I have mastered the art of self-reinvention through a process of mental programming, and I help others to do the same.
A dysfunctional childhood
From overcoming physical and emotional abuse as a young child to having to deal with the feelings of guilt following the death of my abusive father – which took place moments after I had threatened him – I’ve been forced to throw away one dysfunctional version of Martin after another and to learn how to start again from scratch.
Lifelong meditation practice
Thanks to early exposure to meditation practice and a lifelong interest in matters of the mind, particularly relating to how we are mentally programmed from a very young age, I have learnt how to use meditation and the mindful state as a gateway for resetting my own mindset.
Early career and family life
Despite the ups and downs of my early life – substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, mental illness, etc. – by the age of thirty, I was a t-total, non-smoking, clean-living exercise fiend with a home of my own, a new career in advertising and a fiancé. Children and marriage followed, so did divorce, and soon after, my career flatlined.
A new vision in mindfulness training
During my thirties, an idea had started to germinate in my mind. I wanted to deliver a new kind of workshop that combined my knowledge of meditation and mindfulness with years of martial arts training.
As a teen, I’d developed a passion for martial arts and particularly performance art using traditional Eastern weapons. My approach to weapons training was completely different to that of my peers and this showed in what I was able to achieve.
Rather than trying to inflict my will upon whatever prop I was handling, I engaged in a relationship with it, feeling its physical language and intuiting how it “wanted” to move. In many ways, what I was discovering was the truth of Taoism and a way of showing this truth to others without having to resort to mystical language.
I believed I had discovered a unique approach for helping people understand how they were engaging with their world and how they could interact with others more effectively. Would others take my ideas seriously?
By that time, I was already copywriting for people to supplement my advertising income, but my vision was to be able to stand on my own two feet as a self-employed individual; writing, delivering mindfulness training and one-to-one coaching. What was holding me back?
An enemy within
I got the answer to that question when a very spiritual person, whom I loved and respected, turned around and said to me, “Martin, I don’t think your father ever told you he loved you.”
With those words, my whole being was flooded with such an intense emotional response that I knew he had shown me the truth, and now it was obvious: I had been hating myself for decades.
The child who had been told that he was the “world’s worst” and would amount to nothing, who had been beaten and treated in a completely different way than his six other siblings, was still around, alive and kicking, within my subconscious, and it was telling me that I was worthless and unlovable. I had to figure out how to reprogram my deep mind.
Stepping out with my own ideas
Change did not happen overnight. I had bills to pay, children to feed and the economy was still on its knees after the banking crisis. The turning point came in 2014, when I delivered my first “Creative Kobudo / Moving Mindfulness” workshop to a group of employees at a local business. Not only did they love the experience, but they also understood the deeper message.
It wasn’t long before I found myself working with children in primary and secondary schools, but it wasn’t until I was booked to work with severely mentally ill patients from the secure unit of a hospital, that I really believed I had arrived. My own ideas, which I had developed as a child, were being taken seriously by people with letters after their names. Not bad for a university dropout.
The last five years have not been plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination. I had to take risks, overcome fear, dig deep and persevere, but I have made my vision into a reality.
These days, I ghostwrite and edit for other speakers and entrepreneurs, still deliver mindfulness-based training to schools and other organisations, have one-to-one coaching clients, and I am a radio presenter with my own weekly, two-hour interview show.
My talks cover a range of mindset-related topics:
Understanding diabetes: from type-2 diabetes to full-contact kickboxing victory in six months
- Tactics for generating luck
- How to get paid for being you
- Understanding mind, mindset and mental programming
- Cause and effect: how the smallest decisions can lead to the greatest outcomes
- Overcoming child