Alison Blackler Podcast Interview


Lance Wantenaar: [00:00:00] Good morning, everybody. Thank you for listening to the thinking like a genius podcast. I’m quite pleased to have Alison Blacklear on as a guest today, Alison has just published her book, which is called path traveled, how to make sense of your life. And we are going to dive into a couple of topics that were in the book, or that is in the book.

[00:00:44] And we’re just going to talk about some of the areas. To better understand how people think and how you can actually change how you think through some general practices. So Alison, give us an introduction about your background and why you decided to write the book and what you were hoping to achieve with the book.

[00:01:05] Alison Blacklear: [00:01:05] Thank you. Good morning, everybody. And thanks for having me on your show. My background is the NHS pajamas and late in your, I should say national health service in case you have further afield. So I work predominantly as a counselor and cognitive behavioral therapist in the NHS working alongside patients in alongside GPS, in domestic violence, drugs, and alcohol safeguarding, public health.

[00:01:29] So I worked for 20 odd years working alongside people in the public sector. Supporting them to understand their own mind running parallel with this, with my own journey. Because one of the reasons why I started counseling was that I realized that I had, I wasn’t fading as good as I think I could have done it made in my twenties.

[00:01:48] I thought. There’s gotta be a different way to the way I felt all the way my life was going. So I became very interested in learning how to better yourself. I suppose when I left the NHS 10 years ago, I’d learned NLP and coaching as well to compliment what I was doing, because it didn’t feel that counseling was everything that I needed.

[00:02:09] So again, running parallel with SES my own development, because a lot of the courses, in fact, all the courses I’ve done experiential. So you learn on yourself. So all the techniques that you learning, you are pushing your own boundaries. You’re looking at your own internal world. So I became more and more interested in my own internal world and how I could feel and think differently and behave differently too.

[00:02:31] So the book then. Became something that was kind of a combination of all of that. So it’s an understanding of how the mind works. And I know we’re going to talk a lot more about that, the content of it, but it gives, it gave me a place to put everything that I learnt in this journey, through my training, through my own development.

[00:02:50] Into one place because people who I was working with used to say, I wish you’d write all this stuff down. You give us little snippets in our sessions, in our facilitated sessions. And I would love to see it written down. So I suppose enough, people started to say that to me. And it was something that was quite cathartic for me, I think because it was my personal journey, my professional journey, all in one place.

[00:03:14] Lance Wantenaar: [00:03:14] Okay. There’s something that I just want to discuss a bit because it’s something I’ve come across from the training I’ve done in social engineering. One of the things that they challenge was the fact that there’s the NLP aspects of it. There’s not a lot of supportive. You could say research that indicates that NLP is.

[00:03:34] Effective. And I’ve started reading a book specifically on NLP to actually understand why there are these challenges against NLP. And some of the questions are being raised. What is your take on NLP? And also the questions are being raised with regards to the research in psychology. I think 

[00:03:58] Alison Blacklear: [00:03:58] it gets as a simple answer and LP is, and can be a way of life.

[00:04:03] If you look at the principles of LP, a lot of them are, can be just adopted as day to day life. So for example, one of them is there is no such thing as failure. There is just feedback. So that’s something that we’re in a day-to-day bake way. We can look at it and think actually we can use that. There’s lots of, sort of principles of life that I think are really useful.

[00:04:26] I think we’re NLP gotten gets it’s negative. Connotations from is around the people. Some people feel very uncomfortable that it’s very suggestive, that it’s very used in a very much in an influencing way. And I think that usually gets its negative thinking from I’m going to see, I haven’t read or actually understood what, what it is that, that the research is challenging.

[00:04:49] So I, I don’t know specifically to be all time. I should, I’m happy to, to think about it, but I need to understand what they’re saying now, but I think like anything, all of these things for me are all put in the back. They’re all very similar. They all have, they all have a thread that links to each other.

[00:05:07] So a CBT meditation, mindfulness, psychology, they all there’s threads within the mall that make them similar. And I think NLP borrowed things from lots of other things. And called it NLP. I think meditation has got lots of other things connected. I don’t use one discipline. I use it. One of the very powerful approaches I use is called clean language coaching, which is here, which is David groves using Metta, uh, understanding the metaphorical world for people when they don’t have words.

[00:05:39] And they don’t count from sun. What it is that they’re feeling. And that, that is very based on NLP, but it’s, again, it’s got its own style. That’s how I always sort of answer that question around an LP is, is that it’s, it’s not the, the only thing. So, so much to so many other things. Okay. 

[00:05:58] Lance Wantenaar: [00:05:58] That’s gives a bit of background bit of insight on that, because I was just a bit curious as to what your own interpretation of that.

[00:06:05] And I do agree with the approach that you’re using words. Not just limiting yourself to one discipline. You actually looking at principals. And that’s the key thing which I’ve been doing over a lot of things. I’ve been looking at principals in each one to try and extract the basic principles out it and try and correlate them to see how strong they can come across in that other part of it.

[00:06:30] And when you start looking at identifying the common patterns between them and the common principles between all of them, it allows you to then. Have a lot more confidence in the knowledge that you’ve got and the information that you’ve got, because now, you know, there’s a common thread, as you’ve mentioned it before, and that common thread gives you a certain amount of consistency in how you approach something and how you actually understand something.


[00:06:57] Alison Blacklear: [00:06:57] think so that’s how I see it. Yeah. 

[00:06:59] Lance Wantenaar: [00:06:59] So let’s talk about meditation because it’s something that I’ve been looking at quite a bit tentatively one to better understand what the effect of meditation is. We’d spoke early on just before we started the recording about how meditation is actually. Proving to have a beneficial on rewiring the brain and actually changing your mindset from a, you would say more of a negative tourists, a lot more positive approach.

[00:07:29] So give us a bit of insight into that. What have you found with regards to meditation? Have you learned from it yourself 

[00:07:38] Alison Blacklear: [00:07:38] personally? I do for many years studied or practiced it. But I think the key thing about meditation is that it is a practice. I know a lot of people who’ve gone away to have a go because their mind is very busy and they feel very stressed and then they come back and they say, it’s too hard.

[00:07:56] Meditation is a practice. It is something that we, um, use as a way of obviously it’s relaxation. Obviously you said it’s a breathing, so that’s good for the body. It’s good for the mind, just by that simple exercise of, of grounding yourself with breathing is very reassuring to the mind. So in itself, Just being able to do exercises around the breath, allow the mind to feel more settled because it’s a reassuring sound.

[00:08:21] It’s a sound, we’ve all known all our lives and we’ve known the sound of our own, um, the mother that we were born from where, you know, the sound of her breath. So it’s very, very reassuring for us as a grounding exercise. Meditation is also very good to help you control your show yourself that you do have a level of control, because if your mind goes off, which it will, you, it brings you back the practices to bring your mind and your attention back to.

