Friday, December 27, 2013

2013, Ominous or Auspicious?

                                      December 22, 2013, Playa Grande, Jalisco, Mexico

As the sun sets on the paradoxically ominous AND auspicious year of 2013, I want to reflect on what it meant for me and other men seeking greater wholeness and connection to their essential goodness.

To run with the paradox theme for a moment, we know that millions of boys and young men all over the planet have been brutalized within families, tribes, sects and societies fragmented by ancient divisions and a contemporary world economic system that deeply divides those who have from those that don’t.

Recently viewing the movie Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks, I noted the poignancy of the film beginning with a marital conversation fraught with anxiety about the prospects for well cared for and educated young men in US society followed by an adrenalized depiction of the plight of young Somali men largely left to their own devices. These men are engaged in a desperate high risk endeavor to pirate cargo ships sailing close enough to their native coastline to be apprehended by ramshackle and barely serviceable boats in hopes of turning their otherwise sealed fates into a better fortune. Another fate for young men on that same continent and in other parts of the world is to be drafted into militias and armies to be used as cannon fodder for disputes and wars or to become low to no wage slaves, or pressed into gangs of all kinds as the only means for self-protection and survival.

As the essential nature of boys and men is goodness--just look into the eyes of a newborn boy and tell me it's not true-- what’s this all about? Why such distortions and dislocations? Who is calling the shots? And why do the shots keeping ringing out?

Here’s where culture, economics, climate instability and demography meet at a volatile crossroads wherein all are affected now or will be. Since my days as a professional population and international development educator in the l980's many trends have continued and become amplified---much as forecast.

We have, on average, nine billion human beings striving to have a human life worth living. We’ve used up a lot of the energy and resources immediately available on this one earth. Though our ingenuity and cleverness has created new ways to exploit what is left, our growing numbers and the inevitable conflict that arises when your own family keeps adding more members means we either share, get along, and adapt to global climate instability and the unforeseen consequences of our industry or we continue to devour and defile our home, facing a very big population crash. In this scenario boys and men will continue to be used as instruments of death.

Some would say it’s the 1% that is at fault and greed will be our undoing. Yes and no. If we do the real math, most of us reading this are in the 1%, living relatively comfortably and viewing an LED screen. If we probe behind the relatively meaningless concept of greed, we find a widespread mindset that is largely held in place by fear. We fear that “before the grace of God go I,” and somewhere in our minds may lie the idea that we are thankful we are not in the ranks of the truly wretched as amply depicted in Captain Phillips or so graphically in many an issue of National Geographic. We all find ourselves to one degree or another in a paradigm of separation, disconnection—despite a billion cell phones—and scarcity. Both rich and poor now share an insecurity about the future.

Okay, is that ominous enough for you? Are you still with me?

So, what was auspicious about 2013?

In a recent read of a new page-turner action novel by Michael Fitzerald entitled The Fracking War  about the global/local politics and personalities infusing the new natural gas boom-bust land grab in the US, the author's narrative also looks at the crossroads I mentioned above. Finally though, we must shift our attention to what Fitzgerald calls, “hope and solutions,” in order to turn the ominous into the auspicious, a rather optimistic word in light of all that is going on in our larger world. (Link to The Fracking War)

So many have already called attention to the fact that we can’t proceed at Warp Factor 10 in the same direction we’ve been on since the dawn of the industrial revolution. As green businessman, author and sage Paul Hawken has researched and opined, there is now a world-wide movement that still has no one name. It's a movement less known for its organization than its factionalism, yet includes everyone that considers themselves an environmentalist, a social justice advocate, a social business entrepreneur, consumers and CEO’s of some larger corporations. It’s comprised of thousands and thousands of scientists, medical and health experts, farmers, and policy makers who have banded together to rise to the challenges of rapid change, most of which we’ve brought on through overpopulation, reckless and polluting production models and divisive competitive strategies.

Within this movement is a branch dedicated to helping boys and men discover their true passion and real purpose and to cooperatively work together for a different paradigm and world that works for everyone and everything, a world of renewable abundance in place of limited control and manipulation of scarcity.

If Joseph Campbell, the great compiler of universal hero journey mythology were alive today, I believe he'd champion the next step in our evolution as a journey of a hundred million heroes, a gender neutral term, but one with enormous import for men reclaiming their lives in light of our  current global economic systems and servitude to institutions that no longer serve the long term survival interests of our species. We have to offer people alternatives to mass unemployment or working at jobs that kill them while destroying our environment. The global movement with no name has already proven those alternatives exist and NOW!

From the baby pen to the playground, the bedroom and board room, we have to begin to treat our boys and men as full human beings with a wide range of emotions and emotional needs, removing the fetters that create isolation, pent up emotion and aggression, self-abuse, addiction and abuse of others. From the growing global family of facilitators using The Passion Test, the Mankind Project and Boys to Men organizations I’ve written about in this blog to a whole new generation of parents waking up to the ill effects of training boys to be tough and competitive, instead of assertive and collaborative, hope and solutions do exist.  I am very excited about the opportunities and possibilities before us, our age-old resilience in the face of adversity and that greatest of all journeys, the one from the human head to the human heart, en masse.


Monday, November 18, 2013

So What's a Man to "Do?"

One of my esteemed readers of this blog for men and boys, Ron Pevny, Director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, shared a comment on the last post entitled Man-cession, the post before this one which attempted to provide a bigger picture within which a range of choices for men and the work they do for a living seemingly exist. Ron said:
"You well state that the first step is for people to be clear on what they truly desire and the kind of life they want.  However, for so many that clarity is far from being enough, and without any sense of how to translate passion into reality, it can be a dead end and a real source of demoralization."

