Values Based Living

Yesterday I was engaged in study/training, specifically in mindfulness based therapies (MBSR), and this simple yet profound statement caught my attention.

Make a list of what is important to you. Embody it.

Statement originally from Jon Kabat Zinn - info on JKZ below. That list we create of things that are important to us, are essentially our core values. Our core values inform our thoughts, words, actions and decisions, they are the guiding principles we live by - which ultimately determine the path (pathes) we may follow in life.

When we are living, and embodying, a life that is closely aligned with our core values, we may:

  • enable ourselves to feel a greater sense of fulfilment

  • better facilitate lasting happiness

  • develop + define our purpose

  • enhance our sense of self + confidence

  • let go of what does not serve us as we further align with our values

  • identify a career path that is better suited to our true self and nature

When we live out of alignment with what we consider most important, we may feel it within our mind-body, as a sense of resistance either emotionally or physiologically, and this can manifest in myriad ways, both on a conscious and sub-conscious level.

Living a life better aligned with personal values can be hard work and an incremental process actioned over a period of time. However a worthy exercise to pursue long term.

Some questions to help define personal values may include:

  • What is important to me?

  • What larger purpose do I stand for?

  • What is the greater outcome connected to this choice I have to make?

  • Is the action I’m about to undertake in alignment with my values?

And underpinning this process of values definition is a required level of mindfulness + self awareness.

Quote reference: Jon Kabat Zinn is a professor of Western medicine & dubbed a master of mindfulness as his body of work combines ancient Buddhist practice and philosophy with Western medicine, specifically in integrative & mental health and related clinical treatment. JKZ was also a student of several Buddhist masters including the renowned, Thich Nhat Hanh.

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