LIVE BOLD & BLOOM: “12 Of The Most Important Values To Live By”

What values are important to a life well-lived?

What do you want to be known for? What qualities do you admire in others and work to cultivate in yourself?

And how do those qualities reflect your core beliefs?

Your life values are those that, once you identify them, help you with decision-making and provide the building blocks for your character — specifically the one you want to have.

For example, if one of your top value in life is courage, you’ll likely seek out new challenges so you can act in spite of the fear that comes when you’re faced with the possibility of failure or rejection.

And if forgiveness has recently become one of your values to live by, you’ll want to remind yourself of your new commitment when you’re about to spend time with someone who has hurt you in the past.

But what is the point of identifying your values, and how do they contribute to your growth and happiness?

To answer this question, we’re exploring 12 of the most important values in life and showing how they influence everything you do.

But before we do that, it makes sense to explain what values are in the first place.

What Are Values in Life?

Values are about what you consider important to the life you want to live. They inform your priorities and, when practiced consistently, form the character you want to have.

They’re rooted in your core beliefs about what makes for a life well-lived and about the behavior you want to model for others (including children if you have them).

Shared values are the basis for a common code – a value-based compass – that speeds up decision-making and unites those who share that code.

By expressing those values, the common code articulates different aspects of the shared mission and becomes the key motivator for those who share it.

You can take each of the following examples of values in life to create a code or motto that motivates you to practice that value every day, so it will become second nature when it’s most needed.

12 Most Important Values To Life By

 

1. Courage

Courage is about doing what you believe needs to be done — not in the absence of fear but in spite of it.

You might feel disinclined to offer a genuine apology out of fear that the other will reject it, but courage will help you apologize anyway, because it’s the right thing to do, out of respect for the one you hurt or offended. Whether they accept your apology or not is their business.

Courage requires a step outside of your comfort zone. If you have no fear, you don’t need courage, but when something you know you have to do makes you feel sick inside, courage is what makes you do that thing anyway.

Courage code: “I do what needs to be done, even if fear comes along for the ride.”

2. Kindness

Kindness is about treating others the way you want to be treated.

It’s more than just holding your tongue when you’re tempted to say something unkind; kindness looks for ways to make life better for others. It takes delight in lifting others up and reminding them they’re not alone, invisible, or insignificant.

Kindness and compassion are closely related; the latter involves the readiness to see a situation from someone else’s perspective and to give them the benefit of the doubt. It also takes into consideration what the other person has gone through and chooses to respond with kindness rather than anger or vengefulness.

Both demonstrate at least a subliminal appreciation for the connectedness of all living beings; when you show kindness and compassion to others, you benefit (at least) as much as they do.

Kindness to yourself is also important, and it’s the basis for self-care. Don’t forget to be as kind to yourself as you want others to be.

Schedule time each day for reasonable and thoughtful self-care, and practice mindfulness to be fully present for it. In practicing kindness to yourself, you also make yourself better able to render kindness to others.

Kindness code: “I treat others as I want to be treated — with thoughtfulness, patience, and respect.”

3. Patience

When someone is pushing your buttons, taking your time or attention away from something you want to finish, or making your life harder in some way, you practice patience by putting yourself in the others’ shoes, trying to see the situation from their perspective, and responding with kindness and respect.

No one wants to be treated like an inconvenience or a burden, and sometimes your priorities have to change to make room for something (or someone) more important or more likely to help you grow.

Patience code: “No matter how I feel when someone interrupts me or gets in my way, I always treat them with the same patience I hope for from others when necessity compels me to interrupt them or get in their way.”

4. Integrity

Integrity is about acting and speaking in accordance with your beliefs.

If you say one thing but do the opposite, witnesses to this contradiction aren’t likely to recognize you as a person of integrity. They’re more likely to accuse you of hypocrisy.

Though you may not be fully conscious of the disagreement between your words and actions, if you believe one thing but your actions profess a contradictory belief, you might feel a growing unease and unhappiness with the way you’re acting.

It doesn’t feel right. And you’re faced with a choice: either change your belief, or change your actions.