Righto Ron! From clarity to couch potato only gets the remote buttons worn smooth. Clarity of itself is no magic formula for everything changing overnight, though frankly, I have seen that happen. What often goes unseen is the process that occurred in gaining and sustaining clarity and then what took place as a result.

I'd like to take a closer look at what happens or can happen with an individual man regardless of unemployment figures and always shifting economic times. For ultimately, I believe, it is not the conditions that dictate what a man does and gets out of life but his response to conditions. And further, I would hold that the state of a man's life is more a reflection of life long habits of thought and attitude than the winds of fate. Unfortunately, a lot of those thinking patterns are often under the radar of our moment by moment awareness. They literally run our life on auto pilot--if we let them.

First of all, I don't have any global statistics on how many men or people in general actually take the first action step of getting complete clarity about what they most want out of life and what it would look like once they've manifested or achieved it. Many men I've worked with are often frustrated or demoralized by having more clarity about what they don't want than what they do. That frustration might in part be reflected in the Gallup Poll cited in the previous post, wherein 7 out of 10 people are not doing what they love or has meaning for them. 

Some men are too afraid of what they may learn about their unmet needs and desires to even take the Passion Test because of conscious or unconscious doubts about these needs and desires ever being met or fulfilled. I think that chronic negative or limiting thoughts about what is possible, what we deserve or are worthy or capable of produce the fear that can contribute to demoralization and a dead end. Many men have already given themselves over to these habitual and I would even call "parasitic" thoughts. These guys are, in Thoreau's famous words, "leading lives of quiet desperation." Most of us have been there at one time or another.

So, I just want to honor the men who have so far stepped through enough of that blanket of fear and fog and found ways to gain clarity. It's a huge and courageous action step in itself and few actually take the time to go inside themselves, listen to their higher selves or that still small voice to find their calling or deeper sense of purpose which automatically follows when you find and follow your passions.

What happens after I take a man through the Passion Test process that gives him deep insight into the top five things he most wants in his life?

We look at how the things he says would be ideal for him are showing up now to get a baseline to work from and we create what we call "passion markers." Not necessarily goals but rather milestones of where he "would have" already had to travel to have arrived at living his passions at a 10 on a scale of 0-10.  
Quick example. Say one of your passions is to become one of the world's greatest musical performers. What would have needed to happen to convince you that you are? Well, would playing Carnegie Hall be a convincing marker? Most would say, "You bet!" Becoming a known expert in anything would necessitate some concrete things to have happened along the way. What were they? Write them down. Did I say write them down? Write them down. This part of the process literally begins to rewire one's brain into a more willing mindset conducive to taking advantage of opportunities when they do arise as well as actively creating them, beginning at whatever the beginning is for that person. 
Next step?  Pick up an instrument that excites and inspires you or whatever material thing may be needed to begin constructing a new part of life.  Then hire a good teacher or coach to help you get clarity and hold you accountable for taking incremental action. Create an action plan fully founded on your top passions and carry it out. Monitor your self-sabotaging thoughts that often arise when you stretch yourself into a new relationship, career, project or pursuit. Realize that those thoughts are not the ones that will move you forward. They will deny and deflate your dreams and ultimately create a dead end where you may have begun to make real progress. And from my own experience I can tell you, these "devil" thoughts seem to often speak loudest when you are getting closest to fulfilling a big dream.

If I am working with a man who immediately voices objections to realizing his dreams or old story about how so and so or this and that are keeping him from his ideal life, we stop right there before going any further in the clarity into action process. I ask if that thought about what is possible is true and then use another powerful process to follow that thought right down into it's rabbit hole, flush it out and prove it's just an old story from the past and no predictor of the future.
One of the major pitfalls for men and everyone when it comes to turning dreams into concrete reality is getting caught up in the HOW. Before one gets clear about the WHAT they want, they are already asking the question, How will I do this? How is that going happen? How can I make it happen? In my experience, that question usually becomes a non-starter and dead end as it too often comes from fear and contraction. 
For one, when I get clear about what I want, I don't often initially know how it's going to happen. It's like asking for some kind of guarantee before you take the first step. There simply is no insurance for that. And further, God only knows how it will all come to pass. Much of the good stuff that comes into my life seems like a miracle that I could not possibly have orchestrated all on my own. So, I have fully resigned as General Manager of the Universe. Anyway, even if that kind of control were possible, I'd find it very burdensome and demoralizing. 

As most of us know, getting from clarity to manifestation is often a windy road with speed bumps. Once you get rid of old baggage thoughts and get a handle on your fears channeling that e-motional energy into the creative mold (passion markers) you've formed in your mind as a result of gaining clarity, your very life energy has a productive place it naturally wants to go. And gradually you begin to discover  how to use and repeat the process to more consciously create what you want in life again and again and again, from the inside out.

Randy Crutcher delivers his Man-to-Man coaching sessions to men all over the world ready to step into their greatness and get one hell of a kick out of life by creating their own heaven on earth. Call for a free 15 minute consultation to see if you're ready for clarity and beyond.  209 923-0502


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Is A Man-cession?

What do you do for a living? What do you do for a life?

Two separate questions? Maybe.

Let’s take the first one first. And the larger view for a moment.

Economists in the United States are claiming that the US is recovering from what is now being called The Great Recession. If slightly hopeful, what labor and employment statistics chronically leave out for –ahem, political reasons? —is that the people who have given up looking for employment, and they are many, are simply dropped from the statistics. That means the following numbers should but don’t take the full picture of employment realities into consideration. In other words the real unemployment percentages are higher. Traveling in the UK and Australia in the last few years, I know some of what I will share here applies in other modern economies though numbers vary.

