Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
- (Sufi Poet Rumi)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Secret Hierachy of Needs

Recently I heard Miki Kashtan, NVC Bay Academy co-founder, speak of a secret hierarchy of needs. Lurking in each of us we have the needs that we “allow” others and ourselves that are less favorite. For example, perhaps you feel it’s okay to have the need of companionship, but not support or nurturance. You enjoy other’s company however you don’t “need” help from anyone, or you don’t want to bother them. In this case you might be looking at people you know or meet and classify them as “too needy” or “too independent.” You are judging them and this can cause distancing in relationships, or worse, outbursts from yourself of domination and power over others. Somehow they are wrong for having the need of support and nurturance.

By being aware of how we judge others we come to full alert to see how we judge ourselves for having the same needs and for being human when we’d rather be perfect.

So when you see yourself judging someone else it could be a sign of how you have blocked a full appreciation of the abundance of life trying to flow through you and how you have denial or discomfort with universal needs. Therefore, if you desire to decrease your judgment of others, you may wish to spend time becoming aware of all your needs. To do this, contemplate what it feels like to have the need of support met. Do this more than once and often. Then contemplate what it feels like to have the need for support unmet. Then shift into just being present with the need of support, not in any particular way in your own life, just with the dream and longing of life seeking ways for we social beings to support one another. In this way you can sense the beauty of this need and come to see this need in others and yourself as worthy and not let judgment of others interfere with the flourishing of relationships and peace. This happens because we open to all our needs and do not let the silent, ignored ones dictate our actions and keep us from the freedom of choosing how to best meet our needs and the needs of others.

May freedom ring in your heart and mind as the world rings in the Chinese New Year tomorrow.

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