Hey everybody,

Today I want to share a story written by one of the men that attended my Art of Communication seminar in New York last week.

He had such a powerful transformation, I asked him to write his experience in a story that I could share as a testimonial.

However, what he wrote was so moving, that I just had to share it on the blog.

It’s a bit long, but it may just make you tear up a little bit.

It’s stories like these that remind me of why I do this.

. . .

A Beautiful Man Deserves No Less

So David himself has asked me to write a guest blog of my experiences this weekend.

It is an honor and privilege to be in this position, and I will not disappoint any of you with this account of my transformation.

So I suppose an introduction is in order.

My name is Roy, I am 26 years old. Before this weekend I have been on two dates and have slept with one woman in my entire life, and those accomplishments (if I can even credit them as that) were very recent, within the last year.

I had been a boring boy who lived with his grandparents and did nothing more than play video games in his spare time away from my job which was very close to home, or working on my degree online. My social life was absolutely at zero with the exception of having good work friends and the occasional drinking buddy. Outside of work and away from home, in any social situations, I would 99% of the time remain silent. I was a closed book, I never wanted to be read, and I got exactly what I wanted, nothing more than the occasional gay man or equally insecure woman giving me the hungry eye that would make me feel even more insecure.

But that all changed this weekend; this weekend I had the biggest emotional breakthrough in my life.

My goal ever since I admitted to myself that my lifestyle was crap was to get out of my comfort zone. A couple years in I am at the point where I have my own condo and a new job commuting from my hometown to Boston via train. However, despite my beautiful home and exciting and challenging new job, I still found myself lacking socially. I felt myself getting comfortable yet again and knew I needed to step it up a notch, and I signed up for the Seminar.

The weekend before this, I was working at my local job (still there twice a month) and came across a small, pink and purple stuffed bunny with big baby seal eyes.  I was slightly uncomfortable looking at it, but I just couldn’t seem to put it away. I kept it near me during my shift, challenging that comfort zone, ignoring the feeling of “what are people going to think of me.” I ended up buying it thinking it might come in handy for Easter, as I am spending my Easter weekend at a convention in which I will be wearing a costume. But for some reason I got the odd feeling that there was a bigger purpose to Petunia (and no I didn’t name her; she was a beanie baby and her name was on the tag.) I needed to go food shopping, and for some reason I was compelled to keep pushing my comfort zone.

I walked into my local grocery store with Petunia’s tiny hands and gigantic head sticking out of my right front pocket of my motorcycle jacket. I wanted to see how many people used the power of observation when presented with something obvious, while at the same time trying not to feel weird. I realized how rare it was, as a good chunk were completely oblivious and those who did notice and had a facial reaction ignored the urge to say something. The few that spoke only had genuine things to say to me, and it was refreshing.

Wanting to make sure this was not a fluke, I immediately began a YouTube Project on my personal vlog channel ( TCupGent if anyone is curious enough to watch.) I put my very small audience on notice that I was launching Project Petunia, which was basically me doing the same thing I did in the grocery store that night, but for four days straight in the city of Boston the week before this seminar. By the end of day 4, wearing a pink bunny as a ridiculous accessory was no longer out of my comfort zone, and less than 10 direct responses… from a city! I went into the seminar knowing that I can make anything a part of my comfort zone, and that being that very rare person that opens their mouth is a very powerful thing, and I wanted that power.

So I pushed my comfort zone yet again by travelling out of state for the first time in my life to make it to the seminar. For me the beginning of the seminar with Adam and David felt like I was hearing a lot of the men’s mastery series themes, so I took few notes until lunch came, and after lunch was time for the role-playing, which is what I knew I needed to get to the bottom of all this.

And then we all met her.

Sara, a beautiful young actress in hindsight, but in that moment just another pretty face to me, I was my usual oblivious self. We all took turns for role-playing; while waiting for my turn, I stupidly was thinking about what to say… what did I notice about her? I noticed she had dark roots under her dark blond hair, and I wanted to know what was up with that, since I think the two tone thing is cute. So once I got in the hot seat, my situation being speed dating, and all the nerves hit me, this is what came out of my mouth:

“Hi, my name is Roy….. so has it been a while since you colored your hair? What’s up with the roots??”

