My Values Were My Heart Connection
[0:00] Welcome to the heart connection podcast. I’m your host, Mark Randall. And it’s lovely to have you onboard tonight to have a conversation about how you connect to yourself, others and all that is. By way of the introduction would you mind giving some background of yourself?
[0:30] My story, it’s, it’s a long one, obviously, I’m 46 these days and I spent 20 years growing up in a garden centre. It was a gradual process where I started as a gardener and handyman and ended up owning or had a part share in the business. So, quite a transformation through a number of years. It got to a point where I started to get really connected with my own values. And that’s where that first sense of heart connection really came from.
Shared “Aha Moment” Synchronized with my Wife
It really started to stand out for me that, where I was going didn’t really suit the job I was doing and the partnership I had. What came out of that was my wife, Loretta was on a similar journey and having similar sort of “aha” moments. And I saw that it was time for a change.
Grounding and Reconnection to Simple Things In Life
So we sold our share and took some time off. Took the time, and had a really nice time brewing beer, baking bread, getting into the garden and growing some fantastic veggies and really connecting to me again. I had really after that time at the garden centre, had become the guy from the garden center and not really who I was. In a sense, it was those expectations around who I was in that role. How I would be and what sort of behaviour I would exhibit. I spent that time after that rediscovering myself.
[2:29] What was it like to reconnect yourself?
[2:35] It was a pretty special time. A lot of it was spent gardening, really getting my hands in the soil and connecting to the simple aspects of life. That was the really nice part of it and at this time I was in solitude in my backyard. Without having to go away. It was a really nice space to be and to let my thoughts just go and wonder and become creative again.
[3:17] When you connect yourself you pointed to your heart, your hand was over your heart. The values you described. What happens to you when you do get in contact with your heart? What or whatever that is for you?
Heart Decision Becomes the Driver
[3:33] I think of it (heart) and almost can’t help touching my heart at that point. I enjoy my closeness to it. When I’m really connected to something that I value I can feel that swelling in my chest. It is something that then becomes the driver, rather than a mental decision. There is definitely a heart connection to what I’m wanting, or what I’m going towards, or staying away from potentially.
[4:20] Do you listen to your heart?
[4:23] Yeah, I do.
My Heart Just Knows
[4:28] When you listen to your heart, is there a deep inner guidance that mind doesn’t like listening to?
[4:36] Yeah, there is and can be quite a battle between head and heart. The head creates a lot of self-doubts, I find for myself. If I spend too long in the head thinking about something, then that’s when the turbulence starts to come about. If I really connect, to something presented to me, I go to the heart space first, then I’ll often have the decision in an instant and just ‘know’.
Men Lost and Hiding In Our Roles
[5:15] In conversations with men, what is it that’s blocking or preventing us men connecting more from the heart?
[5:25] I think part of it comes from and I’ll talk about my journey and this is what I’ve come to about what blocks us men. I spoke about the time in the garden centre where I was what other people expected I should be. I think often guys, it’s about the shirt or a logo that we’re in. There is the Dad or the Husband and men, we are all these other things a long time before we are even ourselves. They spend so little time as, that person. There is this fear of not knowing who that is. So the blockage is sometimes a lack of vocab around sometimes what’s happening in the heart. As I put my hand back there (heart) and to explain what’s coming up.
We are taught Not Too Experience Heart Vulnerability
[6:36] As men I wonder if we are taught not to connect to our Hearts. The Heart can be a space of felt emotions. The Heart Charkra is known as the emotional centre at a feeling level or felt sense. As men, we started as emotional being and about 5/6 years old has the social conditioning it has taught us to suppress emotions? As such we have learned not to articulate those felt feelings.
[7:11] Yeah, I think so. There’s that aspect of heart and also the throat shutting down as well. The throat chakra is a large part of it. We were told to be quiet (been seen not heard) or not say anything. We are seeing the models from our fathers and grandfathers of quiet and men who don’t say anything. So that provides a model of the throat chakra not being opened and my father and grandfather were great examples of this.
