XMen! Teenager Interviews
A series of interviews by Heather Smith, with some extraordinary teenagers who are using Access in their lives
HS: How did you find out about Access?
A-FE: My dad introduced me to Access. He went to a Foundation class with Dain Heer, he called me up after the class and something about his voice, it was like he was so excited about it (he had done A LOT of "searching" with a lot of different modalities) I just knew there was something to this Access stuff.
When I went to my first "real" class (Embodiment with Gary Douglas and Dain Heer), everyone there was so nice, and even though I was 12, it was like they didn't even notice I wasn't an adult. Immediately when they started the clearings I felt completely different. It's so nice to have a thing to do when everyone is saying "this is wrong with you" and "you're not good at this," it's really nice when you can look at it and be like "that's an interesting point of view" and know that there really isn't anything wrong with you.
Access has been so amazing. Before Access I was really, really shy. I had trouble talking to anyone that I hadn't known for years. After doing Access for a little while, it's like: I was shy? Wow, who would've thought it?
Every now and then I catch myself trying to fit in, the hardest part is not judging myself. Just to be like "Okay, what else is possible?" is really helpful. The mistake a lot of people make is they think the only way they can have friends is if they fit in, this isn't true. You can have great relationships with people who are totally different then you and it can be great!
HS: Do you value yourself more or differently since Access?
A-FE: Most definitely YES. Getting out of continual judgment of myself has been so awesome! It also makes other people want to know what I'm doing, so that's great too.
A little after I first started doing Access I became really, really depressed, and I didn't know how to make it stop. I look at it now and realize that like 99% of it didn't belong to me, and if I had asked "who does it belong to?" I would have been over it. Now, when I feel sad, or mad, or happy, or any feeling I use the question. It really does help. It's amazing how quickly it goes away. I had a sore throat the other day and someone asked me "who does it belong to?" and I said "not me", they were like "okay, will you return it to sender?" I did, then I swallowed to see how it felt... there was no pain, AT ALL! It was instantaneous.
When I look at some people my age and at me, it's like... wow. We are so differentâ€‘ and that's okay. It's there choice to be unhappy, and it took me a long time to see that. It's all just a choice.
Also, my relationship with my parents has become a whole lot easier; we still fight and all that, but it's like not a big deal anymore, I know that it's not as real as I used to make it.
With my dad (who also does Access) when we're about to fight or doing something unconscious we can call each other out and be like "An infinite being would choose this for what reason?" or just using IPOV (interesting point of view) or "What do you love about that?"
There's a story my dad loves to tell: We were driving around going somewhere and it was looking like we were gonna be late. He was kind of complaining about it and just unhappy, so I was like "Dad, you know you love this right?" in a kind of mocking voice, so he was like "YES, I love it" while rolling his eyes, then I said "Dad, you know I bet it gets really annoying when I use these Access tools on you all the time and I bet you just get really annoyed" and he said "Yeah, it does get kind of annoying sometimes..." and I quickly replied "Nuhâ€‘uh, you love that too!"
With my mom, I use Access silently, her life has changed without her doing any Access.
HS: What do you notice about the choices you have now?
A-FE: The fact that I actually have a choice. As a kid you tend to think that your parents decide everything and you don't have a choice, but the funny thing is it is a choice to have no choice. When I just ask my parents questions I can change things really easily, whereas before I would have gotten mad or yelled or something and that just makes things even worse.
In Access adults don't look at you like a "child". I mean so what, we haven't been in these bodies as long, and we haven't graduated from school and all that, but we're really just the same as adults. Adults that aren't in Access tend to like me for some reason, I can talk to them like another adult does and I look at things from their point of view which a lot of other kids don't do. It really doesn't mean very much to me when someone says; "you're just a kid," it's just a word people use for infinite beings in young bodies.
HS: How have you used Access to change studying, exams, school in general?
A-FE: The more I do Access the farther behind I get with my school work, but the higher my grades get. Funny, huh? I recently got my Learner Permit for driving and I was kind of nervous (which wasn't real anyway), but when I sat down to take that test after every question I would say "how does it get any better than that?" as many times as I could fit in. In the end I got my permit, and I only missed one question! HDIGABTT? (How does it get any better than that?)
HS: Creating your own life at school, creating possibilities at school, what would it take for school to be fun?
The thing about it is, changing your whole school is gonna be a LOT of work and you may loose some friends, maybe. Now the good news is you can create your LIFE at school, at home, wherever you go and no one will even notice, and if you do create your life other people will see it and be like "Wow, what are they doing? I want to be like them!" and then your school may actually be changed. That's how I like to do things.
