Leave the War with Me…

There is something to be said for finding your happy place particularly in times of need. Go to your happy place… It sounds like something out of an Adam Sandler film perhaps it was Happy Gilmore as he attempted to putt for the millionth time in order to get enough money to get his grandmother’s house back from the debt collectors but whatever it was he found a place in which he could be happy and himself. So what’s your happy place? Given it’s Christmas and it’s often a hard time of year for so many who are battling their own demons, we thought it appropriate we look at anxiety and depression and how to cope with them throughout the silly season.

Once again we’ve handed the reins over to the the creator of this here fine piece of media to discuss Anxiety and Depression through the holiday period. Knowing it’s a time of year when things start to become a little tiring, a little stressful and somewhat difficult to cope. We handed over the writing of this weeks blog to the Grumpy old man of the office after all it was the least we could do considering we didn’t get him a christmas gift. He has all sorts of coping mechanism for dealing with his anxiety and depression but his best and favourite outlet or his ‘Happy Place’ if you will is sitting right in front of a keyboard listening to the click, clack of keys as he taps out some writing from the original mind of its own. So without further adieu we hand over the keys to the kingdom to the man, the myth, the legend? (Insert questioning face emoji)…

It’s good to the see the team still have a sense of humour after I’ve banished them all to the naughty corner and told them coal is on the cards this christmas unless they get their acts together. It’s been a long year here at A Mind of Its Own, a long but enjoyable year. We’ve covered so many topics and continue to advocate that its ok to talk and more importantly it is more than ok not to be ok. The challenge comes in knowing it’s not weak to ask for help but takes more strength than most people realise. It’s at this time of year that I genuinely become drained both physically and emotionally. As people, we often don’t realise how much we give to others throughout the year. We support both friends and family in some cases so we don’t have to deal with what is going on in our own backyards and in other cases because it’s just what we’ve always done. We’ve always been that shoulder to lean on, that bag to punch, that friend that is always there when we need them.

We do it all without little regard for ourselves and our own physical and emotional wellbeing. Like most things though in life, we can only take so much before it all comes crashing down like a proverbial house of cards. For me it manifests itself in various ways but one in particular is sheer tiredness. I find myself sleeping more and more and feeling somewhat lethargic throughout the day. I struggle to keep my emotions in check and find myself leaning more and more on my coping mechanisms. The big one for me being my writing and spending my time my happy place. There is something cathartic about putting all my thoughts and feelings down on paper whether it be with a pen or taping them out in the virtual world. To me nothing beats that sound of the click, clack of keys as my thoughts appear on the screen before me.

Overtime I have learnt not to fear what I write and more importantly to share it. Whether that be with close friends and family or strangers through this blog. Having to get past the vulnerability and being scared of what and how people will perceive my writing has helped me to not only share my story but helped in my day to day struggles as I battle my own mind, thoughts and insecurities, as i get them out for the world to see. It took me a long time to be ok with letting people know I suffer from mental health issues, but now that I have I realise i am not alone and there are so many people around the world battling day to day like me. Spreading the message that its ok to talk and it’s ok not to be ok is something that didn’t come easy at first but now it’s second nature and hopefully by putting myself out there I am encouraging other who a struggling to speak up and seek some help or confide in a loved one or friend.

Having multiple projects on the go at once allows me to pick and choose depending on my mood, emotions and feelings which one I work on. It also allows me to plan for the future in terms of my writing. When things get really dire I find myself exercising a lot more and even meditating to keep myself balanced. Whilst the brain is a beautiful thing I find that mine can often be destructive and troublesome given the time to wander and analyse life way too much. The constant question of self and those around me becomes tiring and at some point once that fuse it lit and begins to burn out I know there will be an explosion. How it all comes to a head is anyone’s guess. It can be any emotion from anger to sadness or a mixture of them all that leaves me feeling ashamed.

Ashamed that whilst I have gotten better over the years, I still can’t master my emotions. Being reflective I know that I only have myself to blame. I’m the one that takes on too much, who tries to be there for everyone. Who carries the world upon my shoulders as though it is my duty to ensure everyone is ok. Without looking after the one person I rely on the most. ME. It’s a flaw that I own, that I know I can work on overtime. During this holiday period I urge everyone to make sure they take some time out to look after themselves. Self Care is so important and is often overlooked. I can honestly put my hand up and say that my own well being is always the least of my concerns. Finding excuses is not hard, there is always some doing it tougher than I am or going through something that requires immediate attention. Like I said finding an excuse to not have to deal with myself is always easy. Its doing the hard things we often shy away from.

It’s usually this time of year that things will bubble to the surface, those questions that have been haunting me all year, the self loathing, the feelings of being stuck in a dead-end job and the unreasonable insecurities that tend to rear their ugly heads as I have way too much time on my hands to think and over analyse. In years gone by I have busied myself with as much as possible, cramming my days full of things to do as a way of distracting myself from the thoughts brewing inside my head. Hence why for me in particular the holiday season is a good time for me to do a lot of self care and to get as many of my thoughts and feels down as possible. It’s a time in which I can utilise all the tools and techniques I have learnt over the years while I reset.

Whilst it is important particularly over the holidays to ask if people are ok and to be there for friends and family it is so important that you stop, take some time out for yourself and ask yourself if you are ok?. Do the things you need to recharge. Go get a massage, read a book, go to the beach, write, see a movie, go for walk, be active. Whatever it is that helps you find your happy place, a place where you can be you and have no worries. As Bobby McFerrin sang ‘Don’t worry be happy’. Some people will read this and say you are just bandaging over the problems and you are not getting to the root cause of the issues that are making you anxious or depressed, i am inclined to agree with them but I will also caution that, that is an ongoing journey and not something that is going to be fixed overnight like a pantene advertisement.

So this Christmas give yourself the gift of Self Care, you can still be there for everyone but it is important that you do look after yourself and not just those around you. Do the little things that make you happy and stick to your routines. If you gym every morning make sure you do that, if you meditate than do that, if like me you write, than write till your little heart’s content, whatever it is that makes you feel good do it. There is nothing selfish about looking after number one. After all how are you expected to look after everyone else if you can’t look after yourself. The little coping mechanisms you use to get through the days will be so important this holiday period as you will often find yourself with more time on your hands as businesses shut down for Christmas and New Year and without work as distraction for some of us that gives our minds plenty of time to wander.

One thing I often overlook is leaning on friends and family myself, whether it’s a pride thing and having to admit i need some help and can’t do it all on my own or whether its purely because I prefer to listen. I know this Christmas I will have to lean on those around me at some point. I will need my friends and family even if it’s just for an hour, a day or a week. I am only human and at some point I will fall into an emotional heap. There have been times in the past where my wife has found me on the shower floor in absolute tears because everything has become to much or my hands will make fists and hit a tree only for to realise that was stupid as it swells and requires ice. But without my friends and family to lean on it would be a battle that was constantly draining. The hardest thing again is realising its ok to vulnerable in front of them. You don’t have to be tough all the time and letting down that guard will often save you a lot pain and suffering on your own.

The holiday period is a time to catch up with friends and family but don’t feel obligated to do so. I am forever reminding myself that just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean I have to. There is nothing worse than dragging yourself along to something when the last thing you feel like doing is being around people and having to make small talk. You don’t have to make up excuses, don’t even need to explain why, what you do need to do is what’s best for you. If that means not attending something because you need time to yourself than take. All too often we feel we have to do things because it’s the right thing to do, the socially responsible thing to do. At the end of the day I say what’s best for you is the socially responsible thing to do, holidays are a time for doing what you want, with who you want. It’s nice to be invited places but that doesn’t mean you always have to say yes! It’s ok to say NO thank you.

