This was a little bit of a different episode in terms that it was a little quieter, a little softer, a little more introspective. I also didn’t have a guestbook, so I just ranted for about 25 minutes and got someone to come on the line to do a little feedback. It’s around the topic of self-care. I titled this, A Man’s Mission versus Self-Care, very deliberately because in my mind, it really is the battle between the two different sides to me as someone recommended the masculine side versus my feminine side. The whole podcast is really, hopefully, going to have some thought because the man’s mission is really revered in today’s society but a man’s self-care, not so much. I hope you enjoy it. I really enjoyed doing it. For more shows, please visit TuffLove.live.
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A Man’s Mission vs. Self Care
I am talking about things that need to be talked about, concepts and really it’s, on some level, an inventory of my own life, my own practices, how I am in the world, who I want to be in this world and also things I’m learning. I figured if I’m going through it, might as well share the wealth because I definitely put myself through a lot of obstacles in order to live this life that I’m living. I’m actually at a pretty strong height of my corporate clients in terms of my business consulting, so that’s been keeping me busy. The rest of my business is finding this right balance and I’ve really been thinking about this show. I don’t have a guest for today. I tried to put it out there, it wasn’t found out, so free coaching not used up, which is a message.
Also, it’s a connection to what I’m learning in terms of the whole concept of the show. The concept of the show is the concept of a man’s mission versus self-care and that really strange balance that exists between two people, and how people, myself included, have the challenge of finding the balance. When I was talking to Morgan about this, she said, “Why isn’t it a man’s mission and self-care?” I was like, “It feels like they’re a contrary. They actually feel like they’re against each other.” She’s like, “I get it. I get it because it’s like motherhood versus self-care.” I’m like, “Exactly. It’s the contrary. It’s like how we don’t know how to do both or both sides well.” I’ve really been thinking about this because I realize I am absolutely terrible, horrible at self-care. I am an A-plus for a man on his mission. I am a C-minus for a man who knows how to take care of himself. I’m not exactly sure where this came from, this workaholic insanity nature of mine. It really is a strong element to myself in that I am really good at producing and creating but that downtime is horrible.
I wrote down a couple of things and thinking about a few things. The first is I was inspired. I love reading. I’ve been reading pretty much non-stop for a long time. One of the books I like has a character named Harry Bosch or Hieronymus Bosch, and it’s an author named Michael Connelly. He has this great series. I’ve been listening on audio books for probably about five or six years, absorbing his material. This main character, Harry Bosch, has this way he says things. He talks about his mission. He just talks about his whole life is about solving crimes and speaking for the dead. He just had this one line that affected me many, many years ago at the height of my OneTaste experience. The line is that, “Everybody counts or nobody counts.” That was his line in terms of solving. In other words, the higher end Hollywood executive who got killed matters as much as the person on the street that matters. It really affected me because I was in a place where I was teaching and connecting and looking over hundreds, if not thousands, of people. I really took it on that I wanted every single person that I was engaged with or responsible for to count. I wanted everything to count almost equally. I didn’t want to have to prioritize where I put my attention or who got special treatment, who got the special perks. In reality, it didn’t really quite happen as well as I wanted it to. All in all, I definitely took on the concept of, “I want to make it where everybody counts or nobody counts.” It’s been a driving force for my entire life, ensuring that I don’t avoid certain places because it’s uncomfortable or my valued judgments.
The negative aspect of, “everybody counts or nobody counts” is that it has me on the job in my life pretty much 24/7. There isn’t a click-off in my mind. Even though I can go hang out with Morgan and the kids, I authentically feel like I put my attention on them during those times. I’m sure if they give me feedback, they’d probably say that I gave them a positive attention they needed. There’s still a part of me that’s still on the job. There’s some part of my brain that’s still calculating and thinking, and manipulating and working. There is some part of my attention that’s worrying about this article or this Facebook post, or this client or this task. I don’t know completely how to separate from the mission to my own self. I don’t know how to separate myself. I think this is something that’s affecting a lot of people in the world today, especially as we move into lack of separation between job and home life.
