Men's Intuition

Men’s Intuition. Is that an oxymoron like government intelligence? Trumpcare?

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Once upon a time, I had been a life coach to kids. There were two basic tenets that I followed. One: Listen to them. Whatever they told me, no matter how ridiculous, I would hear them out. The reason was simple. I don't have the ability to read minds. To help them deal with whatever they had been going through, I depended on them to tell me. And because I didn't judge them for what they had told me, they felt free to tell me anything without fear of repercussions.

Two: I used my intuition to try and read in between the lines. Be it through their word choice, body language, and what their parents had communicated to me.

Women have always been the ones credited with having intuition. Studies have shown that to be true. But I think the reasons as to why women can read people better than men is because they were allowed to feel and express their emotions, where men were taught/scolded to hide them.

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Hence, our communication problems between the sexes.

In saying that, all humans have the ability to read each other. Some are better than others, but still.

I went to a party and met this beautiful woman. I was my charming self, of course, which usually meant that people run for the hills because I'm pretty direct. Self-censoring has been an issue. Not for me. For other people. Because I don't censor much. She and I traded numbers. We went out to dinner. Once. Afterward I knew I didn't want to date her. Friends asked me how my interest had fallen so quickly. I didn't know why. Initially, I thought it was because I was afraid to start something up, having just broken off a relationship. I did try to come up with reasons, but they all sounded false to me. She and I hung out. Became friends. And it was through our time together that I figured out why I hadn't pursued anything further than just a friendship.

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Listing out those reasons aren't important here. What's important was that my intuition, this silent voice within me, had pretty much killed my hard on for this woman. I could have taken the blue pill to liven my serpent, but that was not the issue. There had been no issue. And my fear that I didn't want to start anything up so soon after a breakup sounded reasonable, but that wasn't the truth either.

Often times when I'm at the gym, I want to talk to a girl. Sometimes I hesitate, which pisses me off. Women want men to approach them. So when I don't, I feel like a wimp. So I thank my intuition when I see their boyfriend come up and give them a hug or a kiss. Now, I'm not saying that every time I hesitate, the girl has a boyfriend or would be bad for me. But we as humans, especially in a world where intuition isn't relied upon as much, need to trust and cultivate it.

We probably act against this innate wisdom more often than not. The question is how do we know the difference between that truth versus our irrational fear that stops us from living life?

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First, we need to stop beating ourselves up when we don't do what we wanna do, or forget something, or fail. Beating yourself down is one sure way of numbing your intuition. When a parent yells at their child enough times, the child will stop talking/communicating to them. So when we beat ourselves, we'll either stop listening to our intuition, or you'll quiet its silent voice. Sometimes, if not all the time, our hesitations, forgetfulness and failures happen for a reason. Learn from them. See if you can get past them. Failure is the greatest teacher. It tells us that the thing we tried doesn't work. Now we know.

Second, when (irrational) fear doesn't involve death, maybe we let go of the break and stomp on the gas pedal and don't run over anyone. If you're dating someone, and it doesn't work out, then take the time to learn from the experience. If you want to start your own business, and it doesn't work out, try and figure out why. What you'll find is the experience that you've accumulated while trying something out will help guide you in your next adventure, be it love or business. And that's the great thing about life. The experiences. People get on rollercoasters because of the ups and downs and the twists and turns. Not to reach the end of the ride. People watch scary movies because they want to be frightened. Not to reach the rolling credits. What makes life memorable is the craziness. But if we let our irrational fear stop us from doing anything worth while, then is life worth living?

Hey Baby...

Babies. You can grow them. Julienne them. Boil them. Bake them. Sauté them. Juice them into a healthy drink. Or eat them raw. There are a myriad of things you can do with baby carrots. But I don't wanna lead you astray. Let's talk about babies, the human kind.