[00:08:50] The breath or back to the thing that you’ve been asked to, if you didn’t guide your meditation. The thing that you’ve been asked to think about, and that is practice, it’s the control. It’s showing yourself that you have a level of control, which ultimately means you are less busy in your mind for a short period of time.

[00:09:08] So it gives you a break from whatever else is stressing you out. And it’s the practice of keep coming back. That’s the thing, if your mind wanders off the practices, keep coming back. And that’s the very simplistic way that I explain in use meditation for people, because it is, I mean, it’s a huge topic.

[00:09:24] You can study it, you can learn how to do it in all sorts of ways. You know, I think, you know, the Dalai Lama of, of this world is somebody who can go and do it for weeks on end and not know. A day to day, the rest of us, the person is not going to do that. Going to be busy. They’re going to continue to be very busy in the mind.

[00:09:43] And it is the practice of just saying back to this and then notice that you’ve gone off again and then back to this. So that’s very, that’s of mindful, practicing as 

[00:09:52] Lance Wantenaar: [00:09:52] well. The other thing that it does have, the other benefit that it has is it helped you to develop focus because you’re bringing your attention back to a specific point all the time and where I think it can be quite challenging is because people have become so used to being distracted all the time.

[00:10:10] They get distracted by their phones, any kind of messages that they get, the feedback that they get from, you know, they’ve got a TV going in the background, they’ve got a radio gunning, both where they’ve got all these sources of information, which are coming in continually, which are designed to distract you.

[00:10:25] And a lot of the apps. In the phones are specifically designed prompt and get a reaction out of you all the time. They’re continually distracting. They’re designed for distraction, which is why there’s a lot of notification alerts coming through. And this information has continued distracting you and breaking your concentration.

[00:10:43] So it makes it really difficult for you to focus and where meditation has got a benefit is that puts all of that to one side. I see garnered quiet space and enforces you to focus on it. Forces you to pay attention to a specific. Pattern of behavior you’re breathing, which is a really good thing. And that breathing concentration helps you to calm down your nervous system and actually changes you from being distracted and being red.

[00:11:13] Also start increasing your stress levels because this continual distraction is a constant, low level stress that if you think about it over a period of time, especially when you’re dealing with work personal issues, all these things, what you continue requiring your attention to deal with it. And that split focus doesn’t mean you always get high value work out of it because you’re always trying to deal with these multiple inputs of information where the meditation brings you back to a point where you have to relearn how to focus, and it helps you to get access to the deeper levels of thinking that you can actually then start getting massive benefits out of that because you start getting insights, you’re learning new things.

[00:11:51] You can actually. Work on a lot more that you could say flow state. So it’s an interesting to see how technology has got a very big impact on people. I find it quite interesting that technology has been used to help you to meditate and focus. But the fact is that it’s so inherently designed for distraction, which is an interesting topic.

[00:12:11] Definitely. The other thing, I would want it to find out a bit more that your thinking approaches that you use and how you, how you developed and also how you use that on a day-to-day basis. 

[00:12:25] Alison Blacklear: [00:12:25] Sorry, 

[00:12:26] Lance Wantenaar: [00:12:26] thinking approaches. And what are the thinking approaches that you have? How did you come about them, how you use them on a day-to-day basis?

[00:12:35] Alison Blacklear: [00:12:35] So I think my thinking processes are, as I said at the beginning mixed in terms of my actual approaches, if I’m using principle or a model, because each of my training does it. Give you a slightly different set of techniques, a set of questions almost for yourself. But I think the general thinking approaches for me anyway, is being aware of, if we’re talking for lay people for us all, to be able to manage it’s being aware of what you’re thinking is, what is it that you’re thinking we often, most of our thoughts are incomplete.

[00:13:05] Autopilot complete unconscious and able to take time to notice. So again, it’s quite a mindful exercise. Being able to take time to notice what kind of thoughts you have, what quality they are. Are they helpful to you so that you could start to change how you think? So you can start to put different groups in the neural network, so you can think differently about yourself or differently about situations.

[00:13:30] They say that we have 80% of our thoughts are recycled from the day before. Now. I know that a lot of those will be because we’re in routines because we obviously are doing similar things. But actually when we think about it like that, for me, when I saw that statistic, I was like, wow, okay. I really want to have some fresh thoughts each day.

[00:13:49] And I really want, or at least not necessarily every day, but to be really conscious about having. Positive thoughts, fresh thoughts about myself and challenge myself as well. So being able to identify what kind of thinking patterns you’re in, because we have patents for the way we do things, but we also have patents for the way we think it was something that I became very interested in as to why I thought.

[00:14:11] The way I did and that came from, and I think that was something. Yeah. And the book certainly encourages you to, to think about what you’re thinking. Where’s it come from? Why do you think like that? And then any parts that you’ve identified the are negative or on favorable, you can think about how you then going to change them.

[00:14:32] Lance Wantenaar: [00:14:32] And that’s one of the key things which drove me to start looking into a lot more earnest is understanding what the sources of those thoughts are and how it all ties together. And this is where it gets really challenging because there’s no real hard and fast rule. It’s very, you can tell it’s almost on a sliding scale and you have to be able to understand how all of these components fit together.

[00:14:58] And you can’t just say it’s one specific item, which is triggering it. There’s always multiple. You could say connections, which can influence your thinking. And the other thing you have to take in consideration is your health, your daily stresses know your work, or do these things have influenced how you think and what you think, and also your relationship with other people.

[00:15:25] These all have a direct influence on how you think and process information, but then you’ve started layering some of the other aspects which will affect and determine how you think and process information, cultural influences your parents. The upbringing you, that you’ve been in your own experiences, your identity at that time, I’m stating identity at that time, because it does change as you get older or as you develop more experiences and also your belief system and these things all interweave, how you think, and approach and deal with things on a day-to-day basis.

[00:16:00] And it’s never hard and fast rules. So how do you unpick, lot of those influencers to actually get to a point where you can think, or they, you identify, okay, this is one of the things I need to focus on. This is where I need to get a bit of clarity on so I can actually start working on it to change it.

[00:16:19] So how 

[00:16:19] Alison Blacklear: [00:16:19] I tackle it with everybody who I work with, and obviously the book is, is an example of that. Is I help them understand a little bit to start with on how the mind works. So a little bit of the neuroscience, a little bit of the science behind how the mind works, how the conscious mind and the subconscious mind work together, how we understand our responses to things.

