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Simple Daily Rituals to Optimize Your Health

with Dai Manuel

I think that men have to love themselves. They have to always be learning, and they have to take care of themselves. I think you have to watch what you consume and give yourself good stuff because over time, even though you’ll realize that you are not your body, that you are beyond that; you are still in your body and you have to take care of it because you only get one.

Shana:

Hello, and welcome to this episode of Man Alive today with Robert Manni of Guy’s Guy Radio, and we have been connected for, I think, at least a decade. I’m excited to have you back. What I really want to talk with you about today is, why it’s a great time to be a man, and what is great about being a guy’s guy because you have certain perspectives on being a guy’s guy. Maybe we should actually start by defining what a guy’s guy is. What is that to you?

 

Robert: 

That’s the million-dollar question. A guy’s guys, really in my definition, is that he has casual confidence. He’s an updated version of a man’s man, but it’s not macho at all. He has a quiet, casual confidence. He’s comfortable in his own skin. He’s the type of person that women like, that men like. He’s got emotional intelligence. He’s can be vulnerable. He’s commutative. He knows how to listen. And he’s not a know-it-all. There’s a big difference between confidence and arrogance. The reason I say it’s the best time to be a man is, yes, this is a time that men have never had more freedom to be whoever they want to be. It’s never been less clear who men really are. I think a lot of guys lack role models nowadays. It’s a little bit confusing for men. If you look at women, they’re on ascension, and it’s a great path. They’re getting long overdue recognition, and a lot of men are not sure now how to handle it.

 

Shana:

You’re seeing that as a good thing; that there is not as much of a definition, so men can start to define who they are. Is that how it looks?

 

Robert:

Well, I think the really good news is, women are just starting to get their long overdue recognition.

There is a lot more progress to go of course, but for men, this is a really good time because their roles have also changed. The guys that are aware understand that they can do anything nowadays, that they don’t have to carry the ball completely in a relationship, in terms of the traditional roles that men had and the traditional roles that women had. I think men still want to be men, and I think women weren’t meant to be men in the best sense of the word. Also, I think men want women to be women in the best sense of the word.

 

Shana:

That’s a really great point. In the past, there was a ton of pressure on men to be the sole provider, and if anything, financially, fell apart, it was all on the men. It sounds like there is now more collaboration and possibility there.

 

Robert: 

Yes, and unfortunately some of that is due to need and the way that the marketplace is. It takes a little bit of the burden off guys but also, a lot of men feel that they still need to be the one to make more money than their partner. Everybody has their own perspective on what works for them but there are still pressures on both partners in a relationship. The thing that’s confusing for men is that the young guys don’t have role models. It’s like they are caught between the MMA and manscaping. There are the superheroes in the movies, but there’s not the real guys. It gets fuzzy as to what a real man is nowadays. In the past, even though I don’t agree with what men were; they were what they there.

 

Shana:

There were role models, like John Wayne. John Wayne was such a role model for a generation of men; macho, quiet, not vulnerable, right? Who are the role models for men now, and you’re saying young men don’t have any?

 

Robert: 

That’s exactly what I’m saying. For the older guys, let’s say generation x and boomers, they’re defined by their jobs and their wallet, and a lot of them cling to that. You’ll see a lot of guys, I’m a boomer and I see a lot of my friends, they’re not sure what’s next. They want to do more. They want to open themselves up. They want to do some holistic practices. They want to change their diets. They want to read more books about how you can really understand who you are, what you are, how you serve, and why we’re here. It’s challenging for a lot of guys because I think a lot of guys get stuck. That could be because of the culture we’re in and it being hard to break out, or it could be because the men are a little more reticent to change. Working in my brand and my podcast Guy’s Guy Radio, I find that women are much more open to new things, and much more open to the spiritual areas, and much more open to trying things. It’s interesting. Here’s a quick example; my wife. The other day a rebounder showed up in our home; it’s a little mini trampoline, and I was like, “What the heck is this and what is this doing there? This is going to take up space.” I started reading about it and I started doing it, and it’s fantastic, and I never would have thought of it. I sent out some Instagram content and things to a couple of guy friends, and they were like, “Okay, great. Not for me.” That is without even taking the time to investigate that it’s such a wonderful and helpful tool. If you’re a boomer and you can’t run anymore, doing rebounding is fantastic for your health.

