Father’s Day Reflection 2018

Father’s Day Reflection 2015

In 2015, in the above post (Just click continue reading above if never read) I wrote:

Finally, my Dad’s most profound lesson he gave me is going to be passed down through my words and my actions towards my sons. Stay True Jaxon and Maxwell….Daddy loves you, believes in you, and is here for you. But, my love and belief in you alone will not take you where you want to go. You must strive to understand who you are at your core and then believe in and love that person. Then, doors will open, love will follow, and life will present you with the truest sense of joy and fulfillment.

Just three days ago I was away on a business trip when I was on the phone with my wife and she told me that my oldest son, Jaxon, came to her and said “Mom, I want to get a tattoo when I am older and I know what I want it to be.”  “What’s that?” My wife asks.  He says, “Stay True”.  We both teared up.  My heart filled up.

Then I came home to this:

Today will be twenty years since I lost my Dad on Father’s Day.  Just writing that opens up the deepest of pain.

But, today I am happy.  I am blessed.  I am fulfilled.  I am deeply in love with my sons.  I am immersed in fatherhood.

I.  AM.  DAD.

This past year, as my sons have become “little men”,  I have come to fully realize that they look up to me in very same ways I looked up to my Dad.  I watch them seek my approval.  I see how much my attention means to them.  I see how they light up when I come home and when they wake up every morning.  I see their hearts break when I am disappointed in them.

As illustrated above, I see how much influence I already have on them.

Two days ago was Jaxon’s last day of Kindergarten.  My wife, Maxwell and I were anxiously waiting to greet him at the bus stop with camera ready.  When the bus drove up I walked right up to the bus and started clapping and when he got off, I hugged him and then put my arm around him and started walking….I only got about 20 feet from him before I was on a knee.

He melted into my arms and cried such deep and real tears.  My little guy did not know what to do with the emotion of the last day….his wonderful teacher Mrs. Davis and all of his friends…were they gone forever?

I held him tightly yet gently.  I told him I loved him.  I practiced one of the lessons from my Dad I wrote about in the 2015.  I did not claim to understand, I simply let him know he was safe with me.

In that moment I got my Father’s Day gift.  Ain’t no material gift that could trump the honor of being loved and needed by Maxwell and Jaxon.  Their precense in my everyday is more than I ever thought I would receive or deserve.  A gift that can only be reciprocated with my deepest intention and effort in being the most loving, guiding, accepting, supporting, and present Dad I can be.  And I will reciprocate as if my life depended on it.

It may seem, that I have only mentioned Jaxon in this post.  Believe me when I say, Maxwell is every bit part of my joy in being a Dad.  It was just that these two things happened just days before Father’s Day.

I get that in the context of this blog, Lessons in Life and Leadership, there may not seem to be any real lesson in this post.  Or is there?

And perhaps it is simply this, we have to pay real close attention to the influence we have on other’s.  I have become acutely aware of this with my sons.  But it also makes me ponder my influence on my wife and anyone else I encounter.

I can’t dismiss my influence on my sons.  I must lean into it and let the awareness of my influence guide them in deep ways.  I must create space for lots of laughter as well as a safe place for tears.  I must teach them lessons, both hard ones and easy ones, about this world and how to acclimate themselves while staying true.  But most of all, I must ensure they know they are loved and accepted.

They deserve the best that I got.  I love you Jaxon and Maxwell…endlessly.

In closing, I would be lying if I said the magnitude of losing my Dad is not felt today on the 20 year anniversary of his passing.  I would love for him see me as a father and husband.  I simply can’t imagine how great it would feel to have him walk in the door today to celebrate Father’s Day at my home and watch my two sons run up to their Papa. To say I miss you cheapens the depth of what I feel, but I do miss you, Dad.

But…

I. AM. DAD.

And, you won’t hear me say this often…but…

I. AM. PROUD.

Jaxon and Maxwell give my all the reason I need to be happy and full of love today.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dad’s.  I hope you are going “all in” with the the biggest opportunity we have been handed in life.

Stay True,

Ted

P.S. Simply can not end this without saying thank you to my companion who made me celebrating this day possible and supports me in all my “fatherhood”…I love you, Angel.

P.P.S  I am far from a technical person so if the pictures turn sideways as they have in the past, it’s just me not taking myself too seriously or seeking perfection 🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪

 

 

My Flub Up With Empathy

I probably talk about empathy to a singular client or a group of people at least a dozen times a week.  I believe that empathy is one of the most powerful things a leader and frankly any human being can develop.

It can open new pathways for connection, communication and understanding.

And, I thought that I was pretty darn good at it.

That was until I realized my own shit was in the way of me being deeply empathetic. Continue reading “My Flub Up With Empathy”

Thank You Stock Market for the Reminder

To consistently find and live in the MIDDLE.

If you were anything like me, you were doing a little checking in this past year.  I was checking out my accounts (I know, I know…. “they” advise against that) this past year and was feeling good. Real good.

And then this week hit. I logged on and as I told my financial guy “My account dropped more overnight than I used to have in the bank a decade ago”. Damn.

As I was being present with my unease about the markets I remembered a moment I had with my very first paying coaching client almost 8 years ago.

Continue reading “Thank You Stock Market for the Reminder”

If You are Saying You are TOO BUSY Than Perhaps You are not Owning Your Choices…or Your Truth

Most of us, if not all of us have said we are “too busy” at some point.  Or, say it all the time.  We are too  busy to get something done.  Too busy to call someone.  Too busy to get to the gym.  Too busy to settle in and do something for ourselves…God forbid that!

Continue reading “If You are Saying You are TOO BUSY Than Perhaps You are not Owning Your Choices…or Your Truth”

Should You Fake It ‘Til You Make It?