My last relationship ended because I wasn't sure I wanted to raise a child, let alone have a child. I told my then girlfriend that I leaned heavily on the side of not spreading my genetic material. Unless we're talking about a pearl necklace, in which case lie down and enjoy. As most women know, men do not have the best aim, so the pearls may come in different sizes.

We had many long discussions about children, whether I cared if she raised her Muslim—I didn't—whether I cared if she taught her Arabic—I didn't—whether I wanted her to learn Cantonese—sure but I wouldn't be the one to teach that language. About the only thing we agreed on was that my ex should fulfill her need to become a mother and that I shouldn't hold her back. So here we are.

I spoke to my office wife about children at length. But her perspective about not having children is much different than mine. Her biggest concerns were:

  1. Why bring children into this world?
  2. Why ruin your happiness?

Her first point referred to events like 9/11, terrorism, the death that befalls around us.

We as humans are capable of the most horrible of things, defining what a true monster really is. Spanish Inquisition anyone? The Holocaust. However, we can also create the most beautiful things this world has ever seen. Life it seems is just as common as death. As I have written, everything is in the world, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is what we choose to see that colors our reality in that moment.

Which leads us to her second point: Children lay waste to happiness. My office wife had talked to a few couples who have children. Some looked unusually unhappy. Some were divorced. Never had she mentioned knowing any couples with children who were happy. And that's the issue. She's colored her lenses so all she noticed were couples with severe issues and linked them with children.

When I write articles about my experiences with people, such as my encounter with this delightful idiot, people may think he's like this all the time. And that's not true. He's not often delightful. I'm sure he has his moments, few and far between as they may be. But I've colored my own lenses having only hung out with him a handful of times and not liking him all that much.

Now, I'm a chill dude. But I'm not chill all the time. Sometimes I get lost in my own thoughts and overthink, complain, whine, cry, and get fuckin' pissed off. I imagine parents are similar. They're people also. Sometimes they look tired because they are tired. Sometimes they're over joyed because their child said Mommy or Daddy for the first time, or composed his first symphony like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You know. Appreciate that small things.

The other day I was talking to my girl friend, friend that is girl. Well, she's a woman. Woman friend. She told me that her friend's boyfriend had broken up with her and stated the reason was she hadn't measure up to what he wanted physically, looks wise. I've seen pictures of this woman. In one word she's gawd dayem stunningly hawt and scrumptious. But that's not the issue. The issue lies with the blind feller. Maybe he doesn't feel a connection. Maybe he likes big breasted bodacious blondes. Who knows. So it is with parents divorcing. It's never the children.

When I wrote my book, I knew that war between factions, provinces in this case, was really the background to what the real story was about, a father and mother dealing with the death of their child. The war was like a catalyst or a magnifying glass that flares the issues within and between the characters.

Again, I imagine children to be like this. Raising kids ain't easy. There's a reason It takes a village is a well known saying. So it's not surprising that issues may bubble up to the surface in the insane chaos of a job called child rearing. But it's never the children's fault when it comes to divorce.

To me deciding to have or not to have kid(s) is extremely personal. Influence from societal norms, married friends with children and family pressure should not weigh in on that pivotal choice. My office wife doesn't want to have kids. But she shouldn't blame it on factors that our outside of herself. It's a personal choice and no explanation either way is needed.

Appreciate, Don't Depreciate

Black face anyone?

Black face anyone?

In researching and thinking about what people in my fantasy world do, say for fun, I had to hearken back to the days of yore. Not your, nor mine, but yore (woulda worked better verbally). Specifically, the medieval days because technologically that’s where my world relates closest. Being a huge fan of the Renaissance Faire, I get a slight glimpse of a world that once existed. In those times, there wasn’t much to do except follow a craft: glass blowing, blacksmithing, or delve into the arts like painting, sculpting, acting, writing. Plays were huge back then. And the Royal Court was a huge orgy. But if you couldn’t go to those things, then what did people do in those days of yore?

