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The Myth of Normal by Gabor Maté – Core Needs & Self Reflection

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Dr Gabor Maté lately and damn, I truly have a love for his work and how deeply he understands complex trauma, especially early development and childhood.

I highly recommend his new book is The Myth of Normal 

I’ve also read two of his other books: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (focused on addiction) and Scattered Minds (focused on ADHD) – both brilliant.

Here’s a few stand outs from the Myth of Normal I’m pondering…

1. What condition does the nature of the plant demand for healthy development?

  • We all know we are nature, we’re not separate from. What does your very being demand for healthy development? I know for me when I was in a dark apartment with little natural light I felt like shit, I know when I wasn’t close to abundant nature I felt like shit, I know when I was in relationships that were out of alignment I felt like shit. It’s always essential to ponder how we can better our inner and outer conditions for more peace and contentment because complacency and hopelessness fuel addiction and escape.

2. It’s not our behaviour that defines our nature but our needs that define our nature.

  • Identifying my core needs (after a lot of trial and error) has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. Lifestyle design requires you to know what you need and what you’re currently deprived of.
    • For example: I needed more nature, to be more grounded, less stimulation after 12 months abroad, yet at the end of 2021 I needed travel, stimulation, connection and variety. Our needs shift, it’s identifying what they are that’s the real winner, especially if you’ve been so used to putting your needs aside for everyone else’s OR you’re too disassociated to know what you need.

3. Europeans/early settlers were appalled at First Nations parenting in hunter gatherer times because they didn’t hit their kids. 

  • Trauma, physical violence and fear instilled in any human results in disassociation, survival mode and disconnection from their core needs/self.

Here’s a few prompts for you to ponder in your journal (first instinctual answers that come to mind are usually correct, let yourself roll with them) 

  1. What condition/situation/relationship am I in right now that is hindering me?

  1. What needs are not being met in my life right now? examples: connection, fitness, financial, intimacy, physical touch, variety, intellectual etc

  1. Do I find yourself doing things I despise out of obligation for someone I love? 

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