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Abraham Maslow was a man before his time. He was intelligent enough to study healthy and productive people, while the trend in psychology is to study people of the mentally unstable variety. His approach was more scientific than philosophical, and so his work is studied extensively in Psychology classes around the world - and for good reason. Maslow helped bridge the gap between science and spirituality. In other words, he added respect to the study of the spirit, and added humanity to science. In culmination of his 20 years of research, Maslow came to believe that in order for one to become self-actualized a person had to think of themselves as an open vessel-like the elements of nature. To be like nature, that person should have the capacity for two things: self-exploration and taking action. The following nine steps may help get you there: 1. Allow yourself to be fully in the moment. When you participate in an activity so that your whole focus is on the task at hand you are in the flow. When you become one with source energy you will have this divine energy at your disposal. For this reason, your activity will be a zen gift from the universe. 2. Begin to be aware of what life is bringing to the table, and make choices that serve your best interests. The choices you make will be easy because your intuition (our inner source) is so highly tuned that it never fails to steer you wrong. A trust will be developed so that you realize even though your choice will be more challenging (with a risk attached) the outcome will leave you in a better place. 3. Become adept at keeping your ego at bay. Do not allow yourself to become a slave to other people's wishes, and be at ease bringing your true self out in the physical world. 4. Live in humility and integrity. Forgive yourself and forgive others. When you make a choice that did not serve you or others as you thought it would, own it. Take responsibility for where you are and what shows up for you. 5. Be prepared to live on an island. Know some of your decisions will be unpopular, but proceed with them anyway. Approval seeking is not the way for you. Take actions that are creative and brave. 6. Trust your instincts while listening to your intelligence. Study in your field of choice. Your ability to deduce will work with your gut to give you a well-balanced appraisal of any particular situation. 7. Be specific in your desires and know that you are able to attract them. Do not bother with trying to attain things that fall in the category of illusion. Use the universal law of attraction with ease, yet keep your feet are firmly planted on the ground. 8. Know who you are and what you are capable of doing. Your strength is in being, and from there you are unstoppable. Allow your actions to be inspired. Be like the zen fireflies and express your freedom with your internal dance. Follow that inner guidance. Understand and respect the power that you have, and be equally respectful of the fact that others have this power at their disposal. 9. Live with compassion, knowing that others may experience difficulty in accessing this source. Have a strong moral compass. Live your life with the purest of intention, and realize this is the best way to serve others. If you can practice these steps with consistency, Abraham Maslow would picture you as self-actualized. He was a wise man. Maslow passed in 1970, but his work lives on. In this quote from Abraham Maslow he shows his respect for both the spiritual and the scientific nature of the human being: "Self Actualization is the intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is." Be one with nature and with the magical fireflies that move the night air. From here you will be in a position to move others.
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