Combined with my body language at that time, I looked and sounded like a complete douchebag. I heard the entire audience cringe loudly, and I don’t think the actress across from me needed much motivation to display her displeasure. I was astounded that the compliment I was fishing for filtered through my monkey chatter and came out as an insult that was incongruent with who I was and the exact opposite of my intent. I listened to everyone’s bashing of my “neg” (I have to own it, intention or not it was a neg). It was like a loop of that one sentence in the men’s mastery series that says something to the effect of “real men don’t do that only an insecure immature piece of shit man has to make a woman feel like shit to bring her down to your level”

The nickname “Roots” bestowed on me by David left a deep bruise on my ego.

Then we had a round where we could ask her anything;  trying to push my comfort zone yet again I went sexual right off the bat and asked her what her favorite sexual position was. Even though I got her to answer my questions, the mood never turned, and it was determined after multiple attempts that I wasn’t being open enough for sex to be a possibility, which I knew was true. I left the hot seat with another heavy blow on my ego, and in my mind I was almost down for the count. My thought in that moment was that I should just cut my losses and go get therapy because clearly I was fucked in the head.

Fortunately the end of the first round and the start of the second round had some of the guys asking genuine questions and getting some information out of her. David finally called us out on not commenting on the name that was tattooed on her wrist, the name of her mother who was in another country but very close to her emotionally. All of the men started to go deeper into her emotions about her mother and her family. She was an only child, and she never mentioned her father.

At this point, my thought was “Fuck it, if I need therapy, she’s going to be my therapist” I would ask her the one question that no matter how she answered, would allow me to share my truth, as much as I knew it was going to hurt. I asked how her parents’ relationship was, and that’s when she said that her dad was not in the picture, I told her that I could sympathize, and then I proceeded to drop an emotional bomb in the room.

In that moment I took full ownership in the fact that my earliest subconscious childhood memory that I have retained in my mind, is the night (or nights, not really sure) that I quietly cried myself to sleep to the sound of my mother and my father screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. While I have forgiven my parents to the best of my ability, the piece of me that will never forget it, can never forgive it. To forgive it completely would be unacceptable to who I am as a person, and to forget it would be to risk bringing that to my own children someday.  I was conflicted; my desire to forgive with the knowledge that I could never truly forgive it.

“Once I get past this,” I told Sara “I will be a good man…”

She interrupted “You are a good man.”

I deflected that with “a better man, an amazing lover, and a good father.”

The room fell silent, and I said “that’s it; I don’t know where to go from here”

I finally understood why I was afraid of love, even though I had truly known why for the last 10 years or so. I confessed my darkest truth in the story of my past, a story that I needed to accept fully in order to become genuinely comfortable with the man I am today.

I would rather die as the last of my immediate bloodline than to extend my wounds to another generation

I find happiness in these words, for this pain that I now allow myself to feel for the first time in a long time is the true center of my strength.

Anger over this truth was the fuel to become better than my parents, which I did accomplish, but with little joy. Once I got there and the anger burnt out, this truth was what allowed me to forgive my parents for it. But even with my spoken words of forgiveness, my feelings shifted into complete indifference. My heart went from cold to frozen solid.

I was a shell.

Decent job, decent condo, decent lifestyle, decent looking….

But I was a shell with no true positive emotion; it was all just an act.

Confessing these truths while looking a woman directly in the eye, and in the presence of a group of men also looking to become better men for woman’s sake, all ages shapes sizes and colors, I could not hide my true emotion. I allowed myself to feel the pain I had ignored for a lifetime. As David went to explain how each of our parents screwed us up, he looked me right in the eyes and one word came out of his mouth.


The dam broke, and tears ran down my face. Thankfully David had a large wad of some kind of tissue or napkin in my hand before my first tear reached my chin. In that moment I only had the courage to look Sara in the eye for a nanosecond, and what I saw absolutely amazed me. Where I was expecting to find a look of pity or maybe even spite from this beautiful woman who I insulted only a couple hours ago… I saw a face almost as pained as my own. She was sharing my pain, as if she wanted to take some of it away from me.

I think it may have worked. Before I knew it I was told that I had a breakthrough, and was walking back to my seat, the other men in the seminar clapping and showing their support. I sat down, and my tears just did not stop. I wrote the most important note in my notebook all day;

I’m sad, and right now that’s ok.

I took a time out to go look at myself in the mirror, and see the pained man that I ignored for the longest time. I told myself that it’s ok to be sad, and I shed just a few more tears. When the group split, Sara left very quickly, and I was so raw I just let her go, even though I wanted to give her a big hug and a thank you. And just like that, she was gone.