If you take one thing from this blog today it is to look after yourself over this holiday period. Easier said than done, I know. I know better than most but I also know that without self care and those around me to lean on instead of everyone leaning on me I’d be a shell of emotions come the new year and questioning whether 2019 was just going to be a year of the same circles going round and round once again. Self Care does not mean you have to ignore everyone it just means looking after yourself and doing what you want and need to be the best version of you. You can still be there for friends and family you just need to put yourself first for a change. Look after you and you’ll be able to spare some emotional capacity for those who need and want your help.

For me everyday is R U Ok? Day, I will forever ask it and I will always be there to lend an ear or a shoulder for those in need. I also know that I need to look after myself in order to do that. Finding my happy place wasn’t easy but now that i know what it is i’ll always have an outlet or coping mechanism to help me through the bad days because there will be bad days. These days the good far outweigh the bad but it has taken a lot of work both mentally and physically to get to this point and the educating is far from over. There is still so much work to be done before I can truly say I am OK.

So from the main mind here at A Mind of Its Own, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Remember it’s ok not to be ok and it’s certainly ok talk. You do you as they say and look after number one this festive season. That self care is of utmost importance during the silly season. Friends and family will be there for you, as you are for them. Lean on them if you need to, there is no shame in asking for some help. From the team and I until the next episode which by the way is another milestone edition! As the title say leave the war with me and I’ll continue to fight it… Peace out hombres…

When the Night Falls Quiet…

With the Christmas season in full swing we decided to head out to the coal mine and dig up some presents for all you naughty boys and girls! Welcome to the silly season! The time of the year where you let your hair down, enjoy a drink or two and from time to time make an absolute arse of yourself at the company Christmas party only to regret your actions the next day as your hangover kicks in, your re-flux system goes into overdrive and you start your full day of hugging the porcelain throne feeling sorry for yourself as you rid yourself of the previous evenings poison.

The seasoned veterans here at A Mind of Its Own have taken it upon themselves to put together a public service announcement outlining what not to do over the silly season no matter how good an idea it seems at the time. Call it our civic duty to our adoring fans or call it a much-needed look at the realities of christmas parties around the world. Whatever you do this silly season follow this advice and do not do what the clowns in these examples have previously done. It did not end well for any of the sampling of people we have used as examples.

Office Christmas parties, a time of year where you can celebrate and blow off some much-needed steam with your colleagues after what is often a hectic run up to the Christmas period. That does not excuse any of the following behaviour and nine times out of ten will land you in hot water with human resources or worse case in front of the boss receiving your marching orders effective immediately without that much need reference and let’s be honest christmas and the new year is not the time you want to be looking for a new job. Last thing you want to be doing is explaining to your wife, partner, housemates and or parents how and why you got fired. Merry Christmas to you here’s a Centrelink form happy dole bludging.

First things first, there is acceptable behavior, questionable behaviour and then there is the just don’t do at Christmas Parties. Whether the party be for your work or with family or friends. If you have to ask yourself if its ok then like the Christians ask themselves ‘What would Jesus Do?(WWJD)’ ask yourself ‘What would sober me do? (WWSMD)’. We’ve all seen the effect Alcohol can have on people. When we finally get to see some of our colleagues on the sauce whilst it might be absolutely hilarious at the time watching them make a fool of themselves just remember that could be you or once upon a time was you till you wised up and worked out work not to shit where you eat.

So this festive season take our advice and the advice of those that have gone before us. Please don’t do any of the following no matter how good it seems at the time! Remember WWSMD!

1.Drunkzilla…FREE Drinks! You beauty! Now before you go off blazing into the sun and making sure you get your fill of freebies remember to pace yourself. Generally the Christmas party goes for a couple of hours and then if you are cool enough you head out to a nightspot with those still up for a party. With a long night ahead it is important to ensure you are there at the end of it with your mates. Don’t be the bar fly that downs drink after drink in an effort to recoup all those hours of overtime you never got paid for or the salary increase you are well and truly overdue. Only to be stumbling into a taxi two hours after the party began. Enter Dave, Dave is a hard-working enthusiastic guy who does a lot of things for people around the office whether he has time or not without pushing back. When he can Dave likes to let his hair down and throw back a schooner or two with his colleagues. Come Christmas time Dave is often feeling a little unappreciated and disgruntled. Reluctantly he attends the Christmas party lured by the free beer on offer. Within the first hour Dave has had downed six beers and is well on his way to drunk-town population Dave. By the end of the Christmas party Dave has no idea who he is, where he is or what he is doing, his legs don’t work and drinks keep finding the floor… Don’t be a Dave!

2. The Hula Hypothesis… So some genius in marketing or HR decides you should have a themed Christmas party, because nothing says merry Christmas like watching your colleagues get dressed up in some theme that makes them feel good for a day. You’re thinking to yourself great a Christmas party with people I barely tolerate in some god awful theme! Can I just poke myself in the eyes now? Some of the classic themes are the ugly sweater as long as it doesn’t have reindeer mating its appropriate, Mexican as long as you don’t go full Mexican it’s appropriate, Australian and the often popular Hawaiian theme. Ladies and Gentleman when we say be theme appropriate ask yourself if your outfit is something you really want you colleagues to remember you in for years to come and would you wear it if you weren’t at work?. Enter Trent.. Trent is well-respected around the office but is known for having an opinion, voicing said opinion and pushing the boundaries where and when he can. Trent’s company like many others decided to have a Hawaiian themed Christmas party. Trent being Trent decided that if the women could get away with Grass skirts, leggings, boob toobs/crop tops and coconut bras then Trent could get away with a grass skirt and a G-String. Ok it’s sticking with the theme, points there for Trent, however, while Trent thinks he has a good body and in the eyes of some people he might. The issue here is that Trent was not really wearing any clothes and it wasn’t appropriate for the office christmas party. There were a few complaints to HR… Don’t be a Trent!

3. Bruce Banner and Gamma Rays… It is a well known fact that alcohol which is a drug by the way people, lowers a person’s inhibitions. Often we will see a side of someone we’ve never seen before. Once they’ve had a couple of the amber ales or brown burners. As a depressant it can make people a little more sensitive than usual and in some cases that sensitivity can lead to the Hulk making an appearance where he does not belong. No one likes an Angry drunk. Hulk or She Hulk drunk should stay at home or around friends who know how to handle him or her. Whatever you do stay away from the Rum! Nothing good ever came from it unless you were conceived after a big night on the Rumbos down the local tavern, but you might want to tell your folks they are being a little too open with you if you know that. Enter Bruce… Bruce is usually the happy-go-lucky guy around the office. After a few drinks though Bruce can become quite sensitive and take things to heart, he’s also not a fan of condescending people around the office who think they are better than everyone. At the Christmas party Bruce didn’t take to kindly to the way the CTO was speaking to him and those around him. Within seconds Bruce transformed into the Hulk and rather than using his fists to rearrange the CTO’s face Bruce threw water in his face which caused the CTO to fire up and almost lead to a fight. Bruce is now banned from attending the Christmas party this year. Don’t be a Bruce…

