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The context for these videos

Each post in this short series is from Alec’s weekly livestream to the Facebook group Finding the Balance with Anxiety Freedom Cards. Each week I focus upon one of our innate resources or needs as depicted in the Anxiety Freedom Cards. And the reason I’m doing this is to show you how you too can live a life free from anxiety and stress.

Please let me know what you think by scrolling to the bottom and commenting below!

Below is a direct transcript from the video shown above.

Good afternoon and welcome to another of Alec’s Tuesday Two o’clock Topics on this Tuesday, the 11th of May. Today is the second instalment of our discussion about one of our innate needs. And it’s our need for respect. And at first, I thought I’d said everything that I wanted to say about this topic last week, but actually I do have some more things to add, but if you have any questions or any insights observations, please post a comment below in this Facebook post so that I can see that you’re with me and I’ll do my very best to address any questions that come up.

This process that I’m going through with taking a card each week or each couple of weeks and talking about them is really to help you and maybe people you support or work with, or maybe even clients, if you’re a therapist, a mentor, or a coach of some sort – is to help you identify and explore each of our innate needs in depth, because I firmly believe that when we know our needs and when we understand them and know it at the level where we don’t have to read about it, you know, when it’s internal, when we’ve really got it, then by prioritising getting our needs met in balance, is a wonderful way to live a healthy, balanced life.

And so this whole approach is based around the idea that stress and anxiety are caused by the lack of one or more of our innate needs. So for instance, if somebody disrespects you (taking the topic for today), then we might get angry. You know that they’re not, they’re not giving me my due respect, but it might be more subtle than that as well.

How do you get your need for respect met? I shared a few of the things that I do on a regular basis last week. And I’m really interested to know how it relates to you. When other situations, when you feel that maybe that need is not being met. And what do you do about it? I’d love to know, so please drop any comments in the, drop any questions or thoughts in the comments below and thank you CG. Good afternoon. Good afternoon to you too. I hope you’re well, I’m hoping to go for a walk after this later today. So I’m in a good mood. I hope you’re okay. And we have someone else watching as well whose name I don’t have to hand right now, but I’ll look that up later on.

So I’ve set the scene. I’ve talked about the card. I don’t usually share my more outlandish views of the world, but I’m going to sort of kind of venture into that area a little bit today. I don’t know. I think I’ve shared this in the past, but technically I am a Quaker. I’m a member of the Society of Friends, although I’m not really a practicing Quaker at the moment because well, for various reasons I won’t go into, but, but I do really love one of their main kind of core beliefs or core sayings. And it’s, it’s put in old fashioned language, but it’s the idea of That of God in Every Man. The way I interpret this is really, and this is spurred on by the part of the conversation from last week when I talked about self-respect.

So it’s okay to have respect from others or giving respect to others, but how do we respect ourselves or how, you know, where does that fit in the equation? And when you take the idea that there is something within each human being, it’s innate, it’s within, you’re born with it. That is striving for growth, striving to become more, whether that’s through growing physically, growing, mentally, growing, psychologically, growing spiritually, however, that growth, whatever form that growth takes, that there is something within each person that is driving us forward in some way. And that we’re all absolutely unique and that we all have something to share. And that’s our, almost our only job in life is to shine our light, whatever that means. To do the thing that we were born to do. And because when we’re doing that, and that relates to our sense of meaning and purpose. But when we’re doing that with our whole heart, then life is a joy. Every day is a joy. And I firmly believe that. And if you subscribe to this innate power within us, and that’s why Bindi and I go under the name in8, because we feel strongly that if you honour the words: “know thyself”, if you really look inside and you really look hard at what you are, what you’re not, what you believe, what you don’t believe. If you look for the foundational constructs on which you’ve built, your belief system and your life and your values and everything that goes with it, then you become more wise, I believe. Through the, just through the act of doing that, “know thyself” has always been recommended as a path towards enlightenment.

