This post is inspired by week 2 of the Simplify Your Life challenge that’s been running all year. Having just stumbled across Deb’s Home Life Simplified blog I’m coming in halfway through on the challenge but I am determined to give catching up a red hot go!
Values are so important. Yet when I think about actually coming up with a set, writing them down, being clear, I squirm. I feel as if exercises like this trivialise things. It’s to do with my fear of being average, stereotypical, normal, in a category, mundane. That’s a cop out of course. Nothing could ever make me mundane. So here is a rundown of my values exercise and a list of the top five.
I thought about the questions Debra posted and came up with some values:
This is important because as a really intellectual type I can often dismiss love. Not that I’ve ever thought it wasn’t vitally important to life, but the whole ‘all you need is love’ thing has always been easy to criticise for me. I’ve always said that surely you need more than love – commitment, understanding, respect, trust, communication, awareness, etc etc etc… Yes, that’s true, but recently I’ve realised that love IS all of those things. So you only need love.
I write. It’s what I’ve always done. Even before I was taught to write, I was trying to write. I talk a fair bit too, for someone who is technically an introvert. But despite all that, communication can still break down. And if it does, it’s disastrous. As human beings, we need communication more than any other animal to progress and move through our lives peacefully. If we don’t communicate, we deny our very humanity.
A few years ago, I may not have even mentioned this. In fact, ten years ago I might have been unable to utter the word without rolling my eyes or cringing. I was once one of those people who looks at happy people and resents them. I found positive thinking to be unrealistic and for people whose lives were easy. And that’s just the point; life is easier when you think positively. With my recent reading of Louise L Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, I’m gaining a new and amazing understanding of just how important positive thoughts are in our lives. I don’t know if anyone’s nerdy enough to recall, but the opening credits of the show Monkey, or Monkey Magic, as it was known to me (70s Japanese production about a group of spirits and a priest taking Buddhist scrolls from China to India) featured a voiceover explaining Monkey’s birth ‘from a certain rock, old as creation’ which ‘became magically fertile’. That voiceover reverberates around my head with the words: ‘Tathagata Buddha, the father Buddha said, “with our thoughts we make the world”.’ It sounded bizarre to me as a kid but it makes perfect sense now.
By this, I simply mean trust in the Universe. Things happen for a reason; nothing is arbitrary; life is exactly as it should be. Even in the most dire of circumstances, we need to trust that we are on a path to enlightenment and we will be shown the answer if we are open and ready.
I’m not necessarily talking about gaining wealth or finding a career path. By being ambitious I’m referring to always remaining ready and open for greatness, to be the best you can be. We don’t abide by mediocrity. That’s not to say we don’t accept failure or mistakes. As long as you stay true to yourself and make every effort to find your path, you are everything. I’m talking here about striving for greatness and not being afraid to let your light shine. There is a great Mandela quote that my mum used to have stuck to the toilet wall (next to the Desiderata and a chart of famous composers throughout history). I can’t recall the exact words but it was something like: ‘Our greatest fear in life is not failure; it is being great beyond measure.’ We should never be afraid to be the best we can be.
There are a lot more values I could include in my list but for the purposes of this exercise, we’ll keep it at top five. I must confess I have found it hard to prioritise them! But using the suggestion of narrowing it down to only one, then doing this five times over, I have ordered them thus:
I’m not really sure what will come of this, to be honest, if anything, but I am willing to change and I am willing to begin from where I am right now. Here’s a clip of Monkey for your viewing pleasure!