Kristin Neff tells us that “Our core values are our deeply held ideals that guide us and give meaning to our lives.” It takes courage to bring light to that which provides inspiration and explanation for why we do what we do, in regular tasks as well as epic decisions. In our second meeting of the year, we will explore together our values. We will slow down, pause long enough to look deeply and reflect on what values are meaningful to us now, as mothers, as partners, as friends. We will ask ourselves, “What do I really care about? What is most important to me now?”
There are hundreds of values and the numerous combinations of core values therefore mean that we may each be guided by something different, and inspired by discrete values for our lives. To live by our core values, and see if we feel that our lives are aligned with what matters most, takes a level of courage and strength that may be difficult for some.
In positive psychology, 6 classes of virtues were defined and are made up of 24 character strengths. These character strengths include thoughts, feelings and behaviors and we all have each one of them inside us. Consider what makes up the virtue of courage – bravery, perseverance, honesty and zest/enthusiasm. To believe that we each already have within us the willingness to face a challenge, the commitment to living our lives authentically, the pursuit to complete that which we start, and an energy and excitement for life, means that we have the courage and may just need to identify the obstacles that are getting in the way of being in touch with our core values.
Consider this list of character strengths – which can you courageously claim today? Which feel elusive and like a memory? From there, can you call out your core values? Here is a much longer list of commonly identified values you may wish to peruse. Do not go to overwhelm, do not allow your courage to be interrupted by fear. Exploring core values is about learning more about oneself, being vulnerable to the possibility that values you may feel are shameful are actually driving you to make courageous decisions for the benefit of your family and life, and accepting that what guides you and what you stand for allows you to live a life of purpose, of pleasure, and of passion.
Join us on Thursday the 4th of October, 9:30-11am at Grace Church on Day Road, Bainbridge Island. We will explore together, we will consider together, and we will identify together the core values we each hold most dear, even when and if they grow quiet at times. Mom’s Morning Retreat opens its doors to all women, from all backgrounds, all faiths, and all walks of life. This strong community gives time for connection and replenishment, reflection and engagement, pause and friendship. Trusted childcare is available on site, or your little can join you as we gather. Snacks, coffee/tea/cider/hot cocoa are available to nourish the body while our discussions nourish the soul.