Our Guest Ė Chris Mackey, Clinical Psychologist


Youíre listening to Communicate with Zen and John from Empower Your English.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† Hi everyone.Welcome to the Communicate Podcast.Communicate is all about how we express ourselves and how we understand one another.Iím Zen, with my Co-host John.


John:††††††††††††††† Hi Zen, hello everybody.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† And we have Chris Mackey as our guest today to share about his story and his communication journey.Hi Chris.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Hi everyone.Hi Zen.Hi John.


John:††††††††††††††† Welcome to Communicate.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Terrific, thanks very much for having me here.


John:††††††††††††††† So Chris letís start by, would you like to share with everybody about your communication journey and who you are?


Chris:†††††††††††††† Okay so Iím Chris Mackey, a Clinical Psychologist.I work in my group Private Practice in Geelong, but I worked for 15 years in public mental health, so at Geelong Hospital and worked at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital with many war veterans.And Iím the Author of the Positive Psychology of Synchronicity.Iím very interested in positive psychology which is about ways of enhancing our wellbeing.So even though I work with many people who have anxiety and depression itís also looking at how people can help themselves be even more well.


††††††††††††††††††††††† Iím also involved in a TV program, Destination Happiness which will be screening on Channel 9 in Australia from midday on Saturdays from early September.Itís a well-being TV show.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† This all sounds so exciting.And Chris, I think most of the people will have self-talk as a communication style.And John I think that you have self-talk as well right?


John:††††††††††††††† Self-talk yes.You know what the biggest problem is?This kicks in about three oíclock in the morning when I should be sleeping.Thatís another conversation.But yes I self-talk, I reflect, communicate with inner self, what ever we call it I do it.I think a lot of people do it.And for me, I see it as a positive thing.I need to plan my life like we all do, so yeah I do it a lot.Over to you Chris.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes certainly I think we all have self-talk in terms of our thoughts.Iíd think that thatís one of the biggest things about how habits of thinking come across and how we tend to think of things that happen in every day life and itís natural to have our own self-talk or commentary going on, which is basically our thoughts around what kind of things are happening.


John:††††††††††††††† Chris, do people self-analyse themselves to say Iím doing it too often, do I have a problem?


Chris:†††††††††††††† I think that we can get caught up in patters of worry when weíre under stress.And that can be overthinking it.We know that people tend to be happier if weíre mainly living in the here and now and noticing things outside of us.So if we get pre-occupied with worries or whatever, we tend not to be so much in the present, we can worry about the past or the future and sometimes not notice things around us so much, and thatís why itís very popular these days to consider mindfulness.Mindfulness is largely being in the moment, and noticing what we take in from all our senses rather than getting too caught up in thoughts or self-talk.


John:††††††††††††††† That makes a lot of sense.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† So Chris you are ticking off the Psychologists hat off and can you tell us how you as Chris Mackey think about like this type of the self-communication.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Well I think that there are different types of self-communication.I must admit itís difficult for me to completely take my Psychologist hat off because thatís so much of what psychology is about.Itís looking at how we think about things and how we talk to ourselves, is a core part of psychology.


John:††††††††††††††† But on that point Chris, can you do it?I think when Zen and I were preparing this [0:04:17] we thought is it really physically possible for you to say okay Iím going to take that Psychology hat off and share with people aboutÖ


Chris:†††††††††††††† What Iíll try and do is use every day language for how I think as a person.And how I think as a person, apart from any work as a Psychologist, I think there is a few different types of communication with ourselves.There is a self-talk which is like our habits of thinking.Thinking oh look if things are tough Iíll usually get by or thinking oh look I usually screw things up or things donít turn out well, like itís our habits of thinking that make a difference.And I find that if Iím stressed sometimes I have more worried self-talk or this might go wrong or that might go wrong, but usually if Iím feeling okay then usually my self-talk is more even of things like, oh this is difficult but Iíll find a way around that.But I think also self-talk can be, or communicating with ourselves, it can also be our intuition.Tapping into ourselves which sometimes, itís almost also tapping into a feeling not just even words or thinking.And Iím interested, as a person Iím interested in tapping into deep intuition.Because sometimes you get an inkling that itís best to do this rather than that.Sometimes you get a feeling that itís worth going in a certain direction, or putting more effort into, it might be getting to know a particular person or do something.And I like that kind of inner intuition which is a kind of inner communication but itís not even just talking, sometimes itís an inkling or a feeling of doing things in a certain way and I think we sometimes under emphasise the importance of intuition compared to logic.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† I totally agree with you Chris.Not only the language, sometimes the positive language or the language that is bringing a positive energy to us.For example, I believe that I can do it.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† That is really healthy for ourselves and also I agree with that deep intuition as well.Like when we are in the right directions and we feel so much relaxed, I think that is a type of the communication from our inner selves that how do we interpret the information from the external environment.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes.And sometimes we call it gut feelings.Its listening to our gut.And as someone said to me recently, she thought that when we pay attention to our gut, thatís a bit like paying attention to our head and our heart at the same time because our gut kind of combines what our head might think and our heart might feel.And I think thatís an interesting way of putting it.I think thereís a lot of truth in that, the gut feeling is often a way of summing up a whole lot our understanding.


