Tuesday, 31 March 2015


"Suffering is the great awakener"

When we choose to remain stagnant, pain will be our companion - not to inflict hurt, but to transmit a message that we are living in too small an inner world. We haven't yet recognised that pain's message is that we are ready to take the next step in our evolution.

- Michael Bernard Beckwith

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs & High Sensitivity

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. He must be true to his own nature. This need we may call self-actualization". - Maslow, 1954

I was recently re-exploring Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which I can definitely relate to. A poignant observations for me is that if our basic survival needs represented by the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy are not met, then our limbic and reptilian brains override our neocortex in order to promote organismic survival. Therefore, it is VERY important to structure our lives in ways that nurture our needs. On the flipside, it can be common for a lack of needs being met to trigger flight or flight reactions which can send people on merry go round of familiar reactions to familiar issues.

It may require courage to change things in our life, so as to better align to our needs being met. Yet I believe that people often underestimate how important this 'change' element is. Often it can seem easier and safer to just stay where we are. Yet if needs continue to stay unmet, then that little complaining voice in the head is not likely to go away. To the contrary, it may just become more and more vocal.

I was surprised to stumble across the articulate and rewarding article by Ane Axford, which does several things that I regard to be grounbreaking. She describes the attributes of a Highly Sensitive Person, including the genetic links to this condition, the subconscious beliefs that go with it, and how she has learned to manage being a HSP by grounding physiological/emotive reactions into her body.

This reminds me of yogic and zen practices of being present to the body, and 'being with' feelings in order to process them and release them, rather than resisting them. For anyone who is sensitive, then you may well find some relief in reading more about HSPs and that there are ways to integrate the unhelpful symptoms (there can also be helpful/productive symptoms by the way) in a way that enables them to be processed and released.