An Unremarkable Scrotum

Two weeks ago, I had a routine CT Scan (X-Ray) as part of a scheduled series of tests after my cancer treatment in 2020. Marking two years since diagnosis, the scan and all my blood work indicated continued remission of any disease and is an encouraging sign that I have moved beyond a significant window of risk for recurrence. I will likely do one more exam in six months or a year and then say goodbye to the treatment center for good.

As I walked out of the cancer center and towards my car in the brisk winter air, my celebrations were cut short: I glanced at the printed copy of the scan results, and my eyes jumped straight to the last line:  “The scrotum is unremarkable.” Not to take anything away from the more relevant statement earlier in the report: “There is no evidence of pathology, no evidence of disease,” but my scrotum (and my prostate and seminal vesicles too) labeled as unremarkable – was very upsetting to me and I found myself quickly deflated! I personally always assumed my scrotum was, in fact, quite remarkable. More on this later. First, an update:

I’ve shifted locations from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, to Mazunte, Mexico. Mazunte is a small (but currently very crowded) pacific coast village that I first visited in 2011. It is one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever been, with endless beaches, rocky cliffs, and wild nature everywhere. One of my meditation teachers is here, Sahajananda, the founder of Hridaya Yoga, and a few friends who are here for various reasons. Unfortunately, I arrived a bit later than expected – I missed my flight (for no one’s fault but my own) for the first time in a long time. Clueless that the plane had already boarded, I was hanging out at the gate drinking water, eating a snack, and even taking a selfie (which I’m far too embarrassed to post) with the open gate and agent behind me. In the end, I had to fork out $250 for a new last-minute ticket and spend a sleepless night in the Mexico City airport, all the while going through a wild shame spiral for being so careless and unaware. I notice I am very hard on myself when careless actions cause me a significant financial loss. This feeling is related very much to my relationship to control and a masculine-oriented view of life. I used to think and say, ‘how can anyone miss a flight,’ sitting in a café or whatever. Now I understand – and a story I have been unfolding for myself that I referred to in my last post is shifting from a masculine-oriented worldview to incorporating more aspects of the feminine worldview. A friend even reflected that I feel more like I’m allowing myself to be penetrated (feminine-oriented) by the world, which is new territory. I’m not saying that missing a flight is feminine, rather that there are more non-linear aspects of life that take on more aliveness and make things like time and money less interesting.

And this brings me back to a conversation about my scrotum, as it symbolizes masculinity. I know I speak a lot of masculine/feminine polarity, and I will continue to because of its connection to my life, interests, teaching, and mission. And a significant goal in my life is to be in a partnered, committed relationship, so I feel my life path and this goal are aligned. I’m currently involved in two Men’s programs, a Couple’s intimacy course a tantric consort course for couples. And my mission consists of this desire for healing, depth, and healthier, more alive relationships. A word that summarizes this is wholeness. I seek wholeness in myself and want to be in a position that invites others into their wholeness.

And from here – I feel some vulnerable words about to come forth. I notice an imposter syndrome as I navigate this sphere of my life. I’m helping men with their purpose, their sexuality, and their hearts. I’m teaching couples how to communicate better, AND here I am, 42, unsure of where I will be living in a month from now, single, and with an insecure income stream. Despite now wanting to admit it fully,( even to myself), COVID and CHEMO were like putting on a weighted blanket that I am trying to crawl out from underneath. On the positive side, they significantly strengthened my resilience, brought me an incredible amount of humbleness, slowed me down, helped me narrow my focus and goals. However, it also left me slightly dizzy, with 15 extra pounds, decreased vitality, and more financial burden and stress than I would prefer.

This imposter syndrome manifests specifically in the lack of relationship/partnership in my life. I am teaching men and couples how to IMPROVE – intimacy, sexuality, communication….and I know myself to be a confident lover and excellent communicator, yet lacking clear direction and stability. Therefore, I often feel unattractive to potential partners.

For me, there is a crux, an edge that I am exploring related to staying authentic, congruent, and in integrity with my values. The values of simplicity, non-materiality, freedom, and service. The importance of a quiet, meditative life of practice and contemplating my scrotum.

Yet, I believe that to mate signal for a potential partner properly means I need to develop other values: physical fitness, financial stability, owning a home, etc., thereby defining myself through a career or capacity to provide to be marketable. Even if becoming more marketable means losing touch with my inner life and practice. As I type this, my heart knows the answer – it does nobody a service to be inauthentic to gain and enter a relationship only to find oneself removed from one’s values. I think the answer to my question is trust and patience. And the clarity that the very act of remaining true to my principles and values is the most attractive thing in the world to the type of woman I believe I am attracting. This feels like a good moment to pause.

Thanks for being with me.

Sayulita, Mexico

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As a little graduation present to myself, I headed down to Sayulita, Mexico the final week of March with Autumn.  After 18 months of simultaneously working and going to school fulltime, I decided I deserved it. 🙂  I know, unemployed and taking lavish vacations…. not quite.  With the dollar converting to 15 pesos and airfares being at their cheapest in 10 years, it was a relatively cheap jaunt. Nonstop from Denver on Frontier was $336 and we ended up spending only $400 after lodging while down there, including surfboard rentals.

We stayed at a little place called Casitas Tortugas that I would highly recommend. The owner Marcelo was extremely friendly, helpful, and did an amazing job creating a natural sanctuary. The back patio has a pond with turtles, bamboo trees and iguanas high in the trees. Despite being in the middle of town and only 3 blocks from the beach, when at Casitas TortugasIMG_1646 you felt like you were in a nature sanctuary. It was the perfect spot for reflection, reading and relaxation.  Indio, the resident cat, was always ready to play and keep you company. For a more in-depth review including a video of one of the casitas, take a look here.

Overall Sayulita still has a lot of charm despite a lot of development and growth in tourism in the past 10 years. If you have been pondering a trip ( I had been for 4 years), I would go soon!  There is still a great mix of local and gringo establishments and a general friendly feel without the pressures of a typical tourist location in Mexico. You can spend anywhere from $1 to $30 on dinner depending on where you go, but we often found places like the Sayulita Cafe excellent where you could find an amazing meal for <$10.  Don’t miss Burrito Revolucion too.IMG_1573

Sayulita serves as an excellent location for both beginner(us!)  and intermediate surfers. The local break on the beach right in town had 2- 6 foot waves and 150-200 foot breaks you could ride all the way into shore!  Javier, the owner of Wildmex is the ONLY person you should see for surfboard rentals and trips.  While we never ended up taking a trip with him or his instructors, friends raved about the amazing breaks at Punta Burros and La Lancha, where Javier and his crew would take you through the forest to beaches where you could surf in solitude while watching the sunset. We surfed mostly on the main beach, loving the fact that we could just walk from our casita to the beach in less than 5 minutes with surfboard in tow.

Overall my trip to Sayulita was exactly what I needed.  I would go back in a heartbeat. For you employed types with discretionary income, I can’t imagine a better or easier getaway from Colorado within 3 hours of flying.