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Why You Should Attend a Men’s Retreat in the Near Future | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 078

Why You Should Attend a Men’s Retreat in the Near Future | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 078

The biggest problem affecting men today is that we don’t get to connect with similar men on a deeper level. I struggle with this too, so you’re not alone. 

Modern life fills our calendars with to-do’s, family, and stress, which doesn’t leave much time to connect deeply with other men. When we do hang out with other men, it’s usually superficial: Watching sports, talking about the news, or having a drink. 

But something magical happens when you connect with other men on a deeper level: 

You unlock meaningful change, uncover deep-seated fears and insecurities, and understand how to become a happier and more fulfilled version of yourself. 

In today’s episode, I discuss…

  • My main takeaways from the last men’s retreat I hosted 
  • Why attending a men’s retreat can unlock the change you’ve been searching for 
  • How to attend the next Man Flow Yoga men’s retreat

And more

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss

Episode 078 Highlights

  • How being surrounded by other men with similar values is the quickest way to enhance your happiness, productivity, and overall quality of life (0:50) 
  • The “Repeated Why’s” secret for revealing your ultimate motivations for self-improvement (2:42) 
  • Do you struggle with being vulnerable with loved ones? Here’s how to overcome this fear… (6:10) 
  • Why getting out of the normal hustle-and-bustle of your routine unlocks meaningful change—rapidly (10:38)
  • The single biggest problem modern men face that’s making you unfulfilled and unhappy (15:36) 
  • How to increase your longevity if you’re in your 50s, 60, or 70s (17:39)
  • Want to become a better version of yourself—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Here’s your invitation to the Be The Better You Men’s Retreat in April (limited spots left!) (20:30)
Episode 078: Why You Should Attend a Men’s Retreat in the Near Future - Dean Pohlman - Transcript

Hey guys to scene. Welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo episode, and in this episode I want to talk about the importance of getting together with a group of other men in a retreat environment and using this as a vehicle to improve yourself. If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably a fan of you’re probably passionate about being the better version of yourself, about self-improvement, about figuring out how can you be more fulfilled with your life, how can you be happier?

How can you be more productive? How can you work through your perceived barriers and how can you ultimately have a better life? So the be the better you Weekend is a concept that I created a few years ago. I started this in 2019. That was the first time I did it. I did it again in 2020 and I just completed it again in the end of 2022.

And the idea behind this is to go into all of the topics necessary to really improving yourself. So not just talking about productivity hacks, not just talking about improving your fitness with yoga, but having conversations, having dialog that leads to you coming to realizations about yourself that you didn’t previous. We realize it means having conversations and examining your life in a way where you are more likely to realize ways that you’re holding yourself back.

It’s it’s something that can only happen when you’re in a group with other people who are interested in the same exact thing. When you have this level of vulnerable pity, when you’re open to having this conversation, examining the beliefs that you may or may not realize that you have, and realizing what the ultimate driver of these of your actions are.

And so for me, I frame this as the why it is it is the ultimate reason why you’re doing something. So if you look at anything that you’re doing, you can track it back. You can ask yourself why and keep asking yourself why until you get to an answer that is deeply personal and emotionally resonating for you. So, for example, if I were to ask myself why I work out, I can say, why do I work out?

Well, because I want to be healthier. Why do you want to be healthier? Because I want to feel good in my body. Why do you want to feel good and your body? Because it’s important to me to have to be a person who is healthy and feels good in their body and projects this image of strength. And why is that important?

And for me, ultimately that comes back to I want to be healthy, I want to work out, I want to look a certain way. I want to feel a certain way because that allows me to feel accepted, that allows me to feel like I can be loved. And even if that is a false belief, even if I can intellectually understand that, well, I don’t need to work out in order to be loved.

I can be loved solely based on the fact that I am a human, that I exist, that I have born, that I was born, even though I can intellectually understand that on an emotional level, that is what’s happening and that is the belief and that is the what I look at, why I do things when I look at why do I want to be successful, why do I want to be in good shape?

