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Asking for Needs
A Workshop for Men of Courage

Making Our Work Space Safe
No one can learn, grow, or heal in an unsafe space, whether this space is physically unsafe, intellectually unsafe, emotionally unsafe, or spiritually unsafe. Luckily, we are men, and so, each of us have it in ourselves to know how to make our spaces safe. Please keep this in mind today, and let's share together the responsibility of being each other's "keepers," guides, and guardians.

How can we do this? First, we can do this by focusing on and limiting our work to our own experiences and ideas, sharing our own thoughts and feelings about our lives as men. Second, we can do this by accessing in ourselves all the love we can and using it to consciously witness without judgment each other's struggles. Third, we can do this by simply noticing, without judgment, the times we ourselves zone out or in Ed's and my language, the times we each go into shock. Then, when you do, be gentle with yourself, and when you can, share it with the group.

Also, as we explore today, please try to notice how the personal experiences others share and speak about affect you so much more than the ideas and beliefs we refer to. What I am trying to say here is best described by visualizing the following scene: Imagine there is a new car in your driveway AND you have never driven a car before. Would you know how to drive or only about driving?

My point here is, knowing there is a car in your driveway and knowing how to drive it are two very different things. How do you actually lean to drive? Only by driving. And this is true for all things we learn no matter how intuitive and smart we are.

Another way of saying this is, even when you think you grasp ideas, until you heal whatever personally BLocks your ability to see the beauty in these ideas, you will truly know the real beauty hidden inside them. This means even when you know about a good idea, until you personally experience it for yourself, you will not be able to use it to better your life.

The principle I am referring to here is the one I call, "Experience is the Only Teacher." Try today to focus your efforts on having new, more loving experiences rather than simply on trying to record and remember the ideas we each share and explore.

Lastly, as you explore today, please be easy on yourselves, especially if and when you find you have not lived up to your own ideals. None of us do. This does not negate the value and courage of what we do manage to live up to. Again, be gentle with yourselves and with each other.

Today's Focus: Learning to See the Beauty in "Having Needs."
Today, we all, Ed and myself included, will explore how we, as men, identify, or rather fail to identify, our needs. Our focus will be on identifying the degree to which we each have become detached from and or unaware of our needs. Thus, the first thing I need to tell you all is, this workshop is not about learning to assert yourselves; meaning, it is not a workshop on learning to ask for your needs.

Why not? Because most men go from having little to no awareness of what they need, and so feel they have nothing to assert, to being overly assertive when they do think they know.

Assertiveness skills are the smallest part of the problem we will address here then. What will we address? That the bulk of the problem we all have with getting our needs met is knowing what these needs are.

Now, to begin addressing this idea, let me ask the group, how many of you have known a man who seemed to have little to no neediness? In other words, have you ever known or met a man who seemed to be totally self sufficient?

 

[Question # 1]
Do you now know or have you known a man who seemed to have little to no needs? What did you think about them? And how did you compare?

(Think quietly about this experience for a few moments, then please write what you saw below.)

 

 

(Write the answers on the big pad. Share with each other.)

[Question #2]
So what do you think about men who do seem to be totally self sufficient? What do you think is going in them? And how do you compare to them?
(Think quietly about this experience for a few moments, then please write what you found below.)

 

 

(Write the answers on the big pad. Share with each other.)

[Question #3]

What are your thoughts on the needs all men struggle with? Are there needs we all struggle with?
(Please now take five minutes to write down your sense of the needs all men struggle with.)

 

 

(Write the answers on the big pad. Share with each other.)

[Question #4]
What are your thoughts on the needs you personally struggle with? Are there needs you struggle with that your father, son, uncles, or male friends also struggle with?
(Please now take five minutes to write down your sense of the needs you struggle with who you have this in common with.)

 

 

(Write the answers on the big pad. Share with each other.)

[Question #5]
What messages have you been given which told you to deny your needs?
(Please now take 5 minutes to write down your thoughts and feelings in each section.)

Verbal / Ideal / Philosophical Messages?

 

Messages Learned By Example?

 


Messages Give By Being Shamed?

 


Messages Taught By Spiritual Belief?

 

Write the answers on the big pad. Share with each other.)

[Question #6]
Who here has trouble receiving (having others meet their needs)? Which needs do you struggle receiving help with?
(Please now take five minutes to write down your sense of the things and times you struggle to receive.)

 

 

(Write the answers on the big pad. Share with each other.)

On Taking What You've Learned Out Into The World

I have been to many workshops. Always, the leader ends by suggesting something like that we make an effort to carry out into the world what we have learned. However, and I know this may shock many men, what I have found to be true is that no man can do this. Why? Because we access what we learn only when we are connected to another.

What does this mean? It means that when you find yourself struggling to put into words what happened today, don't blame yourself. Just know that in order to carry what you discovered today out into the world, you need do nothing more than picture what we did while at the same time, connecting to another. This, after all, is what we explored today.

Please be gentle with yourselves when you again forget this lesson. We all do. After all, our Creator designed learning to connect to be a life long journey.

And good luck to each of you as you continue your journeys.




Books by Steven Paglierani

Solving the
Mind-Body
Mystery

Finding Personal Truth Book I: Solving the Mind-Body Mystery

Buy Now Online

download free Book I - Solving the Mind Body Mystery excerpt

Hardcover ($29.95)
Also in eBook ($9.99) at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Amazon UK

Unraveling
Human
Nature

Finding Personal Truth Book II: Unraveling Human Nature

Order Now Online

download free Book II - Unraveling Human Nature excerpt

Hardcover ($29.95)
Also in eBook ($9.99) at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Amazon UK

The Science
of
Discovery

Finding Personal Truth Book III: The Science of Discovery: the Birth of a New Scientific Method

Coming
December 2015


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This page last updated on
January 18 , 2003

Asking for Needs
© 2002, Steven Paglierani. All rights reserved

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