As I sat here this morning, in the kitchen, a cup of tea in hand, contemplating the beauty of the frost laying out across the courtyard and bridlepath, I suddenly felt that lightness of being that results from living with and from your values. There is a simplicity to it, a recognition that when everything is aligned and "right" inside, that no matter what the outside throws at you you will have the resilience and inner power to get through.
It is hard to describe this lightness, but I will try - a white feather that floats like a whirling dervish across the blue sky, awe you feel when you gaze at mountains so high that they take your breath away and make you not just feel - but feeeeeeeeeeel your insignificance, the magic in the hot sun beating down on your skin and the sand beneath your feet - baking glass - as you run into the refreshing coolness of the ocean, a comforting hug of a loved one that helps you realise no matter what mistakes you make in life you will always have love in your life, the simple beauty of flowers in a tall cool vase sitting on the kitchen table.....
When you are sitting in this feeling you suddenly feel alive and that your life has, can and will make a difference in someone else’s; you suddenly and with great clarity recognise your worth. But what triggered this feeling in me today and can I sustain it? On the weekend I attended a workshop run by my friend Anj Handa, it wasn’t a workshop that focused specifically on values (it was about Ikagai - get yourself to one of these workshops if you can), but it definitely pulled into focus that perhaps, just perhaps, I hadn’t been fully living by my values for a very long time. This realisation and clarity helped me really step back and dig deep into my heart space.
I remembered my self.
And I remember my self this morning because the first thing I did upon waking was read (I used to be a bookworm and somehow lost that, I want it back), once I was up and getting breakfast I checked my emails and had a lovely email from a potential speaking client that reminded me of my ability to inspire others, I popped some music on - old school classics that make me feel ready for the world - and I gazed out into the beauty and creativity of nature. I felt complete.
My life has been happy, joyful, fun, but I have been missing simple fulfilment, you know, the fulfilment that comes from just being authentically truthful in every aspect of your life.
In the VIA Character Strengths survey my top 5 strengths are: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Fairness, Love of Learning, Hope, and Curiosity. This morning I lived in all of these strengths and it lifted me to a place of intrinsic inspiration. It is through tapping into these truths of self that I can sustain this feeling. Values, character, virtues, identity, self, whatever you call these things that make us uniquely ourselves and give us the ability to contribute positively to our communities, live in them and by them, in simplicity and mindfulness, in our hearts, relationships, and experiences, and reside in the lightness of living your values.
*If you are interested in your Character development and flourishing in all areas of your life, and you like to chat about this stuff and more, check out Character Club on twitter and Patreon - would love your support; let's create together a flourishing global community.