It has been a full summer - a wedding, a family reunion, guests, house projects completed, and the running of my business in the midst of summer break with two teenage girls. I hit my limit - and recognized that there would be some emotional casualties if I wasn't careful to take care of myself.
It can be so easy to just keep going, to keep DOING, to suppress our own needs in the face of others. This has been a long pattern of mine, one that is thankfully beginning to recede into the past. The longer needs are suppressed the harder it is to even know that you have them, or what they really are anyway.
At the heart of this financial work that I do is the question, "what are your needs?" The question recognizes the obvious financial needs, but invites the exploration of our emotional needs. Sometimes these are so buried that they take years to surface. Or we may think it is one thing, but when we meet the need we are left a little confused... nope, that wasn't quite it... and the search continues.
Last month we went on an adventure around Central Oregon. We visited places I hadn't even heard of, despite having been born and raised in this state. It was hot. It was wildly beautiful. It was expansive - visually and figuratively. I found myself stopping to breathe as deeply as I possibly could because the smells were intoxicating, and even then I couldn't get quite enough. I found myself falling in love with the desert, a landscape that I have always rejected to a certain degree as being lifeless.
The reason I am sharing this is that it was an incredible trip because I have learned to crystalize, and realize, what it is I need for replenishment: being outside, being in (relative) solitude, surrounded by nature and a visually expansive landscape, eating good food, taking naps, and being with my family without any pull of the fast paced world. I have never needed a break more.
We camped because that is honestly how I prefer to be on vacation in the summer. We watched the sunrise from a natural hot spring, we watched the sunsets in awe, we gazed at a big full moon and a starlit sky. It was an experience of satiating both a deep need - and desire - that left me feeling truly nourished.
This is the art of exploring your own unique emotional needs, your own very personal desires. Finding this authenticity, learning to honor it and ensuring that I provide it for myself is my definition of liberation - and if I dare say, true financial freedom. So often our view of what we need or desire is clouded, masked, and dictated by others - and we collectively spend millions trying to satiate a hunger that we cannot articulate. Discovering what this is for us - as individuals - is the secret to true fulfillment, and part of what creates financial stability.
Your need or desire for replenishment is probably not camping in the desert in August - and that is absolutely fabulous. Perhaps it is being surrounded by the lights of the city and the luxury of a downtown hotel. But know what it is you need, why you need it, and commit to satiating that need in a financially honorable way. When we take care of these deep needs it allows the wasteful spending to cease, and true fulfillment to be realized.
Here is to you finding joy in exploring, articulating, and experiencing the fulfillment of your needs - and desires.