Connecting to our Heartfelt Masculinity
Mark [0:00] I’d like to welcome Marcus Savidis of Savi Solutions, which assists training businesses in the art of ethical sales here in Geelong. Marcus lives in East Geelong with his fiancé and with twin two-year-old boys, which I could imagine would be a handful but so much fun. Welcome, Marcus.
Marcus [0:22] Thanks, Mark. It’s fantastic to be on the show. I really appreciate you having me along. And yes, they are an absolute delight, as well as producing enough madness and chaos to keep us very, very busy.
The Joy of My 2-year old Twin Boys Curiosity
Mark [0:38] Two years old, they’ll be just coming into that – are they already in the terrible…you know that umm “No” stage?
Marcus [0:46] Certainly, they’ve gotten very comfortable with the word ‘No”. They’re very prompt to say, I don’t want it, you know, to something that you’re wanting them to do. But they’re also in – each week it seems they get even more curious than the week before. And we’re not getting the ‘Why’ question yet. But loads and loads and loads of “What’s that”? What’s that? They are constantly pointing to things? What’s that? What’s Daddy doing? What’s Mummy doing? Extremely curious wanting and I found the best way around that is to actually just give commentary to all the things that you’re doing. Daddy’s getting an orange carrot out of the fridge. Daddy’s peeling the carrot.
The Connection to my Boys Opened Connections to Myself
Mark [1:30] Great. The connection, have you noticed a difference since having the two boys – have you noticed the difference in connection within yourself, to your Self, to others and ‘All That Is’?
Marcus [1:50] Good question. Definitely for me. The boys were born at 27 weeks in three days. So they were born a full trimester early. We spent the first three months of their life in the hospital. So it was a really unusual way to live life there for a while. We would get up going to the hospital, spend the whole day with them, and then go home in the evening and then do it all again the next day. And the blessing of that was being away from work, being away from your normal day to day responsibilities. And there’s this thing called kangaroo care. So there’s a lot of science that proves that if you get your little one, and place them under your T-shirt, and so it’s their skin onto your skin. Apparently, they can tell the difference between their parent’s heartbeat and another heartbeat.
They can smell the difference between how your skin smells and another. And so they actually understand even at that really fragile age that they’re being cared for and held by their parent. And so understanding that was really beneficial for them. We did that all day every day for three months. And that gave a lot of time to reflect on a lot of the bigger stuff. And definitely during those three months, my sense of spirit and sense of source energy and essence. All came through much, much more strongly, which caused me to ponder things and plunged my normal day to day world into a lot of confusion. So it wasn’t necessarily an easeful thing. But it was something that I really welcomed. And I loved the part of me or us or it that I discovered during that time.
Nurturing the Boys Through Their Premature Births
Mark [3:40] It sounds like it was quite transforming?
Marcus [3:44] Yeah, in every way. In every way because you’ve got these two little creatures that have just been born and originally they were the size of a kebab originally. They were tiny. People don’t know understand but if you get a one-kilo bag of sugar from the supermarket, that’s what they were. And they were full of all sorts of wires and what not connecting them to all the important machinery. And so you have to transform to step up to that challenge because babies were dying around us and as could have gone as well. And that is a big bit of awareness to have. And you simply have to elevate to manage that awareness and, you know, do the things you need to do and love as fully as you can.
Deepening the Connection to Myself
Mark [4:41] As you transformed in elevated ~ did that deepen the connection to yourself?
Marcus [4:51] It absolutely did. I’ve noticed in 2016, I went to the Himalayas. I noticed a real much stronger connection to myself there. What the age or the era of my life were talking about just a couple of years ago with the boys in hospital, I also noticed a much-elevated connection with self. What I found tricky is keeping and maintaining that elevated level when you then – I mean most of the people listening to this, I assume, would have their day to day jobs and their tasks and their responsibilities and their errands and so forth. And, and so discovering it – yes absolutely. How do we now maintain that and convey that over – into everyday life?
Using Routine(s) to bring my Deepened Connection into Every Day
Mark [5:40] That’s the tricky bit (laughter). How do we – yeah, how do we do that? And I wonder sometimes, are we forgetting to how to translate that through to everyday life. There’s an old Zen quote, “chop wood, carry water, pre-enlightenment, chop wood carry water post-enlightenment.” And its how do you set up your processes or rituals or habits to connect those dots?