Integrity code: “What I believe is made clear by what I say and do.”

5. Gratitude / Appreciation

When gratitude is a core belief, you make time for it every day. You prioritize both feeling gratitude and expressing it — in your thoughts, in the words you speak or write, and in your attitude and actions.

You might create the habit of writing a daily gratitude list. And if you recognize the importance of emotion to the fullest experience of gratitude, you’ll likewise place a high value on a daily mindfulness practice.

Showing appreciation to others for their words and actions is also essential to making this a core value. Just as you appreciate it when others thank you for a job well done, for a thoughtful gift, or for rendering the help they needed, others appreciate that recognition too.

And far too often, we act as though others must already know how much we appreciate them. Don’t assume that they do; make sure of it.

Gratitude code: “In the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, I feel and express gratitude for the good things in my life. And I make sure everyone who has done something good for me knows I appreciate them for it.”

6. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is about letting go of anger and resentment toward those who have hurt or offended you.

You’re not saying what they did was okay or not a big deal; you’re acknowledging that what they did was hurtful but choosing to forgive them in order to be free of the anger and resentment (toward them) that are making you miserable.

In forgiving them, you take back your power and choose happiness and peace of soul for yourself, even if the one who hurt you has never shown the slightest hint of remorse.

Everyone has a capacity for forgiveness — just as everyone has the capacity to hurt others with their words and actions — but not everyone has cultivated a habit of forgiveness.

We learn to be more forgiving by forgiving more. If you write morning pages, add a short list of people you forgive, adding what you forgive them for and something you appreciate about each person.

Forgiveness code: “I forgive those who have hurt me, because I know I’ve made mistakes and hurt people, too, and I want to be free of this anger and resentment. I choose freedom, and I choose to genuinely want (and work for) the good of those who’ve hurt me.”

7. Love

Love sees the good in everyone, and it wants good things for them. You may not always know what’s best for someone else, but if you love them, you want their ultimate happiness, and you want to see them grow.

You recognize that no one reaches adulthood with their character fixed and unchangeable; we’re all a work in progress. Things your 20-year-old self would say might appall your 40-year-old self. It’s part of being human if you’re a human that continues to grow.

Did someone you love do terrible things in their 20’s or 30’s — things they would never do now (in their mid-40’s)?

Forgive them for not knowing better before they learned whatever stopped them from doing those terrible things. And forgive yourself for not knowing that human beings are all capable of terrible things — just as we’re also capable of growth.

When you love someone, you don’t base that love on the kind of person they were ten or twenty years ago, or on the person, you hope they become or that you wish they were. Your love tells them, “You are enough — just as you are today.”

You recognize that their beliefs and behavior may change as they grow, but since your love doesn’t depend on what they believe or on whether you agree on everything, your love doesn’t lessen with time and with the challenges those changes bring.

Love code: “I love with both passion and understanding; real love is wide awake.”

8. Growth

If growth is one of your core values, you look for opportunities to grow as a person and to help others grow, too.

You take the time to identify your values and your overall mission, so you can live in accordance with it and become more and more the person you have to be in order to fulfill your mission.

You know that growth isn’t a destination but a process, and you want to enjoy that process and help others to enjoy their own.

You might take an interest in coaching or in group growth opportunities, where members support and encourage each other. You recognize true and wholehearted collaboration as an asset and a growth facilitator, and you prioritize growth over comfort and security.

Real growth might mean shaking things up at home or at work, but the more committed you are to your growth and to that of those you care about, the less you mind rocking the boat.

Growth code: “Every day, I’m growing more into the person I want to be.”

9. Listening

If active listening is a core value for you, you value others’ input and invest time and energy in learning how to see things from their perspectives.

So, it makes sense that when someone wants to tell you something, you give them your full attention and thoughtfully consider their words.

Whereas before you felt tense with the expectation of having to defend your beliefs against an unfriendly viewpoint, you’ve learned (through practice) to listen with genuine openness rather than an ego-centric fear of being proven wrong.

You recognize that you don’t know everything, and you don’t see even familiar things from every angle, so you appreciate it when others share their perspectives. And your body language as well as your feedback shows them you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say.

