I am visiting Ikea with my son and his girlfriend. He found a room in Amsterdam and needs some furniture to give himself a nice start. His girlfriend points her finger at a small wooden table, which appears to fit very well in preschool. He doesn’t like it at all but I can see his resistance to say no to her. Finally he realizes it’s his house and he forces himself to say this table is more suitable for the seven dwarfs in Snowwhite. Relieved I take a deep breath.
In Serengeti we lose a tire of the trailer. The result is that we have to move all luggage from the trailer to the roof of our landcruiser. A male client makes a clear move to get out of the jeep. In that moment his wife calls: “What are you going to do?” His hand allready on the doorhandle is drawn back fearfully. She looks at him with a resolute look, while his face shows his insecurity. “ I am going to help the men”: he says. “Oh no you don’t”: she claims, “you are not going out of this car”. By then I see anger arise in his face and eyes but it shows many signs of an inner struggle also. He doesn’t like to be commanded in public by her but he rather not fights her strong wish. Many strained seconds go by. Then he smashes the door open and disappears behind the car. Relieved I take a deep breath.
My husband had a dream last night. He was dreaming he was pouring a very large glass of orange juice. Somebody next to him (is it me?) says: “Really! Are you pouring yourself such a big glass of juice”? He looks at the bottle and realizes this juice is a very expensive organic, natural juice. Immediately guild comes up and he pours some juice back in the bottle. This person aside him (is it me again?) apparently loses all respect and responds: “Are you throwing it back because I am having a comment on your behaviour? That is ridiculous”
The day after this dream my husband is very moody. “Someone has a complaint about me and when I do something with it, I get a second blow all over me”: he says. Guiltily I look at him.
The first fifteen years of our relationship he showed some defenceless behaviour to my moods and criticism, endlessly trying to please me. Women-friendly he called it. Many times of course it was not succesfull with me. In fact I did not need a so called “women-friendly” man. In reality I longed for a man who was rooted in himself and was able to connect from that inner strength and his heart with me.
After several men groups he hast started to rebut me or even better made space for my mood without making it personal or starting to please me. Relieved I take a deep breath.
During the wave of women emancipation in the last century we allready could see men stayed behind in their personal development compared with women. In the fight for equal rights men have changed from absent fathers into men who were willing to work less hours, change dipers, give more attention to their children and wifes and share household chores. But what was missing was this inner drive to develop in a personal way coming from this inner search for meaning and freedom in life. The result of this was that many men transformed from dominating cocks into pleasing shadows of themselves. Society called and calls this behaviour men’s emancipation.
What society is blind for is that these so called men’s emancipation conceals an inner void, the emptiness of someone who does not really stand for what is alive inside no matter whether it pleases someone else or not. Men show a difficulty to bring their true selves in the relationship with other people. My father had trouble bringing himself in, my husband had/has the same effort and now I see my son wrestling. A powerful example is the way sexuality disappeared from the streets in our society. No way a man dares to whistle at an unknown woman and forget it that a man will speak out about the fact that he is capable of having sex with nine out of ten women that he meets. Yet this is what is inside him but not appreciated very much by the common values. As a therapist I hear several men sighs as the nice weather persists and an overdose of mini skirts colors the streets.
Since a few years an interesting movement starts to take place in the mens world. There are inspired activities for men to renew their vision and to re-examine what it means to be a man and to refind their authentic power. The modern man longs to stand for who he really is. That does not mean that he needs to bang down his fist on the table again but they learn to bring themselves in touch with their vulnerability and from there make space for what is sincere in their heart. This wakes up a completely different power in men rather than the “authoritarian, not afraid of anything and I know all so sure man” where women (and the world) have had their belly full of.
Inspirator and supervisor Ralph Nelissen from “The Potential School” is dreaming like this: “this is what modern men among themselves have to do, fragile and powerful sharing, by which a world can open that we in that old paradigm of fear and suppression could not even imagine.
“If the heart of a man opens up, everything is possible! “
One of those innovative activities is our mens Safari to Tanzania. For 15 days, men are included in the wild nature of Ngorongoro Crater Highlands in Tanzania. Highlight is the six-day walking Tour of Lake Eyasi to Lake Natron over an old Masaï path. In the company of Hadzabe, Datoga and Masaï brothers men are challenged to look into their fears, their (sexual) desires, get rid of shame and guilt, explore the primal desire to hunt and experience and connect with their inner king energy. But they are especially invited to share this with each other.
Walk the Rhythm of the Earth
6 until 20 januari 2017