Back in the old days, there were no cell phones. There were no personal computers. You basically had a bunch of paperwork and you do your job at your big desk, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, speaking inappropriate things to the secretaries, and then you would leave and go home and you would have your family life. My dad, thinking about it, during taxes and my dad was an accountant, he worked pretty much non-stop for four months and he brought all his paperwork home, much to my mother’s chagrin. There were papers and boxes and folders, these red folders, these things were everywhere. Maybe this has been going on forever. Maybe the entwining of the personal and the business life really has been going on forever. For me, I see, because my business email and my personal email are pretty much one and the same, because I have that cell phone in my pocket saying, “Pay attention to me. Pay attention to me. Pay attention to me.” Because I have this brain that wants to create, that loves being inside the mission so deeply, maybe there’s the room.
Where this whole thing came from was a journey that Morgan and I went to. It was a dramatic post-journey. There was a really solid piece I got out of it. I saw one of the things I learned from this journey was that I like to turn things off. I do like to turn my brain off. On the journey, you take things to alter your mind so that cortexian hold can’t. You just can’t be in control. There’s some part of me that in that space of being in the hype, the peak of the journey and then coming back down to Earth on some level, I just relished in the depth of that permission I gave to myself just to be a lazy sloth. Lazy sloth, those are the two words that are horrible together for me, lazy sloth, “Rob Kandell was a lazy sloth.” That is like you want to insult me. It’s like calling me arrogant and chauvinistic. That’s true but to call me a lazy sloth, those are fighting words. Those are fisticuff words. There’s angst around that.
That’s what I became and I didn’t want to move from this position. I didn’t want to leave this one energy field with a friend whom I had this incredible dialogue with. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to take care of Morgan. I didn’t want to take care of anything. I just wanted to be a lazy sloth. That’s why, for one night a month or six weeks, I let myself have it. I saw that my inability to do that in real life, provided the motivation, the grasping, the unconscious behavior in the journey to do that. I never want to feel like I’m not paying attention to Morgan. It’s not that. I have a goal to do this in a more conscious manner. There’s a way where being in the journey space gave me permission to just chill the fuck out. It’s just like, “Chill the fuck out.” That’s really what it was about. That’s how this inquiry started.
I’ve been thinking about it like, “I don’t even really have the skill set to be a lazy sloth outside of some plant medicine telling me what to do.” I spent the weekend with the kids and Morgan and they were going to do things and I was like, “I’m just going to go to my office. I want to go to a movie and just sat for three hours.” Even in those three hours, I still didn’t feel like the mission was completely out of my system. I didn’t really feel like I was completely chilled out and relaxed. Maybe I need to do one of those ten-day meditation Vipassanās where you have no choice but to drop everything. Maybe I need to take that technology break and not have that laptop where there’s always that ever calling, “Rob, check me out. Check me out. Check me out.” Maybe that’s the dramatic of what things are. That could be something to do in the future. Morgan always talks about like she just wants to take two weeks off and go lay on the beach. Maybe I should go lay on the beach with her. There’s a part of me that’s like, “I have to start looking at this piece.” That’s the process to learn how to do it.
The next thing I want to talk about is what’s the motivation? I think that’s really the most interesting part for me is where’s the motivation to be this man on a mission? I don’t know how to stop creating. I just published this article on Medium about the #metoo. It was called Men: Your desire is right and… It was up there doing pretty well and then I posted it on Facebook, which caused a whole rigmarole. People are giving me negative comments and they’re hurting my feelings not too much but just a little bit. All of a sudden, there’s this big conversation. Morgan’s like, “Do you like the drama of it?” I’m like, “I don’t really like the drama of it.” It’s not so much I like the drama of it. It just feels like it fits into my mission. It feels like it fits into who I should be or what I want to be. It is the man always creating.
