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

Beauty in the Bricks…

As the heavens open up and bathe the earth once again we thought it was about time we hit you with a dose of the best distraction pill available on the market. That’s right the doctor has spoken and prescribed you with a dose of A Mind of its Own to aile your woes. It’s been a couple of weeks since we last graced your screens with our rather unique brand of blogging, straight from some of the strangest minds in all of Australasia. Our off kilter approach to the worlds issues has the health authorities wondering whether they should have us all thrown in the loony bin.

For the first time in a while the team here stopped and took a look at the world around them. The ins and outs of what was happening in the world and the human beings ability to continue to adapt and overcome. There are plenty of unanswered questions about the world, particularly those about our purpose and how we came to be at the top of the evolutionary food chain. But all those can wait for another time and another place. If you wanted to read about that you’d have logged on to National Geographic or the Discovery channel website.

What do the people want to actually read about? You know it’s funny as human beings one would think we wanted to hear about nice things happening in the world but as the marketers say there are only two things that sell news papers. Sex and things that no one wants to hear about like murder, robbery and anything of the ill elk. Well sex isn’t really our forte and we promise you’ll never get a 50 shades of grey from us.The things no one wants to hear about, well they are rather depressing. Hence why the team here tend to have no idea what’s happening in the world. The news is never on and the papers are rarely bought and if they are it’s only to help start the fire at the manor.

So what does this weeks blog have install for the faithful A Mind of its Own followers, good damn question. With so much happening around the world and so much happening around us there should be a million and one things for the talented team here to write about but it seems like a case of writer’s block has infected the whole team. Without a dose of antiblocktics lying around we’ve had to tough it out and pull together something that will hopefully make sense and allow you to enjoy yet again another blog from our stellar team.

We’ve had some great feedback over the past couple of months from our followers ranging from great content to it’s an enjoyable read while i’m on the toilet. The last one was a little strange and disturbing but at least we now know that we are making toilet breaks around the world a little easier on the minds of those reading along while they void their bowels of their last meals waste. Sounds pretty shit it if you ask us, pun intended! So besides being a toilet break filler for those that need one, we tend to try and be educational, funny and a little on the crazy side when we can.

Speaking of the crazy side, the team has been playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2 as of late on the Xbox. An escape from reality as some of the wives continue to point out but never the less a distraction from the troubles in the world around us. The Rockstar games western themed second installment of the Red Dead series got us thinking about when times were a lot simpler. Simpler, yet harder in some aspects. Riding around America in the early 1800’s on a trusty steed with a pistol strapped to your thigh, the wind running past your face as you gallop through plains and meadows chasing your next dollar by robbing a stagecoach or train that’s if you wish to be an outlaw. You could be part of a posse chasing down those outlaws and bringing them to justice. Each to their own we say.

Oh how the world has changed since the days of the wild west, no longer is it socially acceptable to-day drink, well it is as long as you are at a function and it’s in a licensed venue or in the comfort of your own home. Office settings are not an acceptable place to drink or start a brawl when someone offends you and you need to defend your honor. You can no longer sit in the main straight swigging from a whiskey bottle, saying howdy and tipping your hat to every man, woman and child that walks past unless it’s concealed in a brown paper bag even then it tends draws a lot of attention.

A lot has changed since the days of outlaw gangs and cowboys. People no longer ride horses in gangs and have swapped the graceful beasts for the metal version on two wheels. They still tend to draw the outlaw tag and often are stereotyped into being part of a gang whether they ride for recreation or they truly are outlaws who run drugs, guns, prostitution and rob people or places in order to make a living. When we referenced that it was an easier time we were referring to the fact that towns or cities were small and miles in between, you could disappear for weeks on end and live off the land if you had to. Taxes were something you generally avoided and wearing chaps as a male was acceptable in all places aside from a strip club.

There were many other things the team came across that we noticed were different from back then till now. Hygiene wasn’t really high on the priority list with bathing happening every so often in some cases they took better care of their trusty mounts then they did themselves. You could camp where and when you pleased without the need of a permit and payment for use of the ground. Hunting just happened and tended to be your source of food while living off the land and there was no such thing as a balanced meal.

In fact everything that is now considered bad for you was considered to be good for from smoking through to sucking out the poison from someones snake bite and drinking heavily while operating firearms from a horse. Ok so maybe we’ve painted a picture that all cowboys were drunks that’s not the case but they did tend to drink quite heavily. Saloon brawls were a common occurrence and duels were an actual thing. Yeah fastest draw wins literally, their life and their honor back. Pace it out ten steps and fastest to draw their weapon and fire, it was as simple as that and it was done for money and for pride on a regular occurence with most of the town watching on..

We don’t think you could challenge the new graduate who mouths off around the water cooler to a duel, gun him down and walk away a hero these days. Firstly murder is not ok, secondly the workplace is not the place for firearms unless you work at a gun shop and thirdly today we are told to use our words. One thing that has changed overtime is chivalry, it is no longer deemed chivalrous to pay for everything and be a gentleman. People are just as likely to go on dates these days and the lady pays. Call us old-fashioned but some traditions shouldn’t change and good manners cost you nothing.

