― Abraham H. Maslow
In my transpersonal coaching class we are delving into the work of Maslow as a means of engaging with clients. The clients that we see are not simply 'a bag of symptoms,' they are the cumulation of experiences that have occurred throughout their lives. As a coach it becomes our job to hold a space of flexibility, willingness, and healing for them in which they can do some of the greatest work of their lives.
As I think of Maslow's work, I can't help but think the mind as an open field. Our human tendency is to build fences to keep ourselves safe and to create an environment that becomes very familiar. In this familiarity we often times induce a trance that keeps us from noticing our greatest potential. We invite fear to protect us and justify our actions. We shy away from our greatness. We shrink our hearts, our dreams, and our talents in the hopes that no one will see our greatness. We downplay our talents, we reject our creative sides, we dismiss the things that make our hearts soar.
Just on the other side of this fence however is the potential to achieve deeper more meaningful relationships as well as esteem and just past esteem lies the path of Self Actualization. Hartman and Zimberoff are quick to point out that, "becoming self actualized requires a willingness to take certain risks emotionally, intellectually, socially. It requires arduous preparation, the courage to be nonconformist, and a willingness to face and overcome one's fears, defenses, and limitations."
Maslow's work is powerfully transformative. Zimberoff and Hartman have translated this model into a workable format for our daily lives. In his work, Maslow identified that people are concerned with two basic principles in their daily lives: either growth or safety.
As I explore this notion in my own life, I discover the Jonah Complex which was also constructed by one of Maslow's collegues. This complex identifies that one of our innate defenses can be that of 'fearing our own success.' We run from our greatness because it could very well change our lives. As I sit with this very provocative thought, I begin noticing how I am much like Jonah. I've run the other way from my greatness, but how transformative is it to play it safe? I truly believe that the Universe/Spirit/God/ whoever your higher power is desires that we live in abundance and integration!
Perhaps this post will allow you space to explore the field just past the fence. Perhaps you'll notice that as you begin to feel your sense of belonging, and as you foster your self esteem, you'll naturally move towards fulfillment and creativity.
May we continually support one another in our growth and well-being! Be courageous and fearless gorgeous hearts!!
May You Sweetly Seek:)