"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first BE who you really are, then DO what you need to do, in order to HAVE what you really want." - Margaret Young
Doing a lot of soul-work so far this year and definitely starting to feel the powerful effects of tending my inner garden. Sarah Ban Breathnach says happiness is just one of the many living emotions that grows in the garden of our soul, one that needs to be tended like any living thing. We have to pull out the weeds of external expectations in order to nurture our own internal happiness. How profound is that?!
She talks about deciphering between what we NEED and what we WANT. And another book I'm reading sheds light on what needs truly are. Here's a list, are you ready?
1. Autonomy: choosing our own dreams/goals/values as well as the plans for fulfilling them
2. Celebration: celebrate the creation of life & dreams fulfilled as well as celebrating the losses of loved ones, dreams, etc. (mourning)
3. Integrity: authenticity, creativity, meaning, self-worth
4. Physical Nurturance: air, food, movement, health, rest, sex, shelter, touch, water
5. Play: fun, laughter
6. Spiritual Communion: beauty, harmony, inspiration, peace, order
7. Interdependence: acceptance, appreciation, closeness, community, consideration, contribution, emotional safety, empathy, honesty, love, reassurance, respect, support, trust, understanding.
Those are NEEDS. not wants. those are what we NEEEEEEED in order to be healthy on every level. And here is a list of feelings you'll feel when those needs ARE fulfilled: amazed, confident, energetic, glad, inspired, joyous, optimistic, eager, relieved, surprised, touched, comfortable, fulfilled, hopeful, intrigued, moved, proud, stimulated, thankful, trustful
And here's what you feel when your needs are NOT fulfilled: angry, confused, disappointed, distressed, frustrated, hopeless, irritated, nervous, puzzled, sad, annoyed, concerned, discouraged, embarrassed, helpless, impatient, lonely, overwhelmed, reluctant, uncomfortable.
So here we go through life thinking that our feelings just HAPPEN to us when it is simply not so. It's like any garden -- your plants never flop over just because. There's always a reason, some need not being met for that plant. So! when you're feeling any of the above emotions, you can get quiet (read last few lines of this), read through your list of needs, tend your garden thereby fulfilling your need, and watch the little flower of happiness SPRING BACK TO LIFE! WAHOO!