A lot of things may have changed for the better however there are a few things that make us turn around these days and think toughen the beep up. Where as in the old days you would be pushed in the mud and taught that it was not ok to not be tough. Hence the place we are in today where it is not ok for men to show weakness, compassion and anything that would not be deemed manly, it definitely was not ok to talk about your feelings as a man in the wild west. You would be labelled a yellow belly or a coward. But at least kids weren’t soft and got trophies for participating even if they finish last. As Ricky Bobby said “If you ain’t first, you’re last”.

So what have learnt from playing a game that is a lot like a my little pony simulator for men, teaching you to tend and care for your mighty steed? Other than being drunk in the 1800’s was a mandatory requirement each day. Being an outlaw was somewhat cool despite having to hurt and often murder people just so you could earn a living. After all you were your own boss, grifting from town to town, gang to gang. Stealing was a common occurrence and if you were good at it you tended to have your own gang. The law often appointed themselves and were just as corrupt as they still are today. The tobacco industry was in its infancy of becoming a world power, the church was its usual god fearing, preaching self and railway tycoons were the one true power throughout the land.

Much like today if you had money you had power, if you had power it often went to your head and you only wanted more of both. Whilst being a cowboy looks somewhat cool it would have been a hard life both mentally and physically. For now we are just happy that we were born in this century and have the luxuries that allow us to live quite comfortable lives. Oh and the fact that when we run out of ideas as to what to write about we can turn to an alternative source of inspiration. Virtual reality or augmented reality, well in this case video games that got us thinking about how life has changed and how we have a little more respect for ourselves and each other. We said a little…

One slow and we say slow because it’s still dragging its heels through the mud like a lame mare, change that has definitely changed is the way women were treated. We aren’t saying its in a good place now but it is certainly a lot better than back then. Like a caveman belting a prospective wife over the head with his club and dragging a woman into his cave. The wild west was not short of its share of violence against women. So the team are glad that has changed and there are no more damsels in distress requiring a cowboy to come along and defend their honor. These days there are a lot of women who would kick your arse at the mere suggestion. You go girls! As some of the younger generation are pointing out they can do anything including the things you thought only men can.

From the often confused and wonderful minds here it’s time for us to say farewell for another week, tip our hats, spit out our tobacco, slap our horses on the rump and ride blissfully into the sunset. We hope besides learning that day drinking was a thing and cowboys now ride motorcycles the message from this weeks post is that violence of any sort if not ok, especially against women. Until next week partners we hope you enjoyed another foray into A Mind of Its Own. Stay tuned for a double dose this week as we come at you with another post about god knows what but it is sure to keep you distracted somehow.

West Coast Smoker…

We’ve all read an article about travel or a blog or two from an inspiring young writer about their trip to some exotic island where they sipped mai tais and lounged in the sun on a picturesque beach where blue waters lap at the shore. All the while wearing a tiny bikini or budgie smugglers and ruining the view that’s popped into our head. Well if you haven’t, we’ve just painted a beautiful beach scene in your mind. You are most welcome!.

At a Mind of It’s Own we prefer to do the opposite, we prefer to tell you about all the not so nice places to travel, or the nightmarish trips that white-collar workers are forced to take in aid of their company making another couple of bucks so the high-flying CEO can receive there million dollar bonuses all off the back of the little guys hard work. Yes workplace equality is alive and well across Australia, employees are more engaged and opportunities for career progression are running rampant like a dog on heat humping everything in sight. No that is not true equality still has a long way to go on the shores of this stolen land.

So this journey starts with a hundred-dollar juicer and ends with a rather long day to get into the nation’s capital. Do we start with the juicer or head straight into what will go down as the best corporate travel blunder to hit Australia since the politicians started getting caught taking personal trips on the taxpayers dollar. If you are a long time fan or reader of our blog you may have come across a couple of earlier blogs about work related travel. We get to go to all the most exciting places and meet some of the most interestingly mind numbing people you will ever meet.

In the past we’ve discussed the weird shaped owl statue that looks more like Penis in Canberra than an actual Owl. We’ve recounted stories about flights but what we haven’t actually done is given you a real life version of the John Candy classic Trains, Planes and automobiles. We apologise in advance to the train aficionados as this blog contains no train related material including stories about trains, actual train rides or the benefits of getting a train. There’s not even a guy wearing a train drivers cap directing people around like he owns the place.

However like the movie there were several modes of transport utilised to ensure that we reached our final destination. We would say we arrived at a suitable hour but as this blog started being written in transit and the clock ticked over to a new day before we’d reached where we needed to be. Unlike the movie there was no fat guy spouting comedic one liners to ensure it was a pleasurably funny journey from the outset due to travel issues. There was still some very good comedy errors that will keep out readers in stitches.

