6 Things to Do When Maslow’s Hierarchy Becomes a Clusterfuck

Drawing from the Comedy Channel (http://goo.gl/T5vMKH)
First world modification of Abrahan Maslow’s framework that prioritizes the needs that motivate human behavior. Drawing from the Comedy Channel.

Circumstances can trigger volcanic disruptions in our lives.

We are embarking on journeys of creativity and then it hits: job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, or existential crisis. This creates a clusterfuck in Maslow’s hierarchy.

In this age of shamanistic positive thinking, it’s easy to feel inadequate when the load feels heavy and visions of self-actualization are abrogated by fears about how to save the food in the freezer in the event that the electricity gets shut off.

How do the resilient recover? How do they keep from slitting their wrists when the path to rebuild feels impossibly un-doable? Well, lucky for you, I have a blog and an opinion, so let me help you navigate this path.

1) Excise toxicity. Put a moratorium on everything and everyone who is an energetic black hole. Start looking for people who have breathed through the volcanic ash and are living bigger than you are comfortable living. Cling to them. Lurk in their online communities. Grok them. Let them know they are an encouragement to you.

2) Breathe. and exhale fully every single time as often as you can. Read this great blog from Jen Violi on breathing.

3) Survive. Do what you have to do in order to survive each day. Stand in line to get food stamps and health insurance for your kids and cry when you get back to the car. If you compromise, forgive yourself and more forward. Do the next right thing. This is training camp, and it can be really hard. Just keep swimming – it won’t be forever.

4) Get clear. While you are heading into your cocoon, determine to spend your time in there getting clear on what you really want – even if it seems impossible. Write it down. Try it on. Feel what it will feel to be in your new ‘space.’

5) Ask for help. We all need it. Let yourself be that person and welcome the lesson of vulnerability and need.

5) Shift your story. You aren’t a victim tossed by the winds. You are a proactive agent of growth and you didn’t expect such a strong nudge into the next chapter. That’s okay. Let the old story have its place and then let it go. Begin to write a new one.

6) Choose you. Commit to what you want. Know that it may very well feel like swinging from one jungle vine to the next without the next showing up quite yet. Choose you anyway.


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