I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I ACTUALLY need. Not what’s on my Amazon wish list or my Pinterest boards. Not all the distracting shiny objects that flitter across my Instagram… But the essential things I need to feel happy, secure, calm, and alive. And it turns out (spoiler alert): they aren’t things at all.

My real needs look something like this:

  • FAMILY: Ample time with my biological and chosen family, to be together and enjoy one another’s company.
  • HEALTH: My own energy, vibrancy, and sense of wellness.
  • GOOD FOOD: Food is more than sustenance to me. It’s a big part of my identity. I love to cook, to eat, and to share meals with those I love.
  • SPIRIT: My connection with myself is essential to my happiness, balance, and to keeping anxiety at bay.
  • ADVENTURE: This would have been higher up the ladder before I became a mom. Or maybe I’m just finding new ways to have adventures now. But the experience of wonder, of exposure to new things and places, of the perspective that comes from getting out of my ordinary– these things are central to my sense of self.
  • NATURE: I grew up in the woods. Nature feeds me, fuels me, and makes me feel at home.

When I can dive deeper than thinking of my needs as a kind of shopping list, but instead focus on what I need to feel most content and like myself, I realize that I already have many of my needs met. I feel a shift internally from a feeling of lack to one of abundance. And I feel grateful.

What’s on your basic needs list? What do you already have in abundance? What needs more of your attention this week?

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