When one travels for work often they become quite accustomed to flying and the ins and outs of their journey. If you do it often enough it becomes routine and somewhat mundane. You know where the emergency exits are located and could probably put on your life jacket blindfolded with one hand while the other ensures your oxygen mask is on before helping others. Your seat belt is fastened low and tight and your tray table is away with your seat in the upright position for takeoff. The point Is you begin to become used to the little things like delayed flights and rude passengers on your flight but we’ll get to that later. It all becomes water off a duck’s back and part of the routine.

Still asking yourself why the juicer is significant in this retelling of actual events? Well it’s not but it did set off a chain reaction of events that lead to this blog being written. We started the afternoon getting a juicer no big deal everyone loves juice right and should have one in their home? Ok maybe not but that’s not the point. The point is that getting the juicer on the way to the airport made sense, plus we were doing the right thing by the company and save them some money not having to pay for an uber or taxi.

That was our first mistake and would continue to be compounded, we left the house early to stop and get the juicer there by saving the company money they would normally pay on parking or a cab. The knock on effect was that we were really early for the flight. A further knock on effect the flight is now delayed thirty minutes. Again no big deal and nothing that can’t be cured by a nice amber ale at the bar. Ok maybe two or three when you’ve got time to kill.

So having finally boarded and discovered what it’s like to be a sardine all stuffed into a tin can unless you’re lucky enough to be in business class where you seem to have a heap of leg and arm room to flap those wings around as much as you like.For the rest of the paupers however having to sit as still as possible in case they disturb the person next to them trying to sleep is a constant battle for flights longer than 45 minutes. The third class passengers on the titanic had more room to move around than today’s average flyer.

The flight crew go through the usual rig moral and safety demonstrations. Before the pilot gives his or her little introduction and before you know it you’re are zipping through the sky at 15000 feet or more. After a mini nap which was well needed, the guy down in 8D is making a dick of himself abusing the attendants. Credit where credit is due and we salute you and take our hat off to the young attendant who not only managed the situation but also the client as he continued being rude to her.

It’s about this time that most if not all of the flight are praying that the federal police storm the plane upon arrival to the gate, taser the bloke and drag him from the plane to a standing ovation. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen and the said gentleman will continue to abuse flight attendants for flights to come. So we toddle off the plane onto the long walk from one gate to another looking for some food in between the second flight of the day. With only an hour to kill while we wait time should fly, no pun intended.

Fed and feeling refreshed we headed to the gate ready to board our forty minute flight to the nation’s capital. That ripple effect continued chasing us, this flight two was delayed. No biggy, nothing to get upset about it’s only twenty minutes. Time continues tick by as patrons start to become increasingly frustrated at what is now an hour delay on a forty-five minute flight at the most.Finally we are asked to come forward using the lanes provided and board. Of course it’s one of those twin prop little things and can only be boarded via rear stairs which causes a further delay to having everyone safely in their seats ready for take off.

Thankfully everyone was keen to get going and take their seats as fast as they could in order to get the plane in the air and on its way. Now safely seat with our belts fastened low and tight, we once again sat waiting. Waiting is ok if you are told why you are waiting. As we clocked watched for the third time that day the pilot comes over the cabin and tells the now frustrated sardines that there is a slight technical problem and they need to reset the environmental control system. There was nothing to be alarmed about and the cabin lights may dim. Well they didn’t just dim they went completely out for about 30 seconds.

Safe to say all the passengers aboard the plane were now starting to think that they were not going to make it their final destination tonight. There was still hope though that they’d left enough time to organise a replacement aircraft but as we now stood around the terminal waiting for an update an update the possibility of that happening became slimmer and slimmer by the minute. The staff was extremely helpful and made sure all patrons were hydrated as they handed out bottles of water while assuring everyone that it wouldn’t be much long now.

They say a watched pot never boils well that may just be the case but we couldn’t help but check out watches as we waited. With the time creeping closer and closer towards a new day they finally offered up some flights in the morning and accommodation. As we lined up to get our accomodation and flights sorted slowly marching towards the desk now manned by four airline staff busy trying to sort out customers. Getting to the front of the line we are greeted by a friendly smile and told we are the lucky last person they have run out of accomodation after us and the only flights available are via Melbourne.

Listening to the small newborn cry in the ladies arms behind us it was an easy decision as we asked what was happening to the remaining people only to be told they would be taking a bus to Canberra. A bus a three and half hour bus ride. There was no way we could let the young couple with their small child ride a bus all the way to Canberra. If anything was to come out of this day it was a good deed done. With the bus due to depart at 11pm the calculations were done and preparations made for the long journey. As has been the theme through the whole journey the bus didn’t arrive until just after 11:30pm and start the journey until quarter to twelve.

Have you ever tried to sleep on a bus? All that vibrating, clanking, bumping and pumping of the ice-cold air conditioning do not make for an easy sleep. Even the most elite of special forces soldiers who literally train themselves to catch sleep whenever they can would have trouble sleeping on the bus. Like a flightless bird the bus hugged the road straining to gain as much speed as if could while 40 odd people tried their hardest to get some much-needed shuteye.

