Winter is a time that many of us pull back a bit from our external lives and go to a quiet place of reflection. Whatever time of year it, it’s an excellent opportunity in which to discover or review your values. If it’s winter, it may feel even more appropriate.
A great step in the exploration towards reclaiming your life is to understand your own personal values. Ask yourself this question: “Who am I?” The focus is on your own uniqueness rather than on the norms of society or who you “should” be. These values express the essence of who you are.
You can get a glimpse of your values by the choices that you make. For example, if you are someone who eats a balanced diet, gets plenty of rest and exercise, you probably are a person who values health. If you make careful choices about your home and garden, you may be someone who values beauty or serenity. If you choose to spend time in meditation or spiritual study, spirituality may be a value.When these values are present they give you a sense of rightness, a sense of wholeness.
Remember that the focus is on who you are. When I explored this, I kept coming up with values that sounded really evolved–but they were not really the ones that created a sense of inner calm for me, though they looked great on paper! I had to go even deeper and listen to what was and is of real importance to me. Use this opportunity to be honest with yourself.
Take some time to notice the choices that you make in your life. What are you drawn to? Who are your close friends? What do you value in these relationships? What do you enjoy doing when you are alone? What do you surround yourself with? Make a list of the values that truly express who you are. For example, I have a list of ten values posted in my office so that I can be reminded of what is important to me.
Once you have created a list, notice where your life illustrates these values. Does your work reveal who you are? If so, how? If not, are there actions you can take that will allow for this self-expression? Do your relationships disclose who you really are? Do you give yourself permission to fully express your values? If so, how? Are there places where you can enhance these values?
When looking at personal values and allowing them to be fully realized in your life, it helps to get support from a person you trust such as a coach, or a neutral friend. Find a person who can assist you in aligning your actions with your values.
Having clarity of your values gives you an excellent place to orient your life towards who you are and who you want to become. It gives you a place to build your personal foundation. Making decisions and setting goals through the vision of your values allows for greater definition and smoother transitions. If you are a person who enjoys creating New Year’s (or any time) resolutions, I encourage you to orient these goals around your values.
I invite you to give yourself permission to honor and express who you truly are!
Lynne has spent years gathering tools to assist others to tap into their inner wisdom. Her work is about ways to accept, love, and honor Self, and to take the great leap of faith into being authentically you! Learn more at her website and her blog