Connecting to Our Community ~ Episode 61 ~ My Conversation with Martin Duke

Connecting to our Community

Mark [0:00] I’d like to introduce Martin Duke to the Heart of Connection podcast.  Martin is a councillor with the Surf Coast Shire.  He has been councilor for now for nearly three years and enjoys every moment of it.  He’s been with the CFA, the Country Fire Association for the past 20 years in his 29 years, I mean.  He is actively engaged and connected to our community.  He teaches at Deakin University and is interested in the mental health of our community.   I’d like to welcome you and thank you for taking the time to come in and have a conversation about Heart of Connection to Self, Others and ‘All That Is.’

Martin [0:33] Thanks, Mark.  Thank you for inviting me along.  It’s a pleasure to come along and talk about what I do and I don’t mind talking a bit.  I like to get out there and talk to people and hopefully help people along the way.

Enjoying Connections with People

Mark [0:49] Can you talk about what do you enjoy about connections to people?

Martin [0:55] I think it’s one of my big things is, I’m quite a social person.  I do connect to a lot of people as I go around.  I enjoy the company of other people.  I enjoy the company of men, but I enjoy the company of it in social and also just small quieter times with people.  We can have situations where we’re talking about – a few cars and car club we meet once a month then at either a restaurant in Torquay or coffee shop.  It is a Sunday morning drive for us as we get out because a lot of us got classic cars or just old cars want to talk about.  It’s a good way for men to stop, sit and talk. They have a bit of breakfast, coffee, might go for a cruise together afterward or head on back their families do what they’re going to do.  At least for that little breakaway.

Mark [1:46] Men and connection – that’s an interesting subject that men, not that engaged sometimes. They’re not that connected to themselves?

Men and Connection are they connected to themselves?

Martin [1:59] Well, the numbers tell us what is happening out there with the men.  More men having – are committing suicide, or will actually successful suicide.  More women are committing it, but they’re not as successful because they’ve actually been talking to somebody before.  The men are a lot more violent with it and they do it.  They’re not talking and nobody’s aware of what’s going on inside them.  We need to have that conversation.  We need to talk to our friends out there.  I was talking to a mental health thing on Saturday, which was Arts and Mines down at Surf Coast, and I spoke in front of a crowd of 120 people.  I had quite a number of the men’s coming up to me afterward yeah, let’s have that conversation and we’ll talk about it.  I said it’s about that conversation, it’s about living the time.  Even if it’s just for a walk along the beach, chatting about it.  Stop for coffee at one of the little places there or just even just to drink the water and just the chat.  Just break up their day and take away from maybe the dark thoughts or thoughts that are actually encouraged him to go along with the direction of what to do.   I may be having really great things and we just maybe we need to encourage as well.  It’s not only the negatives people we need to look at, but we also need to look at the positives and encourage those positives.  So hey, that’s great.  What are you doing? This is great that you’re doing that and I look forward to those moments.

Men’s Social Conditioning Is Very Questionable

Mark [3:21] What do you think has prevented men over the years from establishing that connection to themselves and being able to talk about what’s going on within themselves at the emotional level?  The mental health level?

Martin [3:34] Oh Mark I certainly think it goes back to – I was in school in the 1970s – 60s and 70s.   It certainly goes back to boys don’t cry.  You get belted behind the back of the ears.  These things you don’t show emotions – get on with life.  It’s about getting back outside and doing something. If you’re gonna be mad or do something going to kick the door in or kick the tree.  You just get on with life and it wasn’t about talking about what’s happening inside of you.  It was even difficult as young people if you’re bullied at school, you couldn’t talk about it.  It was certainly not accepted as part of things.  So, it was very difficult coming through those times I think.  I think a lot of us were those scars and they’re still there.   You go oh this is really hard to talk.   The other day I catch up with a mate of mine, not that often.  From one of your old areas Anglesea.  I got on the phone the other day and 41 minutes later we got off the phone.  My wife said, “gee you were on the phone for long a time.  She said but it was important to have that conversation.  When she’s on the phone to her friends you know that it can take sometimes an hour.   You notice with the phone calls with men, they’re not that long.  They usually 5 or 10 minutes. They’ve said what they need to say and it’s all over.  I’ve been lucky though, I’ve got six brothers and four sisters.  We’re very close when we talk about what’s going on in our life so we’ve had that advantage of coming up in a big family.  We are able to share our moments of what’s going on and when we’re feeling bad and about what’s going on in our life.