Marcus [6:18] And the word you’ve used there – rituals or habits or routine. What I’ve noticed is if I just allow the weeks to unfold on autopilot without giving a lot of forethought to them, it’s much harder to maintain that-that essence. However, if I’m really on point with my rituals, so for me that looks like you know, getting up and going to the gym, getting back. Practicing guitar for a little while, reading some spiritual texts for a little while, then going into work. Starting the day, the workday at 8:30 am and then having another hour in the middle of the day for meditation, a bit more reading of a spiritual text and then finishing off the second part of the workday. Those routines and rituals, it’s almost like, as much as day to day life wants to wrestle all of you away into it. You can still have those pockets where it’s not so.
Recognising our Disconnection to our self
Mark [7:17] Getting caught up in life. It’s trying to draw your away. As it’s trying to draw you away. Are you noticing you becoming more disconnected with yourself? Yep. What do you experience? What does Marcus experience when he is becoming disconnected? What does he notice?
Marcus [7:37] Funnily enough (laughter), it’s in my relationship to inanimate objects. So, let’s say I’m trying to like – I’m leaving the house to get into the car and I noticed I have forgotten my keys. Instead of just noticing I forgot my keys and a gentle strolling back to the house. It’s kind of “ahh hh” and you’re marching back to the house, frustrated and annoyed. You might be trying to open something and it won’t you can’t pry it loose. And, you know – how quick that frustration and annoyance are to bubble up. It is a big indicator to me as to how far of alignment – how far out of alignment I am honestly. And when I’m feeling calm and inflow and grounded and earthy and wholesome in my being, then those things.
Mark [8:30] There immaterial?
Marcus [8:30] Yeah, just whatever, yeah.
Taking our Flow-state Connection to Others
Mark [8:35] How do you take that ‘flow’ to connections to others?
Marcus [8:46] I think it’s so true that we never have any sort of a clue what anyone we talked to, is going through. No idea whatsoever. I remember one of my first ever mentors. I was complaining to them about my boss. And they said to me, they said, Oh, so did your boss – did they have a full meal last night? Or, you know, they went to bed hungry? And I said all look, I’m not sure. And they said, what was his relationship with his wife? Like, did they have an argument? Did they get along? Well, I said look I’m not sure. And his sex life. When’s the last time he had sex do you suppose? I said, I’m not sure. And my mentor was just making a very simple but powerful point. I had no clue what was going on in my boss’s life. And pondering that, even for a moment helped me be a lot less bent out of shape, as to, you know, the treatment that I was at the time complaining about.
Mark [9:44] With that information that the mentor gave you – did that help you reflect and take a shift in your connection to others?
Connecting to my Alignment
Marcus [10:01] When I’m – when I myself am in alignment within my own world, then part of knowing that I am that is that focus on others. That curiosity as to what’s going on for them, what’s going on underneath the surface? And, you know people talk a lot about the thoughts of things you can say. And the thoughts of ways you can be with another person that influences, or persuasive, or beneficial in terms of interaction. But what I love – is if you’re genuinely curious, and I mean to say sincerely so. And really intrigued by what’s going on for this person, how they roll underneath the surface, then all of those behaviours will naturally show up in the space.
Connecting to our Energetic Non-verbal level
Mark [10:50] So how they roll underneath the surface, how they’re rolling at a non-verbal energetic level.
Marcus [10:55] Yeah, absolutely.
Mark [10:56] Which we very rarely see. It’s like the iceberg stuff.
Marcus [11:02]Yeah, that’s right.
Connecting to the Iceberg underneath the Surface
Marcus [11:05] Actually Nashy – if he’s listening to this, he co-assists in some of my training. He knows that I always talk about icebergs. Because, as humans, 5% of what goes on for us – is happening for us and we are conscious of it. 95% is happening for us, and we were unconscious of it. And so, for me when I meet another person, I’m curious about the that-that part of the iceberg that sits underneath the water. What’s going on there? What identity do they have? How do they see themselves in the world? What beliefs have they formed? That they’re possibly not even aware of beliefs, but think a fact as is. That’s all the stuff that I’m piecing together as we’re interacting.
