24 Values in 24 Hours

 

     Here is an early holiday gift from my heart to yours. Please go to http://changingminds.org/explanations/values/via.htm where you will find a list of the 24 core values that have been documented by Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth but why, you may ask, would I want you to go there to receive this gift? Simply because ’tis the season of giving and what the world needs now more than anything is a reminder of the values and characteristics that live inside of each of us and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. To be able to pay those values forward to everyone you meet. May we all be blessed with a very happy, healthy, honest, prosperous, authentic, truthful, judgment free, spiritually uplifting New Year.

     The year of 2017 will not go down in my life journal as the happiest one of all but I did manage to extract quite a few great memories that I’m very proud to have experienced. Is anyone’s year on point 24/7? I would say this year has been memorable, head shaking, woeful, twilight zone-ish for sure. I’ve learned that happiness is subjective so please search your hearts for the happiness you are seeking to extract from all that this year has brought to your consciousness. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my soulful evolution, maybe it’s the pounding into my gut and brain that takes place day after day of the stupidity, valueless behaviors and moral corruption that seems to swirl like a tornado around me more now than ever before. I’m not sure what exactly it is that has left me so confused and truthfully so scared. What I do know is that my happy life moments are curtesy of that which I keep coming back to time and again, that which grounds me and helps me choose to restart and not give up;

VALUES

What are values? Simply put, if each of us were a house, values are the foundation on which we build our house. From the time our personalities start to develop at a young age, we are creating and forming our individual values; those pillars of core characteristics that declare what we live for, strive for and believe; a guiding light, what makes us authentic and real.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

     Author Dean Koontz, who wrote, False Memory, showcases one of his fictional characters that says, “Reality is subjective. Values and truths are subjective. Life itself is an illusion.” I agree and disagree with this character, fiction based or not, because in my humble subjective opinion core values, the pillars of magic that we have been blessed to carry inside of us and summon up throughout our whole lifetime, are the building blocks of our legacy. In the Velveteen Rabbit, author Margery Williams describes through her character, Skin Horse, what it means to be REAL. To love and be loved, that is a real value and a legacy. When we allow reality to be subjective without objectivity we risk damaging truth and love and quite a few other core values. Once those values are damaged our legacy is damaged as well.

Our legacy is our “why” and while our “why” is personal and subjective the pillars of the core value system stand firm and true; the value system is real. How we put those values into action, build those values, leave behind the truths of those values as examples is subjective. Please remember that we live in a country where we are given the freedom of choice and the more choices we have to make the more our values matter most. Imagine a world where we all respected the fact that each one of us governs ourselves based on the same 24 positive core value/characteristics? What a great world indeed.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”Theodore Roosevelt

I Value You, You Value Me

“Values aren’t buses… They’re not supposed to get you anywhere. They’re supposed to define who you are.”Jennifer Crusie

The understanding of values has seen a huge uprising since the introduction of positive psychology by Dr. Martin Seligman. Dr. Seligman looks at values as core character strengths that consciously and unconsciously carry us throughout our life and help us to conduct ourselves with regard and worthiness. Sadly, we have seen way too many times this year alone how values have been discarded, disrespected, destroyed or never used at all.

Dr. Seligman discovered 24 core values that exist all the time. In one 24-hour day we make choices as to which core characteristics, values, we use to influence our decision making processes and the world around us. The values list is a positive list of every characteristic known to the human species. A warning however, for every positive that is extracted from these core values there is negative and it is those negative interpretations that have humans so muddled and backwards.

CHOOSE FIVE

Here is my next gift for you: Go to www.authentichappiness.com and follow the prompts for adults. It is free and only requires you to sign in to take this insightful survey. If you answer honestly, your top five (5) values in action will tell you where your values hang out right now. The beautiful advantage of taking this survey is that there are no wrong answers, there are no negative answers, only insight into what makes each of us unique. Here you will find the gateway to the foundation of your house, your most important “why” and your legacy.

