The stillness of winter is finally upon us. The persistent and at times hectic motion of the holidays has ceased and some of us may feel the stillness and sense we’re at last alone with our thoughts. At the cusp where two years meet, it may be time to steer our mental engines off the tracks and into the stockyard for an annual inspection. For a rare few weeks where perhaps nothing critical needs to be done, it’s the perfect time for introspection, evaluation and realignment.
If introspection doesn’t come naturally, you’ll be comforted to know there are clear signals for determining if you’ve been on the right track in life. Those signals are known as FEELINGS, and what feelings can do for you is help you figure out if your basic needs are being met. I’m not going to tackle explaining in this post what all our basic needs are as human beings, but let’s just say that we all need some basic things in place to feel balanced and fulfilled, such as: food, sleep, human touch, love, and self-worth.
Recently, I came across a nice little list indicating how you might feel when your needs are being met. It included feelings like: thankful, hopeful, proud, energetic, and confident.
Then, I slowly surveyed the landscape of how you might feel when your needs are NOT being met. Unlike the positive-feeling list, each of the more negative-feeling words triggered a physical reaction, an instant recollection of when I felt that way. The negative list included words like: angry, disappointed, nervous, sad, hopeless, overwhelmed, uncomfortable, impatient, irritated, annoyed, confused, and lonely.
I appreciate coming across self-check reminders like this because I know the danger of leaving feelings unattended. If we don’t check the signals every once in a while and make necessary adjustments, we’re a runaway train headed for a major breakdown somewhere down the tracks. I’ve seen it in myself and I’ve seen it in those close to me. Each engineer is entirely responsible for the health of his or her own engine. If we don’t take the time to see how we’re doing in life, we’re potentially in for a rough ride.
I’ll spend some time in the next bunch of posts tackling a selection of our basic needs and reflecting on what it means to be off track with each of them. No doubt I’ll have plenty of first-hand experiences to share as examples. If you live long enough, you make plenty of mistakes and have plenty of opportunity to keep learning.
That’s always a good thing!
Hope you join me for the ride,