3. The Closet Creep… We’ve all seen it when we’ve been out at a pub or club, there is always that one sleazy predator that’s sniffing around the ladies looking seedy as all hell. When that guy comes to the christmas party however and starts hitting on Marcia from Accounting who’s just gone through a divorce or Sarah from Marketing who’s had a recent string of bad luck with the men. That’s when he should be asking WWSMD? Enter Matt from IT, normally a shy, introverted character who barely says boo to anyone in the office except for “Have you check to see if it’s plugged in and turn it on and off, Did that work?”. Midway through the first of many lip looseners Matt spots Wendy from the corner of his eye. He’s had his eye on Wendy for some time now but hasn’t had the guts to ask her out on a date. Always the nice guy, Matt would normally just say hello and scurry off back to his desk before she could get out a response. But not tonight! With some Dutch courage now coursing through his veins, he’s feeling invincible and like he can talk to anyone. He’s come out of his Shy closet and morphed into that touchy feely creeper that women look at shake their heads in disgust. After Wendy rebukes his advances he moves on to Claudette in Sales and so on the circle goes until Matt gets too drunk to stay out and is put in a cab and sent home. Come Monday morning he’s in HRs office feeling more than a little ashamed and looking down the barrel of the Sexual Harassment policy for inappropriately touching someones bum. Don’t be a Matt…

4. Opinionation Station…While you might have been waiting all year to get a chance to talk to the CEO, the christmas party is not the place to discuss those little tidbits with the head of the company no matter how many drinks they’ve had and how much courage you have to finally voice your opinion. Enter Sarah… Sarah is an up and comer with the company, she’s a head down, bum up make it happen kind of girl, her boss loves her and she inline for a promotion. She’s found the champagne and as the bubbles go to her head she spies the CEO milling with the rest of the executive leadership team. I a wolf separating a week calf from the herd she’s sliced her way in between all the bigwigs. Normally not one to voice her opinion unless it’s behind closed doors with trusted colleagues Sarah has decided now is her time to speak. Launching into a diatribe about her vision for where the company should be going and urging the CEO to grow a pair and take a risk every now and then. Rather than worrying about his own bonus as he does every year. People try to pull her away but she is not done yet spewing the truth from her mouth like diarrhea. Everything that anyone has wasn’t to say to the CEO has found a voice. Literally every bad thing someone has said is voiced in the form of Sarah, she’s tanking her career in what she feels is only benefiting her advancement. She’s talking to the head honcho and telling them what they need to hear. No Sarah the reason things are said behind closed doors are because the CEO doesn’t want to hear them and if they do the person voicing them tends not to be around for long after doing so. Don’t be a Sarah…

The team had literally a handful if not more examples of that person not to be at your Christmas party this year! After much deliberation and chuckling around what should and shouldn’t go in this weeks post we chose the above five examples of people who not to be this year. What we can say is have fun but as always ask yourself WWSMD in this situation. If sober you is just as much of pest as drunk you than as the saying goes… You do, you! Just remember when the night falls quiet there is going to be a lot of noise the next day around your behaviour. Keeping in mind, with every action there is a reaction. From the team at A Mind of Its Own, have fun and most of all be safe this silly season. Always have a plan B or designated driver. Until next time keep it real…

Staring at the Stars…

Why on earth would you even attempt to do that? A question that reverberated around the non-existent walls of A Mind of Its Owns writers pen. The team was doing a little research for this weeks post when we came across an article written for National Geographic regarding the death of an American. We know Americans die everyday, so what was so special about this one that it peaked our interest? Well it wasn’t the American so much but what he was doing and where he was doing it that lead to his untimely demise that caught our attention and lead to further investigation (Googling) by the team.

In a high speed, low drag world where literally everything can be connected it’s hard to imagine life without modern technology. There are those that are preparing for a Cyberdyne like fall of the world where the robots take over and we need to send the former governor of California back in time to protect or kill the future leader of the resistance depending on which movie you refer to. For those reading that are unfamiliar with the reference go and find a copy of the terminator movies and you’ll know what we are no about it here. Now back to the tracks we were chugging down so stead fast before that little detour.

A world without technology, no phone, no gps, no email, no social media! Heaven right! Well we know some of you are thinking it! We certainly are! There is no way the boss could harass us to prepare anything for a deadline if we can’t be found or contacted. But a place like this in modern society? Does it exist? Well to answer that question in one word… Yes but how you ask? Well in actually fact there are a couple of remaining remote tribes and by remote they are in places that a lot of people have failed to venture or have tried and failed. These tribes have populated these locations for 100’s of years if not more. They are so used to their surroundings they know every inch of the earth they walk. They also know when someone doesn’t belong, as the main protagonist of this blog soon found out.

Untouched for over 55,000 years North Sentinel island is where this little doozy of a story, albeith true takes place. Enter out protagonist Mr John Chau an American missionary who set out to introduce Christianity to the earth’s most stone age tribe. Its at this point we’ll point out that At A Mind of Its Own holds no religious beliefs nor do we condone the killing or persecution of any religious beliefs either. We are stating facts and the views portrayed in this blog are ours and ours only. We do not wish or mean any offence that people may read into throughout this blog.

So Mr Chau set out to help push our stone age friends towards the faith and words of the lord jesus our saviour in the eyes of so many around the world. Hiring some local fishing talent from the nearby Andaman & Nicobar Islands they dropped him into the shallows of North Sentinel Island, watched him wade ashore before he was cut down in his prime by a shower of arrows. Yes ladies and gentle arrows and not those fired by today’s latest and greatest composite bows hunters use. We a talking about made from wood and bird feathers fired from a branch of a tree that has been turned into a bow. Wearing little more than a loincloth Mr Chau’s would be murderers stalked there way from the island jungle onto the beach and arrowed him down in cold blood.

A lot of you at this point are thinking that it is quite a barbaric act cutting someone down in their prime for wanting to spread the word of christ, however it is no different to someone gunning down a would be robber breaking into your house. May just seem a little more barbaric due the ancient weaponry involved. It is after all trespassing on someone’s land. This certain someone just happened to be a tribe who have remained untouched by the modern world for centuries. Largely undocumented mainly due to their aggression and disdain for outsiders. Over the years many have tried to document the tribe and bring them into the modern world through dropping toys and random gifts on the shores. Sadly Mr Chau isn’t the only person who has bought the farm trying to make contact with this tribe.

So who are the Sentinelese and where did they originate from? Thought to be over 30,000 years old the tribe that occupies North Sentinel Island has remained largely untouched. Know for there aggression to the outside world it is not a surprise that Mr Chau’s death is yet another in a string of deaths of outsiders venturing to the island in attempts to make contact with this remote tribe. While Mr Chau’s death is a tragedy it does raise a lot of questions as to how and why he thought he would be so different from those that have gone before him? The Islands inhabitants are notorious for firing on fisherman who venture too close and have been known to have killed explorers and adventurers in the past.

The biggest question it raises is why do we continually feel we need to change what is different. This tribe has survived for thousands of years without western medicine, believes, society and influences. Over the years we have tried to change that and it’s only through the tribes continued aggression towards the outside world that they have managed to fight off the advancements of the western world. There is nothing to prove we would be doing them a favour by introducing technology, religion and so forth. In fact we are more likely to bring disease and death with us, things this remote tribe have managed to avoid over the years due to the remoteness of the island and once again their hostility to the outside world.

We take our hat off to the tribe for not being more curious and wondering what else is out there, the elders if they operate in that sort of system have done a great job in continuing the traditions handed down through the generations and ensuring the ways of the island continue as they have since the tribe arrived there. Whenever that was, where ever it was from. Thought to have originated somewhere in Africa after all it does sit as part of the cradle of civilisation, the tribe which no doubt has seafaring knowledge, we are taking a guess here but just looking at a map would tell you they didn’t just fall from the sky and land in the middle of the indian ocean on a remote island.

