I’m Not Needy – I Just Have Needs

This is a re-blog of a post that is a handy reference on human needs – and how important they are to ensure that we get them met. As we continue through these difficult times, more and more stress and distress will impact us all. May we all get our needs met and Find our Middle Ground.


Every human being has needs. It is part of the human condition. We were born with them and will go through most of our lives trying to get them met. When our needs are met we can fully access our humanity. Bringing compassion and kindness to ourselves and others.

Over the years as a life coach, I took several courses in Non Violent Communication. In NVC, needs are acknowledged and embraced. There is a vulnerable beauty behind our needs. The essence of who we are as human beings.

There are three groups of core needs that once we identify, we can honor: WELL BEING – SELF EXPRESSION – CONNECTION. Needs get a bad wrap…. but they shouldn’t. The more we recognize them, the more we can evolve and grow as human beings.

We often aren’t aware of our own needs, and it can be a powerful self-discovery to identify the ones that are most important to each of us. The needs below are grouped into the three categories. Pause for a moment and identify what needs resonate with you personally:

man deep relaxed breathing

WELL BEING
Health and Sustenance
Thriving
Vitality
Safety and Security
Stability
Rest
Peace
Acceptance
Gratitude
Balance
Celebration of life

joyful girl

SELF EXPRESSION
Autonomy/Freedom
Authenticity
Inspiration
Passion
Meaning
Contribution
Learning
Growth
Skill/Mastery
Self actualization

Loving Connection

CONNECTION
Love/caring
Compassion
Empathy/Understanding
Communication
Respect
Acceptance
Recognition
Community
Belonging
Relationship
Trust

Here is a self inquiry exercise to explore your needs more. Take a moment and ask yourself:

What am I grateful for?

Then

What needs are being met when I feel grateful?

Now think of a time when you were upset, possibly at work or with a family member…

Then

What needs were not being met?

In all likelihood it would be about recognition, respect and a sense of belonging.

Needs drive us and are essential for our well being. When our needs are being met it opens the door to be in connection with ourselves and with others.

We come to see there is no need to judge ourselves or others any more.

We are more able to center ourselves in our Middle Ground and handle the the highs and lows of life.

Namaste

The Power of Empathy

Enjoy this re-post about the power of empathy, especially in difficult relationships.


One of our fundamental needs as human beings is to be heard and to be accepted as we are. Take a moment to recall where you were going through a hard time and someone empathized with you. How did it feel? Pretty good I expect.

When someone empathizes with us we don’t feel judged; we no longer feel alone; we feel understood; we become calmer; we usually feel better and are more able to handle a difficult  situation.

empathy babies

Empathy is a powerful tool for connecting to another person in an open loving way.  It feels good to us, yet how often do we intentionally or mindfully empathize with someone else … especially when someone is angry or frustrated?
Marshall Rosenberg writes in his book “Non Violent Communication; a Language of Life“ how it can be especially difficult to empathize with those who appear to possess more power, status or resources and those who are closest to us.
One of my favorite take aways is:

“Empathize, rather than put your “but” in the face of an angry person.”

When we want to help we tend to jump in with a “but” and a “fix” for the other person. Yet empathy is more powerful and empowering.

He writes: “I continue to be amazed by the healing power of empathy. Time and again I have witnessed people transcending psychological pain when they have contact with someone who hears them with empathy.”

Why not increase your ability to empathize with this exercise:

frustrated man at work

Over the next few days see if you can empathize more with those people who are closest to you, your children, a colleague, or even your boss.

Really tune in to what they might be feeling and reflect back what you are sensing they are going through. Here are some examples of reflecting feelings statements:

It sounds like you are really frustrated about this

I can see that this is tough for you

I can’t imagine all that you are going through. It must be so hard

I’m sensing that this is scary for you

I hear that you are concerned

It sounds like this is a real challenge for you

but in your face

 It sounds so simple, yet can be hard to do in that moment. So instead of putting your “but” and point of view in the other person’s face, empathize with their situation and reflect what they might be feeling.

Give the gift of feeling heard and understood.

Haiku – cycles and seasons

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

~

Cycles and seasons

no endings or beginnings

Embrace nature’s way

~

At the turn of each calendar year, I feel more and more distanced from the expectations around the New Year and New Beginnings. I feel I’m being sold on something I should be doing or bringing into my life. It runs contrary to how I feel in these cold, dark and damp days. I just want to hunker down and snuggle in until the natural surge of Spring. Its nature’s way after all.

