Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pep Talk

After feeling as though I've been under a cloud for the past four days, I finally had the energy and motivation this morning to give myself a little pep talk. I'm not one to feel "down" very often, in fact, hardly ever. But here I've been, really sad, a little resentful and just plain "blah." Here is what I wrote to myself this morning, and now to you I share the same messages. Let me know if this resonates with you too:

1. Don't question the decisions you made in the past. They were all the right decisions, based on what you needed then.

2. You are on your own path - don't compare it to anyone else's.

3. You are strong, complete and whole.

4. You are exactly where you are meant to be on your path. Trust the process.

5. Don't let laziness keep you from reaching your fitness goals - you have so much potential.

6. You are brave and steady.

7. This too shall pass. Be confident in what is to come!

8. Plan both small and big adventures. Don't deny that curious part of you.

9. This is just a "down" time, which means "up" is next!

10. Just "be."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Being Relevant

It is what we all want, isn't it? To be relevant. To matter. It's the reason so many of us women find the aging process daunting, to say the least. So many millions of dollars are spent on anti-aging products, plastic surgery and hair dye. Our obsession with preserving our face and body is directly linked to our desire of preserving our relevance. This is especially true for women who have felt their worth as young women, through their physical beauty. Which is probably many of us, I mean, society pretty much tells us every day that our relevance is connected to how we look.

For others of us, relevance comes into question when we don't get that promotion we thought we deserved and knew would be perfect, or when we fail at losing those ten pounds we promised would be gone by the end of January. Betrayal or rejection from friends or family, another area that makes us question, "do I matter?" We allow others to determine how we see ourselves. But why?

What if we were to change the way we thought about ourselves and realized that we are relevant - simply because we exist? What if we cultivated a feeling of relevance that comes from deep within us and is based upon... simply being? Imagine if nothing external determined whether we mattered or not, but we were here with a unique purpose and calling and that was reason enough to make us relevant. What would happen if we began to realize, we matter as much as anyone else? What would that look like?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What do you Value?

Recently I was confronted with this question about values. Actually, it was me confronting myself. It's a question I ask myself quite often - especially when I'm faced with a decision, or when I'm trying to make sense of a situation. I find myself asking, "What in all of this is important to me?" "What do I value?"

What I've learned about myself is that what I value is not always what other people value. Sounds simple enough, but what surprised me recently is discovering that even some values I assume are pretty much standard in society, are not necessarily values I personally hold.

It's funny - I was raised in a religious environment (brought on by myself) and as a result, was pretty much told what my values were. After leaving religion, I've had to figure out what my values really are. Of course my religious experiences have contributed to who I am today, but it has been a long process in figuring out who I am apart from that life.

Why are knowing your values important?

Your values act as your guide. They are the things from your very core you believe to be true. They are the things that feel right. When I'm struggling over a situation, my values help me understand my response to the struggle. When I'm agonizing over a decision, they help me reach the best answer for me, as I ask myself, "Is what I want to do in line with my values?" I have heard it said that our values never change - they are formed very early and stay the same throughout our life. I'm not sure about that at this point - I think they may stay close to the same, but possibly change slightly as we grow older and experience new things.

How do you identify your values?

If you're not sure what you value, it's okay. It takes time, and hey, I'm still uncovering mine! A life coach can assist you in discovering your unique values, however, here are a couple of exercises you can do on your own to start you on the road to discovery:

Recall a time in your life when things were fabulous. Where were you? Who was there? How did you feel? What were you doing? What was going on around you? Thinking back to a fabulous life experience can help you mine for values by uncovering themes. For example, the first time I did this exercise I remembered being eight years old and spending summer vacation rollerskating outside, on my own. What I identified from recalling the experience was that that I value independence, summer, travel, activity, freedom. These are values I still hold dear today.

Another exercise is to think of three things that make you angry. What are the values associated with the opposite of those things? One thing I detest is cruelty to children and animals. The values I associate with the opposite of this are fairness, goodness, kindness, protection, freedom.

How about you - are you living in harmony with your values? What small steps can you take today that would bring you closer to living in line with what is important? I know, a lot of questions, but I think knowing your values is something worth thinking about. What do you value? I would love to hear your input in the comments below.