Welcome to the third week of my Get a Grip Program. I do hope you are feeling ready and able to tackle all that is holding you from a life less ordinary because we are just one week away from the day I am going to ask you to dissect your entire life in the Get a Grip download and workbook...
Today I want to you to think about your needs. I know the very idea of thinking about what you need makes you bristle. That in your lovely head you truly believe that other people's needs matter more than yours. But you are of course so very wrong.
NO-ONE matters more than you do.
Not the baby at your breast. Or the man you made those vows to. Not your ageing parents or your stroppy teenager. Not your friend so weighed down by troubles you barely recognize her anymore. No-one.
No-one matters more than you do because you cannot serve them in any meaningful way if you are not serving yourself. Your heart is good but it is the most useless of vessels when it is battered by issues you refuse to tackle. Trying then to solve other peoples problems while carting a whole host of your own around means you never bring your best self to them.
You want to be your best self don't you?
And so getting a grip has to start with assessing and meeting your needs so you can build the strength to face the very problems that are preventing you leading a life abundant with authenticity.
Each and everyone of us has six core needs we need to satisfy daily: emotional, social, intellectual, physical, sexual, and spiritual and we are only whole if to some degree we are both acknowledging those needs AND making some effort to meeting them each and every day.
When considering each of the core needs and how we can shape our days around them, it helps to understand the finer aspects of each one in turn and to think deeply about how their influence or lack of it is shaping who we are becoming.
Do we feel validated by our relationships? Are we loved and in turn are we capable of loving in return? Do we feel safe? Free to express ourselves? Comfortable with those who say they love us? Are we satisfying our roles as Mothers, daughter, lovers and friends? Do our most valuable relationships inspire us? Are we free? Are we alienating those who love us with behaviors we would prefer not to address because they are too painful to confront?
Have we got a wide circle of friends? Do we make the effort to meet them regularly and simply enjoy their company? Do we feel accepted by our extended family? Are we comfortable arranging social interaction? Are there ways we would prefer to socialise other than those that are the accepted norm within our own circle? How deep are our friendships? Do we have one or two true confidantes? How can that be nurtured? To what degree does social networking shape your day?
Do we make daily effort to stimulate our minds? Are we indulging in time-wasting activities that numb us? Are we willing to seek counselling or other talking therapies for those things that cloud our mind? Do our closest relationships stimulate us intellectually? Are we committed to constant learning? Are there ways we could substitute trashy TV/relentless news with more meaningful activities?
Do we know for sure that we are looking after ourselves the very best way we know how? Are we eating well? Sleeping enough? Moving often? Do we make time to incorporate some sort of exercise into our day? Have we created routines and rituals that sustain us and honor our bodies? Are we ignoring any nagging symptoms of ill health? Are we nurturing habits we know are hurting our bodies and mind? Do we make and keep appointments with health professionals?
Do we feel beautiful? Do we make time to pamper our own bodies? Are we familiar with our own bodies? Do we massage ourselves daily? Encourage or repel touch from others? Are we free to express ourselves as sexual beings in both our own minds and within the confines of our relationship? Is our relationship an emotionally safe place in which to explore desires we may barely have acknowledged in the past? Are we making time for sexual expression in our lives? Are we acknowledging and responding to our partners needs? Is affection willingly and easily shown? OR does it come at a price?
How often do we seek silence in which to just be? How committed are we to acts of worship? To pursuing transcendence? To meditation? Are we making daily sojourns in to nature? Do we make time to journal our deepest thoughts? To acknowledge them beyond the realms of our own mind? Are we committed to regular prayer or visualization practice? Do we practice rituals that nurture our own very private dialogue with our most private spiritual selves?
This then is deep work. It asks you to confront every aspect of your life and to tell the absolute truth about your instantaneous reaction to each question in turn. By truly engaging with the questions we can identify the gaps in ourselves: the places we feel empty. Irritated. Or frustrated by the way we are living our life.
By answering them honestly we can begin to create routines and rituals that help us address those gaps and in the very process build strength enough to tackle each of the four categories of problems we identified last week. Problems that should be tackled in the following order:
Physical Problems (Because we cannot garner the strength to do anything else if we are compromised by ill health, exhaustion or poor diet).
Financial Problems (Because whether we like it or not money gives us freedom and thus having complete control over our finances means we can do what needs to be done in other areas of our lives).
Emotional Problems (Because emotional problems exhaust us like no other, but we cannot attend to them without physical power and financial freedom).
And finally, Life Problems (Because almost all life problems require the strength that comes with physical power, financial freedom and emotional certainty).
Once we start paying attention to our core needs and addressing the gaps in our authentic selves, we can then begin to make a plan for getting a grip of the problems we have identified. Indeed, in many cases attending to our core needs will SOLVE at least some of our problems and offer us both structure and freedom simultaneously.
But we have to start with recognizing that WE MATTER. That we matter ENOUGH to do all the work necessary to change our lives.
Next week then we will make a plan we can commit to with our heart, soul, mind and body and we will pledge allegiance to that plan or else we can simply carry on standing on the sideline of our own life and living at the mercy of frustration and disappointment.
It's time to make all the changes you know you have to make Sweetheart.