Getting back to what really matters

It’s all too easy to get carried away with the stuff of our daily lives. But sometimes when you step out of the routine, you experience something that resonates with the deepest part of the spirit. You feel like a horse must after a long day walking in the hot sun when it comes to a cool reservoir and starts lapping up the refreshing water.

This afternoon, Ophelia and I took a drive out to our friend’s place in Arthur’s Creek. It’s a place we have much affection for as we have great relationships with all the horses and the dogs on the property after minding them and lots and lots of visits like today. It’s been about 6 weeks though since our last stint in the country over the holidays. Far too long.

Sitting there while the dogs played tug-o-war, I had the feeling that I was connecting with something so vital, I was being reconnected with part of myself. For a few minutes we wondered what it was that we were experiencing. The best word I could think of was peace, but with a kind of effortless immediacy. As Ophelia pointed out, in the city we have to meditate to achieve this. Away from it all though, the spirit of meditation is on tap. I don’t mean this in an escapist sense. Meditation requires being awake, and that’s what I mean by immediacy. There is also a clarity about what is important – taking care of the living things. Making sure the family (including equine, canine, and others) is safe and cared for. This stuff takes priority, no question.

Sunset at Arthur's Creek

I’ve had several reminders of this over the last few months. The first big one was when my mother was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. They found it in time. But one of the most profound effects of the experience was the way it put life into very clear perspective. At the time I was struggling to finish my PhD thesis, which had consumed much of my life for the last 5 years. A PhD is very hard to keep in perspective. It becomes something that virtually defines you and everything you stand for. Of course this isn’t true. But it took the threat of my mother’s death, to see that the PhD was important but ultimately it’s just an academic exercise – no more, no less.

Ok, it probably seems like I’ve strayed a bit from my point. But here’s the nut. Nothing is more important than loving and caring for each other. Nothing. Zip! And this includes, loving and caring for our selves as well. In fact this is where it has to start. This was something that was also drilled home for me while my mother was in hospital. I found that it was absolutely essential to have quite time to myself each day so that I could collect and ground myself, gather my chi before going and spending the day in hospital.

So, take a few moments to think about, but don’t ‘think’ too much, about what it is you really need to nourish yourself. Tony Robbins, defines what he sees as the 6 core needs. They are:

1. Certainty

2. Uncertainty

3. Significance

4. Love and Connection

5. Growth

6. Contribution

I think this is a good list. I wouldn’t include it otherwise. But even better still is to express this in a way that resonates for you personally. It might include fun, adventure, peace, or even power and vitality. Knowing what they are at the elemental level will be helpful for you, especially when your life changes. Because the thing is, life changes, but core our needs don’t. However, we can adapt and develop new ways of living completely fulfilling lives within our current or emerging conditions.

I know I often ask this, but really, I would be very interested to hear what you come up with for your core needs.

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