Is life calling you to wake up?
Do you keep hitting snooze?
A few months ago I went out to lunch with a therapist friend of mine. John is a cancer survivor. His life was pretty touch and go there for a while and he took several months off of work. The treatment alone felt like it might kill him.
But he made it...thank God!
And now that he's well on his way to recovery, John has discovered that he wants to live his life differently. Things that were important to him before don't seem so important any longer. His whole view of himself and his role in the world has shifted.
John's alarm went off and it scared the shit out of him.
After the initial fear began to dissipate and the realization that he was going to live through this sunk in, John made a choice to CHANGE.
You've heard this story before, right?
I think we've all heard some version of it. A friend or family member gets a potentially terminal diagnosis, or is involved in a terrible accident, or loses someone close to them...and all of a sudden, they become aware of the VALUE of this beautiful, fragile life.
So many of us wait for something BIG, something external, to snap us into living a high quality life, but the truth is we don't need a tragedy to wake us up. What we do need is to pay attention to the messages that our bodies and our minds are sending us.
Are you feeling stuck in your life? Are you realizing that some of the things that you thought would make you happy are not making you happy? Do you experience any of the following "symptoms":
Getting sick more than once per year
Feeling like you are constantly behind
Being rigid and inflexible
Feeling excessively tired pretty much all of the time
These symptoms are the ways that your body-mind speaks to you. If you are experiencing any of these on a semi-regular basis that is your alarm system going off in a major way.
So how do you turn the alarm off??
It's helpful to know your values. I know that sounds like so very basic, but do you know your values? Can you list them off?
Living a values-driven life requires that you let go of a lot of the *shoulds* and embrace what really matters to you--deep down at the core of your being.
Living in alignment with our values is living with meaning and purpose--which is, sadly, the opposite of how many of us live. We choose instead to live our lives according to the expectations and dictates of our families, friends, community, and larger culture.
The alarm starts to go off when our choices and behaviors are incongruent with our values. When our desires don't match our actions then life feels *off*.
When we live in alignment with our core values, we feel good. Period.
Not clear about your values??
Here's a fun, free assessment that will give you an idea of what your values might be: The Character Strengths Survey (A character strength may not be a value, but it can direct you toward one. For instance, if one of your top strengths is 'self-discipline' that can represent the value of 'personal responsibility'.)
I suggest that you pay attention not only to the strengths you score high on, but also those you score low on. Maybe something that you *truly value* is not coming up very high on your list--this is an indication of the incongruence I referred to earlier.
Do you need some coaching to help you figure this all out? I would love to support you in living a values-driven life!