Finally in our hotel room after having to pay for our own accommodation which should have been sorted out by work, we looked at the clock once more. It was 4am as we jumped into bed to close out what had been the longest journey to the nation’s capital. Having thought that travel couldn’t get any worse all week our return flights a day later were both delayed by an hour and to make matters worse we are turning around to do it all again this week.

As we said we don’t like to give you the everything is awesome song and dance all the time, there is a downside to travel that those pesky bloggers won’t tell and that is quite often your flights will be delayed, cancelled or your plane turns out to be a bus. So from all the team at A Mind of it’s own we wish you safe travels and make the most of a bad situation like we did, write about it.

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.

Two Feet on the ground…

As Dolly Parton once sung we are all “working nine to five” or at least five thirty, six ish depending on what time the boss leaves the office. Here at the world’s silliest blog we work whatever time we like, heck half the staff are passed out at their desks fast asleep most of the day. Like a good Mexican restaurant we let them siesta for as long as they like. As long as they walk into the editor’s office with great ideas every week they can come in at ten past nine and leave and quarter past nine for all we care. Ideas are what keep this fine publication ticking along week after week and the sponsors happy. If we had any… Hint to potential investors if you want your free t-shirt you are going to need to actually spend money.

With the chief out of the office on some quest to show he’s still young by putting his body through the wringer and seeing if he can still compete at the top-level of amateur sport. Which is what lead us to write this week piece. With all our competitors writing about self-care at present it was only reasonable that we jumped in the paddock and marched along to the feed trough with the rest of societies sheep. So self-care what is it you ask? So did we, we asked a lot. There were some disturbingly bad answers on google as to what selfcare is so before your minds wander into the proverbial gutter we’ll put it out there.

Noooo self-care is not playing with yourself for pleasure. It is exactly what it sounds like. Self care is taking care of oneself. In a general sense, self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of enhancing energy, restoring health and reducing stress. There are many ways to do this and self-care is something that can be personalised for every individual. Well that’s what our good friends at google tell us anyway once we did a quick search.

Whether that be caring for your mental health, physical health or purely pampering yourself in order to feel a little better. That’s what we are talking about when we talk about self-care here at A Mind of Its Own. Not enough people take the time to look after their health in general. They go through the motions and complain they are time poor or just too busy to find time to do the things that would make them feel so much better each day if they consistently did them.

The big dog (Our Editor and Chief) is a classic example of inconsistency when it comes to looking after himself and doing what is right for his mind, body and soul. We asked him what his routine looks like when he feels he is his best compared to the days where we all run for the hills knowing what he is like when he hasn’t had enough sleep or isn’t taking care himself like he should. As a man who suffers anxiety and depression he knows he is best when he has a routine, sticks to it and he makes time to cover something from the mind, body and soul.

Speaking first hand around the office he is the first one to point out that ten minutes each morning meditating is a great way to start the day followed by forty plus minutes of exercise, a good breakfast of eggs and toast and you are ready to rock n roll. Your mind is clear, your body feels healthy and most importantly your soul is happy. As wise as he is, he is also the first person to point out to you that what works for one may not work for the other. We are individual beings and whilst we may share body types, blood types, skin colour and various other things we are all very different and therefore our bodies react differently to exercise, meditation, massage, treatments etc. Therefore you cannot prescribe one regime for everyone.

The best coaches in the world work out how to motivate their athletes, they deep dive into what makes them tick and from their better understand that what motivates one may not motivate another. While there are generalities that can be passed from one individual to the next it is all about that single being and what works best for them. While teams sports are all about the team goals in order to reach those goals and objectives you need to get the most out of the individuals as they a brought together as a team.

As you get older and some of you wiser perhaps, you tend to know what works for you and what doesn’t, yes you may have to try a thousand different ways and things, but eventually you will get there and work out what is best for your mind, body and soul. It does become more and more important the older you get to ensure you are looking after yourself. The lessons you learn about yourself will help you through all facets of life including love for all our fans still searching for the one. It’ll happen and you’ll know when they are the right one just don’t forget to put a ring on it when you do meet him or her.

So from the team at the world’s funniest, friendliest and most sympathetic blog, take some time out each day to look after number one. I can guarantee your number two, three, four and perhaps five will appreciate it. You’ll find not only will you feel fresher, fitter and friskier well we don’t know about the last one but you’ll feel better as you go about your normal routine looking after everyone else as a lot of people tend to do. Starting your journey could be as simple as taking yourself for a walk followed by writing down your thoughts and feelings. So until next week… Au revoir!

Are you still having fun…

With Thursday the 13th of September being R U Ok? Day, we asked our editor and chief if he’d sit in his seat and discuss anxiety and depression with our readers along with telling us how much talking and writing about it has helped him over the past couple of years. As they say a single conversation could make someone’s day, their week or their year. It’s ok to talk and more men and women need to be educated that is ok. SO over to you chief fire away and don’t bore the readers too much please…

Well with that introduction I’d better ensure to make this an easy, breezy read for the folks at home. If you had of asked me to write about this a year or two ago the answers would have varied from Aww hell no to a few expletives followed by a staunch no. The fact that I am now able to sit here and talk about it is a testament that if you can find that one person and start opening up, the more you do it the more you become comfortable doing. In saying that I still struggle to speak with people about my anxiety and depression that I don’t really know or that I am not comfortable with. Even writing this now has a me a little anxious as to what people may or may not think.