In the mind’s eye or the eyes of A Mind of its Own we feel they should be left to go about things the way they have always done. It is not a right that we change how people live. They have survived this long without us and will continue to survive without us. So let’s not influence something that has flourished for generations because it is our incessant need to improve or change that which we don’t understand. Whilst Mr Chau’s vision of spreading christianity was a noble cause he believed in, religion is said to be responsible for a lot of wars in fact the war on terror has become a religious war based on a few bad eggs who have extremist views of a book written centuries ago.

Who’s to say what is write or wrong, nations were founded on invaders coming in and taking over lands but look how that’s worked out for all of us. It is in our opinion that being humans we are often curious. Great discoveries have been founded by inquisition and many of our great minds wanting to understand the who, what, where and why of it all. That still doesn’t give us a right to change things for others. Sure if asked for helped then yes it would be ok but when outward aggression is shown, march yourself back down the beach and swim for that boat you got off and leave the natives alone. While some readers may agree, others won’t and that is ok. Opinions are opinions and everyone is entitled to them as long as you don’t try and push them on others. Open debate and discussion are fine but as soon as you start to push something on people its a step too far in our eyes.

Staring at the stars we think you’ve got our view on the subject. We feel it’s not ok to change and influence the Sentinelese but as we just said that’s our opinion. We don’t condone murder but perhaps a little more research and thought from Mr Chau may see him alive today. The Indian government have been urged not to try and retrieve his body which we kind of agree with. The likelihood of others getting injured or killed is exteremly high. The Sentinelese being gunned down an unable to repel modern military is also high. Whatever there secrets are theres and theirs alone. We need to respect that and leave them to continue as they are. Unspoilt and untouched by modern society.

Enough said from the team here, if you are interested in hearing more about the Sentinelese head on over to our good friends at google and use your noggins. There is little known about them but what is know is interesting and looking at all those who have tried to understand more about them is also quite a little adventure if you’re looking for something to kill time with rather than playing candy crush. Till next time, why don’t you be you and we’ll be us and everyone can be happy. From the team here at the world’s premium blogspot, welcome to the last month of the year! Thank heavens we need a holiday from real!

Devil on my shoulder…

We promised you a second piece last week, we promised that double dose of a mind of its own. We owe you an apology, often we don’t see what goes on behind closed doors and last week for the team it was a massive reminder of that. The generally funny and often quirky blog that you all love to read is going to get a little serious for our second installment this week and touch on a subject that has affected 100s of 1000s of people around the globe. Normally this is where we’d insert a joke or two and take a track down the rabbit hole with Alice but not this time. This time we are seriously going to be be serious.

Since its inception A Mind of Its Own has been very vocal about mental health awareness and ensuring Australians in particular are getting the help and support they need. We’ve discussed how it is ok to speak out, how young men and women have battled with there demons. How we are slowly evolving and becoming more and more open with our thoughts, feelings, emotions and that there is potentially a further place that our conscious minds go to when our body’s kick the bucket and give up. That we potentially come back over and over again to awaken those that need help seeing their is a higher being if you will.

No matter what your beliefs we can all agree that women’s and men’s mental health awareness needs a little more support and a little more work particularly around suicide prevention. Its a topic people tend to shy away from, a topic that saddens people and a topic that well to be honest is one that most people would prefer to lock away in the taboo chest never to be spoken of again. No one knows the pain and anguish people must go through to feel that suicide is their only option left to stop the pain, stop the hurting, stop the thoughts, stop the burden they often feel they are.

It seems we all have a devil on our shoulder as per the title but for some its often worse than we’ll ever know. Whether your devil is drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, addiction of any form or mental illness there are options for you, there is help for you. We know there are those that will read this and say we have no idea what people are going through and you would be right, we don’t. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors but believe that with the right help and support there is a solution for everyone out there and being advocates of mental health awareness and suicide prevention we can only try and help those who need it before its too late.

By starting the conversation we hope that men, women and children around the globe start to have a conversation and seek the help, support and stability they need. We need more options for those who feel the only option they have left is to take their own lives. By doing so we often wonder whether they have considered the legacy of pain they will leave behind. The long lasting effects on family and friends who will question for years to come whether they did enough for the fallen. Why hadn’t they reached out, why hadn’t they just ask if they were ok and needed to talk?

Across the country there are programs, charities, support groups and even medical institutes to help shoot the devil on your shoulder. It’s never an easy road to walk when seeking help but the moment you do, the weight of the world can often feel like its been lifted from you. The hardest part though is often admitting to yourself that you need some help and can’t do it all on your own. Once you’ve jumped that hurdle there will be plenty more to come but the closer you get to that often elusive finish line that keeps moving as life shifts and throws more hurdles in your way. The more it moves the more you have to dig deep and get out of your comfort zone but that is something that will become easier the more you accept needing some help and the more you open up about your demons.

As individuals we can do our part and ensure we are asking people if they are ok, a simple conversation can save a life or even make someone’s day. Even if it’s not the topic they really want to talk about, people often just like having someone there to listen and make conversation with them. Over time those conversation will become more and more in depth as you build trust between you. But just being there for friends and family is the first step in helping them help themselves. You can offer advice or suggestions but most of the time the best help you can be is to just be there and listen.

That devil on your shoulder whether it be your thoughts, your addiction or some other problem or issue can be shot. We know several people both friends and family who are forever trying to shot the devil on their shoulder. Over time it becomes easier and easier but it has taken them a lot of hard work and fair amount of pain to get where they are. But as they say you’ve got to take the good with the bad right? And it’s the things are that are always tough and hard that are worth doing. There will be those the uneducated we like to call them that will never understand the struggles and pain that those fighting a mental illness go through day in, day out out. It’s a constant battle that will often get the better of you but we learn to adapt and overcome the more we chose to fight it.

The option to fight may not always be the easiest choice or the one that family and friends decide to go with and it’s those moments where the black dog wins swallowing the ones we love and care about that bring pain and from time to time a legacy with it. Whilst we can never tell someone what to do or make them do anything they don’t want to we can provide them with options and do the small things to help them out as much as possible. Be there and provide that support but don’t make them feel like a burden. Seek professional help and support them through their journey.

For those of us feeling like we’ve exhausted all options remember this, you hold the key, the power and the ability to fight it, you just might not know it yet or how to, but given time and the right support and help you will discover all the tools and techniques to fight that devil in your own time and your own way. We just need to accept that it’s ok to need and to ask for help from time to time. There is no shame in admitting you have a problem that you need help with. It’s more empowering than you may think admitting you are struggling and can’t do it all on your own.

From the team at A Mind of Its Own, we thank you for taking the time to read this blog. To all those that have lost someone before their time to suicide, illness whatever it might be our thoughts are with you. There are no words that can make the loss any easier we can just say that those loved ones are never forgotten and will always be remembered, we can honour them by changing tune and making sure people know that it’s ok to talk and by asking those around us if they are ok or just starting a conversation. Until the next post our friends if you or a loved one need some support, guidance and or help below are the details for a couple places to make a start if you are feeling as though you can’t go to a friend or family…

Lifeline Australia

13 11 14

http://www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue

1300 224 636

http://www.beyondblue.org.au

Home in your Head…

In a surprise move that shocked the blogosphere the team at a Mind of Its Own took a second week off to relax, unwind and reboot the system. From the Chief right down to the mailman who happens to be one of two lazy office dogs who are more concerned with bringing in gifts of the dead bird variety than actually doing the jobs they were employed for in the office otherwise known as the madhouse.

