“525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in a life?”
Well, beautiful people. That is a lot of minutes to live. How can you choose to measure wisely?
It’s not just you. Many of us find ourselves struggling to make decisions, find direction in life, and enforce boundaries. Living a life with integrity, being the person you say that you are, takes intentional aligned action. Every possibility. Every choice. Every decision. Some of which may not be for your highest and best good, but all are glorious moments in the cosmos of your life. Measuring wisely starts by getting clear on what you value.
Values are the foundation for your actions, behaviors, and decisions. With a sturdy foundation you’ll find yourself in the comfort of your own home shielded from outside influences like social media, pop culture, or the social contracts we make to be the people we’re expected to be. Ease with making bigger life decisions? Challenging limiting thought patterns? More focus? Stronger, more healthy social connections? All are guaranteed when you live in alignment with your values.
Values must be custom defined with you in mind on the level of readiness for the life you desire and you deserve. We’re going to do a fun little visualization to help you clarify your values. Grab yourself a notepad and pen and set it off to the side.
What I’d like you to do next is settle into a comfortable seated position. Breathe in through your nose. Exhale out through your mouth. Close down your eyes if that feels safe for you. Take a few cycles of breath here, orienting to your space. Claim your space. This is your time. Your body. Your life.
Now imagine your life a year from now. Take a moment to really visualize the life you desire. Who are you? How’s your job? What are you doing? Where are you? Are you at a social event with a host of people in fancy clothes? Are you outside hiking, completely blissed out? Are you at home? What’s your home like? Is it a house, an apartment, a condo, something else? Is it by the ocean? In a forest? Big city? Do you have plants? Are you in a romantic relationship?
Engage your senses to their maximum. Fully live in the experience. What do you see? Vibrant paintings? Glittering jewels draped around your neck? Verdant forests of green? Dusty expanse of the desert? Is there laughter and music? Traffic noise? Can you smell the pine of the forest or the salt of the ocean?
How did you arrive in this moment? How are you most alive in this moment? What is this life you desire a year from now? When you are ready, slowly return to the present and open your eyes.
Grab a notepad and a pen and jot down any notes. Visualize it again if you need to catch any lingering details. Now, reflect back on what you experienced. This is important, what did you feel in that visualization? Liberation? Joy? Success? Creative? Expansion? Love? Grateful? Inspired?
Once you have the list of feelings, take a moment to sit with them. For each feeling, ask yourself what need did they fulfill? Often, our values point to needs expressed. Perhaps that feeling of liberation and choice speaks to a value of autonomy. Maybe feeling creative and inspired means you value expression. Feeling successful could indicate you value meaning.
Check out this list of values from Brene Brown if you need a little help naming your values. Take some time to explore and figure out which values resonate with your feelings. Keep it simple. At most, you will need three values. Any more than that becomes a bit much to navigate decision-making.
Now that you have your three values, you get to define how you live into those values. How you define autonomy or expression or meaning may differ from how someone else does. Values need to be custom designed for the life you desire. Some questions to consider are:
· What does x value mean to me?
· How do my behaviors and actions reflect this value?
· How are my behaviors and actions in opposition to this value?
It might be helpful to reflect on the visualization exercise for these questions. In answering these questions, you’ll move from “what do I need to do to be who I want to be” to “what do I need to embody to live the life I desire.” Living values aligned in this way allows you to build the foundation for the life you desire to have. We’re not quite done yet.
Now, you’ll make your values memorable. The cis white straight male patriarchy would have you believe that boring is best and effective. What we’re not going to do is live our values by outmoded binaried thinking. Let’s throw a sprinkle of glitter, a swatch or six of color, and a spoonful of razzle dazzle on the canvas of our values experience.
Let’s use my value of sustainability as an example. Check out how I define sustainability:
We can't sage, yoga, and love and light our way out of institutional oppression, but we can empower ourselves with the information, resources, and tools to survive amidst our circumstances. Empowerment is pleasurable. Pleasure is possibility, joy, and rest in an unwelcoming world. At Haus of Zeph, you have space and grace to breathe in pleasure because you deserve.
You deserve possibility. You deserve joy. You deserve rest.
With Collective Breath, possibility is limitless when we take a collective breath and breathe in worthiness. It reminds us that some things are outside our control, but we are in control of how we respond. How we respond is directly related to the learning and growing we do with the tools and resources available to us. We are reassured that, regardless of our circumstances, we are deserving of rest and joy. Some day-to-day examples for aligning Collective Breath with our actions are to get enough rest, ask for help when needed, and to prioritize pleasure whether that is quality time with loved ones, hiking in nature, or binge watching Netflix. Aligning with Collective Breath means embodying pleasure in our actions and decision-making without regret.
When you live with more values alignment, you discover more confidence to stand assuredly in your truth and create the space for connection to cultivate without expectations. You can rest comfortably in the fact that you are who you say you are. Don’t be surprised when your joy, creativity, and flow expands as a result of being true to your truth. Gentle encouragement, living values aligned is more than just checking a list. It’s a choose your own adventure for the life you desire.
How will you measure your 525,600 minutes?