[00:16:40] And then in the book, I start very much from the beginning about how we’re influenced. So we do start with childhood because how we were brought up and there’s no judgment, but how we were brought up will absolutely a hundred percent effect. Well, it’s not the person we turn into, but also how we think.

[00:16:58] So some of it’s because we model it from the way that our parents are, the people that brought us up think, and some of it is the way that we develop limiting beliefs about ourselves or beliefs about ourselves. I look at and how love is shown because that’s huge how we are praying, how we are encouraged, all affects how we.

[00:17:20] Turn out if you like for one, two about how we think. So a small example, just, just to think about something. So somebody might be being super encouraged by their parents really, really positively encouraged. And then when they’re adults, they actually really hard on themselves and they only expect a hundred percent.

[00:17:38] So there is no judgment on the way people, that person or those people were brought up, but there’s still sometimes a challenge now for me, my, my journey. And I do sort of share that in the book is that I was encouraged often in a way focused on the things that I wasn’t very good at. So there was a lot of pressure for me on the things that I wasn’t good at, which obviously is a, is a, is a style, is a parenting style.

[00:18:00] I’m not judging it either, but I then became very unsure about myself and have a lot more limiting beliefs that I could do things because there was possibly so much focus along with a few of the things, but just having that sort of very critical way of being brought up while it’s obviously they thought I was going to do.

[00:18:19] Good things through it. It actually had an, a negative effect on me and I didn’t feel very strong and very confident about myself. So just being able to identify those things is really important. And then I move on and talk about. What then will happen as an adult. So we then look at the behaviors and the thinking patterns that we might have picked up because of the way we were brought up.

[00:18:43] And I think we must say here is that every single person is different. The uniqueness plays out so much in our thinking one person can. He has something and another person will respond in a completely different way. Even siblings, you do not necessarily think the same as even your siblings who were brought up by the same people.

[00:19:04] But I think it’s really that important for us to identify what behaviors you will then see in ourselves and our thinking. As a result of our childhoods. So again, I try to cover all bases with the book and innovate simple way. Explain why people might be. People-pleasing why somebody might be always unsure.

[00:19:23] Never can never make a decision quickly because of their coding and all the things that have happened to us. We’re all a combination of what we are and what we have been. Now, and I fail to try and understand that and help people understand that. So I would do that if I was working with somebody on a one-to-one basis in a coaching session, but then also the book is that to offer that so that people can work through that themselves, there are exercises in the book also that help us with that so that people can look at themselves and think, right.

[00:19:54] Okay. What w how was I influenced, who influenced 

[00:19:58] Lance Wantenaar: [00:19:58] me? This brings on a really interesting topic and. One of the things that I came to realize is that the brain learns in multiple different ways, but you can almost have a moment where you have a cognitive shift when it comes to the belief system that changes.

[00:20:22] And it’s a really interesting situation because sometimes it just takes. The trigger event, contextual references, which allow you to change your perception. And that’s enough for you to have quite a dramatic shift in your belief system, your perception, everything else. And that can have a very, very big change in how people suddenly perceive things, how they approach things, how they think and there, but it’s, uh, can be really, really difficult because if it’s something that’s very tied into your belief system, That has a big effect on your identity because your identity and your belief system were very intrinsically linked from what I understand.

[00:21:06] So what have you found is a interesting way or a good way that you can actually get somebody to one understand. Or change a belief system or a perception for them to get that, get that change. Give you, give you a personal story from my side is I spent quite a lot of time doing training for a number of years.

[00:21:30] And although I was training, I wasn’t getting the actual result that I wanted from a physical perspective. I just didn’t get, you could take, I didn’t get the look that I wanted out of it, even though I was training hard and everything else. And I saw a photo of myself on holiday one year and I was starting to get, you know, the kind of love handles and that kind of stuff.

[00:21:50] And that to me was just like, it’s just not happening. I just did not like that as that part at all. And. I made a conscious effort of actually changing my nutrition and paying a lot more attention to what I’m eating and when I’m eating and looking at that with real focus and that started getting very big difference for me.

[00:22:13] I have spent quite a lot of time learning about nutrition before, because I had a problem with eczema. So I had to spend a lot of time reeducating myself to actually find you, which the foods were causing me a problem. So I’ve already gone down that road before, but then now what I did is I started paying a lot more attention to the quality of the food I was eating and what types of food I was eating.

[00:22:36] And that started getting a lot more benefits with me because I was able to develop muscle and get a lot more. You could say physical effects from the change of my nutrition and the food that I got, but there was a bit of a trigger event. There was a bit of a negative trigger event. But that ties into a lot of things because you’ve got that negative trigger event, which then drove you to make changes in your habits and belief systems and start testing things and being willing to test.

[00:23:04] And I think that’s a big thing is unless a person is really willing to test and change things and find what works for them, it’s going to be very difficult for them to get any kind of change. 

[00:23:15] Alison Blacklear: [00:23:15] I think there’s a lot of people who were aiming for some things. So they consciously decided they want to lose weight as a classic one, get fitter.

[00:23:24] Change, particularly if it is around the physical health, if their belief system, and if they genuinely don’t think if they’re not committed to it a hundred percent, it isn’t going to happen. And I think that’s where people get very frustrated is they can decide they’re going to do something. So that’s the conscious mind.

[00:23:39] So you decide that you’re going to do something, but if the subconscious mind isn’t aligned to it, whether that’s beliefs, whether that is complete. Commitment to it, whether you don’t believe that you can do it, if you don’t believe that you can actually achieve it, then it won’t happen. I think of describing the subconscious mind and lots of people do do describe it like this as, as the iceberg.

[00:24:02] So the conscious mind is the little bit that tips on that’s the bit that you make your decisions. That’s your goal. Set it. And your unconscious subconscious mind is under the water. It’s so much more bigger. Oh on the scene and that’s your subconscious mind. And if that isn’t aligned, if there are things in there, if the readouts, if the values aren’t aligned to the thing that you’re trying to achieve, if you don’t believe that you can do it, if your memories are holding you back, which I’ve all of this is all stored in the subconscious mind.

[00:24:32] So if you’ve got a memory, a lot of people will have a memory of, so sticking to the salt of example, you had, somebody might. Know what they want to dress size or size, know what they want to eat. They’ve looked into everything consciously that they know what they’re doing, but there’s a little memory in there of when they were 15 and somebody said, Oh, you’re a bit chunky.

[00:24:54] And that memory and that thought will absolutely rule the show and it’ll sabotage what your efforts are and it’ll, it will challenge the conscious decisions, which means the often doesn’t happen. So if you think of your conscious mind where you set your goals, that’s your goal setter, but your subconscious mind is you go get it.

[00:25:14] And that’s what makes things happen. And that’s where our subconscious minds are so often holding us back. But it is its number one priority is protection. So sometimes holds us back because it’s trying to protect us because there are memories of things related to the thing you’re trying to achieve within installed.

