#124 Matt Bruce – How we carry trauma

This week we dive into the world of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with ex SAS serviceman and now breathe work coach Matt Bruce.

Matt talks about escaping unhealthy male role models to join the army and how that led to spending 10 years in a constant environment of being ‘switched on’ that resulted in chronic adrenal fatigue. Matt shares how he became more and more disconnected from his body until such point he hit rock bottom and had to leave the army to salvage a relationship with his partner.

Self-confessed trauma nerd, Matt provides a fantastic framework for explanation that is super clear and practical. Just because you’ve not served in the military doesn’t mean that you’re not carrying your own trauma in your own system. Matt goes really deep and explains how trauma is less about the actual event itself and more how you and your body receives trauma. He also goes on to explain how breathe work is a powerful tool in releasing trauma.

What makes this a fascinating conversation is the real-life examples Matt draws on to make trauma real. He’s a super caring guy and you can really feel his journey and passion to want to help others in the way he speaks

Read Full Transcript

Bryn 

This week we dive into the world of post traumatic stress disorder with excess as servicemen. And now breath work coach Matt Bruce. Matt talks about escaping unhealthy male role models to join the army, and how that led to spending 10 years in a constant environment of being switched on. That resulted in chronic adrenal fatigue. At shares how he became more and more disconnected from his body until such a point he hit rock bottom, and had to leave the army to salvage a relationship with his partner, self confessed trauma nerd, Matt provides a fantastic framework for explanation that is super clear and practical. And this is really important. Because just because you’ve not served in the military, doesn’t mean that there’s not a chance that you’re not carrying your own trauma in your system that goes really deep and explains how trauma is less about the actual event itself, and more about how you and your body receives trauma. He also goes on to explain How breath work is such a powerful tool in releasing trauma. What makes this a fascinating conversation is the real life examples Matt draws on to make trauma real. He’s a super caring guy, and you can really feel his journey and passion to want to help others in the way he speaks. So I’m gonna let you enjoy, Matt.

 

Bryn 

Hello, and welcome back to wi real. I’m your host, Bryn Edwards serving your country. PTSD, breathing and happiness are just some of the things that we’ll be getting into today with my guest, Matt, Bruce. Matt, welcome to the

 

Matt Bruce 

show. Thank you for having me. Thank you.

 

Bryn 

So one of the questions I like to ask my guests at the start is how they ended up coming to be

 

Matt Bruce 

and who a lot of people bought a lot of people come here.

 

Bryn 

I understand you were originally born in Victoria, is that right? Yeah, that’s correct. And you came here in 2013.

 

Bryn 

hear about that? Yeah.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. So can you tell me how why you came here?

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah. So I was in the army at the time. Had a posting to Melbourne. And Warren officer called me up and said, Matt, we want you to come to the ISS and be support support person. So I called my partner at the time then and said, I know your family’s back in Melbourne with Addy feel that going to Perth. So she was on board and then he was on both straightaway was there but yeah, a little bit. Yeah, I think you know when you’re gonna head home and then for us it just changed the plan at the last minute. Yeah, so yeah. And here we are. So I’ve been here since then. And I guess once I got out of the military, the employment opportunities within Perth, so I was a telecommunications engineer in the military. So those skills are very transferable to the mining sector. Yes. So then that’s what CMEs stay here and I purchased a property as well too. So yeah, definitely have some roots in Perth there.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. What? As you’re growing up in Victoria, what did you know about Western Australia in Perth.

 

Matt Bruce 

Good question. I think my dad told me a story once about him crossing the nullable Yeah, like an old, some kind of old Holden? Yeah. And he said that it was that hot that they had like a boat on the roof like strapped and they had to like pull the boat off and fill it full of water and use it as like a little swimming pool. Oh, wow. And then I guess as a child, I have memories of the pitch at the wacka from cricket and always having bands and then obviously been in North Melbourne supporter brought memories of the ridiculous amounts of free kicks that you guys all get in the football ride. Yeah, so the things that come to mind.

 

Bryn 

Right. And was your impression of it now? Is it home?

 

 

Yeah, yeah, I love it. It’s the best. So I’ve lived in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Napa and I think personal best capital city in Australia. Yeah. The freedom to get to the beach, you know, like, you could be living in any suburb, you’re 25 minutes from the beach. Now even when you’re in the hills, you can get to the beach in 25, half an hour. Yeah, can be the hottest day of the year, you can pull up, it’s free, and you just have direct access to one of the best beaches in the world yet and that like you know, and I swim in the winter now. So there’s 365 days of the year that I can go for a swim in a beautiful beach. The traffic is not too chaotic. The glad you said

 

Bryn 

that. Because a lot of people who were born and bred in Perth will moan about the traffic. And I come from England where it’s nuts. Right so this is I’ve never really had a problem with the traffic yet move slightly. But

 

Matt Bruce 

yeah, absolutely. I used to drive all the way through the city to get to work and it was like less than 17 minutes and I don’t know too many capital cities in Australia you can drive entirely through in you know, under 15 minutes. So yeah. There’s a lot of positivity around drink alcohol anymore. So I’m not affected by those higher be prices that gets down with me. Yeah. But yeah, it’s a beautiful city. And yeah, I could I could go on and on.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Awesome. So

 

 

far we

 

Bryn 

look across your story is a strong emphasis on on service service to others, you know, initially to the country and now to others through the work you do around PTSD and breathing and things like that. Where does the, like the focus on serving others come from in my story?

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, it’s really good question. I think it’s part of my Human Design role. And, you know, I’m very aware of like the, the alignment that I have within myself and I’m part of something bigger and like working towards something like it with a collective that I’m super aware of, and, you know, definitely, in serving others, there’s a form of I guess like deep nourishment that I get with him myself, you know, some people call valve validation. But it’s nearly like a sense of nourishment. And I guess, in, I’ve been so disconnected to myself for so many years that in meeting all of these other unique characters and getting to understand them on a deeper layer and helping them on their journey and see myself more as well. So everyone’s extremely unique and has all these unique, beautiful, amazing qualities that when I get to interact with them, you know, I get to see that within myself. And I get to understand more about myself on a deeper level, and just really get to level up I guess so. Yeah, being of service definitely has its positives. And yeah, I think.

 

 

Yeah, it’s just something that’s within me. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

Nice. Nice. So if we’re going to start diving into the mat story, I suppose your time in the military is better place to start. Yeah. So how? Let’s start with some of the basic questions. Why did you enlist? When? What was the big draw?

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, I think a lot like many males growing up in the 1980s, I had, you know, some pretty unhealthy masculine role models around me at the time. And that was just a reflection of the time a father included and some of my best friends, older brothers, etc.

 

Bryn 

What made them unhealthy. I think

 

 

the way that they were laid into their masculinity, so the way that they were like displaying anger, the unhealthy choices that they were making to disconnect from their emotions, etc. Yeah, we’re just the way the times back then. Ultimately, in me growing up as a young boy, my environmental conditions really affected me from what I was saying and what I was interacting with Troy so you know,

 

Bryn 

it’s the Oh yeah, you Women.

 

 

Yeah, so the choices that I was making were heavily reflected around my environment. And I think it got to the point where I’d made enough unhealthy choices that I realised that I needed to make change. And I think I was, you know, 20 years old.

 

Matt Bruce 

I

 

 

not really invested in my education or gone to university, and I really needed to probably disconnect from the friends and activities I was doing sir, drinking, taking drugs, and probably had burned a lot of my relationships with the females that existed in my small country town as well too. So I really needed to Yeah, just become a better version of myself. And I looked at multiple options to kind of make some changes within my life and felt

 

Bryn 

like you need to do so. Yeah, dramatic. Yeah.

 

 

Yeah, I thought like moving to the city and getting an apprenticeship would be like a good option for me to just have like an exchange of environment. And then it gets on me looking around a fand telecommunicator engineer position within the military. And at the time I had a 3310 Nakia. And I thought I can’t really see them getting rid of mobile phones anytime soon and investment in understanding how telecommunications networks were working right and being paid a reasonable wage by the military. Sounded like a really good ID. Yeah, so my,

 

 

so it’s as simple as that.