Men and Connection(s)
Mark [11:50] I just want to bring that material that you’ve just been sharing – specifically to men. We men, we’re not very well known for our sense of connection. Where do you believe that’s come from? And how do we men need to move forward to shift the dynamic of connection?
Marcus [12:22] If I had to guess where it’s come from, I would say, proximity in the association. So from for many of us, as we look about, and see men behaving with other men, and this is not necessarily in just our family unit. I just mean the social circles we mix in. The interactions we see on TV and so forth. We perhaps don’t see a lot of that. But then, I had a fascinating experience recently as a couple of years ago. I went to a specific men’s gathering.
Conscious Men’s Gathering
And it was the first – it just a ‘Conscious Men’s Gathering’ and it was for hearts based men. Most of whom are in some sort of leadership position just to get together and do some workshops and sort of unburdened through sharing. And I’d never been to something like that before. And whilst in that environment, open, vulnerable, sharing, and supremely connected interactions and beautiful exchanges and hugs and all these things were completely commonplace. They felt normal and natural in that environment. And so, if that’s what we were seeing with our proximity, and with our association, then I imagine we would accept that as commonplace. However, that’s not commonly what we’re seeing. And so perhaps those men of us who are very comfortable interacting in that way, perhaps, you know, like me might have thought I’m a bit weird, I’m a bit strange, you know, I’m soft, on to feminine or whatever the case may be. Because we are very comfortable sharing our emotions. We are very comfortable giving and receiving a hug and these types of things. But if we’re not seeing others doing it, then we can quickly make the incorrect assumption that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re a bit strange, were a bit weird and we put on a mask, to appear not as gentle and not as warm as what we actually are.
Men Soft & Weak or Innate Sensitive Vulnerability?
Mark [14:29] It’s really interesting some of the language you’ve used to describe that soft, weak. Is it soft and weak? Or is it our sensitive vulnerability that we all have – that we’re protecting?
Marcus [14:48] Yeah, and to be super clear on that one, I myself don’t view it – that behavior is soft and weak at all. I think there’s – but I do think that’s the fear. And we’ve possibly all heard that cliche, “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself”. So it’s not a real thing. It’s not a tangible thing but that’s the fear. I believe the sort of self-talk that would accompany that fear would be – ‘if I was if I showed up in the world like this – yes strong and yes fierce about the things that matter. But comfortable with being gentle and graceful and useful. Would I be taken advantage of? Would I be deemed by others as soft? Would I be walked over? Those feminine words that we got called in the playground “you’re a sissy”, these types of things. I believe it’s that sort of self-talk that accompanies that fear.
The Lens of Childhood Ridicule
Mark [15:43] And I wonder whether we hold a lot of that childhood, early upbringing stuff. Those feminine words we were called – do we hold them in our subconscious or unconscious and we always try to mask that, steel it up and prove that we’re not that?
Marcus [16:01] Absolutely, I mean, it’s been shown over and over and over again those years naught to seven when we’re forming our blueprint. So the sorts of things that we experience then, have a huge impact on us. And if we consciously revisit that blueprint as an adult, then we can rewrite, re-wire, re-parent, those parts of us that are in need of that nurturing. However, for many adults, they’ve not consciously spent the time to investigate where their beliefs, where their fears, where their insecurities have come from. And whilst unexplored and unidentified, these can then become programs that run the individual even into the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, & ’70s. So becoming, firstly curious, secondly, aware and then looking to heal those parts where the trauma came. And that might be someone saying you’re weak or you’re a wimp. It could be all sorts of things. But if that was a tremendous person of influence that said that to you, understanding that. By going back to our tribal ancestry, if we were not loved, then we simply wouldn’t survive. So back in the day, love was equal to living and not loved was equal to death. And part of our DNA, our wiring, still attributes that level of importance to things like love and acceptance, you’re cut off from the tribe, you would not survive. That’s why many of us being rejected by someone or something, particularly someone in our little tribe circle. That’s why it feels or fearsome and it feels horrible at times to be rejected. Sometimes it’s water off a duck’s back, but other times with other people, it can feel really impacting. And again, going back to that tribal ancestry, we wouldn’t have survived. So when you’re a little child and you know intuitively that your parents are the reason you’re able to exist. You learn what you need to do in order to stay in their good graces because you were quite that with your own ability to survive. And so that’s why you can be told things, called things spoken about in certain ways. And you just take it on-you take it on.
