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BlogMasculinityMen's Health


March 22, 2023
A few months back, I wrote a post called “Short King or Daddy Long Legs” that explored the practice of leg lengthening by men. A ghastly and painful exercise just to get a few inches taller. Well, as a man…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Checking with Mr Nice Guy

March 15, 2023
I met Aditya Ganjoo for the first time last Saturday morning at a Full House meeting. For him, it was 9:30PM local time in New Delhi and he was attending his first ML event. He engaged with authenticity and vulnerability.…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Welcome, Pain.

March 7, 2023
Community Member, Martin McLeish, shares his experiences participating in the Self-Compassion Small Batch. The ice exercise he references at the beginning of the piece requires the participant to hold a piece of ice until the pain becomes unbearable and then invites…
BlogLiving Intentionally


March 1, 2023
A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with Michael Pealow, a social innovation consultant working with Indigenous men in the Yukon. He shared with me that he subscribes to a “mind model” that views everything as energy,…

Why Boys Stop Reading?

February 22, 2023
Writer, Matt Haig, posted this piece on his Instagram. I wanted to share his interesting data and perspective. Thoughts? At age 11, most boys enjoy reading. By 14 that drops from 65% to 32%. In other words, we lose half…
BlogLiving Intentionally


February 15, 2023
Over the last week, I have found myself in multiple conversations about purpose. First, Chris Lozier and I interviewed Nico Lagan for an upcoming episode of our podcast, If You’ve Come This Far. Nico is “a men's coach, an entrepreneur,…

Macho, Macho Man

February 8, 2023
A couple of days ago, my friend, Chris, and I were talking about the construction industry. I had recently learned that our friend, Paul Sullivan, Founder of Company of Dads, had been interviewed on the “Mothers in Construction” podcast. An…
BlogMen's Health

Meet Guy Fitzgerald

February 1, 2023
Starting today, we will be adding a Healthy Tip of The Week to our weekly email. Given our vision of a world of healthy, intentional, connected men, we thought it was appropriate to talk about health (physical and mental) on…
BlogLiving Intentionally

All the Light I Need

January 25, 2023
In his latest Monster Whisperer video, Jimmy Talarico introduces one of his art pieces, entitled “All the Light I Need,” to make a point about moving out of the darkness and into the light. I was immediately attracted to this…

Jobs Wanted

January 18, 2023
On Tuesday’s episode of Zen Parenting Radio, a podcast cohosted by our Executive Director, Todd Adams and his wife, Cathy, the Adams talked about her mom’s recent passing (Judy Cassani passed away on January 9th…Condolences, Cathy 🙏). During the discussion,…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

Sexual Creative Energy

January 11, 2023
I am a big fan of Conscious Leadership Group (CLG). CLG is run by Jim Dethmer (you can listen to Jim on our podcast here) and Diana Chapman. MenLiving’s 5 Suggestions are influenced by the work of CLG. One of…
BlogLiving IntentionallyPersonal Growth

Top 5

January 4, 2023
My good friend, Tommy Skelly, will often proclaim that some thing or event is in his "Top 5." For example, Top 5 Root Beer Floats, Top 5 Golf Courses, Top 5 Bus Rides, or Top 5 Showers (for pressure). So…
BlogLiving Intentionally

The Clock (s) Are Ticking.

December 28, 2022
“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.”  Stephen Vincent Benet   I find our culture’s “end of year” energy interesting. The mass media has…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability


December 21, 2022
I just completed Matthew Quick’s new novel, We Are The Light (WATL), in preparation for our interview with him for our podcast, If You’ve Come This Far. You might know Matthew as the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, an…

Good, Good, Good?

December 14, 2022
I subscribe to the good good good newspaper. According to their website, Good Good Good is the media company that helps you feel more hopeful and do more good. I am all in on feeling more hopeful and having more…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Life is Full of Challengeable Moments???

November 30, 2022
The National Football League has a rule called the Coaches’ Challenge. The Challenge works as follows: In each game, a team will be permitted two challenges that will initiate Instant Replay reviews. The Head Coach will initiate a challenge by…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Holly…A Love Story

November 30, 2022
Community Member, Martin McLeish, shares a story of struggle, love and living in the moment. November 1987 “Fuck it”, I said. I had had enough. I was the explosives guy at the Silver lake Mine in the Kalgoorlie area. This…

Better Than A Gratitude Rock

November 23, 2022
On this day before Thanksgiving, I am thinking I suppose appropriately about gratitude. But I am thinking about it in a little more twisted way than you might expect. In the information diet that I choose to consume, I see…

My One for the World Story

November 23, 2022
I’m a senior in college, living in Durango, Colorado, and grew up in a nice suburb of Chicago. I have a loving family, I’ve always had a warm bed to sleep, more food than I need, and have the privilege…

Short King or Daddy Long Legs?

