How Christians can meditate without leaving the Church

If you're a Christian or former or lapsed Christian, have you ever wondered whether meditating was possible without using practices from other religions or traditions?

How to practice empathy in relationships and at work: 6 ways

In the holiday season, and in general, it would be great to figure out how to see the world from another person’s perspective. This can help us become aware of the situations of others, which in turn can help us practice generosity. In situations with our families, romantic partners, or even work colleagues, how can we practice empathy?

Figure out men at XY Culture

Welcome to XY Culture! We write "for women figuring out men, and for men figuring out ourselves." We share stories, insights, and tools to help with self-understanding, self-actualization, and healing and strengthening relationships and families. Please click the slider arrows or scroll down to explore more. (Tree Image (c) Matt Hebermehl, hebermehl.com)

Inspiration from music, books, and poetry (Inspiring Shorts #1)

We're happy to introduce a new experiment -- "Inspiring Shorts" -- where we share good vibes from inspiring books we’re reading, poems we’ve written, music we’re listening to, or other sources of inspiration. We hope that we pass some of the good energy on to you.

How to Debate the Family Idiot — 11 Tips for Surviving Holiday Politics

We all experience a crushing dilemma: do I dare engage with an ideologically-blinded family member, or do I abstain? Save the world or save the meal? If disinterested, how do we forgo a political skirmish? If involved, how do we maintain our poise? And if cornered and depleted, how do we escape? These 11 tips can help...

Why men need community and compassion: “The White Snake” fairy tale

Fairy tales for men? These four words seem guaranteed to turn off most men from reading any further. But wait – if you’ve ever felt alone, hurt or confused by a romantic partner, tremendously angry without explanation, or confused about what it means to be a man in our changing times, then please read on...

6 ways to test new career paths

How can you test out a new career path that will lead you to more meaning and fulfillment at work? Here we explore six ways to test out new career paths.

Why you should vote YES on California Proposition 47

Here at XY Culture, we focus on insights and skills to help us relate more effectively to ourselves and our loved ones, with a uniquely masculine angle. It’s all about knowing thyself, healing thyself, realizing your individual potential, and then healing or strengthening your family from there. We will increasingly discuss public policy topics that affect the health of American families or the rights of individuals, and these will sometimes be opinion pieces. This one is short, and goes out to our California readers: PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 47 this Tuesday!!

4 ways to thank your loved one

Contempt is the biggest predictor of divorce, according to relationship experts John and Julie Gottman. Also according to the Gottmans’ long-term research on “master couples” who handle relationship stress and conflict in stride and remain happy, one behavior is the “antidote” to contempt: gratitude. But how do we get into the groove of sharing gratitude with our loved one when we may have never consistently done it before?

The difficulty of improving gender roles in Japan (Jun, Part 2)

In Part 1 of this interview, we discussed how the Japanese economy has downshifted, but that assumptions about family structure and job security appear to not yet have adapted. Here, we explore what specific challenges married couples face now, and what are the implications for manhood in Japan. Please read to the end of this brief article for reflection exercises you can try.

The 4 worst relationship behaviors to avoid, based on science

Fighting with our loved ones can feel terrifying, and it’s easy – if we don’t know what we’re doing – to get trapped in bad habits that lead to the deterioration of our marriage or long-term relationship. Fortunately, as we discussed earlier, conflict is natural and to be expected. However, there are four behaviors to avoid when in conflict, according to the Gottmans’ copious research.

How economic changes can influence gender roles (Jun, Part 1)

I recently interviewed a Japanese man, Jun, who lives and works in Tokyo, about his observations on Japanese culture and shifting gender roles. If you live in the US and are wondering how his perspective could be at all relevant to your own life, then read on. He has a unique perspective in that he went to college in the US (only about 1% of Japanese college students do this), then returned to Japan to work for a multi-national company. One of his hobbies is reading and reflecting on current events and Japan’s history. In this first installment, we explore how economic, political, and cultural factors can influence gender roles at home and work. If you’ve ever felt alienated from or confused by the way your parents raised you, then read on for some fruitful discussion questions that can help deepen your understanding of yourself, your parents, and your own particular social and historical context.

Stresses of parenting that everyone needs to know about

Welcome to Part 2 of our “book club” on Gottman and Gottman’s “And Baby Makes Three”. In Part 1, we introduced the book and the scope of the problem. In this installment, we share insights about the stresses of parenting that are common yet rarely talked about. You’re not alone – that’s the point of Chapter 1. Many couples feel alone in their parenting because gender roles and parenting values have shifted so much in the past twenty to thirty years that many young couples may feel they can’t look to their parents for advice.... And you may not have an older, wise person to call on for advice (like a mentor or friend from a church or other group). Add to this the tendency for men not to talk about their emotions (though this can affect men or women) and you’ve got a recipe for silence and pent-up tensions that lead to relationship problems getting worse rather than resolved.

New reader poll: What do you want more of at XY Culture?

(image (c) Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Dear Readers, Please tell us what you'd like to read more about at XY Culture by taking the this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FCDFFRJ It's anonymous, multiple choice, and only 7 questions! We bet you can get it done in less than 3 minutes, and we would feel very grateful for your thoughts. We're hearing a lot of preliminary interest in everyday mindfulness, life mentors, more interviews with experts, and more on Andrew's life path. Agree? Disagree? Weigh in and help this blog become more of what you want. Thanks! Andrew & Steve

5 ways to use intuition to find your unique career path

In this installment on finding and creating your unique career path, we introduce five practices that can help cultivate an intuition of how to find our way.

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