What Matters Mondays – Oct 26, 2015

October 26th, 2015 by admin Leave a Comment

A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone requesting that I send them my details regarding a program I would be participating in which was 2 months away. I had a busy day, so I read the email, made a note in my planner to send it as soon as I had a free minute and carried on with my day.

Within a few hours of the first email, I received a text asking if I had received the email. Instantly I felt a small pang of frustration, but I simply replied that I would get to it as soon as I had a free moment. Trust me, this was not an earth shattering issue I needed to be on top of at that moment.

The day turned into a busy evening running kids to sports and youth council, so I did not get to it that night. By the time I woke up in the morning, I had another email asking for the same information. Now I felt mad. I voiced my frustration to my family, and my 14 year old son said, “Mom it’s pretty obvious that your value of UNDERSTANDING is being stomped on.” Now, I love that our family all speaks this language, so I wanted to understand what he meant. I asked him to tell me more. His response was so beautifully said, “You value understanding. You like to feel understood. When you are busy, and this person keeps asking for this information you feel like she is not trying to understand you. You feel like she doesn’t “get” you.” HE NAILED IT! It was absolutely true!

But then I had to practice another part of this values work which is to choose curiosity over judgment. I had to ask myself what value this lady was trying to have honored as she kept asking me for this information. My curiosity allowed me to realize that she values ORGANIZATION. She needed the information in order to feel organized. No judgment was needed.

Was she wrong? Was I wrong? Neither of us was wrong…that’s what we discover when we are curious.

My value of understanding and her value for organization were simply colliding in that moment.

So here’s where the challenge came…here were my choices:

  1. Acknowledge it as two values colliding and move on. Knowing that it would show up again. And I would continue to be frustrated by it. And…it would put a wedge in this relationship.

OR

  1. Get vulnerable and speak my truth while honoring both of our values.

 

The conversation that happened sounded like this, “When I am busy at work and life, and you ask me for information, I need you to understand that I will get it to you as soon as I can. I truly value understanding and when you ask me multiple times for the information I don’t feel understood and it’s frustrating. However, I also want to acknowledge that I get that you value organization. So can I ask that you give me 24 hours after your request to give me the time to reply. I will do my best to honor that time frame because I value you and your need for organization. I understand what matters to you and I ask you to do the same for me.”

MAGIC IN THIS MOMENT

It doesn’t have to be judgment and conflict. We can use our values to have powerful conversations that create deeper connection while we ask for what we need. Starting this conversation was vulnerable but it was so worth it! The connection that happened between us after this talk was worth it! I felt seen and heard and so did she.

 

Today, notice when judgment may want to creep into your head. Can you be curious? What value is that other person wanting honored? How can both exist?

 

Choosing CURIOSITY over JUDGMENT is one of the most courageous decisions you will make. It will keep you in your authenticity instead of saying something in judgment that you will later regret and that will move you away from who you want to be.

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What Matters Mondays – Oct 19, 2015

October 21st, 2015 by admin Leave a Comment

WHAT MATTERS MONDAYS….what is this all about? Every Monday I am going to do a blog post about values from my real life stuff….things that are actually happening in my world to show you the power of understanding values in the good and the bad times.
Values are like an internal compass. They keep us on track to be who we want to be and when we are aligned with them, life feels pretty awesome! If who you want to be and how you are showing up each day are the same….you feel fantastic! However, if who you want to be and how you are showing up in the world are not aligned…then there is space for unhappiness, anxiety, depression, lack of fulfillment…etc.
It seems simple…find your values, live aligned with them and BAM magic happens. However, sometimes what we want in life feels really far away. It may even feel hopeless. I know because for many years I lived a life that was nowhere near aligned with what mattered to me. I pushed my values aside to be who I thought I needed to be….someone who found their worth in accomplishments; someone who tried way too hard to be perfect. My life was exhausting! I was completely unaware of what mattered to me.
Finding my values changed my life. And…it has allowed me to help change the lives of others. It has allowed me to talk to people who also feel exhausted, disconnected, off track, sad, unfulfilled, anxious…at times hopeless. Because I know for myself and for so many people I have worked with that finding your values and choosing to align life with them is the start to a life of meaning. In schools I get to work with all kinds of kids…it is incredibly rewarding. I will never forget the day I noticed this young lady who always looked so angry and sad. I asked her if we could chat. Reluctantly, she came and sat with me. My intuition was loud, I just knew I had to share the values language with her. So I asked her if she would do something with me. Again, reluctantly she said she would. I did a few values exercises with her, talked to her and allowed her some time to come up with her top 10 values. At the end, I had a look at her words and as I always do, I asked her which value she felt was most present in her life; which one she was really living. She looked at me with her sad eyes and said, “None of them.” My heart sank. Can you imagine…your top 10 values all kicked under the carpet, living a life that was no where near what you wanted. Well…I could…I have been there! So I asked her which value she most wanted to have present and without any hesitation she said, “Belonging”. We talked about what that would look like and we started to create a plan. I assured her that whenever I was at her school, she would always belong with me. After speaking to her teachers, they started giving her roles and tasks in the classroom and the school where she began to feel like she really belonged. Her frown started turning to a smile and we began to see a completely different girl. She wanted to belong, but had no idea how to start. The values conversation gave her the language to begin asking for what she needed. It allowed her to understand the sadness in a new way. It allowed her to see possibilities where there was once hopelessness. As she stepped into living with a sense of belonging, we chose the next value to focus on…and one at a time, her life became more and more aligned. And she smiled so much more often! This work of finding our values is great, but it’s when we intentionally choose to live them that glimpses of possibility and happiness happen. What value have you swept under the carpet that it is time to start intentionally living? We all have one. For the longest time, mine was balance. Share yours below. I’d love to hear. And if you are feeling extra brave…share your plan to begin to make it more intentional. I’m so grateful I trusted my intuition and had this conversation with her…it helped bring back her smile!

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