Peer pressure is something hard to get over. It's like; so what, everyone is doing it? Are they really happy? I mean what I do is just look at it and ask "is this really light?" and drugs just don't seem light. I don't really think I follow or lead the crowd, we just kinda go along together and who ever wants to ride up front does it and it's not a big deal. It's that whole communion with everything.
HS: How do you feel about your future, about your life ahead?
A-FE: Excited! I mean, look at all the infinite possibilities, it'll be awesome!
When it comes to travel it has changed more than I had ever imagined. Last year I went to Florida (several times) South Carolina, California, and Costa Rica! (Just to name a few).
HS: What recreational or extracurricular activities do you enjoy?
A-FE: In Access I've heard "King of all trades and Jack of none" or something like that. That's kind of how I like to be. I dance all the time, I take classes in Modern, Ballet, and Jazz, and I'll take any other class that sounds interesting for a while. I play the flute, I'm in a homeâ€‘school band (I'm home schooled, by the way, I don't think I mentioned that before). I play a little piano, and I just got a bass guitar.
HS: Has your experience of your body changed since Access?
A-FE: What really helps me is to not think of my body as me. My body and I aren't the same thing. We are connected and we can have a communion, but we aren't one beingâ€‘ and I like that a whole lot better.
HS: Have you been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD/OCD/Autism or a learning disability? Do you have friends who have been?
A-FE: I haven't been diagnosed with any of them, but I'm pretty sure I do have some of that stuff. Yes, I know some people who are, the people I know who have ADD or OCD or ADHD are so amazing. People try to act like they don't have power with it, but you can do so much cool stuff with it! I know one person who is mentally handicapped, and he's so amazing... he is one of the sweetest things ever and I don't know anyone who doesn't like him.
HS: For what reason did you become an Access Learning Facilitator?
A-FE: Because, I knew that it would be amazing, for one. I knew that it's just what I wanted to do, I'd look at people facilitating classes and be like "yeah, I can do that... yeah, I will do that." and it's been fun so far, HDIGABTT? (How does it get any better than that?)
When I coâ€‘facilitated my first class (with Cathy Hauser) I was just so excited about it, and then I got paid! I didn't even think about the money until literally the day before the class, I was thinking about all the people who were going to come to it and how much fun it was going to be and then I was like "hey, I'm gonna get paid for it, too! HDIGABTT?"
I look at what people want to hear from me, rather than just telling them everything. I listen to them instead of being like "do this, this, and this".
Attending Access classes and facilitating classes I've changed me, for one. Whenever you have kids at an Access class, it seems to be different (then again, I've never been to a class without myself). So, I think that kids being at classes is really cool.
HS: What would you say to other kids who are considering coming to an Access class?
A-FE: I would say do what is light for you, don't think it's something you have to do because other people like it a lot, and then if you know you want to do it, HDIGABTT?! (How does it get any better than that?)
HS: What brought you to Access?
AL: The changes I saw in my mom after she had started Access. She had been going to these weird classes that she wasn't telling me about, for about a year and a half. She had gone to Costa Rica twice. And I really noticed after the second time she went to Costa Rica, that instead of coming into our house and opening the door and looking sad and miserable and tired and depressed like she had been for her whole life, she walked in the door, she was bright, she was happy, she was exuberant. She said, "Hey you guys! How are you?" It was stunning. What did you do with our mommy? But it wasn't like that, it was great. And the thing I looked at was, she wasn't being happy to impress others, she wasn't being happy to impress me, she was genuinely happy. She was genuinely bright and joyful with herself and with her life.
So I started to sit there and go, I'm sitting on the couch being a depressed teenager, and I was a very depressed child before I came to Access, and I'm going, "Maybe I should try this stuff". So, I hadn't heard the word Access, I had seen these manuals, but not read them, but eventually she started to say "Hey, why don't I run your bars? I learned this new stuff. Can I practice it on you?" So she started practicing it on me and my brother. And the first time she ran my bars, I fell asleep for two hours right afterwards, and I had always had sleeping problems. So it was like, "wow," this started to shift things in my body and the way I feel.
I wasn't really sure what had happened. I knew that I felt more relaxed, and when she started running my bars, before I had ever been to a class or heard of Gary (the founder of Access), she just started talking to me about what was going on in these classes and what Gary talks about, in ways that I could hear, in words that I could understand. And all of a sudden she was talking about how, "You know, Ashley, sometimes we try so desperately to fit in with others, we adjust ourselves, we give up our own choices, and we divorce ourselves so that we can be like others. And what would it be like if, instead of divorcing ourselves, when you're around others, you would not go down to their level, but bring them up to your level?" And I started to go, "Oh, my gosh, she's talking to exactly where I'm at right now." And it was like, wow, this is my mom? Who's never really been able to speak to me in ways that I was could understand before, suddenly speaking my language, and talking about what I've always felt and no one else was willing to say?
