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Being Human

I recently re-read one of my favorite books, The New Peoplemaking by Virginia Satir, and throughout the chapters, she discusses the idea of being human and “living humanly”. According to Satir, living humanly means to be honest and loving to both oneself and others, and be willing to take risks, use our creativity, and be flexible to adapt to circumstances when necessary. Satir also describes part of being human as working towards what she called congruence, which is being in a place where what we say, do, and believe all match. Similarly, according to Kristin Neff, “being human is not about being any one particular way; it is about being as life creates you - with your own particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.”

When you think of “being human”, it may bring to mind being imperfect, flawed, vulnerable, authentic, or real. It also can mean being brave, strong, and compassionate. What does “living humanly” mean to you? Below are some questions for you to further reflect on this idea of “being human” and explore how you can incorporate more "living humanly" into your life:

-What is your definition of “living humanly”?

-What keeps you from showing more of your humanness?

-How might your life change if you could show more of your humanness?

-How might your relationships (with friends, family, partner/spouse, coworkers, etc.) be different if you could embrace your humanness more?

-How can you exercise your creativity more often?

-Which of your values fit your definition of living humanly?

-When do you feel you are most congruent and/or human (in certain situations, with certain people, etc.)?


Neff, K. (2011). Self-compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. William Morrow & Company.

Satir, V. (1988). The new peoplemaking. Science and Behavior Books.


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