Like thousands of men and women across Australia and around the globe I suffer from anxiety and depression. I have my good days and yes I certainly have my bad days, my wife will be happy to attest to that. The good news is they are coming few and far between, I won’t lie and say it was easy to get to this point but I will say that it took a lot of hard work and honesty. Firstly being honest with myself and secondly being honest with those that I care about and love. Being honest and admitting to myself that there was something wrong and I needed help was probably one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life.

No one likes asking for help especially when they often can’t put their finger on exactly what the problem is or why they are feeling that way. So when people used to ask me what was wrong or why i was being quiet I would often just say nothing and try to disappear into the background. I tried changing the topic and more often than not I would ask questions and listen so I didn’t have to deal with my own thoughts and feelings. We all have days when we are feeling a little blue so I put a lot of what I was thinking and feeling down to that. At the time I was living in Brisbane, a long way away from my family and close. Yeah I had some good mates around me but none that I was comfortable talking to at the time.

It wasn’t until I started to display physical symptoms that I knew I had to do something, I had to see someone. I remember one day sitting on the floor of the bathroom feeling nauseous, there was a tightness across my chest and I was actually physically sick and I couldn’t control my thoughts. It was something I had never experienced before but it was something that would happen to me more and more over the following months until I saw someone. Now I would love to say that I plucked up the courage and went of my own volitions however I didn’t. I was given an ultimatum but it was the one that I needed and deep down I knew it was for my own good.

With my decision made I then struggled for some time as to who do I go and see, do I get medical help, do I go straight to the psychologist or psychiatrist, do I talk to friends, family. What do I do? It was daunting, I searched online, I read articles but at the end of the day it was a conversation with my father in law that changed it all. You see we don’t often get to see what goes on behind closed doors. We don’t ask questions that are personal and as men we just choose not to talk about our feelings. Its ingrained and beat into us from birth, strong men don’t talk about their feelings.

This one conversation though set me on the right path, through opening up I learnt that I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t the only person to go through this and there is nothing wrong with asking for help and knowing that it is ok to talk. Now my journey to seek the help i need may be different to a lot of people. I had a Skype call with one of the nation’s top professors of Psychiatry who then pointed me in the right direction and made recommendations. From there I saw my physician and on that back of that we setup a mental health plan that suited me.

My next hurdle along the way was having to take medication, it got me down and made me even more anxious that I needed to take a tablet each day to ensure my highs and lows were kept in balance. It honestly made me feel miserable but what it did do was allow my brain to slow down and process things a lot better. The more I researched what I was taking the more comfortable I became. I would talk about it in my session with my psychologist and together we began forming a plan to put in place the strategies and techniques to allow me to cope with my anxiety and depression if I ever came off the medication.

Over time my dosage has been adjusted, slowly becoming less and less as I become more and more comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings. How I manage and process them has gone from one of confusion and often being overwhelmed to now being ok with them and letting the thoughts and feelings come and go as they please. I’ve also learnt that talking about my anxiety and depression or writing about it has helped me a great deal. Being ok and realising that it is not a weakness but a strength, a strength that shines through in the day-to-day battle with my mind and thoughts.

The uneducated will make comments like what have you got to be sad about or are you suicidal. A lot them won’t even attempt to understand and will shy away from people with mental health issues. The truth is that mental health issues affect everyone differently, yes it does overwhelm some people to the point they want to the pain to stop that’s the sad truth but they are often the people who need our help the most. They are the people who just having a conversation with them could make their day. It could save their life, the problem is a lot of people still feel the shame and stigma that comes with mental health.

Conversations have helped me over the past couple of years, just having them has opened up my eyes to the world and to the fact I am not alone in my struggle. It has helped me understand my mind, understand my anxiety, understand my depression and most importantly understand that it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to talk, its ok to ask for help. It’s ok to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. Take a leaf from the young females of the world they put themselves out there on social media on a daily basis with there blogging and fashion posts but they are allowing themselves to be vulnerable often for a good cause.

I’ve been humbled this week by several people reaching out to me and sharing their stories and asking for help. Whether they were inspired by me finding my voice and asking for help or not is irrelevant the fact they were able to speak up and say there were struggling made me both proud and humbled at the same time. They were taking the steps to find their feet once again and work on themselves. Most importantly they were learning to love themselves once more. The biggest part of any healing process is accepting that you are going to be ok and who you are.

So it is to all those who are struggling in the world, you are not alone, there is a good chance the person sitting next to you right now is going through the same thing or has already been through. Do yourself a favour and ask people are you ok? What you give you shall receive tenfold as the old saying goes. Pay it forward, look after yourself and take care of those around you. It’s ok to talk, its ok not to be ok, and most importantly it is ok to ask for help. From myself and the team here at A Mind of Its Own, R U Ok? Start the conversation even if it isn’t for you.