There is something to be said for reboot the system every now and then. Getting away from the daily grind and just shutting down. Clearing your mind and recharging the batteries that push us through the weeks, months and years in our nine to five world of jobs that on average 67% of people are unhappy doing. So why stay doing something that most of the time isn’t satisfying or enjoyable? Money?, Stability?, Laziness?, Fear?, whatever people’s reasoning for not doing something about improving their happiness, as long as they don’t look back and regret it than all book in our book.

We pondered a topic for this week’s instalment, do we write about world events? Do we become like the thousands of travel and body image bloggers already flooding the internet with their health tips, travel stories and often unwarranted advice on how you too can get a Kardashian bum by never skipping glute day. Whilst we often take the Mickey out them we do so in jest as we respect the efforts and hard work they go through each week including the mental strain of wondering whether their audience will appreciate their writing. But that doesn’t help us come up with a topic.

So rather than settle on one topic we thought why not just follow our namesake and let this week’s instalment truly take a mind of its own. That being said we thought we’d start with the fallout from Australia’s favourite reality love show, yep the Bachelor, finally someone has done the right thing by them and picked no one! Did he waste the public’s time and the time of those girls? Ah who cares its reality TV remember! Looking for love in all the wrong places should be the title of the TV series. Good on the honey badger for having a set on him to do right by him plus it made of entertaining TV.

On a side note are we all that bored of our own lives that we become outraged by a reality TV show where someone goes against the grain? Come on people we are better than that. It’s not real and no doubt there was a lot of scripting going on behind the scenes on what he could and could not say in the finale. It’s like telling people who survivor Australia is filmed on some tropical island and not in the lush rainforest behind our office in Northern New South Wales or Queensland. Come on Australia wake up and smell the roses pretty please.

Speaking of waking up, do yourselves a favour and don’t read the news first thing in the morning unless you are happy to see the idiotic acts of a race that is meant to be highly intelligent. At this point we are waiting for the dolphins to walk from the water and flipper slap us for being so stupid. In what must be a slow news day we had everything from Channing Tatum’s new girlfriend some little know Uk Pop Star by the name of Jessie J to our fluro clad tradies duking it out over a road rage incident. Heck even old mate Mel Gibson got slot for losing 14 kilograms. At least he wasn’t throwing phones at people, that’s a plus.

Surely there are some worthwhile things happening around the world that deserve someone to report on. And why is it that you rarely hear of nice things in the news. A professor once said after bollocking his students about being naive to the world that no one wants to read fluffy nice pieces. Disaster, chaos and the dark side of life will sell more papers and nice piece about humanitarian efforts in some far off land. But does that mean that these nice pieces should be pushed to the bottom of the page and give less acknowledgement than a politicians affair or love child? Hmm makes you wonder doesn’t it?

In a world where everything is open to comment and interpretation by any and everyone with smart device it makes us wonder whether people prefer to worry about what’s going on around them, rather than having to deal with their own issues and problems in their lives. We’d be remiss to say that at times throughout all our lives we haven’t dug out problem not of our own so that we didn’t have to deal with things going on in our lives. The only problem with that is the more you sweep under the rug the bigger the pile gets before it starts spilling out from under said rug.

Once your rubbish reaches out and begins to touch you that dirty feeling that creeps in where you should have done something earlier to sort it out. Taps you on the shoulder as if to say ‘Told you so’. Then comes the feeling of regret and shame for being too weak to do something about it. Do we really want to be those people?

It’s no wonder people create and build safe places in their minds, a place where no one and nothing can harm them. A home in their own head if you will, somewhere to retreat when they need a break from the world around them. We’ve read several articles on kidnap victims, child abuse, domestic abuse where the victims had created their own safe place in their minds where there tormentors can’t reach them. In some cases it’s the only thing that has kept them alive. In other cases it has been the world in which they have given their lives to escape to.

The mind is an incredible place and the saying it’s all mind over matter is often true in some cases where people have mentally focused all their energy into achieving something that they were told was beyond their reach. The mind can do some amazing things when aligned with the heart and soul of an individual. It is in our opinion the most beautiful part of someone. It can be creative, destructive, nurturing, caring and loving or it can be the complete opposite but it is still the most amazing part of anyone you will meet.

As the sun dips over the horizon on yet another episode of A Mind of Its Own, we are reminded we are all human and in the words of The Beautiful Girls ‘We’ve all got to learn ourselves before we can judge someone else’. So until next week, work on you and ensure you have some fun! You only live once so make the most of it! Be safe and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do! Peace be the journey…

Somewhere in Neverland…

It’s that time of year again, that season of seasons, the part of the year where some, not all Australians decide they are going to follow in the traditions and celebrations of our brothers and sisters across the sea. It’s about this time you are all thinking to yourself what in the hell are these guys on about? Have they lost the plot once again? We know it’s the name of the blog but do all of the guys and girls that write for them really have to follow the premise of the publications name? Well that’s a negative but it tends to work in our favour.

So what do pumpkins, sheets and lollies all have in common? Individually nothing but put them all together on one night of the year and you end up with kids running around on sugar highs, mutilated pumpkins and mums good sheets now having holes in them along with the edges taking on a dirty blown hue from being dragged through the streets. Welcome to Halloween. The second best day of the year for all our alternative friends after comicon or Supernova. Another excuse for Man, woman and child to dress up as their favourite character or something scary.

An event that can be a fun family activity or the stuff nightmares are made from if you believe all the horror flicks that have been made. After all it is Halloween and who knows what could be lurking in dark, around the corner or down the drain. Spooky is often the theme of the night and if you believe some of the things on the internet it all started as a pagan ritual and we all know those crazy kooks were into some weird stuff to say the least. But alas the show must go on and we better pump out a blog for you fine people to read or waste some time out of your day pondering whether we are mad or just slightly insane here.

Besides an excuse to dress up and knock on random strangers doors to ask for a treat, cause let’s be honest no one does magic anymore and anyone carry around a deck of cards in their pocket either has a serious gambling problem, is a shark or your local blackjack dealer. What is the premise behind Halloween? A quick search on the world’s largest search engine and 1 Million plus results later, a few clicks and we over at the most reputable website on the net to learn all about why Halloween is celebrated, how it started and why it’s loved by people all around the world now.

Ok what we’ve learnt so far is that the Irish are to blame for Halloween, the Americans also get blame for commercialising it and Christians can cop some flack for trying to turn it into a religious holiday. Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Jus so we are all on the same page here’s a definition of what Samhain means. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset.

Now that we know we can use Halloween to ward off ghost does that mean we don’t need to dress up? Of course not all the Cosplay kids would be extremely disappointed if they didn’t get one more opportunity to wear their cleverly created costumes one more time for the year. Halloween allows the young and old to be someone else for the night, to forget about all their worries and disappear under the mask of someone else. Unless you are the dirty old man from down the road and dress up as a giant penis with a pirate hat and start calling yourself the captain.

A further flurry on the keyboard and google was soon directing the team towards the most popular costumes for Halloween 2018, which sadly did not include Donald Trump but did include a few surprises from cows through to avocado on toast along with a list of pop culture costumes some slutty anything and more Britney Spears than anyone should ever see. Adding Australia to that search and we finally hit pay dirt! It looks like our political incorrectness and love for being larrikins leads to what some might say is politically incorrect costumes. Finally Donald Trump got a nod holding his wall high with pride, going as a schooner seems to be popular, any costume with an added appendage that can be flashed, lamps that need to be rubbed and hold the phone a middle eastern person riding a camel.