Why do we why do I want to be a good father? Or why do I spend so much time cleaning up the house and taking care of other people, you know, at the home? It’s because I believe that I need to do these things in order to be loved. And so is there. That is the motivation for me.

That is the why for me. I want to be loved. And so if you look at your own life and you look at why do you work out, why do you want to eat healthy, why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Ultimately for you, you can track that back to your own personal why? And that’s the first thing that we do at these.

B The better you weekends is we try to get everybody to have these these candid, you know, open conversations about their why. And it’s a really powerful process because a lot of people have never done this before. And I think it’s really important because a lot of people go into self development with the idea of learning new strategies or new tips or new habits and it’s all about add, add, add.

It’s all about doing new habits about it. It’s about following a new schedule, finding this new productivity hack. And those are definitely things. But ultimately what we are doing those things for is to feel more love, to feel more accepted, to feel better about ourselves. So if we don’t get to the real reason why we’re trying to improve ourselves, what does that deep seated insecurity that’s making us want to do all these things to improve?

Then you’re just you’re kind of building on a foundation of sand. So doing the work to understand subconsciously what’s going on in you is really powerful. And this is where the real growth happens. It’s about not just adding new things, but getting to what’s underneath all of those things. And so we do this in this environment where, you know, you’re with these other guys who are also wanting to do the same thing and you’re disconnecting from work, you’re getting out of the day to day of your normal routine, putting yourself in an environment where the goal is connection to yourself and to others.

And it allows you to create change so much faster than if you were to just do it on your own. Maybe to agree that you’d never be able to achieve on your own. And I want to talk a little bit about my own experience with these retreats, because every time I do these, I come away from them. With this, I come away from them with this incredible level of inspiration to be more vulnerable, to be closer with my family, to focus more on the things that are important, and to stop wasting my time with things that aren’t.

And and this is and this is what a lot of other people experience, too. So I’m going to I’m going to kind of summarize the experience that I’ve heard with other people. And then I want to get into some of my own thoughts and what, you know, what this what this event does for me. Because even though technically this is, you know, this is my job, this is work for me, it’s something that is incredibly inspiring for me.

And it’s the reason why I continue to do this, even though I could probably find a better use for my time. I really enjoy doing this and this last year instead of so the first couple of years we did this, we did this at the Mantle Yoga studio here, which we used to have a larger office. We downsized because we just didn’t need it.

But we would do the event here and people would stay at a hotel and we would rent a van and drive around Austin and do all these different things. And for this most previous event, we booked this really nice Airbnb kind of outside of Austin, about 30 minutes outside of Austin, in Hill Country, and it’s got a pool, it’s got this, this beautiful space.

It’s outdoors, it’s quiet, it’s serene, it’s it’s very removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. And it allowed people to connect to a much greater degree than when people were staying at hotels and different rooms and, you know, just going around a van in one location to the other. And so I think we really, really improved the format of the retreat.

And I’m really excited for the future ones that we’re doing. We’re doing another one in April of 2022. So if you want any info on that, check out the link in the show notes here or just go to man flow yoga dot com slash BTB. You so for B the better you check that out. So here’s what a few people had to say.

So the first thing that people really enjoyed was the speakers. And quite honestly, I was a big fan of this too, because instead of me doing all the presentations I brought in experts, I brought in guys who are who just happen to be close with me, some of them less so. But you know, these are guys that I have connections with and they happen to just be experts in their field.

We brought in Anthony, Dr. Anthony Banducci of the Fit Father Project. He absolutely crushed it. We had a guy named Arnie Manion, who is a has a business called Scale with psychology. And he was in excuse my language, but a quote, mind fuck. A lot of people really enjoyed him because he got people to think about life in a different way and help people realize how they were subconsciously holding themselves back.