Now I have some odd, I say, odd, they’re not odd, but they’re not accepted by society in general. I honestly believe that we create our own reality and what I mean, but I’m not denying that there’s an objective reality out there. But what I’m really saying is that in some weird way, that science hasn’t yet fully explained, although it’s getting closer to doing it. We, the physical life that we experience does depend on the thoughts, the ideas, the projections, the desires, the emotions that we attach to those desires about the things that we want from life. And it does make a difference. And it makes a difference in a weird, spooky way, which I cannot put into everyday terms, but that’s just been my experience over many years of my life is that that’s how it works. And I choose to live accordingly because it seems to work. But at the key, at the heart of this is to know who I am and what I am. And I would say in a nutshell that I honestly believe that I am a spiritual being, having a human experience, which is often put the other way around, like human beings seek spiritual experiences. But I see it the other way around. When you get that you have a direct influence on the material reality that you experience. Maybe not immediately, there is a time delay, but eventually, then you can start to get your head around the idea that we really are Creators. And as such, and this could be heresy in some churches to say this, but that’s such, we are gods. We have a role to play in creating reality.

Now I’ve strayed quite a long way from the topic of respect, but I hope you will allow me that indulgence, just to share my particular view on that. I’m in a Facebook group that discuss these kinds of things. And, and somebody asked in that group a question just yesterday and the answer that one member gave, I thought was beautiful. So I thought I’d share that with you. The question was, I learnt that, and this is we’re doing a book reading and reading. We’re reading “Tyranny against human consciousness” by Kaleb Seth Pearl. And it’s a reading group and we, each week we read a couple of chapters and then we discuss them and we discuss what they mean to us.

And so this person said, “I learnt from, that for one’s inner power to develop, you have to exercise it with focused intent”. And she asked, what does this mean? How do you exercise with focused intent? And what is this inner power? Well, my answer would be, this is what innate is all about. It’s about realising your inner power, your inner core being. But the answer that someone else gave, which I thought was beautiful, went like this, this, this, he said, it’s a suggestion. “Imagine a vast loving intelligence that exists, but is unknown to you. Imagine that this intelligence wants to be known, that it waits patiently for those that desire to know it. Now imagine that you desire to know that that desires to be known. That intent will trigger a chain reaction, allowing the two of you, the desire to know, and this vast loving intelligence, that that desires to be known, to find each other and to become one”. And if that’s not a really good description of our relationship to source or to, I haven’t got proper words for it. And then I don’t know what it is. And I thought that was really beautiful description.

And I, and I subscribe to that view entirely, but I would say you don’t have to share my opinion for the cards to work for you. And as you’ll see from a story that I’ll share a little bit later on, I’ve just noticed I’ve got some comments here. So CG says, I never know whether I should put this on the screen or read them first. I think it’s okay to put this on the screen. “Used to receive respect when I was an accompanist. (applause is a great self-esteem builder).” Absolutely. I relate to that one. “And also from staff in schools where I used music as a means of communication, the children who have no language. Nowadays more tricky as not mixing”. Yes, isn’t it just a lot more tricky. And I can’t say that, well, I have had that experience where I’ve been teaching workshops based around wellbeing. So as in the role of a teacher, I’ve, I’ve had that form of respect, but I can relate much more strongly to the idea of musical performance. In fact, I would say that it a couple of years ago, and I would, that was my main source of this form of nutrition. This, this form of food that is being recognised for what we each bring to the table. My source of that food was to go out on a Friday night, Saturday night with a band and play music for people to dance to basically, and that applause that you get when people appreciate what you’re doing, there’s just nothing like it. And once you’ve tasted it, it’s kind of addictive and you want more of it. And I’m not getting any of that form at the moment, but I do have other forms of respect. So thank you for sharing that CG. I, I, I appreciate that. And someone else has just said, “love this”. And I like to share positive things. So thank you for that. Don’t know your name yet, but I will find out shortly.

So I promised that we would work through the worksheet today.

Here is the link: https://in8-cards-resources.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/Worksheet+17.pdf

This is the worksheet, which is in the, it is in the comments with this post. So let me make it a bit bigger. I know it’s too small to read there, but you don’t need to read out just I’ll just run through it quickly. So it has a description about respect and it has a picture of the card, and then it has a number of questions. And I’ll just read through what these questions are. And you will have probably got the pattern by now, that all of these worksheets have a similar format. And the first question is, describe a situation in which what you did was appreciated by someone else.

