Understood

Ep.3 | Mitch's recent mental breakdown, Covid, Black Lives Matter, being an ethical man

July 08, 2020 Mitch Wallis
Understood
Ep.3 | Mitch's recent mental breakdown, Covid, Black Lives Matter, being an ethical man
Chapters
Understood
Ep.3 | Mitch's recent mental breakdown, Covid, Black Lives Matter, being an ethical man
Jul 08, 2020
Mitch Wallis

In this episode we cover:
- Mitch's mental breakdown that took him out completely and what he learned from the experience
- What lies at the heart of "covid anxiety"
- Black lives matter and how we can play a more active role in driving the movement forward
- How to find the balance between "creepy" and "cute" in the modern era amidst so many sex scandals

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we cover:
- Mitch's mental breakdown that took him out completely and what he learned from the experience
- What lies at the heart of "covid anxiety"
- Black lives matter and how we can play a more active role in driving the movement forward
- How to find the balance between "creepy" and "cute" in the modern era amidst so many sex scandals

Hello, welcome back, you beautiful animals. It's Mitch here, your podcast host. And we are doing this again. In fact, the first two episodes are recorded. We're kind of pilot episodes me just sitting in my apartment saying if I wanted to do this, knowing that it was my expressive outlet. And this is really the first one that I've sat back and been like, we're doing this. So it's official. And I recorded the first two episodes a couple months ago, actually. So I've been sitting on them for a while. Hence why I didn't comment on a lot of the recent stuff that's been happening in the world. And now that there's been so much happening, it's time to look back at that stuff. But I'm super pumped for this really, really, really excited. And I think my mic levels are already too high. So I'm gonna turn that back down. Actually, that's a good way to start this, about, like getting stuff done. And just like going after what you want, this podcast has been something, as I said, I've been thinking about. And to be honest, the process of getting to this moment has already gotten way too much airtime. But I'll keep talking about it. Because I think some of you can relate to wanting to do something, and then sitting on it and sitting on it and sitting on it, and it never happening. And this is one of those things. Like for example today, I was like, You know what, first week of July, even though I'm really busy with all the other things that I'm doing, I'm picking this back up. And I'm going to record the final episode that I need to put so that I can watch podcast because I want to launch with three to five episodes. And today, it's a Monday, I'm so tired, I really couldn't be bothered on my I'll just do it tomorrow or next week. And I know I promised myself this is the day that I would do it. So when booked a studio, in the studio set up for the first time, things were going wrong, the lighting cable wouldn't reach the socket outlet. Then my recorder ran out of batteries had to go down to the local shop, buy some batteries come back. And just as I was about to sit down and like kick off, and I'm like, okay, I finally got here. I realised you know, the little iPhone had Jacks that pop in and convert like an auxiliary cable, I need one of them in order to play voicemails from the phone, the q&a voicemails, and that tiny little fucker was missing. So yeah, I got all the way here. And still, it's not fully ready. And that's the beauty of this is that you just got to show up, and you got to start putting stuff out there. There's a million reasons why things don't go well. And I think it's more and expecting that there's gonna be bumps versus waiting for the exact right time. And so here I am not fully prepped, without the equipment that I need, give it a go, because I said I would. And I'm really, really excited to do so. All right, what has been happening so much to catch up on so much I want to talk about not least of which that in March, march 20. In fact, I turned 30 years old. And that's a big deal for me. And that, you know, made me contemplate and think about a lot of things. Obviously, it's not old. But for me, it gave me pause to look back on on my life and how far I've come in a lot of ways, particularly mentally. And that was cool. That was really cool. It also made me get super focused on where I want to be moving forward. And I kind of where I've landed on I've written out my one year plan and my five year plan. And I'm on track for all of that. In fact, I had like what I'm calling Mitch 3.0 Renaissance, which is a whole bunch of stuff that I wanted to just upgrade and get ready for the next decade, whether it be I chopped my hair off from really long, too short, I have started a new diet, which I'll talk about soon. And just gave myself all these things that I've been thinking about for ages that I wanted to set up and give myself a good foundation to coming into this new era. On the business front. I wanted a certain amount of things to be ready with hiring, getting my team ready and all that stuff. So yeah, I feel like a lot of that's now set in stone. And I'm really happy about that. What the next five years holds I'm really excited for I mean, I think it's going to be the most volatile, volatile and a good way is in least amount of constants in My life, if all goes to plan 30 to 35, for me is grow, thrive and flourish. You know, it's taken me up until 26. All of my corporate life was spent in marketing at Microsoft. And then as, as you probably know, shifted gears overnight boom, woke up, my life was now full time mental health. And the last three years has just been fighting tooth and nail to have credibility in that space and build a sustainable business. And now businesses and organisations and social media and everything that I needed to do to literally one ID pivot my life. And I feel like a lot of that groundwork is now set. And I just want to see it, I want to see me and it reach its full capacity. In the next little while, I see myself potentially living overseas, again, not as in permanently relocating, because Australia and Sydney will always be home base. And I learned that lesson after I spent a couple years in Seattle, working for Microsoft. And I know now that this is home. But I would like to spend, you know, a few months of the year in LA and New York, I even was walking along the beach the other night listening to my favourite author of all time, Tim Ferriss with his book tools of Titans. And one of his guests had talked about vagabonding and the concept of just working remotely, which of course, isn't a new concept. And lots lots of people do that. But I've never been one to, for that to appeal to me. Because I often get anxious when I travel, which is one of the things I posted about