 

Matt Bruce 

For me. Yeah, I thought that that sounds like a really good idea. Yeah, not really putting much thought into war and Afghanistan and physical effects of the body and I guess I was very sheltered because I didn’t really know anyone in the military. So is very, a very big decision. My mom my dad nearly fell off their chairs. They’re like you want to lose know your history? And yeah, you know, you won’t last two seconds in the military. One of this night not just because I think I was a little bit stubborn in how I saw the world. Yeah. And being told what to do. But I guess ultimately, when I made the choice to go into That system. I then knew and understood the rules. And I just kind of worked with the military and yeah, I like a duck to water. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I think, what was it you enjoyed about, I think wasn’t so much the enjoyment. It was more of the I knew that I was receiving something out of that, like the skills that I was receiving the qualifications that I’d gained, and I had purpose, direction structure. Yeah, and all of the things that I was probably lacking previously. And, yeah, there was a lot of excitement as well to think as a young male, we’re here to experience the world and experience our country in a if not the other shores. And I get that the military in the positive aspects gives you a lot of exposure to you know, as I said before, I’ve lived in every capital city and that’s through the military. So you know, that in itself is just a great experience within Australia. To know every CBD off the top of your head when you go there for a holiday, you can drive around there still. But yeah, you get to experience life in different ways.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Cuz if I think of the military, some of the things that bring to mind for me is like, you know, structure routine, but also training excellence, high performance, you know, having that clear structure of communication and things like that, almost some of the things that seem to be so blurred and tempered in everyday civilian life, so I can after background yesterday in the military, but that’s the sort of thing that springs to mind is that what was appealing to what

 

Matt Bruce 

I think that was naturally to me, like I’ve always had drive have always been able to think quickly and to have like a mind for myself, which allowed me to just kind of achieve those goals. within the military, and you know, fell in love with exercise when I was in there, yeah, I used to train twice a day. And I’d say that it probably developed an addiction to exercise is like a coping mechanism. But so when you are actively looking to better yourself in the physical department, your academic results are quite good. And then your drive and your ability to control your aggression. It was there for me personally, I made a great soldier.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Hmm. Yeah. It’s interesting. Yeah. Right. So yeah, yeah. So you’re in the military for 10 years. What sort of things did you get up to? Where did you go?

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah. So multiple deployments. Yeah, Afghanistan and to Jordan. Few overseas trips like Philippines and a couple other destinations. few small country towns and I never thought I’d go to like in between Queen between Brisbane and Gladstone. There’s a few little small country towns up there, and somebody Real unique places.

 

 

But yeah, probably

 

Matt Bruce 

the big things that stand out Afghanistan and Jordan to so guess that the amount of time that you spend in those countries, you know, I guess I’ve technically live there as well, too.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. So what what, those two big things what what were you focused on in that?

 

Matt Bruce 

So as in Afghanistan as a telecommunications engineer, show when I got there was to fix some drone footage. So there was a particular drone that we had as a capability that the commanders of Special Forces and MTF task force would kind of used to make decisions on where they would send Australian soldiers or what foreign nationals might be up to in certain situations. And then that feed wasn’t getting to the headquarters is like very stately. So then myself, I didn’t really sleep for probably five or six weeks, I probably have it about two or three sleep a night for about five weeks while trying to fix the circuit. So the drones landed at 10 o’clock at night, I think. And then they took off, maybe for three or 4am again. So I had a small window of opportunity in the middle of the night where I could break this circuit apart and then cross my fingers and hope that it went back together. At the end of the night. Yeah, so then we had the capability lacing it’s broken capable. I can it’s non functional capability. So yeah, that was my first five or six weeks in Afghanistan just basically working through the day and then working at night. Yeah, so got it done. got the job done and fixed it. So yeah, we got the result but ultimately when you kind of reflect in hindsight now in the in the spaces that I am in my emotional development, and less disconnected from my emotions, you you kind of think back to what role did you play in Afghanistan with providing digital footage and then we’ll role did that play in like, assisting other soldiers on the ground and probably taking the lives of other humans as well? I’m

 

Bryn 

gonna come back to that. Yes. What was what were the sort of things you were doing in Jordan? Jordan was

 

 

like a combined

 

 

combined Special Forces mizune. So is there’s the essay is working with this once you join us? Yeah, so our support staff, so not like a break qualified. I just was the communication guy that would go out to the break or fight or the intelligence officers, etc. and provide them the tools that they needed to get their job done. So they’re basically using social media to gather intelligence on Australian citizens that were moving into Syria. Right. And that was when I sort of basically started Yep, so I would say is looking at a lot of like graphic digital material, and spending six months in Jordan, to be honest, I’m also suffering major burnout like you You know people speak of burnout in, you know, the office environment. I think that I had not stopped for eight or nine years like ever since I enlisted in the military and just been running non stop. And even in summer holidays I’d like to train twice a day in the summer holidays Keep your eyes okay my drain hose Yeah, yeah, my drain was going and I was just always in a massive stimulated state to I got to the point where I was in Jordan and I think that that was just yeah, there. Yeah, exactly when I got back from there, and it was definitely burning trauma, all of these things. And definitely still did a good job there and still, yeah, it was we were good capability and we served Australia well. But yeah, there’s still I guess, things that I’ve like looked back on in that mission and say, you know, how have I prevented some Australian mothers from coming back to Australia. A young Australian mothers that have made you know, unwise unhealthy choices like I haven’t My life to go to Syria in the first place, and now they can’t come back to Australia. So here once again, you kind of reflect on your actions and your taken. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

So if we take the fact that you as you, as you said you had an unhealthy role models before you joined the army, and then you join the army is 20 years old, still part of that whole maturing process? Talk to me about that, because you’ve, you’ve alluded to it already. You know, we we developers, we develop on lots of different levels as we grow. However, I can’t imagine. Well, that’s bit of a wide sweeping assumption, but you’ve talked about your emotional development. And I know you’ve mentioned you know, what’s been cut off from your emotional self? Is there no focus on that in the development of your men in the military?

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, absolutely. Not. So yeah, I guess all role models within the military that I could see. We’re not showing like, levels of compassion or empathy. And we’re kind of highly stimulated, let myself

 

Bryn 

to be stimulated. It’s like, go go on on

 

Matt Bruce 

your mission. Yeah. You know, even though the point where, you know, you go home and you’re setting your alarm for bed the night before, and you’re stimulated, to the point where, you know, I have to wake up on time and I have to get to my job, otherwise, there’s repercussions. Yes, there’s an element fee within your mind as you setting your alarm. As you wake up in the morning, check it along, there’s an element of fee like you’re going to you’re going to be where you meant to be, because that’s kind of like part of the training. It was before. But yeah,

 

Bryn 

yeah, I was gonna mention there’s a lot of anxiety for by stuff going on.

 

 

Yeah, absolutely. And then it’s just, there’s not a lot of education around. Like ways to minimise the effects of stress. I guess in the army. There’s like, big amounts of stress. You got 50 Environmental, nutritional and emotional, and all of those basically extremely heightened within the military. And then there’s no actual education around not just our emotional bodies, but how we could actually minimise the amount of stress that we’re taking on in different environments. I think we’ve watched these heat video every year for 10 years in the Army, or maybe seven before I got to birth. Yeah, it’s just like a heat stroke video of what you should do if you see somebody who’s suffering from hate is obviously somebody who’s lost their life at some point on an exercise, right. So then, one of the mitigating elements of that risk is to create an educational video interview back to soldiers so they can see if their friends are affected by Hey, they could effectively prevent a life Yeah, but you think about the amount of lives that have been lost through PTSD and through trauma and stress related mental illness. Over the years. They’re not actually playing back videos every year and how we can You know, preventative mental health seriously within the military to actually stop some of the accumulation of stress that we’re going through. And, you know, we’re not talking large changes, we don’t have to give every soldier emotional intelligence and we’re just talking the basics of, you know, if your how your drain was actually function, how they work. And, you know, if you’ve been pushing yourself hard for six months overseas, ways that you could change your diet to help regulate Yeah, ways that you could, you know, even put a filter on your mobile phone, and like candlelight and all the simple things eating good fats in the morning to drain holes aren’t firing on an empty stomach. movie scenes are just pretty simple, nutritional information they can take you know how I’ve healed myself through adrenal fatigue. And what other soldiers can actually be using is preventative measures, or just have at least the awareness and education to make that choice themselves. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

Gotcha, blunk question, right? And I asked you about how you start to notice your fatigue and stuff. But I’m going to ask because, again, I’m not in the military, you have, is there a role for mental health? in the military, as in? Given given the nature of the job,

 

 

which,

 

Bryn 

and again, if I’m being blunt, pull me up. And, you know, part of the business end is combat, and and potentially taking life. And so is it. Is it almost that the military will continue to function and do its job? If mental health is put to one side? Did you see where I’m going? Yeah, great.