So CG has just given us two really good examples of that: teaching and accompanying someone musically. What would, what would you say to that? If you’ve got an answer to that and CG has already answered it, but if you know what, a situation in which what you did was appreciated by someone else, and you knew that it was appreciated. There, hopefully there’ll be many experiences that you can draw on to do this, but the thing is when we’re down and when we’re anxious and struggling, and as many of our clients will be, they really struggle to remember those times. So even if it seems obvious to you just write it down or post it in a comment now, because the more that we are clear that we have a role to play, the less stress, stressed we will feel.

So the next question is: How well is your innate need for respect met? And I’m inviting you here to rate it out of nought to 10, where nought is not very well met at all. And 10 is, yeah, I get plenty of that. And that’s really not an issue for me. Yeah. And there are times in life when, I mean, this is a variable thing, isn’t it? It’s not the same every day. It’s not the same every week. And it’s not the same from year to year either.

And then the next one is, is a little challenging question. Describe a situation in which you would like to be appreciated. So this is an invitation really, to think about what’s practical in my life. You know, if I wanted to get a bit of that nutrition in the next week, what would I do in order to feel appreciated? And the obvious kind of direction this is going in is, well, you need to serve someone and you need to help someone, or you need to do something useful or creative or constructive. Surely. I mean, there might be other ways of getting respect met, but I can’t think of any at the moment. Maybe if you can, you can post a comment. So describe a situation. Let me see if I can answer this myself. I would, we’re going to go and see my granddaughter tomorrow. I love seeing my granddaughter. She thinks that I’m, she says I’m silly. I make her laugh. And I love that. So I would like to be appreciated tomorrow by my granddaughter. I would like her to, to smile at me and she doesn’t have to thank me, but just to recognise me, that’s enough for me, but I know that she finds me funny. So that would be good. And then, so I’ve answered the last question as well.

So what could you do over the next few days towards making this happen? Well, I will cultivate a mindset of enthusiasm, fun and anticipation for tomorrow because I know that when I see I’ll catch her eye, she’ll catch my eye. We’ll do the little “eye thing”. Maybe I’ll do. I’ve been doing something since she was very, very young indeed. I’ve been, you know, I’m a guitar player. So I’m quite dextrous with my fingers. And I have this little thing that I do, and it’s quite difficult to do. Can you do this with your fingers? Can you split them that way and that way, and then that way and that way and that way. And then when you can do it with one hand, so if you can do it with two hands and I just, I haven’t been explaining it. I’ve just been doing this in front of Alice, seeing if she’ll copy. And she, she does that. And it’s funny, but when you get really good at it, you can, you can do this thing. I haven’t done it. And that is actually harder than it looks, but I’ve always believed that manual dexterity is good for mental health, that it just exercises your brain cells. It makes connections. So I will try and get her to do that tomorrow a little bit at a time, just a little bit more exposure.

And we have another comment in here, which is: “For me, I can’t connect it to me when I get the applause. Think that that’s maybe imposter syndrome.” Well, that’s interesting. It’s interesting on, on two levels to me, because if people are applauding you, it’s hard to imagine why they would be doing that if, if they hadn’t appreciated what you’ve done. So it sounds like there might be a bit of imposter syndrome or, or some blockage there in you being able to receive the thanks that’s being given. And I don’t know why that should be. Maybe you’ve had past experience where it’s been difficult.

I certainly had some difficult experiences in my musical journey. I can remember one time when I played a guitar in front of all of the staff and parents of our boys grammar school, 400 people in the audience. And I forgot the piece halfway through. I was halfway through the piece. I was quite stressed, quite anxious, quite nervous, and my mind went blank. We now know emotional hijack – card number 26, strong emotions make us functionally stupid. I restarted the piece from the beginning. I got to the same part and I went blank again. And I was so embarrassed and they clapped and I kind of thought that, they’re not, they’re tapping out of sympathy. That doesn’t work for me.