November 16, 2022
I recently read that the new UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is regarded as a Short King (he's 5' 7"). Short King? I had never heard the term before though I had a pretty good idea what it was all…
BlogConnectionMeet MenLiving

Introducing MenLiving Connect

November 9, 2022
My first friend that I remember was Sean Fitzpatrick. Second Grade. Sean and I were on the nerdy side. Studious. We liked books. It’s possible we were drawn together by our same first name, but I don’t recall how big…

“He Was A Man”

November 2, 2022
On July 31, Bill Russell died at the age of 88. He was a once in a generation athlete known primarily for his time as the center of the Boston Celtics collecting 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. I grew…
BlogLiving Intentionally


October 26, 2022
A piece from Bob McKinnon.  He is a writer, designer, podcast host, children’s author and teacher. Last week, I took a few minutes to create a list of all the major things I’ve done professionally so far this year. While…
BlogThought Leader Interview

MenLiving Thought Leader: An Interview with Dr. Frank Keil on Wonder

October 19, 2022
In this edition of the MenLiving Thought Leader Series, Patrick NcKenna interviews Dr. Frank Keil, Professor of Cognitive Science and Director of the Cognition and Development Lab at Yale University, and author of the book, Wonder: Childhood and the Lifelong Love of Science.…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Suggestions for Living Fully: Live Intentionally

October 19, 2022
MenLiving wants to see a world of healthy, intentional, connected men. To make that vision a reality, we create spaces where men can connect, heal, and thrive. We also offer simple suggestions for how they might live life more fully.…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Suggestions for Living Fully: Live Candidly

October 11, 2022
MenLiving wants to see a world of healthy, intentional, connected men. To make that vision a reality, we create spaces where men can connect, heal, and thrive. We also offer simple suggestions for how they might live life more fully.…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Suggestions for Living Fully: Live Emotionally

October 4, 2022
MenLiving isn’t about creeds or gurus or judgments. Still, we believe that some approaches to life can lead to greater contentment. With that objective in mind, we created a list of 5 suggestions for living more fully for your consideration, hopeful that…

The Crisis of Men and Boys

October 4, 2022
I am a fan of David Brooks and have been reading his New York Time column for a long time. Last Friday, he posted the following piece on the struggles of boys and men in our society. Most of the…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Suggestions for Living Fully: Live Curiously

September 27, 2022
MenLiving isn’t about creeds or gurus or judgments. Still, we believe that some approaches to life can lead to greater contentment. With that objective in mind, we created a list of 5 suggestions for living more fully for your consideration, hopeful that…
BlogMental Health

Saved by Loving Kindness

September 27, 2022
A couple of weeks ago, Todd Adams, MenLiving's Executive Director, sent a video to contributing members sharing news on the suicide ideation training MenLiving facilitators completed with NAMI. In response, Martin McLeish sent the following note... About fifteen years after…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Suggestions for Living Fully: Live Consciously

September 21, 2022
MenLiving isn’t about creeds or gurus or judgments. Still, we believe that some approaches to life can lead to greater contentment. With that objective in mind, we created a list of 5 suggestions for living more fully for your consideration, hopeful that…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving evolving…

September 13, 2022
MenLiving exists because men are bad at friendship, the lack of friendship leads to greater levels of anxiety, depression and death, and men die earlier than women, and at an ever-increasing rate, by their own hand. Some might suggest or…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Redefining Sensitivity As An Essential Trait in Boys: MenLiving Speaks with Writer Elisse Gabriel

September 6, 2022
The ways that word association and the assumptions that may follow interact with each other have always had cultural meaning behind it. When we hear words like "joy" and "sadness," they usually bring clear understanding of what’s happening. Using the…
BlogThought Leader Interview

What Makes us Happy and What Fills Our Heart Most: An Interview about Life and Fulfilling Relationships with Dr. Belinda Campos

August 24, 2022
Being able to combine lived experiences with your life’s work is a gift not all of us in the world get to have. For Dr. Belinda Campos, who is a professor in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies at the University…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Self-Acceptance, Self-Love, Integrating All Parts of Myself

August 17, 2022
Author: Dan Silberberg Carl Jung and Joseph Conrad are inextricably bound in "The Hero's Journey". For me, the "false self", the mask I use to be lovable, to be acceptable to others, and to project myself into the world has…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Mentorship, Affirming Education and Changing the World for the Better: MenLiving Speaks with Louie Ortiz-Fonseca of Advocates for Youth

August 9, 2022
Louie Ortiz-Fonseca knows how great it feels when a mentor sees potential in someone and helps grow and blossom that potential, almost like a beautiful plant that takes time and care. Ortiz-Fonseca, who considers themselves “a child by nonprofits,” has…
BlogMen's Health

Eight Foods to Supercharge a Man’s Health

August 3, 2022
This Fitbit blog post from Australian Joel Feren was in my feed yesterday and it intrigued me. I am usually not one for random list blogs, but I was thinking about men's health and it hit me at the right…
BlogThought Leader Interview

The Strides Made and the Work Ahead: Celebrating Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX, 50 Years Later

July 26, 2022
Telling the story of one of the biggest civil rights leaders in the history of the U.S. is no easy feat. Being able to tell that story in a fascinating, digestible way for young teenage readers can be even more…

The Sweet Aroma of Friendship

July 20, 2022
I live with the perspective that we humans are just animals with consciousness and that consciousness can be good and bad for us. For this piece, I am not going to share any deep philosophical explanation  about the merits of this…
BlogThought Leader Interview

How Seeking Out Fun Can Bring Fulfillment, Increase Productivity and Keep You Healthy: MenLiving Speaks with Dr. Mike Rucker

July 5, 2022
You’ve most likely heard how the old proverb goes: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The exact origins aren’t known, but the saying first appeared in James Howell’s “Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish” in…

Men Leaning In

June 29, 2022
I was on the phone with some buddies the other day- 3 days after the historic overturn of Roe V Wade.  Although I found myself thinking quite a bit over the SCOTUS decision, we did not talk about it.  Instead,…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Teaching Ethics, Integrity and Healthy Masculinity While Still Remembering Kids are Kids in 2022: MenLiving Speaks with Two Chicago Educators

June 21, 2022
The job of teaching teenagers is no easy feat. It can be frustrating and exhausting for both new and well-seasoned educators. But for Brandon Woods and Jonathon Legendre, it’s all part of the process of helping develop young minds, with…