And people wonder why we get called a racist country. Not only did we invade a land, degrade and destroy a culture whilst keeping them oppressed for far to long but we also take the piss out of every other country. At least they can keep a leader in place for longer than six months before deciding to squabble in their own party because Jim was left out of a decision and now wants his turn at the big boy table.

Meanwhile we are busy preparing to ensure we create some shock and awe through the streets or at the local Halloween party on the 31st. As many Australians don their costume of choice on the night and saunter off to get liquored up at a part or walk the streets with their kids as they munch down their trick or treat spoils. Some may do it a little more traditionally with a bonfire, some candles and a few prays to ward off the evil spirits. All we know is that you can have fun and dress up like a dick for the night in some cases literally.

No doubt we’ll see the cosplayers at their best, the mums and dads with their last-minute efforts and lots of people getting annoyed that their doors are being knocked on by complete strangers for no other reason than to solely get something for free. A little like hawkers that come to your door trying to sell you something. Stock up on the lollies and chocolates folks because Santa Clause could be coming to a town near you. Not sure it’s the best costume but Halloween allows you to be who you want to be.

To the Captain we salute you! Whoever you might be just remember to keep it clean and enjoy Halloween folks, the team here at A Mind of Its Own have decided to go as Vegan T-Rex’s this year in an effort to stay as far away from any politically insensitive topics that may arise from poor costume choices. So from the team we wish you a spooky evening and don’t forget to brush your teeth after all those lollies and chocolate. Mmmmm Chocolate!!! So until next time it’s a solid see you soon and remember if it isn’t fun it isn’t worth doing…

All Excess…

Firstly before you go down this rabbit hole we’ll give you one of those disclaimers that the physicians should have given you if they already haven’t. Reader discretion is advised this blog contains arguments for and against a topic that will no doubt cause fights in households around the nation between couples. With that said it’s on to this weeks blog…

After a week in hiatus we are back baby, bigger than ever, the team took some time out to unwind, sit back relax and let the good times belly flop in the shallow end of the piss filled kiddie pool. But now we are once again feeling refreshed and ready to tackle some of the more taboo topics of the year. We decided to listen into the heated debates raging around the water coolers of the nation and take a crack at once and for all settling them with some clear and concise answers from Wikipedia.

Just kidding we’ll try our best to get some solid, factual answers and if all else fails we’ll post a link or two from google allowing you to make up your own damn minds. So with that being said the team decided they’d launch right in this week and tackle one of the most heated debates to the face the nation, no the world and possibly the entire universe. Folding versus scrunching, which one is better for your bum and the economy? Well actually they decided that could be a topic for another day and this week we’d tackle whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate that is the question!

It’s a question that many parents ask themselves each year, whether you are expecting your first or it’s time to give little Sarah or Johnny another sibling. Do you take the plunge into the unknown and get your kid the jab? What’s in the jab? And how have vaccines changed in the last 20 years? Well the team will do their utmost best to give you the answers from both sides of the story. The facts can speak for themselves and as always you, the public can decide whether or not vaccination is good or whether it is the evil brainchild of the big pharmaceuticals that conspiracy theorists make it out to be. We will try to be unbiased in our approach however we can’t make any promises.

Ok so like any good debate it needs to start with a single question and we can only guess the question that is asked the majority of the time would be whether to vaccinate or not? So where to start, well the first place to start is with yourself. Were you vaccinated? Did you turn out ok? Aside from the little things you do that annoy your husband or wife, those are traits and we don’t believe they’ve created a vaccine against them as of yet. Although Netflix is a strong candidate. So what are the benefits if any of being vaccinated?

According to the Australian Governments Department of Health website the single greatest benefit of vaccines is that it works with the body’s immune system to become stronger allowing you to fight bacteria and viruses quicker. Ok so that seems like a no brainer, why wouldn’t you want to get vaccinated after hearing that? Some of the other benefits of immunisation are that you protect and pass on a natural immunity to newborns and make it easier to control diseases in the community. Those are the main benefits so why are the anti-vaxxers so against creating immunity against diseases that the human body has struggled to fight for centuries.

Vaccination has eradicated smallpox and is well on the way to wiping the polio virus off the map throughout the world. Other diseases such as measles are also on the eradication map with vaccinations now preventing over 60% of deaths from the disease. Vaccines have brought a total of seven diseases under some degree of control. Smallpox (Eradicated), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Whooping Cough, Polio and Measles. These facts and figures came from the UNICEF website after a quick google search on ‘what diseases have been eradicated through vaccination’. You wanted facts and we’ve given you a small dose of what’s to come. Pun intended!

Vaccination has been heralded as one of mankind’s greatest inventions. The ability to help the body develop an immunity and stave off infections has become invaluable. Through vaccination the world has managed to protect people of all ages against diseases that would have previously decimated the population. With all the good that vaccines do, why are there so many people now turning against vaccinations in general. The anti-vaccine movement and it’s followers known as anti-vaxxers are heavily opposed to vaccinations and believe to have linked vaccines to increases in autism around the world as well as SIDs, paralysation, decreased brain function and worst case scenario death. According to medical journals this has now been debunked along with a lot of other theories that have been put forward.

We promised we’d give you both sides of the coin, so to the other side of the coin we go, to look at things from the anti-vaxxer point of view. All parents whether they are for or against vaccination only want the best of their children. So it is understandable when you begin to hear and read the anti-vaxxers side of the story as to why they are not in favour of vaccination. There are hundreds of stories of children who have had either passed away or had adverse reactions after being vaccinated.

So what are the concerns or arguments that the anti-vaccination movement brings to the table? The arguments against vaccination have changed very little over time. Many of the arguments focus on a growing distrust in medical science advancing the notion that vaccines are unavoidably dangerous because a nebulous of toxins are being introduced into the body via vaccination. Through our research we did find that small amounts of aluminium is present in vaccinations acting as an Adjuvant (Adjuvants help strengthen the immune system’s response to the antigens in vaccines. In some cases this means fewer needles are needed for a child to be fully protected against a disease.) however the amount per vaccination is less than a baby would receive through breastfeeding in a period of 6 months.

There is also the argument that children are purposely ‘Poisoned’ through vaccines because it benefits the bottom line of Big Pharmaceuticals and the physicians they work with. Other arguments stem from the claim that vaccines overwhelm the immune system and that natural immunity is better than immunity introduced by vaccines. The list goes on for arguments against vaccination. Several papers have been written linking vaccination to autism and as previously stated worst case death.

So to vaccinate or not to vaccinate that is the question, but it is a question that should only be answered by you and your significant other. Before making your decision you should ask as many questions as you can, research as much as you can so you are as informed as possible to make your decision. We are living in a world where we have information available to us at the push of a button. Vaccination is one of the most researched medicines around the globe, more and more studies are done each year on the ongoing effects and the effects of current vaccinations.

From the team at A Mind of Its Own, whatever your decision we salute you and support you but remember it’s your choice and your choice alone. Until next week we hope we’ve cracked the lid on another topic that causes waves.

Here Comes the Boom…

It’s another week of doubles as we attempt to make up for your lack of exciting reads in the past week due to being led around the country by our ties like a greyhound ready to chase that bunny around the track. In this instance the track like greyhound racing could be related to the business arena in which the bunny would be the client and we the dog are the dollar signs for the big corporate who see the cash flowing as we cross the line first in a mad sprint to secure new or existing business.