previously. I wish I could be normal. You know, so many people look forward to holidays going away for months and months on end Europe or whatever. And, for me, I find that really hard because I'm a fan of routine structure and control and I can feel a bit depersonalised in new environments. Now, that's gotten better with age. And it's gotten better with a lot of work, mental work and therapy, something that used to hold a lot of shame to me. But now I feel like I'm almost in a place where I'm so stable internally. And I'm so passionate now about my job, and that I've set it up in such a way that I can work from anywhere. And COVID has has even enforced that for a lot of people I know. So I'm like, why don't I travel the world for a year and work from lots of different cities. And I don't know, I just feel the next five are gonna be my most supercharged yet. I think everything that's happened to me today, whether it's work, personal, mental health, or otherwise has been leading me to this point, and I am fucking ready to roll. And I'm excited. You know, it also brings up other things and vulnerabilities around like dating. I've been. I've been single pretty much since heart on my sleeve launched three years ago, I've been dating obviously, in the meantime, I haven't been celibate for the last three years. But I haven't had a proper girlfriend. I almost got into a relationship earlier this year, with an amazing girl. And we dated for a couple months. She's actually someone a previous we used to date when I was younger, like, five, seven years ago, we reconnected and we started kind of ramping into this new relationship. Out of the blue, something I wasn't expecting either was she we rekindled things and I was like, wow, I'm ready to I'm ready to do this, I think and I want to I want to give this a shot even though it's been years and I've been wedded to my purpose and my calling. And after a couple months, she kind of pulled me aside one day and we're on the beach I remember and she's like a you don't have room for me. You don't have space. And she was right. She was right. I I didn't have a lot to give mainly because during that time, I had a massive mental breakdown, which I'll talk about today as well. But with heart on my sleeve and there's three other initiatives I'm working on what 10 if if you close everything and I don't know she she wanted more. Fair enough. And she wanted more from me more energy more time. I'm actually quite a even though I'm a very loving person, you might get a gist of that through my social media. I'm very, I communicate directly and fluidly and everything, but I'm actually a bit semi distant, slightly distant in romantic relationships. I find that hard to be fully affectionate. Most of the time. There are exceptions to that. And I haven't worked out if that's just who I am in my attachment. I've done a lot of work on my attachment style, but whether I'm a bit more reserved for a lot of women that I've seen so far, that can be really hard because you're like, Well, why don't you love me and I'm like, Well, I do love you. I'm expressing it in different ways through gestures through words, blah, blah, blah. But I'm not overly touchy feely and all that type of thing. And I think that that is partly true, that's my attachment style has been slightly slightly distant, mixed with the fact that maybe I just haven't found the right person, or I just physically don't have the mental energy right now. Could be all three. But I can see an end in sight, I can see, the last three years of work will start to normalise and become very workable. in about three to six months time, all the processes will be set up, people product is now tested and all that stuff. And I can see coming down a few gears and getting into cruise control being a very realistic thing. And I think in that time, I might have more space for things like relationships that I part of me really misses and really wants that. And another part of me, he's really happy with the space to roll around into go after my passions completely untethered. And of course, the right person will only enable that. But I'm very, very particular around who I lead in really close. And I really want to find someone who makes me better. I was not planning on going into a deep dive of girls and all that stuff. But I think it is why I got here is because just kind of teeing up how we got into this chair right now is from a lot of shit going on delaying the podcast, here I am. And talking about the fact that I turned 30 and that I am excited for the next five years, and it's gonna be full of change and a lot of movement. And I don't know what that holds in some areas where it's beneficial in most but in some like, wanting to find a partner or whatever. Who knows, who knows, but I'm sure they'll all work out and I am in absolutely no rush on that side of things. But I am I'm feeling the most alive I've ever felt the most charged, the most ready, the most capable, the most humbled the most loved. And it's awesome, man. It's awesome. I yeah, beyond grateful every single day. And may the journey continue. So I did turn 30. But what also happened is a couple months ago, I had a massive breakdown, similar to the breakdown in the past that caused me to start hard on my sleeve. And it was a pretty epic proportions. And it really, really, really scared me. Did I see it coming? In some ways, yes. And in other ways, no. So coming into Christmas last year, so 2019 I had my foot on the gas, trying to make this startup and heart on my sleeve, thrive and prosper and be sustainable and it's so much work. And I said to the Board of my company, a half the down gear by Christmas because we've had such a big year. We just got into corporate training programmes and all this stuff. And I thought that would happen. But then we on boarded a whole bunch of new clients and February came around. And I ended up leading something like it was ridiculous, seven, eight hour workshops in seven days and then another five or six that month. And all the prep for that whilst also running everything else and just living life outside of that. And I honestly thought I could do that. And my body shut down. It was toward mid March leading up to my birthday that I started to feel off. And this is also the exact same time with this with this relationship. My ex girlfriend we started to date again. off and on. And I started to feel like I had less and less space like everything was demanding my attention and energy. And my OCD started to ramp and my depersonalization started to ramp and I'm like this isn't unfamiliar. You know, there are days and weeks where things get worse. And maybe this is just some of that. And so I kind of ignored it and kept putting my foot on the accelerator. And it was the night I was going to my 30th birthday dinner, which was only very small considering COVID was on. I was