Listening code: “I listen to others with my full attention, so I can learn from them and show thoughtful consideration for their ideas.”

10. Respect

If you want to be known for treating all human (or living) beings with respect, you probably base that respect on something more fundamental than someone’s rank or social status.

Otherwise, why would you consider it a priority to treat all humans with equal respect — regardless of their age, income, or background?

Or why would you put more energy into making sure the least exalted among you is treated with respect than into making sure others treat you with the same consideration.

It doesn’t mean you don’t consider yourself equally worthy of respect, but you find it easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes, so in making sure they feel respected, you feel more respected, too.

Respect code: “I treat all living beings with the same respect with which I like to be treated.”

11. Self-Giving

Another word for self-giving is sacrifice, but self-giving has a more positive connotation. Essentially, you’re giving of yourself — your time, your attention, your energy, your treasure, your abilities — to help or enrich another.

Real love doesn’t hesitate to give of itself until it hurts, knowing that the momentary pain is nothing compared to the benefit won by that self-giving.

The word “selfless” implies that someone has given so much of themselves, they’ve reserved nothing for their own use or enjoyment, but in giving yourself — if you give out of love — your joy is in what that gift brings to others.

Self-giving can be overdone but only when the motive is pride (or insecurity) rather than love.

Self-giving code: “I give of myself to others not only to connect with them but to acknowledge our connectedness. What I give to them, I also receive.”

12. Vision

You may be used to talking about vision in the context of a specific person’s “vision for the future,” but the larger sense of vision is not something that you own or that comes from you; it comes through you and inspires you and others.

Because the larger vision isn’t confined to your ego, the power of that vision is free to attract, illuminate, and flow through you.

Your vision is connected to one that is infinite and uncontainable — you do not exist to serve yourself at the expense of others; you exist to cooperate with others in the creation of a community that benefits all living creatures.

Your personal vision — what you see as your response to the larger vision — informs your personal mission and the process by which you live out that mission.

It’s not about the lifestyle you want or the things you’ll have when you’re “successful.” It has more to do with allowing yourself to be led by the greater vision through your personal links to it — your intuition and inner wisdom.

Vision code: “I live according to a vision guided by my inner wisdom and judgment.”

Now, it’s your turn.

What are your values? And what will you do today to put one (or more) of them into practice?

One small action today makes more of a difference than you probably realize.

Think of each small action as a seed you plant that, as long as you nurture it along the way, grows into a healthy tree with roots and branches, shedding seeds of its own.

Your values are the life in every seed you plant. Choose the best values, and make them part of your blueprint for personal growth.

And may your courage and passion for growth influence everything you do today.

 

~via LiveBoldandBloom.com

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ANDY WHITELEY: “10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Your Cat”

As we grow to adulthood, we humans learn to override many of our natural tendencies. We “socialize” our children, and teach them to “behave” and resist many of their natural impulses. By the time we’re adults most of us are so disconnected from nature, and from our own nature, that we accept “adult” roles and responsibilities that pay the bills but stifle us, rub us the wrong way and even cause harm to each other and our environment.

Somewhere along the line, we lose touch with the simple wisdom of our natural instincts.

Needless to say, there are many spiritual lessons we can learn from observing nature. Just under the surface, our animal instincts are still there, just waiting to be tapped into, and reactivated, and honored — and what better role models than the animals we love and share our lives and homes with?

Here are 10 life lessons you can learn from your cat:

 

1. Keep a curious spirit and approach uncertainty with a positive attitude.

2. Physical touch is natural, and vital for our well-being.

3. Get plenty of rest, and spend time soaking up the sun.

4. Show gratitude. All it takes is a purr, or a squinty smile.

5. Stretch regularly. It’s good for body and soul.

6. Live in the moment. There is only now.

7. Play. Play. Play. Play. Play!

8. A happy life is a simple life. All we really need is love, a full belly, and a quiet place to rest.

9. Let the inner wisdom of instinct and intuition guide you. If it doesn’t feel good, walk away.

10. Be fearless. Live like you’re on your ninth life.

 

~Dedicated to Gracie the cat, whose simple, loving approach to life inspired this article.