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…

Limelight…

What a week it has been, we’ve been jetting about this amazing land of ours for our job that actually pays the bills. Adelaide and Canberra have felt the presence of the Mind of Its Own team this week in our travels. We’ve tasted the wines of South Australia and got to hang out in the halls of parliament with some of the MP’s. OK it wasn’t the halls but the flight from Canberra to Sydney on our way back to god’s country. Ah that would be Northern New South Wales. OK, OK enough fibs we caught a glimpse of them from cattle class where we barely had any room to move and our knees were up around our ears. Oh and not to mention our beers were overpriced for the portion size.

We did however get to spend sometime at the War Memorial checking out there new exhibit ‘From the Shadows’ focusing on Australia’s special forces past and present. We can safely say it was a very humbling experience walking the halls of the memorial dedicated to the men and women who have fought to protect our country. Ok so maybe not so much protecting our shores, there was a brief period where Japan was knocking on our doorstep during world war two but for the most part we have always gone to war on behalf of the crown or to support our American brothers across the sea.

So after our visit to the nation’s capital and the city of churches with exhausted minds and tired bodies we returned to our place of peace to enjoy some time away from the office. Hence why your weekly edition is so late. Apologies to our supporters, we may be late but we have finally got here for you. So this week we wanted to look at Anxiety and sport particularly with finals just around the corner across multiple sporting codes. From our elite athletes to our amateur sports men and woman, being a part of a finals campaign is something that whilst exciting can often become very overwhelming.

Whilst athletes at the professional level will have access to sports psychologists, your everyday joe playing in their local competition during finals time does not. Often when it comes to big games, whether it be semi finals or a grand final it can be overwhelming for people who have never experienced the pressure that come with a finals campaign. Even those who have played finals year in year out can still experience pre-finals jitters. Speaking from experience we know that it can be an anxious time as you wait for your game to start.

More often than not athletes will play the game over and over in their heads before they’ve even stepped on the field or court. The anxiety that builds up before a game can see even the best of athletes run their race before it starts. Within sport there are two main types of anxiety in Sport, trait anxiety and state anxiety.

Trait anxiety is more general and enduring, suggesting a predisposition to anxiety in all areas of life, not just in sport where as state anxiety is transient and specific only to the particular situation an athlete finds themselves in.

They display themselves differently in each individual. From the athlete that spews before each match to the basketballer on the free throw line whose mind is his greatest obstacle. In training they make every single shot, never miss, but during the game they struggle to overcome the anxiety that builds every time their feet touch that line.

So to our amateur athletes across the country experiencing any of the following symptoms just remember that it is a natural to feel these things and the best way to overcome it all is to discuss it with coaches and teammates. Some of the symptoms you may feel could include the following…

  • Cognitive symptoms relate to thought processes, including fear, indecision, poor concentration, loss of confidence and defeatist self-talk.
  • Somatic (physical) symptoms include muscular tension, clammy hands and feet, increased heart rate, sweating and butterflies in the stomach.
  • Behavioral symptoms relate to patterns of behavior, including inhibited posture, fingernail biting, avoidance of eye contact and uncharacteristic displays of introverted or extroverted behavior.

Here at a Mind of Its Own, we’d like to say, good luck to all those participating in the big dance throughout September. And for those that aren’t there is some quality viewing as all! The football codes are entering finals time, netball oh wait that’s done the Sunshine Coast Lighting took that title, there’s some golf tournaments, some over paid tennis players running a court, table tennis tournaments from south-east asia and home-grown lawn bowls finals and all your other favourite sport can be found across the channels you pay for with your fox sports package.

Remember why you started to play the game and remember to be nice to those that officiate it. But most of all have fun out there whether you play at the elite level or amateur so you can taste those sweet victory beers without the scrutiny of the media or your sponsors. It’s all about the enjoyment and we all make mistakes. So until the next time we grace your screen, peace out and enjoy September…

Raspberry Beret…

Well for once in our lives we’ve decided to agree with the 1985 hit song from Prince and embrace our inner fashionista. Welcome to this week’s instalment of the nation’s fastest rising blog. Like a slow bake cake we’ll rise when the temperature is right and the world is ready for our antics. Sit back, relax and let the good times roll as we take you on yet another journey into the wonderful world around us. The inspiration for this weeks post came to us in an alcohol fuelled rendition of Billy Joel’s ‘We didn’t start the fire’.

Like all things a mind of its own this one pretty much wrote itself in the Sunday morning hangover drive through line of your closest McDonald’s. As the fog of one too many beers began to clear a beautiful post manifested itself in the writing department of our minds. As we stated this one wrote itself on the back of quiet night in with a few friends. If you are an inquisitive person you are probably asking yourself what Prince, Fashion and Billy Joel could have inspired? We certainly were as the boffins went to work pumping this one out.

