Abraham_maslowIt’s a lot like being constipated; you feel all bottled up inside. To continue in excremental terms, you want to get it out, but something’s keeping you from dumping.

So what’s really going on when you’re putting everything else before doing what you feel inextricably drawn to do? What’s preventing you from achieving true self-actualization?

I know from my own experience that when I’m writing, the magic is almost palpable. When the mojo is flowing, it’s euphoric. It’s a natural high—totally intoxicating.

I’ve seen plenty of posts on Facebook quoting American author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia (most without the attribution), telling us that: “Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God.”

Psychologist Abraham Maslow placed self-actualization at the top of his hierarchy of needs. (That’s Maslow’s picture at the top of my blog today, not Buscaglia’s.)

Maslow tells us, “What a man can be, he must be.” A person’s full potential and the realization of that potential is the ultimate goal. The desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most we can be, is not only necessary, but absolutely vital to personal satisfaction, a.k.a. self-actualization.

For me, when I’m not writing creatively, I know I’m stuffing down a basic need. At least I know it intellectually. Then the chicken and the egg analogy kicks in: Am I feeling blue because I’m not writing, or not writing because I’m feeling blue?

Either way, it’s a painful experience. I’m in a funk. I haven’t managed to locate the switch to flip, even though I know, in my heart of hearts, that I must write to feel “alive.” When I’m not writing, my world is not in kilter. I’m grouchy and short-tempered and annoyed by most everything. Just imagine being constipated for months!

However, as it is with so many things in life, admitting the problem is the first step to recovery. And I admit I’ve put “writing” at the bottom of the to-do list for far too long. I’m long overdue to flip that list over and get myself back into the zone.450px-Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg

So what’s on your list today? Isn’t it about time to move your butt toward the top of your own pyramid?

Holy shit! Here it comes! Quick! Pass the toilet paper!