As we sat back in the airport, no not in the lounge that would cost the company further money they aren’t willing to spend to ensure the people bring in the big bucks would be comfortable while they waited for yet another flight in what had already been a long week a recurring thought popped into our head. You aren’t valued, you are just another body to them who is replaceable. Whilst right about now most of you are starting to think oh great another person who is going to write a woe is me peice and fill the airwaves and internet with their sob story about how they are undervalued in the workplace.

Well a part of you would be right but that’s not necessarily where we are going with this blog. What we wanted to explore was the change in culture and when did it all change from employees being valued to being just another number that helps the company continue to bring in the money, money, money. Small businesses whilst yes being small still manage to value their employees, recognising and rewarding them for doing a good job or when they go above and beyond to ensure the success of the company and yet looking at the mid to large-scale organisation there is no shortage of disenchanted people slaving away day in day out.

We spend over ninety percent of our lives working. We work to ensure we have food, shelter and are able to support our families. There are those that do it tough slaving away in blue-collar jobs while the white-collar workers continue to live comfortable lifestyles and often get richer all the while the poorer get poorer. So spending ninety percent of our lives at work, most people want to do something that they are passionate about and inspired to do, day in day out. But what happens when that passion and inspiration is overshadowed by corporate greed and the management’s own concerns for themselves and not the worker bees doing all the work to ensure the company continues to tick over?.

What happens is you have a workforce who very much feel like the work they do isn’t valued. You could be a top performer bringing in millions of dollars of revenue for a company and yet your input, value and knowledge are always overlooked when it comes to decision-making. Your level within the organisation isn’t one of influence and yet you treat everyone as an equal despite their role within the organisation. Everyone has something to add from the people who clean the workspace to guy sitting at the top but if you don’t value each individual for the skills, knowledge and experience they bring, before you know it they will start to feel like they aren’t valued or appreciated.

Just hearing the words ‘thank you’ or ‘great job’ can often make someone’s day but unfortunately in today’s workplace it often gets overlooked by management whose only concern is to report up that they are doing a great job watching over you all the while offering little to no support when it is needed the most. As long as their million dollar bonus comes in then there is no issues for them. So this is where it leaves the team at A Mind of It’s Own begin to question whether we have become a society of self-absorbed arseholes? Sorry for the swearing but their seems to be a common thread that shit flows downhill and we have little to no concern for those below us on the totem pole.

Here’s where all the positive people pop up and start saying if you don’t like it change it, unfortunately your average joe’s influence over what doesn’t and doesn’t happen in the organisation they work for is limited to the sphere of influence they have around them. Yes they can go and look for another role but their in line another conundrum in the fact the glass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side either. Most of the time what they want isn’t something that will cost the company money and therefore eating into their profit margin.

If you were to ask most people though what they wanted out of their job, what would give them career satisfaction most of them would say the following. Most people want to feel valued for the work they do, they want to be respected, every now and they’d like to be recognised and perhaps rewarded for the work they put in. Give them opportunities and a career path with the tools to help get them there and you are doing more than a lot of managers and bosses are already doing. Continue to support and develop them and what you’ll get is loyalty and support from that person. They’ll pass it on to the next person in the chain and that knock on effect will see your company thrive.

At some point in the last Thirty years we have transitioned from being connected with our staff to almost treating them like just another number on the balance sheet. Perhaps technology is to blame, perhaps it’s globalisation but at some point we have started to lose touch with humanity and what its like to be a human being and treat everyone equally. Woman across the globe are slowly and I say slowly being given the opportunities they deserve in the workplace, equal rights again are slowly drifting in but we still often lack the basics when it come to treating everyone equal and like human beings.

To all people managers out there no matter what level you are within an organisation take heed of the following for your sake and that of your staff. EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO ADD and EVERYONE LIKES TO FEEL VALUED. Stop treating your staff like dollar signs and go back to treating them like the people they are, valuable employees who have something to add to your organisation. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Men and Women around the world in workforces are there because they choose to be that doesn’t mean they should be treated without respect. A little empathy goes a long way in life.

From the team at A Mind of Its Own, we hope that you’ve found some value in this blog. Remember you need to be happy in your job and you should always feel valued. If you are doing a great job and it feels like your contribution is always overlooked there is something wrong. Work should never be something you despise and hate going to. It should be a place you are inspired to go to and driven to succeed in, after all you spend the majority of your life doing it so happiness should be a key condition of all those in the workforce. Until next week, we hope work is fun this week and feel free to flick the link to your boss…

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

An open letter to the politicians of Australia, well we’d like to send you one but politics just isn’t our scene as our readers will tell you. We’ve been there tried that and unfortunately we just didn’t get the tee-shirt besides the fact that it would be foul-smelling and stained with tears of our Aussie battlers far and wide. So without further ado we welcome you to this week episode of Australia’s premier blog about life, love and all things real. Ok, ok so this weeks blog is more about searching for love and the things that people will go through to find it.

As this writer sat down last week with his wife to relax after a hard days work in the office ensuring the executives all get there bonuses off the back of the worker drones. The TV was set to channel 10 perhaps the Project was on or something else. We probably had our head buried in a book or were taping out an installment of this blog. Any who reality tv made its way onto the television before us.

So it’s not a new addition to their line up however it is the first time this writer has actually sat through a whole episode and in this case more than one episode. And it is all thanks to one man, one man who has cemented his place in Australia’s sporting history. Perhaps not through his sporting prowess, but certainly through is Aussie Larrikin, down to earth, salt of the earth, surfer boy ways.

Hailing from Australia’s undisputed home of esky lid riding or bodyboarding for those in the biz, that’s business folks. Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, who was clearly a private school kid seeing as it seems to be a sport for the toffees and only only private school kids seem to play it these days was a former Wallaby, Western Force and according to the Internets sole authoritarian website Wikipedia which is a source of truth for so many high school kids assignments, he also played for the Coca Cola Red Sparks in the Japanese league. For those of you overseas or who just aren’t into sports they are all Rugby Union teams.

Just quickly it’s the game where big men pile on top of each other or get into these things called scrums that look like they are sticking the heads up each others backsides looking for god knows what. They certainly aren’t going to find the god particle up there.

Enter the Bachelor all 99kgs and 189cm of the man affectionately known around the world as the Honey Badger. Not your typical choice for channel 10s premier reality show in which the contestants go looking for love in all the wrong places or in this case women. After last season of the Bachelorette where we saw Gold Coasts Sophie Monk the undisputed queen of the bogans looking for love it should have been no surprise that the boy from Port Macquarie is on our screens.

If you have no idea who the Badge is, you needn’t look too far. Turn on the idiot box and wait for one of those Tradie underwear advertisements to come on. The bloke with the moustache and curly hair with is ears taped back, chiseled like a Greek god who is spouting Aussie phrases. Funnily enough its it’s his use of these colloquialisms and his often brutally honest jokester approach that has made him a hit In a world where athletes with big personalities seem to be repressed.

The Honey Badgers use of colloquialisms to describe situations and or feelings whether they be his own or those of one of the female contestants vying for his love and affection makes the viewing of the Bachelor all the more worthwhile. If you don’t find yourself laughing at his Larkin self you’ll certainly find yourself laughing at the cringe worthy women who are somewhat slowly helping to undo all the great work women have done around the world for women’s rights.

Don’t get us wrong these women are being treated by the Badge with the utmost respect but respect for each other seems to be lacking. Often just moral decency for fellow human being seems to disappear but what can we the public expect when you pit affection starved women against one another for the love of a honey badger. At a mind of its it’s own we can only hope he can tell the difference between a honey pot and a honey trap as a lot of these women seem to be on the show for one reason and one reason only. FAME…

Watching on you see the girls who are there for themselves and have found an opportunity to put themselves in the limelight and then there are the crazy ok there is one who is almost bordering on stalkerish behaviour. The rest are there to see what happens and no doubt looking for love themselves. It wouldn’t make good viewing if there wasn’t drama but “Holy Tamora” as the Badge would say some of these women are busier backstabbing each other than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad.

