for those of you who know me, you'll know that maslow's hierarchy of needs is one of my favourite pyramids to reference. i spent many years focusing on love and belongingness, but in the past couple of years i've realised that without safety, love and belongingness cannot occur. establishing safe environments then, has been at the forefront of my mind.
a few months ago, i had an epiphany. there's a reason all of these needs need to be met before self-actualisation can occur. self-actualisation to me, means freedom. freedom of thought, freedom of heart, freedom of life. it's within this space that people are most creative; where they solve big ideas. where instead of focusing on themselves, they think about others and how they can make a difference. and it's a space i feel i currently reside. and i reside only because all of my other needs are being met.
when our basic physiological needs aren't met - when we're hungry, tired, in a drought - what usually happens? we become grouchy. what also happens is that our mind then becomes preoccuped with these things - food consumes our every thought. sleeping becomes our daily goal. and sex leads us to engaging in desperate behaviours. the same too occurs when we feel unsafe. we focus on surviving, not thriving. we focus inward, rather than outward. when we don't feel loved, we act out. we create situations to validate what we feel. and when we doubt ourselves, we question our decisions. we become consumed by what others think.
but what happens when these needs are met? when we feel satiated? safe? loved? supported? secure? confident? where then does our mind go? what would you think about if you weren't stuck on a situation? on a person? on trying to fulfil these needs that aren't being met? in essence, what would you think about if your mind was free to think about anything? what does your self-actualised self look like? and what needs do you need met in order to get there?