MANA MASTERCLASS: 3-hours to better Self-Care

MANA MASTERCLASS: 3-hours to better Self-Care

This MANA MASTERCLASS will teach you how to get some of that precious ‘me time’ and make the most of it.

5 of the most MANA-inspiring places on Earth

5 of the most MANA-inspiring places on Earth

Our top 5 (actual, non-generic, GPS located places) where you can find some MANA again.

How To Dad - Locked and Loaded (One Week to Go!)

You know the expression “Blink and you’ll miss it?” Well, the last 9 months have literally gone by quicker than you can say “wait, hang on a second. I wasn’t ready!” But as a guy, I feel like the time seems to shoot past a little quicker than it does for your partner if she’s carrying (a Bub). It’s like when you have an injury. As soon as you’re back in action, everybody seems to say “ Wow! That went by quickly”. However, when you’re the victim, time seems to take forever. Time literally stands still. Because my champion of a Baby Mumma has been growing quickly over the past 9 months with a ton of body changes, back aches, darkening nipples (haha), cute little waddle, heart burn, peeing every 2.76 seconds, being lethargic etc, I can tell that it’s been quite a long journey for the little trooper.

The 9 month journey with the Gorgeous   Bakulia

The 9 month journey with the Gorgeous Bakulia

 

People have been asking how I’ve been feeling lately, knowing the day is just around the corner. To be honest, I really don’t have strong feelings one way or another at this point. Obviously excited but scared at the same time. It still doesn’t really feel real to me yet. I mean, yes the pram and nursery is all set up, yes the baby seat is in the car and the change table is all ready to go next to the cot and hanging mobile. Even with our house set up to look like it’s a part time day care centre, it still doesn’t feel 100% real yet.

I was talking to a friend out in the surf on the weekend and he told me “mate, once you look at your little one, it hits you like a bolt of lightning and everything changes. It becomes very real and in the best way possible”. This late thirties legend, then went on to say that it was the first time in over 20 years he had a good old solid cry session due to all of the emotions that had come and gone. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t super nervous for my partner.

3 things that I pray for constantly:

1 - Please let our baby be happy and healthy.

2 - Please let the day go as smoothly as possible with no complications.

3 - MOST importantly please let my partner get though this with no hiccups or unexpected complications.

I’m sure for those “already” parents out there, this is something you’ve gone through as well, but for the soon to be mums + dads, it’s a daily thought. Especially in the last month! It’s usually in there (the thoughts), fighting with the “any day now” thoughts. Again, it has been good to practice my MANA Rituals (see a couple of blogs back) with a strong focus on meditation and staying in the present moment. It’s a pretty easy thing to become overwhelmed during the day, if you let your mind run off in thought.

 

7 days from now, I’ll be holding our new Son/Daughter. Yes that’s right, I somehow managed to convince my very structured, organised, “no surprises for me please” partner, to leave the gender to the unknown. For me, it truly is one of life’s last big surprises! These days technology is so advanced that we can pretty much find out anything at anytime, anywhere! After the big sell on why we shouldn’t find out the sex of the baby, I came out on top! (Well I do work in sales for a living so I mean, like, you know… come on now, it’s my gig and i’d be sucking if I couldn’t sell my own girl. 😜). Wish us luck guys, it’s go time!

How to get (and stay) fit on a shoestring

How to get (and stay) fit on a shoestring

Moving through the ‘less travelled’ parts of Earth and staying on a shoestring budget can be exciting, frustrating and wonderful. Often our fitness takes a backseat to the many other things (like not getting robbed, scammed or Rabies) when we’re on the road. Here’s how to bring it back…

How to Fast Track ---> Success and Happiness with 2 magic steps!

I guess after reading the title above I wanted to point out that i’m very aware that Success and Happiness means a thousand different things to thousands of different people. Personally I feel that Success and Happiness go hand in hand. For me it’s about smiling and liking the human that’s staring back at you in the mirror. It’s saying quietly to yourself “your doing just fine”. Not in an egotistical arrogant way, but more in a “you’ve got this, keep chasing and kicking dem there goals” kind of way.

