[00:00:00] When I was younger, I spent a lot of time deferring to other people. Whether we were choosing what was for dinner or where to go on vacation . . . or pretty much anything, I would just say, "It doesn't really matter that much to me. Why don't you go ahead and make the decision?"
I used to think of this as a positive quality, that I could have fun doing basically anything. And, you know, why not let the other person — who was maybe pickier than I was — make the decision?
While those individual decisions might not have mattered to me, what did matter was that I got into the habit of never asking myself what I wanted. That created a lot of very destructive patterns in my life.
If you don't know what you want, then you don't know what you want to ask the world for, and you don't know what you want your life to be based on.
The foundation of your entire life is your values and what's important to you, so it's important that you ask yourself what you want and what matters to you. When you don't know what your values are and what's important to you and what your likes and dislikes are, you basically end up floating through life at the whim of other people. Your life does not have a solid foundation.
[00:01:33] When you know what your values and your ethics and your moral beliefs are, you can begin to live from them, and that makes it easier to build a life that's true to you and helps you guide your kids and your family in a direction that feels right to you.
During any hard time, whether it's a divorce, or health crisis, or moving — anything that basically uproots your life — cracks begin to show in your foundation. And over time, especially during hard times like this, our values shift because we learn more about ourselves and we learn more about the world around us.
Most of the time, though, we don't stop to think about what exactly has changed for us. Most of the time we just keep going, going, going, going, going all through life, just trying to survive. And we're missing an opportunity: now is the best time to evaluate what's important to you. It becomes your North Star and helps you survive this hard time.
And also, it really doesn't take that much time. You might be wondering how exactly you go about doing this. It sounds kind of big and that's true . . . it is an exercise that might not take five minutes, but it's really not as huge and all-encompassing as it sounds.
Here's what I did: I found a website that listed values. I basically Googled list of values, but I'll share the websites that I used in the show notes (above). I wrote down the values that resonated with me on a piece of paper. And then I left it alone for a day or two because I like to sleep on things.
[00:03:15] Then I came back to the list and I highlighted the values that felt sincerely me. And this sounds silly, but I cannot tell you how helpful it was for me. This might seem like it's a simple exercise, but for me, knowing that I value a balanced life, community, stability, peace and quiet and joy, I began to make choices that were based on those values.
Because I value balance, I will make sure that every day I do my spiritual practice, I move my body. I'll honor my emotions.
Because I value community, I'll surround myself with wonderful people and I will always be real with them. So they feel at ease and so do I.
Because I value faith and my own resilience, I'll be dedicated to listening to my intuition.
Because I value peace, I will take things slowly, attempt to do what's easy and create calming spaces for myself.
And because I value joy, I will try not to let things get too serious. I'll always be grateful and I will try my hardest to have fun.
I hope that this has been helpful for you, and I hope that you are able to figure out what your own foundation is and use it as your North Star.