Women are said to have regained all the jobs they lost a few years ago but men are still 2.1 million jobs short in this third quarter of 2013. That roughly translates to 6.8% unemployment for women and 7.7% for men.
Economists have long known that the recession (officially declared over way back in June 2009), hit men the hardest and some have dubbed that a “man-cession,” occurring alongside a “she-covery.”

Why the gender gap?

There is a good deal of segregation in the job market with women and men working in different industries and even in different areas of the same industry.
Lower wage industries, like retail, education, restaurants and hotels have been hiring the fastest with women predominating in those areas. Construction and manufacturing, sectors dominated by men, have yet to recover. With increasing automation and erosion of unions, some of those better paying jobs will never be recovered.

In health services and education where job growth has been greatest there are some good-paying jobs such as nurses and physical therapists, however, most are low paid jobs such as home health care aid. Of the 1.6 million jobs created in the U.S. since 2009, women hold 1.1 million of them.

Even with this kind of job growth there is still a steady drop in overall family income. And much has been said but little done to address the runaway income gap between high paid executives and those lower down the food chain, just one piece of the growing inequity undermining the middle class created after WWII by the now rapidly departing “Greatest Generation.”

Anecdotally, I’ve heard the words "downsizing" and "right sizing" and "lay off" and now "furlough" more times than I can count. I wonder if the statistician job sector has grown fast enough to keep track?
This year’s Gallup Poll study told us that 7 out 10 people are not happy or passionately engaged with the work they do.

In my field of life coaching and organizational consulting, I hear the stories behind the statistics. Those who are in transition have become the norm and those still on board with shrinking companies, government agencies and non-profits—all three sectors—are being asked to do more with less.

What to do? Probably lots of things, all requiring that sticky wicket called “political will.”
Let’s assume for a moment that the American people decided that these are unacceptable ways to live in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. There would probably be some agreement about reducing CEO salaries, creating a taxation system that restored what created the middle class in the first place, providing even more incentives for entrepreneurs and small business, which employs the majority of people.

One thing I’ve not heard much about lately is the unoriginal concept of the four-day workweek, though government furloughs are creating zero day weeks at the moment. A four-day workweek and job-sharing that would bring more people into or back into the workforce. With a fairer distribution of compensation pegged to the real cost of living, could we get the work done by more people but fewer hours per person? In other words, fulfill the old promise of more leisure, more civic involvement and more family time for both men and women; what I consider the real hallmark of a modern affluent society.

Now we are entering the realm of the second question: What do you do for a life?

Twenty years ago I was editing a book about what working parents wanted most out of their work life. Right after fair compensation it was flextime. In other words, people wanted to have more control over their work life, so that other pursuits and passions could be experienced and balance out their picture of the good life. Things like being engaged parents, more active in their kids’ schools, neighborhoods, communities, civic organizations or personal projects-- and not having to wait until retirement to have that whole life.

I’ve found this desire for a more balanced life to be widespread when I take individuals through the Passion Test to arrive at their top five passions or what is most important to them. Some men are passionate about providing for their families, but not at the expense of having less time to spend with their partners and children. Traditionally, many men have equated success with big salaries. That’s changed. Women want and need more time for themselves as they are taking care of everyone else, on top of being employed, (and often underpaid).

As men and women, from young adulthood to senior status, we may not be able to restructure our work lives over night, but one thing is clear, the first step is identifying what would be ideal for us before we can begin to actively pursue it for ourselves and our families in today’s dynamic and ever changing work world.

Randy Crutcher administers The Passion Test, now used in 49 countries to help people get clear about and live their passions. There is also a Passion Test for helping people get clear about what would be ideal for them in their work life, an invaluable tool when seeking employment or creating a new enterprise. Call him at 209 923-0502 to inquire.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Coming Out As "Spiritual"

When I was a boy of five or six years old, invited by her friend, my mother took me to a “church,” and I was gently separated from the adults into a group of children for a “Sunday School” session after which we were rejoined with the adults for the closing of the morning service.

That fairly common description probably summons the experience of many readers as from all appearances this was a traditional Protestant Christian denominational routine. Not until many years later and after much more cognitive development, did I realize just how different in some significant aspects my early experience had been.

As we know our early training begins at the very beginning, which some research would indicate as prenatal and that the filters for whatever messages are planted in us are next to none. As children we take these messages into our subconscious with little critical analysis. These messages are the ideas of our parents, our teachers and society at large.

For many some of the early messages about God and religion had to do with ideas about our essential nature as humans (e.g. sinful, incomplete, unholy) and our relationship with a Supreme Being separate from ourselves and “his” emissaries called prophets and saviors. Many of these messages were and are meant to instill fears in an attempt to direct the development of young people in a way that would reinforce the social order and mores of the day. Obedience to laws and teachings that were foreordained by “The Church” and arose from specific interpretations of handed down writings with their commandments, canons and scriptures are a primary purpose of religious instruction.

Redemption, salvation of the soul, proper moral comportment, assuring safe passage to a heaven beyond or escape from the hot fires of hell were and still are common themes in this instruction. The results have been the committed gathering of strict adherents, those who go through the motions because it is expected by their social group for acceptance, and the creation of refugees that either flee to or create another organized group. In many cases people resolve to avoid contact with anything organized around a religion or spiritual philosophy whether an avowed atheist or not.

“There is no spot where God is not,” along with the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World” (black and yellow, red and white) are some of the fragments that echo through my brain like the jingles of earlier radio and TV commercials or a popular song. It’s my very personal experience of the power of the subconscious and early messages I received.

