John Lennon said “Life Is What Is Happens To You While You Are Making Other Plans”.
What we generally plan:-
Things that we would like to own. – a fancy house, powerful car
Destinations that we would like to visit
Experiences that we would like to have – sky diving, swimming with dolphins etc.
Status – winning an event, advancing in a business or organization These may give us brief happiness but some of them are transitory, we are happy in that moment, but they cannot give us fulfillment longer term.
The reason for this is that we are not consciously addressing a specific need. (definition of need “it is strong in emotional appeal”). Most people are unaware that over and above our primary, basic needs for food, shelter and clothing we have 9 primal needs which if we pay attention to getting them fulfilled will give us a stable, balanced, fulfilling life. This means that when life throws us a curved ball, we are more resilient and can roll with the punches and are less likely to spiral into poor mental health.
Let me explain what happened to me recently to demonstrate what I mean. 23 months ago, I returned to the UK having lived in South Africa for 34 years. I had a successful business there for many years in private practice and loved having the skills to help my clients overcome their problems. I also enjoyed teaching Mindfulness at a rehabilitation treatment centre for addicts. It was so rewarding to hear a patient say “I have been an addict for many years – I have seen Psychologists, Social Workers, Psychiatrists and have taken medication for my OCD. None of these treatments have worked; You have given me the tools to help myself and I now feel in control of my cravings and feel so much better”.
In addition to my professional life I was a member of my local Rotary Club where I was both the club’s Secretary and PRO officer. I enjoyed the status of my busy and rewarding life!
Life back in the UK was totally different. I had no friends, no home, no job and I had to start my business again from scratch. Naturally, life was very hard, I could have got depressed, but I didn’t, I could have been a mess on the floor but I wasn’t, I am still standing!
Fortunately, because of the work that I do I knew that if I wanted to avoid spiraling into depression I needed to take care of myself. Firstly I had to assess to what extent my primal needs were being met. In so doing I noticed that one (of many) things that I had lost was a sense of status. This is one of the 9 primal needs that we all have. I therefore had to try and find a different way to get that need met whilst I was getting my business established.
There was much over which I had no control or influence however, I looked at ways for getting the need met which I could control. These are the new ways that I found:-
· I established an Infertility Support Group for anyone struggling with infertility
· I Joined the local Rotary Club and got involved with projects in my community
· Commenced voluntary work at my local hospital
· I Embraced being a Grandmother enjoying the minutiae of my grandchildren’s lives
These 4 actions not only fulfilled my primal need for a sense of status but they also fulfilled many other needs at the same time!
23 months down the line life is still quite a struggle, not much has changed but I am mentally and emotionally stable and resilient.
Click here to contact me to request a free list of a further 3 primal needs so that you can begin to create your life of fulfillment.