Open & Honest Connection

Mark [5:19] With your family, will you connect to them and be open and honest with them and sharing where you and how you’re traveling in the world?  If things are getting you down, you’ll be there?

Martin [5:30] Absolutely, yes we do that.  Certainly with the ones living here in Victoria.  We are all spread around Australia at the moment.  The ones living here in Victoria, certainly we do connect with those and have a chat with them.  We are quite a close family and so we get together quite a bit and have a chat.  We can talk about it.  I have an older sister who I talked to quite a lot and we can chat for ages and just sit and talk about what’s going on in life.  We talk about how people are feeling.  It also helps her as she is in Police Force and it’s really quite tough for her sometimes. We just talk about these things going on so yeah.

Connections Improve My Well-Being

Mark [6:06] It’s a great connection to have.  When you share that stuff with each other to do you notice a difference in your well-being after you’ve opened up and allowed yourself to connect and share?

Martin [6:21] We do notice quite a bit different in the well-being.   In actual fact sometimes you sort of feel in there when you’re going in and feel quite low.  Then we might go, it’s time for let’s go and have a drink now.  We go out for dinner or do something and change the whole attitude of what we’re doing.   It’s – there is a difference in the well-being after the chat and just feel better and you just got that smile inside of you.  Its kind of saying ‘hang on that was good, that opened things up.’  That took away that little grey spot sitting over that – little bit there or took away that black spot.  Let’s a little bit of light and might only be a little bit a lot of the time.  But that little bit of light could be a lot more light coming later on.  Especially with those discussions going on.

Mark 7:03] What does Martin do to connect to Martin?  How does he connect to himself?  How he does it? Does he take time out? Does he go for walks on the beach?  Does he tinker with his cars?

My Connections to Myself

Martin [7:11] Martin tinkers with his cars.  Martin has a collection of old Mercedes Benz cars so, tinkers with his cars.  Works in the garden – I’ve now just put in another pretty well an orchard in my front yard.  My front yard it’s not much bigger than your office here in one.  Actually probably the double at length.  It has now got twelve fruit trees in the front yard.  It is shared with the neighbours and stuff.  So they can come in and get fruit anytime they want.  It’s open on the street for people to use.  I enjoy the garden.   I’ll get home back this afternoon and get the lawns done and do things.  I enjoy my front garden and what it does. I enjoy working on my cars.  I enjoy talking to people as I’m here today.  Probably one of the biggest things that I’ve learned over the last three years Mark is teaching.  I teach students at Deakin.  They teach me more than I teach them and they listen to me.  We have conversations about where we’re standing, what we’re doing and empowered and feeling.   When we start profiling or when I do communication skills with them.  We recently did the Disc profile with them and they said, “Wow, didn’t realize I was that sort of person.”  They come back to me afterward say, “can we keep doing this communication thing.”  How do we talk to people anywhere, anytime and have that conversation that just to say hello, even or just to connect with somebody else?  That’s what I like doing.

Connection Is Vital

Mark [8:38] How important is that connection do you believe?

Martin [8:41] Oh absolutely important.  Otherwise, it just lonely and loneliness can be a good thing for some people. Sometimes you want to be lonely, but most of the time you want to have some sort of connection or some sort of conversation going on.  Now one of the discussions that happened recently, was loneliness is good if that’s what you wanted at that time.  If that’s your mindfulness time, if that’s your time to slow down and do things – it’s that time.  In my evenings, I’m a very lucky person as I sleep seven hours every night without a problem.  Before I do go to bed, I might only spend only three minutes, but I lived in mindfulness.  I walk on my back deck and look at the stars and look at the world going on before I actually go to bed.  That’s it, I’ve closed off the day then.  I said, “that’s it, goodnight world.” I’m going to go to sleep and have asleep.  So, I really feel that’s important, but the conversation time is important too. Lonely time – at certain times when you want to be just yourself.