Most of my adult life I fit the category of people mostly disassociated from organized religion and yet I’ve always been fascinated with the power of religion and more so the power of belief.  I derived most of my knowledge from books with occasional encounters with spiritual leaders and authors; a lecture by Huston Smith, an authority on world religions, attending talks by Ram Dass, one of America’s great pop heroes to walking in meditation with Thich Nat Hahn, the compassionate Vietnamese Buddhist monk. At 17, I was in a college gymnasium with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the TM movement.

There is another sub-category that some fall within and those are the ones that return to the faith of their childhood as adults with a deeper sense of appreciation for ritual, ceremony, essential principles and the belonging to a greater mission and community.

I am one of those. My early experience with what has been called Religious Science or the Science of Mind, a variant of the several movements and organizations dubbed New Thought continued sporadically beyond those early Sunday school days with a few visits here and there to what are now called Centers for Spiritual Living. Founded by Ernest Holmes in the early 20th century, the basic premise within Science of Mind is that everyone and everything is spiritual right here and right now. The great Law of Cause and Effect is operating unfailingly within an infinite field of Love. There is no heaven or hell but what humans create first through their thoughts. This lies at the very heart of the meaning of “free will.”

Holmes drew from all the great traditions across religions, synthesizing what has been called the perennial philosophy of the ages. He clearly saw that somewhere in each of the great religions, universal truths were revealed. What was distinctive about Holmes is that he knew that knowledge of one’s individual spiritual nature, presence and power was not enough. One has to consciously exercise this knowledge by focusing one’s attention on the greater Cause in order to bring about desired Effects. Thoughts are things in rarified form and materialize into solid form or matter, much as water in gas form condenses to become liquid or freezes solid. In other words, what we think about and feel strongly about, we most often bring about. It is a system, much as we’ve come to understand as the basic structure of science.

A biblical scholar, Holmes reviews all the great lessons of Christ’s teachings throughout his writing and books, one of which is the understanding that what some call God or Creator or Supreme Being is within each of us as well as permeating every bit of the Universe. In a larger sense, we are each already perfect and whole. The extent to which we believe this is the extent to which we can operate through the great Law to our greatest advantage and for the highest purposes of all. Disease, poverty, violence and disharmony are temporary conditions resulting from collective thought that keeps them in place and this can be overcome individually and en masse through an active practice using these principles, meditation and what is called “affirmative” prayer. We've much evidence to that effect when we look at the impact of some of our greatest spiritual teachers and leaders in our immediate past and present. These Holmes would call, as he calls Jesus, the example, not the exception. 

Thousands have been healed and millions positively affected over the course of the last 150 years, beginning with the earliest practitioners in the 19th century. Uniquely American in origin, the New Thought Movement itself has spread around the world and there are 400 groups affiliated with the Centers for Spiritual Living alone. More emphasized as Christian is the worldwide Unity Church though it utilizes similar principles and practices.

Today I enjoy participating in a community of people who learn and practice these principles. In some ways I feel that my participation is a “giving back,” for the joy, fulfillment, sense of empowerment and positivity that have been powerful currents running throughout my wonderful life and in no small part a result of this foundational early experience.
And yet, the continued gifts I receive through a more conscious and systematic study and application of scientific spiritual principles as well as being part of an organization dedicated to transforming millions of lives through positive thought and deed are greater than my showing up on a Sunday or any other day of the week.

Just knowing and acknowledging my very real spiritual nature, my goodness, wholeness and capacity for love as expressed through my unique personality and creativity and evidenced by all the experiences I attract in my life is surely gift enough. And knowing that is true of everyone makes all the difference.

Randy Crutcher, EdD is a member of the Everyday Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was contracted as a facilitator at the 2010 Integration Conference for the final phases of reuniting two long divided organizational branches of the world-wide Centers for Spiritual Living movement.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened at the Men's Gathering

When the workshop leader asked for a volunteer, a young man named Joe shot up to the front of the room. Of course workshop leaders love it when that happens.

In the next moments it occurred to the leader that Joe was not as open to a process of inquiry as it might have seemed……and yet on the other hand he was ripe and ready.

Unasked Joe immediately grabbed a chair and stood on it, towering over the leader. Joe had been asked to prepare for the exercise and demonstration by identifying a belief about himself and his life and to write it down on paper on his own, as were the other 30 men in the room.

When asked by the leader if his belief was true, Joe gave brusque, almost defiant answers as though daring the facilitator to react by calling Joe on his resistance to the process.
The leader did not ask Joe to step down nor did he remind Joe of any rules of conduct or attempt to make Joe do something he was unwilling to do at that point. He simply looked up at Joe and asked if the belief Joe had about not being comfortable with people, not seen and acknowledged was true, how it made him feel when he held those thoughts and who he’d be without those thoughts. The leader could palpably feel the pain of Joe’s isolation and loneliness.

The workshop leader knew well from his own past experience and working with many men that so many were never or rarely acknowledged or seen by older men (fathers and others) for who they really are. And worse, the kind of attention boys and young men often get is loaded with judgment, punishment, and the wielding of authority in abusive and unkind ways. We wonder why males act out or don’t act at all. This lack of being seen or mistreated is part of what is at the heart of the male wound that plays out dramatically in homes and on the world front.

So what happened with Joe?

It was not clear that Joe had an epiphany by the end of the demonstration. Almost certainly though, the rapt and loving attention of all the men in the room that was directed toward and beaming in on Joe had begun to make a difference.

At meal times in the dining hall of the camp gathering, without prompting, Joe would stand up in front of the room, play his guitar and sing. And did this guy ever know how to perform! Nashville quality and as it turned out Joe had lived there.

Not only did Joe create his own way of being seen at the gathering for a part of who he really is, at the final closing circle of the weekend when each man was invited to say one word for what they received at the gathering, Joe’s word was “Acknowledgement.” So many at the gathering had been routing for him and that would have been enough for the guys to know there had been a transformation.

