Last night, we went to Ant Middleton’s Mind Over Matter Tour that was held in the Plenary at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.
It seems like we have attended more events in the last month than we have over the last couple of years. It’s because Andrew had booked many different concerts, shows, and other events for us to attend back in 2019 and over the last 6 lockdowns in the last couple of years, ALL of the shows were either cancelled or postponed. Some postponed at least twice.
Now they’re all coming to roost, so to speak, in 2022.
Although happy to be getting out again, it’s with a strong fear and anxiety.
There’s always a niggling concern that we’re attending these shows with large crowds. It’s near impossible to get a seat away from them so I do the best I can by not eating or drinking at these events; socially distancing where I can; trying to go in first into the auditorium and then waiting until everyone leaves before we walk out; wearing a face mask throughout the entire time and not taking it off; sanitising hands constantly.
I know my enjoyment of these events is somehow impeded by thinking, “why am I even here?” “Shouldn’t we stay at home?” all the while the virus is swirling around.
I think, however, the biggest fear though is being seen as a hypocrite.
I cannot espouse ‘staying safe’ message if I’m out there going to these events where there are crowds so I have this battle in my head that I shouldn’t be out there.
So with that, we now have in our hands, the tickets to many shows that would have otherwise been spread across 2020 and 2021, all happening within months of each other in 2022 and it’s taken a bit to get used to. When you haven’t left the house in two years to suddenly going out, seeing people around you – it can get a bit overwhelming.
A Glimpse Into People’s Minds
Last night before the Ant Middleton show, I sat at a long table (we were all apart) and there were three different groups. We were all waiting for the doors to open to go into the plenary.
I was the first to ask openly to them all – as if I was facilitating some session – why they were there tonight. I expected people to be shy or not respond. I simply wanted to talk to others.
I’m not shy in opening up conversations with strangers. I’m finding it’s easier to talk to people now because everyone is so eager to just talk to someone – anyone.
It was surprising that we all opened up to each other.
We all wanted to talk about our experiences of lock down.
One young lady shared how she had lost her job, she was lonely living in her tiny flat without her family and friends. She started having dark thoughts. She began to read the books of Ant Middleton about changing her mindset that helped her view her situation differently.
Another, a nurse, who had been putting in long hours, questioned her career choices and how exhausted she was all the time, but she watched the entire series of SAS Australia and found that the words and the positivity that they shared and that helped others overcome their doubting mindsets also helped her.
All agreed that as Melbournites, we had all dealing with some kind of trauma in the last two years.
All mentioned how their interstate friends and family didn’t comprehend what we had gone through but now many are looking forward to putting it all behind them and slowly going out again. They wanted to hear words of inspiration that spoke to their states of minds – to get their negative, self doubts and niggling concerns out of their heads so that they can just move forward – with life – again.
I found this chat with the strangers at the table was part of the experience and the ‘why’ I seem to have also liked the series of SAS Australia.
In some ways, it also allayed my fear of being “out there” because it confirmed that I wasn’t alone in thinking this way.
I had not known who Ant Middleton was (truth be told, nor cared) until I saw a show where he recreated Bligh’s route when he was cast adrift by mutineer Fletcher Christian on the Bounty. As a mad keen fan girl of anything to do with William Bligh and the story of the mutiny, this piqued my curiosity.
Since then, I had been watching the SAS shows and even wrote about them in Survival Training.
In his Mind Over Muscle Tour, Ant Middleton talked about the events in his life that shaped him. The first half was the lessons he had learned from his father who passed away early in Ant’s life and the massive life change moving to another country, France at the age of 8 and having to deal with grief, a new father in his life, a new language, a new culture and home.
His main lesson he kept re-iterating was that of “self-reflection” and how he’s someone who takes time to digest, break down, go inside himself to ask deep questions and face up to the answers (some of them confronting) so that he can plan his next move.
Much of what he says is not rocket science, and he even says himself that it’s simply based on his own life experiences. Sometimes we need people to tell us how it is – and make us face ourselves but it’s only when we’ve done the hard yards to go deep in ourselves and reflect – that we are in a position to face up to ourselves and make the changes we need to make in our lives.
The second half of the show was his recounting of his time climbing Mount Everest which was harrowing to say the least.
Overall, I’m glad to have seen the show and also had the experience of listening to other’s stories about how his words – whether they came in the form of a book or yelling at some recruits – helped them.
To me, the biggest take away was that people who self-reflect, who really open up to themselves and question what they do and why they do it, are far better placed to face a world of uncertainty and change.
I’ve done a couple of reviews of his books here, if you’re interested to see them.