Blog post was written by Cuca Azinovic, Spain
Happy New Year to you all!
We are approaching the end of January and the excitement of the New Year, with the Traditional Resolutions is starting to fade down for most of us. And probably it is the same for our clients. By now we are probably swamped in endless “to-do-list” fighting against time to meet commitments and adjust controversy as we move along. By now we might be also contemplating the latest “time management course” because… “This year, I really want to find time for myself and the things that are important for me”.
We do it every year, again and again, and we end up experiencing certain frustration and probably disqualification towards ourselves because we do not have enough willpower to stand up for what is really, really, important. This, unconsciously, has happened to me for many years. And in a way, it is good that this happens, as it is a reflection of wanting to have a more fulfilling life, hoping for better, finding greater meaning, purpose, and satisfaction. It mirrors the profound need to feed our heart with a purpose to be. And it gives our lives a bigger frame than just us.
This does not mean looking for ways to have a fulfilling life but to be fulfilled. For this, we need to investigate with curiosity what we value most in our lives. What really matter to us? What are we really willing, wholeheartedly, to commit to? And out of those questions, we might get our own individual core values. The link of values and fulfillment is so obvious that it may be overlooked. However, working on this might help us create a map that will guide us along the decision path of our lives. It will help us to take a stand and make choices. Honouring our values is inherently fulfilling even when it is hard. If authenticity is one of our core values, we might find there are times when being authentic can create discomfort for us and others. However, discomfort will pass and a sense of integrity or congruency will remain. Values are the quality of life lived fully from the inside out. When we honour our values and the choices we make in our lives, we feel an internal resonance and peace.
Our core values can be made a Vow. Some people prefer calling it “life purpose” or “mission in life”. A vow is an intention to which we can continually reorient ourselves when we feel in dissonance. It helps us anchor in our life what it matters most. A vow is a path, not the destination. It is built with our unique essence and resembles the intimate longings of our heart. Exploring our core values and sculpting our Vow is a process that usually takes time, however in the silence of our meditation, connected to our inner wisdom with a “relaxed perseverance” as Joseph Goldstein likes to say, helps unveil “what is the hunger I am here to feed?” “What is my heart really longing for?”.
I had been working on my Vow for some time and it keeps getting simpler and simpler. It always opens my meditation ritual and I even found an object, a rickshaw wallah bell, which metaphorically represents it in my meditation altar. And the way it reads now is “Alleviate the suffering of the hearts”.
It is inspired by the work of Mother Teresa, somebody very close to my heart. However, I had always related to my Vow as something that I should do for others. My unique contribution to humanity. But this Christmas, while meditating on my vow, it turns back to me strongly in a form of a question “and, what can you do to alleviate the suffering of your own heart?”.
There it was. My heart speaking. In the midst of the silence, my inner wisdom knows that if I do not gently exercise my body daily it will get painful and crankier. The procrastination that I have been facing lately, prioritizing everything but this, faded away when I realized that my own suffering must be alleviated in order to help others do the same; and not taking care of my physical body has been causing me suffering. Since then gentle exercise has stopped being a burden and has started being a joyful time with myself. And it is slowly getting into my routine. As Thich Nhat Hanh once said: “go home and take care of yourself”.
And I would like to end this reflection with a sentence that came as well from my heart: “the best book ever never written, lays inside us longing to be read. Let’s create in 2017 the silence and the space to be guided throughout the year”. Happy New Year to us all!
What are the core values you would like to honour this year? Can you write them in the form of a vow? How can this be applied in the different areas of your life?