Starting The Conversation – International Men’s Day

English: Symbol of the International Men's Day...
Symbol of the International Men’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November 19 is International Men’s Day. The aim of which is to highlight mens social and health issues, focusing on improving gender issues and gender equality and highlighting positive male role models. It is a time for men to celebrate themselves and their achievements.

One of the most well-known events surrounding International Men’s day is Movember – where men grow a moustache for the month of November – designed to highlight and bring awareness to mens health issues and in particular prostate cancer.

Yesterday a group of men held and presented an International Men’s Day Conference in Brisbane hosted by Real Media Real Change. The focus of the day was “Starting The Conversation” on men’s health and men’s issues, with presenters from the medical field, universities, education and from all walks of life. Sharing one common goal to bring awareness to the current situation of mens health, depression, suicide rates and to ask men to begin to open up and start asking why the current state of affairs is why it is.

Well I think it would be fair to say that the Conversation is well and truly started. The presenters and the audience were able to honestly share their stories, messages and questions that opened up a dialogue on how it is for  men to be raised in a society that asks them to be tough, strong and hard where if a boy is anything other than this he is consider weak, a cissy, gay or called a girl. This crushes the sensitive and naturally tender boy and tells him to stop being who he is. And those who don’t turn away from themselves and their natural loveliness get beaten up, teased and hounded everyday at school. Society asks boys/men to compete and rewards them for their achievements. This creates friction, competition, anxiety and an inability to really express and freely deal with and open up to how they are feeling. How crushing to not be loved for who you are but what you can do, how tough you are, how good at sport or academic you can be. Is it any wonder so many men turn to alcohol, drugs or sex to deal with and medicate their lives.

Thankfully the conversation is started, as the presenters shared with the utmost honesty and unreservedness how it is for men. The statistics are showing us that depression will soon be our number one illness and our next generation’s life expectancy will be shorter than ours and young men are suiciding every day – yet it is hardly ever reported in the media – and our boys are being educated in a system that rewards them on what they ‘do’ without seeing them for who they are.

This would all be well and good if this way of raising boys was working but the statistics and the aggression or despair in men is showing that it definitely is not.

Statistics tell us that in Australia alone:

  • Suicide is the HIGHEST CAUSE of death for young men (2008).
  • Suicide accounts for 1 in 5 deaths in men aged between 25 and 44 (2008).
  • Men are twice as likely as women to have substance abuse problems.
  • 1 in 2 Australian men will have cancer by the time they are 85.
  • At any one time, 1 in 8 men are experiencing clinical depression.
  • Over half of all Australian men have experienced some sort of mental health condition during their lifetime.
  • 16% of all men NEVER visit the doctor.
  • 1 in 2 men overweight, and 1 in 4 men are obese.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 men who are obese do not recognise that they have a health problem.
  • 1 in 3 men over the age of 40 will have a reproductive health problem.
  • 1 in 2 men have reported to be a victim of violence at least once in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 3 men at any one time are living with live a chronic health condition.

Is it possible to START THE CONVERSATION? The conversation about what’s really going on?

The answer is most adamantly yes.

The incredible men that spoke and presented at the RMRC conference showed as living examples that despite growing up in a society that asked them to be hard and tough that they could and have turned their lives around by connecting to the real man inside that they are. With, and displaying, a  level honesty, sensitivity and tenderness not often witnessed beyond a man holding his baby, these men were willing to come out from behind their brick wall and open up to the loveliness they are and is inside feels true and natural and share that with the audience and in their lives.

It was clear to see that many were deeply touched by what was presented and were ready themselves to start chipping away at their hardened exterior and begin the conversation and start to be open to how they feel and communicating what is happening for them in their lives.

So do we let our men and boys continue on this perpetual merry-go-round and become yet another health statistic or do we start talking, communicating and allow men to open up to their loved ones, partner, family and friends, the doctor about what it is be to be a man and how this affects who they are.

When we are open to discussing our issues without fear of judgement or rejection this can be freeing and healing. Often when dealing with our issues we get to see they are not as consuming and as all dominating as we think they are.

It is time to “Start the Conversation”, to make changes in our own lives, to be responsible for our health and how we raise our boys and how we can parent ourselves to be the role models that say its ok to be tender, sensitive, loving and gentle as after all that is who we are all naturally are.

The time has come for everyone to start the conversation and support our fathers, brothers, male friends and colleagues and all of humanity to open up from behind their defences and just be who they are.


