I can honestly say I’ve lived a full life so far, witnessed some of the best and worst of humanity, and am an old soul.
My lived experience has shaped me to be the man I am now, I will always be a student. My Intention is to learn from as many sources as I can, to grow, to share, assist others where I can, observe, and live a present life.
When I started a “formal” meditation practice, it was a short realization that I had actually have been meditating longer than I thought. In my teens, I started breathing exercises to make myself more present in the water, from here, seeing the benefits, slowly I started to try different modalities/tools for different things. It wasn’t until I was in the Army and needed further tools to assist me, not only to be more effective in my job as a Soldier, but also to assist in extra-curricular tertiary education, all the while being a soldier.
When I started “formal training”, I soon realized I had been meditating since I was a kid. They may have used different terminology that I was accustomed to, and obviously the different styles had their own beliefs, techniques and philosophy, but essentially there were common threads that I could interpret and get on board with.
In the words of Bruce Lee: “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”
Once, I got to a point where I found I’d either outgrown a technique, a practice, got what I needed, liked or disliked various techniques etc. I changed accordingly to another style, technique or discipline. Having the mindset to grow with the practice as I grew. Over the years my meditation practice has changed in many, many, ways, and foresee it will as I do.
From here I founded my own method of FUNCTIONAL RECOVERY, taught through my company; Blind Tiger Yoga, which supports the Veteran and Emergency Services (VES) community.
Continuing to put countless hours into this altruistic approach to serve the VES community, and unbeknownst to me at the time, I had also started to evolve into advocating for men’s mental health. Beginning to become more and more open, about the taboo subject of; mental health. I am still learning how to take the best care of my own mental health and openly share with those who are interested. This is where is starts, with an open and honest dialogue.
Mental Illness doesn’t have a look. I believe mental health advocacy and the various forms it takes on the spectrum of engagement needs to evolve, just like everything else. From dealing with my own journey with mental health, educating myself from self-study and professional help, openly talking about the normality of it, and thriving with my own mental health. I want people to remember mental health isn’t fight club, we can talk about it… Just like any aspect of physical health.
Every person has the right to access mental health support and I encourage you to do so, seek professional help and take medication if it’s prescribed. Whether you have a mental illness, intellectual disability, there is assistance in your personal and professional goals. You just need to find the right fit for you.
So, I want to challenge the stigma, discrimination and prejudice that is related to mental health and use my voice, and teachings to encourage change. Educating the community on the matter, and advocating change in the behavioural system. With this intention, I want to assist people in getting themselves organized, assist in moving legislation and changing policy.
All being said, through lived experience, I bring a light-hearted normality, through evidence-based practices, dedicated self-practice, continuing education and evolving innovations to mental health.
In SummaryMental Health Advocate, Meditation and Yoga Facilitator, Founder of Blind Tiger Yoga, Creator of Functional Recovery, Commercial Diver/Underwater Explosives Specialist, Army Combat Veteran, Traveler, Story Teller, Forever a Student, and just a regular Australian Bloke.
The following is a video that was completed in association with Lululemon a while back. Truth be known, being in front of a film crew and a camera, takes me out of my comfort zone, I struggle with it and working on it; but got to share a snippet of my journey with yoga. Please, don’t get stuck on the story, or yours for that matter. It is just a point in time and just a chapter, not the whole book.