feeling really weird. And I thought that was just spiritually I was coming into a new chapter, but that's when I was like, something's not right. And then, a few days after that, I found myself totally, totally anxious, like at a 10 waking up with a beating heart, which has not happened in years. And quite frankly, I didn't think would ever happen again. After my last breakdown. And I was starting to really worry, I was like, Well, how have I got here What's going on? And my, my mind just started kind of unravelling. And this went on for a few days and and I remember was really bad because I was going for a run. And I started crying. And I I wanted life just to stop. It wasn't necessarily suicidal, fantasy. It probably actually was to be honest, I, those thoughts started to creep back into my mind. And I was like, Whoa, how did I get here? How am I back here. And I felt so disheartened, so alone. So broken, I'm like, I'm the mental health guide like this shits all supposed to be behind me. And I ended up I got a kitten around that time as well, which was another thing, another net new thing. And another thing that requires a lot of energy, a lot of outbound energy. And like before I was like I've done this, I can do it again, like whatever I need to do, I'll just get it done. And so about a week after my birthday, I'm at home, mom was scheduled to come around and see my kitten named Mike in my apartment. And she came over, and I was just sitting on the couch, like shaking. And then I just exploded in tears. And I was like, Mom, please don't let me go back there. Please, I can't go back there. I can't go back to what I was. And she just helped me I was like a little boy just like wrapped in a shoulder like, please make it stop. Please don't let me go back there crying. And I could tell her heart hurts so much for me knowing that I had driven myself into the ground. And I was scared. I was so scared and I was confused. There's no way I could end up back here. So we and there's no one in the world. As you get to know me more. There's no one in the world I there's nothing in the world I love like my mom. She has She's the reason I'm alive literally physically, but the absolute rock, the Lighthouse of my life that whenever everything has turned upside down. She's the one thing I can hold on to. And I've used that for my income my whole life to get through. And yet again, she looked me in the eyes and she's like, you're in it right now. This will pass I promise. And that sturdiness, that strength, and just that shore headedness. I was like, I believed that it was hard, because I genuinely didn't know. I was like, I don't know, I think I'm I think I'm, I've lost it again. And she's like, we've got this. You've got this. This is a heart we've hit another bump. We will get through this. So we packed my bags that day. I literally threw everything into a bag and we went round to my mom's place. And I had to my step dad's allergic to cats. And so I ended up giving my I went round to my dad's and I dropped off spaghetti, my kitten to my dad's place so he could mine who just lives around the road. And I see my dad just very frequently. But part of handing spaghetti over to my dad was like, this massive sense of failure. It's like Dude, you can't even fucking handle a kid and you're 30 years old. You're having a hand your son over for someone to raise him because you've fallen apart. You know, you're weak piece of shit. And that was hard. That was really hard. And so I got back to my parents I unpacked and I spent a few days there where I literally pulled the plug on everything on, on work on social media on everything I possibly could on alcohol, coffee, whatever. I was just like, back to basics, not even just to get better, but just to like reduce the swelling so that I could actually start to be like, what the fuck has just happened or what's going on? My parents, my family, my little sister, everyone, they rallied around me. They supported me. They let me go through my motions. I had no energy, no mood, no, I didn't want to be social, nothing. They were patient with me. They didn't make me wrong. They didn't need anything from me. They just said do you rebuild. And I'm an introvert at the best of times. And I need a lot of space. They gave me that space. But they also gave me that affection, this incredible balancing act. The first few days, nothing changed, really. And I started to worry even more, but at least I was in the safety and comfort of my family home. My ego didn't want to stop. I wanted to keep working. I want to keep pushing. And COVID started to ramp up. And literally end of March beginning of April, at least in Australia is where COVID really started to ramp. Which is the start I was like is this just COVID like have I hit a wall because social distancing was in effect, and life kind of just turned off in an instant, which now a few months in seems fairly normal. But at the time when it first happened, I don't know if you guys remember, but it was like really abrupt and really confronting. And I was like maybe I'm just maybe I'm more affected by it than I thought. But I think COVID was actually just the the thing that stopped and slowed down my life for half a second long enough to be like, I am on my way to burning these pistons to the ground. It was it had actually, in retrospect, been the best thing that could have happened not the worst thing. At the time. I was like, This is the worst thing. Not only do I feel shit, but I don't have my social coping skills or both. But it actually was the slowdown that I needed to force myself to be like, Dude, look in the mirror, look how fast you are running. You're not even leading by example. And having self care practices like you preach every day in workshops, and on social media and all this stuff. You're not walking the walk. And COVID gave me the time to slow down without having FOMO without needing to explain why I'm not out and about and smiling and social. And for me, and I know it's been super hard for a lot of people. But for me, it was actually a blessing in disguise because it gave me a few weeks to heal and to stop. And it did it took a few weeks I would say it took two weeks before I started to even feel slightly better. And two weeks is a long time because every single hour within that two weeks go feels like an eternity when you're feeling that in the redzone. But I stayed patient and I had people around me like my parents like my dad like my mom like my stepdad like my two best mates, who would constantly remind me this will pass. I know it feels all consuming right now you will get through this even when I was like, No, you're wrong. They held the faith. And you know what I equate that, that break down to a few months ago was like pulling a hamstring in my brain. I had literally pushed that muscle so hard that it tore. Now in previous