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

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

DEANE THOMAS: “Love And A Snow Flake”

A snow flake is such an intricate structure; full of molecular bonds and connections. Molecular structures can be so complex that we never fully get to truly appreciate how unique they are. Snowflakes melt very quickly, when they come into contact with our skin. Yet a group together will form a small mound to be appreciated.

Imagine the amount of energy required to create a snow flake, the journey that it undertakes, and the process which it follows. Enduring, yet so beautiful at the same time. The fragility of its very existence is challenged from the moment it is created. Very much like a human love story!!

Much like most things that are created in nature, there is a cycle and a process for its evolution. We all know the beginning and the end of our life story; we are born and we will die! But what happens to our essence? What happens to our spirit? There are many written theories, and no doubt we already know the answer to that! Much the same as coming to terms with love.

In many ways love can be compared to a snow flake. Beautiful experience, complicated structure, and always melts/disappears when we don’t wish it to! Once we grasp the true concept of love then it all begins to make sense. It is throughout life that our soul reminds us through experiences and encounters. Knowing this we shall certainly learn to trust our inner guide not an illusion from the outside.

We will always be guided to where we are needed, where we are going, and when to heal/regenerate. When we are open to receive love, it will be presented. Our soul, our intuition, our instinct will always “know” when it meets or senses true love. This is one thing we can be grateful for. There is no doubt about it, for the universal laws apply. This can happen when we least expect it, and the wonder is simply magic.

The true love essence will be stronger than before because we have healed. Our energy levels will be higher, and our vibration too. We will then begin to follow our inner guidance. Whether we are guided to a new place or a new opportunity or a new person, we shall simply stop questioning and just enjoy everything. Our internal guidance is never wrong, but our thoughts often are and can be!

After years of healing and getting to the truth of our self, it is not time to be repeating the same old stuff we have done for eons. We woke for a reason, and it is not something that has been written about. We were not given any rule book or guidance, we are simply relying on like-minded soul family members to get us to this point. We have conquered the biggest battles any man or woman can, to reach a place of Oneness.

We have prepared the present and future generations with the right balance of information, so that they too understand what love actually is. Now is the time for the hard work to be rewarded with the pleasure of a whole life. A life full of love, happiness and joy — in a place we create for ourselves and our families. We will bring together those that are meant to be with and around us, and together we will create loving communities.

The significance of a snow flake in our lives is one we shall consider, particularly when its beauty and presence are magical. We can always preserve the essence of a snow flake in our mind and body, much the same as love itself. Once we have preserved the essence, we are complete and whole. It is for us then to maintain that wholeness, knowing we are love.

Unconditional love is our natural essence, it is our state of being, and it is who we are!

 

~via BodyMindSoulSpirit.com

SHERRIE DILLARD: “Synchronicities — Dance With The Cosmic Flow”

We are being led. There is a presence moving through our heart, mind, and soul that guides and directs us. Meaningful coincidences or synchronicities, open us to new insights and help us to understand ourselves and what is happening around us in new ways. Synchronicity is intuition expressed in the outer world.

Synchronicities are no accident. The universe has carefully orchestrated the seemingly impossible convergences of things, people, events, and conditions. It does not matter how great or small the coincidence may be. We immediately recognize when we intersect with the cosmic. Although others may not always be able to feel and see it, we know when we are touched by the transcendent. The heart smiles, the mind opens, and like an Olympian gymnast, the soul joyously flips and leaps.

Offering a Glimpse into a Forgotten Reality

Synchronicities provide us with a glimpse into a reality that we have forgotten. They speak to the authentic self that is comfortable and at home in the realm of cosmic truth. Despite the powerful effect that a synchronicity can have on us, we all too soon attempt to dumb it down by rationalization.

We want to creep back into the logical and the rational as if the cosmic doors had not flung open. The thinking mind wants to take charge and explain away the magic and unexplainable; don’t let it. Live with the mystery and allow it to flow through the mind, body and spirit like a healing balm. Synchronicities invite us to experience life through the cosmic portal of connection and oneness. Soak in the deep rays of the universal life force current and allow it to promote and support aspects of self that we may not always have the courage to know.

Helpful Suggestions to Increase the Flow

Here are some suggestions that can help to increase the flow of synchronicities:

Ask for Synchronicities

Simple, but true, when we ask for synchronicities, we experience them. As we let go of our expectations of how and when they occur, they naturally flow into our life in surprising ways. Just make the intent and allow the universe to manifest it.

Notice the Effect

However big, small or insignificant they may seem to be, the effect that a synchronicity has on our heart and soul is what matters. When we notice synchronicities and embrace them, they multiply.

Communicate with Your Surroundings

Imagine synchronicities as a form or communication with the universe. We don’t always notice when divine presence is answering and responding to our needs and requests. Synchronicities let us know that we are known and heard. They are a calling card informing us that we are watched over and that we are in the flow of our soul’s current.

Act On That Guidance

Synchronicities alert us to possibilities and open us to higher wisdom and love. Noticing and acting on them strengthens our soul energy and guides us into the positive. Even though life can be challenging at times, synchronicities remind us that unexpected good fortune can come to us to in surprising ways.

Have Gratitude

Live with the awareness that a wonderful, personally crafted surprise is on its way. Say, thank you, blow a big kiss and dance with the cosmic flow of the all that is. The positive and abundant energy of universal divine joy and creativity is available to us, wherever we are, and in whatever we are doing.

 

~via OMTimes.com

ARIA BELLA: “Luck Is Yours To Hold”

“Luck is yours to hold, cherish and use for the greater good.”

~Aria Bella

You know how some people just seem lucky? Always seem to land on their feet no matter what? Always seem to get what everyone else wishes they could have? This kind of luck is available to anyone.

You just have to have faith and learn to tap into it. You have to believe in what you are capable of. Know that going for this or that, is not just for selfish reasons – that it is to help your family, friends, strangers.

It may seem like it is wholly for you, but it will spread out to those around you when you allow it.

You have to surrender to putting one foot in front of the other as you are guided to, not in a controlling way, in a way of detachment, knowing you are being guided by something bigger than you.

True luck comes when you are confident you are going to succeed. That you want it, not just for yourself, but for the good of mankind. No matter how indirect it may seem.

Luck is trusting in your abilities and the abilities of the universe to provide and guide.

 

“I know I am lucky and can succeed at anything. I draw luck to me”

 

Today, put your faith in the universe, and in yourself and dream away and let that luck find you.

Till next time… keep walking your spiritual path xx

 

 

~via Aria-Bella Rises @ YellowWolfEnlightenment.wordpress.com