DadsNews   September, 2006   Volume 2,  Number 10 

Ken Mossman, MFA, CPCC, PCC              518.580.0550


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In this issue:

  1. Greetings!


Greetings!

Hello,

Good to be back with you - after a brief journey to both right and left coasts - as we gaze over the garden wall into another autumn...

More than a few trees in our neighborhood are beginning to show their fall tints. The flower gardens are slowing down, the hummingbird sightings have dropped and the evenings are coming sooner and colder than they were a few short weeks ago.

The kids are back in school, of course. That feels like the biggest change in our house.

We saw the season's first pumpkins as we drove back home early this evening. Pumpkins are a sure sign of what's next, and what's next brings us to this month's feature, "Desserts...Just or Otherwise." Let's just call it a cautionary tale and leave it at that...

Be sure to visit the "Happenings" department. More cool goings on are on the Cirrus site, so do stop by...

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of September!

Yours,

Ken

PS: As always, I'm grateful to you for spreading the DadsNews to friends and fathers the world over... Thanks!

The Royal Tree

Father and Son in a Tree...


Desserts...Just or Otherwise

Somewhere in the deep, wide Universe there is a law - most likely engraved on a dark stone tablet - that says something like this: "If you are gifted with children, you must fill your larder with sweets to ward off famine."

I know this must be so, because there is no other logical reason to possess a larder full of sweets. Foods dense in calories would be a real boon during seasons when seasons when princes are busily dreaming of meadows full of bony cattle.

Goodness knows we see lots of such seasons in Upstate New York, so we know the importance of being prepared.

At least in the Ben and Jerry's model of preparedness...

I come from a long line of ice cream aficianados. If my son were a red-headed lab experiment, it wouldn't take a genius in genetics to figure out that in this case, the hot fudge has not fallen far from the jar.

A little dessert background: As a kid, there were always some sort of after-dinner goodies floating around our home in Verona, NJ. Fast forward a few years to my days as a student or a professional skier, whence sweets were a rare occurance in my domicile.

It wasn't that I didn't like them, rather that I was either surrounded by the stuff as I worked kitchen jobs, or I just didn't give much thought to keeping that sort of thing around for myself.

Jump forward yet a few more squares to the years I shared space with Potsy, who, in those years, was an absolute fiend when it came to matters of frozen confections. His forays to the freezer are the stuff of legend - and they are all true.

On rare occasions, I would buy a pint of my favorite flavor - Coffee Heathbar Crunch - figuring that over the course of a month or so, it would be a great thing to have on hand. I'd have a scoop or two, put the container away, and think nothing of it until the urge struck again a couple weeks later. I'd open the freezer, fully expecting to find my pint exactly where I'd left it...

I quickly learned that my expectations were totally unrealistic. To think that a pint of Vermont's Finest would last more than 24 hours in Potsy's space was a grievous mistake that must have cost me tens of gallons over the years we lived together...

Jumping ahead a few more years I found myself married to a dyed-in-the-wool cookie fanatic who wouldn't give a certain Muppet the time of day if she and he were the last two beings left alive on the planet - and there was but one remaining Double-Chocolate Milano to share between them. The Monster wouldn't stand a chance...

Part of our family culture, therefore, has been the ever-present bag o' cookies, ingredients to prepare cookies, (you just don't know when you'll need to whip up a batch...) or bucket o' ice cream (for my son, of course...) Bottom line: The stuff is always around - rarely more than a few paces away.

Here's what I find so fascinating: Even though dessert was part of the culture of the house I grew up in, it wasn't a regular ritual once I left. As Robert Heinlein might put it, in the fullness of time it grew to be a ritual, then it morphed into a habit and, of late, has felt more like a strange, unconscious, almost numb act.

The preferred object of my foggy attention has been these heinously delicious Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips - straight from the bag, sans cookie...

Unlike my days in the company of Potsy - or even as recently as a year or two ago - recent research has shown that when I eat the stuff after dinner... I feel just plain lousy. It's gone on that way for a while...

Since she normally buys the stuff, I did my level best to place all the blame squarely on Danielle's shoulders - as if she were a well-armed dessert gangster forcing me to down chocolate chips at gun-point. The abdication of responsibility wasn't sustainable. I really don't understand why she was so reluctant to take it on. After all, it didn't have anything to do with me. What do you suppose was up with that?

