August 3, 2010
Category: Wellness

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
~e.e. cummings

Once in a while we're going to post a quote that someone here in the Daddyhunt office found to be thought-provoking, inspiring or worth a good laugh. Feel free to take it and run with it.

RJ Berens
January 8, 2010
Category: Wellness

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
- Epictetus

FALSE STARTS: ‘Tis the season to ponder New Year’s resolutions, isn’t it? You know, those lifestyle, behavioral or attitude shifts inspired by the conclusion of one year and the promise of a new beginning when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

It’s estimated that somewhere between 80% and 90% of New Year’s resolutions either never get off the ground or bite the dust after January 1st. That’s a pretty daunting statistic; daunting enough to nix New Year’s resolutions altogether. Except… Except if you’re someone who really believes—or wants to believe—in the magic of fresh starts and the excitement, not to mention satisfaction, of trying new things, thinking in new ways, and shedding old, unproductive habits to make room for new, energizing ones.

Why should you resolve to do anything if your chances of success are so slim? I have no idea, which leads me to suggest a different question altogether: How can you create a New Year’s resolution that sticks?

One obvious resolution-spoiler is embedded in the very definition of the word, resolution: “a declaration, a determination, a motion, a decree.” Is it just me, or is there something yawn-worthy about these words? Not to mention that they’re momentum-killers, in that they evoke an aura of conclusiveness: as if deciding on, or announcing, an outcome is the same as actually achieving it. If you were a screenwriter, it would be like giving your agent, or even your best friend, the...

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Jim Sullivan
December 21, 2009
Category: Wellness

The Holidays bring up a lot of emotional “stuff” and a broad range of strong feelings for many of us --everything and everybody seem to be a little more intense. Many of us may be asking: Who is my family? Do I belong? Am I loved?

This time of the year may be an opportunity to take a look at our primary relationships and the concept of a Soul Friend. Who will be with us during the darkest and brightest of times?

The Holidays bring up a lot of emotional “stuff” and a broad range of strong feelings for many of us --everything and everybody seem to be a little more intense. Many of us may be asking: Who is my family? Do I belong? Am I loved?

This time of the year may be an opportunity to take a look at our primary relationships and the concept of a Soul Friend. Who will be with us during the darkest and brightest of times?

In American society it’s not uncommon to call people “friends” when in reality they are social connections—extremely important but not Soul Friends. Under this “friends” umbrella we include neighbors, business associates, colleagues at work, social buddies (bars, clubs), church/organizational people.

If we spread ourselves too thin—“friendships” can become superficial and we wonder why so-and-so doesn’t return our call. Soul Friends return calls—social friends might not feel the need to—the bond—the real connection is not there.

A Soul Friend is a person with whom you can reveal your inner most secrets and not be judged. Soul friends are deep personal connections which last over many years....

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June 1, 2009
Category: Wellness

I have worked as a mental health counselor for gay men for 24 years both in private practice and in public clinical settings. For the past twelve years I have offered pastoral counseling as part of my role as spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based in traditional Hindu Tantra. What follows is a distillation of decades of experience both personal and professional, during which time I have corresponded with gay men all over the world from whom I have heard essentially the same lament expressed in numerous variations: Why can’t I find a man serious about forming an intimate relationship? I write this with the full understanding that casual sex has been and continues to be a norm in gay society, so I expect some readers will disagree with my characterization of casual sex as a curse. I admit I have participated in this aspect of our gay culture from my very first sexual experience 34 years ago, though always with reservations, if not always with restraint.  I believe my considerable experience over the past decades qualifies me to share my observations and judgments about what I have found to be the net negative aspects of casual sex despite the inherent pleasures of sex, about which there is nearly universal agreement. I ask only that the reader consider my points carefully before forming any conclusions.

First off, I think that sex, which is an inherently intimate act, can never be entirely casual. By this I mean that sex involves a comingling of physical, emotional, and...

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January 16, 2009
Category: Wellness

Aside from my years of involvement with weight training and other fitness activities, I have been practicing meditation in one form or another for over 40 years. Although meditation techniques and the philosophies that underlie them may differ greatly, meditation in general involves quieting the body and mind to achieve a state of peaceful alertness in which one can experience deep insight into the nature of self and the universe. However, the peace, clarity, and sense of meaningfulness of life that come with regular practice of silent meditation can seem to evaporate as soon as you open your eyes and enter the workaday world.

When I started teaching public high school back in 1984, I also started exploring ways to carry the benefits of silent meditation into my work life that often seemed stressful and hostile to serenity.

Two ancient traditions that in general have regarded meditation as an important spiritual practice for millennia are Hinduism and Buddhism. Both traditions offer us various models for bringing greater serenity and centeredness into daily activities. You need not subscribe to any dogma or belief system to benefit from some of these techniques. You need only possess an open mind and the willingness to use your own body and mind as laboratories for experimentation and discovery.

Much of mental stress in life, what Buddhists often sum up with the term ”suffering,“ comes from anxious...

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