Reflections on Fatherhood

June 15, 2022
Being a father to a child can mean so many things to different people. As Father’s Day approaches, MenLiving wanted to highlight what fatherhood means to some of the dads in our community. Get ready to smile, feel inspired or…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

MenLiving Emotionally…A Repost

June 7, 2022
I am a big fan of Matt Haig and his writing. He is most recently known for the NYT Best Seller, The Midnight Library. I could list the books of his I recommend, but that would be a waste. I…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Living Boldly and Consciously: How Two Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Way Consumers Make Sustainable Purchases

May 31, 2022
When the pandemic first began in the spring of 2020 and the impact of lockdown was hitting, people found lots of different ways to occupy their time. Some got into knitting, some became sourdough breadmaking aficionados, and some used the…

People Like People

May 25, 2022
I recently read a profile on Brandon Stanton, the founder of the Humans of New York. The reporter writes, “the more stories of uplift he posted, the more people craved them. His most devoted followers, he said, who showed up…

Beauty is (crepey)skin deep

May 18, 2022
The other day I was in a downward dog, and I took note of the “loose” skin on my thighs right above my knees. My wife is often talking about “crepey” skin, and I am covered with it. Up and…
BlogThought Leader Interview

How Processing Grief Can Lead to More Authentic Connections: Andrea Dorn on Writing About Loss for Children, The Power of Mindfulness and Embracing those Tough, Sad Feelings

May 11, 2022
By Patrick McKenna Andrea Dorn never expected to become an author, let alone a non-fiction children’s books. But as someone who was always creative and had a career of experience as a clinical social worker, the pieces of the puzzle…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

Men Who Love Men

May 4, 2022
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Barry Schoenfeld from the California Community of Men. As I subsequently learned when I connected with Barry, he was doing “competitive research” when he came upon MenLiving. Curious, he signed…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

The Games Men Play

April 27, 2022
I love to play games - basketball, pickleball, golf, you name it. But when it comes to friendship with men, games become more challenging to play. Typically, games have rules to follow that make the game fun, but with male…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Teaching Advocacy and Acceptance: Chris Tompkins on Talking to Your Kids, Not Making Assumptions and His Book Raising LGBTQ Allies

April 19, 2022
Author Patrick McKenna When Chris Tompkins realized there was a missing conversation happening with his own family, he felt the need to not just broaden their view on LGBTQ topics, but to do so with families everywhere. This put him…

Special Stuff….Zen Parenting Radio Episode #644

April 19, 2022
We are big fans of Zen Parenting Radio (and not because our ED is one of the cohosts!). From time to time, we highlight an episode that resonates with us. In Support Them from the Outside- Podcast #644,Todd and Cathy…

IYCTF Episode 10: Ben Feller

April 13, 2022
MenLiving presents If You've Come This Far. IYCTF is a podcast where Shaun Emerson and Chris Lozier aim simply to have authentic conversations with interesting people about what they do to make life more fulfilling and more impactful, and they…


April 12, 2022
Author: Mouhsine Adnani At MenLiving, we value curiosity and a desire to better understand the perspectives and cultures of other human beings. We are currently in the middle of Ramadan, and in the spirit of better understanding, MenLiving member Mouhsine…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

A Shocking Revelation

April 6, 2022
Check out this study from 2014… Researchers at University of Virginia and Harvard University ran a series of 11 studies and found that participants from a range of ages generally did not enjoy spending even brief periods of time alone…

React or Respond

March 30, 2022
On Oscar night, after what’s now being referred to as “the slap”, I posted this to the Men Living page: So many thoughts … The idea that a slap to the face is the way to resolve conflict is exactly…
BlogThought Leader Interview

“Healing is a Marathon” How Christopher LeMark is Breaking Down Barriers and Normalizing Therapy, One Cup of Coffee at a Time

March 16, 2022
Christopher LeMark’s path to healing has been a difficult, involving self-examination and learning give himself the space to process and restore his mental wellness. For him, it’s been a marathon, not a sprint. While on this journey, he felt like…
BlogLiving Intentionally

The Work

March 2, 2022
I am a big fan of Byron Katie and her work, The Work. If you are familiar with her, feel free to skip to the “Katie and her work resonates with me” for the big payoff 😏. If you are…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Finding the Courage to Love Yourself and Your Identity, Fully: Dr. Stacee Reicherzer Speaks with MenLiving

February 28, 2022
Dr. Stacee Reicherzer knows exactly who she is and what makes her sparkle. But it wasn’t an easy road to get to self-discovery. Growing up queer and transgender in South Texas, she faced plenty of bullying and traumatic experiences for…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Hold My Hand

February 15, 2022
In 2106, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams published The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. It was a book based on Archbishop Tutu’s visit to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to…


February 8, 2022
5:15 is story from Ryan Bayron's first book, Gummy Bears for the Soul: A Collection of Life Lessons That Are Easy To Chew But Hard To Digest As Told Through A Cacophony of Stories About My Dad That Are Definitely All…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Metaverse, Shmetaverse

February 2, 2022
This picture above is of me. Rather, my Bitmoji. I hope you’ll recognize me in case we meet up in the “metaverse.” Have you been reading about the metaverse? It is a term first coined by Neal Stephenson in his…
BlogThought Leader Interview

The Unending Quest for Happiness: Why Authentic Connection May Be The Answer You’re Missing

January 31, 2022
When Ruth Whippman, author of the New York Times Editor’s Choice book “America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks,” was asked why embracing negative emotions is actually a good thing, she said…
BlogFamilyLiving Intentionally

