We show up best when we are fully present in the moment, but we have a tendency to live in defense-mode based on fears from the past. It’s not that we’re not capable of being more open and mindful. It’s that we don’t know how. Today, Ben King gives us the skillset to armor down and daddy up.
Ben King is an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient who has helped hundreds of veterans “armor down” with mindfulness, meditation, and yoga practices. He tells us how he changed his perspective on what it means to be strong and how that has transformed him as a man and father. He explains how to get out of the stories we tell ourselves and get into our bodies to experience life more objectively. He also teaches us how to hone our skills of empathy and patience so that we can move with life instead of against it. Armor Down. Daddy Up!
Our greatest assets show up when we are fully present in the moment.–Ben King, Armor Down/Daddy Up
Armor Down/Daddy Up
The Armor Down/Daddy Up!™ (AD/DU!) program is designed to assist veterans and active-duty warriors with reentering their families in the most productive and rewarding ways possible. It is also designed to be of value to others who have been impacted by trauma-related experiences.
What You’ll Learn
- Our skillset fails, not our patience.
- Surviving on approval can create panic.
- We often model parents’ triggering.
- Down-regulate patterns that are built into your system.
- Defeating meathead patterns.
- Men are viewed as protectors, using physicality and violence in gesture.
- How Ben King changed his idea of what it meant to be strong. It used to be a presentation. This had its limitations.
- Identify the mindfulness tools that help you. What are the most efficient? Keep bringing them back.
- Train every day to hone your skills on a regular basis.
- As you become more mindful, the layers of being a father and a man become more nuanced and exciting.
- Operating from the intellect and the culturally articulated idea of masculinity is ineffective.
- Getting out of the way of our bodies.
- The driver is the heart. Become heart-focused.
- Ben discovered that the greatest version of himself was not the armored version, but the one that flowed.
- Your story about yourself determines how you will act
- If you’re operating from a place of threat, you cannot use your mind’s high-functioning processors.
- Align your spine, straighten your shoulders to stimulate your parasympathetic system.
- Love by its very nature conquers fear.
- Trauma ruptures your relationship with what was a predictable normal life.
- The rupture gets filled with maladaptive habits that are flawed.
- Give your kid access to the information given them by their body when they are experiencing emotions. Tell them, “It’s okay to feel what your feeling. Let’s look at it.”
- Press your kids to their edge and then let them take the next step on their own.
- Ben’s simple but genius candy strategy to make sure “the walk home” after an event with your kids ends on a positive note.
Our biggest regrets in life happen
when we’ve lost our patience.
Stop Reacting and Start Living
Do the work. Make a plan. Follow along with simple, yet powerful exercises and tap into the patience that is within you.
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