When I decided to jump off the cliff and go fully out on my own 6 years ago I received a ton of advice from varying people.  A few of the pieces of advice I got were to get a custom made suit and an expensive pen to sign contracts in front of clients, get a top notch website that makes it look like you are a “real company”, and to charge the highest market price for your services so that people view you as the best in the business.

I scratched my head at this advice.  And, my stomach turned.  It was all in complete conflict with my mantra STAY TRUE.

But, were they right?  Why did this advice make me feel inadequate?  How was I going to compete with the “successful” consultants/coaches?

I had worked hard in my career and on myself for 20 years yet I was brought back to the darkest days of my insecurites.

With one shot to do this…

…my gut won.

I did none of it.

Continue reading “Should You Fake It ‘Til You Make It?”

Dad, You Can be the Wind Beneath My Wings…

….But no longer can you be my wings.

Within the year of losing my father almost 20 years ago I designed and got this tattoo on my shoulder.  It represents my last words to him, “I will carry your torch”, him holding onto that torch represents his will to live and beat cancer, and him being an angel on my shoulder.

4 years ago after my first son was born, I went back to the tattoo parlor and got the torch lit.  Although you can’t really see it because I am brown skinned, I colored the flame in with red and yellow and went home and told my wife that I am now ready to carry his torch and be a great father.

It felt powerful at the time.  It was emotional.  And, it was a lie.  I told myself that I was ready to fly.  But I was still mentally using my father’s wings.

Continue reading “Dad, You Can be the Wind Beneath My Wings…”

Empathy…Not a Word That Should Be Thrown Around

“Your Honor, I call Ted Capshaw as my next witness.”

My heart was pounding and my head spinning as I addressed the judge and the courtroom.  I had been called last week to testify on behalf of a young man’s character that I had met 5 years ago and had not spoken to in at least 4 years.

When I knew and mentored this young man he had more promise than any youngster I had come across in Baltimore City…bright, top ranked debater, humble, smile that filled the room, and personable.  I ‘d go so far as to say he was an old soul…even as a 5th grader.  I just knew this kid was destined for something big.

Continue reading “Empathy…Not a Word That Should Be Thrown Around”

An Hour a Day Keeps the HR Director Away

 

Remember my post Crazy Busy…Create T.I.M.E?  If not, go back in the archives and read it.  Today I want to simply add an “R” to this acronym. The “R” stands for relationships.  So now we have T.I.M.E.R..  I am convinced if you don’t understand these baselines of leadership that your timer is clicking in your current position.  And, the HR director could be paying you a visit in the next 6-12 months!  If not the HR director, than you will simply continue to be a marginal leader with people saying some of the below about you.  Right, read on…truths to come.

Continue reading “An Hour a Day Keeps the HR Director Away”

Orlando.

The Orlando shooting is officially the worst mass shooting in our history.  Fifty lives lost and hundreds, if not thousands, of lives dramatically changed forever…some perhaps even lost.  How do we wrap our minds and hearts around such an event?  I am not sure I have the answer.  I am not sure anyone does.

In December of last year I posted “Terror!  Feeling Helpless.  We are Not!”.  In that post I noted that these types of happenings were taking place in our own backyards by random people. That terrorism was not limited to radicals, but here we are facing the truths around these radicalized terrors.  How sad that I am back on just 6 months later addressing the same issue.

What do we do with this?  I hear people saying we will stand strong and not lose.  We already lost.  Lives were lost.  Innocence was lost.  Our sense of security as a country has been marginalized.  For those that lost loved ones, a piece of them is forever lost.

I could go on a rant here as I am sure many of you could.  I won’t.  But I do want to point out that this seemed to be directed at the gay community.  And, this saddens me.  Why do these types of prejudices still exist?  I simply ask that you pause and reflect on any and all of the prejudices you have and try to come to terms with them.  Fact is, most, if not all, of us have some.

If you want to do anything to help, be more accepting and look deeper into the people you may hold prejudices for.  As we can see plastered on the TV, this community loves and grieves like everyone else.

As I said in December, we are not helpless.  We all have an opportunity to do something, no matter how small, to contribute to making our country a better place, our communities safer or making people feel more accepted.  If you want a reminder go back and read that post from December.  No end all, be all answers, but some things to think about and act on…today.

I can only assume that you feel as I do.  Numb.  Sad.  Vulnerable.  Yearning for understanding of what has been happening around us in the last few years.

As I write this I search for words.  I am coming up short.  This blog, this platform, was created with the thought that it would provoke thinking and allowance for people to get to a higher place before tragedy.  Well, tragedy has hit again.  What will you do with it today?

If you feel compelled, please share your thoughts, no matter how varied they are, about all of this.

Prayers and healing energy in route to Orlando.

Stay True,

Ted

All Hail the Queen! And, Her First Born Son.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as a MichaelANGELo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the  hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

This quote has many times reminded me to do the best I can at whatever I was doing.  Today it reminds me of the Queen of the Capshaw house, my wife and mother of my sons, Angel (note the bold ANGEL above :))

Just five short years ago my wife had built an amazing career in retail.  She was a store manager at Victoria’s Secret.  And, she was the best!  Loved by her customers and her employees and extremely dedicated and passionate.

Just under five years ago we got pregnant with our first child and throughout the entire pregnancy she swore to me she was going back to work and would not have it any other way.

When Jaxon was born, she went back to work.

Under two months in, at dinner, with tears rolling down her face, she asked me if it would be ok if she stayed home with our son.  I was floored but perhaps not completely surprised as I had witnessed this incredible bond between her and Jaxon from day one. Continue reading “All Hail the Queen! And, Her First Born Son.”