What are needs? Needs are conditions and experiences that, the fulfillment of which, satisfies a certain part of your being. When they remain unfulfilled for too long, this aspect of your being might become severely deprived and scream for your attention in various ways. This could even cause body or mind disorders, from psychosomatic disturbances to mental and emotional ones. More generally, it could develop into a vague and nagging sense of dissatisfaction.
Needs are not a luxury. They constitute the conditions for your inner wholeness and flourishing as a healthy and happy human being. You don't pamper the plants at your home by watering them every now and then; without water, they will wither away. Needs are your water, light, and air. However, unlike plants, you are a multi-dimensional being, and therefore your range of needs is more complex and it often becomes complicated, too.
Of course, some of your needs are far more tangible and immediate than others. We all know that a balanced diet and a sufficient water consumption are necessities. But some needs are much more refined, so much so that we often overlook them or wrongly consider them optional. In addition, some needs are unconscious, which means that we have no idea we require them so badly until perhaps one day, we fulfill them and realize that some hole inside our being has been finally filled. And there are also suppressed needs, needs that for some reason we believe we don't deserve to satisfy or needs we believe are superfluous or even distractive on our way toward more "important" goals.
So, how could you unveil the full spectrum of your needs? How could you identify which of the many dissatisfied voices inside you is a legitimate, authentic expression of a deprived aspect of your being? This is a much-required capacity, since becoming conscious of all your needs and knowing how to sate them on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways for dispelling discontent and establishing a sense of lasting happiness.
Chakras and Needs
Here is your spectrum of needs according to the seven chakras. If you want to be balanced and content, you can use this model as your map for tracking your sources of happiness and unhappiness. There is no need to guess: when you feel unhappy or unbalanced, simply take a look at this model and examine which needs you have neglected.
As you read through the following descriptions, I encourage you to evaluate how well you are currently meeting these needs in your life, from 1 to 100 percent. For a revealing experience, return to this article from time to time and reevaluate your percentages for evidence of your growth.
Root Chakra Needs: Physical Stability
The first component of physical stability is being able to rely on your body. It is possible to walk on life's path with a fragile, burdened, or even diseased body—and sometimes, unfortunately, it is unavoidable. This would not necessarily prevent you from cultivating a rich intellectual life or profound spirituality, but feeling uncomfortable in your own body makes it so much harder. As much as possible, you need the body on your side: well-nourished, well-rested, flexible, and resilient.
The second component is the feeling that you have a home to return to and at least one framework to which you belong. This includes a roof over your head, but more broadly, some group affiliation and identification. If possible, maintaining family stability can greatly nurture the root chakra.
The third component of physical stability is the ability to rely on your life's structure and lifestyle: feeling that, in general, you are held by a healthy routine in a relatively quiet, calm, and supportive environment. Maintaining proper time management, which ensures that you take care of all your needs, is part of creating such an environment for yourself. Having a trusted income is an important ingredient as well.
Sacral Chakra Needs: Enjoyment
Make sure that every week is dotted with touches of beauty, such as encounters with the arts or nature, as well as deep pleasure and joyous physical movement. As human beings, we are not meant to endure endless and uninterrupted routine, so peak experiences—intense, thrilling, playful, and adventurous—should "disrupt" your root chakra schedule every now and then. Even having free, purposeless breathing space and time is a form of healthy disruption of your routine.
Lastly, life without the joy of creativity—activating your imagination and spirit of inventiveness with passion and excitement— easily depletes your second chakra. This doesn't have to be a complex and purposeful project; even painting or writing a poem just for fun will do.
Solar Plexus Chakra Needs: Power and Confidence
Although you are surely not meant or able to control all events and situations in life, you do need to feel "on top" of your life, capable of directing it through will and determination. Being unable to creatively influence the events in your life is a state of third chakra deprivation.
Heart Chakra Needs: Emotional Belonging
A human heart needs to feel that it has some role and meaning in its contribution to the world. This is what Viktor Frankl recognized in his meaning-based psychology: to achieve psychological wholeness, you need to identify and define your existential meaning. Moreover, you need to feel that your efforts are met with appreciation, so there must be some supportive and affirming environment to recognize that. You try as hard as you can, including when you fall or go astray, and you need others (and yourself) to recognize that your attempts mean something after all.
Throat Chakra Needs: Authentic Self-Expression
It is essential to express not only ideas and feelings, but also visions that can eventually turn into a tangible reality in the world. It is unhealthy to remain stuck in your inner world, as rich as it may be, and to leave all that hidden potential unrealized. As a part of coming out, you need to strive to give form to inner visions and dreams, whether it is an artistic expression, a business enterprise, or new ways of improving and fulfilling your life and the lives of others.
Third-Eye Chakra Needs: Mental Clarity
When your mind is foggy, chaotic, and doubt-stricken, both your body and mind become disoriented and susceptible to unconscious influences. For this reason, you must be able to trust your own capacities of observation and judgment. You need your sixth chakra as a master that can confidently direct your being. It is thus vital to make use of any method that can sustain and promote the sharpness of your mind—from nutrition and supplementation to mental practices.
One of the major sources of mental clarity is the inspiration of great minds. Studying them through books and lectures can encourage you to attain your own peaks of intelligence and intellectual confidence. More than that, studying great minds helps you satisfy your deep sixth chakra need for mental nourishment, which is received through higher forms of knowledge and wisdom.
Crown Chakra Needs: Spiritual Union
An inherent part of the human condition is the experience of limitation: being trapped in the small box of a belief system, conditioning and thought patterns, unchanging routine, and even the boundaries of the human body. You need to feel that you can sometimes break free from this box, spread your wings and soar in the open and vast spaces of freedom and limitlessness.
You must know that you have this option of retiring from the world from time to time, and not only in the unconscious form of deep sleep. Otherwise, a growing suffocation can easily creep in, causing an unexplainable suffering and different symptoms of physical, emotional, and mental imbalance.
The last need of the seventh chakra is being able to connect with a part of you that is unshakable and indestructible. Only your eternal spirit can grant you this: the experience that despite all physical fragility and dependency, you are, in essence, a divinity expressing itself through a human form.
It may be confusing at times to embrace all of your needs at the same time. People often find contradictory voices and desires inside themselves, each part pulling in a different direction. For this reason, I have devised the seven-day chakra path (as detailed in my book, 7 Day Chakras). This easy-to-follow way of life ensures that you take care of all these needs in a way that consistently and increasingly balances the chakras and fills you with a growing sense of inner wholeness.
Shai Tubali (Berlin, Germany) is an international speaker, author, and spiritual teacher. He is one of Europe's leading authorities in the field of chakras and the subtle body and has published twelve books. Shai also ...