A new, supportive men’s wellness movement is beginning on the Gold Coast. ORM headed to Currumbin to meet the founder and find out what this conscious movement of self-development is all about.
It’s a challenging time to be a man. The world is rapidly changing and traditional stereotypes are flying out of the window. Divorce rates and the male suicide rate tell us very clearly that many young men are floundering and struggling to navigate their way in the world.
How refreshing, then, it is to see an inspirational seeker step up and take positive action. ORM headed to the beautiful Ecovillage in Currumbin to meet Jacob O’Neill, 27, who lives in these serene surroundings with his partner Meg O’Sullivan. He is the founder of ‘Man’s Movement’, which is just beginning here on the Gold Coast. It aims to offer support for all who are interested in taking a more conscious path and find themselves searching for where to start with self-development.
“I’d call my mid-twenties my ‘distraction phase’,” Jacob tells ORM. “From my late teens to around 25, I was in my partying phase — as many are. I grew up in rural New South Wales and moved to Brisbane when I was 21, then headed to the GC. I didn’t have a troubled upbringing, so I didn’t have external factors to blame my behaviour on. I was just going with the flow. It just wasn’t my flow.
“I got caught up in the collective energy in the young twenties style of living. I didn’t really have a role model of where to go from there. I’d finished a marketing degree and lost interest in pursuing that. I started working in an organic whole food store.
“Meg would come in a few times a week, and we started talking about life. I was still partying four or five times a week. I ate healthily and used that as a justification to go out and party. I’d tell myself, ‘Well, I’ve had my five green smoothies for the day, so now I can go out’.”
Jacob and Meg’s love story is a little like something you’d see in a movie. Boy meets pretty girl when she comes in to buy organic veg. They start talking, hanging out, have some mutual friends, gravitate towards each other, and start dating. Nearly four years later, they’re happily settled in the Ecovillage.
“Our relationship is built on communication,” he says with a smile. “Early on she held me accountable, and she was the spark that ignited me on my journey.”
Man’s Movement is the result of a lot of reflecting on Jacob’s part. As a man, he knows all too well that men tend to be very task-orientated and caught up in the doing.
“Taking time to reflect is very important for men,” he says. “We can be very sensation-driven. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years sitting in circles with 20 or so women. I told myself for a long time that I was supporting Meg; then I realised this was actually about me, too.
“I started to realise that there are a lot of spaces for women to come together and share honestly without being judged. They share how they’re feeling and where their heads are at. There’s nothing like that for men — especially young men like me.
“I haven’t battled with addiction, I didn’t go off the rails — I just want to do better. This is a space for men to find support, compassion, and to be held accountable for their choices.”
Jacob and Meg talk a lot about becoming self-aware. It certainly does seem that the more self-awareness you can develop, the less you find yourself getting swept up in that collective energy. That makes sense.
“In my distraction phase, I was giving my power away,” Jacob says. “I wanted to get away from my thoughts. We all do it — and we carry that energy with us. The more you start to reflect and take care of the inside, the more you find the strength to stand truthfully in your own space and not be caught up in that collective energy.
“I wanted to step up for men my age — men in their twenties and thirties especially who want to create more inner strength, find direction, and have real conversations beyond the beers. Much of the focus for men in society is on the physical. We’re told we have to become physically better, but that fuels more ego than anything else.
“Think about how often you hear talk of male conquering. We’re told to conquer a certain look, a physique, a business venture, or even a person. It’s all determined by the outside, and it’s not creating a sense of genuine worth.”
As Meg arrives from the kitchen with a delicious cooked breakfast, conversation turns to their wider family.
“We’ve all got fathers and grandfathers who can give us life advice, but the world is so different now,” Jacob says. “Often they don’t understand that either.”
The example Jacob uses is of being in a car, sitting in the back on an iPad. You can stay sitting in the back, distracted by your iPad. Or you can step up, take the driver’s seat, and make decisions for yourself with regard to which exit you want to take and which road you want to go down.
Man’s Movement is about finding like-minded people on the Gold Coast to lean on for support. There will be workshops, events, and online discussions throughout the year.
“Really, it’s a launch pad for anyone who feels their current environment isn’t serving them,” he says. “Anyone who’s curious and open to a new way of living. I’ve had one guy reach out this week who just says he wants to become more confident and lead a better life. That’s all it takes, then that ball is rolling.”
The traditional model for men has been to be the provider at any cost. That isn’t sustainable. Are you looking for a tribe of men? Are you looking to make a positive change? Would you like to take responsibility for your own happiness? Start here!
Join the movement
The world is in need of men who are self-aware and committed to doing their inner work — that’s what Man’s Movement is all about.
Man’s Movement is dedicated to honouring each man’s journey of remembering their true self. The modern world can distract us from our truth and have us chasing desires that are ego-driven. This mindset has us convinced that our existence is based on a constant state of grasping for things that make us feel good momentarily. No more!
* Collaborating not competing
* Empowered not insecure
* Vulnerable not violent
* Open not ignorant
* Patient not anxious
* Peaceful not frustrated
* Supportive not judgemental
Oil me up!
Jacob says dōTERRA essential oils have been a game-changer for him. “I use oils for daily rituals,” he says. “They’ve become a toolkit I carry with me every day to support myself and live my best life.”
Use these basics to keep you in check no matter what life throws at you:
Easy Air: clear & reset
Lemon: cleanse & focus
Ice Blue: loosen & release
On Guard: warmth & protection
Peppermint: activate & energise
Tea Tree: restore & rejuvenate
Oregano: remove & maintain
Lavender: sooth & relax
Frankincense: ground & connect
DigestiZen: settle & calm