Zen Parenting: A Q&A with Cathy Cassani Adams

January 26, 2022
On February 1st, MenLiving "extended" family member, Cathy Cassani Adams (she is our ED's wife 😉) wil release her latest book, Zen Parenting. By the title, you might think this book is just about parenting (because it is in the title…

How to Relax Relationship Tension, and Get Your Life Back on Track Fast

January 19, 2022
Guest Author: Steve Srotir Does your relationship feel like a stretched rubber band that’s about to snap? Leaving you stressed, confused, and wondering... How did you get here? What do you do next? Me too… Been there done, done that.…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Getting Intimate

January 12, 2022
On Friday, Patrick McKenna and I were collaborating on a communication piece to welcome new men connecting with MenLiving for the first time. In the initial draft, Patrick included a sentence about small batches. It read, “Small Batches are more intimate…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Making Mental Health a Fitness Routine: Blake Reichenbach Talks About The Intersection of Media, Body Image and Men’s Physical and Mental Wellness.

January 6, 2022
Before Blake Reichenbach founded the publication, Self-Himprovement, he felt frustrated with the content he was being paid to create as a freelance writer. So the writer created his own website where he had the freedom to create the content he…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Numbers & Labels

January 5, 2022
I just finished reading, The Every, by Dave Eggers. The novel is basically about a monopoly tech company that dominates humanity and a woman's efforts to destroy it. In the book, the Every introduces (among many other things) two apps,…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Taking Off the Shield and Raising Boys to Be Emotionally Connected: Dr. Michael Reichert Speaks with MenLiving

January 4, 2022
Patrick McKenna Dr. Michael Reichert has made a lifelong career out of helping young boys get in touch with their emotions and unlearn harmful ideas around masculinity. He’s an author, psychologist and Executive Director of the Center for the Study…
BlogLiving Intentionally

A Radical Blog Post

December 29, 2021
Radical New Paradigm. Radical Candor. Radical Acceptance. Radical Friendship. Radical Parenting. Radical Transparency. Radical Masculinity. Radical Rest (Huh??). These noun phrases are just a small sample of what seems to be a fascination with the radical modifier these days. Are…

Friendships of Character

December 21, 2021
Over the last year, I have used this space to share my thoughts on relationships and friendships. Today, I am sharing with you an excerpt from an interview between David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, and ethicist, Leon Kass. In this…

The Incredible Shrinking Man (or part of the Man)

December 15, 2021
Growing up, I visited with both sets of grandparents often. Without fail, every time I would enter my Nana Emerson’s house, she would give me a big hug and exclaim, “Oh, Shaun, you are getting so big, and I am…

Circles of Friendship

November 24, 2021
Shaun Emerson Robin Dunbar, the evolutionary psychologist, is best known for his namesake “Dunbar’s number,” which he defines as the number of stable relationships people are able to maintain at once. (The proposed number is 150.) But in a new book…
BlogMeet MenLiving

I highly recommend “If You’ve Come This Far” (especially episode 1)!

November 9, 2021
Todd Adams MenLiving has grown quite a bit in its offerings in the last few years. We began as a group of men coming to my living room once a month to have an authentic discussion and has evolved into…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Divine Medicine

November 2, 2021
Guest Author: David Young Being human is a gift, but all too often is a painful and lonely one.  Unresolved pain is trauma of spirit and flesh. Chronic suffering emboldens the lure of addictive and numbing aspects of social media, violence, greed,…
BlogLiving Intentionally

hot sauce on ice cream

November 2, 2021
I like hot sauce / spicy stuff, and I've historically felt constrained by just whether or not the thing is "already spicy".  I've been getting joy lately by figuring out how to make my food spicy, whether it was intended…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

The Other Day…

October 27, 2021
The other day, during a rather tense discussion my wife and I were having…(okay, it devolved into an argument…let me be honest here), it turned from the topic we were “discussing” to how I’m difficult to communicate with.  This led me…


October 19, 2021
Guest Author: David Young Cacao is served worldwide, often at empathogenic and entheogenic medicine ceremonies, yoga/tantric/breathwork/meditation sessions, and many other gatherings. It is easy for anyone to enjoy themselves at home and it can strengthen relationships especially if enjoyed as a…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

How To Not Be Perfect (What’s Shame Got To Do With It?)

October 19, 2021
Erik Treese & Joey Cardella   Spoiler alert: This blog post is about shame.   Ugh.  Cool topic, bro.   Bear with me though.   Here I am, alone in the living room of my 1 BR apartment, having a moment where I…
BlogLiving Intentionally


October 13, 2021
Take a moment and think of what comes to mind when you see the word POWER.   Try saying it aloud.  What do you associate with the word?  If you have pen and paper handy, jot down a couple words that come…

The Kingdom of the Royal Children

October 12, 2021
John Natoli Once upon a time, in an age before memory, there was a kingdom ruled by a greedy and suspicious king. His every moment was overpowered by fears of intrigue and betrayal. He held all his many possessions under…
BlogMeet MenLiving

Who are we?