Men’s Emotional Vulnerability Mellows With Age
I could see this as they were getting older. A lot of emotion would rise at the chest and nothing was happening at the throat. The eyes would well up with emotion as it had to come out somewhere. It would come out in the eyes. So it was really an amazing example of how men from their upbringing and how life was back in the generations before us, just didn’t talk about stuff.
Our Sensitivity is Vulnerable (e.g., fear)
[8:32] I wonder whether deep down the more we need to connect at a heart level, do we need to connect to sensitivity as men? Is there a fear of connecting to that sensitivity because the sensitivity can be a vulnerability – it’s like the underbelly of The Lion King so to speak and we can’t show that?
[8:50] Exactly, I think this is like we don’t know what there. We fear what we don’t know. We fear what we can’t explain. That carries on through a lot of areas of life to where if we don’t know what it is, there is a fear about what might be uncovered. I think that fear is a central aspect to why guys either can’t or don’t open up, don’t want to share, don’t want to explore.
Different Interpretations of similar body feeling sensation
[9:27] I’m wondering then, does that then stop them from connecting to themselves and others?
[9:36] Yeah I think it does. You and I are having a conversation and it’s through this conversation we can explore feelings start to describe them create some of your own vocabulary about it. There is the comparison between excitement and nervousness as it sits in very similar spaces in the in the body (e.g., the stomach) and we might have two kids are being bought up by two different families feel exactly the same thing but interpreted in different ways.
Excitement or Nervousness
One family, describes the stomach feeling as excitement and go off to the sports game feeling really excited. The other family same feeling comes up in the child feeling a bit funny in the tummy, you must be nervous and that’s okay, that’s really normal. And so they get off the sports game and two kids arrived feeling totally different about what it’s going on in a tummy from what I’ve been told.
So as guys in our conversation we get to explore, when I say this, my heart actually beats faster and my palms get bit sweaty. Maybe it is a bit nervous. What do you think it is? We can start to explore what those sensations that we feel, when something’s is coming up. Rather than giving it a name straightaway, we can actually explore what the sensations are. We can tune to the sensations in your body experience what it is telling us.
[11:34] What’s it’s like in your body when you connect to your heart? How does your body resonate in that space?
My Body Resonates with Heart Connection
[11:46] My voice gets deeper. For a start, there is a really that strong connection to the throat as well. I do feel a swelling in my chest. I have, like we’ve already talked, my hand spends a lot of time in that space, right on my chest. I really longing for an enjoyment of that connection and touch. There is also a sense of, being grounded as well. There is this grounding connection, that this feels really good, really right at the same time.
Heart Connection Brings Peace, Clarity, and Strength
[12:27] Is it clear, a freedom, a peace in there or strengthen in there – what would you describe it?
[12:36] Yeah, I’d say there’s definitely some peace and clarity that I get. It is a connection to strength and courage as well. So that, like courage and conviction from that there is the knowledge that the heart really strong in this. I can I feel a lot of conviction or feel the courage to take action.
[13:06] Is there much energy when you’re in that strength of conviction? Could you describe it as a powerful energy?
[13:14] Yeah, definitely.
Powerful Energy In and From My Being
[13:15] How does that energy come out? How does it come out of you being? How do you know that coming out of being? Do you feel it coming out of your being?
[13:24] I’m doing well, right now because I am sitting down. Usually, I’m up and around. I’m actually up and walking around. It’s like I am almost prowling which is a good metaphor for that motion. I sort of feel that the welling up, even now as we talk about it like really wanting to go into that energy. It’s really lovely.
[13:45 ] Is the prowling, wanting to give it out? Share it?
[13:50] Yeah, And this and it doesn’t necessarily have to be vocal. It’s like my presence. What I really like about it, is there’s that really supportive protective presence that this brings to the people around me.
Loving Kindness in the Presence
[14:10] Is there a loving kindness in that presence?
[14:12] Yeah, definitely.
