|by KD Farris, Ph.D.
What Are Your Needs?
What are your needs? Are you breathing? Are you thirsty? Do you need to pee? What are your needs? Do you have a need for comfort? Security? Safety? Do you have a need to tell? To tell something that you have been committed to keeping secret? Does your need to tell conflict with your need to stay quiet? What are your needs?
Who you are, authentically, is tied up in your needs, in your ability to track these needs and provide support and expression for them. Some of your needs are fundamental, they have to do with bodily functions. Tending to this level of your needs can reduce the stress in your physical body that is echoing in your mind and spirit. Stress, tension, internal pressure, can all come from a need for balanced nutrition, hydration, and elimination. Yet many of us donít take the breaks necessary throughout our day to do such basic things as eat, drink, and go to the bathroom, at the times that our body needs. Many of us donít even breathe! What are your bodily needs?
Some of our needs come from deep within. Inner urges that we gloss over, which lay in wait until the day we are ready to address them. These needs can create inner conflict without us ever knowing it. They can create physical symptoms, contribute to addictions, and even be responsible for unwanted habits. Asking yourself, "What are your hidden needs?" can begin a journey to an aspect of your authentic self that you might not have known to explore. What are your hidden needs?
Some of our needs are conflicting needs. The need to tell can be lodged so deep within us, fighting for space and time in a battle with a need to keep a confidence, to do the right thing, not to upset those around us. But a need to tell, when fulfilled, can literally change the course of your life. Uncovering the duality of conflicting needs can begin with a whispering voice in your mind, grow to taking in the confidence of a professional, and finally emerge in the freedom and expanded capacity of your own authentic life. What are your conflicting needs?
Take a few minutes and letís do a quick exercise. Tear up two sheets of paper into similarly shaped, even-sized pieces, and in the center of a separate sheet of paper draw a circle. The circle will represent the body of your needs and the torn pieces of paper will represent the needs themselves. With pens or pencil, coloured felt tips or what-have-you, write the word NEEDS into the center of the circle.
Next, allow a voice inside to speak to you directly, and let it ask you this, "What are your needs?"
"Kelly? What are your needs?"
"Sara? What are your needs?"
"Terry? What are your needs?"
In this moment, right here, right now, are you thirsty? Do you need to pee? Do you need to breathe? And with your answer, create an image for each response that represents each need, onto the torn pieces of paper. When you have finished, place the images around the circle, like petals around the center of a flower. And if you have the need, go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, or deepen and fill out your breath.
Hidden needs are harder to find in a short period of time. So, at first, letís just get the sense of it. Tune in to your belly, to your heart, to the senses in your torso, and feel around in there. Do it gently, be general, be receiving. Allow an impression of something to arise and bubble up in your mind. Acknowledge a vague fleeting sense if one passes by. Let what happens now be as mysterious and as elusive as it has to be. Capture whatever pieces, whatever parts of this communication that you can. Then create an image to represent it and draw that image onto one of the torn pieces of paper and place it around the circle of your needs.
The torn shapes you create will overlap and continue to spread beyond the page. The images will vary in meaning and continuity, and the time that you take to do this exercise will have a life of its own. It means something to take this kind of time -- a need most of us never give credence to. It means something to be curious and playful -- two more needs many of us have forgotten about. It means something to take the time to be curious about yourself and your needs in a movement toward what is authentic within you, and this notion of authenticity is something to which many of us are learning to return.
When I examined my needs of late, I was surprised to find that I had a need for safety. For years, family members had challenged me by suggesting that I had strong needs for stability and security. What I discovered, when I took the time to really look for myself, was that while I do have a need for safety, stability and security are not the elements I seek to create that safety. Safety, for me, is found in other conditions of my life. It comes from the way in which I make my choices, in the Universe from which I seek guidance, and in the people whom I deeply love and trust that fill my world and gather around me. I feel safe when I can tend to my needs. I feel safe with people who are interested in what my needs are. And I feel connected to those I love when I have attuned myself to their needs as well.
