(image from Pixabay)
Living by ones values has, in recent years, become very important to a lot of people. I certainly know, amongst my friends, that they often talk about what values (or character strengths *wink *wink) are important to them - honesty, authenticity, openness, knowledge, love, kindness, gratitude....
I also see how values play out in the actions that people take, the relationships that they build, the jobs that they have. For most people I know there is such a beautifully obvious ode to service in the way their values are expressed, service to others (humans!), service to the environment, service to animals, service to the greater good of society.
It has got me thinking how I actively practice my own values and if, in the actions I take on a day to day basis, I am being true to myself and what I believe in.
Let's talk about what my values are:
(humility can, on occasion be a hard one for me,
I think there is an entirely other post in the making to explore this further)
appreciation of beauty and excellence
(the above are in no particular order)
How do I express these in practical ways in my life?
Love is a no-brainer and pretty much covers all of the others, I love my friends and family, I love life, I love knowledge, and I love everything that is beautifully challenging (as in anything artistic, i.e., art, music, writing).
Family and friends, I try to support and develop positively developing relationships with the people in my life. Since having been bereaved three times in the past six years this has taken on a new meaning for me and I pay particular attention to building good relationships with those that are open, willing, and able.
Gratitude is what gets me through anxiety filled moments, whether work-wise or socially, reminding myself that I am abundant already, rich in relationships, interests, and experiences. That putting on that mask to impress others, or failing to nail that work contract, well, ultimately those things don't matter, and that my worth is not to be judged by others. I also practice gratitude through my ever growing spiritual practice, through meditation and prayer, that connecting into what is bigger than me, a heart to heart with God.
Curiosity - very simple, I never want to stop learning about life, humans, nature, the universe.
Humility, I constantly remind myself that I wouldn't be where I am without so many others, success is not just given to you, it is earned through the collaborative and interconnected nature of human society.
Care, in friendships, but also care of nature and my own body. Inspired by my sister, I developed an interest in chemical free beauty and hygiene products over fifteen years ago. Combining this with my concern over the environment and single use plastics, I have reduced my beauty/hygiene products to chemical free, plastic free, and almost waste free: a shampoo bar, soap bar, clay toothpaste, and I am currently finishing off moisturising cream that is in a glass jar, but I intend to start using body/face creams that come in compostable cardboard containers (YES there is such a thing!!).
Kindess (see all of the above).
Appreciation of beauty and excellence and creativity go together, I have an innate need to create, and if I can create something beautiful, even better. I have weekly piano lessons, I knit in winter, and do cross-stitch whenever I have time (and of which I want to make more time), and I mend clothes that are still beautiful and just need creativity to make like new again.
What are your values and how do you express them in your day-to-day life? Let me know in the comments below.