In my first blog I asked “Are you busy with purpose or just busy?”
But I neglected to tell you what makes the difference and how to spot it.
Living Your Values is the difference, and your body’s response to your to-do list is a good place to start to check how you’re going.
When you look at your to-do list, is there anything on there that sparks joy (sorry Ms Kondo)? Are there items that may be challenging but that hold a meaning for you that makes them worthwhile?
Or is the list long and dull, and set to repeat week after week?
Take a moment and a few breaths. Feel any sensations that come up in your body (not your head) when you consider your to-do list.
Sensations are captured with descriptive words and perhaps even a bodily locus like; fizzy in my tummy, tight in my chest, lightness in my shoulders, tingling in my fingers, heaviness, calmness etc.
If you find yourself using descriptors like anxious, excited, bored – these are coming from your head – your analytical mind is giving you conceptual descriptions. Take one more breath and see if you can pick up any sensations in your body.
Don’t worry if you can’t discern anything. Just noticing that is an awesome place to start.
If your to-do list has you feeling nothing or a bunch of negative sensations then there is a good chance you might be able to get more pep in your step by consciously introducing one or two activities that are aligned with your values - or tweaking the ones already there to make them a bit more spark-inducing 😊.
But what are my values Jen?!
Values shape the kind of person we want to be, are as unique as we are and are context-specific. This can feel like an inconvenient answer if you’re like me, and prefer things to be well-defined, clear and precise.
But the good news is they are also accessible immediately. You can better align with your values right now, and start getting a bit more of that warm sense of meaning in your life.
There are many ways to identify your own values. One I’ll share here requires a little imagination on your part. Imagine you’re at your 100th birthday (still looking fabulous). When you hear the speeches from your family and friends you feel great contentment because you have lived a full life rich with meaning. What are some of your attributes mentioned by family and friends in their speeches (TIP: look for character attributes not goals achieved).
This exercise is a playful way to start uncovering your values. Have a little play, and let me know how it goes (comment below or message me) I would love to hear from you!
If you’re in the Canberra region and want to talk more on Living Your Values as well as how to stay on target when obstacles pop up between you and your value-aligned goal, come along to my workshop in March – see here for details xo.