We are entering the depths of winter and a time for hibernation and inner nourishing. It’s a time to take care of ourselves and limit our impact on others as the pandemic rages on. Let’s face it, nature seems to be in charge right now. We are harnessing our intelligence and scientific skills to take back control and protect human life, yet the world around us has turned to violence. There is much to learn in these times.

It’s easy to be caught in resistance, anger and negative emotions, but in order to make it through these turbulent times, we must take time to step away and pause. Now more than ever, we must cultivate time to Find our Middle Ground.

As you take time to pause today, perhaps consider these words from Eckhart Tolle.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Namaste

In the Hands of Man

Photo by Gantas Vaiu010diulu0117nas on Pexels.com

“He who creates a poison, also has the cure.
He who creates a virus, also has the antidote.
He who creates chaos, also has the ability to create peace.
He who sparks hate, also has the ability to transform it to love.
He who creates misery, also has the ability to destroy it with kindness.
He who creates sadness, also has the ability to to covert it to happiness.
He who creates darkness, can also be awakened to produce illumination.
He who spreads fear, can also be shaken to spread comfort.
Any problems created by the left hand of man,
Can also be solved with the right,
For he who manifests anything,
Also has the ability to
Destroy it.” 

― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Once the horror and grieving is over, let’s get to work with our right hands to bring balance and peace.

Namaste

Joy and Twinkle Lights

This is a timely re-post for the Holidays. Whenever you see twinkle lights, let your joy in that moment come to life … and share it ✨🙏✨

twinkle


“Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments.

Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.

A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable.

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.”

~ Brené Brown

What a lovely reminder to find some twinkle today ✨

Haiku – connection

This is a re-blog. May we all continue to find truth and inspire each other through connection.


interconnectedness


~

Find your Middle Ground

Share with others to inspire

Truth in connection

~

In times when we can’t meet in person, a sense of connection and community become even more important. Keep reaching out, checking in with others and sharing from your heart.

Namaste

New Vision for Winter Days Ahead

Last week I found myself feeling weary about the ongoing confinement and fear of infection so close to home. I realized I had to shift my perspective and find some light for the dark days ahead.

Photo by Gantas Vaiu010diulu0117nas on Pexels.com

It was a week of “letting the dishes sit in the sink” in order to allow the stuck bits to release themselves rather than being forced. (This phrase is one of John J. Prendergast’s that he shared in a Zoom meeting exploring his latest book The Deep Heart. – Highly recommended!)

I went to sleep asking how I can make the most of the time ahead… and I woke up one morning with these words: Imagination. Creativity. Enthusiasm. Connection. These traits are available to us as human beings, and are essential for personal transformation and advancement of societies around the world. These are the gifts to use to take us through challenging times.

Imagination

Imagination isn’t just for our entertainment but for our survival. If we cannot imagine a different way of being or a better way of doing things we would never be able to change, relate to, and adapt to the world around us.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

~ Albert Einstein

Take some time and ask yourself. “At this time, what is my imagination curious about and eager to explore?”

Creativity

Matthew Fox writes in his book “Creativity”:

“Chaos reigns in our world today … What do we do with it? Creativity has an answer. We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order. Chaos is a prelude to creativity…

We are creators at our very core. Only creating can make us happy, for in creating we tap into the deepest powers of self and universe and the Divine Self.”

Pause and ask yourself. “What is calling to be created out of this chaotic time?”

Enthusiasm

“Enthusiasm means there is deep enjoyment in what you do plus the added element of a goal or vision that you work toward. When you add a goal to the enjoyment of what you do, the energy-field or vibrational frequency changes. A certain degree of what you might call structural tension is now added to enjoyment, and so it turns into enthusiasm. At the height of creative activity fueled by enthusiasm, there is enormous intensity and energy behind what you do. You feel like and arrow that is moving towards a target – and enjoying the journey.”

~Eckhart Tolle from “Oneness with Life”

Begin by making a list of the things you enjoy. Then ask yourself “What do I enjoy doing that I can set a goal around?” Feel the energy shift and go with it!

Connection

At the beginning of the pandemic, I slowed down and stepped back. It was an opportunity to Find my Middle Ground and find contentment within myself. The Spring and Summer were times of inner connection, retreating from the world and spending time in nature. This practice of being alone, however, can lead to a sense of isolation, especially when we can’t meet in person with those we love.

Connection inwards has shown me how important relationships with others are. We are all in this together, and will get through it together. There is hardship, illness and death for so many people. For those of us who are secure and well, we must reach out to others who may be struggling and let them know that we care. They are not alone.

This quote from Brene Brown comes to mind:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Moving forward into Winter, I plan to use my imagination and creativity; to inject enthusiasm into what I enjoy, and to connect authentically with others.