breakdowns that have happened since I was like seven years old where I would go up and down and then have a really bad downfall. It had nothing to do with normal things like work and all that stuff. It was completely from what I can see absolutely no triggers where I would just get derailed. That fucking sucks. And that is the absolute worst when there's no triggers because it makes it harder to navigate and get insight to where it's at least this time, even though I doubted it at the start and all my OCD was kicking in saying didn't know this is happening. This is happening. This is happening. And you're so much more fucked than you think that after I after the inflammation went down, I could look back and be like, no, this was like an actual brain injury. This was this is burnout. And this is pushing too hard for too long. And I had a couple of really deep sessions with my therapist where we worked on a few things one was energy regulation. I cannot give out the amount that I was in and and do without the balanced amount of inflow which for me often means alone time saying no. And energy inflow outflow led to that kind of second theme that we uncovered, which was that my boundaries were quite poor. I was saying yes to way too many things. And I noticed that even micro boundaries were off. Like, for example, if I'm alone with someone, and I'm in a recharge mode, like, for example, I'm watching Telly, either with a partner or a family member, or whatever, I really, really, really struggled. If someone wants to talk to me while I'm watching a TV show. Now, for most people, that seems utterly ridiculous, fair. It sounds ridiculous to me. I had no idea how much these little things were chipping away at my soul and my energy until I stopped and look back. I'm someone who, when I turn the car off, I don't mean idle, I need to turn it off completely. I need to stop thoughts and thinking and anything like that. And this small pleasantries, even the small exchanges of feeling like you need to show face. And like talk that is still keeping I'm way more on than a lot of people in those moments. And, you know, and he was like, why don't you ask someone next to you, if they're talking to you while you're watching Telly, if that's something that you need, why don't you state your needs? Why don't you say, Hey, I really like to watch Telly just quietly at the moment. And I'm like, because that's rude. Like no one does that. And he's like, why? And he's like, that doesn't sound rude. That sounds like you're actually being under involved. They're not using your boundaries, enough to tell others how to interact with you to be sustainable. And I, you know, that was a huge eye opener for me, because I was like, Well, so, so many things in society. And in life, I take in as a certain way, because it's been done for a long time. For example, you don't tell someone that something that they said annoyed you or frustrated or offended you because you don't want to seem dramatic or hard work or rude. But often, when set in the right way, it's those types of conversations that may be awkward, it's at the start for a little bit, that actually allow things to build and flourish over the longer term. And it's actually not rude, there's actually nothing wrong with stating your boundaries in the right way or your needs in the right way. And I had him I got schooled man, by by my therapist in the tiniest boundary, like how to someone for what you need when watching Telly after a long day that you need to fully turn off the keys. And that that's not a rude thing. That's okay, all the way through to macro boundaries, which is you're letting your work encroach on every area of your life and you have no separation. And you're not saying no to anyone for interviews, and blah, blah, blah. So this full spectrum of micro and macro boundaries, I was letting slip and I was like, Okay, I need to prioritise myself and give myself what I need in every area. And I need to be more strict and strong about that. And I have been over the last few months, not just with my work hours, but my commitments in saying no in, in having tiny little momentary interactions where I state my needs, even if it's awkward or uncomfortable, and I feel rude, I've learned to do that in a in the right way. And it's really worked those tiny little boundaries, those those those energy regulation elements, having that alone time when I really need it, and sitting with the FOMO that might come up not getting that post on not getting that plan done. But sitting with that anxiety. In fact, I I have a few things written on it. Whenever I'm doing really bad, I write the key things on my mirror that I need to focus on. One set boundaries, the other said, slow down, the other one said, anxiety over absolute. So I challenge myself, every time I had a decision where I would feel anxious unless I did something because it was unfinished or unresolved or not enough. I had to sit in that anxiety versus hit the accelerator and solve it to make that anxiety go away because my brain could not kept getting hit by that accelerator. So it was anxiety of absolute. Yes, slow down. I went back I usually have my five core in five core insights that I went back to which is around prioritisation and asking for help and a whole bunch of other stuff. I can share exactly what they are in the shownotes. But it was a lesson man, those the last few months have been a lesson a lesson in I got to practice what I preach. I got to have boundaries. I got to slow down. This is a marathon not a sprint. I gotta check my own ego. I got a I got to trust relationships that I can be who I want to be in state what I need and That not fall over. I got to trust that the right opportunities will be there, even if I can't act on them now because prioritising myself will result in a better long term gain. Man those learnings around gratitude around people in my life again, like, Fuck, man, my Scrum, my Scrum of people. I'd say words can't even describe how much they mean to me. I mean, none of this would exist. You technically, if you ever get value from me, go thank them. Because they're the ones who are supporting. And it goes beyond them. Like, honestly, the amount of I did a bit of a post on Instagram, just saying, I've been quiet for a while because I'm not doing well. And the amount of people who messaged me saying you've got this, I believe in you, you've helped me so much. Like I read almost all of them. And they helped and like, it really meant so much. So much to have the energy from you guys, like you absolutely carried me when when I couldn't carry myself and I thank you. And I want to keep showing up for you in the right way. As much as I can. You know, it also reminded me as well like it, it really committed me to this mission. I mean, you don't get any more committed than me to the mission of mental health. Trust