But when people clap genuinely, I think that that’s something we have to learn to, to appreciate, to receive, to accept, bit like accepting a gift really. If you, if you don’t accept it with grace, it’s like, it feels like it hasn’t been given to the person giving. But the other thing that it triggered in me is the idea that if you really want to be musical, you have to get out of the way. You have to let inspiration flow through you, through your hands, through your skill and your ability and your practice, but it’s not you who’s doing it. It’s spirit, that’s doing it. And your job is to get out of the way and allow that natural inspiration to flow through you as a, as a, as a tool to the audience. And in fact, whenever I get nervous about performance, I remind myself, it’s not about me. I’m just a tool to allow source to connect to audience. And once I get out of the way in that way, and I know it’s not about me, it’s about the ideas or the inspiration or something like that. Why would I be nervous? It’s not about me anyway. And it doesn’t really matter what I look like and what I sound like and how I come across. I’m just, I’m just doing my thing. So that’s one way of taking this pressure off, if you like.

And then we have another comment here that says, so yes, the other side is to be able to accept respect. Yes. Like accepting gifts. It’s not always easy. It’s not, especially if we doubt the value of the thing that we’ve done, in any way. So yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate that. So I’ve strayed from the subject a bit. I’m going to pull it back together.

The story that I’m going to share today is less of a story that maybe you could use with your clients. It’s not so much a therapeutic story. Although I believe all stories are therapeutic at some level. And it’s a story that one or two of you may have heard if you’ve attended the cards master class or the workshops that we’ve run in the past. And it’s a story about one of our early adopters of the cards approach. This is a human givens practitioner who I won’t name just really to keep the, the client confidentiality clear, but she bought this one of the early sets of cards on the first sets of cards when we first published them. And she was working for a charity and the charity helped teenagers who were homeless. And she was employed to see teenagers and to use her psychotherapy skills, to help them in whatever way she could.

And this particular day, she had a new client teenager. And all she knew about, I can’t remember if it was a him or her, and that’s probably appropriate because I’ll keep it blurred, was that they were self harming and they were abusing alcohol and they didn’t turn up for their appointment. And that’s not such a rare occurrence working in that world. As many of you will know. And then it’s a bit like fishing that you’ve got to kind of establish a level of rapport before people will even take you seriously. A lot of teenagers don’t want to see a therapist for any reason, because they don’t really believe that’s going to help. What, what good is talking going to do after all? Talking isn’t an important part of a lot of teenagers’ life. They work in grunts. I’m being extreme. Forgive me.

Anyway, this person didn’t turn up for their appointment. And after five or 10 minutes, my, our colleague had their phone number and thought, well, I’ll see if they’re on their way, and I’ll try and figure out what I’m doing for the next hour, whether they’re actually going to turn up or not. So she phoned the number and the person, young person, and the teenager was still in bed in sheltered accommodation, I believe. And said, Oh, I completely forgot about my appointment. Not so unusual. And our colleague said, “Well, I’ll tell you what, why don’t you get out of bed, put some clothes on, get dressed, I’ll drive by cause I know where your address is. I know where you live and let’s just go for a walk in the park. We won’t do a full therapy session today.” And the young person agreed to this and got out of bed. Our colleague drove over and thought: “What on earth am I going to do? Obviously I’m going to start to build rapport. I’m going to make a connection with this young person, but we’re not going to get any opportunity to do any real therapy work today because it’s not a pub. Yeah, it’s a public space.” And they just walked out and into the local park and sat down on the park bench. Actually, no, they didn’t sit on a park bench. They sat under a tree I believe.

And she remembered almost at the last minute that she had a set of cards in her handbag. So she got the cards out, gave the blue ones to the teenager and said, just go through these cards and tell me what you think and what the teenager was, what I’ll do here. Just took the cards, the blue ones, I’m just separating the blue ones from the rest of the pack here. Went through them one at a time and went: Yeah. Okay. Well that means this to me and no big deal. That means there’s some just kind of went through the cards one at a time, talking just a few sentences about each one, maybe. But stopped, um when they got to card number 17, and my colleague said, gave him space to think about it and said “So, which one has caught your eye?” and it was respect.

And I don’t think they even really talked about it in great detail at that point. But then moving on, I think another one that popped out was number 18, the need for community. And this one and a few words were spoken, but I think it wasn’t until a week later at the next appointment that the story became clear.