 

 

Yeah. So they’re in

 

Bryn 

the beast, because you’re here I have the opportunity to ask the question and ask this question.

 

 

You know, like, you know, ultimately, I don’t give too much away. My time worrying about that these days is a lot of soldiers out there that are looking towards camber are looking towards the Department of Veteran Affairs to make large changes from the top down. All I can really do is take responsibility for my mental health and what I put out into the world, and how I can change myself and my community around myself, and how I can interact with ex veterans and provide assistance to them and pass on the knowledge that I’ve learned within myself. So I can answer your question of my personal opinion. Yeah, but to give too much of my time and energy to look up to Canberra and how they’re actually going to fix it is beyond my control. Yeah, hopefully we can create such a large momentum through assisting one another through our community and through what is actually within our control that we can make a large change. So

 

Bryn 

yeah, I mean, my question and often when I ask bigger blunt questions, none of that in the podcast is no with the view of let’s go rally camera. It’s more. You know, you’ve been in the military for 10 years in order to understand so you know, what its role is and what is there to do?

 

Matt Bruce 

I guess it really comes back to the why individual. And if the wives the individual is in alignment with the why of the military, that then therefore, the emotional intelligence of a soldier as long as they have emotional intelligence, and they’re wise still in alignment yet, and ultimately, I could see that that would work. But if the why for that individual dva Exactly. In the wise and in alignment there will I guess they’re not going to be in alignment with a choice of service anymore as well, too.

 

Bryn 

So what happened for you?

 

Matt Bruce 

No, definitely not. Yeah, so I just blow up. Yeah, massive, massive explosion, you know, which lasted for three years, basically. And pretty painful three years and my dad Yeah.

 

Bryn 

So tell me about that. Then. So you, you’re on. You’re on. You’re on. You’re on your own. When did it go? When did you start to notice? Or a bit to a bit draw? How did it start presented

 

Matt Bruce 

was like when I lost my ability to exercise so I did like a meniscus in my knee, and a slap tear on my shoulder and few other bits and pieces. So when I lost that ability to be performing high intensity workouts, which were feeling like a the adrenaline that I kind of needed, like it’s no different to an NFL football player that blows up after they leave the game yet we’re both addicted to high stress environments. Yeah. And then once you take out that ability to be in football or exercise at high intensity, you just implode because your body is not actually being able to create that level of adrenaline and cortisol through exercise. When you create all these receptors that are just wanting to be fat. Yeah, exactly. A lot of somebody smoking Yeah, you have an emotional addiction to to stress adrenaline to these things within your body that you’re now living your life in a way to create that your mind over 10 years is actually started to change its cognitive function to give you that, so you become cranky. You know, bloody this bloody the sad person that and the amount of anger that x veterans have towards the outward facing world is just a reflection of their mind is trying to create an emotional addiction within themselves. And you see the same thing in mining as well. So you’ll go to a mine site and you’ll see a bunch of cranky monitors but the only reason they’re cranky is because the drain on the body is being pushed too far outwards that now they need a story of anger to create the levels of stress that their body needs to feed it. Yeah. So mining, for football players PTSD, through veterans, a lot of these things are all very similar. They’re just a pattern. Yeah, hundred percent is just your body’s way of, of creating an emotional addiction to feed a baseline. That’s kind of nearly always true. enough words, you can say that in today’s modern society with the man of Jim’s the high intensity gyms that have been created on every corner, everywhere, and the man of cafe, the amount of coffee that’s been served. So there’s there they are just a direct reflection of this trending upward cycle of cortisol and adrenaline in today’s society. So

 

Bryn 

it’s fascinating that you say this because about five years ago, I stopped drinking coffee because I found it was making me just sticking a bit of anxiety in the system. And it’s been great since and and it’s always kind of when you stop something and then you stop and watch everybody else around you. Everybody’s on the coffee all the time. You know, and even in my psychology degree University, were introduced the idea of psychoactive substances with coffee was in the cafe. And and also the exercise because I’ve only have recent Because transforming to rock nest, which I achieved in my thing for a while, and then just recently, I’ve just noticed, because I moved to a more movement based practice than an achievement based practice from a physical recreation, internal achievement away. That was very challenging. And then also, I found that most of my exercise has been driven through anxiety.

 

 

Yeah, and it’s also part of the cause as well, too. Yeah. Okay. So and so your cycle?

 

Bryn 

Yeah, so recently, I’ve just, I’ve just had to sort of super down regulate to couple of movement classes a week. I’ve cap of about a kilometre of swimming instead of five kilometres is like I’ll do one. And I do a lot more walking at the moment. And, and that’s drawing attention to itself from friends and they’ve asked and then you know, exams miles towards them about anxiety based and behind exercising, you got to be on it, particularly women who were up early will ever do is devil everyone’s always doing this and it’s it’s. Yeah, it’s a spear thing. Yeah, absolutely. Other thing. And now you’ve just covered talked about it. Yeah.

 

 

So 100% like you have to honour the body. And if your body’s telling you to pull up and have a bit of rest, and that’s making you feel good 100% you gotta go with that. And you know, our body has such a innate intelligence within it, that we can heal ourselves if we take your foot off the pedal. It’s not rocket science. Yeah, you’ve been going hard for 1015 years you sit around and eat healthy food, you get off the beers you get off the coffee and give yourself some space like internally, and your body will just do the rest. But it’s just about how we can go against all the programming that we’ve received what our friends are commenting on us about as well too. And what we’re trying to do right now and go against all those social norms to actually come back to a place of centre, which can actually help us. lift them up. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

So last was the last three years of your 10 years, you started to get progressively more.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, so I think, probably reach your Apex in that. Yeah. So when I like

 

Matt Bruce 

my body broke and to exercise and I feel that, yeah, started using drugs and porn and sex and all of these coping mechanisms to fulfil what I needed for, you know, I didn’t even know I was so disconnected, that I didn’t even know what was happening within myself. And I think I had lost all the compassion and empathy within my heart. So I noticed that on the trip in Jordan, it took me some time to like kind of have the level the level of awareness to look back on this is that my compassion and empathy had just like closed down, and I guess that’s something that can happen and burn out but it’s something that happened when you’re looking at really gross material graphic material online behaving, which is what you have to beheadings and being being set on fire and stuff like that. And that’s a level of trauma. And if I’m already burnt out, I can’t process that your body has no way of actually just kind of like having a healthy coping mechanism of getting rid of that. You know, I was on six cup, six cups of coffee a day when I was watching trauma. So then just shows you how far out of alignment.

 

Bryn 

Black Coffee screentime

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, watching on my computer to 10 3011 o’clock at night with white light in my eyes before I’m going to sleep and then waking up in a war zone. Or like waking up on a base in a foreign country, you know, and then dealing with having a partner that you haven’t seen for pretty much seven years, and all the emotional stress that comes with that. So yeah, my implosion was quite big. And what did your implosion I guess massive amounts of data connection for myself like early if you break it down to like a really, really in a perspective, my answer world is only just reflecting my inside world and are so disconnected from my heart My empathy, my compassion and, and all those human qualities and yeah emotions that my outside world was just a reflection of that. So the drugs upon the pushing my family members away, pushing friends away and just isolating myself and seeing the stress in the world was just a reflection of where I was inside myself. Same as if you ever meet somebody on the street who is acting very unhealthy give that guy lots of compassion Because ultimately, you know what he’s doing. He needs the outside world, how he’s interacting with the world is a real true reflection of how disconnected even within within himself, so don’t judge that guy. Give him some love and compassion because that’s what he needs to find within himself. And yeah, there was a really, really big part of me, I guess I got to the point where So disconnected that I need to change. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

What was the tipping point where you suddenly decided?