[14:13] Just curious as to sharing and watching you – I’m just wondering, can you describe what happens in your mind when you’re in that presence? What do you notice happens in the mind? Where does your mind go?
[14:29] My mind is not thinking. There’s not – I’m thinking now because I am thinking about it. Yeah, it was really interesting. But when I was describing it, and I was actually just feeling into the energy in the body and when I’m in that state of the heart and that strength and readiness it just feels right.
Peace of Heart ~ Peace of Mind
[15:01] I sometimes think I really weird that as a society – I always say lately for me, it’s “Peace of Heart and Peace of Mind.” I sort of do the societal reverse. When I have peace in there, it’s at a felt level and the mind it seems to follow suit. I’ve asked the question, you know, what happens to our mental health, you know, what happens to our sadness, what happens to our depression, what happens to our anger when we do connect to that heart level?
Using Our 7 Chakra Centres
[15:40] When we are closed off in the heart, or in the throat as I’ve talked about, everything stays in the head and we just process everything in the head. Actually really healthy processing we can actually bring it out of the head and connect to the different aspects of our body. We’ve got we’ve got seven different chakras in our body we can we can use to connect with all these thoughts that are going on so we can use them chakras in the sense in the areas of the body as a fantastic way to filter all these thoughts to see whether it’s something we can just let go for some we get to process or something we can share with somebody else.
Keeping it In The Head and Learned from Our Modelling
When we keep everything in our head because as I said earlier and maybe because that’s we can have a model to us. It is not necessarily it is a learned thing but modeled. This is how you process life guys, you do it in your head and you make it go round and round and then, at some stage, you’ll probably fall over and think what is going on? So if we can allow it to come down, it allows us to let go. It really does allow that rumble tumble of something’s going on in their head to start to quieten. That’s where you talk about a quiet heart and the quiet mind which we start moving towards.
The Deeper Depths Ground Me In A Tree Trunk of Power
[17:20] When you come into the depths, are you connecting to more than yourself?
[17:31] Yeah, I take the guys to do a really great grounding exercise and essentially end of it they feel like beautiful Eucalyptus. With really beautiful big root systems, really strong trunks but soft tops that can wave and move around in the wind. I feel that. If I’m connecting to my whole body I’m feeling beautiful and grounded and deeply attached to the earth. So I have that sense that they’re not going anywhere in a hurry. I’ve got this softness and lightness, so if my wife wants to lean on me and she can feel the strength there and lean on me and I can take her weight and there’s no – I’m not pushing back, I don’t need to lean back on her to hold myself up.
Masculine Spirit Energy & Just Be
[18:36] Could that be described as like a masculine spirit, the true masculine spirit. I think women do need you to know or they want the strength of that masculinity not in an abusive way but in a loving powerful one. What’s that like for you to be in there too?
[19:07] It’s a really interesting space because, like this, the headspace is going you’ve got to drive towards something, you’ve got to fix something, you’ve got to make something happen, you’ve got to be all these things but if you start from that grounded space where your kids, your wife, your partner can lean on you for support and knowing.
All you have to do is be able to stand there and take that. Just be. What they’re looking for is that connection that you give them, that strength that is, you just being there. Gives them space to then to create what they want or correct what they want or then see and feel what want.
The “Aha Moments Of Awe ~ ‘Being In Wonder’
[20:12] Does it go deeper than that for you? We talked earlier about the “Aha moments” It’s like when you are really in that space where do you go what there, what comes up for Matt?
[20:30] It’s really quiet and gentle. I spend a lot of time walking on the beach and if I am on my own I’ll listen to a podcast. Often I’ll walk along and pick up a shell or piece of glass and just enjoy and be. A friend of mine calls it “being in wonder” and in that space where I can I can just be like me and I think that from that space, the world is out there in front of me.
The Ego Dissolves in ‘Being In Wonder’
[21:15] I was just curious when you talk to what your friends are being in that wonder and I was wondering whether the sense of self, the sense of the “Ï” the “Me,” the “Matt” dissolves in the wonder and it just becomes the “One” of the wonder?
