I LOST MYSELF

“…the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:  what have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?” Antonio Machado Most people never really know the date, time, or place that we let ourselves slip out of sight. I know when I got my genetically pre-dispositioned heart attack several years […]

I’m Not Your Mother and I’m Not Your Father: How We Speak to Adults

“…all spoke the same language. That was the time when words were like magic…” Inuit If you are not my parent, why do I feel like a child? Growing up in Alabama, or at least trying to, my mother almost always talked to my dad as if he were her son or her father. Dad […]

Courting a Woman’s Soul – Part 2: In Search of the Feminine

“It still hasn’t occurred to Western man to stop looking on woman as a symbol of something and to begin seeing her simply as woman – as a human being.” Robert Johnson Still here in 2020, most men are still unconsciously searching for their own feminine part of their being in the faces, eyes, and […]

Courting the Souls of the Ones You Love: the “Platinum Rule of Loving”

I was forty-something and still longing to be loved the way I needed to be. She had the same longing. Misguided like a missile missing its target, I practiced the “Golden Rule” – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” So, I tried to send her love the way I wanted […]

Courting a Woman’s Soul

Last night as I was sleeping, I dreamt—marvelous error!— that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures. Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly By the time I met my friend who became my wife for 16 years, I had […]

The Flying Boy Letters: Getting Back to Y’all 30 Years Later

This is a most unique and comprehensive book, which is a culmination of thousands of hours of teaching, counseling, key noting clinical conferences on relationships, men’s issues, recovery, anger, regression, grief, and passivity. This small book is the “best of” 30 years. I would be honored and appreciative of any support you may provide. Please buy […]

Conflict

“In fact, the conflict itself is creative and perhaps should never be healed.” ~ Thomas Moore Very often men seek to remove conflict. At times that’s the best move to make. But hoping for an end to all conflict is unrealistic. Conflict is natural; it’s part of living in community rather than isolation. When conflict […]

Seeking the Truth

If you tell the truth, you have infinite power supporting you; but if not, you have infinite power against you. ~ Charles Gordon I’m a man who has told lies and lived lies and listened to the lies of other men. Lying is what I was taught to do. I was told that if it […]

Where is the Treasure?

If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having. ~ Henry Miller As boys, many of us learned that having a lot of toys brought popularity. As teenagers, whoever had the first car was the center of attention. If we had more clothes, money, and athletic ability, we had more […]

Deep Respect

Our capacity for intimacy is built on deep respect, a presence that allows what is true to express itself, to be discovered. ~ Jack Kornfield Respect can connect humans at the deepest level. Love that is based on respect – rather than need or longing – is more enduring. Such respect can tolerate great differences. […]

A Quiet Strength

“A thoughtful book like this encourages contemplation, rather than hyperactivity, and, oddly, we need good words in order to find fruitful silence.”  ~ Thomas Moore – Care of the Soul Who will mentor, teach, and touch the souls of the boys who have been bullied, bloodied and beaten literally or figuratively? Each day from now […]

Every Time You Say “YOU,” You Will Pay!

The rule for men and women’s communication before, say Adam and Eve, was to not talk much about anything.  Adam never told Eve how he felt about the apple thing. Then there was a huge communication advance somewhere around the 80’s – “When you say or do, I feel…,” and then you would fill in the […]

Seven Years to Seven Minutes

“It ain’t dying’ I’m talking about, it’s living…” Gus in Lonesome Dove Hold on, there’s a good and true ending. Let’s say your doctor tells you (God forbid), “You have seven years to live.” Here are the four questions I had to ask myself when I did this exercise: Where will you go? What will […]

Designated Problem: Let’s Get Rid of the Label

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding about ourselves. C.G. Jung “Mend his life.” “You really need help.” “Fix her.” “If he would just get into therapy.” “If she would only stop drinking.” “We’d be all right then.” No, you wouldn’t be and neither would they. You see, one of […]

Why We Can’t Be Rejected

“When we lose someone and we find ourselves, we win.” Anonymous One of my best, dearest friends I’ll call K has broken all contact. She doesn’t call; she doesn’t write; she doesn’t send flowers or return texts, and seemingly doesn’t miss me at all. My psychologist brain says, “don’t take it personally.” My human heart […]

CLOSURE: A Made-Up Relationship Term

If you’re going home for the holidays, trying to recover from a divorce, a break-up or really any transition, change or loss may I suggest we stop looking for Closure. Closure is, according to the dictionary, “a psychological term that describes and individual’s desire for a firm answer to a question and an aversion to […]

So What’s the Holdup on Being Held?

As Part II to my previous post, “Isn’t It Touching,” I thought touch-starved men might be interested in considering the following ideas. Most men either have one male friend who lives in Russia or Tasmania, but they haven’t  met face to face in 30 years, or they have none – solution? Get more men in […]

Excerpt from best-selling book The Flying Boy: Healing the Wounded Man

The following is taken from my first best-selling book, The Flying Boy: Healing the Wounded Man. I thought it was timely to share this since I will be keynoting at two men’s events this month: Oct 19-21 The Bubba-Buddha Men’s Empowerment Weekend for Mentor*Discover*Inspire Organization (MDI) ~ LaFayette GA Oct 26-27 What Does Healthy Masculinity […]

Where Do I Go from Her: Writing Out My Divorce – Part I

In this unusual blog post I am sending out samplings of my new soon-to-be eBook. I am very interested in your thoughts and feelings about this little project. So if you have time and the inclination to leave me a note or email me at john@johnleebooks.com, I’d certainly welcome and appreciate any and all responses. Thanks […]

Enhancing Emotional Intelligence – Part II

Separation vs Isolation Emotionally intelligent people engage in separation instead of isolation. By age two children begin the process of separating from their parents. By age twelve they are fully engaged in the process; unless the parents did not experience healthy separation from their parents, in which case they will tend to cling and limit […]

The Flying Boy Letters: Responses and Replies 30 Years Later

This an excerpt from my forthcoming book written with Kat Hrdina. …I think that an addiction to a person is much worse than an addiction to a drug. My relationship with this man was like a roller coaster ride all the time. We would get close emotionally, so I thought, only to be dumped then […]

And now for a break from psychology and into the realm of fairy tales

“We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell …The King then decided to find his ugly snake son a bride and get him married so his golden haired son could get married and inherit the kingdom. So he looked all around […]

Boundaries

WE HAVE TO WATCH OUT WHERE WE’RE GOING: Boundary Errors and Boundary Violations First, a boundary is “This is how close you can come to me:” physically, spiritually, in conversations about love or money, etc. A “boundary error” is when someone, whether friend or foe, has crossed over into my space, my yard, my soul, […]

Passivity – Part II

Identifying Passivity Passivity is a compulsion or learned tendency to live at half-speed regarding certain segments of their life. Almost no-one reading this is “purely” passive but rather exhibiting passive tendencies which ultimately leaves people feeling their life or career glass is half-empty and thus halfheartedly committing to projects, plans and goals. Passive people are […]

Passivity – Part I

Solving the Problem of Passivity Passivity is the compulsion to pursue the opposite of what we say we want. This compulsion left unidentified and dealt with leaves us unfulfilled at best, sabotages success and at worst depressed, hopeless and feeling victimized. “I don’t care. Whatever you want is fine with me.” “It is not the […]