 

Matt Bruce 

I was ag education. It was Gina Rinehart working at Roy Hill. This is a post military. Yes, post military, I got put on a leadership course. And there was a bit of information, it ran my middler and how the Firefly responses working and what that role was playing in my life. Soon as I had that little piece of information that was enough to send me down a rabbit hole of self inquiry for three years of probably four years. And I think that every was so disconnected in such a need for change. And as soon as I had that bit of information, I was basically starting to make change in every moment beyond that. Yeah. And I was just viewing the life through the eyes of you know, what change is possible in here and how can I move towards being a better version of myself? And was just like a true true catalyst. So now

 

Bryn 

what did you leave the middle Just

 

 

so Yeah, I did. I did an exercise to x math once I got back from Jordan, I hurt my back as well too. So,

 

Bryn 

you know on top of the injury yes on top of a

 

Matt Bruce 

meniscus in my right knee and slap to my right shoulder I’d like married the DC my back and I couldn’t move for like three weeks basically I was like flow ridden. I get to work at eight by 930 my back had blown and I had to lay down. So I was like, extremely like, disconnected from that was my first disconnection from exercise. My partner from me coming back from Jordan wanting to leave me because I guess ultimately, you know, our partners a feeling creatures, and when they can’t feel the love present within yourself, they don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. So she wanted to leave me then. And that was basically such a level of disconnection from the stuff that I’ve witnessed in Jordan that my whole life imploded. So decided to drink like, you know, Later and a bit of sculpture night basically. Yeah, that was at the start of that and then that turned into, you know, long nights out on the on the booze. You know, I think I went on a course in Brisbane and spent, you know, the, after the league I think we watched the State of Origin League, I spent the whole next day, you know, not being in the course and pretty much throwing up in the toilets, because also hung over. And then all that all led to a point where that military wanted to kick me out, right to show cause. So I was quite lucky in the sense that, you know, the CEO and CEO of sa sa pretty much realised what had happened. And they put in a way that I could stay in the unit and I guess they were just going to address where I was at. And they knew that I was good soldier and they kind of had understood what the larger army wasn’t in ingredients and basically had a choice if I could show cause with the backing of the CEO and IC etc. Or I could go get another job. I had to x kind of service organisation offered me a really amazing job with really high paying money. And I guess that I wanted to try and salvage some kind of relationship with my partner if my partner was ready to leave me at the time, because I was so closed off and I’ve been away and ABS episode long. Yeah, I liked it to kind of leave the military in that moment. So then I could try and foster some kind of relationship with my ex partner and see what our relationship could be in me not being away so often as well, too.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. So that’s when your

 

Matt Bruce 

time everything happens for a reason. And yeah, it’s time to go. So

 

 

it was it

 

Bryn 

is so much lack of self love, self destruction. croffer Hell,

 

Matt Bruce 

yeah. Yeah. And just not having any emotional intelligence at all. Any understanding of like, you know, that was happening. And I guess that’s probably the most disappointing thing in the military that you know that those role models and PS, like having those chats to you, and you get back off the deployment being like, you know, you’re hitting the pace pretty odd. Do you think that you might have a problem? Is there something that you could look at? And that’s a pretty standard conversation? Yeah. It’s pretty standard conversation that I don’t think any single leader like post deployment had with me. Yeah, my time. So, you know, those are the changes that we could hopefully make through a bit of education and losing the stigma around, you know, mental health in today’s society, but especially in the army that, you know, that level of conversation could have stopped me, you know, we speak in their happiness code that preventative mental health care, and we call it the green, yellow and red, you know, at that stage of motivating the yellow before I was like fully in the red and a conversation could have been the catalyst for me to kind of start working towards you know, being back in the green and do something very destructive had happened there. about where he now has a story to tell and yeah It’s, it’s, I’ve learned a lot. And you know, I definitely wouldn’t change a thing. And I’m extremely grateful for all the times I fell over and bumped my head. Because it’s just made me wiser and given me more knowledge and give me more ability to go out there and one drive to help other soldiers as well to

 

Bryn 

this. You know, I’ve done over 100 hundred and 20 episodes, and there seems to be that pattern that people have to hit the rock bottom to come up and then see the light and see what they need to do. And it’s it’s nice that, you know, listen, what is that similar pattern in your story? And you’re saying the same thing in that, you know, I see that I had to do that to get to where I am. It almost seems like part of the human

 

Matt Bruce 

experience

 

Bryn 

that we have to get to a sense of gratitude for that load point. Yeah. Yeah. Where we are now

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah. I think, you know, I think we’re at a critical point in the will in time for change. And I don’t think that everyone has to hit rock bottom. But there needs to be a shift. And I think that, you know, we’re kind of like the Avengers now. So all those unique people that have had those unique experiences can be a role model for change. Yes. And I think ultimately, you know, the reason that I didn’t change is I didn’t have those role models. Yeah, and those environmental factors that I spoke about in the very beginning. And if you’ve got healthy role models within your environment that are showing you that it is possible for change, then people don’t actually have to hit rock bottom. Yeah, it’s about actually creating that structure within our community that people have the correct Avenger to say like in a role model to go to do you look up to to have that level of empathy and understanding within that person within that dynamic that then they can see that as a possibility for change

 

Bryn 

because Certainly, you know, if you look at some of the symptoms, and quantum centres that you are exhibiting that you’re talking about, you know, drinking chipton Pass, you know, being cranky, porn, all sorts of stuff, you know, you don’t need to have been to the military and done stuff in Jordan to start exhibiting those senses that

 

Matt Bruce 

they’re out there. Well, that 100% just comes back to one thing, and that’s a lack of love for ourselves as males. And, you know, that is just if we are not fulfilling our needs properly, and needs are going to show up in in dark ways, or they’re going to come out sideways. And if we’re suppressing parts of our emotion, they’re going to come out in unhealthy ways as well too. Very true. So you’re not actually making room for emotions and loving ourselves and holding space for ourselves to do that within actually going to turn off all of those things. So I guess it’s not so much about the coping mechanisms or the dark sides. It’s about just coming straight back to the cause. And that’s what loving yourself and understanding yourself and carrying yourself. Yeah,

 

Bryn 

not sectioning it off with this whole crap of metal like this, but they’re not like that. Yeah, yeah, you know, men do this, but they don’t do that. They show mo they don’t show emotion but they do. Do you know all of their stuff? We’re just told stories.

 

 

They’re all stories but they’re also divisive stories. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

What does interstates of duality Yeah, yeah and and one of the things that I’ve learned through my experience in listening to the experiences of others is that you can hang on to that for a certain period of time and I think unless you have almost like a pressure cooker of stuff going on, which I was just you did, and if that’s left normally transpire, you get to the end of 30s and you get to what I refer to as the apex and empower the individually guy where you are this but not that. Yep. And that that psychic power will get you to bow And the 30s and then it’ll just and then the rest of it goes no with this

 

 

as well.

 

Bryn 

No those those boxes you packed up and put to one side burst open. Yeah. That’s why we end up with what you know people call it midlife crisis more midlife realignment, because you are all this and it’s time you

 

Matt Bruce 

can see that happening in children these days you can sit there and have anxiety that kids are having, they’re going through the exact same struggles that we are as 3040 year olds is happening to so it’s not so much a reflection of the individuals a gene is more of a reflection of the time for the whole of humanity. And you can see that the damage that phones and Facebook and all these things are happening to everyone as a whole that we’re all kind of coming up to this big catalyst point. And you know, that’s pretty exciting to see because you know, in how I’ve transformed in struggle if the world is is in a place of struggle, they can only really be good things to come. Yeah, my belief system but um, you know, definitely concur with Yeah, it was easy to look at the world right now. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

High School. Yeah, but it needs to.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah. And I think that, you know, when we create stories and create that reality is just really protection mechanism for something we can’t process and we’re not ready to process. And you know, that’s the whole point of, you know, once you choose love yourself, it’s a long road to get through all of that jus ality that exists within our minds, tissue, nervous system, all of those things. So for us to actually integrate back into our whole self and remove the duality that we see in the outside world is just a slow step that will happen as long as you just keep showing up for yourself. Over time, that will basically happen that integration and your nervous system, your heart and, and all these good things will just get back into alignment.

