Advocating for Indigenous Genius, Indigeneity and Wellbeing

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Guys, hugging it out is a powerful anti-depressant

The Power of a Simple Hug as a Natural Anti-Depressant

There is real biological power in the simple act of a hug. It can melt away the stress from a day. It can lend itself to repairing emotional wounds.

There’s really nothing like the power of a big supportive hug. The body reads a sense of caring in the human touch. When we’re hugged we sense that on a deep level, we are not alone. In some ways it’s a shame that in our relationships with healing professionals hugging is often advised against. There are so many wonderful stories where hugging has been a healing modality.

The Science and Practice of a Hug

In one study published in Nature Communications, researchers injected the hormone Oxytocin in older mice with muscle damage. After nine days, the older mice healed faster than the younger, more strapping, mice. These older mice could repair muscle damage up to 80 percent better than the younger mice.

There is real biological power in the simple act of a hug. It can melt away the stress from a day. It can lend itself to repairing emotional wounds.

A hug has the power to release Oxytocin, which sets us up to feel more balanced and soothed the moment we do it. It can strengthen relationships and lend itself toward forgiveness. If you give a hug to another person until both bodies relax, it also allows you to feel more connected, as now your nervous systems are aligned.

Try: At some point throughout the day, see if there’s someone you can hug. This can be a friend, your partner, a child, or even a pet. If a colleague is open to it, you can try that too. Bring mindfulness to it: Be aware of the sensation of the hug, what emotions are present, and what thoughts arise.

If you there’s a barrier to hugging or you don’t have someone you feel comfortable doing so in the moment, it’s not all lost. Studies show that imagining actions stimulates the same parts of the brain as actually doing them. If you don’t have someone to hug at home, imagine hugging another person, hug yourself, or perhaps set the intention to hug others more often.

The point here is to practice nurturing the release of this natural antidepressant.

You likely know this to be true, but test it out during this time and see what you notice.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories, and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.


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Violence against women and its link with sports – HT @JackHockman

Just when you thought the disrespect from sporting codes for women could get no worse we get the announcement of Floyd Mayweather to tour Australia. He surely is the poster boy for Violence against women a history of violence, that not even incarceration could change his attitude to women. As a boxing fan the shame that he and those grubby promoters behind this tour bring to the sport is beyond belief. At a time when boxing in Australia is on the verge of a new revival led by so many who do the right thing with dedication, hard training and respect for others that we should go down the road of disrespectful charlatans who put themselves before all others is a disgrace. I have e-mailed the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton urging him to not allow this tour to happen and I urge you to do the same. The address is

It is not only boxing that has this type of Issue it is virtually every sporting code and it is time we all played a part in the changing of that attitude. This is not just about respect for women but also about what we want our next generation of men to be by stopping Mayweather coming to Australia is a message that our youth need to see. As I said it is not just boxing it is all codes that must change and that change must start with us the fans following is a few examples and my thoughts of changes that must happen to help end the cycle of violence against women. Sports people should never be the role models, parents should be, however if children observe their parents and society cheering these people who should be pariahs then we will see the cycle continue.
Where to start when looking at other codes would seem obvious with the actions of the NFL this year. Where there were so many cases and different often bewildering responses to domestic violence and other issues. Most would of seen the Ray Rice incident where he knocked his then fiancé now his wife out in an elevator well Ray Rice is free to play again in the NFL after his appeal was upheld. The fact that initially his suspension was only 2 weeks should be the commissioners reason to resign, however this won’t happen as neither he nor the NFL ownership groups have any respect for women, Other than as a revenue source or as trophies for these billionaires and millionaires to display.
All codes have histories of protecting the perpetrators of violence against women and victim blaming at their core. The fact that the worst offenders are also the major codes in their countries or provinces from NFL in the USA, to Association football in many countries, and shamefully, in Australia, the NRL, and AFL. All of these codes have sham Womens days or rounds where they in an attempt to drag more $$$$ into their pockets claim to show respect for women.
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So where does the responsibility lie, with the Judiciary, leagues, broadcasters, sponsors, clubs, players, or in truth the fans. All are culpable in their willingness to defend the star player while trampling on the dignity of all women.
For the Judiciary it should be easy prosecute and sentence when found guilty. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen that way. Fan boy judges have made a mockery of the legal system to such a point that I could not use the term justice system, as for women who have been abused and subjected to violence by players there is no justice.