 

Shana:

That’s so great. I think women are more encouraged from a young age to try new things, and so it’s not as much of a dig on who you are if you’re not good at something. I think for a lot of men there’s that competition. They think that they are going to look bad or be judged; that they are not going to be wanted or loved. There’s a lot of pressure there.

 

Robert: 

Yes, there is. Guys are competitive with sports and all of that. Of course, girls are in sports now at a very young age, which is great, but for guys, if they’re not good at something, a lot of times if they can’t master something right away, they condemn themselves. I even see it with my son. We went downstairs where they have a billiards table and he couldn’t get it right away. I said, “Listen, it’s like anything else; you have to practice. As long as you make a little bit of progress, and you feel good about it, and you’re open to it, you’re going to get better.” I don’t know if it’s a male thing, but a lot of guys, I think, seem to feel like you have to get it right away. or you start to condemn yourself. It’s really unnecessary.

 

Shana:

It’s unnecessary, and it’s so painful, but it is a habit that has to be broken. You’ve had an interesting life. I was surprised to read that you are a Reiki practitioner and that you do hypnotherapy, and all kinds of practices. By looking at you, or knowing you, I wouldn’t have guessed that. You’ve somehow managed to expand and open up the box. Some men have a hard time with that, or say, “No, that’s not for me.” I’m curious, how did you go from conventional to opening up the Bible?

 

Robert: 

You know, even as a kid I started to open up to new things. I was reading Carlos Castaneda books. I read them all when I was just a child, and I just thought, anything you can do working with energy, things that you can practice, would be fun. I also wanted to give back so I started learning Reiki, because one of the great things about Reiki is that you can treat somebody, and it helps their energy flow. You can also treat yourself. I was a little bit selfish that way and I found the practice that gives yourself a self-treatment. That then that led me to HIPAA hypnotherapy. I thought it would be really cool to be able to hypnotize people to help them. When you do hypnosis, people think of the stage hypnosis, but it’s really not about that. It’s a very spiritual practice. It’s more about helping people. The three big things are becoming a nonsmoker, to sleep better, and to have weight management. As you notice, we don’t talk about the negatives there. The reason that I got into that was because, way back, when I just came to New York City, I was a smoker. It started to get in the way; I didn’t like the way my clothes smelled, I was an athlete and it got into the way of my running, and things like that.  I had to stop, so I went to a hypnotist hypnotherapist and it was great. I went two months, and I was like, “I’ve got this. I’ve got it licked.” Then I was out at a business event and I said, “I can have a cigarette, no problem,” and sure enough, I went right back. I realized then that it is not the hypnotherapist; I have to do the work. What hypnotherapists are doing is, they are working with my subconscious, so I followed through with that, and that was 30 years ago. Even mentioning that I smoked, those things were blocked for me. I realized that you have to do the work, but there’s a lot of power in the subconscious that we have. That has led me to a lot of other practices. I’ve been taking a spiritual unfoldment class every week for the past three years, and initially I wasn’t getting anywhere with it, and then all of a sudden it hit. I knew that it would take time because spiritual unfoldment is not like learning how to play pool or something.

 

Shana:

I’ve been doing my practice for 10 years; spiritual school. It’s like it’s a forever, lifetime process.