“The goal of a life purpose is not what you will create, but what it will make you into for creating it.” Shannon L. Alder

If you find that you want a value listed to be listed in your top 5 but isn’t quite there yet then you have the freedom and hopefully the time to devote to raising your chosen value (s)to a higher level. Just know that whatever your initial top five values come out to be, YOU ARE AWESOME!!

So, in 24 hours, how does someone go about purposefully putting their 24, or at least their top 5 values into action?

  1. Keep the top 5 list with you at all times so that you can check in at least once per week. If it helps, expand the list you carry to 10 top core values.
  2. Take notes throughout the week to see how you are using the values that are listed. Do you notice that you are using some more than others most of the time? Do you notice that you are using a value that you initially answered as a less prominent value?
  3. Throughout each day make time to remind yourself of your core values especially when confronted with a challenge that requires putting your values to the test.
  4. Find a colleague or friend or mentor or coach or spouse that you absolutely trust and discuss your observations. Ask for help from these trusted people in your life to keep you on track toward your evolution.
  5. Create an avatar, a song, a design, a rotating screensaver or a static picture/drawing for your home screen or on your phone or on a large post-it note, one that represents your top 5 or top 10 values so you can get in the zone of becoming in consciousness what you know in your heart.

What an incredible opportunity you have to start the new year with hopeful purpose and deeper understanding of being your best self not only for you but for everyone around you. Just knowing that the values you choose to concentrate on are always right for you is a very freeing, wondrous journey. Remember that each of the 24 values exist in each of us all the time. We decide which ones we use most. If you need a go to person to help sort it all out just give me shout. I will be happy to help.

CALL TO ACTION

Where do your core values fall?

What characteristic (s) do you use most of the time?

How can your values list become your “why”?

In what ways are your values your legacy?

9 Ways to find self-worth and dump loneliness

 

Psst….over here. I want to tell you something……

I see you.

I see you standing there by yourself in a room full of people yet you seem so far away but I see you….

You have people in your life that love you with full hearts but you feel empty.

You have great work colleagues and friends but nothing seems meaningful or passionate.

You have a family that is always on the go, building their own lives, coming and going and yet you feel invisible, like an observer, wishing it could be you who is so filled with plans and to-do’s and is alive with life.

You want meaningful, passionate, soul-rocking love in your life, so much so that when someone pays attention to you, you display desperate behavior. So desperate that you can’t let go even though you know you should.

You keep yourself so busy and involved in necessary but overall meaningless “things” that there is no time to get to know who you are or what you like or where you fit in.

Yea. I see you.

You are me. I am you. People like us are innumerable. We are the lonely people. We are the people who feel like we have no self-worth.

How did we get to be so lonely and feel so worthless?  Kind of an oxymoron, to be so many that we can’t put a number to it and yet all of us are feeling so alone. Something to ponder:

Name 3 things you like about yourself at this moment. Can you do it?

Do you judge other people as harshly as you judge yourself?

If you are feeling bored with your life or any part of it what about you do you consider boring?

If you are looking for companionship, friendship, relationship what kind of companion, friend or partner are you to yourself?

Loneliness gives us an opportunity to take a look at ourselves and see what we can see. Where do we need to improve our own inner works so that what we give out to the world feels welcoming and worthy?

I discovered that through the soul connections I have made lately my own soul wasn’t as filled up as I would have liked it to be. I was still feeling lonely and alone. I heard the desperate voice speaking to these other souls and I was embarrassed and full of shame. I hated that voice and I hated that person and I vowed then and there to get the hell out of my own way and never feel like this again.

I just kept asking myself why. Where did this all come from? How did it get so bad and become so deep and how do I even begin to feel better, stronger, more courageous and more worthy so that the loneliness would dissapate?

Self-worth was the word that kept popping into my head. I read an article recently about ways toward an uncomplicated life and the first step was to recognize that I can’t receive self-love, self-worth or self-respect from anyone but me.

“What you are believing in this moment creates your suffering or your happiness.” –Byron Katie

I don’t want to believe that I have no worth. I don’t want to believe that I have no value. I don’t want to believe that my loneliness is all my own doing.