 

Bryn 

So give me some of the highlights along the journey from when you went to the course with Roy Hill. And you start to learn by the fight or flight and that’s almost They’re listening to it sounds like that’s the tipping point of right we’re moving forwards now what are some of the things what you know you said you went down the

 

Matt Bruce 

rabbit hole but I think some of the things

 

Bryn 

you learn and did you know

 

 

you’re at

 

Bryn 

a place now where you’re helping others but I this idea that there’s this almost like learn live and lead yeah model in life but you have to do the learning and the living first of all what sort of things

 

Matt Bruce 

so I guess what comes to mind is just throwing it all in and moving to Bali so I guess I’ve decided to make healthy changes yeah but a new them our work environment wasn’t really good for my nervous system. God to heal doesn’t Yeah, yeah. It’s crazy like for like Yeah, yeah and and watch my now boss, Julian pace talk at Roy you want and he basically was so inspiring. And, you know, I had the realisation that I’d made all these changes in my life. At the career is probably the last thing so I went out to Julian after he spoke and said shook his hand and said thank you mate. I’m going to go quit I walked upstairs to my boss and I said boss I’ll give you two months notice to like notice but I’m gonna leave and then basically, you know went in I still have properties with my ex when I put them on the markets and me but you

 

Bryn 

know, we cut the partners now your ex.

 

 

So the x part of eight years that I’ve lived in my strategy and PTSD I kind of went back to her and said we’re going to sell out my money to disconnect in the relationship and we started to close Yeah, but we had so thank you Perth housing market we lost you know, probably $300,000 worth of equity and money that we’d saved is like young 20s to basically end up with a credit card or basically had Yeah, and a car loan. And bit are basically I just did it all, and quit my job and left to Bali with my now part. Ruth, and went all in on trying to heal myself. Yeah. And the highlight was probably all of the growth that come within that. So in cutting ties, not knowing what your financial future would be all of the fear and anxiety and stuff that comes up with that, and how you can kind of basically process all of that and you know, all of the challenges and growth that come with me getting to Bali, and then the challenges and the growth that come with me being in a new environment where I could actually kind of start to make inroads into using breath work and meditation and these, you know, freely available tools to start to heal my nervous system and and reconnect back to the parts with him. So I myself,

 

Bryn 

yes, confronting each other.

 

 

Yeah, you know, I just wrote a book. It’s called warriors war and should be in a couple of months. But you know, I’ve say that the real war is coming back to yourself. Yes. You know, we Go to the military and we’re disconnected we stimulated and we get dropped off in a plane somewhere, but we’re not actually connected to our feeling. So when you come back into yourself and you bring all those pieces of the puzzle and put them back into your body, you know, that takes tears and effort and the end of time I’ve cried in the last three and a half years around, you know, understanding that you know, was supported and that I was loved and I was enough and all of these, I guess elements of the human psyche that we still holding on to in this modern age of not feeling worthy enough, but pushing through all of those and you know, I guess probably opening myself up to love again. So having my partner in the physical form you know, every time she was trying to give me that love that ideally needed, you know, may not closing down internally me remaining open to that and receiving that. Yeah, it’s very foreign for me, and then it goes against what my mind is telling me that safe so Have to kind of lean into that. And that could be, you know, a conversation that might be very normal to somebody who hasn’t been in those disconnected ways is a very big amount of effort and like a lot of like I’m really showing up in in just to have a conversation or just allow somebody to love me. So yeah, it’s been really powerful. Um,

 

Bryn 

and then how did you end up coming back from Bali?

 

Matt Bruce 

So yeah, wrote the book was there, like 60,000 words in four days, like fell out of me? Yeah, it was like, I didn’t even write the book to be honest. Yeah, just fell through me. And I think it’s just a reflection of what some modern guys that are soldiers who might be in Australia, America, and needing at the moment, and then I was just there to do that. I think Bali is one of those places that stuff.

 

 

Yeah.

 

Matt Bruce 

And, yeah, then there was kind of like a knowing within myself that I had to come back and face Everything that I’d kind of compartmentalised. I met another veteran while I was there, like, you know, nothing happens by coincidence. But, you know, I started to tell him a story. And I hadn’t even reached out to the Department of Veteran Affairs and I hadn’t even spoken to any form of cancer or anyone to receive any form of help from the military was so disconnected from my own self worth as a male, that I didn’t even feel as worthy of that assistance, and the stigma that comes with that. And I guess, you know, being a non combat corps as well, too, I think that that’s a big one for soldiers who aren’t like an infantry person who received the point triggers that they don’t have the ability to step up and own that and ask for help. But I guess I was at a level of

 

Bryn 

Yes, exposes myself, who am I to ask now, when these dudes are out there pulling triggers and doing stuff?

 

Matt Bruce 

So then, you know, that was my own story. You know, that was, you know, that was something that I created within my mind. Then in me witnessing that I’ve come back to Perth and have gone through the process with Department of Veteran Affairs as I should to basically have the support that I needed and you know, that looked like engaging with psychiatrists and psychologists and rehab facilitator and all of that. And I guess ultimately can’t wrote a book on PTSD when you haven’t actually had the the when you have compartmentalise a whole section of that. So it’s all part of it and me coming back and leaning into that process and completing that process was all part of what needed to go into the book as well. And it comes with its challenges as well, too. I remember the first day that I ever got an email from the Department of Veteran Affairs. Like the you know, it was nothing harsh in it, but I just had the biggest eruption. I still had so many stories around authority. Yeah, you know, and I literally had to go away and do a whole day’s worth of self development work. Just by stuff, one email that come in wanting triggered in you. Yeah, yeah. And that’s like, you know, I could sit around for the next six years and get angry at every email the Department of Veteran Affairs sends me or I could take responsibility for what the emotional triggers within myself and, and go do the work on that to then come back and now find the process to say it is what it is. And, you know, I’m grateful that we live in a country where we can receive assistance, and that we can have how, you know, necessarily even fine, started another fire within myself to maybe go to some of the other countries that exist around the world that aren’t giving the excess veterans you know, the ability to space to time and heal to maybe go over there and be of service as well too. So, yeah, I’ll put that out there. We’ll just see if it comes about.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. So

 

 

well, how

 

Bryn 

through all this This Do you now have a better sort of understanding of the mechanisms of PTSD and trauma?

 

 

Yeah, hundred percent? And can you call myself a trauma nerd these days? But what I have a greater understanding of is like, the automatic systems that exist within our body. Yeah, I think this is really cool realisation that I had there not many people talking about is we have all of these automated processes that exists. Yeah. And our fight or flight responses, one, rest and digest is one ability of the sympathetic. Even when we see a baby activates certain love and kindness within our heart. That is our automatic system or us connecting with the child. And, you know, there’s probably Yeah, and there’s all of these like, actual automatic systems that we have on in our body that we can actually start to take control of. So consciously, we can choose to activate these throughout the day and actually start To lose them in La cataloger Yeah, yeah, exactly. So if you’re stressed and you’ve got like symptoms of anxiety or you know, like, I’m feeling very resilient and you’re feeling kind of, you know more in your head and not very present in your body incentive, you know, that’s a state that you could be in your sympathetic nervous system. You could use breath work consciously, to put you back into your parasympathetic nervous system, and connect back with that different side of yourself. You know, you can consciously choose to activate certain parts of that love and kindness every day, like through meditation, to basically go out and greet the world like that, you know, how cool would it be if everyone in the world was basically had that loving kindness activated within themselves and not worry, worry, this is like a just a cognitive function that exists within ourselves, even like within our mind, and the way that we start to worry about the future. That’s just a cognitive function. It is like a protection mechanism that’s, like, ingrained in us that we that has served us at some point, but once you can notice that your mind is Starting to go to the future state. And that’s a cognitive function that you can now Train like a little bicep at the gym, you can actually start to consciously take control of that as well, too. So if you’re in a moment, and you know that your protection mechanism of worrying about the futures like activated that you can consciously be aware of that now, and you can actually start to change that. So I think that that’s where I really see myself and exploring these, you know, even just chewing our food slowly, and actually taking the time to sit and make some space that we feel safe and connected to our environment and connected to the food and that we know that the food safer and we know that it’s being prepared well is going to consciously allow rest and digest system to process it more so we can actually consciously turn on that. So in everything that we do in our life, we can actually take more intention and effort to show up in a more conscious way to then get the most out of life. Yeah, so pretty cool. Hey, that is Yeah,

 

Bryn 

Yeah, what’s up the catalogue stimula. Um,

 