When it came time to head out with the guys, I really did not give a shit about meeting any women, my sudden reconnection with my emotions had me overwhelmed. I would want to cry, but then I was happy, and then I’d see something funny and laugh out loud. I threw 20 dollar bills at every street performer on the subway on my way to the meeting spot, because their music was touching me. At one point I even jumped up and slapped a low hanging part of a ceiling, just because I knew I could reach it.

I was an emotional clusterfuck.

My attempts to connect when we went to whole foods were completely out of energy, so I was fine with going to one of my five places; I invited all the guys to join me for a round of free soft drinks at Walgreens, my now twice a month employer with whom I still get the employee discount. Only one of the guys took me up on that offer, and I can only imagine whether or not that guy while standing behind me cracked even a tad of a smile when the woman behind the counter said she was so tired to someone else and I looked directly at her with an extremely genuine “aren’t we all?” and getting a smile out of her.

From there we regrouped outside of the now closed whole foods, and the group decided to go look for a bar. I followed with my head telling me that it was the last thing I should be doing right now. We passed a small place that had live music, it seemed cool but the rest of the group kept going until we found a shitty karaoke bar with energy so hostile we were in and out in 60 seconds.

I separated myself from the rest of the guys when I returned to the strange but wonderful sound coming from that small bar on the corner. When I entered this small place I could feel the heat from all the tightly clustered people.

This bar was like a jungle, with a canopy of big leaves and green Christmas lights. Grabbing a seat at the bar, I let my ears drink from the source of this sound that drew me in.

A wonderful reggae singer, strumming and occasionally thumping his guitar to create the unbelievable sounds of both melody and percussion.

As I eyed the drink menu, I knew that getting drunk and burning my evening away would just numb my feelings. I would only have one drink, and savor both it and the good feeling. My eyes fell to a word I had yet to see on a drink menu—Absinthe. Upon my order I was presented with two vials, one with water and one with the alcohol, as well as a drinking glass, a perforated leaf-shaped spoon with a large cube of sugar on top of the glass, a wooden skewer, and a candle.

The bartender demonstrated how to douse the sugar in the alcohol, light it on fire, let it burn out, douse with the water then repeat until all the sugar melted into the glass.

For the first time in my life, I played with fire… and I was pleased.

Allowing myself to slowly partake in this drink that was moments ago alive and dancing with blue flames that excited my desires, while taking in the enchanting sounds of the reggae singer, I found bliss. And during that bliss, I saw the beauty in every person that was there and allowing themselves to become one with this amazing energy. Never having smoked marijuana or tried any kind of drugs before, was this like a good trip for me?

My return to the hotel had me walking an interesting path.

During my travel I encountered three ambulances, in three different areas, lights flashing. I lowered my head, respecting the weight of knowing that the lives of at least three people were in danger that very night. My arrival at Penn station left me with the sight of many a homeless person sleeping all long the same paths that I had seen a busy shuffle and happy street performers. I was once again filled with gratitude, knowing that my circumstances are much better than what is possible in this world.

I went to bed that night a mix of bliss and humility.

But it was not until the next morning that I truly understood.

In preparation of meeting up once again with the group I made my confession to, I encountered a couple with a stroller. The mother was kneeling, pointing and showing her child the beauty of such a wonderful city; meanwhile the father was standing tall and proud on the other side of the child.

I immediately remembered a comment from one of the other men, how after his divorce the sight of a child with two happy and loving parents pained him. As that thought entered my head, I choked on more tears, for both him and myself. Reflecting on this a bit, this was the moment that I finally recognized that look that was in Sara’s eyes the night before.

It was compassion, and that is exactly what was flowing through me in this swelling of emotion.

My compassion had returned, the realization of this made me want to cry even more. The one thing about me when I was a child that had one girl referring to me as the only real boy. The first thing that I shut off after being called a fag a few too many times between middle school and high school. The real me, the compassionate, gentle, and sometimes flamboyant me was back.

Some might call me a metrosexual, and I would not take offense to anyone that used that label on me, but I do believe the man I have discovered within myself has a much greater depth than this label can provide.

To put it simply, I strive to be a beautiful man, capable of tremendous love for any (hopefully many) women.