When I stop, really stop, and think about the times when I felt so right and so worthy it was when I felt good from deep inside. The reflection back to me from other people was positive and powerful. People like passion, they like people who are happy from the inside out. Think about the people you are attracted to. What is it about them that make you feel so good about you? Why do you want so badly to stand in their light? I can tell you… They know something about themselves that you have not yet discovered about yourself. They are open to sharing their light and talk about their journey. They are at a place of inner peace.

When I make a soul connection, as rare as it is, I know that this connection is for the purpose of teaching me something about me among other reasons of course. In this case it just might have been about my own self-worth; if not, then no harm done. The issue is still relevant and it can’t be bad to get clarity on what showed up. Life reveals itself in layers so I’m exploring this layer. It is a big one because it will get me to the next layer and I will be a better person for having taken this particular journey.

So, how do I begin to love myself, find self-worth, and live the lessons I’ve learned?

I made 2 lists. One side of the paper listed the things that I liked about myself and the other side of the paper listed the things that I want to like about myself. It was kind of like the way I keep my gratitude journal. One side lists all of the things I am grateful for in each day and the other side lists all of the things I am grateful for that haven’t happened yet. It is a constant festival of hope. So it looked something like this:

What I like about ME:                                             What I want to like about ME:

My heart                                                                   Growing my heart deeper and wider

My creativity                                                             Using my creativity for great works of spirit

My eagerness to learn                                            How to use new knowledge for great work

My nose                                                                    All of the physical blessings I have been given

My appreciation of beauty and excellence        Growing that appreciation more deeply in all things

I’m realistic                                                               Opening up more to humor and laughter

This is just a sample of what my list looks like. I have to admit that it was very hard to write about all the things I liked about myself. It forced me to strip myself bare, figuratively, and really get to an honest place within my soul while not looking over my shoulder and wondering who was going to mock me or laugh at me or tisk at me for being so raw.

In the end the result will only be that I am more authentically “me”. I hope I will start to become the person that can share my light. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate moment? To have someone react to me/you with so much respect and awe because they recognize a light within me/you that they need to be a part of. What a peaceful place that would be.

Here are 9 ways in which you can help yourself get out of loneliness, find self-worth and start to be the person you want to be:

Make your list. This step is very important because you first have to understand you before you can know what road to travel, what souvenirs to keep and what to let go of.

Accept and champion your flaws. NO ONE IS PERFECT. We were not supposed to be perfect. We need each other because of our imperfections. Where we are strong others are weak and vise-versa. We need what we each know.

“This thing about you that you think is your flaw—it is the reason I’m falling in love with you.” –Colleen Hoover, Slammed

Stop comparing yourself to other people. This is your quest, your journey, no one else’s. Honor your path toward enlightenment and personal growth. Figure out what you admire about someone and then figure out how you can admire your own qualities and how you can add more to who you want to be. We are each a work in progress. We never stop growing and becoming, never, until the body we occupy on this plane ceases to exist.

“Comparison is the death of joy.” – Mark Twain

Be the love you want to receive. Give with all your heart in the way that you would want someone to give to you. It might feel weird at first especially if you are holding on to hurt love but remember that what you give will come back to you. You first have to put it out there so that it knows where to come home to.

“Life is not a fist. Life is an open hand waiting for some other hand to enter it.” –Elie Wiesel

Stop Judging. Again, no one is perfect. Everyone has issues they are dealing with. Everyone deserves a kind heart reaching out, a warm hug no matter what, a listening ear without opinions. Smiles hide pain and heartache. Don’t be fooled by the widest of smiles. Yes, there may be some genuineness to those smiles but there is most definitely pain too.

