Nourish & flourish
I have a plant in my bathroom that needs a lot of water in order for it to be its happy flourishing self. It is very needy and requires a lot of my attention. I might even go as far as to say that it needs a weekly visit outside for some high-intensity sunlight. When I don't give it this attention, the leaves drop - along with the atmosphere in my bathroom. And by this I mean, INSTANT DOOM AND GLOOM! (It’s very big and has an overpowering presence. Trust me. I’m not being too dramatic on this!)
The other morning, while brushing my teeth in the above mentioned “doom and gloom” atmosphere, I started thinking about needs... mostly how annoying it is that I have them, but also questioned why it is so hard for me to admit that just like my plant's needs, they deserve my attention.
All of creation has been crafted in such a way that it has needs. In the early 40s Maslow even went as far as creating the 'hierarchy of needs' that has since become the foundation of so many psychological theories and studies!
We cannot avoid our needs. And when we starve them, we perish or break.
So why is it that I (and so many people I speak to) have a particularly hard time in acknowledging and then meeting their “needs”? Why is it so hard to accept a need? Why do we see need as weakness? Why don't we just become aware of our need and then adjusting our habits and thoughts accordingly?
It seems so simple and logical, right? Like, A plus B equals... not C, unfortunately. The reality of our human needs in the culture and society we occupy today is that we very rarely notice they are there until something breaks.
Personally, my most recent season of life has consisted of "big" things like moving countries, starting a new job, launching a little start-up business, trying to get involved in community, make new friends, as well as then being SUPER intentional about my health and fitness, and then - most importantly, attempting to refusing all single-use plastic.
So, to put it lightly, it has been a busy first half of the year - for which I am deeply grateful for, however, if I tell another person how "busy" I am, I might just punch myself in the face! (Yes I’m dramatic, it’s fine.) I strongly dislike the word busy. I believe it has become a modern-day currency and term that so many think define how successful a day has, or hasn't been. It really isn't something I am interested in engaging with when I have the option not to.
So, to pull in the reigns, to fully take ownership and responsibility of the life I love and am intentionally crafting, I am setting out to realign a few boundaries in the hope it will help me meet my needs. Helping me be the best version of myself which will then benefit those around me too.
So personally, my step one: take slow and more intentional breathing breaks. Listen to my heart, my body, and my mind to find out what they need and from that point, allocate my time & adjust my priorities accordingly. We all have the same amount of “time” and we all say there isn’t enough of it, but in truth, we make time, almost always for what we believe to be most important. OF COURSE, many time consuming daily activities cannot be avoided - no one can simply not-go-to-work because of the “need for sleep”... but, what we can do is be more intentional about what time I go to bed the night before. Which funny enough was always a punishment as a young child, and now seems like a logical move to ensure a kinder, more patient and energetic version of myself be present the following day. (Sidenote: I really miss forced nap time.)
I am so in favour of the idea that we have all the power we need to control so many of the things in our lives that often feel out of control. Take this statement lightly, I am not talking about major illness or horrific accidents and external factors of life. But rather the more immediate ones that have just as much significance in our daily lives. Example: the food we eat, the amount of time we spend on our phones, the exercise we may or may not do, the way we speak to the people around us, the negative self-talk we engage in, or even our willingness to serve each other in love...
To take ownership of these choices, actions, habits, thought patterns - is usually the only thing holding us back from living a life that is well nourished and flourishing, or at least that seems to ring true in my life.
I am challenged by all of the things I’ve just mentioned, I definitely don’t have the answer, but I’m really excited to try because I deeply believe the fruit of taking care of our needs is will be so worth it in the end.