October 5, 2021
I co-founded a men’s group with Frank Naugo in March of 2012. We invited a few friends into my living room to come together for a conversation.  They didn’t really know what they were getting into and neither did we, but…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Just Say it

September 29, 2021
How are you as a communicator? Do you talk about the things that are hard to talk about? This question has been front and center for me lately. My thinking on the matter has been spurred by the last two MenLiving…
BlogThought Leader Interview

Interrupting the Story: How Survivor Mark Meier Turned his Fight Against Depression into a Fight for Men’s Mental Health

September 26, 2021
After battling depression and anxiety for many years, Mark Meier almost lost his own life to suicide. The pain and mental instability he had struggled with for so long almost pushed him over the edge, but the cry from his…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityFamily

Being Not Right is Uneasily Done

September 22, 2021
It’s hard to not be right. In much of our lives, it’s quite important, if not imperative to be right.  If your tax accountant, dentist, plumber or air traffic controller gets it wrong, there can be severe consequences.  If you show up…

Last Week in Texas

September 8, 2021
When I heard the news last week about the law that passed in Texas, I said to myself “That’s wrong and I wish that law didn’t pass.”  I then went on with the rest of my day without giving it much…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability


August 25, 2021
I was zooming the other day and noticing, at a particular angle, an emerging turkey neck. This development fits nicely with no hair (except in my ears and nose!), muscle deterioration and crepey (more like creepy) skin. At 58, my…
BlogFamilyLiving Intentionally

Peach Pie Party

August 18, 2021
As a student of Life and someone who’s passionate about learning how to more fully participate, engage and grow in my everyday existence, I have learned to seek out and “pool” my resources.  Teacher resources that is.  I lean on myself and…
BlogThought Leader Interview

MenLiving Thought Leaders: An Interview with Andrew Smiler, PhD.

August 16, 2021
In his second entry to the MenLiving Thought Leader series, Patrick interviews Dr. Andrew Smiler. Dr Smiler is an author and licensed therapist with expertise in adolescent boys, men, and masculinity. He is the author of “Is Masculinity Toxic?: A…

Courage to Connect

August 11, 2021
On Monday, I participated in a call with MenLiving member, Tony Schmidt, and Dr. Daniel Ellenberg. Dr. Ellenberg, is a psychotherapist, marriage and relationship therapist, author, and facilitator. He has been leading men’s groups for over 30 years and is the…


August 3, 2021
There are plenty of emotional moments in This is Us, one of the many reasons it’s my favorite show. But one scene in particular choked me up, when Randall, then a 9-year-old boy, was in his karate class with his father observing…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityFamily

Speak to the hurt and locate it.

July 28, 2021
My kids are going through a phase where they seem to want MOM all the time.  The fact is they don’t want her all of the time, but the percentage is pretty high and I did state it “seems” like all…

2022 MenLiving Weekend

July 28, 2021 MenLiving - Unplug, Unwind and Recharge from Shaun Emerson on Vimeo.

Man has intuition (An original poem by John Natoli)

July 13, 2021
Man has intuition too,  We carry it boiling in our belly  A hot coal that won't extinguish It bubbles over in rage or suspicion Its vapor clouds our vision Sizzling whispered lies of ineptitude, inadequacy  Sometimes, when we open our…
BlogLiving Intentionally


July 7, 2021
Dan Shea is a a dear friend of mine. I love him. Today, I am going to tell you a nice story about a good man doing a good thing. Maybe we all could do one good thing today, too. …
BlogLiving Intentionally


June 30, 2021
I drove to Detroit yesterday to meet with some customers, and while on I94 East, I ran into a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam. Teeth clenched… Grrrrr.  Cue the inner dialogue: What’s going on up there?  Where are all these people going in…
BlogThought Leader Interview

An Interview with Andrew Reiner

June 24, 2021
Andrew Reiner has been interested in challenging the tropes of modern day hypermasculinity since his teenage years. After becoming a father, the research he had been doing for years felt even more urgently needed. That, matched with the reception he…
BlogMeet MenLiving

Not Voted Off This Island

June 22, 2021
A neighbor and I used to get together to drink wine and discuss philosophy. (Now and then, we talked about roofing companies and battery-powered lawnmowers, too.) Brad’s an economics professor who spends much of life in a world of numbers.…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

If only people would behave the way I want them to…

June 16, 2021
I recently had a conversation with a member of our Executive Team at work regarding the transition of fully remote, work from home to working back in the office.  Of course, as things begin to open up here in Illinois and…
BlogConnectionLiving Intentionally


June 9, 2021
For a little more than a year, I have gathered virtually with many of the men on this distribution list for meaningful connection. Some weeks, I connect with you multiple times: in big groups, small groups and one on one.…


June 2, 2021
Brother is a song by LA indie rock band Lord Huron. It means a lot to me and if you know the song it might mean a lot to you as well. If this post is your first exposure to…
BlogMental Health

Part III: Finding Love & Acceptance-Living with Bipolar Disorder

May 25, 2021
I chose to share my story through this blog series for many reasons. Since 2017, nearly every person that’s come into my life on a meaningful level knows about my experiences with mental illness. Whether it's a new coworker, someone…


May 19, 2021
Thankfully, my thirst for and commitment to learning never ceases.  By now, I sometimes wish I were further along in my knowledge and understanding but I guess we all learn at a different pace and in our own way.  Take for instance the “learning” of potty training…
BlogMental Health

Part II: Finding Love & Acceptance-Living with Bipolar Disorder

May 19, 2021
Waking up in the behavioral health unit of a hospital was a surreal, humbling experience. There's often a tendency to think you’re above those who are struggling harder than you are -- it was hard to accept that I could be…
BlogMental Health

Finding Love & Acceptance: Living with Bipolar Disorder

May 12, 2021
Hi, I’m Patrick.  I’m about to do what I feel that I do best. I’m going to tell the story of my life and experiences living with a mood disorder. It’s an abbreviated version of the rollercoaster ride of the…

11 Mistakes

May 5, 2021
I’m 19 years into my marriage and I don’t pretend to be an expert. However, I know my foundation is solid and will endure the test of time. Mostly because when I screw up, I do my best to learn…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Birding is a lot like personal growth work.

