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Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Mistletoes

This week's manly quote:

"You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time of year is the perfect time to remember a phrase often quoted in men's circle and attributed to Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach: "When I go home and I'm Buddhist, everyone hates at me. When I go home and I'm Buddha, everyone loves me."

It is all too common for our judgments to become overwhelming and permeating when reuniting with family around the holidays. And for good reason: judgments are a way of feeling less connected by separating ourselves from the humanity of others (and, perhaps, ourselves). Judgments are a natural reaction to discomfort and vulnerability - especially when we are in a space where, historically speaking, vulnerability is not welcomed or encouraged. It is an understandable defense mechanism that is not easily unlearned.

This year, we suggest two things: First, try to notice when your thoughts are creating a judgmental story and remember that you don't have to believe them. These stories we create about others are often filled with guesswork and assumptions and it's best to discern between the reality of what we are experiencing and our interpretation of this reality. Second, and perhaps most important, we suggest taking the advice of Tara Brach and focus on "being the Buddha." This means not convincing everyone you are right or that everyone should live according to your ideas and ideals. This means deciding how you want to live, what values are important to you, and show up modeling exactly this.

In other words, you don't need to convince anyone your way of living is "correct". It means demonstrating what courageous and successful living means for you while giving others the freedom to be themselves, to walk their own path, to struggle through their own challenges, and to be on their own spiritual timeline.

And, of course, if you are needing any extra love and support, men's circle will be here! Every Monday, always open, always free.

No matter your faith and traditions, we wish you all a peaceful, safe, and crazy joyful holiday season.

We love you.

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