How are you feeling mid-holiday season? Are you experiencing grumbles in your belly, or sensitivities with food, friends, and festivities? As a year – and chapter – of our lives closes with the end of 2013, we may find ourselves feeling happy and whole, and we may also feel uncertainties that reveal our vulnerability and humanness. Whether we balk and buckle, or endure and expand, may depend on how in touch we are with our feelings and needs. Denying, suppressing, or otherwise overriding them may be the root cause of most our suffering, unfulfilled goals, trouble in relationships, etc.
What many of us experience to discover deeper parts of ourselves, and their accompanying feelings and needs, may seem intense at times, yet therein lies the gift if we take the opportunity to ask ourselves what we really feel, and therefore need.
What eventually made me aware of my own needs, and the price of not being aware of them, is why I do the work I do today. Two days before Christmas 2002, my entire apartment in New York City burned down, my 15 year marriage ended, and my dog of 12 years died. Running like crazy from one thing to another, overworking, and disconnected from myself, I had little idea about my own feelings and needs. TREMENDOUS needs had piled up to such a degree because they were long-term ignored, buried, and denied. Due to this, I would need to undergo an intense chain of events to realize how much I had cut myself off from life, and most importantly, myself.
The opportunity and gift of my own situation, that set the course for a purposeful life (though I wouldn’t realize it until much later after the ashes had settled), is the medicine I needed in order to wake up and feel, and know my needs (and the importance of being in touch with myself to be sure they are met). As you may have experienced, needs gone unmet can lead to acting out, and causing ourselves and others harm – though it’s nothing less than an opportunity – welcomed and embraced.
Here’s some of the things I did to recover and reclaim my life, and continue to practice. I’m sharing them with you in prayer it lends a helping hand in 2014 being the year your needs are known by you and fulfilled!
6 Steps to Getting Your Needs Met:
1. Welcome challenges, confrontations, issues, and resistances as opportunities. Go beyond accepting and allowing for them, and welcome them! When you feel yourself on edge, check in and find out if you’re using energy in a way that replenishes you or not. Resisting, not wanting things to be as they are, or otherwise fighting negates the opportunity and pigeon holes it as an obstacle (and typically invites more challenges to help us in finally letting go). Try welcoming trails and tribulations as a way to know your needs and get them met. Drop your guard and seek out the more flexible part of yourself that can stretch beyond breaking (honoring boundaries with fluidity), remain open instead of shutting down, and be emotionally available. Welcome challenges as opportunities to grow into your greater capacity, self-integrity intact. And keep breathing!
2. Get in touch with your feelings. We’re all driven by what we feel, whether we are aware of it or not, and needs tend to stem from feelings. So to get our needs met, it’s essential we know what we feel. Have difficulty feeling or knowing what you need? Welcome to the (human) club. This is not only common, yet part of the package of being human. Knowing what we feel asks us to self-inquire, sit with what is (instead of what we’d like to be), and simply witness what’s there. Try sitting for just 3 minutes each day, with a timer, in an uninteruppted place where you can just be with yourself. One technique I use is BOS – Breathe, Observe, Surrender (with equanimity). By stepping outside of feelings and just watching them, rather than being identified with it, allows for witnessing – and can end the overwhelm of being caught up in them (and therefore avoiding them and getting stressed). Know your feelings to get your needs met.
3. Based on what you’re feeling, ask yourself what you need from this place. Remember, needs tend to stem from feelings. There’s no right or wrong way to feel and get in touch with your needs, and everyone is entitled to what they feel and need, this is very personal and determined by our own internal terrain. Felt and heeded, no matter where it takes you, will probably help you to feel much more on track and happier, even if it means making initial sacrifices. Our true feelings and needs may contradict how we’ve arranged life, or conflict with other peoples feelings and needs. Being honest sometimes stings at first, yet with time, that will pass, and in the interim we’ve taken more steps towards our true hearts desire – and a fulfilling life. We may unconsciously disconnect from our feelings and needs to not “rock the boat” and maintain a certain “status quo.” It takes desire, willingness, and courage to be true to ourselves, and its a practice. Getting in the habit
of tuning in with yourself daily will likely help you to know what you feel and need – and to honor it – which may be what it means to truly take care of oneself.
4. Develop practices that take care of your needs. What helps you to take care of your needs? Daily exercise, eating well, cleansing, healthy relationships, satisfying livelihood, etc? What is your self-practice for assuring your needs are met? Create an outline of what you’re feeling and needing – and an accompanying plan of action to make it happen. Ask for support. Remember to make it realistic and doable. Small steps tend to give us a feeling of success, rather than overextending and feeling as though we’ve failed. What small steps appeal to you in order to get your needs met?
5. Outline how you may be challenged in getting down to knowing what you feel and need. Keep number 1 in mind – welcomed, obstacles become opportunities, so long as we have the frame of mind to invite it, and not fight it. Know your challenges to know how to navigate them as an opportunity, and to find your way in stride as a result, rather than crumbling and crashing, even though you may feel defeated at times. Honor the challenges as a rite of passage, or an initiation that’s calibrating you with the strength, courage, and flexibility to achieve anything you set your mind to.
6. The role of support. Many of us would love to know what we feel and need, yet find it elusive. It’s said that we’re 80% more likely to succeed with support. What support do you need in knowing and being true to yourself (your feelings and needs)? Ask your family, friends and co-workers as appropriate for support, enroll in a program, seek a counselor, and consider what type of support you feel drawn to. Consistent support often ensures your success in getting your needs met. Another thing to consider: communicating your true feelings and needs to loved ones not only supports you, yet also them.
To support you in knowing what you feel and need, you ladies are invited to join us in Bali this New Years for our Women’s Detox Retreat – and all are invited throughout next year for our programs. On retreat in Bali, we come together to explore emotional and physical health topics together, learn new information, gain culinary and detox skills, get needs met for connection, sing and dance – and have lots of fun in the process! We welcome you in Bali, and your needs.
Like to get more of a feel for Bali and our retreats? Check out our new trailer: http://www.mediafire.com/play/m81bghprk7of0bm/edit+final+render~1.flv
Love, Support & Happy Healthy Holiday’s!
Jan. 4-9, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
New Years 5 Day Women’s Health, Healing & Detox Retreat
Focusing on women’s womb, emotional, and hormonal health issues, Dr. Amy and keynote speakers and teachers, guide women through emotional and physical detox as related to a woman’s sexuality and personal power – while focusing on natural birth control, fertility, menstrual cycle, menopause stage, and healing in the reproductive organs – plus deep emotional release and recharge for achieving your goals in 2014. Experience balancing of hormones, understanding why we have female issues (emotional to physical), and how to heal through detox, emotional support, and finding answers to your health needs as a woman. A wise and compassionate gynecologist and fertility specialist will also be available for more intensive issues. Bring in the new year with your intentions, dreams, and goals acknowledged and supported – and an action plan for moving forward on all fronts of your life. http://www.amyrachelle.com/info/5-day-new-you-detox-retreat-bali-january-4-to-9-2014/
Bali: 08 123 916 5702