The next thing that happened even exceeded the workshop leader’s expectations. When asked who would step into the leadership circle to help create the next year’s gathering, Joe stepped in.

This story is only one among thousands, even tens of thousands like it. People ask where a man can go to have this experience among peers. The gathering you just read about is a 23-year-old grassroots regional gathering, of which there are many across the country.

The Mankind Project, a non-profit with chapters around the world is a bit older, more structured and has provided weekend workshops for over 45,000 men creating an initiation into a manhood (at any age) not commonly portrayed in the mass media. It is one that both challenges and supports men to get clear about their own value, their own responsibility to themselves and others for living their most authentic purpose and passions fully.

The process referred to in the story above is called “The Work” and is the result of one woman’s amazing quest to question all and everything we believe that causes us pain. You can read any one of the many fine books by Byron Katie and visit her website at

Randy Crutcher, MA, EdD founded the Northcoast Men’s Gathering in California 23 years ago and was asked to be this year’s workshop leader over the course of two days. He has been a part of many men’s personal healing and transformation experiences.
His specialized coaching practice, Man to Man provides the loving guidance and support for men that can make the difference in leading a life of freedom, meaning and passion. Call him for a free consultation at 209 923-0502.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Breakfast of Champions???

A lot has changed since I was a kid. But not everything.

Kids and their families today are still bombarded with advertising that a real breakfast is made out of highly processed grains, combined with sugar and unhealthy vegetable oils. What changed is that those Wheaties of yesteryear that were supposed to give us super powers to achieve anything are now competing with hundreds of branded grain products with the additional information that it’s all been “fortified” and even labeled as “natural.” These “natural” grains (corn, wheat, barley, rice and others) have been hybridized and/or genetically modified into something that simply did not exist when I savored my first bowl of shredded wheat drowned in milk and white table sugar.

Along with this plethora of faux food cereals we have now been industry-trained to call breakfast are the wonderful treats that go with it. Pop Tarts celebrate their 39th birthday this year. Well, the frosted ones are only 36.
But such celebrations are not my point here. I’m not that nostalgic as we’ve landed fully in the wide lap of the Great American Obesity Epidemic or its knock-offs in the countries that have adopted our faux food habits.
As reported in another post here, (See Bellies to Balls: Get the Wheat Out), childhood obesity is still on the rise with young boys and much of what we regard as attention deficit could clearly be a lack of real nutrition at the beginning of every school and weekend day. And over time what is called the Standard American Diet, (grain drenched), which has only recently been a bit modified by the USDA, can be linked to a wide spectrum of everything from Autism to Asthma to Alzheimers with heart disease and diabetes smack dab in the middle.

Tell me, how do we build bodies eight different ways or was it nine?--some may remember the Wonder Bread jingle—in boys to men or anyone with these Frankingrain products devoid of real nutrition?

Fortunately, in just the last very few years a movement was birthed and it’s gaining steam. It’s helping get the faux food out and the whole food back so that children today can experience at least as much nutritional value as their great grandparents did when they sat down for a meal, something many families have dispensed with altogether.
It’s very old and yet new information for most that our bodies don’t really know what do with a grain that has triple the chromosomes than the original form. And that we did not evolve with much grain at breakfast or dinner at all. As a matter of fact, most of our existence as a species did not involve what we call “breakfast”, let alone a bowl of cereal and a bagel (even a whole wheat one), which we now know spikes insulin as though it were pure cane sugar, creating a kind of shock to the system. In turn our efficient factory takes the excess converted carbs and puts it into body fat storage because our lifestyle can’t possibly burn that much jet engine fuel fast enough. This stored bad fat creates systemic inflammation, the source of many degenerative conditions along with extra bulges now appearing on bodies of all ages to the extent people are regarding it as normal. I find that scary.

The movement I am speaking of goes by several names: evolutionary, paleo, primal and other terms. It’s not a new diet fad. Fads are usually backed by industry, government and now even supplement entrepreneurs with mega profits at stake. It’s a lifestyle that as much as possible attempts to mimic what got us this far over the last many hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. That’s right, we are high quality protein and good fat lovers at the metabolic level for a very important reason. And though the Incans of a few hundred years ago hybridized 4,000 species of potato, they did not spend their time on couches in front of a video display. Both diet and activity level are at play in these poor health epidemics of today.

That said, 80% or more of what makes us look like we do is related to our food or lack of whole real food intake. Back to my observation about boys and attention deficit. What looks fatty on the outside, is fatty on the inside. Not only muscle fibers suffer in a sea of too much complex carbohydrates but neurons do too. The brain needs carbs but less than we jam into our systems on a daily basis in our craving cycles of up and down high and low blood sugar.

Addressing the social and emotional needs of boys needs to begin at the organic level and that means food, real food that really does build bodies, minds and attention spans many ways.

I’ve actually seen billboards in Albuquerque, New Mexico talking about the dangers of sugar to youth. That certainly defies an industry. Will we have what it takes to defy Post, Kellogg and General Mills and just say no?

I won’t tell you what to eat here but I will share one of the best books I bought off the shelf at my natural foods store. It’s written by a woman who suffered more than many from grain consumption, then found her way out. It’s a gorgeous pictorial book with some of the most mouth-watering food photographs I’ve ever seen. Allied with solid science, author Diane Sanfillipo, BS, NC has created an easy to read complete guide to paleo eating that takes you through how the body functions when it’s confined to SAD (Standard American Diet) and what can happen when delicious, appealing and easily prepared whole foods are reintroduced to what our bodies have really craved all along. I’ve given copies to family members with diabetes and GI distress as they’ve been on their own journeys toward greater health.