When you think fashion what do you think? Catwalks? Overly skinny girls modeling the summer or winters latest designs around the globe? Men strutting their stuff or really, really good looking people aka Derek Zoolander? Well one piece of clothing that often gets overlooked, underrated and not given enough credit or airtime on the catwalks of Milan, Paris and other old world fashion capitals around the globe. What is it you ask? As far as being cryptic goes you wear it, it can cover even the most ugliest of people and fix things like no other.

We are talking about head coverings, hats, beanies, headdresses, yamakas, if it goes on your head there is a fair chance you won’t see it being displayed at fashion week. Classed as accessories they’ve been the best of friends to premature balding men the world over, worn the wrong way by redbull fueled extreme athletes and kept the warmth in people’s heads in the harshest of environments. We would have like to have spent the time doing some research into hats, beanies and the like but that would have been to painful on a Sunday afternoon as the rest of the team nap around us.

The most popular of head clothes is by far the cap, worn by all to shade our faces, reduce the risk of sun damage, cover our balding heads or bad haircuts, stop surveillance cameras getting a clear shot of our face, hide hangovers and most of the time as an alternative to having to do our hair. While cowboys and farmers prefer the wide brim, hipsters have adopted the fedora, kids and young adults wanting to maintain their youthfulness have chosen the flat brim. The Jewish community have there own little hat although it only really covers the bald spot at the back of their heads.

Hats come in all different shapes and sizes, they have various functions and are made from many different fabrics.But we don’t need to tell you our readers as we knew you are all a bunch of smart eggs. What we do need to tell you is that this blog was inspired by a particular piece of head clothing. For generations men and women have been wearing it and yet in everyday life it has seemed to dwindle away. Those that have one may have to dig into the back of their closest to find it but we here at A Mind of Its Own are telling you to do it and predicting they’ll make a come back. Unlike the thousands of fashion bloggers out there we won’t be including any photos of us in front of the mirror modelling anything.

What happened to the Beret, well besides militaries around the globe adopting it as headwear of choice for some of their regiments. Back in the mid eighties Prince made them popular particularly Raspberry ones. Speaking from experience we can safely say they are the most underrated in the hat family. Yes they look good on military men and woman standing at attention on the parade ground but they are also comfortable, warm and can be worn a variety of different ways. We did our homework on them to ensure all myths around this amazing style of hat were debunked. Trying on a few was like putting heaven on the head, the beret is truly a modular piece of headwear that can dressed up or down. It’s both smart and casual at the same time.

So back to those beers that were being had while a thirty something male danced around the living room singing Billy Joel. This suave and sophisticated cat was rocking none other than a beret. Looking part military, part hipster he reminded us that the Beret had been forgotten in the world of fashion and is a hat that more people should consider when they step into their local hat shop. We are assuming there are still stores that are dedicated to selling the globes finest head clothes? If not there is always the Internet that brings us so many wonderful things! Like this blog for instance! There’s nothing wrong with a shameless plug.

From A Mind of Its Own to you, if you take anything from this blog or any of our blogs do yourself a favour and think twice about which advice you take from us but for now. If you own one get it out if you don’t go and get yourself one. Support the Beret! We certainly will be, for this week anyways. If we were a military body it would be our head clothes of choice. Many a charismatic character has worn the beret proudly, generally in the cinematic universe but hey if John Wayne can wear one why can’t we all and who knows maybe the French will get back into the spirit this year at Fashion week in Paris. If not we can always ask for another revolutionary like Che Guevara to make them popular again.

As the sun hits the horizon and starts to disappear from view, our hearts let out a sigh signalling the weekend is yet again almost over and tomorrow we head back to the real world. Argh work, perhaps we’ll start a petition for 4 day work weeks in which everyone does 10 hours a day. Long weekends every week, or at least a siesta like our Spanish friends. Who doesn’t love a nap in the middle of the day. From the team here, thank you once again and enjoy your week working for the man. The Europeans are on to something with their work/life balance. Power to the people! Peace out.

The Dog Days are Over…

Sorry just let me stop chewing on my bone for a second and let my paws dance across the keyboard once again in what will be the second post of my illustrious career with A Mind of Its Own. And what a career it’s been so far! I’ve been undercover on the Gold Coast in order for us to write ‘Our lawyer made us change the name of this song’ and given you an expose on my life as a Border Collie in ‘Every dog has its day’ and I am now following it up with the aptly titled The Dog Days are Over…

That’s right it’s me again the pup with the power to melt your minds. Call me Socks the wonder dog. Boy or Buddy which has been thrown around way to much lately making me start to question whether my name is Socks or Buddy. Where do I begin? It’s been a troubling couple of weeks in which my family keep reminding me that sleep doesn’t come easy and my dreams are somewhat troubled. The man of the house or human as I prefer to call him as I still have plans on taking the mantle from him, is questioning whether he should take me to see the psychiatrist or not. His google search history is interesting enough when he’s not googling “Can dogs get PTSD?”. So to once again give you an insight into my life the Googling started last weekend after an event on the local beach. It wasn’t the first time an incident had occurred along this pristine part of coastline but this one really shook me up.

