How often do we pause and give thought to what it is we truly value in our lives? I would wager it's a relatively rare exercise for many of us. I wonder how much better life would be, holistically, if we all gave regular consideration to our values.
It always helps me to have a clear understanding of the definition of a word, that I can see and understand its depth of symbolic meaning - its 'felt sense,' as it were...
values (n.) - the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth or usefulness of something; a person's principles or standard of behaviour; one's judgment of what is important; to hold a high opinion of.
What is important to me, what values do I hold in high esteem? Here are some key ones for me: (a) transparency, (b) honesty, (c) reflection, (d) generosity, (e) mercy, (f) curiosity, (g) independence, (h) open-mindedness, (i) creativity, (j) affection, (k) tolerance, (l) friendship, (m) compassion, (n) humour, (o) leadership, (p) love, (q) optimism, (r) respect, (s) spirituality, (t) wisdom, (u) adventure, (v) resilience, (w) responsibility, (x) authenticity, (y) community, (z) service.
Why do I hold these particular values in high esteem? Because they are key contributors to an authentic life experience, because they undergird sense of community and belonging, because they express connection to self and others, because they are conduits to finding the highest and best version of self and collective. Because they imbue the energy of a better way of being. Because they help me 'be.' There must be a balance in give and receive and these values help deliver balance to these living expressions. I cannot know the highest and best in life if I do not give of myself, to the Divine and to others; in turn, I cannot know the highest and best in life if I do not receive likewise from the Divine and those who are intimate part of my life, or who intersect my personal trajectory as they too move through life.
Holding true to these values have given direction and clarity, have paved the way for magnificent experiences and understandings, have made my life the richer for their expressions.
And I have very much valued the soul journey of these 23 journal questions over the last 9 months. It has been so good to give pause and consider, equally from head and heart, these queries to my soul. They have been evocative and inspiring. And, so - there go I, and here I am found.