What’s my motivation? What’s the underlying thing that has me be in the spot where I don’t think, on some level, I deserve self-care? What is the thing underneath? I did some thinking about that and I think it comes back to my dad on some level. For those who don’t know, though I’ve said it many times, I was a firstborn New York Jew, raised in the 70s and 80s. I had very strict upbringing when it came to my relationship to money. Basically, the concept was that you weren’t allowed to spend money until you had savings. You had to be extremely frugal with your money. When I was a kid, I had to earn $10 if I wanted to buy a $5 toy. $5 for the toy, $5 for the savings. I must have been twelve years old when I was creating savings accounts like my IRA, my 401(k). The 401(k) thoughts were in my head at freaking twelve years old. That was my upbringing.
I was just always impressed by my dad in terms of working because he just had such presence and stature around it. He would work all day, he’d come home at night. There was this whole process of him unloading the days. We had such reverence for creating space for him. He was an exceptional provider, really we wanted for nothing and he worked really hard. There was just this elevation or something about it that really made it good. It felt good to be a workaholic, and my dad was. My dad was an accountant. There were times where I felt like he loved his work, loved being at work more than loved being at home, which sometimes I feel like I can understand that feeling. There was this pride and there was this activation he got from it. He was the boss and he was pretty much the top guy in the firm. Even though there was another partner there before him, you could just tell that Joe Kandell was the man. He just felt like he was the man. I’d walk into the office with him as a kid, visiting the office and there was just a reverence. That was the 70s and 80s, the end of Mad Men basically. That was going on because there was just like this attitude of hierarchy in his office. He did many great things for many great people. I think I learned from him that to be on the mission was your top priority.
There were a lot of messages I received after that in terms of spending and schooling, to do well at school and really jump on to the bandwagon of being a good worker and a good provider. I started off at this rinky-dink computer firm at the beginning of my career in 1994 and then quickly went to Corporate America. When I made it to Corporate America, there was this feeling that, “I really had made it.” I was quickly approaching a six-figure salary at 26 years old. At 26 years old, a six-figure salary, suit and tie every single day, just like, “I’m going to work. It’s 5:00 in the morning. I’ll now be working for eighteen hours straight. I am going to work and that’s the right thing for a man to do.” There was just this way where I took such pride in being a producer and let go of that part of me that wasn’t soft and taking care of myself.
After a successful career in Corporate America, then I went to Burning Man, then I started this orgasm business. There was a space n between where I was still working as a computer consultant for myself. Before I started OneTaste, where I started to get into this orgasm thing, I told my parents, “I want to have more fun.” It became my mantra. I must have been 29 years old at the point, running a six-figure computer consulting business, have the house in San Francisco, married, the whole corporate setup, basically. I kept telling my parents I wanted to have fun. There was this one time where I wanted to rent a house where I could go and work on this computer project. We were in San Francisco, maybe it was somewhere by the beach or somewhere in the mountains or somewhere different. I just wanted to Etch A Sketch my life because I wanted to be around friends and I wanted to investigate sexuality, and I wanted to investigate myself. I remember the fear it evoked in my parents. The fear I tasted because they were so worried that fun had become the top message of my life. There was probably some truth in their fear because I was heading off the deep end in a lot of levels, which was great. I was great going off the deep end. At the same time, I could feel their disapproval and the lack of awareness.
Then I created OneTaste and that was a workaholic’s dream. That was like, “Give me the finest cocaine known to man for a workaholic and you create a community, a business, a non-profit at the same time.” It was a 24/7 buy-in. “Just attach the needle to my vein and keep pumping those drugs into my system for my workaholic to be happy and there was always something to do.” Then I left OneTaste in 2014. The point is that my whole body, my whole system, my whole identity is based on producing. I don’t even know what it’s like not to be that person. I have absolute fear that if I let go of the reins or in this book, Traction, I’m reading, it’s called Letting Go of the Vine. If I let go of that hold of what I know to be true that I’ll end up on my feet. It’s just like things are going so good in terms of my relationship, in terms of money, in terms of my business, in terms of the book. I really feel like there’s this calling that in order for me to get to the next level, it’s going to be some letting go. I don’t know if a ten-day of Vipassanā is the exact nature of it.