Men not Connecting shows in the Statistics
Mark [18:24] Is there an epidemic of men not prepared to look at the deepest stuff that’s impacting on their well-being and mental health and the inability to connect to themselves and others?
Marcus [18:43] I’d answer that, statistically. So one of the things Savi Solutions does, is 10% of select training go towards male suicide prevention. And there’s a number of reasons for that. One is my own history with that and the other is that statistic is alarmingly on the rise. So for those viewers that don’t – those folks listening to that don’t know, 75% of all people that take their life are men. And it’s about eight per day in Australia at the moment. So 2,500. You talk about connection. To me, there are lots of reasons. There are lots of pieces to the puzzle of how someone can get to that place with a make that decision. But perhaps one of them is that they’ve lost connection to themselves. And so when you ask, Is there an epidemic of men not willing to go there and look there? I think the statistics would show that this is increasing. This problem is getting worse, it’s not getting better.
How do we help Men Connect Deeper to themselves?
Mark [19:51] How do we men who are working at connected to themselves, looking within, trying to transform – I was going to muck around there – trying to transform, how could we help other men explore internally that it’s okay. Yes, it’s not always easy but it’s something we need to connect. It’s the yin and the yang we we all want to connect to the Yin and not the Yang so to speak. How do we create space? Or how do we do that as men into the future – to help others connect to themselves and make those beautiful transformations that are possible to be made?
Marcus [20:48] Yes, gotta lead by example. Obviously, if you’re not willing to go there yourself, you couldn’t possibly expect anybody else to. Another thing that’s only come into my life in the last two years I’ve been sharing circles. So for those who aren’t familiar, which I wasn’t as recently as a couple years ago. It’s a group of men and you’ll just sit around in a circle. There are rules to allow the circle to be a safe and really respected place where it feels very – it feels is easeful as possible to be that vulnerable. If that even makes any sense. It’s never going to be easy to be that vulnerable. But it is made easier when these environments are run really well. And so, if you’re a man getting around with other men, and being able to share your truth and be witnessed. You have to think about it that perhaps that’s what our ancestors were doing way back in the day and maybe we’ve gone away from it. And perhaps returning back towards some of those more traditional gatherings is very healthy and wholesome. I run an event once a month called the ‘Unmask Man’ meet up. And that’s actually at Little Creatures brewery. But the reason for that is people can come stay for as little as they want or as long as they want. Have a beer and the invitation is to just show up without your masks on. So that’s a very relaxed type thing. But then you’ve got formal sharing circles where you’re literally at a park or in someone’s backyard or in a community hall, and you sitting around and they might be six or eight of you something like that. And each man has a turn at sharing his truth. And for me, those circles are so powerful, very powerful.
Connecting to the Energy of Men’s Sharing Groups
Mark [22:38] I was just sort of watching your energy there. As you were sharing, we’re connected to – just looking – we’re connected to the group, as you were sharing it just then.
Marcus [22:46] I was. I absolutely was because this has made a huge difference in my life.
Mark [22:53] It’s like – in that iceberg theory, it’s like you’ve got cellular memory of it in there. And it’s was beautiful to watch that connection. Just moving the conversation forward a little bit to connect to the ‘All That Is’. The ‘All That Is’ could be whatever it is to you. Your God, your Buddha nature out in the Himalayas. Sometimes there are a lot of guys when I’m trying to describe the space of – ‘Soul Mindfulness of Being,’ it’s the ‘Aha Moments,’ the moments – that is the serenity in Bonny Doon or at ‘the back of the boat.’ Can you describe your connection to your ‘back of the boat’ experiences, or I mucking around a bit but do you know what I mean?