Dr Rachel Hall Speaks

Dr. Rachel Hall, BChD

Dr. Rachel Hall, BChD 17th February 2013 (55 mins)

To play the interview, Dr Rachel Hall

To download the interview click this link, Dr Rachel Hall Interview

Rachel’s dental practice is located in Kenmore, a suburb of Brisbane. In this interview we find out how to care for our teeth from gentle brushing techniques to our diet. We also discuss the more controversial dental topics like amalgam removal, fluoride and root canals. As the principal of her dental practice, we also get a glimpse into her role as a business owner, including how and why she is going green in her office. To find out more about her practice in Brisbane, check out her website at Evolve Dental.

Rachel is also an active writer so you can find out more about her and her philosophy at her personal blog Musing from a Student of Life.

Dr. Hall has contributed numerous articles on dental health and general well being on the eEzines website. Just put her name in the search box on this site.

And for you food lovers check out her recipes on the Heal Yourself with Food blog. All the recipes on this site are yummy but to find Rachel’s, put her name in the search field.


Apocalypse Now Here’s a Revelation!

So the World didn’t go up in a puff of smoke, explode, disintegrate or end on December 21st 2012 as hyped and predicted by those in the so called know.
Oh stupid Mayans, how could they get it so wrong? So much for being some sort of super intelligent civilisation who could predict the future. We are still here, very much alive and going about business as usual.

Contemplate for one moment though that the Mayans were actually very accurate with their prediction and perhaps the reason the World didn’t end is not because they Mayans got it wrong but because we have reinterpreted what the Mayans meant by the word “apocalypse”.

Time for some linguistics and word derivations:
Apocalypse comes from the Greek apocálypsis, meaning uncovering or literally – disclosure of knowledge that was hidden from humanity in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception. This is also termed lifting of the veil or revelation.
Thus simply put Apocalypse means Revelation or Enlightenment.

The Ancient Civilisations possessed enormous knowledge, wisdom and powers. Its irrefutable, just take a look at the pyramids and ancient superstructures and explain how they were constructed with only simple tools and manpower alone. But I digress….

It was known by the ancients that this power could be misused and cause great harm to mankind. And so the wisdom was passed down to a select few via hidden meanings in ancient texts and religious scriptures. This scared knowledge was possessed by the likes of Galileo, Da Vinci, Newton and many many more; but was kept hidden from society under a code of silence and the use of symbolism and metaphors that only a mind and heart capable of aligning to the wisdom could unravel and understand.

The ‘End of the world’ or apocalypse, literally means to uncover or to reveal that which is hidden and is a metaphor used by the Ancients to symbolise the end of the darkness.

Every religion mentions the End of Time and the coming of a New Era, bringing with it a period of enlightenment where mankind would come to immense knowledge and wisdom. An Era when the veils would be lifted and we would realise that there is so much more to us than this physical form.

The Mayans weren’t telling us the World would end, they were predicting the end of the darkness and the beginning of a new way for humanity.
But it is WE who have failed to grasp the real meaning of the predictions as throughout history words have been bastardised to keep us from their real meaning, not by those who possessed the wisdom but those who did not want us to have it.

Obviously the predicted upheaval and destruction of the Earth was a damp squib, a none event and will be seen by many as media hype and somewhat of a joke as our interpretation of events was misguided. And once again many in humanity will miss the truth of what could be.

Yet we have lived to see a new dawn.
And now the question is will we live to see a new way, a way that allows us to see who we really are, a way that fosters our inner wisdom, a way that embraces the New Era of Light as predicted by the great wisdom of the Ancients, a wisdom that comes from the heart, a wisdom that resides equally in everyone.

The End of the World as We Know It

OK so it’s December 21st 2012 or so called Doomsday. The Apocalypse is coming…… Or is it? According to the people who have tried to interpret the Mayan calendar the World is supposed to end sometime today. Well it’s early morning (around 3am) here in Australia and so far so good. Am I worried, have I got my survival kit to hand just in case? Erm to be frank, NO. I’m that confident that the end of the World is not nigh I even have a hair appointment booked this evening.

What if, what the Mayan’s predicted wasn’t the end of the World but the end of the World as WE know it? What if they were talking the end of an Era, a shift in energy, the end of one cycle and the start of another?
It is highly possible as astrologically every 2,600 years or so the Earth shifts its position in the cosmos entering a new zodiacal sign. Now, to clarify, I’m not talking horoscopes here, I’m discussing astronomy and the position of the Earth in relationship to the stars and other planets.

It is my understanding that the Earth has moved into Aquarius, the carrier of water. In many cultures, both ancient and modern, water symbolises consciousness. It is my feeling that what the Mayan’s showed with their calendar ending today is a prediction for a shift in energy, consciousness and a new way of being for humanity, should we choose it.