[00:25:33] It. Doesn’t forget anything your subconscious mind literally does not forget anything. Everything is stored for just in case. Conscious mind, obviously can only hold so much information at any one time. And that’s where events trigger your subconscious minds to go and get almost the information that’s stored to say, Oh, hang on a minute.

[00:25:55] We’ve got this, we’ve done this before. Or we didn’t like it. Oh, we’ve done this before. And it was great to do it again. So I think it’s depending on. What else has it stored with any subconscious mind and what your experiences are as to how well you can do when you’re trying to break some of the subconscious coding or programming in there, there we have habits and patterns in so much of what we do thinking behaving, and that can be so complicatedly so complex and so linked.

[00:26:26] To all this information is stored in the subconscious mind. And that’s what makes it really hard. Some to, in some cases to do. And I think your question was, how can you move from it being like that to starting to shift to what that’s different. And that can be, you can have you saw that picture of yourself.

[00:26:45] And he said, right, that’s it. That was your motivation. But for some it’s it’s much. More complex than that. It takes a lot more effort, a lot more conscious effort. So again, it’s a quite a mindful piece where we are thinking about what’s impacting us and then thinking about why is it impacting us? Because I believe if we understand why you’ve got a much greater chance of changing it, if you understand what’s underneath it, 

[00:27:11] Lance Wantenaar: [00:27:11] it’s understanding the motivation for.

[00:27:14] For that reason or for that pattern of behavior. And one of the things that you mentioned, which is really quite true is that the subconscious mind is there to create, to maintain homeostasis because the brain is very, very energy dependent and it uses up a lot of energy just to maintain a lot of information.

[00:27:32] When you start using a lot of, you could say conscious thought and conscious processing, it’s very mentally. Demanding. And it uses up a lot of energy uses up a lot of resources. And when you’re trying to change a specific thought pattern and it’s working against the subconscious by default, the subconscious will say, okay, don’t care.

[00:27:55] What you think. I’ve got my processes that I’m running. I’ve got more automation that’s running, and that’s going to rule the roost regardless of what you feel, what your emotional responses are, what other people are saying. I’m protecting the system. I’m protecting the host, I’m doing what I’m doing at the moment to maintain you as a unit.

[00:28:17] And unless you can actually understand that, as you said, unless you understand why to understand that, how that whole functional process works and understanding the mechanisms that influence that you can’t change it. It’s like changing. It’s like taking a car where you’ve got the wheels, the engine, the suspension, everything else.

[00:28:41] And by changing the fuel that you think that it’s going to change how well the car is going to function. Yes. If you change the fuel, it’s going to have an incremental impact. But if you put it in the wrong fuel, if you put petrol into a diesel car diesel into a petrol car, you’re going to ruin the engine.

[00:29:02] So what the engine does is that it will stop functioning as a, as a way of protecting it. And that’s the same way as what the brain does, unless you’ve got something that you actually understand. I need to unpick that, and I need to change some of the components in the engine for it to work faster, work better because you understand how a system functions.

[00:29:23] Then you’re not going to get the result. And that comes down to one of the principles or principles of systems thinking, which I think is really fascinating because if you overlay systems thinking into a subconscious, now, now you’ll have a better idea of how you need to change something. Because systems thinking says it’s not just a single unit that you need to change.

[00:29:44] Because you don’t know what the knock on effect is on other things, you need to understand how a system functions as a whole, or you’ve got to have an idea how the system functions, functions. I don’t think you completely understand as a whole, but you need to understand the overarching way that the whole process works.

[00:29:59] So the system work. So unless you understand how all of these components work together, sometimes you just need to change. You could say some of the smaller. Components which have an influence and that can start changing things enough for you to start seeing a difference in your life. So let’s go back to meditation.

[00:30:21] Meditation can be a very demanding practice, can take up a lot of time, but if you say, okay, I’m going to do one minute of meditation. And the principle of meditation is paying attention to breathing. So if you take one minute and you learn how to breathe, let’s say something simple as box breathing with four seconds in four seconds, pause four seconds out, four seconds.

[00:30:45] Pause. And you do that for a minute. Now, what you’re doing is that you allow yourself to start changing your awareness and it starts having that benefit. Now what you’re doing, you’re not doing a massive. Structural change, which is going to be disruptive to you and your life. You’re making a small change just by developing one aspect.

[00:31:06] You’re developing breath control. Now what happens is that the other things start automatically changing and shifting because you’re doing breast control. So over a period of time, you start getting intrinsic and extrinsic motivation that develops because intrinsically you feel a lot more better. You start developing a lot more awareness and you start getting that positive feedback.

[00:31:27] Now the period of time, we get external motivation because you feel calmer. If you’re a lot more emotionally in control and means that you getting the benefit of paying attention to your breathing. So now what you start doing is you gain this Cannonball effect with starts building and building well to a point where you started realizing this does have a benefit to me.

[00:31:47] And that’s, this is how you can tie in the understanding of, of how you can change something by using a small. Modification to get a long-term big effect and, uh, on, on what you want to achieve. 

[00:32:02] Alison Blacklear: [00:32:02] Definitely. I think that the thing we need to remember is this piece of kit, that’s all in that we’ve all got in our minds or is unmanned.

[00:32:08] And our body is super powerful. And it absolutely will, as you said, it will scream at you if you’re trying to do something and it doesn’t think that it’s the right thing for us, because the patterns and the habits are in there saying, no, this is how we’ve always done it. And we’ve all compared ourselves to others negatively.

[00:32:26] We’ve always thought, Oh, I can’t do that. We’ve always believe that we, you know, we need to be with. With people who are going to be more powerful than us, whatever, whatever the habit is, whatever the thought is, whatever the behavior, there’ll be a pattern in there that says, this is how we’ve always done it.

[00:32:45] And for me, we have to respect that and be very gentle and honor the fact that it’s alerting you, that we’re not okay. That to me, that this isn’t the situation alerting you, that we’ll think like this. So when somebody does something, somebody cancels on you in your automatic thought is. They obviously don’t like me, you know, this is what the human brain does all the time.

[00:33:06] It’s, it’s a social being, it wants to be liked. It wants to be loved, but it will put us into all sorts of different situations and different thinking patterns that put us into very negative situations. And it’s happening on a moment by moment, but we’re all different and we all need to do what’s. Right for us.

[00:33:24] And I think that’s something else that I’m really keen on is that’s why the book is full of all sorts of different types of approaches so that there isn’t one size that fits all. I mean, if everybody did everything right, then it would be amazing, but we, we will, we will sabotage things, you know, as trained as my brain is in my mind is.

