This year as I turned 60 a huge year began to unfold. On my birthday in February I literally felt like I had walked over a new threshold. It feels like a definitive energetic shift. What has become even more obvious as I walk this wiser path though is the part my core values play in my life.
Just recently one of our lovely women in The Empowered MidLife Woman Facebook group posted a request. She wanted to write an article about the ways women celebrate their 60th. Maria asked us how we celebrated ours.
Being an open book and loving to share, I was the first to respond. As I was typing my answer I had a sudden realisation. Each celebration I had planned for the year was in direct alignment with my number one core value.
Our core values drive our decisions and our activities when we are being true to ourselves.
I celebrated my actual birthday with a group of my closest, dearest and long standing friends. We gathered for a weekend in Port Douglas which was wonderful. To say I was fulfilled was an understatement.
Some of my friends are scattered around the country and they flew in for the event. I was over the moon. It was a very small gathering and luncheon. I don’t need extravagance and it was perfect.
We have different values for individual aspects of life
Since then I’ve also realised that all friends that I invited have similar friendship values too. Something I obviously knew before, otherwise they wouldn’t be close friends. But it stood out to me very clearly during that weekend.
Next celebration was with my own little family. My partner, my two son’s, their partners and my four grandchildren.
It’s been a goal of mine for the last couple of years to shout my family a holiday. And this year I achieved it for my 60th birthday. We went to a gorgeous little island off the coast of Far North Queensland called Magnetic Island. It’s actually the island where I spent a week with my two boys when they were very small. So it was wonderful to take them back there with their own children.
Family can also have a whole set of values of their own or different rules
That whole week together on that little island filled me with so much joy I felt like I would burst. My top most important value was met every single day in the best way possible related to family. Spending quality time together as a family. Having meaningful conversations and lots of laughs fed my soul. Also seeing my family enjoying each other’s company too lit me up.
My final celebration this year is a trip home to the UK in October/November. It’s been fourteen years since I last visited and it’s the longest gap I’ve had. Well overdue and I know there will be lots of tears at the airport.
I can’t wait to see my brother and his family. And of course my uncle and aunt who are the last elders in our family of origin. My closest and longest time friend is also still in England and I will be spending a couple of days with her too. She is very much like family to me. My heart feels like it will burst at the thought of my time there.
You’ve probably guessed already that the core value of connection is huge for me and it drives many things I do. It’s my top most important value and in that there are a variety of rules relative to different aspects of life. This particular value is also the reason I do the work I do in the way that I do it. Having this clarity also enables me to make decisions in all aspects of life that energise me instead of drain me.
Now I’ve shared my exciting year with you, I want to drive this message home.
If we’re not clear on our most important values we can end up feeling like a ship lost at sea without a compass.
We can feel like we’re just drifting unsure of which direction to take. Or as one of my dear clients once said, unable to leave the harbour.
At this stage of life it is vital to gain full clarity of your values. Both your core values and values related to each aspect of life. This isn’t time to sit in the harbour or float adrift. It’s time to set your sails.
Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. This is your life, its happening right now and you’re in your second half, there is no time to waste. It’s up to you to decide how you want to live your life. And if you don’t get clear on your own core values, you are likely to end up living by someone else’s rules. Which is fine if you have exactly the same values. But it’s highly unlikely you do even if you’ve been with that person for years.
Get clear on the core values that are most important to you
Exploring what is most important in your own life is the first step in eliciting your own core values. This isn’t a one time thing, because your values shift a little as your life changes and you have different experiences.
Each year I do this work I become clearer on my own values. This gives an incredibly strong sense of self and it makes decision making so much easier. It also makes it possible to communicate my needs more clearly too.
Take some time for you and get clear on yours. It is a lengthy process and it can feel confusing to begin with. Often it takes someone listening objectively to help you gain clarity. So reach out to a coach you feel you can trust. It will be well worth the investment.
Know your values that relate to different aspects of life
If you have friendships or relationships that you find frustrating or lacking in some way, there’s a good chance that there is misalignment. This means you have different values or different value belief systems.
The same for work. If you’re dissatisfied, there’s a good chance there’s been changes that no longer align with your values. But if you don’t know what your values are, it’s difficult to see that or even make choices that are right for you.
Doing this work has helped me make changes around work, friendships and relationships that allow me to feel fulfilled. My clients have been able to do the same too which has had positive impact for them.
Once you have clarity around your core values, doing this extra exploration for different life aspects is much easier.
Live true to yourself, make aligned decisions and feel fulfilled regularly
There’s no point in doing this work, putting it away and not looking at it again. Our values drive our life. If we ignore them they will make sure we take notice by the way we feel.
Whether that’s leaving a job because we just can’t stand it anymore only to go straight into a similar situation and feel the same. Or choosing a similar relationship or friendship and feeling the same discontent.
It’s only by gaining clarity of our values that we can change the decisions we make so they are more aligned. Have a strong sense of self and have the courage to live true to ourselves.
And maybe plan the kind of celebrations like I did that feed your soul, have your heart filled with love and fit to burst.
Happy second half to you. Make the most of it.
Eliciting your own core values can be challenging if you’ve never done it before. And if you ask friends to help, it’s highly likely their support will be coloured by their own belief system. Being listened to in a totally unbiased way helps you hear what is most true for you personally. Especially when prompted by powerful questions. Working with a good and experienced coach can give you this. Book your initial connect call HERE.