There was a loooong period in my life that was made up of getting wasted every weekend, putting nothing but junk food though my body, procrastinating over tasks that needed to be done (and then only sometimes doing them), being physically active NEVER (except for punching the air at a night club or after party at a mates/strangers house), wasting productive time day after day and the list goes on.

So began the slow spiral of self destruction both mentally and physically… “oh FFS really? again? what am I doing with myself? I feel like crap, why do I constantly do this to myself?” Blah Blah Blah. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love a kick arse time and I have a saying that I live by:

“Do everything in Moderation including Moderation”

By living this way, it allows you to do the fun stuff, not get to down on yourself and still live your life with good level of balance. Let’s be honest life isn’t worth living without that odd night out, a glass of Rosé, some Lollies on those car trips or that delicious piece of Pizza! Basically, the trick to this is having the discipline to identify two things;

  • Knowing when you need to have your head down focused

  • Knowing when it’s ok to let your hair down and kick off those shoes.

Keeping Balance is “KEY”

Keeping Balance is “KEY”

So go on, head down to the local pizza place and stuff your face but make sure your still getting your fruit, veg and greens most of the time. Have a lazy Netflix and Chill weekend (*Side Note: you may, like me, find out a few weeks later your going to be a dad shortly after so tread with caution on the old “Netflix n Chill” HAHAHA) but make sure you get your 30 - 45 mins of Physical Exercise in more often then not. Write down your goals so you can physically see them. Without a goal/s and knowing exactly what you want, you’re sitting around wishing. By wishing, you set yourself up for disappointment! You see, this is not rocket science and i’m sure you’re thinking to yourself “yep pretty obvious” like I was every time I’d hear about a balanced lifestyle. In my case, even though I knew all this, I couldn’t figure out why in the world nothing was changing? This made me dislike the direction of where my life was heading even more. I had the knowledge to make it better but couldn't put it all together! WTF!?!

 

For those who have read a of my articles or taken a look at the website, you’ll notice that I’m very passionate about helping others with mental health problems. MANA is about building a conscious community that celebrates healthy living, mental health awareness and personal growth. It comes down to you making the non-negotiable decision with yourself that you’re going to make some “Actual, put into practice changes”.


One day, in the thick of knowing I should do better, with the mind set of “Actual Change” while walking to work, I had a thought that I would later replay over and over in my head:

“You have to get your mind right so you are able to use your time right”

This was going to be one of the key reminders to my Happiness and Success. I whole heartedly believed it and so began “The Daily Routine that helped me escape Anxiety and Depression” (see my previous article). In conjunction with tackling my anxiousness mentioned in previous article, I decided to stop the booze and crazy nights out for at least 6 months while I gave myself a fighting chance of change. “You have to get your mind right so you are able to use your time right”. Stop and have a good think of that sentence. Really break it down. Makes sense right? How can you use your time effectively if your mind isn’t it the right place? How can you hit goals, make clear plans, meet the right person, find your fitness etc if all you do is self sabotage and eat crap all week, fueling your mind and body with more rubbish? Short Answer. You Can’t. Something eventually gives way. Look I know plenty of people that are able to pull this off and hold down great jobs, however, seldom do I meet people doing this without anxiety, depression, physical health issues catching up with them or a suffering relationship.

When you can see and taste the music 😃

When you can see and taste the music 😃

 

After creating a different type of life style for myself, slowly learning good habits and actually putting them to practice, things were starting to fall into place. I was doing better in my job, I was starting to get a hold of my anxiety plus met my dream girl. I was finally taking full responsibility for where I was at, I stopped blaming and making excuse for why I wasn’t where I wanted to be and 100% owned that shit. You see there’s only so many times you can make up stories, throw in excuses and justify your poor actions of why your not happy or where you want to be until one day you say to yourself “who the hell are you kidding? stop believing your bull crap!”.

I knew that things were going well once I started working on myself but I knew there was something holding me back from really making stronger progress.

