by Joel L, Australia.
A couple of years ago, on my way to a Universal Medicine workshop, a conversation started with the friend I was staying with.
The conversation moved to women’s beauty routines and the effort they make to pamper themselves. I noticed a reaction in me when it came to thinking about me doing ‘that stuff’. I never saw Dad do it, surely Men are tougher than that, a bit of cream after sunburn is okay, but anything more and you were a ‘nancy’ (sorry to anyone called Nancy).
I made a choice in that moment to feel what might be behind my reaction rather than just run with the reaction. What I found brought me to tears – a life-time of wanting, yearning to be touched that tenderly, to be held with that much love, to be allowed to ‘pamper’ myself. A lifetime of choosing rough and tumble over caring and gentle.
That was when the secret mission was launched… I was a bit embarrassed at not knowing where to start, so I did what any self-respecting man would do in this situation… I called my wife. After a couple of pointers, I headed out on my own to the ‘girly sections’ of a department store and to those ‘smelly’ shops with soaps and stuff.
It was a bit overwhelming – lots of smells, lots of choice…I stayed away from anything pink (of course), and if something said ‘for men’ it must be safe to test! I got a bit overwhelmed by people trying to spray stuff on me… it was obvious that they had no idea how serious this situation was.
Stage one complete. I walked away with body scrub, bath oil, moisturiser, my first bathrobe since I was a child (not too fluffy of course), and one of those brushy things. NB: no rubber ducks or toy boats.
Back at my friend’s house… no kids, no wife, just me, my bounty and my ‘not too’ fluffy robe. I sank into the bath… first miracle… I didn’t want to leave my wife and join a ‘Kylie Minogue’ tribute group… second miracle… It was AWESOME… third miracle… realising that maybe a rubber duck could have been a nice touch. Stage two complete.
Stage three… repeat often.
290 thoughts on “A 43yr Old Man Goes On A Secret Mission”
It would be interesting to read a follow up and what stage Joel is up to now.
I have read quite a few of Joel’s blogs, each and everyone inspires and touches me at a deep level, leaving me wanting to read more of his writings.
Making space to cherish and be tender with ourselves is really appreciated by our bodies.
Caring for our body with love and tenderness is not ‘pampering’ it is honouring the body we live with every day.
The body thrives when its is loved and cared for, regardless of gender.
Yes, we all love tender care and nurturing.
‘What I found brought me to tears – a life-time of wanting, yearning to be touched that tenderly, to be held with that much love, to be allowed to ‘pamper’ myself. ‘ This honesty with yourself is inspiring me to be honest about what it is that I yearn for that I’m not giving myself and from which I then try to distract and overcompensate for later – treats that I’ve ‘earned’ rather than consistently being loving with myself. What is it I’m not allowing in myself?
Making your secret mission public, invites other men to go on their own, if they haven’t already. Beautiful.
Reading your comment Richard, made me smile – I won’t tell anyone :).
Hey journalists, the men that attend Universal Medicine, take baths.
I loved reading this, the light heartiness, the humour, the wanting to try things out, in stealth.
What I loved the most, is you noticing that ‘reaction’ in you and you inquired about it, you questioned it, researched and put it into “action”. And you tried it out, and you enjoyed it.
What’s the difference between a man and a woman, except their genitals? So, why do we have certain things only for men, and certain things only for women? It’s worth pondering on.
There is nothing wrong with a man being pampered, in whatever form it may be. It just goes to show you that we are conditioned to be in a certain way. And it is okay to take care of ourselves, whether we are a man or whether we are a woman.
Suffering from a lack of Joy certainly holds us in a place of discomfort. So lived Joy is exuding from our essences when we reconnect to the divine quality of our essence and what greater purpose could we have than to be connected?
And when reconnected it is so simple and joy-full to be Loving to our bodies as it is natural.
As we take our life and present our way of living, whatever stage it is at, there will always be a deeper way of pampering and Loving ways that support our evolution.
Loving and taking care of ourselves is fun. If it becomes daunting and too serious and burdensome, there’s no love in it.
Love what you say her Fumiyo, bringing gorgeousness and fun to nurturing rather than seriousness is way more inviting.
The point is, regardless of what society dictates we can or can’t do for ourselves, we are either choosing love or not.
I trust that ‘a rubber duck could have been a nice touch’ has been added to the collection.