April 28, 2021
I’m lying in bed (in my camper) unable to sleep and all of a sudden I hear it.  “Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you-all?”   Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you-aaaaall?” The amazing, distinctive call of the Barred Owl.  Undeniable.  And, thrilling…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally


April 21, 2021
"We don't see the world as it is; we see it as we are"― Anaïs Nin.  What does this quote open up your awareness to? Can you reflect on an experience that might bring it alive? Perhaps if it has some…
BlogLiving Intentionally

There’s this dance…

April 14, 2021
There’s this dance of BEing in the present moment AND creating your future.   Oh this dance can be a graceful waltz or a rough krump battle.  It can be carefully choreographed or made up on the spot and improvised.   How to…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Spiritual Bypass or Letting Go

April 7, 2021
Over the last couple of weeks, it has been suggested to me that I may be a “spiritual bypasser.” Do you know this term? From Wikipedia, “Spiritual bypass or spiritual bypassing is a "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing…

“She did all the things”

March 24, 2021
I wrote this post today so you will see this one phrase. And if you decide to read this post, I hope this one phrase sticks to you: “She did all the things.” In yesterday’s episode of Zen Parenting Radio,…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

Questions of Leadership

March 17, 2021
My company recently administered a leadership assessment (test) for a cross section of employees.  The Sales Management team (of which I’m a part) was reviewing the assessment of an individual in our organization we’ve deemed ready to be in a Leadership…
BlogConnectionLiving Intentionally

Zoom or not to Zoom

March 10, 2021
As of yesterday, 92M Americans had been vaccinated. The new President has stated that there will be enough vaccinations for every American by the end of May. Cubs and Sox will let fans in the parks. I am getting a…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

It’s Not How, It’s Where

March 2, 2021
Every day I ask men, “How are you doing?” Usually I get a response like, “fine” or “good”, but that’s not really what I’m looking for. A better way to phrase the question is, “How are you feeling?”   When guys…
BlogConnectionLiving Intentionally


February 24, 2021
Conflict.   Take a moment and ponder this word.  What are your thoughts and beliefs about it? What comes up for you when see and put your attention towards it?   Perhaps say it aloud.  Conflict.   Any body sensations? How do you feel when…
BlogConnectionEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

Alone not Lonely

February 17, 2021
I like being alone. There are many activities I would prefer to do solo, but I don’t often get the chance. I am rarely alone. I think I decided long ago that engaging others would lead to a more fruitful…
BlogLiving Intentionally


February 10, 2021
I found my answer when I was thumbing through Walden by Thoreau the other day.   I’d been working through a couple of weeks of being in some sort of a “funk”.  This somber tone edging up to a low-grade depressed state.  This…
BlogConnectionLiving Intentionally

Sleeping, Working, and Leisuring

February 3, 2021
Every year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys how Americans spend their time. The latest results are from the 2019 study. The chart below depicts average hours per day spent in selected activities in total and then for men…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

People Don’t Care About Me (Why That’s Good News)

January 26, 2021
A good chunk of my day is spent seeking out approval of others.  It pains me (and is slightly embarrassing) to admit, but it’s the truth. Three examples: I do pushups and jog regularly - partially to clear my head and…
BlogConnectionEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

“I’m right, you’re wrong”

January 19, 2021
On a recent Sunday, while engaging in some early morning contemplation time, humor and laughter came to mind.  I was reminded of a couple recent experiences I had related to the topic.  First, I watched comedian Russell Howard interview Matthew McConaughey.  In…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

Performing or Living?

January 5, 2021
Last August, Pete Hamill, the New York City journalist, novelist, essayist and editor died. Over the years, I had read several of his newspaper pieces and had always intended on reading some of his longer works. News of his death…
BlogConnectionMeet MenLiving

Dancing Through COVID

December 29, 2020 The pandemic swept through the world with tragic consequences. Through the adversity and pain, emerged some normalcy, some joy. Watch MenLiving Board Member, Edward Gudas, his wife Laurie and daughters Kalina and Lainie dance and sing their way through…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

I Love Awkward!

December 24, 2020
Every Saturday, for years, I have read Peggy Noonan’s Declarations column in the Wall Street Journal. Last Saturday, Peggy was writing as always about politics, the country and not too surprisingly COVID and the vaccine. Towards the end of the…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Bow…then clean your closet

December 16, 2020
Often, there’s a tape playing inside my head that says, “You’re not doing enough."   This tape can continually run if I don’t stop and bring my awareness to it.  Sometimes I’ll catch myself in these moments and either internally or by physically…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

The GOAT and The Kiss

December 9, 2020
I grew up outside of Boston, but I have now been in the Midwest for almost 20 years longer than I was in New England. And despite my move, I have maintained my allegiance to Boston’s sports franchises. A loyalty…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Living Intentional

December 2, 2020
“How was your day?”  “Pretty good.  How was yours?”  Sound familiar?  It does to me.  Honestly, I get tired of hearing myself reply in that way with such regularity.  Now, don’t get me wrong, “pretty good” is pretty good these days.  My wife is asking me about my…
BlogMeet MenLiving


November 25, 2020
I have been ruminating about our organization’s new name, MenLiving. As you can see, we eliminated the space between Men and Living to create the name and logo. My contemplation led me to wonder what if we added the space…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving – same game, different name

November 17, 2020
Back when I established my first “men’s group” in 2008, I personally invited a handful of men to join me in forming a thing I had little knowledge about, much less a plan for.  Because they trusted me (I suppose) a…

Heads You Win…?

