“The secret to achieving inner peace lies in understanding our inner core values – those things in our lives that are most important to us – and then seeing that they are reflected in the daily events of our daily lives.” Hyrum W. Smith
In my last blog “What to Cling to in 2021”, we worked on identifying the core values that you want to embody this year. These values are your light in the darkness. They are your guide to a more meaningful and magical life. They are gold, so keep them close.
In this blog I will walk you through a little exercise that will help you learn how to act according to those values even when times get tough (like when your husband is getting on your nerves, which is my example haha!). Click the video below (and enjoy my new edits), or just keep reading!
We’ve all had days where we wake up late, rushed, and stressed. These days, for me, tend to be the ones when ’m more likely to default to auto-pilot, meaning I am at the mercy of what happens in my day. I am not co-creating the life I want with The Universe by acting purposely based on my values. Hardly on those days! I re-act to whatever comes my way, many times in ways that go against my values. If I’m rushed and stressed, I might yell or be mean to my husband. I might complain. I might get frustrated super easily. I might want to quit it all. These are my default moves that take me away from my main core values of inner peace, wisdom, spirituality, and abundance.
I think I reacted to life using default moves away from my values from the time I was about 17 to 25. During those 8 years I used alcohol to take me away from pretty much everything I valued in my life. Looking back to that time when I quit drinking around age 25, I started identifying sobriety as a core value of mine. And that is how I stayed sober. I did not know that was what I was doing at the time, but that was what I was doing. The only possible way for me to quit drinking was that I started to value waking up clear with no hangover above the night out with my friends. I started to value what I was doing in life more than the good feeling I got from drinking. This was not easy. There were struggles and set backs. But my values were what got me through and standing here right now.
When I lost 80 pounds after college, it was the same thing. I started to value my health over any extremely short-term pleasure overeating brought me. I became more attached to my long term goals.
I believe that is why this pandemic has been so hard for so many of us. When the future is so uncertain, it’s hard to figure out what the long term goals are. It’s time we start identifying those long-term goals again, even if they could and will change over time. It’s time to attach ourselves to something better than the chaos and drama. It’s time to clarify what we value right here right now. After all, uncertainty is truly the gateway to possibility. Let’s take the adversity and transform it into something beautiful. Suffering and adversity CAN be followed by awakening.
Okay, so as I promised, we are going to do a fun mind-training activity that will help us choose our values when things get confusing. This exercise is from the book, The Power of Small; Making Tiny Changes When Everything Feels Too Much” by Aisling Leonard-Curtin & Dr. Trish Leonard-Curtin. The acronym is SEAT.
S = Situation
E = Emotion triggered by the situation
A = Away moves (identify your default moves that would take you away from your values)
T = Towards moves (identify moves that would take you towards your values)
And in the book, the Curtins add to remember that when you choose your away moves it equals SEA, meaning you are out at sea floundering away from who you want to be. And when you choose your towards moves, you are SET.
So let’s work an example. I will use my husband, because husbands give us great material to work with (especially if you are like me and have been spending every waking moment with your husband during a global pandemic haha). As you can probably tell, I’m working on being more patient and loving towards my husband. My values when it comes to our relationship are I want to be kind, loving, and patient even in the face of disagreements. I value this relationship as a whole as one of the most important things in my life. And I have many default moves that take me away from those values.
So say my husband is saying or doing something that is irritating me (Gasp. NEVER!). Or say he is saying something that I believe is incorrect.
Situation = My husband is saying something that I believe is incorrect, and it is getting on my nerves.
Emotion = Emotion triggered is annoyance, irritation, maybe a little anger (the need to make myself right and him wrong)
Away = My default away moves are: yelling at him (me? Never!), acting mad but not telling him why, silent treatment, rudely correcting him in a tone that says I’m better than him (again me? Never!)
Toward = My moves that take me towards my values of kindness, love, and patience in this situation would be: listening more, kindly asking clarifying questions, giving him a hug or a kiss, saying kindly “Hmmm. I don’t know if I agree.” And basically thinking before reacting.
Oh yes, those towards moves are KEY to a happier life. For me, that involves accepting that there are different viewpoints, and that I don’t have to know or react to everything. I love moving from the deeper place of my values. I am confident that you will too.
Peace and Love,