It was the first time someone else let me know that it was OK to be different. You know, it's like my whole life I had been told, "Be yourself, be yourself" and then I was told my self was wrong. So I was told, "be yourself" but I had already given up on that, and suddenly she was letting me know; you're different, and that there's nothing wrong with that. And that there are other people like this, too!
So I was really starting to wonder and ask questions about Access, and then eventually she invited me to a class. She said, "Hey, we're having an Access class on Embodiment." I didn't know if I would have to learn how to do points on the head or what I was going to do, but I said, "I'm there. I'm going."
AC: My parents were both in Access a while, and they would always talk about people in it and what they were doing and I felt left out, so I just came in to check it out.
Well, I did my first Foundation and Level One with Gary (founder of Access), I talked to him, and he just seemed different than anyone else out there. So it just caught my interest, and I've been going ever since, because that's what we do as a family. So I started when I was twelve.
My favorite thing about Access? You're free to talk about whatever you feel like. Whatever you wanna say. It's not like people don't let you say what you wanna say. And you can be whoever you wanna be. Whatever that is.
It's made me more of an individual. I stand out more, like in a crowd. Like when I'm in school, people notice me more than they do other people. And people like to hang out with me and they think I'm fun to be with. So that's definitely nice to have.
HS: Before Access were you not as comfortable just being yourself and having people like you for being who you are?
AC: I wasn't as comfortable, but, I mean, I'm sure a lot of it is Access, but it's kind of like, I've grown up with it, because I've been doing it for four years now, and I'm only 16, so I don't really know what it is without being Access.
Me and my parents are pretty close, we do Access together, and it's just kind of a bringing together of the family, I guess. It's something we all share in common, and it's pretty much the only thing we share in common. So that's good.
HS: Are there areas that have become easier with them, or different than it was before?
AC: Well, it's not so much for me, but they have become more open, with it, so it makes it a lot easier to talk about anything I feel like, because they've become more open because of Access, and more free to hear about whatever I have to say. So that's definitely good.
HS: What has Access given you in your interaction with adults?
AC: I kind of like adults as much as I do kids, because it's just maturity and there's no fake stuff. There is, but, you know, hanging out with kids you just do kids stuff and you just run around and, I like to hang out with adults, even though it's not always as much fun, but, I like it anyway. But I'm not like the average kid, I guess.
I didn't do so well in school for a long time. I've been doing a lot better now, just because of random Access tools. Just being Access, basically, has helped me a lot. I mean, I don't study very much. The only thing that really helps is manipulating the teacher. That's the main one. If you can do that well, you can get an A in every class. That's what helps more than anything else.
I do a lot of sports. I like to do outdoor activities and stuff. It's definitely made me stronger and more outgoing. So when I'm out there, I'm more of a presence. People notice me, when I play against them, like in soccer, or when I come up against them, they know; this guy's gonna push me around a little bit. People kind of back down a little bit, because I'm just there, and they notice it. I'm just different than he's seen before. So it kind of makes him step back a little bit.
HS: Would you say you're willing to intimidate other people?
AC: Definitely. That's manipulation, too.
HS: What would it take for school to be fun?
AC: Well, I like to learn. I realized lately that I've been liking to learn a lot, so that makes school way more fun. And manipulating teachers and getting good grades makes it even more fun. Cause when you do well, it's way more fun. And I just hang out with kids who aren't interested in drugs or alcohol, so that's kind of a good thing, too. I mean, not hanging out with people who do that, it doesn't mean you're unpopular or anything. You can still be in the popular group or whatever, and still not do any of that, which is fun for me. That's what I like to do.
HS: Peer pressure doesn't have an effect?
AC: No, it doesn't. You make the peer pressure to not do it, instead of being under the peer pressure. That's like a reverse. Being the leader of the crowd.
I used to try and fit in, like before Access. I used to try really hard to fit in. I remember I was always the odd ball out, you know? And now it's the opposite. Everyone wants to fit in with me, and know what I'm doing this week-end. Okay, you want to hang out, so they have to try to fit in with my schedule.
I value myself more, because I'm more mature. But I mean, I'm older, so obviously that has something to do with it. I don't take a long time to think about my choices. You know, you've gotta live in ten second increments. You can't think about it too much, and you can always change it back, change it to something else. I'm way instantaneous. Yeah, in every ten seconds, you make a new choice.