me, but it really fueled the fire even though I didn't think that was possible. You know, I've devoted my whole life to this stuff, but I was like them, I am fucking so all in. Because I was reminded just how dark it can be. I was reminded just how painful it can get and further motivated, that I want to help as many people as I can not go through that, or get through it quicker. Because looking back on it now, I was thinking that I'd failed by falling. But actually, it wasn't for that to fail at all. In fact, I'm okay to continue to fall and it happened again, in the future. It was the same pothole as what I'd fallen into previously my life, but I didn't fall nearly as deep for nearly as long. And I think that's the metric of success. How deep and how quick, you can get out of it, not whether you fell down in the first place. Will I fall again? Probably, I mean, fuck, hopefully not. But I'm ready. And the things that matter was my bounce back. And I really like on this plan that I made on this work back plan, which was like get out of this funk and get healthy again, I went back to basics, and I created these the most amazing self care plan, which I can unpack in future episodes as well. A bit more around exactly what I did. But I went back to basics people actions mindsets, and rewrote my entire daily routine, my morning routine, my lunchtime routine, my night routine. And I was hitting discipline every day. And I said June 30. June 30 was my magic day. So is the beginning of April till June 30. I went hard at this plan. And it's now first week of July. And it definitely paid off. Definitely work. My brain feels back to normal, I feel back to normal. And that was the hardest part I think about what I was going through in that March, April time is that I did not feel myself. And I can't talk about this too much because it'll trigger me but when I get when I get like that I get depersonalised and everything just feels kind of off. Everything from watching someone work walk down the street to just my general thinking it just the world has a certain awfulness, and it's fucking horrible. And I know when I'm feeling like that. I'm not feeling myself. I'm not feeling in my body. I'm not feeling clear and stable. I'm like war. Gotta Listen, man. Got to listen to those signs. And, yeah, I think I think I covered what I wanted to about that. But yeah, that's why as well, there was such a big break in between filming the episodes of this podcast, because I got two in the, in the can and then I was like, Alright, third one. And that's when things started to unravel. And I'm like, I need to put this on pause. So if anything, congratulate me in not going hard on the podcast, even when I could have and I took time for me. What else COVID I mean, I so wanted to jump on and talk about this a while ago when it was in its peak, because it's very different now. But I think the biggest thing that has been the did get people at the start, when it really ramped up was the feeling of being out of control and the feeling of uncertainty. It wasn't so much one thing in particular, it was that there's a problem. And I'm I don't have access to my usual coping tools to get through this problem. Like, for example, I can't go and meet or speak with the people that I would I can't go run like, I usually wouldn't go to the gym to let off steam. I have the kids at home 24 seven, I'm trying to parent from her mom's work from home, my job security is lacking. my finances are under pressure. I don't know when I'll be able to travel or have a holiday. So many moving parts. And it was that ambiguity. I think that was the hardest part about all of COVID sitting in the lack of control and the uncertainty of what, what is this? And what does this look like? And when's it gonna end. Now as we have way more data, and we're a few months into it, and particularly in Australia, at least we are coming through. And our restrictions have a significantly although we're getting a second wave in Victoria, that hopefully will be contained. There's a new fear, which is the reintegration, what is going back to the new new look like a lot of people liked once they adopted this new way of COVID, being from home having more time with family bonding with family, friends, etc, etc. A lot of people didn't like it, they missed their routine, they felt cabin sick with all the people who are hanging out with you know, constantly, constantly constantly. And then missed the interaction in the workplace, whatever that is, so that everyone is going to be coming at this reintegration from different aspects. Some people are going to be loving it, some people are going to be hiding it and there's going to be everything in between. And I think the biggest thing from from me that advice I would give is, we're very adaptable. we've adapted once we will adapt again. So trust yourself in your ability to adapt to the new, not the new new norm, whatever that is gonna look like. Don't, don't be too fearful of the unknown, because you've already conquered one massive unknown, you we will together conquer it again. The other thing is, is that I think rebuilding this, this new norm is going to be more empowered and more flexible than ever before, because we have more choice. Now we've proven a lot of things through COVID around flexibility. And I think now, if we've learned from this, we will pick the best of the old way and the best of the new way and create the new new. The thing is, is that when you're forced to work in an office, you don't like it when you're forced to work from home like during COVID, you don't like it, the biggest thing people want is choice. So if we can make choice of principle in this new year, so we can have the best of both worlds in as many ways as possible and as many domains as possible. I think that that is going to be a really good thing for how we move forward through COVID. Getting the best of all worlds. And I'm sure many of you listening to this now have, over the last few months learnt a lot about yourself a lot about what's important a lot about what you want for the future. And you're going to take that with you into the new norm. Now, how long does the new norm last? What does it look like? Who knows but staying present? And keeping a mindset of gratitude is going to be really key over the next few weeks and months as we reintegrate, but we will reintegrate A lot of people say that things change forever now, you know, it's gonna be like this indefinitely and blah, blah, blah. I do believe a lot of things have changed indefinitely. But I don't believe things have changed indefinitely. I think things are gonna go back to pretty much like how they were just better in a lot of aspects. And it's going to take time and I'm sure it'll be slower than what we liked, but I do believe we will get back to a better than a civilised normal than what we had