Connecting to your ‘All That Is’
Marcus [23:45] Yeah, I do. I think what’s coming to mind is that and then share with me If I’m on the right track here. But that conversation even that we were having as recently as just before Christmas. I was telling you that – it’s like for me there’s this sense that there’s – the water. And on top of the water, let’s say you are out in the open sea, there could be huge waves. And even if you’re in a very sturdy vessel, that waves are going to be enough to throw that vessel around. But if you get far enough under the surface, of that water, it’s always going to be dead still. It’s just a matter of being able to get deep enough to experience that stillness. And I think that our emotional landscape is a lot like that water landscape. I think that on the surface, so for me, that’s often in my mind. So my mind is very much a surface level tool. It’s logically processing the things that are in front of it. There can be a lot of fear, despair, confusion, anxiety, and concern. Those things exist there, but deeper down than that, there is very still space.
Connecting to the Energetic Space of Stillness
Mark [24:53] What’s that space like?
Marcus [24:57] Well, the two times I felt it (laughter – oh yeah) – I don’t want anyone listening to this to think that I’m a doyen and I can sort of click my fingers and Mr Miyagi style go there. But things like meditation, things like reading spiritual texts, things like being around people who are very still and grounded in spirit. These are all ways to help you get there a bit sooner. Stretching, actually, for me it is a helpful entry point as well. Pray also.
Connection to Nature opens my door to my ‘All That Is’
Mark [25:31] What about nature?
Marcus [25:34] Nature’s massive.
Mark [25:35] Did you just drop in then?
Marcus [25:37] Yeah. My fiancé bought me a fire pit two years ago and every chance I get might only be once every five or six weeks. I’ll just get out there light the fire and sit around the fire. No phones, no music, just the sound of the fire, the smell the fire, looking into the fire. My father and I used to go out fishing a lot. And just being out on the water in the boat, it lapping up against the side of the boat. So nature is huge and camping is a great way to get back to that. I once spent an 18 month season of my life traveling Australia and in a four-cylinder car and a tent. With my dog and my then partner, and that was just 18 months straight of camping. And that was a tremendous reminder of how semi-permanently being in nature can have a huge impact on you.
Connecting to Cellular Memory in the Present Moment
Mark [26:39] As you’re sharing it with me now. Are you dropping into it – as you are sharing the memory? And as you’re dropping in sharing the memory with me, how do you anchor into that each and every day? And could that be one of the processes to – for us to stop, connect, check-in there? And just let it flow into our being?
Marcus [27:09] Yeah. Look, it’s, for me – just jump back a question. One question ago it was about – what does it feel like? It’s stillness and it’s calm. It’s slower, and it’s a lot more peaceful. And there’s a surety and there’s a certainty, but it’s much grounded, it’s not ‘hypee’ certainty. It’s just very grounded. Very gently resonant. And I think cultivating it each day goes back to what we’re talking about earlier. I don’t know any other way, other than making sure you prepare your week, many, many weeks in advance. Because if you leave the preparation of your week to say the week before, they’ll already be things booked in.. There will already be commitments that you’ve got and responsibility. And you’ll spend a lot of time putting out fires and you just won’t get to do what needs to be done for you to find that place for yourself. So for me, preparation is – it’s everything when it comes to this stuff.
Connecting to my Gentle Stillness Within
Mark [28:15] When you’re in the gentle stillness, can you describe what happens to your mental health and your emotional health when you there?
Marcus [28:26] For me, my mind races, and it’s almost like, it oftentimes goes running off ahead of me. And when I’m in that space, everything just slows down – everything slows down. And mentally, there’s a lot less fog and things are clearer and understanding comes more readily and acceptance as well.
Embodying my Inner Stillness
Mark [28:57] Do you come into your body?
Marcus [29:01] I think – I was gonna say, you need too. But like, yeah, I think that’s a huge part of it, through breath.
Mark [29:10] And as you come into your body, you are coming into the heart of yourself?
Connecting to my Inner Wisdom in Heartfelt Stillness
Marcus [29:16] Yeah, that – the depth below the surface of the water that we’re talking about before. Through breath, though stillness, through everything organically slowing down. The wisdom in many cases is there. But there’s a lot clouding it. And there’s a lot that gets in the road.
