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“Rad Dad Feature: Ben Chused”

Admittedly, I initially had heard of Ben when I was flipping through the sleeve of my very first Ten Yard Fight LP. His precision drumming was the background to some of the most pivotal hardcore songs of that time and I am forever thankful that he was a part of a band that came together in such a perfect way and really impacted my life. To this day he still inspires in the same way through everything he touches. From his mindful practice as a yoga teacher, to his everyday life of being a dad he proves his dedication and passion for life. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Ben Chused.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

I’ve worn many hats in terms of what I “do” over the years — I’ve been a full-time student, graffiti artist, touring musician, poker player, financial services professional, and more. I currently work full-time as a marketing manager for a technology vendor, and I also work part-time as a yoga teacher. I balance my careers with my role as a father by setting clear boundaries between my time at work and my time with family.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

To me, being a modern-day dad means waking up each day and thinking, “How can I be of service to my family today?” This could mean many things, from making pancakes for breakfast to putting in a little extra effort at the office. It could also mean going off on my own and taking time to have a yoga practice or some other activity that calms my nerves, so that I’m in a better state of mind to serve my family.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?

Becoming a father has forced me to shift priorities and constantly re-evaluate my activities and habits with a very critical eye. Why am I hanging out with this person? Do I really need to attend that meeting? How can I manage my time more effectively so that I’m less involved in mundane activities and interactions, and more involved in making a meaningful contribution? Becoming a father has also helped me let go of ego! I’ve observed that we tend to be on our worst behavior when the ego is inflated, and my kids regularly remind me that I’m deeply flawed. Now I try to focus more on managing my faults versus what I perceive as the faults of others.

4. What’s the greatest part about being a dad?

I’ve always considered myself young at heart, but my kids really help me to hit the “pause” button and see things from their perspective. Kids tend to adore subtle components of their environment that we can easily take for granted – like noticing the moon in the distance, becoming entranced by a candle burning, or becoming completely interested in a bird or a squirrel in the distance.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

When my daughter was born in our Las Vegas home in 2009, my wife and I made a very last-minute decision to move back to the east coast so that we could be closer to family and I could attend business school. It was a fast, intense shifting of priorities. Over the course of a few days, I quit my job and we packed up everything our house. We didn’t have a place to live, so we hired movers and told them to drive towards Massachusetts and we would call with a destination address later. My wife and one-month old daughter jumped on a plane, and I packed up our Toyota Prius with everything else – which included 2 dogs and 3 cats. I drove cross country with a litter box in the back seat, sneaking the pets into hotels, napping in fast food parking lots, and I actually had to adjust my route to dodge tornados in Kansas and Indiana. That period was one of the most stressful and amazing couple weeks of my life, all set in motion by becoming a dad.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

It’s not about you any more, it’s about your family. Pause to examine your habits and be open to shifting your priorities. Become interested in the perspective of your child, and be agile enough to constantly switch gears as you and your family navigate the peaks and valleys of this new chapter. Try not to sweat the small stuff, that spill on the couch is only as significant as you allow it to be.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this feature! Really appreciate it and we wish you all the best. Where can people find out more about you?

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @BChused. I teach weekly yoga classes at Down Under School of Yoga (www.downunderyoga.com) located in Newton and Brookline, MA.

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