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“Meeting” My Needs: An Invitation to Listening Deeper

The other night I had a hard time falling asleep. I tried breathing exercises and meditation, but I still could not sleep. There was nothing on my mind. I was not in touch with any particular concern. After a few hours, I became increasingly frustrated as I began to notice body sensations that kept me awake. I felt too warm, then I felt a bit cold. I felt itchy. My hair was loosely tied in a bun, but it still felt tight. Then, I got hungry and noticed my legs were a bit sore from yoga. For each of these sensations, I thought about what to do to address them, so that I could finally feel like I had all the right conditions for sleeping, yet, nothing seemed to work.

I noticed that the usual ring in my ears got louder, thus, I decided to tune in to channel and see if there was something for me to allow in at that moment. 

“Meeting your needs. Humans use this expression frequently. What does it mean? It seems like meeting your needs is interpreted as satisfying them. Would you consider focusing on the word “meeting” as getting acquainted with your needs before aiming to satisfy them? Also, what if you frame this experience not just as a need, but as the perception of a need?”

This message helped me notice that I indeed tend to address discomfort before allowing myself to be with what I perceive. Then I thought that this thing about tending to what my body needs gets confusing. In the past, I sometimes ignored what my body needed. Are we not supposed to tend to our needs instead of neglecting them until reaching a point of further discomfort? Getting a glass of water when thirsty - that is a very basic example of satisfying a need, isn't it? What came through as a response to this question is that I was not being discouraged from satisfying a need, or a want. I was invited to consider noticing the perception of the need or a desire and being with this experience and to listen before deciding what to do about it.

“You can see what else is there. Then, move accordingly. Also, are you curious about which part of you is speaking through the perceived need or desire?” 

I have a few thoughts about this. There are basic needs that we satisfy to survive. There are also things that we desire that enhance our lives and add to our happiness. For me, there are some wants that I am attached to that I experience as needs. Regardless of how I feel about these attachments, it is not a bad idea to become curious about them. So I reflected on the attachments I have chosen to release. For example, some old habits that felt ready to be shifted and that I parted ways from organically. I also reflected on attachments that part of me wants to shift, but that another part of me still holds on to. Sometimes there is a push-and-pull dynamic between these conflicting parts. And, I thought about some attachments that feel good for me and that I still pretty much desire to maintain. Why is it that I want those things again? I do not usually pause to reflect on something unless it is causing some type of discomfort. Perhaps once in a while, I can also pause to look at what is good and comfortable and revisit that alignment. 

I also welcomed the invitation to reframe the experience as the perception of a need or desire and to meet this experience with curiosity and openness. 

The question, “Which part of you is speaking?” caught my attention. It reminds me of the premise of IFS (Internal Family Systems). What I like the most about this psychotherapy model is the premise that we are made of many different parts. That these parts develop for a reason and they are all equally important regardless of how they feel or how we relate to them. And that developing compassion for all of our parts allows for integration and wholeness. 

I do not pause and ask myself which part of me needs or wants something every time that I need or want something. That feels like too much. Yet, I do set a daily intention to check in with myself a few times throughout the day. I want my aim to not necessarily be about changing my behavior, but about expanding my awareness and my experience. I want to welcome more and more of my parts.

As I write this, I am enjoying a “bon bon bum”, a yummy Colombian lollipop that soothes a young part of me and connects me to happy childhood memories. I feel like I enjoy it even more knowing which part of me craves it and what she wants to soothe. 

Stay tuned for the voice recording of a Meditation that came through this morning. The meditation ended up being about connecting with the energy of allowance. Allowance to be who you are, what you are, and where you are. I will post it soon! 

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Your blog post came at exactly the right moment for me, dear friend. Taking care of ourselves requires not so much urgency, but more of a tuning into our inner world. Thank you, as always, for creating so much insight via every day experiences.


I want one of those bon bon bum.

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