I’m curious to hear what this may have sparked in you.

Namaste

Inspiration – Into the deep

white rose

” The way is not really a way.
It is a depth.
It is not a distance.
It is a deepening into the stillness, deepening in the unmoving.
It is not a walking journey.
Journeys are for the body and the ego-mind.
But listening takes you deeper into the bliss of the unknowable. “*

~Mooji

In darker days, let these words guide you towards that deep place of peace and bliss within you.

Namaste

*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 137-139). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

Haiku – change perspective

Photo by AaDil on Pexels.com

~

When the chips are down

be grateful for the journey

Nothing has gone wrong

~

Change your perspective

Breathe in acceptance and love

Find your Middle Ground

~

When something goes wrong in our lives, we often spend a lot of time going over what happened. Our ego-mind goes into analytical mode, trying to figure it out, so it can fix it, or come up with a story that is acceptable. I found myself in this state earlier this week.

After two sleepless nights of going over an unexpected and disturbing event, and trying to come up with the answer that would make me feel better …. I woke up with the answer. In the calm of the dawn, there was no answer other than to breath in love and acceptance. To allow the heart to open and the mind to let go of trying to fix the unfixable.

When we move from our heads to hearts, transformation happens. Embracing loving kindness and simply allowing the things to be that we can’t control, shifts the energy and brings about balance.

I came across these words from The Deep Heart by John J. Prendergast

“It is enough that we listen and follow moment to moment. It is enough that we are open, are available, and take the next obvious step and see what happens. It is enough when the ordinary mind bows down to the wisdom of the heart and trusts the movement of a wiser current. When we surrender to it, a natural authority in the core of our being guides our life quite beautifully”

It is enough to trust our hearts and come from a place of love. When we do we are living from our Middle Ground.

Follow this link to find out more about finding your middle ground.

A Prayer for our Times

Always Into Love

On this voyage of
the soul, may we be
bridge builders,
our common ground
visible beneath the
surface differences.

May we braid the
threads of reconciliation
into a chain of possibility
that joins, heals, and
includes what once
seemed separate.

May our shared prayer
be answered: to grow
so open that there is
no “them” or “us,”
only the One, moving
always into love.

~ Danna Faulds

Ego’s Last Stand

I have been thinking about ego this week and how it shows up in our lives.

When the mind cannot accept a reality that goes against its own persona, it creates all sorts of stories to find a way to make it acceptable. We are seeing this unfold very publicly here in the US.

Someone who sees himself as a winner, was chastised as a loser growing up, and who now despises losers, cannot face being a loser himself.

A strong ego is driven by its need to be right. When it is threatened it will immediately shift blame, create stories and act out, so the ego is validated.

This is the ego’s last stand for survival.

A blow to our ego is one of the most hurtful things to experience. It cuts right into how we see ourselves and want to be seen. I recall times in my life when I expected  people to appreciate me, only to be disappointed when they didn’t. This is all about the ego and looking for validation.

For those of us on a spiritual path or working towards self realization, be especially careful where ego many hiding.

If you have difficulty saying “I don’t know” or “I was wrong” or “I am sorry” or “I forgive you” or “Please forgive me”, then your ego may still be very much in charge.

An other question to ask yourself as you talk to others, share on WordPress or whenever you are in relationship to someone:

“Am I doing this unconditionally or is there something I expect or hope for in return?

Sometimes we create stories that we are doing something for the good or others, but behind the altruism is an ego wanting to feel appreciated and validated.

Take some time to notice how your ego may be showing up in your life. Whenever you need to be right, its right there.

Stages of Life

I came across this poem from Portia Nelson and wanted to share it with you today. It’s a perfect example of how we deal with challenges as we go through life… and how conditioned we are.

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THERE’S A HOLE IN MY SIDEWALK
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost …. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit … but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

It takes us so long to change our thinking and break our conditioning and habits. The ego-mind always wants to be right about the way it sees life.

Portia Nelson wrote this about the relationships in her life. How she kept falling for the same kind of man. Perhaps you can see a parallel in your life? I certainly can.

The shift happens we take responsibility and can see that our actions or conditioned beliefs no longer support our well being.

We can also look at other aspects of our life, and how we relate to changes and challenges. For example: the jobs we take, the food we eat, the friends we choose, the places we go, relationships with family, the party we vote for etc.

Taking this to a macro level, we can begin to see why society takes so long to change… and why our planet is in such jeopardy.

It begins with awareness, shifting perspectives, letting go of the old and choosing a new way.

May we learn from our mistakes and start down a different road together.

Namaste

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