John:††††††††††††††† One of my roles during these interviews is to jargon-bust so if those people say whatís a gut?A gut weíre talking about the stomach.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes.


John:††††††††††††††† The stomach.Itís a slang word for stomach, gut.Itís a feeling you get in your stomach.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes.


John:††††††††††††††† Sometimes it can be a sickness but also itís an emotional feeling.So thatís just my role as jargon-buster.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† Okay Chris.We are going to ask you to close your eyes and respond to this scenario now.Chris you are sitting in a space ship on the way to another planet and the purpose of your trip is to describe synchronicity.What makes this mission challenge is you know nothing about the people on this planet.They understand simple English.How are you going to explain synchronicity?


Chris:†††††††††††††† Okay.Well I think synchronicity is to do with weird and wonderful coincidences.Things that happen and you think wow thatís a really amazing coincidence and especially if it feels like itís meaningful.It means something to you, it makes you notice it.It makes you curious about it.And it makes you think wow that seems more than chance.Thatís synchronicity.


John:††††††††††††††† I wish people could watch Chris right now because heís only just opened his eyes.His fists have been clenched.So when we talk about Communicate we talk about body language so Chris that came from the heart, I could feel.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes it does.


John:††††††††††††††† And sadly people on a podcast arenít seeing what your body language is doing now.So itís really good.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† Yes.Chris do you think the synchronicity of what we call is not just a coincidence.Like type of the communication with the universe or out of space?


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes Zen I think thatís a good way of putting it.To me it feels like a connection with the universe.It seems to me, even though Iím not really a religious person I donít think so much in terms of God, although some of my views are probably a little bit similar to that.I think more in terms of the universe.I think that there is a higher mind.I think there is some kind of consciousness or mind thatís beyond us as people, and I think sometimes things happen in a way that seems really spooky and I think thatís beyond chance itís like thereís some higher mind or spirit if you like, thatís organising the universe.


††††††††††††††††††††††† For example, sometimes it can be in numbers that come up.I know that some people, they see the numbers 11 11 come up in a clock a lot and they think wow thatís happening too often for it to be just chance.For me the number six has come up a lot in my life, and when I was writing about synchronicity for example, on the day I started writing I woke up at 6.06 in the morning and several other days I woke up I looked at the clock it was 6.06.And then even when I was overseas in a different time zone, so itís not just Iíve got a habit of waking up at the same time each day.Again Iíd wake up the first day I was writing in America and the clock said 6.06.Iíd long had the experience, especially when I met my wife.And we were first going out together, the number six kept on coming up a whole lot, and I felt like that was like a message from the universe that there was something right about our relationship.Because I sometimes think of synchronicity or amazing coincidences as like a tick from the universe that youíre on the right track.


††††††††††††††††††††††† And I since learnt that the number six is the only one of the numbers from one to nine that relates to love or Venus, and I thought oh that kind of fits.I felt that the number six was something very meaningful to our relationship and to me that was a funny little connection that added to that view.


John:††††††††††††††† Listening to you we can really understand where youíre coming from and I guess last two or three years itís been a big part of my life.Interesting for me is when I then want to share that with a stranger on a train that I might meet, you sort of say to yourself, how am I going to pitch this?How am I going to explain it?And am I ready for the weird look Iím going to get back.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes.


John:††††††††††††††† Weíre all around the table talking and nodding, talking about this.But for those non-believers and thatís fine, there are many non-believers out there that donít get it.Theyíre very happy to sit with the word, no itís just a coincidence.So I donít know about you Zen but how do you find being able to respond to people who say ah itís all silly it doesnít make sense at all.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† This is a very interesting question.I think it depends on how do we communicate that message.Like if some people are not the believers of numerology then we can just tell them like a story, so if they are interested in that, they will go to do their own research or just ask Google, Dr Google, and they may have some information or some understanding.And if we talk with someone they already have this experience then that is a positive empowerment because itís oh yes we do both have this mutual understanding and we do both understand that that is our higher conscious of mind communicating with us.So which gives us more strength and inner power to keep walking on our journey or destination.


