Naming Your Needs

Hi Everyone and Welcome to 2015,

Can you believe we have started a whole new year again? Most holiday seasons it feels like we are pushed from a whirlwind of wrapping paper and a serious cookie coma into the fireworks and festivities of New Year’s Eve with little room to breathe in between. But this year, for me, things were a little different and I’m sorry to say, not by choice.

Like so many of us, I was put down for the count by the flu epidemic that seems to be spreading like wildfire. The upside (I mean, next to a 24 hour buffet of ginger ale and saltines. #nope) is that this sickness did create a noticeable pause between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Given that the flu is a complete drain on our physical, mental, and emotional reserves, I had to take some real stock of what my energy levels look like and make some realistic revisions to the start of 2015 my agenda. And it was in this looking ahead that I got a little stuck…

I’d be willing to bet I’m not alone in this predicament. Sometimes when we look for hints of answers to the big questions of what we want or need, we can be easily derailed. Whenever we get close to figuring out what feels right for us we get distracted: “But if I take that off the calendar, then this person will be disappointed” or “If I try to fit that in my schedule these people will have to change their plans.”

The issue with this distraction isn’t that it keeps us from being productive but it that it keeps us from getting anywhere near knowing what our needs are. We grow convinced that naming our needs isn’t even worth it since we’re not going to be able to meet them anyway, what with everyone else’s needs who are on the table along with ours!

But while it’s true that we might not get what we want or need 100% of the time, it does do us good to name these things, whether we do so out loud when the house is empty, with friends at the stroke of midnight, on a piece of paper that will be buried underground, or slowly but surely with our trusty therapist. Giving these desires a voice continues our lifelong self-education, which helps us work from a place of authenticity no matter what we do or who we meet in life. If you ask me, that is one of the most worthwhile things out there.

In this new year, may you have the chance to pause, listen, and learn,


It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.
-Lucille Ball