We had John Roman from front load dads who just gave an incredible speech about how men need to heal themselves in order to move forward, which is a lot of what the be the better you weekend is about. Trying to remember we had Jesse O’Brien, who is my coach. He is the founder of Central Athlete, and he gave a great talk about the kind of the tenets of just living a healthy lifestyle, what you need to do on a daily basis to make sure that you’re covering your bases and and just kind of, you know, eating well and moving well and walking a lot and getting outside and sleeping while all of those things that

are really important that that might be overlooked if you don’t know that information. Anyways, few other guys and Drew Bledsoe so Mike sorry Mike Bledsoe I was calling Drew Bledsoe it’s Mike Bledsoe the strong coach and previously the CEO and host of Barbell Shrugged Joining us we had we had these amazing guys there who gave these really great presentations and that was one thing that people really loved.

The second thing people loved is the food, oddly enough, you know, not oddly enough, but we had a delicious caterer on site. So all the meals are prepared on site. You don’t have to go anywhere. There’s no clean up. You don’t have to cook yourself. So it just makes it a lot. It just makes the experience really seamless.

You don’t have to worry about where are we going next? All to have to choose what to eat. You know, it’s just all there and all dietary all, all dietary requests are accommodated. So that was just that was a really awesome part of it. And that was probably one of the most commented things about people love the food.

And then the third thing that I’ll talk about here, and this is like the most important part of it is the community. It’s ultimately about connecting with the other guys. They’re coming into this space, coming into this Ironman where it’s encouraged for you to share things that you normally wouldn’t share. You know, we had we had guys talking about how they were shocked at how how open they were with other men just the first night that they were there.

And this is something that, you know, I opened up the conversation. I just started saying I just started saying like, what’s like, what is your biggest struggle right now? And when you ask questions like that, when you get everybody together in the situation where you’re taking them out of day to day life, you’re taking them away from their phones.

Not that I took their phones or anything, but taking them away from, you know, just the hustle and bustle of day to day life and allowing them to check in with their selves. It just it it creates this environment where you’re able to really have the conversations and do the thinking that allows you to create meaningful change. So something else that people mentioned was learning about themselves.

Again, the format of the retreat, just how everyone stayed in the same place and with the speakers focused on getting people to realize how they’re holding themselves back. Just everything is created around this idea of getting people to learn about beliefs that they have about themselves that are subconsciously holding them back. This is just a really common theme in in this world of of improvement.

And, you know, a lot of people want to how do we add how do we do more habits? How do we how do we how do we have the motivation to start eating healthier? How do I make it so that I don’t skip any workouts? And ultimately it comes down to you freeing up your energy and that only comes from you having these uncomfortable conversations and realizing the subconscious ways that you are holding yourself back.

Because even if you have a belief about yourself that is negative, that is holding yourself back, you cling to your identity, your identity is your source of security. So if you were to start to try to do a new habit that contradicts a belief that you have about yourself, even if you don’t realize that you have this belief, you’re not going to do that new habit because you subconsciously do not want to change your identity because that’s what’s secure.

So it’s really good to be able to do the work. Does have the conversations to do the thinking, do the prompts that lead to you realizing what is subconsciously holding your back. So people learned about fears that they had been avoiding. They had learned about things that had happened to them when they were kids. These these adaptive strategies that they learned and implemented to make themselves feel secure, to help them not feel pain.

Things that worked when they were younger but now are holding them back and you don’t learn about these things unless you have these conversations. People came away from this with a clearer idea on how to improve their lives, to help live a healthier lifestyle, to better address their own needs physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, to create better relationships and to live a more fulfilled life.

And this is what that weekend is all about. So, yes, we do yoga. You know, that was actually one of the quite frankly, that was one of the criticisms. We didn’t do enough yoga. So this time we’re doing more yoga. So we’ve got a morning yoga session. We’re going to have a before lunch, 90 minute yoga workshop, and then we’ll do another yoga session before dinner.