[00:33:44] 20 plus years of, of developing myself. You know, my mind is still doing that thing I’ve got is I, can I call it my bounce back? My ability to be able to think about what’s just happened and put myself in a better place is much quicker than it ever used to be. Um, and that’s what we’re aiming for, but my mind I can still be put into quite an unconscious self.

[00:34:06] Doubting position instantaneously by something. Um, we want to be able to do is look at how we can manage that so that we start. And then people always say to me, so if you do all this work, do the negative thoughts, stop slash change. And they do because you put a different groove in your neural network and you do start to believe in yourself, or you do start to feel more confident about.

[00:34:29] Whatever area it is that you’re looking at, you do start to be able to make your own choices without feeling like you are being pulled back by yourself. Cause that’s the thing we ourselves get in the way of ourselves and our hopes and our future dreams and our success. 

[00:34:45] Lance Wantenaar: [00:34:45] Yeah. The other thing I think it also needs to be teased out is the, the reason why people question do you actually.

[00:34:56] Not, uh, stop having negative thoughts. And what people need to realize is that the brain is designed for self-protecting or preservation of the host. That is its primary function, regardless of how you live your life or what you do, how you think you process information, everything else, the brain has got one thing, one primary focus.

[00:35:25] Preserve the host that’ll do everything. And anything to preserve the host part of its design is to use the negative thought approach because that is the best way that it can actually preserve the host. Because a negative thought process triggers some of the primal parts of the brain that make Della Vegas nerve your stress responses, your fear responses, regardless of how people approach it and how positive people are.

[00:35:57] Your brain is primed to use fear and negative responses because it accesses. The self-preservation part of, of its processes and functioning, and that ties into your fight or flight and your fear responses, because any kind of negative event puts you in a self protection mode. It puts you in a position where you have to activate your neural systems, your physiology for preservation.

[00:36:26] So it’s going to be. It’s going to be higher up on the, you could say hierarchy, and that’s why your, your neural system and also your brain will trigger that part of it before it’ll trigger some of the other aspects of higher cognitive functions. You know, some of the other wellness aspects because you’re working on preservation.

[00:36:48] So how have you learnt about the fight or flight responses and to. Become better aware of being able to manage that interaction. How have you dealt with that? 

[00:37:04] Alison Blacklear: [00:37:04] I think the first thing we have to remember is that the fight flight or freeze response, is it, like you say, it’s a primitive, primal response to you initially to physical threat and it’s five times quicker than any conscious thought.

[00:37:21] So any rational thoughts that immediate response is five times quicker. They say. Before you can actually think straight logically. So, you know, when, when there is a crisis, what you thinking in that crisis is not going to be something that you would think about. And then when she settled that initial response, that limbic system response, once you’ve settled, that you’ll be able to think of some solutions complex.

[00:37:45] Part of the human mind is we’ve still got this part of the brain. Obviously we need it, but we’ve now got it where, because of the way we live, because we live in social situations because we live in almost these concrete jungles, we are being, it is being triggered constantly by social threat. So social threat could be your status could be how you see yourself could be, um, feeling unfair.

[00:38:10] Something feels unfair and it, you will have a response the same as. You would, if, if you, if a big, scary monster boss through the door, um, you might uncertainty human brain hates uncertainty. Absolutely. It’s a certainty making machine. So it’ll put you into some sort of an emotional response, but for something like that, where we just don’t know what’s going on and we haven’t got a clue what we’re meant.

[00:38:32] Yeah. So, but knowing that, I think for me, knowing that that is the response that to not act at all until you’re settled. So again, sometimes meditations and that just breathing some of the other techniques that are really powerful around just stopping yourself. In that moment and helping yourself stop, even though your brain is screaming at you so that you can engage your rational brain to think, hold on a minute.

[00:38:57] That hasn’t just happened, you know? So somebody you don’t hear from somebody and your emotional response has kicked off and you’ve catastrophizing, Oh my God. They’ve obviously had an accident and your brain is all over the place. And actually when we’re able to slow it down and say, hang on a minute, stop, you can engage the rational brain.

[00:39:15] And then you can start to feel like you’ve got more control. I think that’s critical for people to, to take note of what’s happening so that they can respond in a more favorable way for themselves. And then of course, the other side of it is whatever we have experienced before will also be brought to the surface.

[00:39:34] So when, when people are just doing day to day, you know, your boss says to you kind of have a word. That just those few words can ruin somebody’s day because it’s triggered the emotional response of what have I done? Have I done something wrong? Am I going to get sacked? And it’s all happening in that mini second moment, which is so much distress.

[00:39:58] And for me, it’s how we can handle that, manage that settle ourselves. So yes, we’ve had a fight flight routes. Fight flight or freeze response. We were going to feel angry. We’re going to want to run away and we’re going to freeze and not know what to do, but when we can learn how to manage that first, then think about what re-engaging and more rational Bret part of the brain, the more human part of the brain, we will have a very different.

[00:40:24] Um, outcome. 

[00:40:27] Lance Wantenaar: [00:40:27] Yeah, I think you’ve highlighted a really interesting aspect was just saying, can I have a word with you? I think that is because it’s such an ambiguous statement. The first reaction to it is self protection because there’s no, there’s no context with it. So you don’t understand how it relates to what it is that you’re doing.

[00:40:50] So the first reaction that you have to that is something’s gone wrong. There is a different way that communication needs to be improved to say, I need to speak with you about this. Now, what you’re doing is you’re providing somebody who has context and you’re providing something, somebody with some structure, what the discussion is going to be, because ambiguous statements are very difficult for the brain to process anything.

[00:41:17] As you’ve said, uncertainty is a massive problem for the brain because it doesn’t know how to deal with it. It doesn’t know what the context is. It doesn’t know how to manage it. So the first response or written mechanism to uncertainty is preservation. And then immediately triggers stress responses and that immediately triggers an emotional reaction to it.

[00:41:40] So any calm, rational thought goes out the window because you’re triggering the emotional reactions. And that’s a really interesting, you get to behavior mechanism that people have got that they need to pay attention to. And as you said, meditation and breathing and being able to be aware of how you react to them.

[00:42:00] And that’s why I think. Self-awareness is so key because if something like that happens, you need to pay attention to it, to your physical reactions, because that’ll give you an indication how you respond emotionally to things. 

[00:42:15] Alison Blacklear: [00:42:15] Yeah. I think for some people they notice the physical feeling first and some people notice and it’s just working out.

[00:42:21] Which one you notice first, if you noticed the tightness in your chest or in the tummy first, then that’s a sure sign that there’s something that your mind is. Thinks that they own, the federal are uncertain. And if there’s a thought, then again, if we can notice that we’re having that initial thought and we can start to think, okay, that’s another show, sign that something isn’t quite right, because we do make up things, you know, and again, in the brain, the way the brain interprets things.