Awesome! Love your sense of humour … very funny 🤣🤣 I would have loved to have heard how this unfolded for you more and being a woman and reading this was like ‘oh I should do that more for me!!!’ …. sink into a bath. So from being a man who has scoffed at having a beauty routine you have inspired a woman who has a bit of one.
´Nancying´ is a very highly charged word that governs the imagination of many. If you become more tender, more affectionate, and you give yourself permission to treat you well, you get closer to the truth of yourself. What they say is pretty irrelevant., It just speaks about them and how governed they are by images and how reluctant they are to give themselves permission to loosening up the cast they are wearing. They may not ´nance´, but they dance a music that guarantees moving against themselves.
Men and women are equally tender, gorgeous, deeply caring and super loving since our day birth. So why do we have so much sterotypes in our society that dicates what is for boys and girls? All of these are just images that separate us from each other and from who we really are. So let’s brake these rules by celebrating the beauty in us and letting what we feel inside is true lead our way.
Boys and girls are both born equally delicate, so why should that change as we grow older?
This is so funny to read Joel. A playful invitation to go on a secret mission like this more often, to experience the tenderness and care that we deserve.
I love how Joel always brings in the fun and playful element with what he shares.
All men should embark on a secret mission like you Joel – and as you say repeat often for that quality of care builds us from within.
I love your sense of humour Joel.. Nothing like that to explore and enjoy new ways of caring yourself much more.
We talk about how tough men are, but I would have never imagined that an experience like that would be tough for men. The detail you go into is astonishing, just the fact that you wouldn’t get a robe that is too soft is quite telling of how far we have disconnected, not just men, but us women for not realising the state at play either.
The ideals of what a man is are so restricting and imposing, they set up a system of rules that do not allow men to be who they naturally are. There seems to be this attitude that if they step out of the ideals of hardness, toughness and being stoic they will automatically lose all identity and become something they are not, something flimsy and unmanly, when they are actually already something that is many steps away from the essence of who they naturally are. Joel it was lovely that you could allow yourself to do what you wanted to, to nurture and care for yourself.
Hilarious, more please Joel!
Yes, I’m looking forward to the next secret mission…
“I got a bit overwhelmed by people trying to spray stuff on me… it was obvious that they had no idea how serious this situation was.” mmmmh at least you told them how serious this situation was with your awesome blog.
People trying to spray stuff on us is very off putting, and can send us running in the opposite direction, great that you didn’t let that imposition stop you Joel.
This secret mission shows clearly how much we accept images of how it has to be (to be a man) and hence, the boundaries that are not to be crossed if you want to remain in the ‘safe’ zone. That is why by following images we miss out on the beauty of life.
That’s exact it Eduardo, not crossing the “safe zone”. Women have that also in terms of images of being there for everyone and not themselves, having a certain body image, having kids, and not speaking with power, as some examples.
Rubber ducks are essential and a lot of fun to play with. I trust you have since then aded them to your repertoire. In the shop you can always pretend it’s for the kids, okay?
Having been a pink lover (not the band) all my life it is hard not to think of pink as being a normal colour for anyone including guys! It says a lot about society and how much we are damaging men in their expression of their tenderness when they do not feel safe to wear or do anything associated with pink.
I find it hard to see the lack of care men have for themselves, the hardness they go into to protect themselves and the cuts and bruises that get ignored as they soldier on, men are equally worth caring for in just the same way as women and I love that you went and bought a fluffy bath robe. A fluffy bath robe is currently in my shopping list as I realise that I also haven’t had one for about 20 years and can feel how supportive it would be to put one on after long soaks or in the mornings when the house is cold.
I have to say it is not just men but also many women too that have forsaken their innateness and actually fought against it and have shoved that ‘yearning to be touched that tenderly, to be held with that much love’ into the bottom pit, and can actually freeze in the face of being met with the deep tenderness, especially from men.
So so gorgeous, simple, deeply profound and funny too. And what you share about reaction here is priceless, to choose in the moment to feel what is underneath that rather than just run with it … that is pure gold.
Joel I always love reading your blogs, they are light-hearted yet down to earth, having a bath with bubbles, or scent is always a great way to connect and wind down, and to nurture yourself if that is what the body is asking for, and I love how you have embraced a new self-nurturing way into your life.
We learn so much more when humour and fun are brought in; teachers need Joel as their mentor.
Women are clearly not the only people who deserved to be pampered, nourished and cared for and this is a great blog Joel reminding us of this fact.
