Living from your values
Recently I listened to an audiobook and the author described evolution as simply a process of shifting one’s core values. This got me thinking about the importance that values play in our lifestyle choices. If we are in tune with our inner values then our life will be reflected in what is important to us. We will make choices that feed our mind, body and spirit with ease and confidence not because they are right or wrong but because we have clarity about what is important to us. The opposite is true when we have misaligned values, our days will be filled with a series of choices that are outside of our centre and often based on the things we should do or things that we have deemed important because of external influences.
For the first few years after my daughter was born, I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and disconnected, so instead of slowing down, going inward and being more selective about what was important to me, I tried to do it all in hopes of finding peace and a new centre amongst this major life transformation. I looked external for the answers about how to do things and that resulted in a belief system that was not my own.
The reality is that we can not do everything, nor should we try rather we need to find out what is important to us and move from that wisdom. We can’t bring A-game to everything so we have to understand what things in our life get A, B or C energy. It is from a place of knowing what we value in our life that we can truly connect with our heart’s desires and be selective where our energy and resources go.
I truly believe that not living from our values has a significant cost and is perhaps the number one cause of burnout. It is not only exhausting physically but also there is a huge mental and emotional cost to be living outside of yourself. It can result in anxiety, depression, muscle tension, inflammation, insomnia, immune challenges and so much more. Living outside of your values will make you sick in the long wrong.
So now that you have a better sense of how your values can influence your quality of life and the impact living from a false sense of self can have on you, how the heck do you establish what is important to you? and then stay connected to these inner values?
I wish I could tell you that now that you have this intellectual awareness that it’s all good from here, you organically begin saying no to things no longer serve you. But unfortunately, that’s not how any behaviour modifications work. It is a practice of awareness and reframing, it’s important to work, perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself.
I suggest that you stay curious about being open within yourself and others are key to staying true to your values. What we value for ourselves at one phase of life may be different than another, try not to get stuck in one season and allow yourself to grow. Check in to find out if a value no longer fits and adapt to this new wisdom of who you have become.
Create time for yourself and aim to slow down, so many of us are in autopilot racing from one task to the next without creating time to understand if we are living from a place of truth. Having the luxury of slowing down and reflecting on what is important to us seems like an impossibility but by creating even a few moments each day we can centre and make choices from a place within that is clear and authentic.
Understand what makes you happy and sad and stay aware of what activities bring you joy and what ones bring you down is a simple yet extremely effective way to uncover your values. Take a few minutes to write down all the things you do in a day and put a happy or sad face beside each activity. It will become very obvious how much of your day is connecting with your inner core values.
Share your values as you are in your daily life connecting with family and friends talk about what is important to you and what choices you are making in your life to reflect these values. Saying your values out loud will deepen your commitment to them. Own your values and share them with the people in life.