Listening to What You Need

The world tells us to acquire. We're told we need more. More will supposedly make us happier, powerful, and admired.

We're not encouraged to believe that we have enough, or to let go. You'll never see a commercial that says, "Our product is okay, but you have enough now, so maybe we'll catch you the next time around."

The desire to clutter bust comes from within. There's a feeling that, "there's too much stuff and I'm not happy in my home." We notice that getting things no longer makes us happy. It begins to feel like a burden to bring one more thing home.

Still there might be a resistance to taking an honest look at our things. I remember one client saying, "I feel like a bad person questioning my stuff. It feels wrong." It's sometimes hard to be open to considering that these things aren't actually making me happy. We all grew up with the more is better concept. If that's wrong, then life begins to feel unstable. What are we supposed to believe in?

What I've discovered is that when I base my happiness on what I have, my life actually feels more unstable. Whatever I have can break, be lost, wear out, not work and I can lose interest in it. Life feels more powerful to me when I'm with the moment. That doesn't mean I have nothing and I'm sitting in a yoga pose. But I'm aware of what my needs are and I'm doing what feels supportive and good in a basic way.

The main thing is taking care of myself. I started looking at some news sites this morning and I began to feel tired. I thought, "Okay, not this." Instead, I sent out some email to clients about my workshop in LA in August. That made me feel strong and aware. Usually I have music playing in the background as I'm taking care of business on the internet. But this morning I felt that it was more supportive to hear the wind blowing through the windows. I feel what I need in the moment.

I was talking with one of my friends this morning and he told me about his recent breakup. He was engaged for about a year and was often worried that he would do something to make his fiance upset and that she would leave him. He kept buying her things to keep her happy. But with each purchase he was feeling more erratic. He felt he was doing these things to give himself a feeling of stability, but it was making him nuts. Living that way finally became too much and they broke up. He said he realized he was making her his higher power and it was hurting his well-being.

I think we're taught to not trust our basic feelings. The world becomes the authority and we are tossed around on its constantly changing needs and demands. It sometimes feels like an arranged marriage that we were born into. But when we notice that living this way makes us feel turbulent and insecure, we can begin to cut the ties. We can step out of being spell-bound by the world, and check in with the quiet voice inside of us and see what's next.