It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and whether or not you celebrate this holiday in a conventional sense, chances are you know what it's all about. In fact, a client in Plymouth, England (yes, like "Plymouth Rock") recently mentioned in session having a bit of envy for those of us raised in America with this "Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes-and-gravy" tradition.
Admittedly, it has always been my favorite commercial holiday, due in large part to its emphasis on comfort food, as well as the invitation to laze around all day watching football on an otherwise typical Thursday. But for me a real holiday is exactly that, a holy day, and in this article I'd like to explore the holiness of giving thanks (the "troubled history of Thanksgiving" notwithstanding).
First of all, let me establish for anyone reading my blog for the first time that I'm Dennis Procopio, and I'm a Life Coach for Men. At the time of this writing, I have been coaching for nearly a decade under the brand Man-UP! Life Coaching (MULC), and have worked with literally hundreds upon hundreds of guys seeking direction in their personal and professional lives. Among other things, these guys have in common that they desperately want to achieve certain and specific life goals which they consider prerequisite for happiness.
In other words, they imagine that they cannot be happy, or even content, until they have hit these milestones. Unfortunately, this thinking sets the precedent that self-worth follows achievement. They defer self-love and self-approval until after they have checked these boxes; which can range from landing a trophy wife to buying an impressive home, getting a great job to making a certain amount of money per year, and so on. The point is that they are not loving themselves unconditionally, but rather are only willing to offer themselves the approval they so desperately crave upon the condition that they perform optimally, in accordance with unrealistic standard.
This sets them up for failure in that achievement becomes a drug of sorts. These men will not (and therefore cannot) allow themselves to feel loved and valued without it, yet are completely oblivious that the cause and effect here are actually reversed. You see, you cannot succeed in life until you understand the mechanism of validation and gratitude, and so you become dependent upon external sources of validation to fuel you in your quest for worldly approval.
Now I'm not going to take you down the Law of Attraction rabbit-hole in this piece; there's an entire Internet at your disposal loaded with both information and disinformation on the mechanics of visualization, and the correlation between thoughts and things. Instead, I'm simply going to say in the most direct and practical way possible that all of the things guys think they need in life tend to manifest only after they have learned the critical importance of choosing validation over judgment, faith over fear, and gratitude over entitlement. These choices reinforce your "holiness", so to speak; and the blessings that follow (or the good fortune, if you will) are a natural consequence of this fundamental recalibration. I use the term "recalibration" because you were not created faithless, judgmental, and self-absorbed. These are learned behaviors. Somewhere along the journey of your human life, you lost your identity as a part of holiness itself. Men have invented many worldly names for this holiness over the centuries, but suffice it to say that -- with or without a label we can universally agree on -- it is something we understand at a visceral level when we express gratitude.... and we are not alone in experiencing its effects. And THIS is why I'm sitting here at my computer writing. My entire life has been a story of trying to win the game, both to proving my own self-worth and to thumb my nose at the nay-sayers. But honestly man? Like real talk, no bullshit, rip the fucking Band-Aid off honesty here? I became successful the day I realized none of this shit matters. Not the wife. Not the house. Not the car. Not the money. Not your dick size. Not how smart you are (or convince people that you are). Not how often, or how dominantly you win in competitive situations. Not how cool, or uncool people think you are.
The only thing that matters is loving yourself and others unconditionally. That's it.
When I started MULC, It was to help guys who needed the help, lacked my skillset, and would've been screwed otherwise. That's all. There was no one doing life coaching for men at that time, and I NEVER thought of it as something that could pay my bills. I just did it because it was a way to help people. It made me happier. It made them happier. One client led to five, five led to ten, and next thing you know my calendar looked like a brick wall. It still does. It's crazy. And yeah, I'm freaking grateful. I'm insanely grateful, and absolutely humbled. Coaching is healing. The more I offer love to my guys, the more they grow. The more they grow, the more I grow. The man I am today has way more to do with the work I've done in sessions with these guys over they years than it does with classes I've taken, books I've read, videos I've watched, trauma I've suffered, gurus I've followed, or otherworldly experiences I've had. I've always said that brotherly love is algebraic, in that what happens on one side of the equals sign necessarily happens on the other. Your healing is my healing. Your success is my success. And your struggle is my struggle, and your pain is my pain. We are all in this together, men working to become the best versions of ourselves that we can be, offering each other the unconditional love and acceptance that is our birthright, in the certainty that by doing so our worldly success is inevitable. Your happiness is my happiness, bro. Literally. So in the spirit of giving thanks, giving praise, and practicing gratitude as the highest expression of our holiness, I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has ever -- in any way -- been involved with MULC. Thank you to my clients from back in the days when I only worked under a tent on the beach (true story). Thank you the guys who were with me back when I used to do sessions on my iPhone from a coffee shop. Thank you to those clients who were with me when I got my first office. And of course, profound thanks to the coaches and admin who now meet with me once a week on Zoom, working tirelessly on the backend to continue growing MULC into the thriving community with International reach that it has become. Thank you. - Dennis