before. And hit the hotline obviously not this episode because I forgot my I pod thingy. But if you do have specific concerns or questions around reintegration, I'd be super curious to know what they are. And leave some comments around the things that's bothering you most around reintegration post COVID and I'll discuss them. Black Lives Matter movement has also been a massive thing. Over the last few weeks and months. This was a really hard one for me. I mean God Let me rephrase that way harder for the BI community than it was, was or ever will be. For me, I should say. It was challenging for my own personal in my own personal ways, for very different reasons, in that, at the start when George Floyd was tragically murdered, I had no idea what to think. And I had many, many, many epiphanies at the start, I was like. And, by the way, I've interviewed someone, one of my dear friends, Purvis Taylor, which we'll be featuring on the next episode as my first guest on the podcast, because I do want to get get guests in from time to time to offer their expert opinion. He's a celebrity life coach and amazing guy who lives in New York. And I explore this in detail. So I won't get into it too much right now, because I cover a lot of my thoughts in that episode. But essentially, what struck me was that I genuinely didn't think racism still existed to the extent that it does today. And I had to be schooled hard. And it was weird and uncomfortable and awkward. But one thing I kept is my true north is, I'm desperately curious to want to know more. And when I reached out to some friends of colour around the time of that happened, I was like, hey, do you think this is racism? Or is it just police brutality? Does racism still exist? How have you experienced racism, because I just, I really haven't. If at all experienced black racism, I don't think in my entire life, but I've never seen it on the street when I lived in America or Australia. I haven't explicitly seen it happening. I know that there's systemic racism, which is not okay. At all. I mean, none of this is okay. But I'd never seen it, like street racism. And so because the conversation had extended too far beyond imprisonment and police into we have a large cultural issue. I, I found myself on the side of not understanding which meant, which is a massive red flag for me, which means I need to get informed. So I read and I read, and I read, and I interviewed, and I watched movies and documentaries, and did so much research on social media and seeing what, what people were saying. And I became so much more informed around the narrative of the black community. And one of the biggest take out to me is that I think the black community really want to feel heard, and understood and justified in their pain. And I just don't feel like they have got that we kind of keep going toward it, and then something will happen. And when you look at the the slavery narrative, the incarceration narrative, the minor drug, offence, narrative, the, all that stuff, there is such a heavy blanket still weighing on that culture that hasn't fully been reconciled and healed. And that's what we're seeing through the looting, and through the protests, and through everything else. And one of the positives I've taken out of this incredibly hard situation is how many people are not okay with taking what happened previously anymore, as in so many voices, so many voices, and as well, so many actions. And that's the part that I'm liking. You know, you can anyone can post on social, which I definitely think is great. But the hard part is then taking action. And I think that being you know, conscious in business to to hire equally equal opportunity and business to hire and making sure that you're not looking at people differently on the street and not you're not, you know, if you're not approaching them because of their skin colour, you need to check yourself for inherent bias and all that stuff. I think it's been an amazing our modern society has given an amazing opportunity for things not to just be the way that they have been anymore. And that's awesome. Now, I know this is a very political thing, and I don't want to go too far toward it. But for me, equality is always just the baseline standard that we have to get to and understanding and care Curiosity, keeping a mindset of curiosity through that time has been a really important part of of me taking steps forward and being able to be more involved and be a black advocate, and an ambassador and an ally. So if you're struggling with any of this, I would just ask yourself, How do I be more curious? How do I find out? How do I get into their lives more? Instead of thinking I know, or I have an opinion on without ever being curious, because that is the definition of white privilege. Which is an amazing term that, man, as I started to learn more, I was like, things are just inherently harder for the black community. And that includes our own backyard in the Aboriginal community. It's just harder. Little things are just harder and those little hardships just way up and up and up. It's just like permanently being on a handicap and that's not fucking okay. And I'm so glad that we're all doing something to chain to question our inherent biases. And to not stay silent and to do more. It was difficult though, man, like I had one very close black friend of mine actually have a gold me because in the early stages, I wasn't posting. Because I was confused. And I needed to work it out. And I was scrambling to be like, Yo, I don't understand all this. And for me, I'm such a passionate person, you find me in the right direction, I will go go go, I'll be your biggest ally. And of course, Black Lives Matter. Like, again, to me, it was just like, dude, 100%? Like, does anyone not? Does anyone really not believe that in this day and age? So I took a bait just to be like, how is this still a message that we're protesting? Like, I thought this was, you know, and so that was what made me question and understand, I need to do some research here. And I had, I had some black, a black friend in particular, inbox me and say, you should, in a roundabout way You should be ashamed of yourself, for for posting about things that are happening in your life, like being at lunch and not posting about this. And that hit me hard. And I think Shame, shame is a necessary tactic occasionally to, to get people to change. And, you know, for example, in the mental health space, it's important that people realise that they're not doing enough to show up for people. And sometimes confronting that shame is a really healthy process. But I felt, I felt like my intention wasn't understood. And we both weren't being understood. And of course, in the heat of all this, there's volatility, and I was just like, Damn, like, why are you wasting your energy on may go off to the people that are really racist. And