“You can’t judge people and touch their souls at the same time.” –Tama Kieves

Get Grateful. Start noticing Every. Little. Thing. Each. Day.  You will be amazed at all there is to be grateful for. The more gratitude you build inside of your heart the less there will be to feel bad about or to feel lonely about or to feel worthless about.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion into clarity….it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie

SPEAK.  Whether with words or actions, speak your language. You will be lifted in spirit and heart the more you speak kind words. Smile at everyone you see, hug as often as you can, choose a happy word for the day and see how many times you can use it in conversation, tell a joke, or buy someone a cup of coffee. How great will you feel at the end of the day because you existed this day for the betterment of someone else?

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” –Martha Graham

Let go of the past as much as possible. Start small. You can’t change what happened but you can get clear about forgiveness and what that means for you and how you want to use it. Think about those past hurts and figure out how those hurts may have helped make you the fantastic person you are today and/or are becoming. “If it weren’t for that hurt I wouldn’t be here in this frame of mind to want to be a better person.”

“Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You, Be Free, Share.” –Steve Maraboli

Allow for vulnerability and self-appreciation and kindness. Say no if you want to say no. Don’t be friends with people you know are not good for you. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling when you are feeling it so that you can move through it and learn from it. Be kind, faithful and let your true essence shine on.

The intimacy that arises in listening and speaking truth is only possible if we can open to the vulnerability of our own hearts. Breathing in, contacting the life that is right here, is our first step. Once we have held ourselves with kindness, we can touch others in a vital and healing way.” –Tara Brach

Forgive yourself when the process of losing loneliness and finding self-worth takes longer than you want it to. Having faith in yourself, knowing that you are doing all you can with what you have is like a weight lifted off of your shoulders. It took time to get to the place you are in now and it will take time to get to the place you want to be. Enjoy the journey, learn as much as you can and always pay it forward.

Call to Action

Start right this minute. Don’t wait for tomorrow unless the cleansing sunrise inspires you that deeply. Choose one item of the 9 listed above and get started. Keep a journal of your progress. Start by making your list of likes about you and then write about the challenges you faced each day and how you overcame the loneliness and steered your expanding self toward self-worth. Notice what happens inside of you when the crack in your foundation lets happiness and inclusion through it. Share with me if you feel so moved. I’d love to hear your story.

If you would like to explore more about personal growth or would like to learn how to activate your intentions toward purpose please call for a free discovery session in my Art of YOU coaching program. You can reach me by calling 203-560-3061 or send an email to: lisa@journeyoncoaching.com

 

Images by bing.com

 

And Now, The End is Here

 

Whew! Look at us!! We made it!!! We are at the last step in our change ethic. This final step is what Drs. Prochaska, Norcross and DiClemente call the termination step from their book, Changing For Good.

In most cases, like this mini-series, it has been at least 2 months that you have been working hard at making whatever changes you chose and you have been working hard. I hope you were keeping a journal and tracking your progress. You deserve a moment to look back and really take in just how much effort you have devoted to this process and to feel proud of all that you have accomplished.

“Life is a race, and what matters most isn’t when a person crosses the finish line, but how strong they have grown along the way.” –Jen Stephens, The Heart’s Journey Home

In their book (Pg. 274 CFG)  , the doctors say that the termination step is defined as” Exiting the Cycle of Change”. The doctors contend that “the problem or behavior has been resolved with no further threat or temptation or the new behavior is integrated into the person’s life in a way that takes no effort or struggle to maintain. Behavior is now automatic and fully a part of the person’s everyday existence.”

I’m sure you have noticed some changes in the way you are thinking about yourself and your life as a whole and not just about the particular change you are engaged in creating or bringing about. Once you started feeling a bit of success toward the changes you were making I can’t help but wonder what else popped up that led you to feel that another change might be necessary or dare I say really wanted.

For me, although the surgery itself was a change and had an ending of completion after recovery, I knew that I didn’t want that one change to be the end of any changes I might go through. Instead I used the surgery as a springboard toward other changes. I capitalized on how proud of myself I was for having the courage to go through with the surgery; I capitalized on how much better I felt about myself and what I was seeing in the mirror. I became more determined to continue to take care of my body inside and out and I built upon each little bit of self-confidence by taking steps toward a new career, among other things. The good feelings I was experiencing because of how good I was starting to feel overall left me behaving more open and less reserved as a person and people started noticing me more. One good thing leads to another.