November 10, 2020
For years, I have been receiving Fortune’s daily email, TermSheet. TermSheet provides a summary of the previous day’s venture capital and private equity deals.  A few weeks ago, I read this: Numan, a UK-based online health clinic for men just raised…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

“Don’t Know” Mind

November 3, 2020
I am creating this post on Tuesday afternoon prior to polls closing. I was going to write about men’s health, but figured it would be a little numb not to share something that is born from an election that is…
BlogMeet MenLiving

Intentional Movement with Charlie Rogers

October 27, 2020
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Music Hour 10-26-20

October 27, 2020
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

The Trials of a Rule Follower

October 20, 2020
I continue to learn things about myself.  At 47 yrs old, I’m sometimes surprised to find there’s more here to discover.   This summer my family and I went to visit my parent home in Michigan.  It just so happened that they were…
BlogLiteratureMeet MenLiving


October 14, 2020
The topic of our September 30th Chicago meeting was Cultivating Creativity. Mike Rosen and Todd Adams wrote a couple great poems about their MenLiving experience. We Gather- Mike Rosen Under the timeless glow of an autumn moon We gather Not…
BlogMasculinityMeet MenLiving

What is a “regular” guy?

October 7, 2020
To start, this is a picture of my friend, Craig Dooley. He is a wonderful man. I texted him last night to let him know that I would be writing about him. I think he might be surprised by the…

IMC Thursday 10-1-20

October 4, 2020

Creatively Yours

September 29, 2020
There are at least as many ways in which parenting is wonderful as it is challenging.   My kids teach me things almost daily (I’m guessing you can relate).  Their wisdom catches me off guard sometimes and I’m stuck sitting there dumbfounded,…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityMasculinity

Vulnerability, Leadership, and Masculinity

September 22, 2020
In recent days, we have witnessed a high profile microcosm of the struggle in which our men’s group and we have been engaged for nearly a decade. The arena was no less than the National Football League, the most popular…
BlogConnectionEmotional VulnerabilityFamilyMasculinity

The Most Important Work You Can Do Right Now.

September 16, 2020
A while back, I conducted an initial therapy session with a family: Mom, Dad and sixteen-year-old son. Let’s call him James. Mom and son sat on the couch, dad on an adjacent chair. The presenting issue was the son’s disrespect…
BlogConnectionEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

You know what assuming does…

September 8, 2020
As I was finishing up a run in the forest preserve yesterday I noticed an older woman walking with 2 plastic bags towards the woods.  Wait, is that my neighbor from across the street?  She was a ways away from me but…
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

Am I going to start crying?

September 1, 2020
Last night I was sitting alone on my back deck on a beautiful summer night and was a little beat down from a long week.  I listened to some soft music (Natalie Merchant) and just sat there.  I began thinking…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Just Sitting

August 26, 2020
I am 57 years old. Let’s say for the simplicity of round numbers, adulthood starts at 17. Therefore, I have been an “adult” for 40 years (damn!). For the first 30 of those adult years, I was a workaholic, mostly…

Beauty or Utility?

August 18, 2020
After I’m done with the workday, I generally go out for a stroll through the neighborhood to unwind, get some fresh air and move my bones.   One of the things I enjoy doing on these walks is to check out…

Honest Human Relationships

August 12, 2020
About 3 or 4 years ago, I attended my first MenLiving meeting. Today, I am MenLiving’s Board President and a very involved day to day volunteer. But, honestly, I’m still not particularly comfortable with the concepts of traditional “men’s work,”…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Everything is Possible

August 4, 2020
I’m lying in bed at 4 o’clock am thinking of how things could have gone better in our Sales and Customer Service Coordination meeting today - that’s never a good thing…OR, could it be?  I’m reminded of what this meeting is…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Cry, of course!

July 29, 2020
This past Saturday, to open up our Board of Directors' meeting for MenLiving, we checked-in with naming a man or men that inspire us or is part of the “why” we do this work.  It happened to be a rather impromptu…

Artistry and Play

July 22, 2020
Do you consider yourself an artist?   What is the first type of art that you hold yourself up against when trying to answer that question?  Or, did you immediately answer “no”?  If I weren’t asking the questions here, I would have probably answered…
BlogConnectionLiving Intentionally

Dog Paddling

July 15, 2020
Last week, I was hanging by the pool with my wife and 26 year old daughter when my daughter suggested we have a doggy paddle “competition.” I was reading a book at the time so wasn’t particularly interested. They weren’t…
BlogLiving IntentionallyMasculinity

The Qualities of a Gentleman

July 1, 2020
I wanted to share a blog post I wrote over 9 years ago. The point was and is not political. The point was and is aspirational. On February 15th, President Obama honored 15 individuals at the annual Presidential Medal of…

Carrying Within

June 23, 2020
Recently, spurred on by what’s been happening in this country since George Floyd’s death, we’ve been immersed in several discussions centered around systemic racism in this country and what impact that has on black and brown skinned people and all…
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Finding Harmony

June 10, 2020
Breathe in… To live in a more harmonious world by deepening connections amongst men Breathe out… These prompts are reminders for me, as much if not more than, they are for anyone reading this.   Between breaths is our vision for…

A Tragic Death and the Memory of a Missed Opportunity

June 2, 2020
By now you’ve hopefully heard the story of how George Floyd’s life ended.  I am deeply saddened, angered and disappointed to learn of yet another black man’s life ending prematurely and in such a brutal and senseless way.  He was murdered by…

MenLiving Impact 2019

March 9, 2020
See the impact the MenLiving made in 2019.

