poor job with really getting my wife to understand how this whole thing really works.

And the conversation really did go all over the place.

Celebrations.
Cats.
Grace.
Mercy.
Success.
Showing up.
Having made it.

And even our own sappy movie ending 18 years ago that got us where we are today. So much to embrace that this thing became a two parter.

And I actually like it that way. So many of these things are starting to come down to the wire and feeling rushed to get these things out. But I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would be too boring I guess.

So…sit back and enjoy the two part potpourri.

Photo by heber galindo on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com) 
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

What to talk about…..when there is nothing to talk About.

Is it even possible to run out of stuff to talk about? I will be completely honest, I have never been a big talker. I really don’t mind listening. It is entirely possible that my wife wishes I would talk more. Didn’t help that my role models were less than inquisitive. Could talk sure. My dad and sister has never met a stranger. But it is always that superficial stuff. You know, weather. The Friday night football game. How’s school going?

Maybe it was because my dad was really a simple man. Just like the song. Be a simple kind of man. Never heard him talk life philosophy. Of course for the longest time sports was, and still is, his life.

He worked hard. Didn’t play all that much. Although he can still tell me about all those times he would get home after midnight from the softball tournaments. How he would sleep about four hours and then get and go to work.

I would say I have missed a lot about my family. Especially the ones that have departed this temporary existence. We all have things we wish we could change. That would be one.

That I talked more.
Sought more.
Inquired more.
Told my feelings more.

But I really didn’t think anyone cared to know or even be bothered by little old me. After all, what could I really bring to the table? Most of the time I ask people how they are doing because I thought it was the nice thing to do. And it helped alleviate the awkwardness of passing by someone and just looking at them. We really couldn’t come up with a better greeting?

Actually the better question is, “Why do we converse to begin with?” Why do some do it better than others? Why do some want to do it at all?

What is the main objective? What is the real need behind conversation? After we talk enough to have our basic needs met, isn’t the rest just excess?

Are people talking just to hear themselves? Do they like the sound of their voice? Most of the time I feel I talk just enough to get through life.

The avoidance comes, because if people talk long enough, eventually they will have no choice but to start telling the truth. And the way I have it figured out, if people knew the truth they might not like me very much.

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com) 
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 16: Success….or Thoughts Thereof?

When do we really know if we are successful? I suppose some on the outside looking in might actually mistake me for successful.

I’ve got the house. The wife. The kids. Running cars, water, and electricity. 2 Master’s degrees and about to finish my sixth year as a teacher. Whether or not I am successful as a teacher is a whole other podcast entirely.

If I really wanted to I could have even went out to eat tonight. So, for people in my position, and with something as intangible as success is, what makes people feel like a success?

My wife talked about things being meaningful and impactful. I thought my work as a teacher were both of those. But most days I don’t really know. I said that was another topic. But isn’t that what most of us think of? High up on that career ladder with lots of money in the bank?

I read an article one time about the seeming fallacy of succeeding. I know I am not going to get this right. But from what I can remember it was like the more success you have, the more success you want and after awhile most successes don’t seem big enough to satisfy anymore.

You keep reaching what you think is the end goal but there is always something else waiting. There truly is no goal line. What do you Do?

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com) 
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

“Without Intention, Nothing Specific Happens.”

So the the question again becomes, “What can you do in fifteen minutes?” If your intentional and extremely focused I would say a lot. Unless of course your trying to recreate the pyramids or something and then you may not get very far. In fifteen minutes I could:

Upload this podcast.

Get in a short workout.

I can talk to my wife.

I could do much funner things with my wife instead of talk in that fifteen minutes.

I can order groceries online.

I can play a game of checkers with my kids.

I could take a walk.

I could read the word of GOD.

Take a moment to text a friend and brighten their day.

Write everyday and in a year I might have a book.

Listen to a portion of a podcast.

Meditate.

Ride around the neighborhood with my kids on the bikes.

I don’t think there is any shortage of things that can be accomplished in fifteen minutes. It’s all about the quality over quantity. If your intention is to truly get to know someone better what good does it do to sit in silence for an hour. Putting a time on it makes you get it done. Don’t just linger in a space for an hour without any focus.

I started this podcast with the sole intention of getting to know my wife better. All the episodes combined we have accumulated a little over three hours of talk time. I have no doubt those three hours have been way more beneficial in getting to know her than just 3 weeks of “hanging out.” Intention equals precision. What are you going to do with fifteen minutes?

The One That Almost Wasn’t!

I am just glad this one got out. The technical difficulties alone were enough to nearly derail this one. We actually had to record this episode a second time because my media card decided it wanted to be corrupted and lose all the recordings on it.

But prior to that the devil was hard at work. I actually nearly recorded this one by myself because of an argument that my wife and I were having. I went into a seperate room, started recording and she shows up wanting to know what I was doing. The interesting thing is this is actually the second time something like this has happened. A few weeks ago I even contemplated a new direction with the podcast. One that did not include my wife because it seems amazingly difficult to just sit and talk for ten minutes. I suppose I could call it “Conversations I wish I were having with my Wife.”

I just have to take this on faith that this is a good thing. The devil is working because he knows what I am trying to accomplish with this. That I am onto something really great and genuine and of course he wants to see this fail. But in typical Elizabeth fashion she saved the day. And was gracious enough to do it a second time to beat all.

Now onto the episode itself. This past Saturday was our first big believing couples event. I think a great time was had by all. We are in the planning stages of the next one and am really excited to begin our monthly meetings. Yay for the couples. God Bless.