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It’s coming into February, my busiest time of year. It’s cold, we might get snow and the extra boost that Christmas and the New Year brought is wearing off.

How can you use this time of year to pause for reflection and take a broader look at your life.

This questionnaire is from the Human Givens Institute, it will enable you to look at whether the innate needs you have as a human beings are being met.

The core principle is that we all come into this world with some core needs. When we meet these we have a happier and more fulfilled life and we can develop the resources to move through whatever life throws at us.

  • Security — if we feel safe we can develop and grow fully
  • Attention (to give and receive it) — a form of emotional nutrition
  • Sense of autonomy and control — to make responsible choices
  • Emotional intimacy — to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts ‘n’ all”
  • Feeling part of a wider community, something bigger than ourselves
  • Privacy — opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
  • Sense of status within social groupings, family, friends or at work
  • Sense of competence and achievement, believing that we can achieve
  • Meaning and purpose — which come from being stretched in what we do and think.

This check list fits very well with the research from positive psychology and on what makes us happy.

We are also born with an innate set of resources which can enable us to meet these needs.

  • The ability to develop memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge and learn
  • The ability to build rapport, empathise and connect with others
  • Imagination enables us to time travel and view things differently in the past and the future and problem solve more creatively.
  • Emotions and instinctive responses
  • A conscious, rational mind that can keep us in check as we think things through.
  • The ability to ‘know’ — that is, understand the world unconsciously through metaphorical pattern matching
  • An observing self — that part of us that can step back, be more objective and be aware of itself as a unique centre of awareness, apart from intellect, emotion and conditioning
  • A dreaming brain that preserves the integrity of our genetic inheritance every night by metaphorically defusing expectations held in the autonomic arousal system because they were not acted out the previous day.

Many of the clients I see present with a particular issue such as weight loss or confidence or even anxiety and depression. Often underlying these issues are unmet needs and the misuse of our innate resources. For example, anxiety is the negative use of the imagination; anticipating a negative sometimes disastrous future for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Without realising it, this makes you feel unsafe which can result in a retreat from your life and get in the way of  you living the life you want.

If this blog triggers any thoughts about things not being ‘quite right’ for you. Do the questionnaire, use the time for reflection this time of year can bring and decide what needs to be different and take action.

[blue]Billy Connolly ‘ Wisdom is the constant questioning of where you are. And when you stop wanting to know, you’re dead. ‘ How do you wake up in the morning going ‘ Oh God here we go again’? You’d be on your deathbed saying ‘ At last! The day I’ve looked forward to all my life’ I don’t want to say that. I want to say ‘Oh Jesus Christ is that the time already?’[/blue]

Jill Tonks

Jill Tonks


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