 

Robert: 

It is. The nice thing is, it’s like skiing, or chess, or anything interesting; once you start to get good at it, there is so much more, and then you get better. It’s like writing music even. You’re writing, and you get better and better, and then you are more and more interested. I’m just a curious person, so I thought that this path was comfortable for me. I grew up in New Jersey, lived in New York city for thirty years, my background is in advertising and marketing, and I worked in some rough and tough ad agencies. I’m a quote, unquote, regular guy, but I also have this other side that I work on because it helps me. It also helps me give back as much as I can. That’s what we do with my show. I try to bring on guests who have something, like yourself, that they can share with the audience a takeaway so that they can say, “Oh, that’s pretty interesting. I want to learn more about that.”

 

Shana:

That’s so great. It sounds like you, from a young age, were a curious one. You were open to all of the energetics and the invisible. I call them the invisible aspects of human dynamics and communication. You also went through a time where you had cancer, and you talk about a kind of spiritual awakening that you had. I think it’s priceless when people have these awakenings, or near-death experiences. The wisdom that comes from that, to me, is just beyond anything else. I’m curious; what did you awaken to, and how can that support men?

 

Robert: 

Well, I’ve had two actually. In 2014 I had become a runner. I run three marathons, and I run all the time. I was out running, and I came home and had excruciating pain. My son was a year old, and I laid down for about six hours, and I told my wife to take my son out of there. I didn’t want them to see me like that. It was fourth of July weekend, and I was laying there in unbearable pain. When I got back to the city, I went to the doctor and I was told I had a kidney stone, but during an ultrasound we found a little growth on each kidney. We wanted to get them out right away, so within a five-week period, I had two robotic surgeries. Before this, I had never thought of my kidneys in my entire life. I was lucky, because if I hadn’t had the kidney stone, the doctor said it would have been ten years before anything was found and we would have been having a different conversation.

 

Shana:

That’s a fascinating thing. What we think is something awful, can actually turn out to be such a good thing.

 

Robert: 

Oh, it was. It was a gift. I’ll tell you why. I had a couple of miracles along the way. One, when they went up to get the kidney stone, it was gone. I had been doing a lot of meditations and visualizations, and all of that, and I know it didn’t get rid of the kidney stone, but it was gone. They went up and they said they couldn’t find it even though it was seen on the screen. For the second surgery, I could tell my surgeon was very nervous. There was a delay, and I was sitting in that little room with my little hairnet, and my little footsies, very vulnerable. Something came over me and I said to myself, “You have a lot of power. You have to help these people. You’ve been doing a lot of work on yourself, help these people.” I laid down, and just as they were going to put me under, I grabbed one of the doctor’s forearms and I said, “I’m going to help you release this. I’m going to help you.” She looked at me and said, “Great, thanks,” and then I went under. When I came out of it, I saw my surgeon was beaming. He wasn’t the one I had spoken to, but he said it was perfect, that it had just plopped out and that it was gone. They actually use a 3D version of my kidney to help other’s study and learn how to get in there robotically the right way. I never thought about it again, except when I’d have to go back every year for an MRI, and then they told me, “You don’t have to come back anymore. You’re good to go.”

 

I also had another miracle happen. This year, back in October, I had an attack of appendicitis. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but I actually started to feel my life force leave me. I felt that, and I pulled it back in, and I knew I had to make a decision right then and there. It was telling me that if I let go here, if I pass out, you know… I got to the hospital, they took me in right away and they got my appendix out. They said it was infected, that it had gotten to the point of gangrene and was poisoning my blood. They said they had got it out right in time, and they gave me two heavy-duty antibiotics that killed everything. They which I didn’t know. And I was laying on the ground. And actually, my life force started to leave me. And I felt that, and I pulled it back in and I knew I had to make a decision right then and there. I had no idea what was wrong with me. But I was like five hours.

