Are you living your values?
I am always telling anyone who cares to listen that I am passionate about the power of movement to improve our physical and mental health and the many varied ways in which this occurs. I tell people that I practice what I preach and I won’t ask people to do something I haven’t tried for myself. And yet with the increasing busyness of my new business venture I am finding myself sitting down more than I ever have done and missing my usual appointment with myself to get in some steps after our evening meal or before I start my days work.
Modern day Monk Jay Shetty says no matter what we think our values are, our actions tell the real story.
You may be someone who values kindness yet find yourself being short tempered and rude with your nearest and dearest. During the time approaching my menopause I definitely experienced altered emotional states and episodes of behaviour which were in a direct contrast to my true values of caring ,fairness and family.
So how do we know what our real values are? Do a life audit. Ask yourself:
- Where am I spending my time?
- Where am I spending my money?
Time is our greatest commodity since so much of it is already spoken for to be spent sleeping and working etc. The choices we make regarding our spare time are telling, do you exercise, read books, watch documentaries, binge watch box sets, listen to podcasts (like mine), or surf your social media accounts?
I make no judgement, but perhaps this time of forced restriction is an opportunity to evaluate whether how you spend your time reflects your values or do you notice a mismatch between the values you desire versus the values you are living out in your actions. Jetty said we can get lost building castles we don’t want to live in.
Activity: Think of 3 things you are currently pursuing and ask yourself:
- Is this coming from inside you;
- If not then where is this desire coming from;
- Do you still want to pursue it,
- Do you want to change how you pursue it or
- Perhaps you don’t want to pursue it at all on reflection
Do you see the values you live by reflected in the money that you spend? Shetty says ‘’Exclude necessities like home, dependents, car, bills, food, and debt. Now look at your discretionary spending. What was your biggest investment this month? Which discretionary areas are costing you the most? Does your spending correspond to what matters most to you? We often have an odd perspective on what’s “worth it” that doesn’t quite make sense if you look at all your expenditures at once.’’
He calls us to ‘’think about whether discretionary purchases were they long- or short-term investments like a meal out or dance classes. Were they for entertainment or enlightenment, for yourself or someone else? If you have a gym membership, but only went once this month and spent more on wine, you have some rethinking to do.’’
A Values Audit
Learning about ourselves can actually be quite fun. Perhaps you want to take some time to explore your true values. Below is an example of a simple values audit available online:
Please select any ten values from the list below that you think are most important for you:
Accountability, Achievement, Adaptability, Ambition, Balance, Being liked, Being the best, Caring, Caution, Clarity, Coaching, Commitment, Community Life, Compassion, Competence, Conflict management, Continuous learning, Control, Courage, Creativity, Dialogue, Ease with uncertainty, Efficiency, Positivity, Entrepreneurial nature, Environmental awareness, Ethics, Excellence, Fairness, Family, Finances, Forgiveness, Friendship, Future generations, Generosity, Health, Humility, Humour, Independence, Initiative, Integrity, Independence, Job security, Leadership, Listening skills, Openness, Patience, Perseverance, Personal contentment, Personal Growth, Professional Growth, Personal Power, Resilience, Self-discipline, Trust, Wisdom.
Now with a clearer idea of your true values, doing a self-audit can shine a light on the habits that have crept into your life by stealth and you can decide whether your true values are aligned with them or not. Realign the map and get your compass pointing in the right direction again.
A values audit is like gardening. We can pull out the weeds and plant new seeds but these new seeds will need nurturing to grow and develop into strong healthy habits.
Choose to challenge yourself by putting a coffee bean in a jar each time you manage to replace incongruous thoughts and habits such as criticising, complaining or comparing with habits more aligned to your values; being supportive, collaborative and complimentary for example.
The Constant Gardener
Remember to revisit your garden or the weeds will grow back, ideally revisit this exercise on a regular basis and remember we are not an unhealthy, unhappy, or negative person, but we may have unhealthy habits. By changing your habits you can change your persona if indeed that’s what you want to do!!
Join me to live out your values of health, personal growth and personal power.
Moving through Menopause: Who am I now?
I have had my challenges in coming to terms with my current life state and creating my new identity has been a process. This episode I chatted with Tamar Challis, a Person Centred Counsellor and coach specialising in women’s mental health and managing life transitions such as new parenthood, divorce, menopause, redundancy and retirement.
We talk through the mental health challenges of the empty nest, work and relationship changes and how exercise among other things can reconnect us with our bodies. Menopause presents us all with a variety of challenges but it can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself and the good news is you don’t have to go it alone or suffer in silence. Put yourself to the top of the list and settle down with a cuppa or grab your ear pods and get in some steps.
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As always please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.
I look forward to seeing you again soon on Zoom.
With all my best wishes.
Move More, Feel Better, Live Longer