Mark [9:41] Is that alone time a time to reconnect back to the self and recharge the batteries and recharge the energy within?

Time Alone to ‘Disconnect to Reconnect’

Martin [9:48] To recharge the batteries and recharged energy.  To breathing in – what’s in the air to take it all in and move along.  Say yep, that’s today’s done.  I’ve got tomorrow now but today was a great gift and thank you for that.  I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done and tomorrow we’re going to do another day.  What it’s going to bring – we don’t know as every day is different.

Mark [9:53] The connection to community – 12, an orchard of 12 trees and the neighbours can come in and pick the fruit.  Where does your sense of community – your connection to community derived from? Is it historical?

The community Connection part of My Upbringing

Martin [10:26] I think it’s historical.  Certainly, we grew up Bulleen.  We didn’t have a lot of friends in Bulleen at our local school.  My school was quite a while away.  I used to have to ride 8 km every day to get to school. So I’d go from Balwyn to Box Hill South to get to school, or it’s actually might have been 10 km.  My grandmother lived down the street, the elderly ladies live in the street.  The gentleman that lives down the street that we did his garden for helping him in his garden on a Saturday in his veggie garden.  I think it comes from having a community of people that were living together then.  It certainly wasn’t a lot of young people there.  We were probably one of – we were the biggest family certainly in the area.   There were people there that we would go and do things for.  Mrs. Amos, we’d go down and do some things for her.  Or people like Mrs. Clark invites away on holidays.  Grandmother lives around the next street or Ma and Pa were there.  So, we did all these things like a family and that was always happening there.  I think also, we got to working very early.  I was doing a paper round when I was 12years old.  I was on my bike doing a pharmacy around when I was 14years old.  I would have to go knock on the door these elderly people and talk to them and hand in their medicines and stuff.  I would be riding the bike out there and so I started connecting with people way back then.

Connecting in Childhood Makes it Natural for Me

Mark [11:26] So it will be ingrained inside your psyche and it’s just a natural part of you?

Martin [11:53] It’s a natural part.  As I said, schooling wasn’t too good.  I was probably a little bit bullied at school so I had a better comfort outside of school than I did at school.  The school wasn’t my favorite place at all.  I didn’t like it, I didn’t like it one bit.  So, when I got out away from there my psyche changed.  When I going to school, my psyche goes down.  When I started recognizing that when I was 14 or 15 years old that something was wrong then.  When I left school very quickly at 16 years old and started my apprenticeship as an optical dispenser 1975.  I said, “yep, this is it.”  My life changed was a changed overnight.  Changed in me and those dark thoughts disappeared and life changed for me because I knew where I got out of my bad space.

Mark [12:37] Is it like a door opened up and something shifted?

Martin [12:40] Oh, yeah, absolutely. It was like, everything shifted.  It was just, yeah, the smile came back.  There was a reason for doing things.  I wasn’t being- I wasn’t actually feeling that I was going to go there and you know, up picked on again.  So having that thought and then having children going through schooling where some bullying went on, it was good to be able to talk to them about it.  I could say, ‘well, it is – has happened, but let’s see what we can do now about fixing this.’  We’re not going to lock you in one place where you’re going to be caught by this because it is really – a real concern to you when this sort of happens.  So let’s get you have that situation, create a new life and new situation for you.   It worked very well so – I’ve done that with my daughter and that work really very well.

Connections Create Energy

Mark [13:27] With the connections to the community and the connections to others.  What do you notice happens to your energy, your internal energy?

Martin [13:37] Everybody says you’re really bubbly and yours talking and getting things done.  My internal energy is really good.  As I said, I sleep well.  I tend to wake up in the morning. I set my alarm and it doesn’t matter what time I’ve set it for – I wake up before my alarm every morning.  I get up and I’m ready to go, I start moving.

Mark [13:59] Connected to the day?