On day 2 we were back to taking notes. At some point David mentioned that he had been texting our Role-play girl until midnight. I allowed myself to feel a little bit of jealousy in that moment. I also allowed myself to feel anticipation, excitement and hopeful when it was mentioned that Sara would be returning for a second round.

There she was, in that room when we returned for lunch. I found myself having a very hard time keeping my eyes off of her this day; our connection from the day before left me wanting for more. She had her hair pulled back this day, and I had the pleasure of seeing two more tattoos; three small notes behind her left ear, and a beautiful heart shaped music note behind the right. With her right side facing me during these exercises, I could not keep my eyes off of that heart or her eyes; they just kept going back and forth. I could not stop myself from feeling love for this woman, and I didn’t want to stop either.

My turn came to sit in this chair across from this exceptional woman once again, the goal this time to maintain eye contact for at least 20 seconds, then to say how you feel. The time went slow, but I was so relaxed it did not matter, and then David asked me how I felt. Looking Sara directly in those deep eyes that took my pain from me, I said the following:

“I feel amazing. I am not afraid of you, and I realize that I never had a reason to be afraid to begin with. As deep as we went yesterday… when my soul touched yours, I felt yours touch mine back, and that was amazing. So I would love nothing more than to find a nice little jazz place somewhere and spend my evening with you… and I mean it, from my heart.”

My heart skipped a beat when I saw her smile as soon as the word Jazz came out of my mouth. Near the end of that statement, I took her right hand in between both of mine, and then took my left hand away, simply holding her right fingertips in my right hand, and just rubbing my thumb against the top of her palm. In hindsight, I regret not letting six more words come out of my mouth before I broke the eye contact:

“I feel love for you, Sara” (God damn you David, I’m crying again.)

Then we all had to do one more round, the goal was to convince her to leave. We all failed miserably, letting the monkey chatter assume we were back to pretending she was a stranger. We all should have known by this point that it is near impossible to make a stranger leave with you in 60 seconds. I wrote a few more words in my note book, nice and large.

I’m still a rookie, and that’s ok.

My assumptions suck, forget them.

So we all got real for that second round, and I was happy to see that being as simple as saying “let’s go” and keeping your authenticity is enough to get a woman you’ve connected with. But even this time, when Adam commented that he expected me to say something along the lines of “I would go anywhere to spend five minutes with you” I realized I missed that opportunity to go just a little bit deeper.

And just like that, the seminar had reached its end. I thought I was ready, but I was wrong.

Petunia had been in my tote both days of the seminar, and part of me wanted to get the entire group’s attention, and tell the Petunia story to everyone (I had told some of the guys already, they would have chuckled when I started in on it for sure), including Sara, and give Petunia to her as thanks for not only taking away my pain, but also for stretching my comfort zone to the point where I didn’t need Petunia anymore. This did not happen both times because of Sara’s quick exits. On Day 2 however, the reason for the quick step out was to shoot a commentary with Adam and David. I remember one of them saying “let’s finish up with Sara real quick” and all three of them left.

My heart sank thinking that may have been the last time I would see Sara, and since David went out the door too, that very small twinge of jealousy from the texting comment earlier got a small fire burning within me. I went out that door too and walked over to them, but kept a reasonable distance as to not disrupt the filming. At one point David crossed my path and I said “I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” I’m not sure what David saw in me at that moment, and I don’t remember his words in that moment, but he gave me a look that was reassuring. Once the filming was done I had a moment with all three of them in the hallway, just sharing a piece of this story about my realization that I got my compassion back, and that means that I’m back.

The four of us returned to the room with the rest of the group. Now what I had forgotten to mention up until now is that Shogo was with us at some point in day 2. I honestly can’t tell you when he came into it, I just remember David asking a question ending in Shogo’s name, and then I turned around and noticed him, like he just appeared out of nowhere.

If he had been there on Day 1, I would have been star struck the way I was when I first saw David in person because I am a fan of Shogo. But this deep into day 2, I was so deep that when I looked at Shogo I simply recognized him as another man. And in hindsight I thought it was funny, when Sara was leaving I was by the door, and when the rest of the guys were done thanking her, I asked if I could walk her out and she agreed. We got two steps outside the door and I realized I never even said a word to Shogo, so I asked Sara to hang on a sec. I walked back in real quick, called out to Shogo loud enough to turn his head, walked over and shook his hand, and said it was nice to meet him. I’m really curious as to how he felt about what I felt was a quick but strong interaction.

