Sunday, June 4, 2017

Finding My Values: Part 1

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”― Brené BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are 

I am a worship associate at my church and our topic for today is authenticity and living within your values.  This is the reflection piece I gave on the topic.  I'm planning on going deeper into my values next week.

Authenticity is a big topic and the numbers of books, articles, and blog posts on living authentically continues to grow at an overwhelming pace.  While discussing this topic, I thought, “alright, to live authentically means to live my values, but what are my values are and why do I have them?”  Do I have them because my mom told me it was important? Or my church?  Or a book?  Do they still resonate with me or do they need to evolve or drop away?

As luck would have it, on the same day that I spoke about this topic with Pastor Sunshine, and then again with my Wellspring group, I received an email newsletter where a woman named Krista O'Reilly Davi-Digui who is a blogger and a Holistic Nutrition & Joyful Living Educator, which sounds like an awesome job description, wrote that she asks herself three questions every night: What are three things I am grateful for?, What are two things I did well today?, and What is one thing I would do differently?.

They are a great way to 1. Figure out your values and B. See if you’re living them authentically. For example, What are three things I am grateful for?  I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for nearly 2 years, and I tend to be grateful for the adorable things my son says or does, things relating to my husband, family and friends, Wellspring, and Junior League, beautiful sunsets, reading a great book, and finding new information about my ancestors.  Those show some of my values: nurturing important relationships, noticing the beauty and wonder in the small things, and cultivating hobbies that are important to me.  Other days I’m grateful for the health of my family, a comfortable bed, and the fact that tomorrow is a new day.  Those tend to be days I wasn’t living so authentically and need a re-set.  If I start getting too many days in a row like that, it’s a hint to see if I need to change an aspect of my life.

What are two things I did well today? I went for a walk with my family after dinner.  I called my Senators.  I helped a patron at work.  I find more values like moving my body and getting outside more, being politically active, providing good service to people who come to my library.  And not only am I finding my values with this questions, but it really shows that I’m living these values by doing something actionable.

What is one thing I would do differently?
To begin with, it’s important to remember that this question isn’t meant to be used to beat yourself up; there is a reason you’ve come up with 5 good things before coming up with one that might make you sad or mad at yourself.  Next time I will take a deep breath and not yell at my son.  Next time I will put on my gym clothes before I leave work so I can head right to spin class instead of going inside and getting distracted.  These show some values – being a patient parent and getting exercise in – and how I can do better to live them.  Sometimes this question actually shows two values and the need to prioritize, such as Next time I will put down my book or phone and focus completely on having a conversation with my husband.  I care about reading and learning new things through books and about having a good marriage and I need to remember that the book is much easier to come back to than a moment with a living person.

I’m going to keep using these question to figure out what I value and how well I’m living said values and I’m thankful for this easy framework to do so.  And hopefully they'll help you as well.

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