Stepping into Your Values
Many times our lives seem to be moving along at a crazy pace, a pace in which we feel like we have lost a part of ourselves. It is true that we amp up our lives to meet the demands, perhaps self-imposed demands, nonetheless, it may feel like the end of each day is here before you know it. Opportunities to contemplate, reflect and evaluate how you feel about your life, how you feel and think about what you want to change, or even scanning what your preferences are may seem like something you do at a retreat. The pen and paper sit nearby you and you may choose to fill it with the daily “do” list, the list most days you check off half, or forget the list completely.
Or, perhaps, you just follow the plan laid before you. The life plan that someone else designed for you. This plan may seem plausible, it may give you benefits, great coworkers, or even a job you don’t mind. Perhaps the plan calls for you to commute, live in a city, pay high rent, or high taxes, perhaps it’s a plan that creates stress and fatigue.
Even if the life you are living is a container of daily happiness and contentment, you can still tap into your values and reflect upon what you most love about the way you live, how you live and all the perks of your life story. Below is a list of questions to dig a little deeper and assess how you feel about each domain. What brings you great joy, where can you stretch a bit, and what talents and contributions do you want to now explore?
The juice of life is living a type of duality that places our awareness with the daily mysterious encounters of all that lies beyond our material, linear world landscape, and at the same time, we dwell in this reality of interacting with the world around us. Somehow, when we really examine our personal values, perhaps we can integrate the mysterious blissful moments with our daily lives. In a sense, this is combining the heart with the mind, living from a center of a passionate heart with the balance of a rational mind.
Go through each domain and jot down your initial responses. Then go back through and prioritize, perhaps rating what is most important to you a (10) and least important at (1). Now, go back through again and ask the question, “If I had to give up my love of_________, for my ________, what would then happen? Placing yourself in a forced choice situation will help you really understand what is so important to you, then you would lose something else seemingly just as important.
For example, I could say, “If I had to give up my love of running, for my chance to make more money,” then would more money rank higher than my love of running?
Business, Career & Studies: Is your career where you want it to be by now? Are you heading on the right path for you?
Finance & Wealth: Are you earning enough income to satisfy your current needs? What financial fears might you have around making money, losing money, worrying about money?
Health & Fitness: How physically healthy are you? Are you satisfied with your level of fitness? Are you satisfied with your diet? Do you feel you have a balanced, unhurried amount of time available to do what you want?
Social & Friends: Are your friends supportive of you? Are you engaging friends and socializing to your satisfaction levels?
Family: Is your family supportive of you? Are you supportive of your family? What values about family place you in balance and where do you feel that you are not living the way you want, sharing roles/functions?
Love: Do you feel loved? How often are you expressing love to others? Where do you hold back? How much time would you invest in assuring that you life feels like you are giving and receiving love in balanced ways?
Recreation & Fun: Are you enjoying your life and making it fun? Are you satisfied with the level of activity that you do?
Contribution: Do you feel that your service to others is balanced with a service to self?
Personal Growth: How focused are you on personal growth? Are you satisfied with your direction? Are you trying new experiences and seeking to learn?
Spiritual: How connected are you to the inner and outer world? Are you satisfied with your relationship with your spiritual being? Where are you being asked to grow and expand? Where is your resistance to opening to new ideas?
Self-Image: Do you think of your abilities highly? Do you respect and love yourself? Do you appreciate yourself? In what ways do others affect how you feel about yourself?