HS: What does "kid" mean to you? Like when someone calls you a kid.
AC: Sometimes it's a little condescending, like looking down on you, because adults sometimes go, "he's just a kid." Like he can't be thinking like that because he's just a kid. And I don't like that. I mean, now I don't really get called just a kid any more, so that's good.
I try not to change people, because people are who they are, cause that's what they're choosing, and if they ask me for help, I will give them whatever tool I have to offer, but I don't want to go out there and change people, cause I wouldn't want people to come change me either.
A lot of my friends say they feel really comfortable around me, so they can do just whatever, and I don't like, embarrass them. I mean, I do embarrass them, I mess around with them a lot.
HS: But not of maliciousness or meanness.
AC: Yeah, they can do whatever and have a good time. It's totally taking the judgment out. They don't feel like I'm gonna bring it up again and say that was bad that you did that.
HS: Have you been diagnosed with ADD, ADDHD, OCD or autism? Or do you have any friends who have been?
AC: I have so many friends with learning disabilities. I mean, almost all my friends have learning disabilities. It's kind of strange. My teacher came up to me and told me I probably have a learning disability. I just choose not to abide by it. I mean, it's just a label. You can get around it. Just work hard and get by it. I'm not gonna let anyone else define me because of a learning disability.
A lot of kids in my school are depressed, but I mean, I don't really want to get involved with that. I'm too busy having fun.
HS: And are you more joyful since Access?
AC: Of course I am! It's way more fun. I'm always just making jokes in class and ready to have a party whenever there's one. Or, make one when there's not. Everyone come to my house.
HS: Has your experience of your body changed since Access, and in what ways?
AC: I feel more confident with myself and I'm, kind of like, I feel that I'm acceptable, and I used to think that I wasn't attractive at all. And now I feel that I'm doing fine. I mean, I get plenty of attention.
I'm just more at ease with it, more than anything. I don't really physically change it, but you just listen to your body and it becomes more willing to do what you ask it to do. That's the main thing. You've gotta listen to your body.
HS: What would you say to other kids who are considering coming to an Access class?
AC: I'd say it's fun. It's worth your time. And if you don't think it's fun, you could just leave. I mean, it's free. So, I mean, it's gonna be fun, no matter what class you go to, even if it's only you and grown-ups, you're gonna have a good time. And you're gonna meet plenty of other kids who're gonna have a good time, too.
MH: At first my mum started getting into Access after having a treatment with Viv Adcock and experiencing amazing results after only 1 session. Soon after, Viv came over for a horse ride and started talking to me about Conscious Horse Conscious Rider, and that was it! If you can do it with horses, I'm gonna give it a go! Although I did have my queries, I'm so happy that mum and viv convinced me to give it a go.
HS: What is your favorite thing about Access?
MH: It would have to be...Everything!! The people involved in Access are awesome. I want to emphasize AWESOME! Everyone is very encouraging and the whole non-judgment thing really helps! I really love the concept of life being about having fun and just being you! Also living in the question rocks!! How does it get any better than this? I really find it difficult to choose one single aspect of Access that is my favorite 'cause I just love everything.
Other than giving me more confidence in myself, Access has offered me a whole new group of friends that I can feel entirely comfortable with and that's something that I am so grateful for. I can express my inner sexiness a whole lot more. I also feel a great sense of freedom knowing that I can just BE me, without having to worry what other people will think of me, and I just keep growing.
One particular instance that I really felt was an exciting experience for me was just shortly after the seven day intensive at Mission Beach, 2008. One afternoon after school I went to play with my horse Belle, and we were kinda just fooling around and I was on her bareback just riding around. I started asking Belle multiple questions, eg: "What Energy, space and consciousness can I be to be the perfect leader for you?" etc. When I got off Belle and took her bridle off I started to walk away and she started to walk with me, so just for a little experiment I started to run...she started trotting right along with me. I thought that was pretty cool so I started weaving through the trees and she stuck with me!
I love going riding on my horse, and spending time with horses in general, art and being active. Being with friends. Being more me is sooo much easier and more fun, that's for sure, and I have made SOOO many more friends than I have lost in the process. I value me, not just other people's opinion of me. And I enjoy my body a whole lot more, it's much more fun.
HS: How have you used Access to change your relationship with your parents?
Doing each others bars had a really positive impact on our relationship.
More and more choices and opportunities show up when I just ask. Ask and you will receive! When I get emotional and not feeling the best, I just ask who that feeling belongs too and often times I just start cracking up laughing at how seriously I took it when it's not even mine. "Who does this belong to?" is such a cool question.
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