 

“A story has no beginning or end; one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” – Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

“Life changes are essential for maintenance; a new lifestyle is essential for termination. The difference is in the permanence of the change. In maintenance, you modify parts of your life such as social contacts, daily schedules, behavior patterns in order to overcome your problem. In termination, you institute a healthier lifestyle as a means of preserving your gains and promoting new growth.” (Pg. 278 CFG)

In his book, Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions, Dr. John Norcross poses the question as to whether termination is ever really achieved. Although there has been heated debate on this issue, Dr. Norcross points out 3 conditions that are met in order to classify termination as a real step toward lasting change.

*You have reached termination if your temptation to regress or relapse across triggers is low

*You have reached termination if your self-efficacy to maintain is high across situations

*You have reached termination if you have established a healthy lifestyle that precludes the old problem behavior. Zero temptation = 100% confidence. (Pg. 198 CO)

Don’t panic if you don’t quite meet these 3 conditions. That just means that maintenance is where you are at and that is a great place to be because your awareness is very high and failure or relapse is not an option if you can help it however, you recognize that it might happen and you are choosing to always be aware of that fact. Good for you for recognizing a weak spot and sticking with your processes.

Your changes and how you chose to use the tools at hand to succeed in changing a problem or behavior or thought pattern is your personal stamp on the process. “Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Produce your thoughts with care and personalization, act as if you have already won, and wear proudly the signature of your success because no one could have done it the way you did it. Take time to really acknowledge and thank those allies of yours. These are the same helpers that will stick with you now that your change process is at an end. Most of all celebrate yourself for your success and perseverance.

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do it has increased.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remember the steps it took to get you here:

*Make a pro/con list about the change you want to make. There should be at least a 3:1 ratio of 3 pros to every one con

* Clarify your WHY in terms of making a change.

* Visualize what life will be like if and when you make that change.

* Create a support group.

* Research and gather information to support your efforts.

* Develop a “worst case” scenario.

* Set clear and specific goals toward the change you want to make and how to deal with stress and anxiety within the action of changing.

* Monitor your progress while in the throes of your actions steps.

* Monitor any inner critic that pops up to sabotage your efforts.

* Use your allies as often as possible.

* Renew your commitment as often as necessary. Never lose your WHY.

* Always celebrate along the way each and every little success. Keep your motivation high.

* Forgive yourself through a relapse or slip up. Get back on track right away.

* Only you will know deep inside if you are ready for termination of your action steps or if you are going to hold the line and maintain your efforts for a while longer.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

My Story

There is no end here. I am not in termination regarding the personal changes I want to make. The “changes” have now become a part of me and it is “me” that I am working on, probably for the rest of my life. There is a person that must be developed, released and set free because of all the changes I have made so far and I am in exploration of just who that person must be in order to reach fulfillment and authenticity. I will hold the line on the changes I have made so far. I will not allow any slip ups from here on out. I like who and what I have become so far. I am very much okay with never reaching termination because that only means I am alive and learning and sharing and creating. Please consider joining me in my quest. This is the greatest adventure yet.

Call to Action

Now that you have a taste of your own inner strength and power perhaps you will take on this challenge and dare to be……

 

Dare To Be

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

“When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you are feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find their way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel that you have done your best.

Dare to be the best you can/At all times/ Dare to be…….”

Thank you for joining me in this mini-series. It has been a great pleasure to share these insights and strategies with you.

Journey On….

For information about coaching, creating lasting change in your life, help with figuring out who you want to be when you grow up or just an ally in the struggle to move up the ladder of life please contact lisa@journeyoncoaching.com or call 203-560-3061.

For more wisdom wizards please visit Lisa’s website at www.journeyoncoaching.com  or visit Lisa’s Pinterest Board at http://www.pinterest.com/lisazaccagnini/wisdom-wizards/.

 

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