Earth Theater...I mean Globe Theater

Earth Theater...I mean Globe Theater

Aside from all the chores that needed to be done (there were a lot), there wasn’t much. So delving into a craft or an art was ideal, from my point of view. I suppose if I lived in my world, which I do every day, then I’d be a storyteller.

However, today we have access to thousands of things that can entertain us and turn our minds into a pile of mush. Yes, we can dive into a craft or explore an art form, but for most neither of those constitutes making a living. As a result, we watch TV, watch a ball game, a boxing match, go to the pub, hang out with friends, then there’s movies. But I think the biggest luxury came about in 2007: the iPhone.

That's a big iPhone

That's a big iPhone

When I got it as a gift (thanks bro!) it changed my world. I listened to music, lectures, surfed the web a lot more than I did on my computer, played games (most were web games since the app store had yet to exist).

The world changed again. Apple released the iPad.  I told myself, I don’t need an iPad. If the iPad 2 was a massive improvement, then I’d get one. For now, at least, my iPhone was enough.

The iPad 2 came out. I played with it at the store, but was under whelmed. Then my girlfriend at the time gave me one for my birthday (thanks!). Now, I rarely use my computer to surf the web. I carry my iPad with me all the time. I'm an Apple freak!  Ugh. Gawd help me lawd.

Apple just recently announced the iPad Mini. Yeah. A miniature version of the iPad. Clever. A lot of people are complaining that Apple used old technology (based on the iPad 2), that the resolution of the screen is worse than the top competitors, that the pricing is way too high. How spoiled are we when we complain that technology is too old. My iPad 2 is still pretty awesome, despite it being ancient tech. And I’m not even tempted to buy the iPad 4, which apparently is about a thousand times better than what I have. So what?

There are starving children in the world. Children who don’t know when their next meal will come. Where the real enemy is starvation. That is a real problem.

I’d recently watched Gerard Butler in MACHINE GUN PREACHER. Yeah. He’s a preacher who literally carries a machine gun. He plays a real life preacher who dedicates his life to rescuing children in Sudan from being raped, killed and turned into soldiers. I doubt those kids complain about the iPad Mini being old tech.

For most of us who live in the Western world, we should take a moment and appreciate all the wonderful things we have. Sure. There will always be people who have more, who do more amazing things, who seemingly live a better life. But none of those things will make us happier, give us fulfillment, or enrich our lives. Having more stuff, more wealth can definitely enhance your life. Got an iPad 2, but want the best of the best? Then get an iPad 4. Shit. Buy a whole bunch. Just don’t expect it to make you happy.

Excuse me. There's a lemon in my martini

Excuse me. There's a lemon in my martini

Browsing through Facebook, I found a lot of my friends are partying a lot. Unfortunately, most of these events are held at night. I work a day job so the only time I can workout and write is after, during those cool events. So I either forgo the little time I have to write, and sculpt my body into a Chinese God (don’t know if they’re as buff as Greek Gods), or do what I really want. Partying and meeting new people while talking about nonsense was never my thing. So the choice, which was never a choice to begin with, was easy. I may never get published, in the traditional sense. But I do feel lucky that I can write the stories that flutter in my mind.

With the holidays arriving faster than Santa can deliver presents, appreciate all that you have, see that most of our problems aren’t, and enjoy life as it presents itself to us.

Do Ya Hear Me?

Propaganda.  We've all seen it.  Heard it. "Elect me and I will save the world."

"Read my lips:  no new taxes."

I've worked in many corporations.  The one thing they all do is shell out propaganda.  They hail how innocent and awesome they are.

When I turn on my computer at work, the homepage is locked to our intranet webpage.  Every day we're bombarded by propaganda.  Sometimes I feel chained.

So it was a bit entertaining for me to read an article my company posted about why teens are angry.  They even had a doctor share some advise.  I mean, he's got a PhD.

"I think zombies are defined by behavior and can be "explained" by many handy shortcuts: the supernatural, radiation, a virus, space visitors, secret weapons, a Harvard education..."  -Roger Ebert in reviewing The Crazies.