I'm doing the opposite. I'm just taking my time to learn. So I can say with authenticity, and realness, everything that I believe so that when I get countered, or when someone tries to oppose the messages, I'm putting out like a white person, I can say, Actually, he, he, he, he and he and I didn't have enough data. I didn't have enough facts. I didn't have enough anecdotal stories at the start to do that. So I felt really misunderstood. But regardless, it was just a high heated time and still kind of is. And so I want anyone out there of colour who's listening to this, to know that my intent is to understand you to see you to be your ally to advocate for you. And people, hopefully, that are white, have the right intent. They might not just be going about it in a way that everyone else is. That is not an excuse to do nothing and white people. We do not have an excuse just to sit back. We have to get educated, we have to do more. We have to want to learn more. We have to get curious. Please take your commitment and action to do that. And I hope the purpose tailor episode provides some insight to helping people on that journey. What time we're about 15 minutes. Another thing I wanted to talk about today, this is a weird one and thank you for allowing me to to explore this a bit more. So my favourite comedian is a guy called crystal Leah. Along with another guy called Theo von, they would be my two favourite comedians and I love comedy man. I absolutely love it. In fact, like if you were to stop me at any point in the day where I wasn't at work, and I was just walking along the street, you would probably find me with air pods in my ears, listening to the congratulations podcast by Chris delayer. Or this past weekend by Theo von. When you listen to someone, like a podcast for days, weeks, months and years like I have, they start to weirdly become part of your life. Like you start to really know them. You start to understand You can almost guess what they're gonna say next in a sentence, you know, their family, you know, their likes and dislikes, their tone of voice like a weirdly become part of your inner circle. And I think that's why technology and social media and podcasting in particular is such an amazing medium because it's so intimate, you really, really get to know someone. So the last couple years, Crystal layer in particular has been just a very big part of my life because of listening to his podcast and his stand up and yeah, it's not he's someone I've looked up to someone I found hilarious. Potter, I can see a lot of some of my personality and his sense of humour or essence, you humans are similar. And it it rocked me to my core last week, when I found out that he had allegations of sexual misconduct, basically overnight. I woke up thinking about a week ago, a week or two ago, and in the press was this article, Crystal Leah, is baiting underage girls. And I was like, What in the fuck. And I looked through the article. And I couldn't believe what I was seeing this, these two girls in particular had come out and said that crystal Leah tried to solicit under age, sex from them when they were 16. And he was in his mid 30s, while he was touring the country on a on a comedy tour. He he apparently solicited underage sex from someone who was 16. He was sexually texting aggressively a lot of people apparently, and then like lots and lots and lots of women came forward. And who knows there was some fake stuff in there. That has since been, he hasn't really released a statement on it. But he's said that this isn't this was not true or made up? Or did they left out parts where he actually asked their age, a couple text messages later and then bailed. Once he found out they were young. There were other allegations that he'd exposed himself to a hotel worker, there were allegations like he asked a girl through Instagram or Twitter to like, go and give these made a blow job. Just predatorial type behaviour. And that, that cracked me for so many reasons, but not least of which because this I had all this guy looked up to who is the last person I think we do that type of thing. did that. And I was just like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, it just yeah, it just rattled me. It shook me. It shook me that he would, considering he just did not come across as that type of person. And it shook me that I just really hope they're not true. He actually hasn't released a statement as to whether it's true or not that whether he did that or not. And it's been a couple of weeks. So he's obviously just laying low. So I guess all you can really do is assume innocent until proven guilty, hopefully. I mean, it's not looking good for him. And another thing that outstanding me is that like literally his career is I would imagine over I could not that is the most the biggest nightmare ever. I could not imagine like, he's a million times more influential than me. And I couldn't imagine working for the next 20 years on this career in mental health, building your trust, every second of every minute day hour, pouring my heart and soul into this career. And then literally overnight, gone. Gone, the grieving would be unfair, infallible, unfathomable. I could not imagine what he's feeling. Now granted, if he has done something illegal or or wrong, then he deserves it. But if he has done something, not necessarily illegal, or unethical, but has learned or grown, or whatever that is, or maybe he's done none of it, and they're just allegations that haven't yet been proven. Who knows, but just the fact that your career can be taken from you so quickly is so fucking scary. So scary. And he loved comedy, he loved it, it was his life. And it's kind of good in a way that someone's career can be taken from them like that, if they do something wrong, because then there's stakes on the line. And that wasn't the case for so long. It's really only recently where that's become a thing where people are being called out and it's like, see the fuck lighter dude. And I love that because it holds people to a higher moral standard. And you don't take your power for granted. You earn it and you respect it and and you and people trust you and you live up to that trust. I love that meet you here man, my biggest fear would be for this all to come over. And for those that are new to this podcast that aren't following me on social media, you don't really know me enough, but you will get to know me. So this question is gonna sound really weird out of context, question or statement, one of my reflections was and this is kind of part of my OCD playing into this because it can make things up and attack more your moral code, and build these little insecurities that aren't real. And it's this isn't real. I've scraped my brain, wall to wall, but it actually made me think Have I ever done something to someone to a girl and made them feel? sexually