[00:42:47] So going back to the back in the work position, someone said, kind of have a word. So they’ve said, can I have a word with you at four o’clock and it’s 10 o’clock and. Then in that, in that emotional state people will then start to misinterpret everything else. So, so the room might give them, they might appear to one of their colleagues, somebody give them a funny look or, or two of their colleagues are having a little chat on their own by the photocopier.

[00:43:14] And you’ve now interpreted that it’s about you. Because we’re in this emotional response, which is totally catastrophizing the whole day and you’ve making up all this other stuff. And that’s what also the mind does. And, but it will make it open. It is linked, which is why I think it’s important for us to, even as therapists.

[00:43:32] I’m not saying you have to go and have therapy everybody, but I think. Being able to identify why you might think like that, why you might be afraid of that kind of thing. It gives you a completely different approach to your own situation, rather than it just be autopilot. And this is how it happens. This is what happens for me.

[00:43:52] Um, it gives people much more control and I think that we’re aiming for 

[00:43:58] Lance Wantenaar: [00:43:58] that’s a good way of actually dealing with something like that is to. Take a piece of paper, write down what it is. Is it that you thinking about what it is about and then write down potential ideas and how to fix them? And what you’re doing is that you taking something which is in a loop in your brain and you externalize it.

[00:44:21] And now what you’re telling to the brain, okay. I know what it is. I know potentially to how I’m going to deal with it. And these are the ways that I think I can deal with it. Now, what you’ve done is that you’ve almost brain dumped it externally and you’ve told your brain, okay, I can see what, what it is that you worried about.

[00:44:37] And I can see this as how I can deal with it and sort of what I think is a situation that I need to deal with it in a way. And that’s almost like you unloading the stress out of your brain because you’ve written it down on paper and then brain is like, okay, I’m happy now because you dealt with it. So I can, I can work on other things.

[00:44:55] And that’s a really fast five minutes, 32nd thing that you can do. But the key thing is that you have to write down the problem statement or what the issue is, what, how you feel. And you have to write down how you’re going to deal with it. Or what potential ways that you can deal with it. If you just write about emotional content, now what you’re doing is that you’re giving your brain more and more reason to regurgitate that information and re loop it in your head all the time, because you’ve not given it a way of actually dealing with it and say, this is how I think I can deal with it.

[00:45:27] So it’s going to continually say to you, knock, knock. You’ve not dealt with this. Knock-knock you’ve not dealt with knocked out. You’ve not dealt with this. And then your emotional reaction to it. Start racking up because now it’s saying you’ve not dealt with their tongue, I’m going to increase your emotional and your physical reaction to her because you’re not dealing with it.

[00:45:46] So here’s more stress, here’s more increased heart rate, shallow breathing. You need to deal with it. Continue. You know, it gives you this alert. You need to deal with it. And then it starts giving you, as you’ve said, these cues, if somebody is talking to the photocopier, they talking about you because you’re not dealing with it, or he’s giving you a funny look, you’re not dealing with it.

[00:46:08] And these are perceptional things that it’s trying to get you to pay attention to the actual problem of. Do you need to just take this and deal with it. You need to give me some kind of structure, how I’m going to cope with it. And that’s what you’re doing is by writing it down and giving it something to deal with it, you’re giving it a structure to how to manage the situation.

[00:46:28] And as soon as you give the brain something to manage a situation, you give it an idea and a structure and a content. Okay. This is how we’re going to deal with it. It’s like, I’m okay. I’m happy now. Thank you. And then it’ll go on and you know, you can carry on with your day and it’ll be, it’ll be fine. So it’s, it’s a really interesting mechanism of how that works.

[00:46:47] I like 

[00:46:48] Alison Blacklear: [00:46:48] it because it, what you’re doing almost is again, I’ve IHP all through the book to write stuff down all the time is if you think about, we’ve said that you’ve got a response, you’ve got an emotional response. By just going to get the piece of paper and the pen and organize yourself in that way.

[00:47:03] That’s probably given you a mind enough time to settle, to start just a little bit to settle the limbic system that, that first, and then by writing it down, being able to see it using a different part of your brain, you’ve written it. You’ve now reading it. You seeing it. And then you now into conscious.

[00:47:19] Uh, more human parts of the brain, the problem solving side of the brain, which is shut down when you are very emotional. Yeah. You engaging with the problem solving part of the brain and there’s some solutions by you. So it’s much happier. Something else that I think is really important when you’ve got things going on is to identify whether they are in or out of your control.

[00:47:39] Because often thinking about, and often what does cause a lot of stress are out of our control, but we’re going round and round and round in a loop. So I pull to a very similar exercise where you, you put a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, what, and whatever’s on your mind, two columns, what’s in your control and what’s out of your control and guaranteed.

[00:48:01] When you’re really, really stressed, it’ll be everything that’s out. If you control, it’s going round on the loops and then everything moves and you control. You’re not doing. And then your stress, because you’re not doing those things that are in, you can be too busy, worried about the things that you control.

[00:48:18] And again, it’s a similar kind of approach to being able to get stuff out, uh, out of your mind and onto paper. And it does, you’re upset. You write your mind does go, Oh, okay. We’ve paid some attention to 

[00:48:29] Lance Wantenaar: [00:48:29] that. Yeah. I like the aspect of the in control and our control because a lot of people, the reason why they feel out of control is because they.

[00:48:39] One don’t know what it is that they need to control. And as we’ve discussed before the brain hates uncertainty and the unknown, the unknown is like, I can’t cope with this because I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m going to force you to pay attention to it. And that’s a huge, that was a huge insight for me is realizing what you are in control, what you aren’t in control.

[00:49:06] And the other good thing is once you start working just on the items that you control about, it gives you certain amount of confidence to deal with the rest of it, because now what you’re doing or else it’s just the situation. It’s nothing more than just a situation. All you have to do is just give it some kind of structure and some kind of direction.

[00:49:22] Once you’ve got structured direction. Then all of the other things. Okay. Can you start feeling a lot more positive about the situation? I think 

[00:49:29] Alison Blacklear: [00:49:29] the one other thing just to finish on that topic, there is often what people are thinking about are things that are in their past and what as well. So they’re going over and over and over stories around what did or didn’t happen in the past.

[00:49:44] And again, there’s very little that we can do. So that what we can do is work out how, what are we going to do differently to be able to move forward? And that’s a lot of my focus and the way that I use my book on my work is to think about that is to think about how the past has influenced us, but then how are we going to move forward?

[00:50:04] Because we can’t change that because it is out of our control. What has happened or is in our control is what can happen in the future. 