So there will be three yoga sessions on a full day moving forward. So for me, even though again, this is all technically work for me, I came away from this with so much more clarity on what was important for me in life and that the big the big things that I realized and I wrote down, number one, I enjoy helping to facilitate meaningful change.

So manual yoga is really only part of my overall mission. My overall mission is to set a higher standard. I think men can do better. I think men can be better. I think they can be happier. I think we can be more fulfilled. I think there’s a better way to be a man than we have been taught in subconsciously have learned growing up.

I think that certain ideals about being a man can be helpful, but if we don’t also incorporate them with other ideas and other beliefs, then they can be harmful to ourselves. So I think that there’s a better way for men to be better and part of that for me is mental yoga. Part of that is helping men take care of their bodies.

But then going beyond that, it’s going into these discussions, going into these topics that I get to cover and things like this. BE the better you weekend in this retreat, things that I cover here on the podcast, things that I’ve cover in my discussions with other men on the Better Man podcast. The second thing that I realize is that I really lack connection with other men in my life.

I don’t hang out with my guy friends. My free time is working, spending time with my kids. If I get some time spending time with my wife, spending time with myself, but I don’t make time to go hang out with other men and just talk and hang out and, you know, even if you do get to hang out with other men, if you have that time, there is this expectation that when you do hang out with another man, you don’t have real conversations.

You talk about stupid stuff, you talk about superficial stuff, you watch sports, you drink, you don’t really connect with other men. And so for me, I realized I really like just having conversations with other men. I like being in an environment where I am close with other men. So that was something for me that I wrote down. And the third thing that I wrote down is the importance of my family being there for them and most importantly, being present when I’m with them.

And part of that is me taking time to take care of myself so that I have time to do the things that I need to do to make myself feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, and also get the things done that I want to do so that when I am with my family, I can truly be present and be a good husband, be a good father, rather than just being there and thinking about other stuff that I need to do, which I really struggled with a lot during this year.

So that was a that was another realization for me that I needed to be more present. So after writing all that stuff and, and, and thinking about it, I wrote a phrase that I felt summarized the retreat and it was a weekend of self-discovery, deep connection with other men, and a recommitment to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Yes, I wrote spiritual, even though this is man for yoga. And to me spiritual doesn’t have a religious connotation. It means having a sense of your place in the universe and having a sense of connection. So anyways, so we’re hosting another Be the Better You Retreat in April 2024, and this will focus on many of the same topics that we did in November.

But I also wanted to take into consideration the feedback that we received from previous participants and the internal discussions that we’ve had with team Men for yoga. So for this one, we’re making a few updates. The first is that we want to make a greater focus on lifestyle change with an emphasis on Long Javadi. So that’s, that’s a big part.

Most of the guys who are attended are in their late fifties, sixties, even in their seventies. So I want to make sure that this event is focused on longevity. Not that it wasn’t before, but I’m calling out. You guys are listening. If you’re in your 50 or 67 days and you’re like, I don’t think it’s for me. No, it is.

These are the conversations that we’re having. And the guys, you know, are these a lot of the guys who were there were recently retired or thinking about retiring soon, and they’re in the middle of making big changes. And so it’s great for you guys to be able to have this opportunity to be put in an environment where you’re going to think about what you what is important to use, that you can make changes that are aligned with who you truly are.

So anyways, emphasis on longevity guys fifties and sixties, even seventies. I think we had a couple guys in their forties, maybe in one guy in his thirties, but most guys and then men for yoga in general fifties and sixties. The second thing is greater focus on creating meaningful change. Not that we didn’t have this, but I think in order to do a better job of this, we’re going to have more break out conversations, more work that you do on yourself, more time for you to reflect.

So we’re scaling back on the presentations that we had giving you more breaks. One of the great parts of this retreat, the previous version that we did, was that it did have a ton of speakers, but it also didn’t have enough time, as I would have liked, for people to consolidate the information that they received and process things because these were a lot of really heavy conversations.