Martin [14:00] Yeah, connected to the day?  So yeah, probably a bit like a sundowner in a way. I like daytime the light hours but then I could still go through tonight.  When I do get tired, and I do get tired when at a tight time comes I’m tired, that’s it bed.  I am not going to drag myself through anything that starts hurting me physically and mentally and I’ll no, it’s bedtime.  There is nothing you can do about now.  It’ll be back there tomorrow, no need to go and stress about it now.  You’re not going to achieve as much as you can when you’re feeling much better.  So I get tired and you know 11 o’clock at night if I’m not in bed, that’s pretty unusual but I do like to get there.

Connection to our Communities

Mark [14:46] The connection to the community how important to the well-being of the community are connections within communities?

Martin [14:54] If the community doesn’t have a connection, then it’s not really community.  It needs that connection on all levels for it to work. Whether it’s across from Men’s Health just talking to each other.  The Men’s Shed is a great connection to the community.  It’s helping a lot of men in that field certainly.  The community houses, are all important bit of connection to the community.  They bring families, they bring new people into the community.  Anybody that’s new into our communities, any of their communities on Surf Coast, Anglesea, Torquay.  They all…new people, we encourage them to go to the community houses. They all find out what the connections are there.  What things they can do. Who they can go and see. Instead of being depressed at home and then ending up at the doctors.  Sadly, for doctors, most of the cases they are bulk-billing for or they’re doing billing for people with mental health issues.  75% of the things are not actually medically related quite a lot of them are mental health issues.  A lot of those could be helped with connection to the community. How do we talk to lonely people and how do we create that connection.

Community Connections create Sense of Belonging

Mark [16:05] Creating that sense of belonging for people.  That real sense of community belonging you belong, you are part of this community.  I’ve noticed that in Anglesea it’s a really beautiful old community.  You walk down the street and people know who you are.

Martin [16:22] I created that as well. Certainly, I started an optometry business in Torquay in 1990.  There are 2,500 people living in Torquay then.  We knew everybody.  We used to play cricket in the street in the middle of winter because it was so quiet.  All the shopkeepers would come out.  I still know most of the shopkeepers down there.  They certainly changed over time, but it’s not the same feel as it was because of the numbers.  That’s understandable with the growth there.   The community itself is growing and there’s some great stuff in that community. There are great people doing great work and talking to people and getting out and connecting to people.   So, we certainly see that you know, we didn’t have your 3A then. U3A is fantastic. For those people, who…we didn’t have a Probus club than in 1990.  Now we’ve got a Probus club we’ve to go the biggest Probus clubs around.  We’ve got a number of them there.  Certainly, for a lot of people community-based people like myself, Rotary and Lions there is a really strong connection for us.  We talk to people, you go up to their BBQ and all say hey, Martin how are you going?  I go down to the market and everybody’s talking, so it’s also talking that back.

We need Connections

Mark [16:39] I wonder whether it reflects the innate need for people’s need to connect to the community with the growth of those clubs?

Martin [17:47] Oh absolutely it is.  It’s certainly about that growth.  It’s about what’s happening in people’s lives.  Sometimes it’s interesting you hear some of the wives of the men in Men’s Shed when they said. ‘oh, we’ve got to do something and not open today?  What, you’re not going to take them away from me today. That community to take them away sometimes we need to also separate ourselves from each other and have that time.  He’s much better when he goes away there and comes back from there as a better person.  So it’s interesting talking to those people and saying, you know he’s gotta go.  The Torquay Theatre Troupe another one of my passions there. Being there and that will really certainly helped me along as well.  Meeting other people and expressing myself in front of a lot of people.  Actually, acting it but also expressing myself in front of people was really good learning for me.

Connecting to Authenticity

Mark [18:41] Is that being a good teacher to people by you, being authentic with people?  Is it showing a lead to them about connection and about your connection to yourself?  Does that then help others go, Martin’s doing it, well why can’t I?

Martin [18:58] I think it does.  I certainly think it does.  We have people who, you know, will talk about councillors.  People that are going to listen to and people who are going to go opposed to you.  We can’t agree on everything all the time.   If we do, you know, you got to change sometimes and not everything is agreeable.

Mark [19:19] I like the idea of agreeing to disagree.

Martin [19:21] Absolutely.