[21:32] I think does. It is like you’re a part of something bigger and you’re a small as you are. You are still you’re an integral part of it, a very special part of this whole and being awake to that.
Men Awakening and Accepting Without The Need to Prove
[21:58] If more men become aware to that, how do you believe that would change the energy and the vibration of the world and the flow on effect Mother Earth?
[22:12] I think that ability to be our self and not have to prove anything. Like taking out that need to prove something, (e.g., how strong, how fast, like that comparison thing). We already know where that gets us. So taking out that and I’m just being comfortable with who you are, creates a space for them to be accepting.
[22:49] Does that save energy?
[22:53] What happens in your body when you’ve got all that saved energy?
[22:59] You sleep better for a start. Sleep a whole lot better.
[23:04] Do you live better?
Connection Provides deeper Clarity for choices and Decisions
[23:05] Connect better?
[23:08] Connect better, you have more clarity in terms of choices, decisions what you’re noticing around you-you tend to see the people in front of you and a presence to their needs and also the need you have. We all have basic needs and so be able to know what yours are and make requests around them.
[23:42] Those authentic needs to be meet and it’s okay to have the met and it’s how we asked for those needs to be met rather than very aggressive with it which unfortunately part of our conditioning. Its how do we ask for those authentic needs and how do we learn to meet our own needs. Inside us, is that that sensitive side of our self-does not have needs and wants to be loved and wants to be held and a lot of those old childhood issues that keep coming up, they keep coming up out of the rabbit holes and it is how do we make them?
Affirmations Is My Love Language
[24:28] It is understanding what they are such as using the Five Love Languages. A lot of people are very familiar with this book these days. Do people actually know what their (love language) is? Mine is words of affirmation. Sometimes I can go, I don’t need things done for me very much and don’t necessarily need a lot of quality time but I love it if you tell me I’ve done something that you like or I’ve done something really well that really makes my heart sing especially when I’m doing something out of love for you and I can I get a verbal response.
[25:23] If you’re in your heart would .you need that?
[25:32] I think it’s like icing on the cake.
[25:35] I think you’re pretty good mud cake though.
[25:38] Yeah I think so. But I think what that structure of the five languages gives people is that structure to start exploring this with each other. I am not completely evolved yet either so I still have some of these things going around in my head and happy to acknowledge them so I do like getting words of affirmation still.
[26:14] What does your heart do for the stuff that’s going around your head? Does your heart have the ability to nurture and nourish and hold stuff that goes around in your head?
[26:30] It’s like I create a space where you can really sit with it, sit with something and to able to go inside myself. To talk about being comfortable by breathing it out in front of me from a heart centred space and then analyse it. From here we can throw around different combinations or permutations – wow okay why is that coming up? Why is that thought process here now? I haven’t thought about that in a long time or wow I haven’t behaved like that in years, what’s gone on there?
[27:17] Is it wanting healing?
[27:23] I think that in acknowledgment, yeah possibly Is. I think we always know where it’s come from and all that we have to come from this point and dredging up past it’s gone. Having an understanding of it then it really doesn’t matter why It’s come up. It is there and maybe we get to ask it what is it here for? What is it serving us? How is it serving us? What messages and got for us?
[27:54] What does it need?
[27:54] What does it need to go on its way.
[28:01] It’s like as you as you start to nourish and it’s long you know, watching you before I was like when you’re deep in there – how much spirit sitting in there and do we need – how do we keep practicing coming back to that spiritual essence of self? It is a practice it’s you know yeah we do have that tumbling mind. I’m wondering whether for men, because they have our conditioning has been such that we’ve turned the heart off at about 5 years old and going up into the mind you know gone up into the rational mind and it keep going around and around and that’s where there’s the use of you know self-medications to just turn it off. How do we help men, what’s the how do we help men reconnect, what’s the process?
