Kirk: Is there anything else you would like to add to the steps Alana; where we are beginning to identify where we are currently incorporating our values?
Exercise - "Values Inventory"
Alana: Yes I have a wonderful exercise I would like to mention. You can evaluate a typical weekday in your life. Pick one that has a bit of variety in it. Break the day into early morning, morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, and late evening. Next write down the day's activities and what you do during these different times. Also note your "state of being" during these times. Next go to the value list that we created in step five, and note what times of the day you incorporate the greatest amount of your personal and core values. This is through both "doing and being." Write the values down that you feel you are embracing in each section. Now do the opposite, noting which times of the day and which activities seem to incorporate less of your values. Also note which times of the day and activities do not support your values.
You will begin to see where you are listening to your nature, practicing self-love, and self-care. You will also see where your life is out of balance, and where you are not making a conscious choice to incorporate your values. You will see areas where you have values that seem to be opposite. This will point to areas of conflict, as well as to where you have negotiated that your values and needs are less important. Doing this will also show where you have yet to develop the skill to bring your authentic self forward. This exercise also leads us into the next step.
Kirk: Very Good! I can see how this would be very useful Alana. It is a very practical exercise and easy to follow. It certainly prepares us for the next step. Self-discovery is a powerful process. When people begin to see our real essence, they begin to know more about how to give us support, and we become more able to contribute to others. Now, lets discuss step seven and eight--"Incorporate Values and Let Go of Distractions"--in greater detail. How do we incorporate the previous "Values Inventory" exercise with this step?
Alana: Go back to the information you have collected. Circle the activities and the various times in your day that you feel the most compromised. Examine what you see here. Ask yourself if any of the activities you are doing could be distracting you from your authentic self. I think you may be surprised to see what old beliefs lay beneath these distractions, and what you continue to carry forward in your life.
Kirk: I imagine by expanding on this exercise it will help provide much more clarity about where we say "yes" when we would rather say "no", or vice versa. Alana how would you respond to someone who has the feeling that letting go of distractions would be a loss to them? Their perception might be that their life would become dull and this step would be rather limiting. For example, they may think that "variety is the spice of life".
Alana: Oh, yes. Please understand that Alana is not intending that this process create any limitations whatsoever. This step is really more about stepping into abundance. This step's intention is not to let go of the things in life that are fulfilling, but rather, to let go of things that are unfulfilling so that we have more room, or space, for what wants to rise to the top of our excitement list! We want to make room for more possibility, which will lead us to a life that is full, rich, and purposeful.
Here is another way to work with this step. Begin looking at the things in life that come up and then rate them on a scale from one to ten. If they only come to a two or three on your excitement meter--you may call this your "excitometer"--then you will know this is not an area you want to continue to cultivate. You are creating a measurement within your nature. You can check into this meter and identify on a scale of one to ten how much you feel aligned with an action. If it only excites you on the bottom end of the scale, then I would say it is most likely a distraction. As you use this scale, pay attention to where activities align with what you are discovering is most important to you. If you are at 7, 8, 9, or 10 on the scale, then it certainly is not a distraction.
Kirk: So you are recommending that people don't just do this work in their head, but that they actually have a felt sense in their body?
Alana: Yes. Slow down, turn your attention inward, and get a felt sense. Feel your senses, bring them into your being and enjoy what they bring to you. Become aware of all your senses. They wish to direct you to gathering much more self-knowledge and information for guiding you to happiness and purpose.