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Sep 292013
 

Last week’s blog hopefully got you thinking about your values, helping you to understand the bedrock of unique principles that guide you through life. This week, we’re going to look at another set of principles that drives our actions and behaviours, and which can lead to relationship clashes if they’re not aligned – our needs.
 
Of course, we all share the same basic human needs. They’re things like oxygen, food, water and sleep, the need to feel safe and secure, and to have love and belonging in our lives. Yet beyond this, there are all kinds of ‘sub-needs’ that are as individual as we are.
 
Our ‘sub-needs’ play a huge influence in how we connect with others, especially within intimate relationships. In figuring out what these are, we can enter into situations and relationships with greater awareness, and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls and dramas that arise when those needs aren’t met.
 
So, here are some broad categories designed to get you thinking about where YOU fit in. Knowing your sub-needs will help you to more clearly decide whether they’re being met, and enable you to express them to others when you need to.
 
Read through each list and decide which of them apply most strongly to you, within either your love relationship, or your friendship or family dynamics (where applicable!). Try and be selective and choose the top three that feel like your most important needs. It can even be useful to adapt them and make them more personal to you, writing them down as you go.
 
Need 1: Safety
Common sub-needs here include:
– The need to feel secure
– The need to feel connected
– The need to feel comfortable
– The need to feel peaceful
– The need to have support during hard times
– The need to feel cared for
– The need to spend time together
 
Need 2: Acceptance
Common sub-needs here include:
– The need to feel valued and appreciated
– The need to receive physical affection
– The need to be heard
– The need to feel understood
– The need to feel desired
– The need to feel respected
– The need to be openly vulnerable
– The need to feel strong
 
Need 3: Belonging
Common sub-needs here include:
– The need to enjoy shared interests
– The need to share daily life
– The need to be totally present and in the moment with another
– The need for spiritual awareness
– The need for loyalty
– The need for trust
– The need for strong communication
– The need for playfulness, laughter and joy
 
Need 4: Space
Common sub-needs here include:
– The need to preserve my own identity
– The need to space outside the relationship
– The need for privacy
– The need for clear boundaries
– The need to nurture individual interests
– The need for my own friendships
 
Need 5: Influence
Common sub-needs here include:
– The need to feel useful
– The need to feel like I matter
– The need to feel like I make a difference
– The need to help other heal
– The need to care for others
– The need to motivate others
– The need to help others change and grow
– The need to help others through hard times
– The need to create safety for others
– The need to create comfort for others
 
Need 6: Love
Common sub-needs here include:
– The need for touch, hugs and affection
– The need for sex, play and pleasure
– The need to give or receive unconditional love
– The need to have or surrender control
– The need to feel passionate
– The need for kindness and caring
– The need for emotional intimacy
 
This exercise can be a valuable tool for relationship maintenance, as you discuss with a partner, friend or family member what drives you, and work out where there’s room for improvement, compromise or greater understanding of what makes each other tick.
 
It’s worth spending time on, because when we have greater awareness of the needs that often subconsciously drive us, we can more clearly express and be guided by them – leading to happier, healthier, more meaningful relationships all round.
 
In love and light,
 
Taranga
 
 
 

Sep 282013
 

Sitting around a table with friends after dinner the other night, and assisted by a couple of bottles of free-flowing Shiraz, the conversation inevitably turned to sex. Nothing new there, you might say… doesn’t it often?! Well, what most surprised me from this particular debate was the realisation that each of us is hardwired to enjoy sex for all kinds of different reasons.

Long gone are the days when sex was purely about procreation – and even in our more enlightened age, we might still believe we have sex for one basic reason; because it feels good. Yet beneath that truth lies a smorgasbord of erotic possibilities, driven by desires that are uniquely personal and individual, and always evolving.

Here are just a few of the reasons we came up with for why we have sex:
– To connect with another person.
– To give another person pleasure.
– To feel pleasure myself.
– To connect with my inner self.
– To scratch an itch.
– To blow of steam and release tension.
– To feel desired and sexy.
– To feel needed and important.
– To get out of my head and into my body.
– To surrender control.
– To experience a kind of altered state.
– To feel 100% present and in the moment.
– To build intimacy.
– To create a spiritual or mystical connection with a partner.
– To generate and circulate more ‘life-force’ energy.
– As a ‘workout’, to boost endorphins and feel good.
– To celebrate a birthday.
– To say thank you for something
– To ‘escape’ and avoid pain during times of feeling overwhelmed.
– To open up emotionally when feeling blocked.
And last but not least – When trying to have a child!

That’s a surprisingly long list of motivating factors, for such a seemingly universal act. So it’s no surprise that we can often feel that our sexual needs aren’t always being met, especially if we neglect to talk with our partners about our individual values, wants and desires.

When your sex motivators are often very different from those of the person you’re having sex with, it can be challenging to ensure you’re both getting what you need. Our values and needs are shaped by factors like our upbringing, our families, a previous relationship or a life-changing incident – and if those core truths remain unrecognised or unrealised, we can feel frustrated, disappointed or angry. In severe cases, it can even spell the end of a relationship.

So what’s the solution? We must firstly figure out the true nature of our own unique needs and desires, and then share them with our partners, so we can be more aligned and aware in our sex lives.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be offering some tips and guidance to help you discover your authentic sexual self, along with ways to share those truths with you partners. In the meantime, why not have a go at listing some of your own primary sex motivators to help raise your awareness, and shed some light on this often overlooked aspect of our sexual appetites.

In love and light,

Taranga