Life is Unfair

February 25, 2020
I had a rather unusual Friday night.  It was unusual because I was home all by myself.  I had worked from home and my wife had taken the kids to an early evening "play date" after picking my oldest up…
BlogMeet MenLiving

Meet MenLiving: MenLiving Co-Founders Todd Adams and Frank Naugo

December 19, 2019
Meet the Tribe is an ongoing blog post providing more insight into the men who are members of our community. In our inaugural post, we introduce you to Shaun Emerson
BlogLiving Intentionally

Disprove Your Story…by golly

November 18, 2019
One of the great things for me about exercise, especially the kind that is somewhat monotonous, or rather, "trance-like" (as is the case with running) is how it allows my mind to move in ways it otherwise wouldn't.  Both biking and running…
BlogMeet MenLiving

How MenLiving Changed My Life

November 6, 2019
Fast forward to today, and here we are. I’m sober, and I wish I could go back to talk to the 34-year-old version of me. Among the many things I’d say is that this group can change you. I’m blessed…
BlogMeet MenLiving

Meet MenLiving: Shaun Emerson

November 5, 2019
Meet the Tribe is an ongoing blog post providing more insight into the men who are members of our community. In our inaugural post, we introduce you to Shaun Emerson
BlogLiving Intentionally

Am I enough in this life?

October 16, 2019
Am I enough in this life? Musings and contemplations to help me better understand myself and how I'm spending my time to make the best of this precious life.
BlogEmotional VulnerabilityLiving Intentionally

A Glimpse of Understanding

August 5, 2019
I am visiting my brother who lives in Snoqualmie, WA which is about 30 minutes east of Seattle. After dropping off my 16-year-old daughter off for a lunch date, I had about an hour to kill so I decided to…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving 2.0 Update

April 24, 2019
MenLiving men’s group is excited to announce its new status as a not for profit organization!  The current group began February 2012 in Todd’s living room with a few others longing for authentic conversation and connection amongst men.  Since that…
BlogMeet MenLiving

MenLiving Announces Not-For-Profit Status

April 12, 2019
MenLiving men’s group is excited to announce its new status as a not-for-profit organization!  The current group began February 2012 in Todd’s living room with a few others longing for authentic conversation and connection amongst men.  Since that 1st meeting…

Response to the Gillette Commercial

January 15, 2019
There’s a been quite a bit of on-line dialogue in the last 24 hours regarding the new Gillette commercial “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” If you haven’t seen it, please take a look here. It’s been viewed over…

Don’t Give Your Wife A Break

September 6, 2018
Yesterday a friend of mine was looking for support regarding an argument he recently had with his wife. The story he shared was similar to experiences I’ve had with my wife. “I worked in the backyard and cleaned out the…

White Male Privilege & Toxic Masculinity

July 1, 2018
“White male privilege” and “toxic masculinity” seems to be brought up now more than ever.  Many men I know take offense to these terms.  I don’t because I believe it’s true now and has been true for a very long…

Wanted: White Men…

October 12, 2017
…to step into the mature masculine. I define this as the capacity to be both strong and gentle, competitive and compassionate and the wisdom to know which energy to call on at any particular moment. Some men have recently criticized…
BlogEmotional Vulnerability

Calling All Complacent White Straight Males

August 17, 2017
I am complacent when it comes to the tragedies that fill up my newsfeed - Charlottesville and North Korea, just to name a few. When I hear bad news, I pause for a moment and think to myself, “I’m scared”…

Straight men showing PDA?

April 10, 2017
In this video, straight Dutch men are holding hands in public in response to the gay couple who were physically attacked for a public display of affection.... I find this powerful and moving, and I would love to see…

Parental Amnesia

October 21, 2016
The following is a short list off the top of my head of some personal bad decision making from my adolescence. @ 5 years old I played “doctor” with a girl neighbor across the street engaging in a session of…

Don’t Be A Dick

October 19, 2016
I struggle with the writing process. My mind works in the form of bullet points as opposed to long-form which is what prohibits me from saying what I want to say. But I feel I have ideas of value to…

What is “Men’s Work?”

September 9, 2016
I have been doing a weekly podcast with my wife Cathy called Zen Parenting Radio for the last 6 years. The podcast is not so much about parenting, instead it’s mostly about self-awareness. Typically it’s simply the two of us…

11 Mistakes Your Marriage Needs You to Stop Making

August 17, 2016
I’m 11 years into my marriage and I don’t pretend to be an expert. However, I know my foundation is solid and will endure the test of time. Mostly because when I screw up, I do my best to learn…

Am I a Bad Dad? Am I a Bad Husband?

August 17, 2016
I have been in an on-line debate with a few close friends of mine regarding whether or not men have the nurturing gene the way women do.  I argue that I while I have the ability to do everything (less…
BlogLiving Intentionally

Silence Is Not Golden

July 22, 2016
I am a white straight male. I can wear a hoodie when I walk down the street. I feel safe because I live in an upper-middle class neighborhood.  I don’t get judged because of my skin color.  I don’t have…

What Is Wrong And Right With This Video

January 5, 2016
I posted a 53 second video yesterday morning on my Facebook page. It is of a little boy (maybe 3 years old) stroking, protecting, and caressing his newborn brother. That’s it. Big deal, right? Well the video has been viewed…

Cubs- All The Way?

October 7, 2015
Let’s get one thing straight- I am a White Sox fan.  But on the eve of this Wildcard playoff game between the Cubs and the Pirates, I am 100% rooting for the North-siders.  I have never subscribed to the idea…