To my knowledge boys don’t read my blog. Boys learn from adults, often men. It’s up to adult men to learn how to take care of their bodies, eat well, exercise, drop the inflammatory belly fat, live longer and model vitality for youth because we know pictures are worth a thousand words. Why not be the picture of greater health for yourself and others?

Available at Amazon: Practical Paleo: A customized approach to health and a whole-foods lifestyle by Diane Sanfillippo

Randy Crutcher, EdD, began his professional career as a men’s health educator in a primary health care clinic in l980.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Men's May Telesummit Now Playing

It seems to be the season, or perhaps the age for men to come alive to their true purpose on this planet. Though some would say it's none too soon, our real focus now is in helping each man and boy truly determine his own destiny, one that is inextricably linked with every other man, woman and child's well being. 
The Power of Purpose Tele-summit in March hosted by the Mankind Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving men in finding and living their unique purpose was ground-breaking with thousands of people in dozens of countries participating. It was followed by the seven week Man On Purpose course, a challenging and structured approach to men helping men to become more authentic, purposeful and directed in one's unique personal mission and contribution.  
Many of those course participants have also been served by a team I put together that would deliver Passion Test sessions to men all over the world helping them to get crystal clear about their top five passions, how these are showing up in their lives now or not, how to make them real and begin living them. I want to publicly thank the men Passion Test facilitators on my team for delivering these sessions which are being well received and are assisting men on their journey toward a greater sense of self, unique purpose and mission. Brian Miller in San Diego, California, James Garcia in the Dominican Republic, Terry Mazzer of Queensland, Australia and Sharbel El-Haber of Beirut, Lebanon. You guys rock! Now in 50 countries and 1200 strong, our growing cadre of Passion Test facilitators are playing an important role in peaceful global transformation and exemplify some of the healthiest and strongest partnerships between women and men working together.

And now, on to the next powerhouse summit for men. Check this out!  

On May 14 at 7 PM CDT, Chris Attwood, co-author of the NY Times best-seller of The Passion Test and I will be speaking at the 2013 Men’s Tele-Summit which is taking place now from May 7 – 23. We’ll be joining 21 other experts who will be speaking on a variety of subjects all focused on the theme of Integrating, Balancing & Perfecting: Spirit, Work & Relationships. The subject of our talk will be “The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose”.  Chris and I are really excited about our interview and the event, and we encourage you to attend.

At the end of our interview there will be time for some lively Q & A. You can conveniently access interviews by Phone or PC and best of all It’s Free. To register and for more on topics, speakers and schedules, simply click on either one of these links:

Also, see below for more info:


         A Telesummit For You Men

         (And The Women Who Love You)

Addressing Your Most Critical Challenge

     In Today’s Rapidly Changing World

In today’s rapidly changing world, men are constantly facing very difficult challenges in the areas of work, relationships and spiritual life. May 7 – 23, join Mankind Project Co-Founder Bill Kauth and former Mankind Project Chairman David Kaar along with 21 other renowned experts, for a very special Men’s Tele-Summit.  These highly regarded specialists will be interviewed on 21 topics, where they specifically address these critical issues with clarity, depth, insight and humor. Speaking of humor, World Famous Comedian, Yakov Smirnoff, will be highlighting the value and use of humor in solving many of man’s most difficult relationship problems. 

During Week One, Saniel Bonder, Dennis Lewis, Daniel Gutierrez, Stephen Dinan, Debra PonemanTerry Patten and Craig Hamilton will be participating in powerful conversations about Spirit and its application in every aspect of a man’s life.

In Week Two, Chris Attwood, Randy Crutcher, Vic Johnson, Zappy Zapolin, Ryan Harris, James Braha, Lama Surya Das and host Lewis Denbaum will be focusing on how men can create greater mastery, satisfaction and success in work, career and business.

Week Three focuses on relationships and will include important, insightful and highly valuable discussions concerning community, mentoring, family, intimacy, romance and sex. Our week three experts are Bill Kauth, Susan Bratton, David KaarLion GoodmanRichard Platt, Mark Schillinger, Yakov Smirnoff and Michael Taylor.

Since our intent is to help create real and lasting improvements in men’s lives, there will be an emphasis on that which is practical and effective. Attention will also be given to skills necessary for balancing and integrating spirit, work and relationships, since men often find this particularly challenging.

At the end of each interview there will be an opportunity for some lively Q & A. You can conveniently access interviews by Phone or PC and best of all This Timely Tele-Summit is Free. To register and for more on topics, speakers and schedules, simply Click Here Now:

It’s Spring and its baseball season, which means its time for us men to step up to the plate and become re-invigorated, re-energized and refocused on excelling at the game of life. We warmly and wholeheartedly welcome you to join us at this exciting and transformational event. For Your Free Registration, Click Here Now:

If You Like What We’re Doing, Please Forward This E-mail

This event is of major interest, value and benefit and it’s Free. The People you know will love and appreciate hearing about it, so we would greatly appreciate your help in getting the word out. And please, share not only with men but women too.

A Special Message to the Women Who Receive this E-Mail

You undoubtedly have many men in your lives: fathers, brothers, other male relatives, bosses, co-workers, business associates and friends.  These men would greatly benefit from the sage and practical advice being offered by our 23 experts.  Men’s Tel-summits are fairly rare, so we encourage you to share this information with as many men as possible. Also, please note that in any of your relationships with men that aren’t going so well, that man’s participation in this event could prove very helpful.

And here are three great reasons why you, as a woman, would want to attend:

1) You, along with many other women, may be surprised to find that you’re as excited as most men, if not more so, about attending an event like ours, where the focus is on how men can live happier, better and more successful lives.