[29:06] I think part of it is and allowing them and giving them space and it’s some ways modeling for them that’s okay to just be a space. Life is busy and sometimes there’s quite a brag book around how busy people are. I’ve got this on, I’m taking this child here I’m going to work 60 hours, I’ve got to do this, and then on weekend I doing this, this and this and glad to get the Monday again. To be a model for guys that they can go and just be in the garden or be in the workshop or can have a walk on the beach.
Letting Go of the Alpha Male
[29:53] They don’t have to be the Alpha male, the proving Alpha male?
[29:55] No they don’t have to be busy. If we can even allow, show them, that doesn’t have to be busy that they get to slow down, they get actually have a pause once a week which is for them.
[30:17] I wonder whether their minds if they stopped and just were still, whether their minds would be?
[30:22] Freaking them out. (Laugh out loud). Yeah, I think they’re afraid of it.
[30:29] I imagine we are all afraid of it – depends on you on the scale. Really getting to know just to stop being busy and to keep it simple – that’s that old KISS metaphor (Keep It Simple S) – I don’t like the second “S” of keep it simple – in slowing it down in that sense of boredom that sense of what is going to come up? And how do we how do we provide the spaces for and are there the spaces for men to be able to access to talk about what is coming up in that stillness, in that’s quietness?
Let’s Learn to Sit and Talk Not Beat Our Chests
[31:19] There are. You and I know that, because that’s where space where both in but there few and far between in a sense from a heart-centered space. Like there’s lots of warrior programs out there activities where guys can go out and really work hard and thrashed by PT’s and things of that and do that sort of stuff and go camping and other things and and beat their chests and drive it but not in a space where they can just sit around a fire and have a deep chat and that’s more unique.
[32:05] And it’s also scary yeah and the more we learn to connect with ourselves I’m wondering whether that’s what our partners what the women have been wanting from us man for eons please connect with me. Don’t fix it for me, just be present, lovingly present to me as best you can. We are humans and to stay presence not easy – that takes energy to stay present in that needing to check in on where we’re at and yeah and if my eyes rolling, I’m not in centre. Are there any messages for men around the heart connection that you’d like to put out there to them? To hear?
Being Gentle Is My Message to Other Men
[32:56] I think one aspect is to be gentle with yourself and for the women to be gentle with yourself and be gentle with us. There’s lots of guys who aren’t doing this because they’re afraid and if someone makes a mistake or express something which we’re not happy with, there is some learning curves that are going to happen for everybody and so to be gentle with each other is a key part and because if he can be like that that’s that heart space again.
Having Self-Compassion, Loving-Kindness Accepting Our Mistakes As not Shame
[33:41] Having some self-compassion and self-kindness?
[33:43] Yeah, because we learn from making mistakes. It is our biggest teacher to be able to make a mistake. Unfortunately, in this world, everyone seems to be perfect so it’s really uncomfortable making a mistake.
[33:59] A mistake is not a shame.
[34:00] Mistakes is just another opportunity to learn – there are so many means on the internet about that one but it’s so true.
[34:11] I think if men make mistakes they get self-doubt and critical mind can be quite harsh and so therefore…
[34:20] Yeah, making a mistake is so ingrained in us. Think back to tribal days making a mistake how they when you’re hunting for something could have meant death so it’s so intrinsic the fear of doing something wrong and now if you’re in the concrete jungle make a mistake at some level could mean not having a job anymore so it just transpose from one jungle to another. The home gets to be space of safety and protection for everybody.
[35:06] We always plug and we always charge our phones up when we go home. How do we charge ourselves and our partners in that sanctuary? The tribe used to be the sanctuary but now it’s the home is the sanctuary that front door is that sanctuary. How do we take that time to connect and recharge and that self-care?
[35:32] Matt, thank you for the opportunity to have a conversation with it’s really lovely to put this out there to men. Let’s start the conversation about the heart of connection. Men joking say to me in sessions oh, the heart what’s that? Just beats blood around the body. Metaphorically it’s got a lot of significance to a connection to self, others, and All That Is. Thanks, mate.