Hilarious – showing us that love is never too serious and that there much be playfulness too. An interesting blog writing about this subject – that does raise awareness for us all.
Playful but revealing how much unsaid pressure is put on men to act a certain way. These imposed rules of what it is to be a man are acutely felt when a man dares to live his own way and hence not succumb to the rules he has been told to live.
LOL this is funny but so relevant to where most men are at is to allow themselves permission to pamper themselves in what ever format it is.
This ‘toughness’ imposition is really imposing. I see my male family members in such disarray and soon as tenderness is presented to them, they love it but don’t know how to sustain it and soon return to their hard routine.
Go Joel…..Set the way for others
Your secret mission Joel is a beautiful reminder that men too deserve to pamper and nurture themselves – I look forward to reading about stage 4.
Haha and classic article about a subject close to my heart. People that know me know I love to smell great and look the same. I have always, since I was in my teens bought face care products and colognes to use to start and end my day. My father always used to use an aftershave lotion that had a smell after he shaved and also to put on if he was ever going somewhere special. Growing up I would always let him splash some on me as well for a bit of fun. Now my draw has all the necessary things, face wash, scrub, moisturisers etc etc. It’s not strange or even a stretch for me and when men talk to me about it I don’t rub it in their face (haha) I just speak of how much I love using these things, how they feel and what they do next is entirely up to them, my routine won’t change.
This is so lovely to read Ray, I give good quality shower wash, shampoos and conditioner to my father and he absolutely loves it because otherwise he is left with the dregs. We have this attitude that when it comes to caring, men aren’t worth it which is so far from true. We all need to deeply care for ourselves however that may look.
In the world of ours, things are clearly demarcated. This is what a man does, and that is what a woman does. And we play along until you discovered that there are some things the other side is doing that feel lovely and you ‘dare’ one day to try it. It takes courage but it is worth it.
Beautiful Joel, Stage 4 may even include stronger scents and fluffier fluff . . . never discount anything! This is inspiring me to pamper myself more.
I love your humour Joel and the gorgeous feeling of you pampering you in the bath.
Such a sweet little secret confession, I often wondered what it would be like for boys and men and if they ever wanted all the things that we as women are allowed to just have without feeling any guilt or shame, it is beautiful to hear we are not so different but men certainly do have more obstacles to overcome to get to the pamper room.
Ha, brilliant! The reaction in some men is huge when a woman is showing any ‘pampering’ towards themselves so I take my hat off to Joel allowing himself to feel what was behind the reaction. Every reaction, subtle or obvious offers an opportunity for growth so being aware of changes in my body when I am presented with something that I may find uncomfortable is certainly a moment to take stock and address and not to simply ignore.
This is such a profound example of how ideas and beliefs of what a man or a woman should or should not be, this consciousness that preside over our society today, cap us from living and loving the realness of who we are and the richness of life we can experience and enjoy when we allow ourselves to surrender to be in connection to our tenderness, our love, our essence within. We also greatly miss out on sharing these gorgeous qualities with each other. There is nothing quite like being met by a man who walks embracing his tenderness – truly heart-melting every time.
We don’t care for our infant boys any differently to our infant girls and if we didn’t allow ourselves to be influenced by the picture we have of boys as they grow up we would all still treat ourselves with the same tender loving care whoever we are.
Yes Mary, when and why do we start treating our young boys less tenderly than we do our young girls?
Joel it was delightful to read this blog again. I used to think all the fuss women made with their beauty products was a waste of time. I prided myself on being a soap and water girl with no frills. This all changed when I had my first facial, which was done as a favour to my daughter who needed someone to practice on as she was training to be a beauty therapist. The time and care she took was something I had never done for myself and she explained why I should bother with cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing. From them I started my own daily beauty routine. It is definitely linked to feeling that I am worth it, and of course we all are. I hope you are repeating your self-care activities often.
Amongst the fast-pace of today’s world and the stress it induces for both men and woman equally, launching your secret mission Joel after ‘a lifetime of choosing rough and tumble over caring and gentle’ is a worthy undertaking for all men to nurture and commit to. But, in no way should it be ever secret, hidden or ever stealth guided as do we all honestly think women are the only ones that feel the pressures and need to be nurtured and honored with some regular TLC in this day and age? Go for it men, you deserve to be appreciated and appreciate yourselves equally to that any woman ever can be.
Joel I love your sharing and sent it to my husband . . . I am curious what will happen!