Let me paint the picture for you! There I was minding my own business cruising down the beach as i do whenever the humans let me free from the leash they are so fond of keeping me on while we are out of the house. I was chomping away at the waves and chasing the stick that somehow kept flying through the air behind me. I said hi to a few of my people and stopped off for a couple of games of chase. All in all I was having a really nice morning with my humans on one of my favourite beaches. Being in a playful mood I thought I’d leave them a nice present to clean up knowing they had once again forgotten to bring along poo bags and would be forced to shamefully bury it or scoop it up with their coffee cups.

As i watched my humans stoop over in shame and begin to dig a hole in which to bury my doings deep within the earth, a wicked grin stretching across my face I notice a good looking Maltese heading my way further down the beach. She was a little older but still an attractive girl. Readying myself I got down on all fours and waited for her to come closer and closer to see if there was any interest in this young pup. Her owners seemed like a nice couple, they looked well travelled and like people who had made the most of their lives to date. No doubt they had a few grandchildren and possibly even great grandchildren. But that’s got nothing to do with the story whatsoever.

So there I am waiting to see if she’ll let me sniff her butt when out of nowhere I hear and feel the thump, thump, thump of sand behind me. Glancing over my shoulder I see a blur heading straight for me like a bullet from a gun. Like the bus company that transports people around Australia and with the same amount of force, a young greyhound slammed into me. Sorry for the swearing but if humans could understand the varying pitches of my bark what they would have got is “Oh fuck!”. I immediately went to into flight or fight mode. Little good it did me as I rolled on my back trying to play dead. Wanting to take flight I freaked out at this rather rough attempt to play and cried out for my humans to help me!

I’m all for rough housing and god knows my brother Banjo cops it from me when we catch up but this was next level. My eyes darted around for his humans, nowhere to be seen. As he flipped me around and continued his frenzied attempts to play, I scurried off to use my humans as a shield. In his moment of delight pinning me to the ground, my new unwanted friend saw my potential girlfriend approaching. All of a sudden the weight pinning me against the cool sand was gone. I was on my feet again, forcing air back into my lungs as quick as I could.

A bark of warning escaped my mouth as I watched it all unfold before me in slow motion. My tormentor had now become hers as he chased her closer and closer towards the waters edge. Looking on in fright I watched as she backed further and further into the water. Waves crashed down around her at times looking like they were swallowing her whole. Humans ran in from all directions. I saw my human crash through the waves thinking he was David Hasselhoff coming to the rescue of some big boob blonde on Baywatch.

Getting a hold of the Greyhound in what became a wrestle, he held on tight like a bull rider in a rodeo as the Greyhound continued his attempts to play with the petrified Maltese. A group of onlookers had now gathered at the shoreline as the poor old lady waded into the knee high water and pulled my frightened, soaked, friend to safety and hugged her in great relief that she was ok. Scared but ok. Ambling down the beach like he had all the time in the world came a little angry man who despite my human’s attempts to be nice and de-escalate the situation was quite rude and asked and I quote “Does no one on this beach have a fucking brain?” again sorry for the swearing but it was a direct quote and couldn’t be avoided.

Much to the shock of everyone now standing around the arrogant, angry, little man didn’t apologise to the elderly couple or anyone else who’s dogs had been terrorised by his playful Greyhound that should have been on a leash as he couldn’t be controlled through simple voice or whistle commands. Storming off back down the beach I let another little bark fly at his back, that I won’t translate for you as I shouldn’t know that language at my age. I ran over and licked my human to make sure he was ok. Still horrified by my first encounter with an over zealous potential friend I sat there accepting pats and giving my humans the occasional lick to let them know they were loved.

I still see the fear in her eyes as she ran attempted to get away from the Greyhound, my fear paralysing me and my dreams haunted by big dogs chasing me. I yelp out little barks in my sleep that are no longer cute and more concerning to my human who is obsessed with finding a solution to all problems on Google. I think they’ve brainwashed him that they can do anything almost like Elon Musk has convinced himself that he’s not an arrogant dreamer who thinks he’s better than everyone else.

So humans be warned! If you fall into either category below I suggest you stay off my beach! If you are an angry human that doesn’t understand why people are getting upset when your dog is over playful and rough with other dogs and thereby terrorising them or a runner who gets angry when we (Dogs) chase after you pretty please stay away from the part of the beach where we are allowed to roam free without a leash to do our own thing! You humans have a whole coastline where you can do your thing. We dogs are given a tiny bit of space on the beach where we can be off the leash to run and play with each other.

We don’t set out to cause harm or annoy you, we are simply just living up to being man or woman’s best friend. Wanting to be around you and play is what we do. We are your constant, most loyal companions so please look after us. So from me I’ll say thanks to all the responsible humans who look after us. Enjoy your week and be kind to the beach and your four legged friends. From the team at a mind of its own, go with peace and thanks for reading yet another installment of the best blog on the Northern Beaches!