 

Shana:

I was like whether you were going to stay or go

 

Robert: 

-or go to the hospital or not, because I think what it was telling me is if you just let go here, yeah, I pass out, you know. And what happened was I got to the hospital and they put me in right away and they took my appendix out and they said it was infected. It was blocked and you’re in your you were getting to the point of gangrene and some type of sepsis or something where your blood gets poisoned. Yeah, so they got it out right in time. They gave me two really heavy-duty antibiotics that killed everything. This was just four months ago, and I had to learn everything again. My basic functions were either unbearably painful or totally weird. It was just really tough. It’s not like when you’re nine years old, and you have your appendix out; this was serious stuff, and both times I realized how lucky I was. I should have mentioned, when I was laying on the floor in my apartment, that voice came to me and said, “Don’t drink alcohol,” so I haven’t. I stopped. That’s it. If you don’t listen, in that type of situation, when you’re leaving your body, then you want to go wherever you go. Sorry about the long story but I really learned a lot.

 

Shana:

I think it’s good for men to hear. You can be on death’s door, or down and out, and you can actually receive incredible wisdom there instead of closing yourself off or going into some kind of a victim state. You found your power, it sounds like, in those unlikely moments.

 

Robert: 

The good news is that when you get into a situation like that, you can look at it a couple of different ways. Some of my friends question me doing all this stuff such as, not eating meat, or doing all of this workout stuff, especially considering that it didn’t prevent me from having the cancer and the appendix thing. My thing is, I know that if I didn’t take care of myself the way that I take care of myself, that it would have been a lot worse. Even my surgeon said to me, “We like patients like you.” I said, “Why,” and the said, “Because you take care of yourself. A lot of people come in here and it’s really tough to work on them.” I think what you really need to do is, be self-aware, do the work, and don’t expect you’re going to get an immediate reward. You have to realize that it’s all accumulates, that it’s like your life’s work; you do a lot of good things, and it starts to get better. I think that the biggest thing that men, and people in general, need to learn is, that while a lot of people nowadays work on manifesting, what they don’t work on is how to receive.

 

Shana:

Yes, that’s a huge thing with the men that I work with. How do you see that with the men you work with?

 

Robert: 

Well, I don’t have a business in terms of coaching men or women. I have my show and I have my novel. I just keep going and looking for bigger and better things. My path, my trajectory, is a little bit different. I’m not working as a coach, but I actually get a lot of requests from people asking me stuff and I help them out as best as I can. We’ll see what happens in the future. If I’m giving advice; number one, you have to love yourself, and you have to respect yourself, and then just be open minded. You’ll find things that work for you. Not everybody’s going to want to be doing rebounding.

 

Shana:

I guess you have to find what works for you. The topic of receiving is a huge one that men come to me having not really thought about at all, but it’s one of the things that I really go deeply into. For a lot of men, it hasn’t really been cultivated, it’s not natural. I think, again, for women there is, as well as an emphasis on giving, a little more emphasis on receiving. I see men as not having that capacity as much, so we practice together. I give a compliment, and having them actually stop and take it in.

 

Robert: 

Yes. There’s nothing wrong with taking in a compliment. A lot of guys are trained to go after it. Whether it’s love or anything else, you go get it, go get it, go get it.

 

Shana:

But if you can’t receive it when you go get it, then it’s like being at a smorgasbord, starving.

 

Robert: 

Exactly. If you learn to cultivate and work on your inside, and your subconscious, and your heart, you can you can learn to receive. I’ll give you an example. I had been in a lot of relationships, and a lot of long-term relationships, and I had an epiphany. It was, you have to make room in your heart for somebody else. It just came over me, and I went to Thanksgiving, being in a position where my family was way past asking me about getting married, and I said to my mother, “Hey, Mom, I’m going to get married,” and she was like, “Really? Who are you getting married to? Who’s the lady?” I said, “I don’t know, but I know I am,” and she was like, “Oh. Okay, fine.” A year later I was engaged, and a year after that I was married. That’s been 10 years. That was the Epiphany I had; make room for somebody else.

 

Shana:

You were listening again. It sounds like you were listening to the guidance.

 

Robert: 

…. the universe or whatever. but whatever. Speaking of listening, my wife gave me the best advice I ever had. We went out on three dates, and on my third date, I said, “You know, I’m having a great time, and I’ve been in a lot of relationships, and I must be making some mistakes. What do I need to do to be a good boyfriend,” and she put down her fork and said, “Pay attention.” I asked, “Anything else,” and she said, “No.” Great. She still reminds me.

