I first got interested in exploring and working with values when I came across it in Steve Wells work. I explored it briefly, enjoyed it and got some surprising benefits from it. Then I forgot about it until I came across VALUES again in one of Brene Brown‘s earlier books which talks about Wholehearted Living- there it really struck me, the link between living fully, feeling the juice of life, and living aligned with your values. So I opened up Steve Wells again and have spent the past week or so working more consistently on this. The gains have been huge.
I like Steve Well’s definition of values:
[Steve Wells has a comprehensive article on the subject here. If this catches your attention, I highly recommend you get his Values Workshop recording (available as digital download for just $49!! Its totally worth it!) and then get his book 100% Yes for more. You can also watch a brief video excerpt from the workshop here.]
[Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection says “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness,” and details 10 Guideposts that emerge from her research. Her more recent leadership work also places significant emphasis on living aligned with your values: “It’s not fear that gets in the way of daring leadership; it’s armor. When things get tough, do we lean in to vulnerability and get curious, or do we self-protect in ways that move us away from our values?”]
With these two bodies of work as my starting place, I began a month long exploration of Values. This included listing and considering my current values- the ones I want as my values and what my life’s choices and decisions show as the actual values I’m living by at this moment in time. Very revealing- more posts to come on this topic.
Some of my preferred values- the ones I want to live by:
The values I most often make choices and decisions based on:
This showed both a gap, and rich territory to work on. In just beginning to explore the roots of these values I saw all kinds of conflicts and painful beliefs. Eg:
- You can’t have love and safety at the same time.
- Love is the opposite of independence.
- Independence means you lose your connection to community.
Lots of these had roots in the early relationships I saw between men and women in my family. It had a whole lot of judgements society had, in my growing up world, around women and independence, the ‘correct’ dynamic between men and women and so on. It was exciting and freeing to see these and clear them with tapping.
- I began by answering the question WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT? as a list of values: Love. Freedom. Connection. Trust. Adventure. Joy. And so on.
2. Then, I thought of whether I’m currently living my life based on these values. The answer was- not really.
3. In looking through my life and decisions through the lens of values, I began to look for what values am I currently living by and came up with another list: safety. security. love. responsibility. praise.
4. Then, I did a few general rounds of tapping on this topic:
The gaps between the values I want to live by and the values I seem to be living by.
Where I learnt to life by these values instead of those.
What that has cost me and what I have lost.
I am open to change.
5. Then I did part of Steve Well’s process of looking at conflicting values- I picked FREEDOM vs SAFETY to begin and asked myself where I learnt that was important, what memories come to mind etc and began clearing them with tapping.
I have followed more of less this format for all the values. In the process, I have found myself making different (some quite big) choices and decisions, becoming more aware of those choice-point moments when I can choose to live by one set of values or the other ones, and unearthing and clearing a motherlode of material on old beliefs about men and women which were impacting my current choices.