Matt Bruce 

you know, even like, I’ll give you an example of, you know, we know how hippocampus works. So we know that when we’re in Hyde Park, black high doses of cortisol, that it’s affecting our hippocampus and the hippocampus is time stamping and memory and storing it in certain way. So then ultimately, we know that when we actually go back to the past, and we bring up a story to our partner or somebody else, that literally that those memories walked by a perception interpretation. And what’s happening was in our Hebrew campus and top Corazon, so, you know, we can consciously choose to not really refer to the past or consciously choose to bring these stories up into our life that are normally just like a protection mechanism. And then we can understand how they’re working and interacting within ourselves. And then we can start to understand how to creating possibly more stress or, like disconnection or duality within our life and within our relationships as well, too. There seems to have had a few, a few moments to thoughts to think and yeah, meditation, but yeah,

 

Bryn 

yeah, it’s really cool. Yeah. And so if somebody’s listening to this, and they think things are slightly out of whack for them. What are some of the telltale signs that, you know, there may be an element of PTSD going on in there? Because I think also, it’s proper to pass this word. I think also, you know,

 

 

you bring in the word,

 

Bryn 

use the word trauma, and it’s easy to think of stuff like you know, I witnessed a car crash, or by yourself, you end up having to watch lots of graphic stuff online or, you know, you think you can think of trauma equal Something really big. I mean, you provided a great example of it earlier on when you said, You know, I didn’t think I have the level of worthiness because I wasn’t the guy out there with the guns and the triggers. And so we can we can do this to ourselves on a lesser extent light, you know, I didn’t have the childhood where, you know, parents were abusive or hit me about or something like that, but the trauma can be

 

Matt Bruce 

trauma is individually relative to every single person because every single person and how they interpret the outside world with their senses is unique to them. Yeah, and we’re all interacting with our reality, different ways. Some people more visual, some a people, more audio, some people more feeling. So how we connected with that outside world, and how whatever resiliency is, is basically how we will perceive trauma and how it enters. And, you know, I think that PTSD is a label. I think that really a lot of PTSD from the military is coming from the fact that The body is just out of alignment as well. So you can see that in football, as you might say the footballs are PTSD symptoms, but that’s just a label for the body for the human body who’s not in a healthy way. And yes, we are seeing traumatic events when we’re on deployment. But a healthy body should be able to process trauma. Somebody who can has a healthy relationships with the ability to express themselves and who aren’t conditioned with sindhya.

 

Bryn 

So it’s not so much the event. It’s

 

 

it’s the coping mechanisms in the body that received yet the event. And it’s the conditioning that you have around your ability to cry, or your ability to be able to express a feeling, and all of those conditions that we’ve learned in the first 15 years of our life that actually stop us from shifting the trauma. And we’re basically disconnected from our humaneness in the sense of where we’ve been given all these beautiful mechanisms to us like emotions, but when we’re disconnecting from them.

 

Matt Bruce 

So then

 

Bryn 

But in particularly for my awkward role models how to use this. Yeah,

 

 

so, you know, pick Yeah. And there’s no kind of, we’ve lost that ancient wisdom as well to in Mali in Bali. They’re using stuff like whaling ceremonies, and even in Aboriginals, traditional Aboriginal, like ceremonies, they using whaling ceremonies as well too. So they’re intentionally making time for emotion. They’re actually allowing people to grieve as well as interview. Yeah, you know, wha, allowing people to make space for their emotions and make it culturally acceptable and there’s like a calendar of the year that actually encourages people to connect with that side those sides of themselves. So that ancient wisdom we don’t have in today’s society so no, you know, even that existed by cause for a reason.

 

Bryn 

Yeah, yeah, we slide all rights of passage in elder hood and yeah,

 

 

sorry, that in itself is like super powerful for us to actually Have those healthy abilities to express ourselves? And even that’s a massive challenge I have. It’s getting easier, but it’s a challenge that I have in just in my relationship now is being able to freely express myself and everything that’s coming up. And what’s what’s heavy for me in that moment and what I can express into my relationship, and how the fee that I’m going to have ran that being received. These definitely may break a cycle, but to go back really pressured. Yeah. To go back to the original question, I guess, you know, if anyone thinks that they may have PTSD out there, you know, that’s, that’s enough. Like, if you’re not living your best life in today’s modern age, you could be making changes to step towards a better version of yourself. And you know, that should be enough for any listeners out there. If any listeners thought about making change or wants to make change, you know, that’s your, that’s your catalyst. That’s your wisdom. That’s your body intelligence telling you that it’s time to go take Seriously and you know look around for your Avenger look around for your individual motivation to know that you can make change somebody that resonates with you and somebody that can help you you know make sure get you to where you need to be or where the possibility of you being

 

Bryn 

Yeah. So what are you up to now that

 

Matt Bruce 

so I guess I’m still like stabilising I guess.

 

 

You know, I’ve not

 

Matt Bruce 

I’m stabilising from, like, PTSD and what that look like and now I’m just kind of lucky in a period where I’m trying to stabilise and integrate back into society and through the happiness code. I’ve been doing it for like some volunteer type speaking and stuff. And I’d be what you can see to the breath work, head of mindfulness and head of breath work near you and that will see me kind of take on as much work as I as my nervous system and my physical body is going to allow me without me burning out. Again, and to just kind of like adjust back into normal life. But that’s really exciting. Like that sees me doing a breath work event and I’d actually so an introduction to breath work, haven’t touched much on breath work. But that was one of the key key modalities that have used to treat my trauma and to actually get back into my physical body. So that’s, that’s really cool experience that, you know, I’m hosting that for men and women and then ex police, ex firemen, ambulance and every type of service. And that’s a venture that I like to put my hand up for is to try and because there’s a lot of like, people in service roles, even nurses and doctors out there as well too, that have gone through very stressful workplaces that and not just relating to themselves to the best of their abilities. And they’re only like two or three breath work sessions away from, you know, being your best, the best possible self and you know, what an amazing gift that would be to the world or to just one individual to allow them to get back to themselves. So that’s where I’m at is just working with the happiness CO and my partner and I, in the new to my partner’s got a story around PTSD as well, too. She was involved in the Bali bombings, and saw a couple of fatalities and the mindset that she was a first responder to, yeah, she’s a lot gentle and I am. So for the effects that that had on her. I learned a lot from her as well too. So I guess together. We’re going to basically express our story to the nation and try and change the national story of PTSD and try and create a level of content to basically give out for free to all of the people that are suffering from PTSD out there men and women, you know, service or non service related, and then basically give them all of the tools that we’ve learned over our journey to try and help make a difference with the national story. So if anyone’s listeners listeners out there, the only businesses that are part of our community that want to help a community kind of come together. You know, that’d be really cool if you could reach out. And that’s basically where we’re at. We’re not trying to go to camera, we’re not trying to lobby, we’re not trying to get the government to do anything. We’re just going to work together as a community to say that we have an issue that is basically at the forefront of a lot of people’s

 

Matt Bruce 

like that there’s

 

Matt Bruce 

a lot of people out there struggling with PTSD and together as community we’re not talking about massive amounts of money, we can create some knowledge transfer and yeah, host a load of knowledge and, you know, put some ads on social media to give it to the right people in the right time, need the disconnected and hopefully make some changes in some people’s lives. So I really like that that you’re not you know,

 

Bryn 

looking to camera to do something because I think that’s turned up again and again. Is that in in the podcast is that We can’t sit around waiting for administrative bodies to come and look after us we have to take responsibility for ourselves for our community that’s turned up talking about town planning medical system and other places where people are just gonna I’m just going to go into this myself Yeah, I think that’s that’s part of the blunt truth we can’t keep sitting around looking to camber and other leaders come to fix it for us Yeah, we do we do have to take

 

Matt Bruce 

it and that’s what the happiness goes power is preventing in mental health care. I think we’ve reached 40,000 people in person already like in two years with been to places like radio, synergy main roads, Roy Hill, all these amazing top tier organisations that exist out there that we’ve been interacting with to give them preventative mental mental health tool sets and to help them make healthy change in their life and and start to take individually discos birthplace. Yeah, yeah, started in Perth. My boss, Julian pace has got nominated for Shannon of the Year award. So massive growth in two years. And it’s just so needed in today’s modern age. And, you know, I don’t have any problem waking up in the morning knowing that, you know, I’m going out there to try and help, whether it be somebody who has PTSD or a corporate environment, understand the capacity that they have for change and, and really practical tools. So, you know, I guess the great thing about happiness CO is that it’s action over awareness. And it’s really tool based, like practical tools that we can learn in the green. So then when we get down into the yellow, we’ve got something that we can use. And there’s a lot of amazing awareness organisations out there, but you know, it’s time for us to actually take some radical responsibility for ourselves. And

 

Matt Bruce 

yeah, start to make some change. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

So one of those tools you said is breath work, to be through breath work for you. And it’s, I can imagine that’s quite a nerd on this as well. Well, so

 

Matt Bruce 

read 10 books in my life

 

 

All right. Yeah, but um,

 

Matt Bruce 

yeah like to analyse the present moment and wisdom in there to receive. So

 

Bryn 

imagine this, you can talk to the, again, the mechanics of that.