2) Since we’re all first and foremost human beings, much of the material being presented at our Men’s Telesummit will also work very, very well for woman.

3) Some topics and speakers will be of extra-special interest to women. For example: Susan Bratton is an award-winning speaker and internationally-renowned author who works with her techno-inventor husband, Tim, providing online home study programs for men and couples who want more intimacy and passion. On May 21 at 7PM CDT she will be speaking about “Re-Creating a Deeply Passionate Sex Life With Your Woman”.

Just know that you are warmly welcome to join us and that we would love to have you.

Again, Attendance Is Free

For more on speakers, topics, schedules and Your Free Registration, Click Here Now:



Copy right 2013 Transformations for Men, Inc

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paying Respects to Our Elders (Dedicated to Hari Lubin 1932-2013)

                                          Hari Lubin- Master of Savoring Life (1932-2013)

One very important strand in the fabric of any society is the way we experience and respond to the passing of our elders.

In traditional societies there are tried and true rites and rituals that guide people’s experience into a resolution and acceptance of the full cycle of life, death and life again.

As I’ve recently rediscovered, our modern society has its own rituals as well, some only vaguely regarded as such, but nonetheless important steps in bringing closure to a life, both in matters of the heart and practical business.

My friend and “father-in-love” Hari Edward Lubin died March 15 at age 80. Notice the new term father-in-love. Though I am married to his daughter Karin, I never felt that the bond and connection in our relationship had much to do with the law and a lot to do with love.

The practical business of dealing with the death of a loved one can be overwhelming, as anyone who has been there well knows. Especially if that person was going full tilt until the moment they were not.  The bureaucracies and businesses to deal with can amp you well up the stress index.
Fortunately for us, we had a village of friends to help with this part of the rite of passage, both in practical concerns as well as the emotional support so needed at the time of a sudden loss of this magnitude.

Being a writer in residence when we were gathered to clean out Hari’s apartment and distribute the accumulated artifacts of a long life, I offered to do my version of an obituary. As though prescient of what was to come, weeks prior I had been reading obituaries more frequently in our local newspaper. Sometimes much is revealed about a person, sometimes very little on those newsprint pages.

The following is not an obit but rather a kind of tribute. You may wonder why it’s in this blog for men, boys and the women who love them. It’s quite personal. My hope is that it will remind you of those you love and wish to honor, both living and passed on. It’s been an important part of my grieving process and I know that it helps soothe family members and friends to recount the pieces of a life they had a share in, some very large and others less so but still significant. 
And I’m sharing because we are seeing the rapid exit of a generation that wrote the script for the 20th century with some of them immortalized in biographies but most not.

Here then is one way I am paying respects to my elder.

What can I tell you about my friend Hari?

I believe we are beings, not doings, and that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Perhaps one of the best ways for me to describe Hari then is that he was a true and conscious seeker of experience. Experiences with people, nature, food, work and fun—not unlike the rest of us.

Something about Hari though is that he actively sought experiences that would deepen his awareness and understanding of himself, and what made him and others tick. He invested more of his time, energy and money in self-discovery than most members of his own generation, perhaps members of any generation I know of.

With that seeking came his pursuit of relationships of all kinds; from the women he had partnerships with, to his many friends and family members.
Over time he found many partners to work with and people to serve in one way or another. All the ways he served shared a common thread-- the removal of suffering and a return to freedom and joy for those ready to receive the help and hope Hari enthusiastically offered.

Hari loved to talk about his own and other’s learning and growing. Paradoxically (and aren’t we all paradoxical?) he could be forcefully opinionated about his view of what he considered The Truth and those who were “really screwing things up,” for both he and the world and at the same time listen to people, see where they were in their own experience. He would encourage them to follow their own path of the heart because that is what he wanted for himself.

Though a spiritual seeker, Hari was also in fact a very practical man. In several respects.
He managed his finances in such a way that he could decide what experiences he would have, then have them.

He learned to live simply as a working class guy, having forsaken the corporate ladder he’d climbed at L’Oreal Corporation in Manhattan in his 30’s after realizing the hollowness of climbing for climbing sake. A cabbie, a short order cook, a caretaker, these were vehicles or a means, not identities for Hari. Context was everything for Hari.

Did he like doing what he was doing, did he like and enjoy the people and were they treating him well and fairly, (a big bone of contention for Hari in the corporate world)? Was it good work, making what he considered a significant contribution to creating a better world?

Hari’s practicality showed up in the many ways he educated himself. Early on he attended the Wharton School of Business. In the latter half of life he could be found in countless workshops, courses and retreats that would provide him with awareness, understanding and techniques he could try out and use immediately. And he absolutely loved that! He’d eagerly try out his new awareness and techniques on those who were willing.

The late 70’s saw him cooking at the San Francisco Ecology Center’s little kitchen where people were urged to sign petitions to support constructive causes or halt destructive ones. Then moving to tiny Caspar, California he pursued organic gardening, recycling, digging pit privies, and guest hosting while living in a small cabin in the woods at the Jughandle Farm Nature and Education Center.

In that era, Hari became involved in the men’s movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. He had great fun with members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a performing group that used satire to ignite social change. He became involved with men’s groups using ritual and ceremony to drop old male role model scripts and performance standards that he strongly felt did not serve him or other men.
In Mendocino, he became involved with Men’s Alternatives to Violence, a women’s shelter-based men’s program helping men who had abused their partners to learn new ways to be respectful and loving in relationship. Hari and I first met at a workshop for multiple men’s groups advocating this work in their respective communities. We became friends soon afterward.

