Working with Stuff

Your Sacred Needs

I want to share with you this quote by Charles Eisenstein, on an interview for “Humans are not Broken”. He’s a fantastic political writer / philosopher / mindfulness person. (My description, not his). He has a truly revolutionary approach to “politics” and in this particular case, to food.

“When I eat really fresh good food…
Sometimes I eat something that’s really good, really high quality, like sacred food, and I’m like “WOW, this is what we’re missing… and lacking this, no wonder people over eat”.
It’s like they are vaccuming up everything in hope of finding this.
Maybe we’re living in this incredible poverty, and the illusion of incredible abundance. But is abundance of things that we don’t really need.
You can say that about consumerism in general.
That we have this super abundance of stuff that doesn’t meet the needs that we have for, connection, for play, for the exploration of boundaries, for meaning, for aesthetic beauty. We have fake beauty, all around us in the built environment, but not real beauty, compared to earlier times. And so we consume more and more of what we don’t need in futile compensation for the lack of what we do need.
And I think that happens in food too. Part of that is the nutritional vacuity of so much processed food. Even produce. Overbred food is a shell of its former self.
People who over eat maybe they’re not greedy at all. Maybe the shouldn’t try to conquer their desires or restrain themselves at all or go on a diet at all, maybe what they should really be doing is searching more deeply for true nourishment and following their desire”.

This is such a fantastic concept

And it is also a pattern of “stuff”.

Here it is, on its bare essence.

We want something sacred. We can’t find it anywhere. We take in stuff that is available to us but is not sacred. We are unsatisfied. We take in more stuff that is available to us but is not sacred. We are unsatisfied. We want something sacred.

Rinse, repeat.

How often does this show up in our lives?

On JOB

We want sacred, meaningful work. We can’t find it. We make ourselves super busy, with EVERYTHING we can find. But none of it is sacred. So we busy ourselves some more.

On LOVE

We want connection and intimacy. We can’t find it. We share our lives everywhere, with everyone on the planet. But none of it is real connection or intimacy. So we share some more.

On HAPPINESS

We want the sacred, light, real feeling of “joy”. We can’t find it anywhere. So we take in drugs. Or consume endless “positive thinking” quotes. Whatever it is, to give us that fleeting sense of “happy”.

So here’s my practice for the day:

What are my sacred needs right now? How can I meet them, even if it’s only in a teeny tiny way?

And how can I let go of the guilt I have for having sacred needs?

Sacred Needs copy

Stuff to watch out for!

Chances are, your stuff will show up around:

  • the “sacred” thing. Wonderful things are scary, the idea of having wonderful things is scarier, and the very thought of needing wonderful things is the scariest of them all. Because “wonder” makes us vulnerable. Patience and compassion for that.

 

  • The “need” thing. Acknowledging our needs is hard work. Because, yes, we have to fully accept that we have needs and that we (gasp!) may not always meet them. This means: being vulnerable.

 

  • Guilt, shame and fear around not meeting our needs. (Ouch)

 

  • Finding out that you’re in a “pattern” of “not finding what you need” and then getting mad at yourself. This too can happen. Patience and compassion here as well.

 

We’re practicing. We’re trying things to see what helps and what doesn’t.

Ultimately, it’s all about getting to know ourselves better.