 

 

Yeah. So yeah, breath work is really Howard. So yeah, with PTA really powerful in the sense of the kind of, I think we have this natural intelligence that exists within our body. And our fight or flight response in our sympathetic nervous systems are so outward facing in today’s modern age and we’re basically now have like a cognitive function that all of our senses are facing outwards. But we do have the ability to have a cognitive function of facing like, sensors inwards, you know, and that centre is our awareness, but it’s something that’s kind of really being lost and forgotten. So what breath work and really last to do is kind of race it a fight or flight response by closing allies, we automatically because how come Maureen woods in breathing, we basically start to turn off all of those cognitive functions that are in line to protect ourselves. So thinking about the future, you know, the past etc. Yeah, basically turning off all of these processes until we get to a point where now our body is starting to come over oxygenated with oxygen through the net through the breathing. And, you know, we’re starting to then allow a nervous system to just basically unwind itself. And depending on the level of trauma or the the way that you’re breathing or the way of your body composition, etc. Just through one simple breath work session, you can have a pretty powerful release of just not moving. You know, then there’s multiple modalities of breathwork out there that exist. You know, shamanic breath work or we Half etc, is a style that I’m starting to study in which is called biodynamic breath work, which is more of a somatic release. So it’s about, you know, understanding that mind and awareness connection to our feelings, and then using that with breath work to try and kind of explore our physical body more. And as we kind of occupy more space within our body, from an awareness perspective, from basically removing some of the disjointed emotions that have been stored in our body that haven’t actually been released, yes, we can actually just start to become more present in our bodies, and our mental health is kind of reflecting that. And so, you know, the state of our nervous system and the state of the how much tension we’re holding within our physical bodies is basically the status of their mental health. So for using breath work, and yes, there’s heaps of other modalities out there that we can use other than breath work. So, you know, just somatic touch and even just expression or writing a letter or yelling at a tree, even dancing and moving your body with the intention of creating space for yourself to remove some of the energy or emotions that are trapped within your body can help you start to release everything. It’s just a breath work is just I think, in the, the reduction of all of those other kind of outward facing senses, you get something very profound because your awareness and your attention comes so deeply present into yourself that you can start to explore parts of yourself that you’ve disconnected from for a lot from a long time.

 

Bryn 

Yeah, I like that. The just the visualisation of an outward focus as an inward focuses.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, I did a 10 day chigan course with one of the best chigan guys in Australia and that was ran by the warrior revival. So there’s a really cool guy who’s was in the Sal Bray qualified and they’ve set up a scene on the Gold Coast, which is 10 days of Cheong for soldiers, you know in Chico is closing your eyes for up to three hours at a time. With these particular masters, they do eight or nine hours a day for three hours at a time go to as a time. So when you got your eyes closed and you’re gently moving your body, it’s very similar you basically you know you you’re making peace with the outside world you’re kind of coming more presently inward and you’re moving your body in a healthy way. You’re starting to create healthy patterns of movement, you’re connecting to breath, and you’re basically starting to reconnect to parts of yourself that you’ve disconnected from. So yeah, there’s multiple modalities out there, have you been able to be more present within your physical body and kind of having more inward awareness. It’s just you know, once again, it’s like what aligns for you and what makes you feel comfortable and safe to explore your your own your own body.

 

 

Previous

 

Matt Bruce 

guest

 

Bryn 

Richmond who is responsible for tra trauma release and Australia and April for the idea that our house subconscious is actually our body. Yep. No, just

 

 

the bits we don’t far

 

Bryn 

ahead but all the things that are caught and trapped in our body and that’s resonated with me since the certainly elements of that with what you’re saying,

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, hundred percent agree that no I guess now if you go back to I’ll go back to a like a telecommunications analogy if you’re like piece of optic fibre and there’s light shining down, the light, all of those, all that tension and all the blocks and all the armoring and they’re just like warped like spinal and all those kind of things. Just the blocks they just show up in the show up in that lie and Just kind of refracts out from there. Yes, yeah. So you know, we know through modern like kind of quantum physics that we are basically just like light and energy and space, etc. So if the light is then starting to hit these denser parts within ourselves and refracting outward outwards, yeah, that’s a subconscious kind of mind, which is the block which is showing you the physical body. Yeah. Yeah, but I need to go too deep into that stuff. But, you know, for anyone that’s out there who’s, you know, struggling with their mental health or just struggling to be the best version of themselves. A breath is like a super easy tool where you can start, whether it’s like Wim Hof or whether it’s you just starting to consciously breathe into your belly. Now, you know the why you’re basically changing your state from your sympathetic nervous system into your parasympathetic nervous system. So, you know, just breathing because it makes you feel good. You’re actually breathing for codes. you’re breathing to consciously change the state of where you’re at in your body, when you consciously breathe a change of state or within your physical body, your mental health reflect that. So anxiety, depression, all of these things are all just like a byproduct of you not being in your parasympathetic nervous system and not feeling safe in your environment. And you can consciously do the work to do that. And we’re not talking about massive amounts of breathing. We’re just talking about a 10 minute routine every morning. So you start the day in your parasympathetic nervous system, you go out there, you’ll be more resilient to change, you’ll be more resilient to arouses that will normally affect you. I mean, you can kind of carry that resilience throughout the day. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

And then if you do get into that carry into sleep,

 

Matt Bruce 

yeah, hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah, I think that that’s really important. The night routine is just as important as a morning routine. Because I guess it stops us from accumulating anything from the day. You know, once we have troubles on our mind, and we go to sleep with him on your mind. We’re really kind of like just bathing in that 33 hours sleep and we’re waking up in not the best, best version of ourselves that we can. So our nighttime routine can be really powerful. And beyond that with mobile phones and stuff these days, there was a lot and yes, no, you putting your phone away at 730 at night. And you know, I personally have candles. So I go to IKEA and buy some candles these days. And you know, when the sun goes down a lot candles, put out my phone away. 730 can be a little bit noisy sometimes and be working a little bit later. My partner normally pulls me up much to my disgust. But yeah, I have like, you know, good sleep hygiene, which allows me to to be a healthy version of myself. Yeah. You know, they’ve done some massive studies around Yeah, the link between when the white light bar was invented and human disease on the planet. Yeah. And you know, it’s massive. So you know, that’s just a story and belief system. Some people have had a but I’ve definitely noticed even with the adrenal fatigue that I had and removing white light from my night just retain the massive changes that’s had within myself.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. And yeah the advent of having LED lights NASA’s not one of the things my partner Lucy’s very keen on is regular filament bulbs. very least Yeah, just say all those out there pops here, that one that comes on at the end of the day. But now you got

 

Matt Bruce  

IKEA you can get some, you know, 15 hour plus candles, four pack of them for $3. So you can have like candle candle by candle lot for very cost effective means and

 

Bryn 

what have you learned about yourself on this journey?

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, everything. Anything I knew myself before this journey. I learned that

 

Bryn 

that’s interesting. Yeah, itself.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, I learned it. I am a very caring and common person,

 

Matt Bruce 

like, you know.