 

Artwork by Ascension Avatar 

“Foozie” (1976)

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: Staying Present In The Now — Here’s What You Can Do To Pursue Your Dreams”

Every one of you has probably noticed that regardless of how hard you try, you cannot make your long-run plans anymore. It just means that when you try even harder, you will probably make certain things happen.

However, today’s lives are not working in that way anymore. Instead of making plans and then working hard on them, you are guided to ask for someone to guide you and set your intentions about the following two or three steps towards that same intentions.

However, unless that guidance comes, nothing is going to work well, no matter what you do.

“Making the things work” ended.

The time of ‘making the things work’ has ended. Are you waiting for your guidance to show up? Are you permitting your life to open out just as it is going to? For a lot of people, this may seem like you are standing still.

However, when you remain still for a more extended period, you can notice that the approach does not mean not taking any action, but it is simply about staying here and be present, to every level of your knowing and being.

Staying very present is aware action.

When you stay present at every level means that you are taking conscious action. So, it will allow you to be right in that present moment — entirely.

It is going to put your focus here and right now. You will look toward your future, but you are not really overlooking what happens now, as you are quite busy as you focus on far off goals.

To be and remain present will allow your soul to come next to you entirely. So, this is the place from where guidance of everything you have to do appears — your soul.

Your soul wants to be the creator of your life.

Your soul wants to live inside you and through you. This is the reason why it creates the conditions which require you to widely open to it.

Also, that is why your soul drives the shift in your human experience. It wants to create your life with you. It also intends to be the co-creator of your life and even the rest of this world.

It seems like the soul has conspired. It does not let your long-term plan to work as you want, as it wants you to become more present and long enough, so it may come into you more entirely.

Deep breathing, meditating, or journalling are some things which you can do in order to connect with your soul and also become profoundly present. A lot of people do these things or take actions in this simple way.

What is going to happen when there is a specific thing waiting inside our imagination, and which desires to actually be born within us?

Usually, it may feel as our difficulties can make our dreams look like they are impossible to happen, so we will not believe that it will occur for us. Also, it can look like the ones that achieved higher levels of success actually have a better, to begin with than other people have.

But, success cannot come overnight, although every one of us has the chance to achieve it. When we faced tough times and struggles, most of us that were successful started bad and also experienced heartbreaking difficulties and struggles first, and that made us find the other self that transformed us.

So, at times we feel like we are not getting anywhere, we should not surrender, because the dream and idea were planted in our minds for some specific reason and it is all on us to show it — we can do it!

We should not get bitter, but get BETTER.

At a time of misfortune and rough times, we will probably think why us?

However, those times do not imply that we need to be stuck there forever. Tough and difficult times occur to every one of us, and the way we overcome those times is what later on determines our lives. Sometimes, such times can destroy us and lead us to take become addicts of drugs and alcohol. However, when such strong emotions may get focused on our purpose and dreams and gain a more constructive form, it will be time when every single thing may turn around.

A person named Helen Keller, the one that was born blind, deaf and dumb, and who marked the history of the great of life, is actually the evidence that regardless of the circumstances, a person can never be defeated.

 

“Every single failure or traumatic experience can come with a seed of equivalent success.”

 ~Napoleon Hill

 

The person who changed this whole world, as he invented cars, named Henry Ford, comes from a family that was uneducated and poor. However, he was working with everything he possessed, and he never waited for something to occur by chance. Instead, he followed his dreams, so the world also changed as a result of his great work. Moreover, Thomas Edison has failed about 10,000 or more times, without giving up of his dream.

There is just one difference between the ones that succeed and the ones that don’t, and that is never surrendering.

Here, we will present you the six steps to make your dreams become a reality.

The six steps for specific goals by Thomas Edison:

1. Focus on your mind and the most particular thing you desire.

2. Think about what would you like and try to do and give in order to get what you want.

3. Schedule the event.

4. Write openly about what you really want, put the right time, and mention what you have the intention to give — then, describe all that clearly.

