Maslov’s hierarchy of needs places food, shelter, and safety at the core of our ability to survive. Love is actually in the middle. So before we can give or receive love, we must first have our basic physiological needs met. Then we need to feel safe. The Chakras follow the same philosophy that our basic needs and safety need to be fed first and foremost. Included in the physiological needs are air, water, shelter, sleep, clothing, and reproduction. The safety needs refer to our personal security, employment, resources, health, and property. Followed by these are love and belonging, esteem, and then self-actualization from www.thoughtco.com by Elizabeth Hopper. Why is this important?
Well, if your life seems chaotic and in a downward spiral, it is helpful to know where to start to find peace and harmony. Remember that love is in the middle, not the beginning. This is so important because often times when we are in turmoil, we want to give or receive love and support. When I first got my horse I loved on her by brushing her, giving her treats, and hugging her. When I went to ride her she was very polite to walk and turn as I asked, but she wouldn’t do what my trainer could get her to do. This frustrated me as I was taking such good care of her that I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t listening to me. In a very polite way, my trainer, Helge Buflod, told me that she was disrespecting me and just walking all over me. He explained that to a horse, guidance and feeling safe was most important. She needed to know that I would keep her safe and she should listen to me in order to say safe. This did not mean I abused her when she didn’t listen. What he meant was that if she didn’t have confidence in me to keep her safe, she would take charge as a means of keeping herself safe. I needed to step up to the plate and be clear, concise and consistent in my directions while also following through with my requests so she knew to look to me for guidance. Once I shifted to earning respect before giving love, my relationship with my horse completely changed.
We can all get relaxed on our schedules, rules, and reinforcement toward others and even ourselves. How many times have you tried to diet, start exercising, eat right, stop a bad habit only to fall short back into old habits? We can give many excuses as to why we have fallen back into these old habits, but looking at the hierarchy of needs may give us a better insight into the why we keep falling back into these old patterns. Are your basic needs of survival being met? Are your needs for safety being met? If the answer is no to either of these, then you now know where you need to start. Sleep can be a really significant factor affecting the rest of the hierarchy. Sleep is one of the basic needs, not a luxury. This is so very important to realize because sleep can sometimes be forgotten or neglected, but it is one of the primary physiological needs. Hence why I have never liked the saying I can sleep when I am dead. No, lack of sleep can lead to a more rapid death. Your body needs sleep so it is worth the time and effort to figure out how to get enough of it.
So what are some options to sleeping better?
- Turn off the tv and turn on a meditation preferably a diaphragmatic breathing meditation to calm the nerves. When choosing a meditation, choose one according to the subject that keeps you awake.
- Look at your stressors. How can you see them as blessings and give thanks for them? That’s the easiest way to diffuse a problem, see it in a different way.
- Stop eating or drinking after 7 pm
- Slow down after 7 pm so your body can wind down
- Try another way. Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Try something you haven’t tried already for at least a month and see what happens.
- If need be, drink a warm cup of milk even though this breaks suggestion number 3
- Try doing some myofascial release stretches before going to bed. Here’s a great 20 minute guided stretching video found at the bottom of the myofascial release self-treatment page. https://www.sunshinetherapeutics.com/services/myofascial-release-self-treatment/
I love listening to Wayne Dyer or Alan Cohen before bedtime because their messages ease my heart. I will also read positive books and keep the lights dim. The most important factor is feeling safe with where I am physically and mentally by trying to let go of the things I cannot control.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
This week’s Voyage to HEAL focus
Stretch: Open the heart. Just place your hands over your heart and say, “Lord, please open my heart that I may see the world through your eyes and feel your presence inside of me.”
Exercise: Raise your arms up, but keep the ribs down 8x three times a day
Everyday habit correction: Stretch and meditate before you go to bed
Perspective Enlightenment: Remember the serenity prayer and the hierarchy of needs. Where do you need to start?
God Speed on your Voyage to HEAL,