This is article 14 of 17 in the Authentic Self Series, to start from the beginning, click > Table of Contents
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.
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 while also noting your “state of being” during these times.
Next note what times of the day you incorporate the greatest amount of your personal and core values. You will find this information in the value list that we created in step five incorporating values from 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 at opposites! This exercise will definitely provide some clarity and will point to areas of conflict, as well as to where you have negotiated that your values and needs are less important.
You will identify where you have yet to develop a skill to bring your authentic self forward. This exercise also leads us to the very 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.
Overview of Steps Seven and Eight
Now, let’s 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 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 possibilities, 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 in the day and then rate them on a scale from one to ten.
If they only rise 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 excitometer 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 your personal internal 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 into you. Become aware of all your senses. They wish to direct you to a way of gathering much more self-knowledge and information for guiding you toward greater happiness and purpose.
To view the next follow-up post in this series, click > Personal Development: From Unconscious to Becoming Conscious