 

Shana:

It sounds like you’re still willing to be reminded again. That’s huge.

 

Robert: 

Well, in a pandemic, you have no choice. There’s no place to hide.

 

Shana:

Can we go back to it being a great time to be a man? One of the things I read that you wrote is, you’re talking about the re-emancipation of today’s man. I want to hear what you mean by that.

 

Robert: 

This is a time, as I say, where men have never been freer to be whoever they want to be. There’s not the same judgment such as, you have to be exactly who your dad was, or you have to be the insurance salesman, or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with that, but men nowadays can be anything that they want. There’s a new freedom there. Everybody’s roles have kind of changed. There are all types of different things going on with the sexes, and in turn, inside the sexes. The Native Americans had five or six different genders. genders. Men, today, don’t have the same pressures on them; they are different pressures, but you can still be whoever you want to be. So many guys are confused about what they need to be. It’s a challenge. So many young men have stage fright in terms of dealing with women because they either get angry that they’re not getting their way, or they want to do what the woman wants but the woman wants the guy to be the guy. The key is, the guy should listen, should have an idea and suggest something, and not just get overrun by women who are making it happen. The challenge for women is how to turn it off. They feel they have to be all business. The guys have to be careful not to let the woman control everything, because they’re not going to have a use for you. The women want men to be men, as I say, in the best sense of the word. All kinds of relationship coaches, females, tell me that, that that’s what they hear. I think it’s true. If you’re a guy, you want to open yourself up, you want to relax, you want to listen, you want to be helpful, but you don’t want to solve the problems for your partner. You just want to be there as a sounding board and help out as they see fit.

 

Shana:

Easier said than done, but I think there is there’s that path of finding relaxation within yourself. I think it starts, like you said before, with loving and respecting yourself. It is then that you’re not there to prove or defend, or get into it around things as much.

 

Robert: 

When you get away from that definition of what guys are traditionally supposed to be, the definition that a lot of guys, particularly in my generation, you start to open up and become open to who they can actually be. I think, for young guys, that you want to be open to and be open to trying a lot of things, and I think a lot of young guys are there, and I think it is a really good thing. However, there are a lot of young guys that are afraid. They are like, “I don’t know what to do to date.” They are afraid because the technology that is there; you can connect with people very quickly. Thirty years ago, it was, “Hi. My name is Larry. Can I buy you a drink?” There were some skills then that you had to develop, and now it is not that way; interpersonal skills.

 

 

Shana:

Yeah, I had a client, a woman who reached out to me and was like, “If you want to talk, let me know.” Now, I don’t have scripts or anything you have to do, but I know when I was dating, if someone reached out to me like that; where there was nothing exciting, nothing that captured my interest, nothing out of the ordinary, it didn’t work. I don’t have hard and fast rules, but you have to show yourself and engage.

 

What do you want to leave men with? What haven’t we covered that feels important?

 

Robert: 

I think that men have to love themselves. They have to always be learning, and they have to take care of themselves. I think you have to watch what you consume and give yourself good stuff because over time, even though you’ll realize that you are not your body, that you are beyond that; you are still in your body and you have to take care of it because you only get one.

 

Shana

Thank you so much for being here today, and where can men find you?

 

Robert:

Two places. One is Guy’s Guy Radio. It’s my radio show in Southern California, and it’s also a worldwide podcast. I also have a YouTube channel called Guy’s Guy TV, but just use my name, Robert: Manni. I also have a novel called, The Guy’s Guy Guide to Love. It’s about an honest but ambitious advertising executive who discovers that corruption is the key to success, and he embarks on a dishonesty safari to learn how to lie, cheat, and scheme his way to love and money. It’s called the Guy’s Guy Guide to Love, and it’s been called the male successor to Sex and the City.

 

Shana:

Awesome. I love it. Thank you so much.

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