Throughout this month, continue to ask yourself about your needs. Continue to represent those needs in these shapes using your imagination to create colourful representations of all you discover. Search for conflicting needs and place them each around the circle, adding layer upon layer to the flower-like shape until it spills out over the page. Let your conscious mind see how your conflicting needs can coexist. In my experience, allowing the impression of their coexistence to be viewed by your conscious mind in the image of these shapes for your eyes to receive and take in the information, activates the element of mystery in us (or what I call the unconscious intelligence of our being) so that our life can reorganize of its own accord and begin to present opportunities for harmony and resolution within the reality of the conflicting needs. But it all starts with the admission, the confession, the uncovering of.... From the little things, to the big ones, from our basic physical needs to the deepest wounds of the past.
May this article and little exercise set you on this path as I was set upon it, with little utterance but the pulsing question, "Karen? What are your needs?; for my experience has taught me that the question itself, "What are your needs?" echoing like a mantra in your consciousness will initiate the essential relationship between your authentic self and your unaddressed needs.
Keep asking the question, keep digging deeper for the answers, keep drawing their representations onto torn pieces of paper, layering those answers around the petals of paper. As you respond to your needs, colour them brightly! As you confess your needs, treat them gently. And Iíll see you up the road with your bright smile and your electric eyes in your emerging, amazing, authentic self!
© Copyright 2003 KD Farris, Ph.D.. All Rights Reserved.
Read KD's Past Columns:
April 2003 - Techniques for Clearing the Space for Communication - Part II of II
February 2003 - HESHE & Clearing the Space for Communication - Part I of II
January 2003 - "Body & Soulful Living"
November 2002 - "Getting Into MESHE with Your Home Through Minor Adjustments"
October 2002 - "Being in MESHE with Clearing Clutter"
September 2002 - "Discover Going on Retreat"
July 2002 - "Build Your MESHE - Seek the Space: A Process for Reclaiming the Shadow"
June 2002 - Revisiting: "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
May 2002 - "Bodywork 101"
March 2002 - "Being Present Within Your Prosperous Life"
February 2002 - "HESHE and The Third Bird"
December 2001 - "Manifesting Your Perfect Partner with Personal Truthz"
November 2001 - "Remembering What We Already Know"
September 2001 - "Be Led By What You Are Trying to Avoid"
August 2001 - "Draw Your Way to Clarity, Health & Balance"
June 2001 - "Tending to the Negative Mind"
May 2001 - "Gentle Conscious Living"
April 2001 - "MISON and The Moment"
March 2001 - "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
KD Farris, Ph.D. is a successful counselor, healer, and bodyworker. For more than twenty years she has taught
extensive workshops based on MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT as well as many other self-discovery topics.
KD began developing her integrated bodywork and counseling techniques in 1983 under the tutelage of many prominent doctors and healers throughout the United States.
Her education into the spiritual and physical aspects of the human experience served as the foundation for her private practice and the development of a new philosophy. She combined her techniques into four guiding principles, which she shares in her book, MESHE, HESHE,
MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. She teaches a companion workshop series, where she creates an interactive environment demonstrating the material from her book with tangible, life altering effects. In these workshops, individuals discover a
deepening of their relationship to self, others, and life itself.
Through individual counseling and group workshops, she has taught her results-oriented programs to many different types of people including those confined to mental institutions, substance and food abusers, and generally, people in life transitions, struggling with intimate
relationships, or who lack direction in their lives. Visit www.kdfarris.com.
KD is currently touring a new body of work, Talking About People in Transition, Also Known As
Liminal Space. She will be writing about liminality and its relevance to day-to-day living in upcoming issues of Soulful Living. For more information on this new and exciting topic, or to learn about more her private practice, workshops and lectures, visit
Contact KD at: info@MESHE.com