 

Bryn 

I’ve learned it

 

Matt Bruce 

with also similar, like, you know, it’s Australian culture not to express ourselves. And yeah, you know, I go to a men’s group in Victoria Park every Wednesday. And we’re just like a bunch of healthy young males that are kind of going through our challenges and wins throughout the week. Yeah, but as everyone expresses themselves, you know, we’ve all been there. We’re all going through the exact same stuff. So I’m learning that you know, I am, I am just like my brothers and just all my sisters and we’re all going through the same challenges together. So it’s time to drop down mass and drop out walls and receive the help that we need. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

I started to float the idea of the 8020 rule that between internet social media stuff like that we think that we’re 100% unique with that asked our troubles and our dramas, as well as our successes are hundred percent unique. But the more I think about it, the more 80% of what we do is just the same as everybody else. And it is we are unique. We are all the same and 80% we are unique and not 20% Yeah, and if we can spend more time being healthier by listening and learning to those around us, which is part of what I do with this podcast. And Julian the 80% Yeah, so it’s more healthy. Yeah,

 

Matt Bruce 

I think you give you 20% more room to shine. Yeah, I think definitely every single person individually, when they’re in their true form is 100% individual. But I think that the 80% of our travels and the stories we’re telling ourselves, you know, environmentally induced Yeah, so yeah, hundred percent like, we’re taking on environmental conditions and we’re sharing those. And that’s definitely the 80% because all their stories and struggles are the same because they’ve come from the same conditioning. And that’s one of the things that I talk about in my book that I hope everyone out there is going to read shortly. Is that what’s out now should be a couple months. I’m not I’m not that fast on time. But yeah, I want to say that but um, it’s it’s the fact that we’re holding so much trauma in our DNA from generations of war. Yes, and you know, every single person in today’s modern age has some form of trauma in their bloodline or the DNA that is causing them to have like to suffer today. So you know, we’ve never been in such a time for change, where we had the spaciousness, the information that access to food and healing and then we have ever been, and you’re basically not just healing, you’re healing all of the past struggles that your families have dealt with from previous Wars. So there’s been a lot of war over the timeline within the world. And you basically break that down. And, you know, I just saw myself that I went off to war I come back, you know, I think it will the, the struggles that I’ve passed on to my ex partner and my family and all the things that I’ve done just through make me back to war. We multiply that by every war and every male that’s ever been to war ever since the beginning of time. We all share really common DNA and like common foundations that basically all of that exists within us today. So we really need to take responsibility for where we’re at and is saying that we have in today’s modern age to actually start to change that.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. As I listened to you that there’s almost this income of responsibility that that stops for future generations.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yes, well, yeah.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. And then there’s that whole thing I read all about, you know, men, you know, certainly ever since the Industrial river Lucian and what’s been the main story? men go away? to do things? Whether it’s factory war,

 

Matt Bruce 

whatever. Yeah. abandonment.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. And then future generations of men are raised by them with the absence of solid ground Roman. Yeah. Yeah. unset patch, right.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yes. And another story creates itself India

 

Bryn 

was the next three to five years.

 

Matt Bruce 

Good question.

 

Matt Bruce 

So putting in to help get a book out there putting intention out there to help my boss Julian pace. So I kind of change a few million people’s lives in the in like the corporate environment, small to large as well too. So I think it’s pretty unfair that only the medium to large sized businesses within Australia at the moment of getting access to these preventative measures Healthcare. So as an organisation, we’re going to try and create a space where there’s smaller, small, small, medium sized businesses can come and interact with preventative mental health. So that’s going to be one of the things next year. So I think that that’s something that’s really big for me. And then ultimately, just passing on the personal knowledge that I have around PTSD to help people kind of change their story with PTSD, which, you know, I’ve already been having an impact in that already. And just hopefully that will just organically grow into what it’s meant to be. I don’t have any burning desires to be anyone or anything. Just kind of, you know, wake up and go about my day and whatever feels in alignment and whatever feels good for me. I’ll kind of have a look at also.

 

Bryn 

What’s my daily routine? Must be stuff you do consider your love it. Yeah, sorry. I’m gonna have to be ex military as well as some of partaking some of the good stuff.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, I never really thought about it. But so 5am 530 I get up and my partner and I do

 

Bryn 

have to go to bed

 

Matt Bruce 

early yeah eight o’clock these days because as soon as you have candlelight and no phone, it’s like resetting that circadian rhythm that he did. So I was like a new when you go camping and you hoping attained Yeah, and there’s no white light anyway yeah you sleep when the

 

 

sun goes oh, I’m tired. What time is it?

 

 

Yes, I it’s close. That’s a

 

Matt Bruce 

loft now. So yeah, it’s really cool. And so that’s one of our routines is that kind of candlelight and going to bed earlier, which just naturally happens. It’s not like 14 or you just listen to your body. And then the morning routine is like breath work and kind of activating some of those automatic systems as I spoke about that exists within us. And like expressing our needs are starting to change some of the relationship conditioning that we’ve had. Obviously in some of the conditions that we have within ourselves of not being able to express our needs or understand our needs and I think the and I think that that’s like a superpower and wrong yes superpower in itself every morning just to tune into your body and to what your needs are, and then expressing them to your partner and then having them received, you know, you’re breaking down a lot of stories there about being insane hurt, feeling and creating, creating like strong cognitive functions within, you know, neuro plasticity and all that.

 

Bryn 

And also his bravery in the relationship every single morning.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah, yeah, you’ve seen this one. Check it in with it. Yeah, yeah. And just like yourself, no coffee these days. So matul field with some ashwagandha and a few other like adaptogens around like a drain rules and got health as well. And, obviously, like no phone or no social media in the morning as well, too. So yeah, that’s the Morning Routine goes for you know, it can go from half an hour up to an hour and depending on what our days look like and if I’ve got any 730 podcast but um so yeah and then that really sets me up for success I’ll go into the happiness car or go to wherever I’m meant to be and I’m super grounded and I’m holding my state I have amazing awareness. I have ability to allow people to sync up to me as well to know um, I think when we very first chatted we spoke about the electromagnetic rhythm of a heart and yeah, it’s going up to eight metres at yeah so as you go out into the world in these particular states, you know people actually sinking up to you and and feeling that level of calmness and calmness radiating out of you. And you kind of actually starting to have change within your community without people even been very aware of that. Do sir. Yeah, it’s, it’s cool. And that’s all fan box. routine and choice and by just waking up in the morning getting straight into it was

 

Bryn 

the last question I like to ask my guess is if you could take one nugget of information and upload it into the collective consciousness, everyone just gets it. What would it be?

 

Matt Bruce 

How important self love is. And I’m not talking about like running a bubble bar, talking about like actually feeling love for yourself and making space to feel love for yourself. Because if you think about like it, you know, you break down our body with cells in a petri dish. You know the difference between you’ve actually feeling love for yourself and sitting in that versus running a bubble bath. You know, maybe if you love I sit in the bubble bath and then you feel love for yourself. That’s okay. But it’s about that feeling love for yourself and connecting to that source of love that we have within ourselves, and that that’s always present. You know, and if it’s not presidents because we’re in a story and that you know, we’re have something to move through, and we can actually use our preventative mental tool sets to get out of the story, and then get back into that place of groundedness. And love that exists within us. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

If people want to come and find you map where they find you

 

Matt Bruce 

can find me via the happiness go, yo just met Bruce online, but do have like a little seven week, like men’s online programme that I do as well, too. It’s called embracing change is basically where a lot of the male people that I’m working with at the moment are struggling for change. So it’s about giving them the tools that I’ve used to really make, you know, change in really deep disconnected places as well too. So their Facebook, Matt, Bruce, and yeah, reach out to the happiness co as well, too. Yeah, they’re worth it. We’re doing there is quite amazing as well. You know, we did a large heavy diesel mechanic business the other day medo and they had 115 mechanics in the room. And, you know, we basically went through preventative mental health toolsets rolls, emotional set points and all these things that, you know, they received in the end, I think there’s a bit of resistance at first, but you know, the transformation and the tools that we have and our lived experience, we can open them up to receive that. So we’re doing some really cool things out there. So, you know, the happiness carries definitely where you can find me. Excellent.

 

Bryn 

Matt, it’s been an absolute privilege to listen to this morning. I’ve really enjoyed and then you call yourself trauma nerd or but I’ve really enjoyed your most logical framework to be able to describe and explain things which makes it quite accessible to be very easy for a lot of this stuff to be passed off as word yet, but actually know, when you breed this happens, you have a system that it does that. This is the mechanics of them backed up with your own personal stories. Yeah. So powerful.

 

Matt Bruce 

Yeah. I think that’s part of why I’m here. So just break that down to people and give it to him in a natural way. So yeah, thank you.

 

Bryn 

Thank you very much.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

military, trauma, people, starting, breath, world, body, life, story, create, ptsd, disconnected, feeling, guess, cognitive function, soldiers, moving, perth, exists, happening

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