Many years ago, my measure of happiness was determined by ‘outside’ things. You know, like how much I earned. The work I was doing. The size of my butt. The latest designer handbag and the cute boyfriend. I truly believed that I needed those things in order to feel good about myself and my life.
But after some much needed inner work and self exploration, I realized that this way of thinking was keeping me stuck and unhappy. As I dug deeper and peeled back the layers, the truth became clear: happiness comes from within, not from external things. I realized that as you choose your words, you choose your life. Happiness is not found in a pair of Jimmy Choo’s, a hot boyfriend, a paycheck or a toned butt. In fact, we don’t need anything outside ourselves; we are whole and perfect just as we are.
Of course, when you’ve spent a whole lifetime focusing on those external things, it can be quite confronting to let them go. But when you realize you’re whole exactly as you are — that you possess the entire universe within yourself — you actually get to a place where you no longer have external ‘needs’; instead they’re simply desires or preferences.
Let me give you an example — I would prefer if the sun was out tomorrow, because then I can go for a walk in the park. But if I wake up and it’s raining, I’m not going to be affected or attached. It doesn’t rattle me, let alone ruin my day. It just is what it is.
Likewise, if I’m going after one of my business goals, I’d prefer if all the pieces fell into place and everything worked out. But if that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t send me spiraling down a pathway of self-destruction and self-doubt. It simply is what it is…
This shift in thinking can have an incredible impact on your life, yet loads of people still find themselves shackled to a list of ‘needs’. They’re trapped by Mean Girl chatter like:
- I need this meeting to go well.
- I need my husband/partner to help around the house.
- I need to lose 5kgs to fit into those skinny jeans.
- I need my kids to behave.
- I need my friends to be there for me.
- I need more money so I feel safe and secure.
- I need to eat well because I over-ate on the weekend.
- I need to exercise because I shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate cake.
- I need it to be sunny on the weekend because I have planned a day at the beach.
It’s not that it’s ‘bad’ to want to lose weight (or to have more money, or to spend a day in picture-perfect sunshine); the problem arises when we get attached to these needs that if they don’t get met, we get completely thrown and the shit hits the fan.
Your words are potent. Be careful of the dialogue you use.
But you know what? A simple switch-up in the language you use can change everything…
Instead of using the word ‘need’, I invite you to choose the word ‘love’ or ‘desire’ instead. With this one tiny swap, you can re-frame your ‘needs’ so that they become statements of empowerment and self-love. Think:
- I would love this meeting to go well because I am so passionate about this job.
- I would love my husband/partner to help around the house, so that I can take 5 minutes for myself to have a cuppa.
- I would love to nourish my body because I love the way it makes me feel.
- I am going to be there for my friends, just because I want to.
- I prefer to eat well, because I like to cherish my temple.
- I love to move my body because I enjoy the energy it gives me.
- I would love it to be sunny on the weekend so I can get out into nature and spend time at the beach.
When you’re conscious about the words you use, you change your entire perspective and experience of life. You find yourself releasing attachments and expectations, opening yourself up to new possibilities, and allowing yourself to be present with what is.
And let me tell you, re-framing my thoughts in this way has made such a difference in my life. These days, I’m always on the look-out for little opportunities to tweak my thinking and practice releasing, opening and allowing. Like each morning at the start of my yoga routine: I begin my sessions by sitting on my mat and surrendering all my needs over to Ganesh — the remover of obstacles. This simple ritual allows me to tap in and see the areas in my life where I have attachments. Surrendering them and handing them over to Ganesh allows me to move into my day with an open heart freed from expectations. I also like to use a mantra throughout the ritual to deepen the experience — Om Gum Gana Patayei Namaha.
So over the next few days, be mindful of the dialogue you are choosing, and see what a difference in can make in your own life. Look for opportunities to tweak your thinking, to catch yourself when you go to say, “I need [XYZ]”, and re-frame it in a way that helps you release, open up, and allow…
Now I want to hear from you, beautiful — do you find yourself saying, “I need this and I need that?” Share away in the comments below, and tell me all the needs you want to let go of.
Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. You are helping so many people with your words and comments.
Forever grateful for you,