Soul Inspection

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Sifting through the Huffpo this morning, waiting for my CandyCrush lives to be replenished, I happened upon the following  article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-niles-phd/personal-development-tips_b_3210519.html?utm_hp_ref=less-stress-more-living

It is a guide of “3 Ways to De-Clutter Your Life and Live Passionately”. I’m all for passionate living, so I read on. It is an over-simplification of a complex challenge, but I found the following point interesting:

Define Your Core Values 

When you define your core values and use them as the benchmark for all your decisions, you can quickly and easily simplify your life.

The author provides a link to a list of core values to help you define your own.

http://www.barriedavenport.com/list-of-400-values/

 I thought this would be a fun exercise, so I took a look at the list and picked 10. Actually I picked 25, but narrowed it down to these 10 core values.

 Genuineness

Life is too short for pretentions. Be real. Expect others to be genuine.

 Intelligence 

This has nothing to do with your IQ. Years ago, I took a class in architecture of  the town I was living in at the time. I fell in with a bunch of extremely wise, older women. We were having drinks after class one day and I remarked that it was such a relief to be among people with whom I could have an intelligent conversation. The seventy-year old ( to my 25) landscape architect looked at me over her glasses and said, “Veronica, there are all kinds of intelligence.” Lesson learned.

Belongingness 

As I grow older, it becomes more apparent to me that we are all, however tenuously, connected to one another. Sometimes people just need to be told that they belong.

Compassion 

Again a value that has moved upon the list as I’ve grown older. My 4th grade teacher, Miss Sharon once went around the classroom telling each child what she thought made them special. When she got to me, she said that I was “gentle”. At 9 years-old I would have rather have been “brave” or “pretty”, but I got “gentle”. It has taken a long time to reclaim the gentleness and work to translate it to compassion in my daily life.

Sophistication

Not the glossy magazine kind. The kind that allows you to fit in with a buncha good ol’ boys at a BBQ on one day and sees you taking tea and crumpets with Queen Maxima the next.

Order

I can’t abide a chaos. Ask the contractor who’s worked on our house. He’s seen what I morph into when order leaves my world.

Self-Control

A constant battle and attempt to reach this state. I believe that if more people at least tried to practice this value, the world might be a better place. Try it. Don’t fllip the bird the next time the idiot passes you in the right lane and cuts you off.

Adventure

Be bold. Be daring. Be curious. This is what landed me in a foreign country at age 22

Valor

Stepping up. Taking responsibility. Being able to admit you got it wrong and attempt to fix it, whatever “it” is.

Love 

In all its forms. Some days I hate myself and everybody else, but I try, when I wake up every morning to approach the day and myself with love. What I mean to say is best described by Rebecca Wells in her wonderful book, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood:

The point is not knowing another person or learning to love another person. The point is simply this: how tender can we bear to be? What good manners can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts. 

I

 

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