5. Then, read that statement two times a day prior to going to sleep, and also when you wake up.

6. In the end, convince yourself about it being yours.

We are not supposed to wait for chance or luck, because everyone that succeeds what he or she wanted did that with great hope, and wishing and also mental work prior to acquiring it.

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “7 Benefits From Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone”

Ascension Avatar: A double-Pisces with Cancer ascending like myself might disagree about ‘stepping out’ of the comfort zone since that ‘comfort zone’ is usually our ‘right path’… My advice would be to tune IN to your comfort zone to tap into your true essence and highest self… where any ‘hidden talents’ as mentioned here may be ‘discovered’… 🙂

.  .  .

 

A comfort zone is psychological space where we feel the safest and find the most comfort.

It’s the style of living where everything is familiar and the challenges are so mundane that nothing can surprise us.

But if everything is familiar to you and nothing can surprise you than there is nothing new and exciting in your life either.

Even though comfort zones are a natural program we create to keep us safe with less energy input, sometimes they are our prison. They keep us safe as much as prison walls keep prisoners safe from the outside world.

In some cases, comfort zones might even be harmful to your health, and you’ll subconsciously assume you are safe, just because you are surrounded with the familiar unhealthy behaviors.

Humans are not meant to just stay safe. We are meant to live and living means sometimes we need to explore unknown territories, both outside and inside of ourselves.

Like a gold that keeps its shine with every polishing, so are human beings designed to shine with every pressure there is. Comfort zones couldn’t give us that.

But comfort zones are not bad as long as you have the courage to break out of them. In fact, that’s how you grow.

7 Character Evolving Benefits From Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Here are the 7 most important character evolving benefits we get from breaking out of our comfort zones:

1. Outside of your comfort zone is where you feel most alive

Let’s travel back in time when you were still a kid. Remember the times you were scared of trying new things?

By doing the thing you were scared of, you felt the most alive. You learned something that stayed with you.

2. Breaking out of your comfort zone develops your character

As you grow older, you give more value on stability because stability promises you security.

But security does not develop you, finding security or creating it does.

You can do that only by exploring into the unknown, where things are not so familiar and you must think outside of your daily pattern.

And that’s how you develop new aspects of your character.

3. Outside of your comfort zone is where you find new passions and discover hidden talents

You are like a flower, and the real essence of who you are is covered by the leaves of the flower. As you go through life you open some leaves.

But most people open just a few, never realizing who they really are and what their potential really is.

By breaking out of your comfort zone you try new things and you open more and more from the flower.

You discover other aspects of yourself, other passions and different talents that you have. That’s how you find out your essence.

4. Breaking out of your comfort zone gives you new realms to explore

Spending more of your time with the same people, talking about the same topics with the same flow of reasoning may make you close-minded to all the other ways of living.

When you expose yourself to a different setting, another group of people, other opinions and cultures, you go to realms you never thought existed. Your mind opens up.

By doing the same routine every day you are living a mechanical existence. Your brain uses the same neurons and neural pathways.

The countless other neural pathways and potential neural connections stay dormant, all these other ways of seeing the world are unused.

But once you go to an unfamiliar territory to explore, your mind fully activates and you see things with a greater clarity.

In a way, you force your mind to use different neural pathways by changing the pattern.

You can try by just turning your phone off to focus on new things. It works wonders.

5. Escaping your comfort zone builds your self-confidence

Anxiety issues might arise by merely thinking of talking to strangers. But actually doing that is how you make the anxiety fade away from your life.

By trying new things you have never done before, it’s normal to feel a little afraid and have anxiety. That’s a healthy response to new situations.

However, being strong enough to not let those emotions decide for you is what builds your confidence.

By gaining experiences of situations where you were courageous enough, despite the outcome, you are giving yourself memories from where your self-esteem can arise.

The easier it is for you to get self-esteem, the stronger self-confidence you will have. And the stronger self-confidence you have, the less anxiety you will feel.

6. Getting out of your comfort zone makes you an interesting person

Amazing things start to happen once you break out of your comfort zone. Because they’re new, they’ll appear weird, crazy and epic.