Creating an Openness for Men to Connect

Mark [19:23] Really, we respect each other space and we just agree to disagree, but we’re still got a connection in the agreeing to disagree. Coming back to men what do we need to change that will facilitate men’s openness to connect more with themselves and to their emotional health and mental health?

Martin [19:47] I think the change is happening, Mark.  I think it’s out there.  Men are starting to talk.  The change is happening and its programs like yours and other programs that are doing these things.  Change is happening out there.  Men are turning up last year there was an event at the football club.  It was put on one night a Big Wave thing.  200 men turned up and sat on the floor of football club drinking water, listening to men’s health concerns.  I thought that was a fantastic thing.  If our community can bring 200 men in one evening at 730 in the evening, no bar open.  Nothing there, just talking about men’s mental health.  I thought that was brilliant.  Saturday week ago men’s mental health thing on Saturday afternoon, probably timing was not the best.   We had another 30 odd men there talking about mental health and what we can do to help each other.  So these conversations didn’t happen 20 years ago.  These conversation didn’t happen 30 years ago, they certainly didn’t happen 60 years ago when people came back from the wars and things they didn’t happen.

Connecting to Men’s Health & Well-being is Changing

They did happen in the one way but it was when the men would go down to the bar and have a drink and do it.  I was very lucky I came up with a very different household.  My dad would come home from work and Mum and Dad would go and sit down in the lounge room.   We knew this every single night it didn’t.  They would have a glass of sherry one small glass of sherry.  They’d talk about the day.  I think that’s fantastic.  If we can start doing that, it’s not a conversation of, I’ve had a bad going to do this. That conversation happened every day.  Mum would say what the kids have been up to.  Who got into trouble – which one of us had to go and hide? We’d have to go do that because Dad would get out and give you a wack so which one has done something wrong.  I think that was my upbringing started pretty early with that sort of thing.  That conversation was happening very early.  We had dinner around a table and spoke around at night on what was going on.

Mark [21:45] So well a role-model for you?

Good role modeling was a connection for me

Martin [21:47] Well role-modeled and it went from their parents down to us.  It was a really good role model that we had.  I appreciate what my parents did and the role model they taught us and how they taught us to do these things and have this conversation.  My children when my wife and I have dinner we have it at the table.  When my children are around for dinner, we have it at the table.  We probably hardly ever sat down on a couch in front of the TV.  Very, very rare, it might have been once or twice on a Friday night when something like a movie or something was on that we might have done.  We always sit at the table, at night time sit down it’s a role model and a bit of a chance to do things.

Mark [22:27] And it’s a connection?

Martin [22:28] It’s a connection to each other and family in the house.

Disconnecting from Digital Devices

Mark [22:31] No digital devices sitting on the table.  Just a human connection.  One of the things in connections is for men is the – where we connect, we connect from a space of love – there’s all different forms of love.  I’m wondering whether men have difficulty with accepting the fact that part of a connection that love connection is a vulnerable space and the old history has been – that’s a bit soft, don’t go there, girlfriend?  It’s not for you?

Martin [23:06] I think so but I think as I’ve said, Mark.  I think it’s actually changing now.  I think we’re seeing a lot more people understanding what’s going on.  Certainly with the marriage debate, and one of the things we did at Council – one of the very first things that I did at Council was pass the rainbow flag debate.  So, I certainly got a lot of love from a lot of men about what I’ve done and how I’ve created that.   Not just gay men lots of people saying, this is the right thing to do.  It’s time to move on.  It’s time for us to talk about what is happening in our world.  What we’ve been hiding closet time come out.

Love is Love

Mark [23:44] Love is love.

Martin [23:45] Love is love it doesn’t matter.

Mark [23:46] It can cross gender lines, it doesn’t matter.  It’s really important.  Is there more acceptance of men about that vulnerability coming and owning their own vulnerability?  There is a part of us that is fragile.  That perhaps is never going to cope in the world and we need to protect it in different ways.  Rather than bottle it up and convert it into anger.  Do we need to learn to navigate that emotional landscape?