The doctor's article was a magnificently crafted and well written piece of crap.  I found one crucial thing missing.  And upon teaching and mentoring kids for most of my adult life, there has become no one-size-fits-all advice, save one.

Listening.

I had a student once whose parents put him under so much pressure to do well in high school that he was on the verge of suicide.  At first I thought, "What did I do?"  But it had been a year since the end of our sessions.  So I thought back to them to see what was the root cause of such destructive behavior.

My student and I had taken a walk one day and just talked.  My approach in teaching, despite coming from a very tier-structured martial arts background, was to view any student as an equal.  I'm not a teacher.  They are not students.  We are human beings.

The subject of ivy league education came up, something his parents expected of him.  I asked him if he wanted to go.  He answered yes.  There was a lot of trepidation in his voice.  So I asked him if he was sure.  He slumped his shoulder and said he really didn't care about going to an ivy league school.  That he was happy to just receive a normal (whatever that means) education.

I presented what I'd learned to his parents and, of course, they were upset.  Like I had opened Pandora's Box.

A couple years later, he was on the verge of suicide.

Being loving parents, they got the best help they could afford.  Interestingly enough, the parents were instructed to relieve all pressures of any kind, which included the pressure of school, and to allow him to express himself in anyway he wanted to.

Today, I'm very glad to say he's thriving.

We talk so much about listening when in intimate relationships.  But we rarely talk about it when it comes to raising children.

I tell parents that their children are like people (wink wink).  Treat them like people.  Ask them how they feel.  What they want? Why do they want or feel that way?  Is there anything they need?  If not, let them know you'll be there with no judgement.  For judgement is the lock that will shut the door to their children.

Be open with them, and they'll be open with you.

In my lessons, I let my students, no matter the age, say what they want.  Swearing included.  I do give advice, if they want, but I tell them it's up to them to follow it.  My mentoring process changes as they change, which is why I believe there is no one-size-fits-all guide to children.

Just listen.

Does Age Matter?

I was watching TV and saw a commercial for a Nerf sword. "Ooh," I said. My friend who saw my reaction said,"How old are you?"

What does that matter?

The lead character of my book has defied age and experience.  Part of moving up the military echelon requires the dueling of more experienced, higher ranking warriors.  Being a tenderwing, a term used for a child or inexperience, the hero never let that get in his way.  Not that he wasn't intimidated or ever scared.  But his father taught him that whatever you think you are.  Therefore, he never thought about his inexperience.  He only focused on his skills.

In Eastern philosophy any change must start from the inside, in particular the mind.  It's the mind that leads and the body must follow.  Think about this.  You're thirsty.  Your mind commands your hand to pick up that beer.  Then it commands your arm to bring that frosty drink to your mouth, etc.

So why is it when both men and women want to look younger do they start from the outside?  Worse yet, they don't even go to the inside.  Women tend to use more make up, wear their daughter's clothes.  Men date younger women, drive expensive sport cars.  None communicates youth but communicates, "I'M STILL YOUNG DAMMIT!"

My excitement of the Nerf sword was truly my excitement for a kid's toy.  Inside I feel young as if I was still twelve.  I love to play.  I love fun.  I wonder about our world and ask questions every day.  Isn't that what kids do?

"Why is the sky blue?"

"Why does that fat man eat so much?"

"Where do babies come from?"

"Why were you praying to dad last night?"

At first I thought my immaturity was my rebelling against growing up.  But the things I've accomplished in my life have required the maturity of an adult.  I just go back to playing whenever I can.  Most of nature is this way.  Lions lounge around all day, except when it's time to hunt and eat.  Dog's love to play ball, have their ears scratched, their bellies rubbed.  Dolphins leap into the air cause it's fun.  Why else would they do it?  It doesn't serve any other purpose.

Every day take a moment to have a little fun, or a lot.  It may serve a purpose, but definitely doesn't have to.