I like to think of myself as the master of my domain, including my body. I've been spending some quality time with different Masculine archetypes, with special attention on the "King." What I discovered was that once dinner was over and the chips were on the horizon, any inkling of royalty had vanished. The land was left open to attack from all sides. Not to be overly melodramatic, but it's pretty clear that I'd invited a number of saboteurs over the border. I welcomed them as they came across, bags laden with sweet seduction...

Alright, enough of the flowery nonsense...

Feeling yucky just wasn't working for me. Complaining about it didn't help much, either... Though it did set a shining example for Cai: "Hey Son, watch me as I consume all this #@~!*, then whine about how I feel! Pay attention, these are important life skills!

Um... I don't think so...

After some wonderful work with a class I was leading last weekend, I had a pretty clear sense that the emperor - or in this case, the King - though not necessarily without clothes, was expanding. Not growing, mind you... Just expanding.

Unconsciousness is a funny thing... And sneaky. In combination with delusion - as in, "I can start minding the shop tomorrow..." or "I still think of myself as the hyper-fit athlete I was when I was 19..." the impact can be far from pretty.

Our bodies don't care whether the messages they send are worded properly or not. They can't be concerned about rank or royal standing. If we neglect or poison them - consciously or unconsciously - they will let us know.

I'm not concerned about the precise physiological process that is causing post-chocolate yuck syndrome. The message is clear to me: "This ain't working."

I'm putting a small cut-out of a crown on the freezer - a reminder for me to have a word with the King before I pay Ben and Jerry another unconscious visit. I've been wearing a yellow "LiveStrong" band around my wrist for a while, and present circumstances have given it new meaning for me. Something having to do with making conscious choices about how I treat this bod of mine...

It's not that I want to adapt a fanatical posture toward dessert. There are clearly other places my energies are better spent. I'm not interested in saying "no forever." I just want to be awake for every part of the ride.

I've consulted with the King on all this, and he's given me the thumbs up. He even told me my decision is good for the Queen, the Prince and the Kingdom. Seems he wants the same things I do...


Quote of the Month

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside."

Mark Twain


Happenings...


F.r.e.e. Teleclass:

"Love, Anger, Joy and Fatherhood"

The path of conscious Fatherhood gets bumpy sometimes... And it's still a magnificent path that yields new wisdom and other rewards beyond imagination. "Love, Anger, Joy and Fatherhood" is an exploration for, by and about Fathers.
Coming in early October... Visit the Cirrus website for more information....


October 2006 :: The Power of Polarity


Expanding Our Capacity as Humans by Exploring the Edges of Masculine and Feminine Power

Here's what past "Power of Polarity" participants have to say:

"This was a life transforming/solidifying weekend for me. I changed at a cellular level. I'm not the same person I was when I arrived... Thank you all and keep it coming!"

"I'm able to finally feel fully the energy that I have known was always there. Anything is possible! You guys rock! The passion, love and commitment just oozes!"

“The workshop was life enhancing for me. I broke through to something I have been trying to access for years.”

Join us for a 3-day experiential journey to…

o Gain a deeper awareness of masculine and feminine energies within yourself and others.
o Learn to discern between masculine and feminine energies that serve you… or hold you back.
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o Explore and experience archetypes and “shadows,” and learn to consciously harness their powerful gifts.
o Discover the composition of your own unique Masculine/Feminine “masks.”
o Learn how to express, work and play with Third Way energies.
o Take home a conceptual framework, language, exercises and tools to apply this work in tangible ways—in your view of yourself, in your relationships, and at work.
o Be a vital part of ground breaking work and a growing community… be a leader in the much-needed evolution of these energies in our world.
o Discover how to work with these powerful energies to invite more joy and creativity into your work, your play, and your relationships!

Logistics:

o October 13-15, 2006.
o Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
o For more info, visit the Cirrus website...


More cool stuff is available at the Cirrus Leadership website!

Next issue of DadsNews: Thursday, October 12, 2006.
Until then, look to see if you really, really want to eat that!


DadsNews ©2006, Kenneth Mossman, MFA, CPCC, PCC,  Cirrus Leadership®
Use and distribution permitted and encouraged, providing attribution is... well, attributed!