Here it is…. the 2 magic steps

  1. The first step of fast tracking Success and Happiness, taking ownership of your situation, making the decision to change it as I’ve talked about above.

  2. The second step. This is super important so pay attention to this one. You become who you hang out with and what you feed your mind! Cut out the crap!

Let me elaborate on the second step. If you’re looking to become successful, start hanging out and taking advice from people that are successful. If you are looking to get fit and healthy, start rubbing shoulder with people that you admire with that healthy glow with good fitness habits. If you’re sick of being a dead beat, stop listening, hanging and doing what dead beats do. It’s actually that simple. There are people you are hanging with achieving a lot more and a lot less then you right now. You’re sitting right in the middle of them. The more you decided to hang out with “go-getters” who are kicking goals, then you naturally become an average of those higher achievers!! This is exactly where you want to be. It took me a while to realise it, but I really had to have a look at the types of people I was personally hanging around and filter the material I was watching, reading and listening to. The ones that were doing me no favours. I had to cut out the “drainers” in my life that would suck energy and talk about the fact they were “gunna do this and gunna do that”. It was crucial that this process happened as I found my self saying that same crap! “Gunna Gunna Gunna” YUK!!!! Now im happy to say i’m not a “gunna” person. These days I’m more of a “No one gives a shit, just do you boo” kind of guy hahaha!!

When you start doing things at a higher level guess what types of people you start attracting to yourself? Correct, people doing things at a higher level. One of the hardest parts of this journey was believing that there was an abundance of Success and Happiness out there for me and that I deserved it.

I have to say that this is one journey worth perusing that you will not regret. Like anything though, this process takes work and disciple. I’m still only human and to this day I have my slip ups and blow outs, but I have to say the stats are mostly 80/20. That being good habits + consistency to bad habits and poor choices. It used to be the other way around for a long time. The new goal for me is 90/10! Moderation remember :)

To sum up, if you’re looking to live your best life, the trick is to start now. A decision only take a second.

Go get em!

The Daily Routine that helped me escape my Anxiety + Depression!

As I sit here writing this post, it’s crazy to think how far I have personally come in the past 4 years. Not with my career or friendships. It wasn’t with my diets or exercise. It’s not even my love life or family relationships. Instead the most important one of them all. My Mental Health. For those that don’t know me, about 6 years ago I started really feeling the effects of Anxiety and Depression. In the beginning I was also getting severe Panic Attacks every day and I was an absolute mess. It even put me in hospital a few times.

Now for those of you that may have stumbled on this blog who are going through the same thing, the good news is:

“You can 100% get back to being your good old happy self again. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

I know that if I was able to get on top of this, you can too. Now, you might be sitting there thinking to yourself “ Nup. I’m glad you got over it and whoop-dee-doo for you, but what I have is different. What I feel, the thoughts that I get, yeah i’m pretty sure no one else on the planet gets this!” Truth is, while your reading this article, there are approximately 400 million people at any one time feeling the exact same thing you are. When I read that number (in a book that I would highly recommend called “DARE - The new way to end Anxiety and stop Panic Attacks”) I realised pretty quickly that I wasn’t as unique as I thought I was! While reading this book, it was the first time in a long time that I actually felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Although only temporary, it was the most incredible feeling I’d had in what felt like FOREVER. I knew then, that Education and learning as much as I could about this topic was only going to help me get on top of crap and get my life back.

 
“The book that started my chain reaction to recovery”

“The book that started my chain reaction to recovery”

Just a quick backstory in a few short sentences. I’m Adopted. My background is African/Australian with a birth mum that’s a white red headed lady and a birth dad as black as the ace of spades. I grew up with an awesome kick arse loving family. Byron Bay is my home town. Surfing became a big part of my life where I would represent Australia and be chosen as Australian Captain. I worked as a Ch9 TV presenter for 7 years. Yes, this is my natural hair. I lost an older brother 8 years ago. Im currently a National Sales Manager living in beautiful Bondi Beach with a girlfriend most people only dream of being able to find in their lifetime with a child on the way in less the 5 weeks (see other blogs below). Like anyone going though life I’ve had my fair share of rough times, but over all I would have to say that life has been pretty good to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked bloody hard along the way to get where I am but in general pretty good. So where the F#%K did this Anxiety and Depression come from and why so suddenly!?

