Make a Difference through becoming Mindful

When we start to become mindful of our actions and live life from our values, every day we get a chance to make a difference in our world. The way we approach life, the way we treat people we come in contact with every day, we get a chance to make a difference. A small kindness, a smile, a thoughtful gesture, a helping hand, a thank you, listen to someone and don't interrupt, simply listen to listen (it's a lot harder than it sounds).

Your take action challenge: write a thank you postcard - an old fashioned, write on paper, put a stamp on it and snail mail it. Get creative and have fun.

Values - and Values Cards

Values are what we find meaningful in life. They are what you care about and consider to be important. Values are different for everybody, and they can change over time. Values are different from goals. Put crudely, goals can be ‘achieved’ whereas values are more like compass directions that we want to head in.

For example we might have the goal of getting our children to school on time, which sits within the value of ‘being a good parent’, or the goal of going for a jog while placing value upon exercise and physical health. The domains below are valued by some people. Leaving aside any obstacles for the moment, think about what is important to you, and what you think makes for a meaningful life that you could value.

Relationships: What kind of relationships do you want to have with your family? What sort of brother / sister / mother / father / aunt / uncle / neice / nephew do you want to be? How do you want to be in those relationships?

Partner:What kind of husband / wife / partner do you want to be? What kind of relationship do you want to be a part of? What sort of partnership do you want to build? What kind of person do you want to be in a relationship?

Parent:What sort of parent do you want to be? What qualities do you want your children to see in you? What kind of relationships do you want to build with them?

Friendship:What sort of friend do you want to be? What friendships is it important to cultivate? How would you like to act towards your friends? What kind of social life matters to you?
Info by Dr Whaley

And so as you think about the various areas that you may be connected to in your life, whether it be work, personal relationships, spirituality or sport, if you start to think along the lines of your values, how do you want to be in life? Where do you want to put your energy. How do you wish to be as a person?

"Our lives revolve around relationships - with ourselves, others, and everything we encounter in the world around us. The more you act in line with your values, the better will be the quality of those relationships and therefore the more enjoyable and rewarding your life will be." ~ Dr Russ Harris (The Happiness Trap)

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and the subject of comfort came up. We realised that her value of comfort varied widely from her partner's. I personally like a certain degree of comfort, I'm not one of those who could go and rough it on a walking trail or camping without many everyday comforts. What about you?

"Many people find that when they realign their life with their core values, they feel reborn, with greater passion for life and more satisfaction than ever before." Kotzman and Kotzman ~ in Listen to Me Listen to You.

In my relationship counselling sessions, I ask couples to consider what their values are, and they go home with a values exercise to do. When they come in for the next session, we then discuss the values they came up with. It is so fascinating, to many people when they realise that a lot of their time and energy has been going into areas, that they don't hold as important values. Sometimes they realise that their behaviour has even been going against what they hold dear to them. Often when they start putting their time and energy into what they value, they immediately start to feel happier and more content with their lives.

I've created values cards and have included some of them below if you would like to take part in a values exercise. You can save the image and then print it out. You'll find a blank card so that you can add your own values. Pick 10 values that are important to you, then after a day or so, pick 5 from that list to apply to the area of life you would like to focus on.

Embracing Ageing

I've put this image of the front yard of an old house we once rented in a sea side town in NSW, as I'm particularly fond of old beac...