[00:50:12] Lance Wantenaar: [00:50:12] So how does reframing work in that aspect? So 

[00:50:14] Alison Blacklear: [00:50:14] free reframing, um, is a, is a technique or an approach that helps you look at a situation. So again, you might use your paper, you might write down what’s happened and then you need to look at a different way of looking at it.

[00:50:27] So you reframe the whole thing. So it might be that you can suddenly see a situation through either somebody else’s eyes, or you can just look at a situation saying, okay, what else could be happening here? So you’re reframing it as in, so you’ve, you’re also thought is this I’ve automatically, this is what’s happened.

[00:50:45] A reframe could be thinking about, well, what else might be happening? What else might have happened? Why might that have happened? So you look at maybe how it could be, uh, something about you. So it it’s triggered an old belief system. That’s about you. And that’s why you’re thinking about it. Or it could be that you can reframe it and look at.

[00:51:04] It from another angle, literally physically looking down on yourself from a great height and is often a way of getting insights into being able to see a situation differently. So I call reframing, basically being able to look through. Look at the situation through a different lens or from a different perspective, but usually internally, because my whole approach to try and help people stop looking for answers with, within others and to look for them within yourself.

[00:51:35] So find a reason why something has just happened, because I believe that everything happens for a reason. And if you can look at that, it helps you reframe a situation so that you can say, hang on, there’s a whole new. The whole set of possibilities here that could have happened or could have been like that happened.

[00:51:52] Lance Wantenaar: [00:51:52] The reframing, one of the things that I used on a number of occasions, especially when, before lockdown and if I was driving anywhere and there was a, there was any kind of. No traffic jam or any kind of slow traffic or anything of that nature, because a lot of people would get really stressed and get this road rage scenario that happens in a traffic jam or some kind of slow traffic.

[00:52:13] Like, and I really interesting way of actually changing your stress response to that is start. Think of it almost from a Google earth kind of view. Start thinking for yourself on the car and start almost lifting yourself up and looking at it from a map perspective, from a 3d or a third person perspective.

[00:52:34] Now sort of looking at where your car is in relation to the rest of your journey or the rest of the traffic in the area and start realizing. And when you look at it and you think, okay, what can I do to go faster, further different? Anything else? Once you start realizing you’re in a situation where.

[00:52:52] Something is outside of your control or something else could have happened or influence anything else that you’ve done, you start realizing, okay. How I feel and what I want to do has got no impact on the thousands of other people that are in the situation and they in exactly the same situation. So your reaction.

[00:53:13] To the person next to you or to the person in front of you or wanting to be somewhere different is not going to change because you probably got a hundred other cars in front of you and probably another 50, a hundred cars behind you. You’ve just got to wait for it to resolve itself and reacting to the emotion is not going to solve the problem or did it is it’s going to cause you stress and hassle.

[00:53:33] So you might as well just, okay. Realize that you’re part of a system and the system’s got to unpick itself and resolve itself. So that everybody else can get on their way. Once you start realizing everybody else’s in the same position, it’s like, okay, you might as well just enjoy it. Listen to the radio, you know, talk with a friend, do something else, pay attention to what’s happening around you.

[00:53:58] Look for something and distract your mind. And now suddenly it changes your whole reaction to it because now you realized what it is in context of the rest of your environment and what you’re hearing. Once you look at it from your, once you contextual reference changes, your perceptions shifts or what somatically and my, you could say my mantra in a lot of aspects is once you change your con your context, your perception changes automatically.

[00:54:26] And sometimes all you have to do is just change your context. Look how you can change your context. That gives you enough of a change. Start looking at things differently. Definitely. 

[00:54:37] Alison Blacklear: [00:54:37] Now I think Kevin reframing and cars driving is a great example of that. When you can reframe anything, when somebody pulls out in front of you so angry with them, or you can just reframe it and think, do you know what?

[00:54:49] They might just be in a bit more of a hurry than me, or they might have just had some bad news. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. It just. Settles you in that moment. And I think just being able to notice that the impact that you can have about how, how you can shift, if you think of your emotions, your thoughts and your behaviors are all completely linked.

[00:55:10] If you change one part of one of those. So you might be feeling really anxious about some things that we worried about something, change your behaviors. You go for a walk. It will change your thoughts and your emotions, change your thoughts and just say you might feel very unsettled and just say I’m okay today.

[00:55:27] I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. It will change your behavior and your emotions. So all of them, if you just change a tiny bit in one area, one of the three change, the other two as well. Um, that’s got a knock on effect. It doesn’t mean it’s going to change. The whole big thing is if you’re worried about something, there’s other things that need to happen.

[00:55:47] But in that moment, again, being self-awareness, um, it supports you to just be able to make a little change, um, sitting there to compute to, for example, being stressed about. An email. That’s come through, get up, get yourself a drink, go and change a behavior. Come back. You’ll have a fresh pair of eyes. It’s rocket science in a way.

[00:56:07] And yet sometimes we forget to do these things when we are feeling unsettled, 

[00:56:11] Lance Wantenaar: [00:56:11] but more about the power of language you’ve got. That list is something in your book. So how did you realize that there, the power of language and the power of words, I’ve got a going to impact on how you think and how you. The process information.

[00:56:26] Um, 

[00:56:27] Alison Blacklear: [00:56:27] uh, some of this has come from my NLP training, so just coming back to that, but I think being able to focus on language and notice the impact of, of structure of language, um, has, uh, has had a huge effect on me. Uh, so something I feel is important to share simple things, just to pick up on a couple of things.

[00:56:48] Showed the word should is it’s just a tie. It’s just a negative weighted situation. When people are doing a lot of shirts in their language, I should have done this or shouldn’t do this. I must do this. And mustn’t do this. That in itself is pressure. So I always people can notice their shirts. That’s it.

[00:57:11] That’s very powerful. They can really look at, I want to do it instead, or, um, aye. Aye, aye. Aye. Aye. Even rather than sugar, because short usually is linked impact of our concern about the impact of all this. It shows can often be. Running around after other people, I should be doing this or should be doing that.

[00:57:32] And that means they’re not looking after or looking towards themselves. So that’s one, one example, power of language. Another one is the word boat. How many people use the word books all the time? I’ve had a lovely day, but something happened. The lost, their positive. Yeah. The T in that I’ve had a lovely day because you’re then focused on the book.

[00:57:56] The. The picnic was cold or whatever. Um, so again, I’m often putting people on them, diets around shirts and using the word book because it does change the structure of the language. It changes how you, what happens if you, if you stop using the word boss insured, it changes how you feel about yourself.