And at the next appointment, this young person turned up on time with a smile on their face. And the good news was that they had not only stopped drinking and abusing alcohol, but they had stopped self-harming, I don’t think I said at the start, sorry, this young person was self-harming, cutting their wrists I believe. And when asked about what had made the change, the message was that having a look at this card and looking and thinking about what it meant, and, and I advise, urge you to do the same. Well, what does this mean to you? Why is it drawn the way it is? What, what, what are these various things that are happening here? Well, obviously there’s some applause here. There’s a certificate being given here. There’s a thumbs up here. There’s a handshake. I’m on the wrong side. Hand shake here. There’s a bunch of flowers. There’s someone doffing their hat. What does respect mean for you?

And to this young person what this meant was less about how other people relate and more about the idea that self-harm was actually a form of disrespect to their own body. And so having had this insight that actually, if this is something we need and I’m not doing it, then maybe I would feel better if I stopped doing it, perhaps. So they had stopped self-harming now it’s only a week in, so it’s early days to know whether this is going to be a lasting change, but the indications were very strong because not only had they stopped self-harming, they had stopped drinking.

And, and this was the sort of cringe, the clincher, if you like. For a bit of a laugh on the way in to the session, they decided to smile and say hello to every person that they passed on the street inspired by the, the community card, the need for community. And just to see what it was like. And they got positive feedback from the universe as you do, when you take a positive outlook to it.

And I thought this was just a lovely story for how you can get a therapeutic result in, in a therapy session, but it wasn’t even a therapy session, it was a park-seat session or sitting under a tree session without really doing any therapy. The insight came from the client. It was the client’s reality that was stimulated to think about the issue, both community and respect. And I believe in the long term, the outcome was good as well, but I just think it’s such an interesting story because it shows that as someone using the cards, you don’t have to know a lot.

You don’t have to be knowledgeable. You don’t have to have all the experience that Bindi and I have had over the years using them. I mean, we’ve seen people interpret the cards in so many different ways. You know, it becomes a bit mind-boggling after a while and you end up sort of giving up and thinking of it, doesn’t matter what I think it’s “Here are the cards. What does this mean to you?” You know “share this with me!” And that’s when you get the insights, because that’s when people own their own answer, they hear themselves saying it and it makes sense to them. And so, yeah, that was a story about how looking at the cards with no real agenda can really help someone. And in this case it was by recognising their need for self-respect that made the big difference.

So I hope you enjoyed that story. If you’ve heard it before, forgive me. I think stories are always worth repeating because they always come out slightly differently anyway. Okay. We’ve got four more weeks of these Tuesday topics before Bindi and I go off for a couple of weeks holiday. We’re going to go camping in Devon, which is going to be wonderful. So I just thought I’d announce it now. So you, cause I often leave things to the last minute. I don’t want to do that with this time. So it will be a couple of weeks gap. We won’t put anything else in place instead. Did think about it, but I think we’ll just have a two week off.

I’ve got another comment from CG here. Put it up. “Pattern matching, past message. I’ve always felt I couldn’t move when I played because my parents used to say others were brash, over confident if they were moving.” Not fully sure I understand. Let me think about “Pattern matching, past message. e.g. I always felt I could move when I played. I couldn’t move. Sorry. I read that wrong. I always felt I couldn’t move when I played because my parents used to say, and others were brash, over-confident if they were moving.”

Wow, that’s, that’s hard. That’s, that’s, that’s I mean, we all got messages when we were young. My message was that I was lazy. I probably was. I was a bit of a daydreamer, but to not move. Interesting, interesting. Not sure what to say about it and I’m going to reflect on it. So thank you for sharing that.

And then finally next week’s topic is going to be Imagination, our creative side. So if you have any thoughts about the use of our imagination, one of our internal resources, then please post them in the comments below this one. And I hope you enjoyed today. Let me know. And let me know if you have any other questions about any aspect of this.

And I will look forward to connecting with you next Tuesday at two o’clock when the topic will be our innate resource of our imagination. Thank you very much. Whatever else you’re doing, please don’t forget to keep breathing.

Please let me know what you think by commenting below!
Thanks, Alec