Photo Credit - moodactive.com.au

Photo Credit - moodactive.com.au

 

After reading the book above I decided that I would go on a mental health plan and see someone for 10 sessions. Medicare basically covers (most of the payments) for you so there’s no excuse. It’s important to say here that if you weren’t feeling yourself in the belly for days on end or you had a headache that was lingering for a while that you couldn’t quite shake, what would you do? Correct! you’d see a doctor right? I was blown away with just how many people a) have a mental health issue and b) don’t go and see anyone about it. It’s not a weakness or a weird thing to do, it’s insane not to do anything about it! Would you say the same thing with a bacterial infection picked up overseas? Would you ignore it and hope it goes away? NO WAY IN THE WORLD!

My psychologist was a big help with getting me to understand what was going on internally. I explained that my symptoms were:

  • Feeling super disconnected from my body to a point where I felt spaced out.

  • Feeling I was going crazy or about to loose the plot.

  • Terrified for no reason at all.

  • Head noise and constant negative destructive thoughts.

One of the first things he said that made me laugh put me at ease was this:

“you can’t be going crazy if you think you’re going crazy. Why? because crazy people are just crazy. The don’t think that they are going crazy. They just are! Therefore, if you have the sense to be able to think you’re crazy it’s impossible that you are!”

Crazy right :P After a few more sessions and stories of what my mind/body was doing, I knew that I was definitely starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Usually there is something that can trigger Anxiety or a Panic Attack. The tricky part for me was, there was no trigger or reason. I learn’t that some times you can get it for no reason at all and it’s perfectly normal. Sometime you catch a cold because you were out in the rain, where it’s wet and cold. When you catch it you say to yourself “ oh yeah I’ve caught the flu from the other day when I was out in the rain.” It’s pretty easy to pin point. Other times you just get it and you have no idea where that sneaky little bugger came from. That’s what was happening with me, which made accepting it at the time so tricky.

Although I’d come a long way I wanted to really knock this on the head and this is the Daily Routine that really helped me escape:

  1. Wake up and avoid looking at negative news, pics or emails first thing in the morning

  2. Listen to Headspace for 10-15 minutes as often as possible (once a day)

  3. Exercise - for me this was a morning surf, walk or gym session

  4. Say a couple of things I was grateful for. (a must)

  5. Make someone else’s Day (Mantra on my wall)

Try doing 60 days in a row challenge… The effects it will have on you can’t be described :)

Try doing 60 days in a row challenge… The effects it will have on you can’t be described :)



The list is pretty self explanatory. I really want to make a special note of why the last point is so important. I try to do this when ever possible. Making someone else's day doesn’t mean grand gestures, it could simply mean listening to a friend, opening a door, giving a heart felt smile, helping a buddy move, making someone laugh, complimenting a stranger etc. The reason I found this to be so effective, is because you stop getting caught up in your own head and start looking at ways to help others. When we help others out, we feel great about it and this translates into a good feeling internally. Win Win. If you’re not the outgoing type, it can still be achieved by doing little things like cleaning you sister’s room, picking up rubbish on the side walk, donating some clothing just to name a few.
If you’re suffering yourself or you know someone who is, don’t put this off any longer. Go and get your life back.

This is what lead me to starting Mana. I really wanted to help others out that are going through what I have been through. Mana represents a reminder to do these things and become your better self. Every time you wear a mana hat, necklace, shirt, singlet etc use it as a reminder to win your day ——> win your life!



A much happier me with my MANA Chill Cap

A much happier me with my MANA Chill Cap

To sum up I just want to say that these feelings are as normal as breathing. I am a lot stronger for the experience and feel it’s my calling to help normalise this issue. Join me on the Mana journey and help make a difference to yourself or someone you know that’s been through this.

Please Share and leave you comments and thoughts below x



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