Walking with Sara out of the room and down the elevator, we exchanged feelings on all the things we learned over the last two days, and shared the mutual feeling of our heads spinning at the end of day 1. When we got to the exit, we found out we were both going the same way down the street. There was a very light mist falling on the streets. As I walked with Sara down that street, I took my small umbrella out of my bag and opened it and raised it over both of us, caring more to keep her dry than myself, even though this rain was harmless. In that moment, I realized a personal dream.

For the longest time, all I’ve wanted to do is walk one lady down a rainy street, and try to keep her dry. (Tissue Break)

We only got to walk that way for maybe a block and change before we reached Penn Station, and her path turned where mine did not. I said “I’ll walk you home” but she said “it’s ok, it’s far but it’s straight.” I said “okay then,” and I closed my umbrella. “Before you go… I did not get you a gift, but I have something for you” and I told her the quickest version of the Petunia story I could muster, and surrendered Petunia to her, explaining why she is the reason I don’t need it anymore.

I don’t know if she fully understood just how poetic that moment was for me, but she was happy, and that was enough. We shared a hug that I didn’t want to end; how badly I wanted to just reach behind her ears and run my fingers along those notes. Had I decided to do that, I would not have been able to resist the urge to kiss her, and if that had happened, I may not have been able to leave New York City less than 24 hours ago.

I was feeling love, but this weekend was about pushing that comfort zone. I had to love her enough that I could let her go. When I knew it was over, and as I pulled away, I simply said “Keep making beautiful music” I don’t remember her reply, only the beautiful look on her face as she turned and left her way, and I mine. I don’t know how I made it back to the hotel without falling to my knees with this new feeling. I had recovered my feelings, loved and lost, all in less than a weekend, and all by my own doing.

(Tissue Break)

Once I regained my composure, I went out to Times Square, and had a sketch artist do a portrait of me. I held the most genuine smile of my life, one of the first since my childhood, for 10 minutes straight. It was amazing to see the reactions of people looking at the sketch of me as it becomes more and more complete. I’ve been looking at it this whole time. I am amazed how this artist was able to capture this moment of my life so perfectly. An April fool, with a strong but gentle smile, and a look of love in his eyes. (This one made my choke up on a re-read)

Monday morning had me doing some last minute shopping before my checkout time, a souvenir shotglass of the famous Times Square kiss, and a killer pair of summer shoes for $20 bucks. Sometimes simple things can make this man happy. A brief refrain in Starbucks at times square gave me time to observe the shuffle of many people in the door, through the line and out the door. Where I used to find any reason to keep anyone at arm’s length, I was stunned to find myself now easily finding reasons to have love for at least 1 out of every 4-6 people I saw in that coffee shop. Found, loved, lost and now looking in a 48 hour timeframe… its breathtaking.

I had several hours to kill between checkout and my departure time, most of which I spent in the center of Penn Station, in front of the board, watching the last of my time here pass and trying not to cry, not wanting to leave but knowing I must not stay. I had at least one interaction with a total stranger every hour, all yielding wonderful reactions. People starting coming up to me asking for directions or whatever, I was that fucking approachable. I still kept choking up miserably, and it didn’t help that the PA system kept playing music that sounded like it should have been at the end of a damn movie.

I decided to push my comfort zone one last time, and record a vlog right in the middle of Penn station, with many people within the sound of my voice and in my line of sight. Recording my private thoughts in public; much easier than I thought.

I have found genuine comfort and absolute honesty in every word I have written to this point. So yeah! I still have the rest of this week and next weekend to enjoy who I really know I am before I re-integrate my new reality into my current life. I look forward to cleansing my home of any remnants of bad energy, spending part of a day at the salon, and finding a good bag and belt to complement my amazing new shoes for the warm months ahead.

A beautiful man deserves no less.

When David asked me to write this via email, I had already done a rough draft and had a lot of tears just dealing with the issues, not going into depth about Sara. I sent that into him and he asked me to go even deeper. I inserted the tissue breaks so you could see when I actually broke down during this writing process. Putting your soul up for reading on a blog like this, that’s pushing my comfort zone.

But I now know where my new comfort zone edge is at this very moment. It’s being ok with having the deepest love, and losing it, without losing my heart to it. Someone won the over half-billion dollar Mega Millions last weekend. I feel that I won something even greater…

…my life back.

A beautiful man deserves no less.