These things are full with details and emotions. They shape great stories and interesting conversations with people.

People would always like to hear about your new adventure and the crazy things you encountered along the way.

Even if you are really bad at telling stories, just sharing your memories from outside of your comfort zone makes you a lot more interesting person than anyone who rarely escapes their comfort zone.

7. Outside of your comfort zone fills your heart and expands your spirit

When you spread your wings to fly, you’ll see different communities and worlds that exist. You get to learn from them. You discover new things.

There are a lot of sports, activities, foods, books, events and music to experience. There are countless places and people to get to know.

There are categories you can explore that you don’t even know are out there. The world is a much bigger place than you can even imagine.

You cannot explore all the art and all the beautiful creations people have given even if you try something new every second.

There is no logical reason to not do what fills your heart and expands your spirit, especially in today’s age when you can do almost everything through a device in your pocket.

Life is a gift. It’s such a waste to spend it in mundane routines and predictability.

Taking the first steps may seem terrifying. But that fear fades the moment you take action.

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

 

Photo: “Comfort Zone” by Ascension Avatar

NEZEL PADAYHAG: “10 Ways To Strengthen The Love Within Your Family”

“The best ideal for unity is love.”

~Nezel Padayhag

 

Every family is a building block in the society we live in. In order to have a strong and loving society, we must ensure that it starts with the family.

Love is what keeps a family strong and intact. Without love, a family can’t stand the tests of time. No relationship can.

This doesn’t mean that because you have genuine love, conflicts would no longer arise. On the contrary, genuine love can be tough but is not conditioned.

Family love is a safe haven for unconditional love. Unconditional love means even if there are arguments and fighting at times, your love for each other stays the same.

The stronger the bond of love we can create within the family, the better and more loving society we can constitute. Here are some ways you can strengthen the love of your family.

10 Ways To Strengthen The Love Within Your Family

1. Include some form of spirituality.

Whatever you and your family believe in, include some form of spirituality within your home and your interactions. Have a mutual ideal that you all follow, so even if your beliefs are different, you can meet at this ideal. The best ideal for unity is love.

2. Eat together.

The dining table is the best place to share exciting experiences. Eating together can be hell if your relationships are difficult, if you can’t handle each other. However, that’s exactly why eating together is important, it highlights all the areas you need to work on.

3. Let others feel loved and accepted.

When you interact with your family, it’s much more important to let them feel loved and be kind, than be right, even if you really are right and they are wrong. The most important ingredient is love and your relationship is about love, not about who is right.

4. Go somewhere together.

Taking a trip together, even if it’s for just one day, can bring you much closer. Sometimes it’s the environment you always interact with that stimulates bad behavior and irritates old wounds. Changing the environment can give you a different perspective of who they are.

5. Laugh together.

When you laugh with someone you are bonding with them on a deeper level. And laughing with your siblings can be more healing than you can even imagine.

6. Set strong boundaries for yourself.

In order to be open with our family and love them freely, without getting drained of our energy it’s important to have strong boundaries. You need to let your family know the importance of your boundaries. Show respect, trust and honesty so they can show it back.

7. Nurture the relationship with each other.

Have weekly hang outs with your family. If you can’t do it once per week do it once per two weeks. Spend an extra bonding time with each member in the family to make them feel special. Maintain your relationships.

8. Don’t gossip or keep secrets from each other.

Keeping secrets within your family and gossiping is going to rust your family apart. Secrets and gossip create bonding but in a form of triangulation, you are bonding with one member while using another member as the topic for the conversation, as a punching bag.

9. Talk about things that matter.

Instead of small talk, gossip and shallow conversations, or topics that lead you to argue with each other, speak about things that are real. Speak about your feelings, speak about what really matters to you, what you are passionate about. That’s what family is for.

10. Do not try to change anyone.

Nobody is perfect. And yeah, some family members might function with an old, really outdated operating system. But it’s not your job to change them, it’s not their job to change you either. Accept each other with all your flaws and try to love who you are.

A home that is full of love is felt not only by adults but also by babies.

 

~via LifeCoachCode.com