I was raised to be a “Man” by a father, uncles and various male role models, coaches etc.
This meant, in my particular Bay Area industrial town, don’t cry, never back down from a fight, and all the rest of those peculiar aspects that were passed on and down to us young males. I thoroughly embraced these as biblical writ: I was in the armed forces, where of course this was further enhanced, and became a bouncer at a local watering hole. I have pulled my own tooth and even stitched mysef up with an actual needle and thread. So I guess I quailfy as to these male standards .
I have, on my path, studied in a mystery school that heavily (in my opinion) slanted towards the feminine, then a mens’ group where, again, I found myself uncomfortable. Their introduction night had us basically banging into each other on a basketball court and eating meat without utensils and then grabbing our genitals and howling. This was ridiculous to me.
They kept asking questions : you know how your wives and girlfriends/society keep you down and don’t allow you to be a man?
(To be frank I laughed and repeatedly answered NO). But one time, on a dare, I went to a salon to get a facial. While there I decided to go whole hog and get a mani/pedi ( yes i said mani/pedi ) and massage. After the initial minor surprise, in this palace full of women-only attendants and customers, and the short waiting period, it began.
Oh sweet mystery of life at last I found you !!
Imagine my quick and startled response to, what to me, was a thoroughly girly thing to do.
I was led to a table, draped and laid down for my facial, and at the same time, my hands were tended to, all while my eyes were closed. My arms were massaged during the facial and later my feet were attended, cleaned, pumiced, rubbed, and toenails trimmed.
What a revelation! Of course I had been massaged before, but I had never been pampered! I suddenly realized why women avail themselves to this ritual, the one that men couldnt get. The internal shift that occurs when you take the time to care for yourself, the overall sense of tranquility and peace upon leaving the salon, a lightness of being while walking down the street. I felt pretty, pampered and blessed at an inner place of myself. I was kinder and more courteous to others as I encountered them.
Since then I have followed the advice of many of female friends and gone with them on dates to salons. I have learned to care for myself at home. I always took showers but now, often after the shower, I take a soak with bath oils. The change this behavior has effected in me is a more harmonious, peaceful co-existence with the world around me.
It’s not enough just to meditate or practice yoga, there is an absolute connection between body and spirit and a need to ease yourself, that women have seemingly always known, that we as men, must be able to embrace and accept as an intregal part to our overall growth and journey. I am NOT a Sensitive New Age Guy, I still hold very strong views on the masculine and feminine and still refuse to allow women to define me as a man (as person yes, but not as a man).
But I will now fight for my right to be pampered and catered to on a regular schedule because it is absolutely vital to me. I encourage all men to, at least, give this just one shot and see the results. You’re going to be surprised! And think how nice it will be to join your partner rather than just sitting in the reception area waiting.
Men need to climb this last wall of femininity and declare themseves as equal to any woman .
About Daniel Tanzo: Raised in Antioch, California, Daniel Tanzo is a 53 year old US Army Veteran and former Construction company owner/laborer . A self proclaimed poet/warrior he began his exploration to his path in 1998. Always an avid reader and lover of words he was introduced to Rumi, Hafiz, Cohelo and Borges, igniting his own poetry. He has spoke in front of various audiences including the San Francisco World Conference on the Enneagram. He studied Alchemy through the written word at a Bay Area based Mystery School, a new and recent yoga student he continues to write poetry and pursue his spiritual path while being caregiver to his mother recently debilitated by a stroke.
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