Today my clients pretended that they were pioneers, off on their journey west. They were told their covered wagon would only carry 2000 pounds goods. That sounds like a lot, but when you have to bring everything you need on your 5-month journey, it can be difficult to determine between needs and wants.
As an adult/manager, I still struggle with needs and wants. My clients know that needs include: water, shelter, food, & clothes. Although they insist oxygen & blood are also needs, even though it is not in our social studies book.
Distinguishing between what my body needs and what my mind wants it the challenge of my life right now. Sometimes my mind needs a day to be a slug, but my body is crying out for movement. Turning it around… there are days where my mind says, “You need those 30 minutes of cardio!” My body says, “Take a break. You’ve been working hard. Go to bed early tonight & experience some muscle recovery.” Those same phrases can signal wants and/or needs. Learning to figure out which they are is the hard part. Well, okay listening to them isn’t easy at first either.
I have a relaxing part and a productive part that are often at war with each other, making it difficult to relax or be productive. I get overwhelmed by the warring factions, making it impossible to experience either part. Sometimes I have to set both parts across the table from each other in the boardroom. (Picture the boardroom of The Apprentice.) My Wise Woman leads the meeting. She asks the relaxed part to share, & really listens and sits with what the part has to say. Relaxing part says that she needs time to just sit and chill. She wants to sit and chill all the time, because her family did not sit and chill growing up. Busyness was next to godliness. Next it is my productive/manager part’s turn. She sits with a pencil behind her ear & a clipboard with a checklist in hand. She explains that there is so much to do, and if my system keeps avoiding work and procrastinating, it will just create anxiety. The manager says that sitting around will not accomplish anything and we must keep busy. Sitting around is bad. It reminds you that your mother says that doing nothing is wrong. Relaxing is wrong.
The Wise Woman takes all of these stories in. It mediates between the two parts: recognizing and honoring what they have said. Relaxing is good. Being productive is good. We can’t have one without the either. It asks each part to make room for each other so that they can work side-by-side. One can have a positive effect on the other.
PS: On the supply list was a bedpan ~ 4 pounds. Discussing the value of a bedpan was an interesting conversation to say the least. Also, we talked about a Family Bible was ~2 pounds. Religion in the Schools! Exciting!!!
How do you distinguish between needs & wants?
How did those pioneers do it??