The team at A Mind of Its Own are as nervous as a bag of cats at a greyhound meet for the Badge in his crusade for love. We can only hope this Aussie Legend find the right woman and crosses the line for a bit of meat. That’s short for Meat Pie aka a try another one of Badges colloquialisms used frequently in his interviews from his football days.

Gone are the days where you have to work hard to find your significant other. Courting no longer exists and chivalry is whilst not quite dead is often on the couch where you made it sleep. With technology we have become lazy in our quest for love. Online dating, online matchmaking, hook up apps and even complex algorithms that will supposedly spit out your perfect match within minutes of your application. So with all this available at your fingertips and the risk of being catfished by a big balding, sweaty guy in a foreign country why would you go on a reality show searching for the one?

It’s a question that will no doubt be put to the Badge as he continues his hunt for the honey of his life. In the meantime like us you should sit back, relax and enjoy the laughs with the man as he attempts to whittle down 30 girls to just the one. We could have saved him the hassle and got him together with Sophie they’d make a great pair and both of them are rather funny.

So from A Mind of Its Own if you are looking for love these are the places you are likely not to find it. Firstly tinder is not a place to go looking for love, secondly bars and clubs and thirdly reality tv shows. There are plenty of fish in the sea just dive in and start fishing. We are all scared of rejection but what’s more powerful fear of rejection or fear of ending up alone?

Don’t be the captain that goes down with the ship, take a risk or two, knock a few people out of the lifeboat…

Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope…

Like discovering a new planet or species of animal, all discoveries require research, so for this week’s episode the team at A Mind of Its Own pulled on their gym shorts donned their singlets that barely cover the bulging beer bellies and laced up our best pairs of dunlop volleys in order to head out and get some much needed exercise. Like a bunch of clowns we jumped into the Tarago and headed off into the Sun, towards the surf and sand, the glitz and glamour of Australia’s home of the cashed up bogan. Welcome to Ipswich!!! Just kidding we are back again on the gold coast looking like a 70’s NBA team with way too much skin showing for middle aged white males.

First of all if you are searching for a McDonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks what you may have noticed is there is pretty much one on every major street corner. What you might have also noticed is gym’s have become the health junkies fast food franchise. We’d do the maths and give you the average amount of gyms per suburb but it’s just passed whiskey o’clock and our brains only seem to work between the hours of 9 to 5 without the aid of alcohol to drive our cognitive patterns. If it’s after 5pm our filter packs up for the day, our sense of humour comes home to increase the hilarity and our caution to the wind disappears altogether like last nights vindaloo down the dunny in the wee hours of the morning.

Like Roxanne putting on her red light, the gyms are lit up for all to see. There bright advertising invites you to come inside and transform from flab to fab. The reception is generally manned by a beautiful person to show you exactly what can happen if you too come in and spend time sitting in other people’s sweat after they forget to wipe down the machines. As we watched the hard earned pineapples leave our wallet and fly across the counter into the male models chiselled hands, a row of pearly whites flashed a knowing look our way. We began to wonder what drives people to come to these testosterone filled, bloated ego dens. We half expected to walk into the changerooms and transport into an American football locker room with blokes flicking each other with towels and the coach handing out steroid injections.

We’d entered the belly of the beast, there was no turning back now. We needed to soldier on and stop making excuses as our team of unwilling beer guzzlers was lead up stairs to the gym floor. With our tails between our legs we’d have just as soon as run back down the stairs and all the way to the safety of the NSW border then be in this hell. We’d entered a land never seen before… Everywhere we looked, we saw people with no necks and ladies with bigger guns than some of the Australian Navy’s warships. Mirrors adorned the walls with people staring at themselves as they ensure there form was correct. Form you ask? So did we after we questioned how vain all these people were.

Have you ever wondered why a lot of people just refuse to go to the gym these days? Well at a mind of its own we think we’ve found the answer. Enter any gym around Australia… First of all if we got you there you’ve no doubt noticed all the mirrors, what else have you noticed? It’s the dudes with tattoo sleeves bulging muscles, skinning legs and no necks right? Or the older ladies with bolt ons, makeup that looks like its been applied with there tradie husbands trowel and the orange glow of their skin? Or is it the looks you keep getting everytime you go to use a machine that one of the roided up egos has been alternating between when he or she is not staring at themselves in the mirror wondering how they’ll go this saturday night trying to pick up. And some of these people could quite literally pick up other people and throw them around a room in a fit of aggressive passion.

Like crotchety old men we are pushed towards a bench and told to lift some weights. The term “Do you even lift” gets thrown around a little too much and the muscle men in front of the mirror laugh and shake their heads as we strain to get the bar and the meager 5kgs on either end moving in a repetitive nature that the trainer is happy with. By now he is starting to lose his patience with our un-coordinated lack of ability to do anything that resembles bench press. Finally though he wins through and like true professionals we find the exercise for us.

Who knew bicep curls and drinking were so closely related. As we lifted heavier and heavier pretending we were lifting stiens of Germany’s heaviest, sweetest ales to our mouths. The hour session continues to drag out as we move from station to station still perplexed by how serious people are taking their workouts. There are guys throwing around weights channelling their inner Arnie, young ladies who have almost done an hour of nothing but squats as they work their glutes into a Kim Kardashian frenzy for the perfect bum.

Triangles flex in front of the mirrors forgetting leg day for the 100th session in a row. There skinny little legs starting to bow at the strain of carrying around there large muscled upper bodies. The serious gym goers grunt out a session, sweating as they push themselves harder and harder through each exercise while the plastics do just enough to keep there figure and slight tone while trying to wear as little as possible to attract looks from all around. The trainers laugh at their own jokes and talk about their weekends while pushing clients to breaking point. Creepy guys watch on as girls try to work out in peace, no wonder a lot of women go to Fernwood. And then there are the other guys. The ones who just want to maintain their fitness and do it without losing their dignity.

Finally done it’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, in this case it literally has, all those weighted lunges can’t be good for your knees, back and any other part of your body. That deep burn you keep hearing about isn’t so deep as you feel it begin to radiate through your entire body like an oil slick spreading from a crashed tanker. Walking out feeling like we’d been run over by Optimus Prime and the entire Autobots entourage. The pain pain was only going to get worse as we soon discovered. Two days later… enter DOM no not a bloke named Dom who we had a disagreement with whilst at the gym sitting in his sweat but delayed onset muscles soreness or DOMS. It’s the pits and we are starting to see why people hate the gym.

Ok so the gym might not be for everyone, or more importantly gyms on the Gold Coast might not be for everyone. If you like looking at yourself in the mirror, have ridiculous tattoos, drive a car like your part of the fast n furious crew, have no neck and think you are super good looking then the gold coast gym scene is definitely for you. If you want to go and work out without having to deal with all this we suggest you do during the day before lunch or after lunch before work finishes. Or you could always just install your own home gym and be done with the machine hogs.

As we sneak away from yet another session in the gym where our arms and legs are burning and our egos are feeling a little shattered. We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s installment of a mind of its own, no roid rage was endured or encounter in the making of this blog. We hope we haven’t offended any gym frequenters in our take on Gold Coast gyms. If we have you’ll get over it before the next set is done. For another week it’s over and out and from the team at A Mind of Its Own, you do you champ.