Mark [29:40] The racy intellectual mind. And it’s just beautiful to watch you. I was going ask the question when you’re there. What’s your flow state like?
Connecting to my Flow-State ~ Equanimity of Flow
Marcus [29:54] My flow state?
Marcus [29:58] Can you share an insight into your flow-state?
Mark [30:01] I just watching your energy.
Mark [30:04] It’s like, when I’m in there – nothing matters. It’s just – the flow is just – it’s one of equanimity. It’s just smooth, it’s just free and easy. It’s free. It’s peaceful. I was sort of use the acronym – a bit odd but it’s for me – it’s ‘Peace of Heart ~ Peace of Mind’ because when I’m in my body, deep in the depth of my heart. You’re right, that wisdom is there. And the mind slows down and there’s a tranquillity. It’s like a gift. And yeah, it’s unfortunate that sometimes we have to come to work but it’s how do we bring it into our workplaces? How do we bring it with us? Share it with each other. That’s the connection. Yeah.
What do we seed & thread in our Flow-State?
Marcus [31:06] Yep. Tonight actually, I’m going to the movies – there’s a seven o’clock documentary on. Actually I follow this guy religiously and I’ve gone blank on his last name but his first name is Allen. And one quote to come out of the preview of the documentary was – the only enlightenment found sitting on a mountain top is that which was carried up there. And it is kind of interesting notion as to what we’re talking about. It’s always going to come down to your ability to seed and thread this stuff into your day to day life through purpose – through ritual.
Mark [31:47] And when we do – my belief is it clears our mental health. It clears our emotional health and enriches our connection to Self, Others and ‘All That Is’. And what a great gift we can do for humankind and Mother Earth by learning to get there.
Mother Earth herself a Living Creature
Marcus [32:07] Yeah, I mean, and here’s the trippy thing that I was introduced to a while ago, which made sense to me immediately upon hearing it, but I just never given it any thought. You know, Mother Earth herself is a living creature. And there can be so much assurance in the day-to-day. You can – if you’re getting up and giving a speech, this is one of the things I teach one of my trainings. But for anyone out there listening and you’re nervous, if you’re in any environment and you’re nervous, remembering the fact that Mother Earth herself is living creature. And just choosing to experience the feeling of your feet. And you will feel them in a much more potent way the normal as soon as you shift your focus there. And then almost shifting the weight into your feet and almost kind of routing, screwing yourself into the ground. The amount of assurance that you will feel physically will have you feeling physically so certain. Then that certainty will then assist you with your tone and your word choices in every other part of that interaction. I can’t remember what prompted that though.
Advice for Other Men
Mark [33:06] It doesn’t matter, let’s go with the flow where it’s going and in just being mindful of time. What advice? I know there are probably hundreds of pieces of advice, but what important piece of material would you like other men to experience and to observe – to make the changes that you’ve made in your life? What would that piece of advice be?
Marcus [33:36] Made and making because it’s such an ongoing – always unfolding thing. The first thing I would just say, if you’re a man out there and you’re listening to this, and you feel that you’re a heart space person. If you’ve always kind of felt that there’s a lot of warmth about you, that there’s a lot of just kindness and good intentions and well meaningness about you. And if you’ve been finding living life hard and frustrating because you haven’t been able to see where that gentle strength fits into the world. And you’ve always felt a bit weird and a bit strange and a bit kind of on the outer. I just want you to know that there are tonnes of men out there like you. Absolutely stacks, you just haven’t met them yet. And so perhaps you can get in touch with Mark and myself or whoever, and we can connect you with men like that. And you’d only have to be around men like that for a short period of time. And any sense of I’m weird or odd will diminish. It’ll diminish so quickly, that certainly was my experience.
Appreciate your Heartfelt Connection
Mark [34:40] And Marcus I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank you for your heartfelt connection. We met through Geelong Chamber of Commerce meeting and yes, a wonderful connection. I’ve really appreciated that heartfelt connection that you’ve shared with me.
Marcus [34:57] You’re welcome. And again, thanks heaps for having me and I’ve enjoyed all of our conversations, this one included.
Mark [35:02] Alright mate, I look forward to future conversations. Well done.
Marcus [35:07] Thanks, mate.
Transcribed by https://otter