Martin [24:12] We are learning to do it.  It’s happening as I said, I believe it’s happening but maybe it’s the people that I’m talking to.  Maybe I’m missing some people still.  Maybe I need to look at those people and say who am I missing?   Certainly, we’re talking about the fire brigade before.  29 years of the fire brigade – my first time in the fire brigade when I was in the early 1990s toughen up go and sit by the tree and you’ll be right and get over tomorrow.  Now it’s about connections – now it’s about – are you having a problem?  Can we help you with this problem?  We talk about mental health now at the fire brigade.  Mental health was never bought up then back in 1990, it was not done.  It was not discussed to that level.

Creating Safer Connections in the Work Place

Mark [24:55] So are making safer connections with people in workforces and in places to be able to connect to that? If they’re struggling, if they’re not coping with it?  If it is really quite traumatic that – just to allow a safe space for that to be expressed no matter how it gets expressed physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?

Martin [25:15] Exactly right.  It doesn’t matter how it’s expressed and where you want to express it.   It doesn’t matter whether you’re crying at work anymore.  It’s not seen as a sign of weakness now when someone’s gone off to the corner crying, it’s not a sign of weakness anymore.  It’s a sign of that you’re actually listening to what’s going on inside of you.  If you can do it, and still, I think if people don’t let their emotions out and don’t let that cry come out occasionally and the tears flow.  The things umm…then they just bottling it up and then it’s going to come out the wrong way sometimes.  It can come out as anger.

Mark [25:51] Yeah, when they bottling it up, I’m wondering what happens to the connections to themselves and to others?  If they’re churning around it they’re sort of stuck in it.

Men connect to emotions rather than Bottling them

Martin [26:01] That little turn round.  It’s not expressing it out, not letting it out the door.  Not opening their eyes and going – hey, this is really good at what’s out there.  This is still going on inside me.  Oh, but now – look what’s going on, talk to somebody about it.  Come talk to us, come find us and talk to us and sit down and have a coffee or just a chat.  Walk along the beach and talk about it so that’s what you have to do.

Mark [26:24] I wonder whether for men, how men do that connection is through community groups, like through football clubs, through car clubs, in doing things.  In the ‘doing things’ whilst we might be focused on changing a spark plug but we’re still connecting with each other as we changing that spark plug?

Martin [26:45] You know what, Mark.  I recommend is – it’s a lot also about picking up skills from them.  What I always say when I’m connecting with men is I’m learning from them as much as they’re learning from me, If that’s the case.  As I said to my students at Deakin. I’ve learned more from them for over three years and I would have learned from my children and stuff.

Learning from Others in Connection

I’ve been really grateful for what I’ve learned from them and how they treat their lives.  Some of them are really struggling with debts and stuff.  They’ve come out from countries that are now the left their families and stuff, but they’re struggling, but they’ve also given me a lot of information.  Do you know these young blokes that are really thinking how do I fit into this community?  How do I do it the girls get on a lot better they seem to get in their little group?  The boys seem to be separated a bit and so it’s not just the older men, it’s the younger ones.  I’m talking about these younger blokes in their 20’s and 1920s 25, even who have come from maybe a war-torn country or come from a wealthy family and they’ve been told this is what they’re going to do this sick horse in life and distress Atlassian them, it’s actually quite often higher than what I would see in other people in high business people who have learned to deal with a lot of them.

Stress Impacts on Our Connections

Mark [27:59] When you notice that stress, does that stress then potentially impact on their connections to others?

Martin [28:05] It certainly does.  They just want to go away and talk, they feel left alone. So when we start talking to them about what can we do to help you and they stop and stay in the classroom for that little bit longer for a minute after or two minutes after.  They know that we starting to make connections with them.  What can we do to help what you’re doing?  Whether it’s just a study thing or how’s life going?  What supporting review, we’ve joined here at Deakin.  What can we do?  There’s certainly a lot of mental health support at Deakin for people but some of them just don’t know how to go and find it.

Mark [28:42] They’re not sure how to find it and I wonder whether they’re not sure how to do it or how to express it, how to connect into that space?