A shift that focuses on living from the heart and our inner feelings not only the intellect. A shift that embraces Love as our natural way of being. A shift that embraces all humans as equal, as one.

A shift that reawakens us to know that we are truly GLORY-ous.

If THAT is the End of the World …… then bring IT on!

How Would Life Be?

From the education system to the media, the fashion industry, religion and politics, it seems to me that in life a few people control the masses and say this is the way to be and this is the way to think if you want to fit in to society.

But what if the way society is living is not it?

What if there was another way?

What if our lives were simpler and were about what we are like on the inside and not what we look like on the outer?

What about if we measured another’s worth on how loving and naturally caring they are instead of their ability to recall a piece of information or pass a test?

Why champion outer ‘beauty’ over the beauty within?

Why champion the intellect over love?

How would life be if we let people be who they are and express from how they feel and not from what they are told to think?

A Well Oiled Machine


Machine à vapeur Merlin

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the Prime Minister and her senior MPs address the public.

I sat in amazement as Julia Gillard and her MPs walked in and were greeted like rock stars by an obviously very pro Labour crowd. I then watched fascinated as Ms Gillard never missed a beat, she never ummed, ahhd or ermed once, she had the crowd in the palm of her hand and was even at times quite playful.

Her answers and those of her ministers were very well rehearsed, playing to the crowd and creating as much rah rah as possible. It was like watching an incredibly well oiled machine in action.

It was apparent as Julia choose people from the audience to ask a question that it was a very stage managed event set up to make the PM and her ministers look good, patting themselves on the back for all their achievements and never passing on the chance to dig at the opposition when it arose.

Having never been to anything like this before I had no idea of the game, plan, tactics or strategies at play and didn’t even have a question or comment prepared. I am not politically affiliated but thought it would be interesting to see if they would choose me or if they had already pre handpicked members of the audience to “randomly” go to.

I sat with my hand in the air with my heart beating out of my chest, boy I was anxious but didn’t really know why. And then Julia picked one last person for the evening, strangely I felt relieved that I didn’t have to stand up in front of the crowd.

I went with no expectations, I know the world is not going to change over night but I never underestimate the power of the ripple effect and that of the voice of the common man.

We, the people, the electorate, may not be a well oiled machine but each time we speak honestly and from our hearts about what is needed to support and better a community we can be better prepared……

and that together with love makes us a formidable combination.

When It Gets Personal

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Cyber-bullying: My Personal Experience

Recently I have witnessed and experienced the effects of cyber-bullying, trolling, online vitriol and hate speak on a personal level. I have have watched some close friends get misrepresented, bad-mouthed, criticised, derided, smeared, intimidated and defamed online and in the National mainstream media. I have become caught up in this by association because I have chosen over the years to attend presentations and workshops to assist with my personal development, spiritual growth and self-healing.

Because I have chosen to attend healing courses run by Universal Medicine my reputation, my good name and character and my professional integrity have been and are being dragged through the mud.

I have been personally labelled a follower in the newspaper, told I am a member of a cult and become a victim of cyber-bullying, hate speak, trolling and online defamation. I have been accused of being part of a recruitment cartel for a cult and doing this under my professional status. These people do not know me and are making wild accusations and assumptions about me that are disturbing and designed to harm my professional status.

All of these allegations could not be further from the truth and I am appalled and outraged that such lies, rumours and gossip mongering has been allowed to happen not only to me but to Universal Medicine and all those associated with them.

There are web forums and blog sites actively targeting, defaming and attempting to discredit and ruin the reputation of myself, other health care professionals, doctors, dentists and businesses simply because people choose of their free will to attend workshops, listen to an audio presentation or read a book. These forums and sites are run by a small number of people who appear to be disgruntled with what Universal Medicine presents and the choices people are making to live more lovingly.

These people (who I may or may not know) are acting as cowards and bullies hiding behind anonymity, fake names and pseudonyms because perhaps deep down they know what they are doing is immoral, outrageous and wrong.

Cyber-bullies get away with it because the law and Government policy has not caught up to where society is at. They get away with it under the dark veil of not having to provide proper verification of their identity when setting up sites and thus are difficult to trace and bring to task.

It is disgraceful that this style of bullying, name calling and wild accusations can and are allowed to happen; as if it were going on in a school or work place it simply would not be tolerated. There is something dramatically wrong with the policies and laws of this land when they are set up to protect an anonymous abuser over an upstanding, innocent, professional member of society. The status quo needs to change and quickly.