Hari participated in a progressive Jewish community’s ritual and ceremony following death and counseled with the local hospice as well as the Child Abuse Prevention Program. He learned mediation tools and techniques and became a certified hypnotherapist after intensive studies at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

Hari began a private practice and was immediately helping people to stop smoking though his real passion was helping people dive deeper into themselves for their own answers to life’s larger questions and issues. He learned to promote his business and was always tweaking his cards, flyers and presentations in an effort to reach more people.

Hari Lubin was a party animal. At one time a three pack a day smoker and martini drinker in his Manhattan days, he’d long since sought other sensual delights and indulgences, baking his Dad’s Apple Pie for his own and public consumption, obsessing a bit over his dear sister Corinne’s family famous coffee cake, entranced by the perfect bagel, lox and cream cheese creation.

He loved to cook, especially for others. And he loved to dance-- alone and with a partner-- moving            and shaking in his inimitable way with the crowd. He once rented the equivalent of a dance hall for his 60th birthday, an all community event on the Mendocino Coast. He was a master of relishing and savoring.

By the l990’s Hari’s spiritual quest led him to Gangaji, the wife of his former hypnotherapy teacher. Her simple straightforward teachings both challenged and made sense to Hari. He even traveled to India to be with Papaji, Gangaji’s teacher.

Hari moved to Marin County with the idea he could serve more people there. And he was right.
Eventually Hari was drawn into a leadership role with the Gangji Prison program. Gangaji not only gave Hari his new first name that means “love” but also a new vehicle for reaching men least likely to gain attention for recovery of their own mental health and sense of well being.

The words associated with the program, Change is Possible, Freedom in Prison began to represent something significant going on inside the walls and bars of San Quentin. Hari claimed a new territory before turning 70, keeping his practice on the outside while embodying these principles and practices for the veterans of wars and men with life sentences on the inside.

Hari had learned and immersed himself in Gary Craig’s Emotional Freedom Techniques or meridian “tapping” and brought that powerful tool to the prisoners suffering from post-traumatic stress. These men often regarded Hari as one of the few men they could trust and some began to open, to change, to heal and even transform their lives.

When Hari began sharing with us some of the words written by inmates about their experience in working with Hari, he was obviously glowing with a deep sense of satisfaction and a growing sense of awareness, I believe, that this was some of his most important life work, what he came here to do. With the sheer power of his presence in their lives and his proven techniques, he continued the work even after the state declared “religious” organizations could no longer have contact with prisoners. Prison program coordinators helped facilitate Hari’s ongoing contact with the men as they noticed the impact on those lives that had been restrained inwardly as much as they were now confined outwardly.

Have I mentioned the emphasis Hari placed on the importance of relationships in his life?
Hari was a family man above and beyond the conventional sense. A much loved uncle endearingly called “Unc” by his sister Corinne’s sons Brad, Jon and Peter, he also became an uncle figure for a friend’s baby girl, now grown Melissa, who is a top-rated national Ju Jitsu champion.  The three brothers had a strong emotional tie and loved talking with and being with their uncle as did Melissa in her formative years. Hari even extended himself to the wives of his nephews and was considered a trusted “big brother,” by some.
At one point there was a gathering of Hari’s sister and cousins, their husbands and their children’s families at Brad and wife Sal’s home in Rhode Island. Hari enthusiastically encouraged this to become a semi-annual event and in the years to follow all could share in the children growing up and acknowledge the elders passing on. As it was my only experience of extended family it has been a precious gift for me to experience these connections and sense of belonging.
The relationship Hari had with his daughter Karin was remarkable from the start. Often the only father showing up at parent conferences or PTA meetings, he loved being a father in every respect and was incredibly proud of his daughter. And it was not always easy with a divorce from Karin’s mom before Karin turned 10. Hari made choices to leave one stage of life behind yet never wavered in his love for his daughter. Later Karin and he would even share the same work and live together at Jughandle Farm, where they consciously went about clearing the accumulated emotional debris of those earlier years in order to achieve what I believe to have been a model adult relationship between a parent and a child.
Some of Karin’s closest friends became Hari’s. In values, spirit and temperament, he resonated with the sub-culture of my generation without disparaging his own. In our 27-year-old circle of family and friends, Hari occupied his unique role of being an elder simultaneous with that of co-equal friend. If he ever tried to “pull rank,” it was only in pure jest. Within that circle, his playfulness, earnestness, compassion and kindness will be hugely missed.
Hari loved to be “in love.” He expressed this in his relationships with women, sometimes waxing poetic about it. He understood that some feelings could be fleeting. He did what he could to fan the flames and enjoy the moment. In his last year of life he was blessed with being in relationship with Pat. They shared a similar spiritual outlook that deepened and enriched the close loving connection they developed after “recognizing” one another. Though the time seemed brief, we believe it was a very special kind of consummation of Hari’s lifelong love quest.
It’s difficult to encompass any one life in a few pages. I know I’ve certainly failed. That’s as it should be. We are so much more and so much bigger than any one person can know. And perhaps what we do share about someone is more a reflection of ourselves than a statement about them.
What I do know is that Hari Lubin’s life has sent ripples in many many directions and those ripples have touched so many in positive and wonderful ways that the gifts will continue to pop up here and there for a long time to come.
Within two days of beginning this writing I was on a phone call with a man who leads within the organization known as The Mankind Project, a 27 year old non-profit organization that is now worldwide. We were discussing a recent project designed to reach out to more men to help them discover their passions and sense of purpose.
I was still reeling from my sense of loss and had to share that my friend and father-in-love Hari Lubin had just passed away.
There was a pause on the other end of the line, then an exclamation.
Hari Lubin passed away? I know Hari. He’s a friend of mine.