John:††††††††††††††† Sure, I might actually add where I have spoken about it, very few people push back.If anything itís more of a trigger, oh.You almost see a relief in their face, oh cool someone said this, because it happens to me right now.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yes I find the same, especially using the common examples like another example of synchronicity is when you think of someone you havenít seen for a long time, it might even be a couple of years.And then you run into them in the street in a different city or they ring you out of the blue and you havenít thought of them and you think wait a minute, itís like our minds are more connected than we would normally think.Or you might be facing a real problem and you donít know how to sort out this problem.


Like I know someone had this real problem with the brakes on their car were failing and they were out near a little cafť in a remote town and the next person who pulled up was like a brake specialist.And could help them fix the problem.So sometimes that happens too often and I find that when you tell stories like that about these amazing coincidences, then people who might have felt a bit sceptical at first, often they have then a story of their own and thatís one reason I like talking about synchronicity, even though Iím a Psychologist and weíre normally very rational and scientific.I like talking about it for example, on a fortnightly radio show I do in Geelong called the Catch Up on Bay FM and we get callers to ring in and tell these stories.Like when they think of someone and that person has rung them out of the blue, or like just other amazing coincidences that people felt that it helped them solve a problem in a way that itís meant to be.Itís like theyíre getting extra help from the universe.


And by telling people these stories, you learn that about 40% of people believe in synchronicity as being beyond just chance.Thatís around half the population.But not everyone will talk about it easily unless we make it okay to talk about it and a bit normal.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† Yea that is communication.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Yeah.


John:††††††††††††††† Sure is.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† Okay congratulations Chris.You have successfully completed your mission and returned safely back to Earth.For those people who would like to know more about the information about synchronicity you have your book of course and the new one coming soon too.


John:††††††††††††††† Coming, itís on the table look.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Itís a pre-order, it comes out on the 13th of August yes.


John:††††††††††††††† Itís exciting.So is this like an exclusive right now?


Chris:†††††††††††††† Well in a sense it is because I just got some copies delivered this week from the Publisher.


John:††††††††††††††† Congratulations.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Thank you.


John:††††††††††††††† So whatís your spiel for the second book.How do you pitch it?


Chris:†††††††††††††† The second book, the subtitle is enhance your mental health with the power of coincidence.And I think paying attention to synchronicity or meaningful coincidences, I think itís good for our mental health, look Iíll mention, in four different main ways.


One is it helps our sense of purpose and meaning in life.Because I think that often when we experience synchronicity I think we get a lot of coincidences that make us feel like weíre on the right track that can help us to keep on going.And we know that anything that helps our sense of life purpose or meaning helps us keep on going, gives us energy, thatís good for our mental health.Itís also good for a sense of connection.So if we feel that we share an amazing coincidence with someone else, or we think of them and then they connect with us out of the blue, it makes you feel more connected to people.Anything that helps our relationships or feeling connected is good for our mental health.


Another one is I think itís good for our intuition.Because it makes us wonder and curious, like what is it that this means, that these amazing coincidences have happened, or this amazing coincidence now and it makes you stop and wonder about whatís happening in your life and what it might mean for you and I think that gets us to experience our intuition more than just our logic or our rational mind.Which is good but itís also good to be intuitive.


And the fourth and final thing I think synchronicity is a good way into tapping into our spirituality or what we could say a sacred dimension in life.What a sacred dimension means is we think there is something in life beyond just the material world rather than just whatís mechanically in front of us.Thinking in terms of some higher mind or higher consciousness or higher spirit and we know that if people believe in something larger than ourselves, if we think that thereís a larger sacred dimension in life, then that is good for peopleís physical and mental health.And itís good for our overall sense of connection with others, the universe, good for our well being.


John:††††††††††††††† You summarised that beautifully Chris.Itís time to wrap up.Itís been a lovely conversation.Zen my co-host, Knuckles thank you.


Zen:†††††††††††††††† Yes and itís time to read Chrisí new book.


John:††††††††††††††† Certainly is.Youíve been listening to Communicate podcast produced by Empower your English.If you would like more information about our podcasts, future and past, please go to our website which is


Zen: ††††††††††††††† Thanks Chris.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Thanks very much and if I may mention too Iíve also got a website called and thatís M A C K E Y.We have information about synchronicity and tips on wellbeing at those websites.


John:††††††††††††††† Donít forget, Communicate, and Chris Mackey and Zen.Thank you bye bye.


Chris:†††††††††††††† Thanks very much thanks for having me.




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