I’ve been very resistant to hiring an assistant because people annoy me when they’re in assistance roles and I don’t want to be annoyed, basically. It’s a lot of work to have an assistant, by the way. I have questions about that. I don’t know exactly what it is but I do know that there’s a significant calling for me to step up and find that right balance. The way it’s going, I don’t think has the shelf life or it doesn’t have the legs it needs. There is a significant calling for me to find that balance, to change it from a man’s mission versus self-care into a man’s mission and self-care. The new love affair, the new hot romance between my mission and my self-care needs to commence. I need to find that balance.
I don’t have any answers for you just yet on how to find that balance, but I do know that there’s something arising inside of me. If you’re listening to this show and you’re in a similar position and you’re blindly following this mission that you’ve picked up or designed and it’s affecting negatively your health or negatively your relationships, maybe it’s time to really take a look at it. I’m not prescribing anything except awareness at this point. Don’t quit your job and do that, “Boss, I’m going on a ten-day Vipassanā meditation. If you don’t like it, fuck you.” I’m not saying do that. I am saying find that awareness of what needs to happen so you can slow down. That’s my next phase for my life. Maybe in about six months we’ll have the new show, a man’s mission heart self-care, like forever BFFs. Maybe that will be the show in six months. Until then, I’m going to be inside the mission and we’ll see what happens and how to find that balance. That is this week’s rant.
This resonated with me because self-care is something that I need to get closer to with my own. The comment I had for you was, could you fold the self-care into the mission? Because right now they sound separate and maybe they’re actually supporting of each other. If you are on this mission, self-care is an essential aspect of making it possible for you to continue to be driven so hard. Maybe every hour there’s a fifteen-minute nap. That’s where I got pointed when I was listening to you.
I do have them as separate and maybe that is the root of the problem. Maybe the root is that I see them as different. That’s hopefully where the love affair will get to know each other, the mission and the self-care will get to know each other, going a few dates, see if they like the same music.
We have people that come to offices and do ten-minute chair massages. It might be as simple as having that five days a week in your work setup and you work out for fifteen minutes, or if there are other fifteen-minute practices you’re aware of that might offer you a similar experience.
I know some of those. That might work out.
That was my thought and I’m going to integrate this into my own life, which is the next step for me. Thank you for calling it out. I didn’t see anything on your article that felt out of place or felt like it was wrong for men. I couldn’t find everybody’s comments. I looked around for the negative comments and I couldn’t find them.
It’s on my professional page. I think what’s really been called out is I’ve got to get an editor and work on my grammar, because that’s what a few people said. I’m like, “I’ll take that in. I’ll definitely do that.” To me, it’s another form of self-care. It’s like “I’ll just do this by myself and post it. It’s a pretty good article.” There are people saying, “No, there’s next level for you to have someone do a run-through and suggest editorial and copywriting in certain aspects of it.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s a good message.”
Are you open to another possibility?
As a musician, when I record, I have this thing called the sleep on it rule. I’ll take and I’ll perform parts and I’ll link up different melodies and harmonies and I’ll be done with my day. Before I decide on anything about the piece being finished or not finished, I go to sleep and I come back to it either the next day or more than a day later and then I listen to it again. That might be a possibility for self-editing. It delays the immediacy of your posting, but gives you a chance to wordsmith a secondary level.
I do that too. I always finish and then come back the next day. I’m a math geek. I’ve always been a math geek and I’m not a grammar Nazi, as my friend, Kim, likes to say. There is a next level of asking for help. I actually contacted a professional editor and she’s going to help me with this article, so it’s going to get done. Thanks.
That’s it. A little shorty but hopefully it gave you some value of looking at your own relationship to self-care. I think in society, it’s something we need to start thinking about and really finding that balance between the two because it’s time to look at improving our lives. Like Mark just said, maybe it’s one thing. It’s mission self-care, it’s one word. It’s like one sentence rather than two separate things, so research to be done.
Thanks so much for listening. If you’d like to hear more shows, please visit TuffLove.live. The 100th show is coming up with Morgan. Morgan will also be on the show. She’s very excited about being on the 100th show with me, so I’m very excited. We’ll see you then. Thanks so much. Have a great day. Take care.