These are not just things that you easily move on from. So I want to make sure we’re going to give you guys more breaks to help consolidate and help process things that you’re going through. As I mentioned before, more yoga. So instead of two yoga sessions today, we’re going to be doing three yoga sessions per day. And then we also added one extra day to the retreat, just an entirely unstructured day to give you time to enjoy the amazing amenities on site.

So the the pool, the game room, hot tub covered patio, the firepit just being out in this serene environment and giving yourself some serious downtime time that you can use to reflect time to journal, the time to talk and connect with other men and not just give it a really nice, relaxed feel. So there’s a quite a few other changes, but these are these are the big ones that I want to focus on.

So if you’re interested in attending the next be, the better you retreat. The next one is April 18th through the 22nd. That’s a Thursday through Monday. It’s an Austin, Texas. It’s a five day event, starts on the evening of the 18th and then goes all the way through the following Monday. So if you are interested, the first step is to fill out an application so we can make sure that you’re there for the right reasons.

And then in the application, just really brief. But tell us your goals. Tell us what you hope to get out of the event once we’ve confirmed you’re a good fit, will email you back and say, Hey, I think this is going to be good for you. You should sign up and we’ll send you a link to sign up and reserve your spot for the retreat.

One of the reasons these retreats work so well is because they’re small. They are small, intimate groups. We’re not getting 30 guys together. We are only bringing, you know, a handful of people together. 12 people. Last time we had 13. This one is only going to have 12. So no more than that, no exceptions. So there is limited space to this.

If you would like to attend as of this recording, it’s just over three months away. We already have three people interested and signed up, so follow the link in the show notes to apply. We look forward to reviewing your application and I look forward to seeing you in April. Again, this is a life changing event. It is life changing for me too.

I love doing these. Yes, they make me tired because they are just there’s a lot going on. But I love doing them and I love meeting people and having these real conversations and watching people have these breakthroughs. I actually got very close to I had to I was close to cheering up in the last one multiple times just because it’s it’s so good and it feels great.

I love that feeling of love, experiencing sadness. I love that feeling a powerful emotion because it’s something that I shy away from for so long, just as a man and subconsciously adhering to ideals of what a man is. I really shied away from sadness. And now when I’m able to get into contact with that, I like, Wow, this is a really powerful, strong emotion.

And anyways, I was able to really connect with a few of the guys with their stories and it’s just a really great experience and I hope you guys can come do that with me. And yeah, it’s amazing event. I hope you can join me for the next one mental yoga dot com so I should BTB you or follow the link in the show notes to apply.

So guys, thanks for listening. I hope you got something out of this. Even if you’re not interested in attending the next be the better You event and I look forward to seeing you on the videos and the workouts in the future. So thanks for listening. Talk to you soon. Bye.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Attend the Be The Better You Retreat on April 18th: If you feel like something’s missing in your life and you’re not as happy or fulfilled as you like, you’re not alone. This is a plague affecting most men today because we lack deeper connections with other like-minded men. That’s why I’m inviting you to attend the Be The Better You Retreat on April 18-22, 2024. Discover how this retreat will help you become a better version of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually here: https://manflowyoga.com/BTBU 

Want to improve your sexual wellness, get stronger erections, and last longer in bed? Then join the FREE 7-Day Sexual Wellness Challenge here: https://shrtlnk.co/uA27H 

Want to unlock more flexibility and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and feel your absolute best over the next 7 days? Then join the FREE 7-Day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge here: https://ManFlowYoga.com/7dc

Tired of doing a form of yoga that causes more injuries than it helps prevent? The cold, hard truth is men need yoga specifically designed for them. Well, here’s some good news: You can start your 7-day free trial to Man Flow Yoga by visiting https://ManFlowYoga.com/join.

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