[00:58:21] Being able to notice whether you are focusing on something. In a negative way so away from, so I, I don’t want to be this size rather than I want to be that size. I don’t want to feel like this, or what do you want to feel? So, so many people are focused on what they don’t want rather than what they do want.

[00:58:43] And even though from a conscious level, when you say, I don’t want to be, um, in this kind of situation consciously, that means you want to be something else, but your subconscious mind doesn’t hear that instruction. So when we use ships, boats, dopes, again, the subconscious mind can’t process, the word, it changes the structure of your internal language and your accent language to overs, which will mean you’ll get a different.

[00:59:09] Yeah, 

[00:59:10] Lance Wantenaar: [00:59:10] I saw an interesting recipe reference with regards to using butter in a positive way is you could have a negative statement is, you know, I’m not as healthy as what I want to be, but I am focusing on better nutrition. Now, what it does is that it negates the negative and you can use button a positive method, which is a really interesting twist on it.

[00:59:34] Alison Blacklear: [00:59:34] Yes, I like it, but it, where most people say both. They’ll say something’s gone. They’ll say I’ve had a good conversation with my sister, but she still made me feel. Blah, blah blah. So yeah, absolutely. That language is really, really powerful. And the other thing that we can spot in people is patterns in their language.

[00:59:55] You can hear people saying things all the time, the tar very damaging for them and, and they will say they are letting you know how they see themselves through that comparison to others all through how they see their own achievements. And again, this what you’re telling this. Basic utopia, whether you thinking it or saying out loud does change, what happens, it changes the outcome.

[01:00:22] Your reality is constructed by your language or your thoughts. And I think that’s something else that we need to be able to be a bit more mindful off. So we get what we want. 

[01:00:34] Lance Wantenaar: [01:00:34] What are the key indicators for you for picking out those patterns? I mean, 

[01:00:37] Alison Blacklear: [01:00:37] obviously repetition. If you, if you’re listening to somebody he’ll hear in, in repetition is one way of noticing that somebody is.

[01:00:44] Staying feeling believing something about themselves, you will pick up also. I do. Anyway, I pick up a lot of information from, from unconscious. Body language, but I’m trying to pick up on that, but there’ll be saying things in a certain way and you’ll see physical response that goes with what they’re saying.

[01:01:04] That’s quite, that’s very consistent. So sometimes I add somebody to give the date and I asked her a question and she, she kind of, Oh, no, we’re on feel free. We’re not being filmed, but she’s had. Pull back like that when I asked and it was, it was a compliment. I was giving her a compliment and she pulled back and that unconscious.

[01:01:24] She didn’t even know she was doing, it gave her information that she pulled boxer. Yeah. That she didn’t like it. So that was really, uh, so that’s something very interesting that you can see things in people that they are doing. Their body language is changing as well while they’re talking. So obviously that’s something that I, I do personally.

[01:01:43] I’m not suggesting that everybody needs to now start analyzing other people’s body language, but I think it’s people are giving away lots of information all of the time about how they are processing and the impact that that’s having on them. 

[01:01:57] Lance Wantenaar: [01:01:57] It is something that is very fascinating. You could say science and an area for focusing because the key thing is what makes the whole COVID pandemic.

[01:02:10] So really difficult is that people no longer have that social interaction and that social interaction requires somebody else to read somebody else’s body, language and behavior. When you’re in a discussion with somebody. They re that feedback that you get the reaction, the actions, the nuances, and the words and the language and how somebody reacts within that time allows you to read the information and modify how you behave to that person in that time.

[01:02:42] And that makes it really difficult because people are relying on one social media and two just written word. And the fact is that your perceptions and your interpretations. Of just written words and themselves are really completely different when you actually enter conversation with somebody, because in a conversation you can see their reactions, you see the small reactions that they have, whether they’re smiling, they’re frowning, you know, the, the, the eyebrows, the shape of their face at that time, or whether the inflection of a humorous comment is registered as funny or whether it’s, so you can, you can’t modify your.

[01:03:21] Interaction with that person, because you’re lacking that feedback, which makes this really very difficult for a lot of people in so many different ways, which is why people are suffering with a lot of, you could say main mental anxiety because they don’t get that response mechanism and they don’t know how to react or manage the situation.

[01:03:41] Alison Blacklear: [01:03:41] Definitely. I mean, we’re humans are social beings. You know, we are in this current situation for those that are alone in, in a lockdown situations, restrictions, it is, it is really concerning how, how it’s going to impact on people. Isolation, social isolation is something that we don’t do well with at all.

[01:04:05] Generally as. 

[01:04:07] Lance Wantenaar: [01:04:07] And I think it’s also a really interesting insight because when you think of the older generation, people now have an idea of how some of the older generation feel who are, who don’t have any more family left. They don’t have that social interaction and they’ve got that isolation. So they sitting with a situation that they have to deal with.

[01:04:29] A lot of the other population has never had to deal with. So now people have got ability to have a better understanding that somebody else that is older, that is alone or that, that they are not in a proper social environment. They suffering probably the same situation as they have been for a long period of time.

[01:04:47] Which a lot of the other population is now experiencing in the same way. So it’s an interesting way of actually looking at the whole scenario. 

[01:04:55] Alison Blacklear: [01:04:55] Definitely. I mean, I think it’s throwing up all sorts for a soul. This current situation at one is that we’re all in it. We really are all in something together.

[01:05:04] It’s quite Rex. Normally, you know, there’s a pocket of people who are coming to. Um, and I think, well, I’m well, I’m urging people and myself to do is to, is to always try and see what, what can we learn about ourselves through this? Um, we gain through this, if, if that’s, if it’s possible to come out the other side and think actually, you know, I did get, I did achieve that, or I did learn that about myself, uh, rather than just stick with the, the real negative thinking, feeling, very trapped, feeling, very angry, you know, again, the fight flight or freeze response.

[01:05:38] You can say it, playing out with people and their responses to how they’re, how they’re feeling about it. Some people are very angry and you can hear their language. You can hear the way that talking about the news and situations from people that are just retreating they’re fighting. They don’t want, they don’t know how they don’t want to know.

[01:05:56] They put in the head and some people are free, literally froze and they don’t know what to do. So I think it is about self care. Being kind to yourself and others and yeah. Try and trying our best to reach out and be together.

[01:06:13] Yeah. 

[01:06:14] Lance Wantenaar: [01:06:14] Yeah. It’s a very interesting time. Listen, thank you very much for your time. It was a fascinating discussion. I really enjoyed the interview and I look forward to reading your book and keeping in touch. And I would like to get you back again at, at another opportunity. Thank you very much for your time.

[01:06:34] Alison Blacklear: [01:06:34] Thank you so much for having me on I’ve really enjoyed it too. And I would love to come back.