Have fun.  Have the wonderment of children.

Mother Is God In the Eyes of a Child

In my book children are a huge part of the story. They serve to move the plot forward, present obstacles to both the hero and supporting characters. Children represent innocence in many societies, and I’ve definitely made it that way in the world I’ve created. They are precious because they represent infinite potential and advancement in evolution, as a result, they’re the best of mothers and fathers.  And my hero believes this and loves his children to death.

I was taking a break from my mundane day job, walking down Market St. and enjoying the sun. Suddenly, a streetwalker accosted me—get your mind outtah the guttah. She asked me if I wanted a child.

“Whoa lady," I said.

“What I’m talkin’ about is sponsoring a child,” she said.

She proceeded to tell me about www.children.org, how it’s a non-profit organization, most of the money goes to the children, and I can pick where my money goes. After an hour wrenching my arm, she was quite strong, I agreed.

Check out the child I’m sponsoring below, the letter she wrote me, go to my personal link, and if you feel like giving, then give. If not, then no plobrem

There’s a saying: It’s better to give than to receive.

Crap.

It is better to give, you may say.

Crap.

Let’s take a simple concept of giving money. To give money you must have money. To have money you must receive it. If I wanted to give twenty bucks, I have to have twenty bucks. However, if I only had ten bucks, then I can only give ten bucks.

The idea of giving is that you’ll receive.  We live in a world of dualities.  The Ying and Yang illustrates this perfectly.  You can't have a front without a back, an up without a down, the good without the bad, giving without receiving, etc.  But beware. Don’t give because you want to receive. Give because you want to.  It will return to you in ways you've never imagined.

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Do Statistics Tell You What You're Gonna Do?

I’d received a frantic phone call from my student’s parent.  My student and his parents were having deep issues on his choice for a university.  And they’ve been arguing in circles, unable to come to an understanding of each other.

The next day I went over to their home and mediated.  The parents had significant concerns regarding their son’s decision process.  Keep in mind that he has a bouquet of Ivy Leagues in front of him to choose from.  He’d narrowed it down to three schools.  His parents, in their minds, narrowed it down to one.  That one university had better statistics regarding retention of freshmen and transference to graduate schools.

However, I saw that my student had already made his choice.  I kept that to myself.

The conflict was simple.  The parents based their knowledge of their favored university through guides and statistics.  My student based his choice on how he connected to the people and the university when he visited there on his college tour.

His parents didn’t understand how he could make a monumental decision based on feeling.  He didn’t understand why they wouldn’t accept his intuition.  Neither party listened to each other, or talked each other’s language.

I fully supported my student’s intuitive decision, but also supported his parents’ point of view.  So I translated what they were saying to each other.

So what’s the point?

There are two.

No matter where you go to get your education, it’s not the school that makes the person, it’s the person that makes the person.

When I was at the crappy martial arts school (see my bio), my fellow instructors always made fun of other martial arts, their weaknesses, their form, their kiai—yell (rolling my eyeballs).  What I learned, especially from watching people fight, is that there are two components to winning.  Skill and mental toughness.  But if you had all the skill in the world and no mental toughness, then you might as well lie down and die.  Because, when skill levels are equal, it’s the person that has grit that usually pulls the win.

Isn’t that life?  What do people always say?  Life’s a marathon not a sprint.  Not that life has to be hard.  But you have to delve into your work, be it raising children, building a bridge, writing a book, to succeed.  Then you have to continue your work once you do.

Side note:  Do what you love, and love what you do.

So once my student, who’s already smarter than I, gets his Ivy League education, it’s his grit, love for his work that will make him a great man.

The second point is never believe in statistics.  In this case, the parents’ top choice statically had greater retention of freshmen and graduate school transfers. However, the stats don’t say what my student will do, nor do they represent how well he’ll do.

In the end, peace fell upon the house, and my student will go to the school he wants to go to.  To him, whom I’ve worked with for many years, I only wish you the best.