Martin [28:51] Its all of those things also from the cultural training where they belong in the household is quite a bit of a position for them.  So they belong in that household position and going – this is where I belong.  My dad says I’ve got to do this and this is where I belong and this is how we have to do it.

Connection to ‘All That Is’

Mark [29:15] I just want to move the conversation along, when we talked earlier about at night time you’ll go to the deck and you look at the stars.  When you’re looking at the stars, is that as a connection to the ‘All That Is’ for you?

Martin [29:29] Yeah, it’s my mindfulness if you like. It’s time when toes curl up.  I sort of let the body relax out, and I just feel – I can close my eyes and still see the stars there in those positions or look at the world and see things.  I’m just taking everything in.  It’s just my time say hey – I’m – this is the time for me to go to bed.  I finished my day thank you very much for my fantastic day.  Now I’m going to rest and the nights there and it’s beautiful and it’s my connection to the earth and the universe.

Mark [30:07] When you connect to the universe does it just clear you physically mentally, emotionally spiritually? Does it enable you to connect right in there.  When you connect right in there how would you describe your emotional and mental health when you’re in there?

Connection to ‘All That Is’ Dissolves Mental Health

Martin [30:23] It’s emotional and mental health.  There is no emotional or mental health, it’s actually gone.  I’m actually in that really nice calm space.  So it’s, I wouldn’t say it’s an emotional mental health thing.  I’m not feeling a mental health concern, I’m not feeling an emotional concern.  I’m just in a very calm space so it’s not – I wouldn’t say it.  It depends on how you put those words, Mark.

Mark [30:45] Is it a connection to letting go?

Martin [30:46] Yeah, it’s a connection to letting go.

Mark [30:48] Pretty powerful isn’t it.

Martin [30:49] It is.

Mark [30:51] How alive does your being come when you sit in that space and you connect that space?

Martin [30:57] Well as I said, it’s my pre-bedtime, wind down and so it actually comes quite relaxed.  The body becomes relaxed, I lay my head down and I sleep.  I sleep very well and I’m very lucky that way.  I am hoping some other people learn to sleep as well as I do.  I do sleep very well and sleep seven hours most nights without a wake-up, without problems.

Get out & Connect in Your Street

Mark [31:23] Is there any other advice or any guidance that you would like to offer men and women in our community about connecting to Self, Others and ‘All That Is.’

Martin [31:35] You have a neighbourhood and get out.  Get out in your garden even if it’s the front yard somebody’s going to walk past and say hello.  Just get out off the couch and turn off the TV.  Turn off the devices. Walk outside as the sun shining.  Go out and pull the weeds out if need be or just go for a drive and talk to people.  Sit on the beach and people walk past and say hello.  They do that but some people won’t but some people just walked past and say hello.

Martin [32:02] The other night, Sunday night went down to Aireys Inlet to take photos of the lighthouse at nighttime. There was a young couple sitting there watching the full moon.  It was just beautiful just talking to them. Looking at the full moon and looking out at the ocean and how the moon shone on, it was fantastic.  They were just sitting there, but we spoke to them as couples.

Connecting to Aliveness Within

Mark [32:25] It’s just lovely to watch the aliveness as your sharing that connection to those people as you’re taking the photos.  It’s just lovely to watch the aliveness in your body it just radiates in you and it’s really…

Martin [32:35] I love what I do.  I love my life.  I love what I do.  I’ve made a choice.  As I showed you earlier my life is not one job.  I would actually probably be a bit different if I just had one job.  I like to have lots of different things.  My days are all different 0 one day I’m working for one company and another day working another.  Another day I’m out talking to people.  So always something on.  On another night I’ll be out doing another social event talking to people so I’m very social that way.

Mark [33:07] I really would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your passion and purpose to the community and to your connection.  I’ve met through maybe two or three times now in community events.  You’ve always smiled and you’ve always got a smile and you always say hello.   I really appreciate the work that you’re doing to build better connections in our communities.  I just like to really thank you from the bottom of my heart for that – for the beautiful work that you do.

Martin [33:36] Thank you, Mark, thank you for inviting me along to do this. I look forward to hearing when it comes out.

Mark [33:40] Look forward to it.

Martin [33:41] Thank you.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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