I recently went to Portland to see my family and in particular, all my nieces and nephews who vary in age, from the youngest currently in the belly to the oldest being 6. They are the cutest little beings and when we are all together sharing a meal, I like to call it controlled chaos. What I hear the most when the kids start to whine and cry leading to bigger fits, is my sisters’ asking them to “identify their needs” by saying, “Use your
As I’m observing this and returning back to teaching in Los Angeles, I started to notice that most of us do not identify our needs at all. We fluctuate between emotions, often close to what feels like a breakdown, and trying to live in what seems like controlled chaos. Most people, myself included, get overwhelmed and give up on something that could truly help us reach our potential simply because our needs were not clearly identified.
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
A month ago while driving on the 101 in yet another traffic jam, I started wondering how far my savings would go in pesos. How long would I be able to live if I just fell off the face of the earth? If I continued with this thought pattern, I would go down the dark rabbit hole as I call it where my whole life sucks and I made all wrong choices which got me here, OR I could try a new approach. What are my needs here? What’s the root of the problem causing these feelings of frustration? When I allowed myself the space and time to sit with the question, I was able to identify not only my needs but the root of the problem as well. I was hungry and depleted. The hungry I could do something about, the being depleted part required me to take an honest look at the root of the problem, being my schedule. Due to my attachment to classes, I have created a schedule that is no longer sustainable. I know that this is the root of most of my problems, yet I keep avoiding the task of fixing this. I strongly believe that nothing ever goes away until it is learned or repaired. So here I am once again feeling depleted but this time, I have identified my needs and the root of the problem leading me to a solution if I choose. Have you identified your needs? Have you identified the root of how you feel? What is your action plan? What do you choose?
LIVING WITH AWARENESS
Unlike a child, we are adults. We have a bigger vocabulary to identify our needs. We have the gift of observing ourselves and living with awareness should we choose to. If we don’t, what’s the alternative? I would say either living in a state of reactivity or simply going through life half awake. I understand that it can be scary to start this work as it forces you to take an honest look at yourself and your choices.
Someone whom you admire is no different than you no matter how much we have built them up to be in our heads. They have the same 24 hours in a day that you do to accomplish their dreams. The only difference is that they have clearly identified their needs. Rather than being in the game of thoughts and emotions, they are in the game of life. Rather than reacting to their emotions, they stop and identify the root of the problem so a plan of action can be put into place.
This is your life and we are making choices every minute of every day. Why not make conscious ones that will help you reach your potential?