uncomfortable? I've come up with absolutely nothing. So it should be I'd be absolutely mortified if I had. Now, have there been times in my life where maybe as a teenager, I've been drunk and you lean in for a kiss when you shouldn't have or something like that. But the moment like I'm so petrified of being a creep or knowing when, when a girl is like, no. Which very rarely happens not as in like, girls don't tell me no, of course they do. As in like, a girl being like, I'm uncomfortable now. God, fuck if, if I even had that feeling, I'd probably vomit because it's just so fucking wrong. Like, I'm petrified of ever banging them. But I, I almost like put out on Instagram of Paul where I was like, have I ever heard you girls? If I've ever dated you or kiss, you're hooked up with you or we've slept together? I want to know Have I done anything wrong? Because Fuck, I want to know that shit. So I can reconcile and make amends with it. I'm not the type of guy which obviously he may have been if this is true. Who's doing this shit like wanting to get away with it? You know, texting girls and like flirting with them and sleeping with them through Instagram and touring. I don't see anything wrong with that the thing that I see wrong is a that he's soliciting some that someone that's under age in the legal age in America is 18 in Australia at 16. But anyone in their mid teens is not cool. If you're in your mid 30s be aggressively shaming someone if they don't want to be sexual is so fucking wrong. And see just is like general nature around like, you know, asking to suck a friend off and stuff like that is just wrong. Anyway. So I was like, tempted I was, I thought to myself, how do I find out if I've ever even been on the fucking same stratosphere have this so that I can say I'm sorry, on make amends. And my my brain started playing tricks on me. They're like, Oh, you've, you've done that. And I'm like, No, I haven't. No, I haven't like there hasn't been a time but it it genuinely does make you question yourself, like the me to movement and all the Harvey Weinstein stuff I'm now way more scared to act naturally around someone that I usually would. And you also it's not good for a guy to be petrified, the complete other way. Because one of the things about guys, I think one of our good qualities when it's used correctly is that you are passionate and you pursue and you know, it's your job to court a woman and you know, that's great. And I love that and I think and I hope most girls like that too. They like to be worked for and some of this stuff with the Weinstein and now the delay stuff who's like my fucking one, my idols, it's just I don't want to spin so far to the other side where you don't want to approach girls or you don't want to be somewhat, you know, sexual in the right containers. Obviously, if you're dating someone or seeing someone and it's consensual because that part's part of being masculine and or just in a relationship and going after what you want. The other end of it being creepy and giving people hassling people and being unwarranted and, and being non consensual. That's so fucked up as well. Like, as guys, we need to lead. We need men who are ready to lead by example lead from the front and role model what it's like to have healthy behaviour with women. And I want women I want to be your ally in this. I want to try and find that middle which is never creepy, but never too passive five that call is legit if I have ever ever ever harmed or offended you beyond like, you know us our ex girlfriend, like what you know, why didn't it work? I mean like legitimately let me know DM me Tell me and hopefully that's no one Jesus Christ hopefully. But what I mean by that is is that I'm committed every day to being the best person I can can in every facet. Women I have a tattoo of Have the Divine Feminine on my arm because of how important the female figure my mother, my sisters, my grandmother has been in my life and I want to be a champion for women. By the way, dudes, if you're listening to this being like, Oh, this guy's just saying this shit so you can look, I'm not fucking doing it for that reason at all. I'm doing it because I believe in it. In fact, I went to Byron Bay last week for a business meeting, which was a great trip, by the way. And the day that I got there. I put my stuff in my Airbnb and I walked out the front. And I was like, Man, I'm starving. I just driven like five hours up the coast. And I put my bags down, walked out the front walk down the street, about 6pm at night on a Wednesday and I'm like, I want to go get some dinner. And I walk past this shop that was on this corner Street and some girls drove by and like yelled something I didn't quite hear what the three dudes on the side of the road and they start yelling out fucking slot fucking gang. Fucking bar. And I stopped. Now I looked in I said, Guys don't say that shit. Like, don't call women fucking Slaton gang is like what the fuck did you say come here and say your little prick like fight and it was honestly moments away from a massive brawl, there was three of them. And one of me I would have got slammed. And for a millisecond I was like, Alright, I'm gonna do this I want to stand up for what I believe in. But then my rational brain kicked in and went Dude, you're about to get flawed. And it's you're going to be seriously injured. You got to walk away and I did walk away and I walked away angry because I didn't want to feel like they can get away with saying that type of shit. You just can't go go slots and gangsters and treat people like that. And I want to continue to be an advocate for that type of stuff. Because it's fucking important to me. And I want to be a guy that can embody masculine dominance, pursuing passion that side but also know exactly when is the right time to pull back when it's not wanted, when it's not appropriate when the boundary isn't Okay, you know, I hope that I am 100% on it every fucking minute of every day on that. And I want you to know that I'm committed to that. And if I ever get it wrong, I'm fucking learning and I will change it immediately. which hopefully I never need to, but I'm all in anyway. Someone just walked past my podcast studio and said that the time's up. So time is up. There's still a million things I want to talk to you about but thankfully for us, we have a long healthy happy relationship together that I will continue to give you my thoughts and get to know you guys at the same time. So that is it for today. Yeah, I'm stoked about this please. rate and review the podcast please subscribe. Please tell your friends about it. Please help me build momentum for it because I want to have a chat with as many people as I possibly can. More q&a episodes coming up more guest episodes coming up and more fun stuff coming up. Be good to yourselves. One day at a time. We got this Speak to you soon.