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Member Spotlight – Dave

Member Spotlight – Dave Hayes 

We recently spoke with one of our founding members, Dave – who during his 20 years as an Elixr member, became a father to two (now teenage) daughters, changed careers after 50, and is a passionate holistic well-being advocate.

We chatted to him about how life has changed since returning to Sydney after 6 years living in Bali, and his role as a Men’s Mental Wellbeing Coach.

What have been the biggest challenges for you since returning to life in Sydney?

We moved back to Sydney two years ago, in the middle of lockdowns, so integrating back into the community was even more challenging than I anticipated after 6 years away. In some ways it was quite special to not have to jump straight back into the busyness of this city, but the most difficult part about coming back was the forced isolation from family and friends.

Bali was a haven for me – a place where I could slow down and get off the hamster wheel, I felt I was living on, in Sydney. I experienced a spaciousness there – a dropping of expectations – and within that space, I taught myself to surf and found a community of like-minded people who became a source of daily connection.

My daughters were immersed in an experiential school in the jungle, and my wife Kendall and I embarked on the stereotypical Bali journey of “discovering ourselves” on a deeper level. Before we left Bali we were determined to “bring Bali back to Bondi”. That’s been a lot harder than I imagined but with consciousness we manage to find peace here!!!

How do you maintain a healthy balance as a father, a husband, and a business owner?

I commit to meditation most mornings before driving my daughters to school – it helps me stay zen in the Eastern suburbs traffic! I go to yoga and Pilates at Elixr at least three times a week, and I love to surf as often as the weather and waves allow me. I find that as long as I have some form of connection and movement in my day, I feel a sense of balance.

I also LOVE what I do for work – Kendall & I have owned a little whole food takeaway store in the city for nearly 20 years, and my Life Coaching business brings me so much fulfilment.

Another huge support for me over the years has been participating in men’s circles – a safe space where I can allow my thoughts and challenges to be heard – and a community of men to co-create life with. I find creating time and space for myself to continue my own self enquiry very important.

Why are you so passionate about health and healing?

Growing up with undiagnosed anxiety and depression led me to explore natural ways of healing my body and mental health. I felt very alone in my suffering, and now that I have some of the tools for support, I want to share them, so others don’t have to feel how I did. I understand what it feels like for someone to want to give up, so I’m deeply passionate about supporting people who are also experiencing suffering or stuckness in their life.

What do you love most about men’s circles?

We can have physical wellbeing, but so many people are experiencing unseen suffering inside. Many of us grew up with a belief that men were not allowed to speak their emotions – and we are so rarely asked how we are FEELING. Men’s Circles remove the discomfort of authentic conversations and allow us to challenge the conditioning and behaviours around who we are supposed to be in the world.

We are so busy today – Men’s circles provide a structured and supportive environment, where I can share my deepest, authentic self to simply be heard and not judged or given advice. I get to hear myself in the shares of other men, and often their realisations give language to similar things that I have been feeling and haven’t had the words to express. Connecting with men helps me feel like I’m not alone with what I’m feeling and experiencing.

How does a men’s circle work?

I welcome men from all different backgrounds – fathers, young adults, corporates, entrepreneurs – and we simply sit in a safe, quiet space and connect into our breath, our hearts, and our bodies. There are a few ground rules that set the tone and the pace, and each man has an opportunity to share what is present for him in that moment. There is no pressure to speak, and many participants do find a lot of value in simply sitting in the space and recognising aspects of themselves in others’ shares. There is so much power in the slowing down. In the connection to self and others.

It is a privilege to hold this space for men, and I look forward to creating this within the Elixr community.

Dave is happiest when serving his clients to be their best selves – whether that be via his coaching practice or his Iku Wholefood takeaway store in Martin Place, Sydney. He supports men to get clarity on the obstacles that are holding them back – empowering them to connect with authenticity in their relationships and their work/purpose.

Men’s Circle details: 

We invite our male members and friends to a night of connection and sharing at our first Men’s Circle at Elixr on Wednesday 12 October at 6.30pm. Please spread the word!

Details are:

✨ 6:15pm – Arrival
✨ 6:30-7:00pm – 30-minute Hatha yoga class with Yuki
✨ 7.00-8.00pm – 1 hour Men’s Circle with Dave HayesYou will also receive:
  • A complimentary 45-minute coaching session with Dave
  • A one-week complimentary pass to Elixr for guests
  • Each participant receives 20% off lku wholefood online order

Spaces are limited for this complimentary event so please register early.

BOOK NOW

Dave Hayes – Bio

Dave Hayes is a founding member of Elixr Health Club, a father, a Men’s Mental Wellbeing Coach, and owner of an IKU wholefood take away store in Martin Place. He has over a decade of experience co-facilitating Men’s Circles, retreats and workshops.

He is passionate about creating safe spaces, where men can come together to share their highs and lows and have a chance to listen to themselves and others in this otherwise busy world. In the quiet and safety of a men’s circle, we can give ourselves the gift of connecting to our innate wisdom, which is our most profound guide and teacher.

As a young adult, Dave struggled with undiagnosed and unmedicated anxiety and depression. Over the last two decades he attributes the power of men gathering in a circle as part of his ongoing support system for living a healthy life.

Men’s circles are one of the many ways Dave believes we can connect to our true selves, to be heard and seen, resulting in happier humans living more authentic, fulfilling and love-filled lives.

Dave’s love of yoga began after losing two toes in a motorbike accident on the Greek Island of Paros. Movement and connection to community play an integral role in the balance of his physical healing and mental wellbeing.