For the leagues themselves it is time they realized that their continuing to allow those who commit these acts to have the privilege of playing must end. The excuses used to justify these offenders to continue to play would be laughable, but assaulting women is no laughing matter. The parade of players who‘s wives girlfriends withdraw or don’t press charges is endless, and the pressure put on these victims is a disgrace.
The Broadcasters while ever they continue to have a blokes culture and jobs for the boys mentality, the story will remain the same. Watch most shows based around the players and ex-players and if you get ten minutes in without having at least one sexist comment I would be amazed.
The advertisers and sponsors must be made to see that endorsing abuse of women by allowing their corporate brand to be associated with Leagues and teams, who condone this abuse, will eventually leave a stain on their brands too large to ignore.
That clubs in the week that they were endorsing White Ribbon Day were signing or in the throes of wooing offenders to their clubs. This far more than their empty words show the true nature of the clubs opinion of women and where they stand in the game.
The players again so many players made statements on White Ribbon Day of No to Violence against Women. These same players who happily play with offenders, and so quickly anytime that one of their teammates offend leap to his defense, while just as quickly sowing the seeds for victim shaming so that their thug mate walks free.
The fans are perhaps the worst of all, for if the fans stop accepting this behavior from all the preceding groups change will happen. If a Player offends or is happy playing with offenders don’t cheer them. If your club plays offenders don’t buy memberships or merchandise. If advertisers and sponsors are unwilling to make a moral stand don’t buy their products. If broadcasters refuse to change their practices change the channel. If leagues won’t take action simply don’t go to games in particular rep football, where it clearly falls on the league, if they allow offenders to play at that level. The judiciary here to we the fans can make a change, let Governments know that we will not accept sentencing that is of another standard for players. These Judges must be held to account and the only way we can ensure this is through the ballot box if governments don’t act.
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It is clear that all of us are to blame, in some way judges, leagues players, fans and the rest but in all this there is one group not to blame nor should they ever be blamed and that is the Victims.
Say no to Violence Against Women say no to Victim Shaming.

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10 Early Warning Signs of Domestic Violence for Men

10 Early Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship—or headed down that certain path? Trust your instincts. Survivors of domestic violence say that they knew something wasn’t right, but ignored the following patterns of behavior that they later recognized as potential early warning signs that the person they were dating would turn out to be abusers.

Someone who exhibits the behavior outlined below is either abusive or could become so.

• Rages out of control and is impulsive
• Gets angry so easily that you feel like you’re “walking on eggshells”
• Calls you names such as “stupid” or “dumb,” “arsehole”, “wanker” or tells you that you are “crazy”
• Wants to move too quickly into the relationship
• Is excessively jealous and wants to know where you are all of the time
• Takes no responsibility for her behavior and blames others
• Grew up in an abusive or violent home
• Insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family
• Insists that you stop participating in leisure interests
• Hits walls, drive dangerously, or does other things to scare you

National counselling helpline, information and support 24/7 1800RESPECT


#HeyPal is a conversation starter about Men’s Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention. A simple Hey Pal is all it can take.

This has been adapted from “10 Early Warning Signs of Domestic Violence” and you can read more at

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“Men, who created violence against women, are the ones who should end violence against women.” Harry Belafonte

Where are the men? The renowned black activist and artist Harry Belafonte has it right when he says, as he did recently: “Men, who created violence against women, are the ones who should end violence against women.” This is a fundamental prerequisite to our liberation.

From : “Against the Crisis” – Jarrett Martineau


The full series of #ItEndsHere: Confronting the Crisis of Colonial Gender Violence can be found here #ItEndsHere


#WatchListenAsk The Problematising of Men in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Watch. Listen. Ask. The Problematising of Men in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention ©Indigenist

I’ve been working in health and human service provision for a while now. The last three years I’ve been working across the North-West of Australia, the Kimberely. I travelled 35,000km in my first 18 months delivering upstream suicide prevention, conversation and consultation and the Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid.

During my career if there is one thing that bugs me is the problematising of men. It has been so ingrained that “men don’t talk”, most people aren’t even listening. Least of all listen with the intent to understand. Most often they are listening with the intent to reply or to “fix”.

Men account for three out of every five deaths by suicide, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for males.

In Australia, for those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, the suicide rate is 2.5 times higher.

In the UK Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50.

If men aren’t accessing your mental health service and they really should be (see stats above) you’re not doing it right.

You’re a hard to reach service. Period.

It was recently passed onto me the teachings of Davey Lawrence an Aboriginal Elder of the Girramay peoples; “you have to listen to what a person does – not what they say”.

I reckon that’s pretty sound advice.

Here’s what I suggest you do.

Watch men. Watch how they are behaving. See their emotions in their behaviours.

Listen to men. Listen to what they are saying, not what you are wanting or expecting to them to say.

Ask men if things are ok. If you’ve gotten to this step there’s a pretty good chance that something is up. In their response whether it is yes or no, watch and listen to what they say. If they’ve said yes, let them guide you on how you can best support them.

Now this isn’t literal. Verbal communication isn’t the only way men communicate. So trust yourself and your instincts. If you’re wrong there is a good chance you’ll be told. If they say no, that nothing is up still trust your instincts. Because if you’ve been watching and listening you’re going to be pretty much on the money. So continue to Watch, Listen and Ask.

The most important thing for anyone is to know you don’t have to through it alone. Men are no different.



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‘Love Your Mate’ – Best Mates Forever


I was a little bummed out after reading what Joanna Schroeder wrote about being bummed out after watching BuzzFeed’s funny new gender-swapping video about how BFFs behave. So I wrote about it.

On the surface it does seem like this video is just guys making fun of what women do, dig a little deeper and you will find that the video is just guys making fun of what women do. Because men are affectionate toward each other. Maybe not how some women, yourself, or even how some gay men are. But they are. We are. I’m gay and my affection and my intimacy with my brethren, of both gay and straight mates, isn’t at all like how women are “allowed” to be affectionate or as a gay guy can be — which I’ve debunked here before, its kind of my #NotAllGayMen moment.