Ask Dr. Rosie: Reviewing Values, Regrets and Acknowledgements
From: Julia W. Boulder, Colorado
Dear Dr. Rosie,
I’m curious how you’ve prepared for this New Year? Did you evaluate and assess how things went for you in 2010 and make a list of what you want to have happen in 2011? What process did you follow to make this coming year better than the last?
Look forward to seeing you at the next Colorado Wonderful Women’s Retreat in February.
From: Dr. Rosie
What comes along automatically for me with the end of a season, a cycle or a year is a process of questioning of what I could have done differently and what am I willing to consider doing differently in this upcoming period of time. Our economic situation is just one element of many that makes it seem imperative that I rethink things so as to allow life to turn out the way I want rather than have it turn out the way it could, if I don’t shift how I’m being or what I’m doing. This usually gives me a sense of control over my current situation and lessens the experience of being at the mercy of something outside myself. In just these few sentences I’ve revealed a couple of values that will enter my evaluation process and the planning I’ll do for 2011 and beyond.
You see, Julia, what influences our choice-making process more than anything else is the values that we live into; the values that we align with and in many ways make sacred, which will have us choose what we choose to choose for this upcoming year to turn out the way we want.
The values I want to live into are perhaps different than what I’ve always believed to be most important. Stability, Security, Safety and Control (SSS and C) have been primary values that have kept me stuck in beliefs and in actions that don’t really serve me anymore. I’m not wanting to replace these with their opposites but I may want to modify my list to include values that I’ve ignored or been afraid to acknowledge. The SSS and C values too often have limited me from acting and allowing more of what I’m wanting to occur in my life. And so I want to ask myself what are some other qualities that I want as much as or more than SSS and C.
Freedom, Fun and Flexibility are three values at the top of my list when assessing projects I take on. Courage and Allowing are also very important. Love, Kindness and Generosity have become more important as I mature. And, for those who know me well, they know that Nature and Beauty are also very close to the top of my list.
Courage is becoming more important to me as I continually push the edge of my comfort zone in order to practice walking my talk. Integrity and Accountability are also really important to me and in order to be accountable and in integrity I have to be courageous enough to be-with the various forms of discomfort that are going to surface as I ignore those parts of me that want to resist this, in service to my old values of SSS and C.
This creates a dilemma in that I have to continually be vigilant, observing my natural inclination to avoid and distract myself, even go unconscious of my actions, in service of SSS and C. I have to continually be vigilant of not only my actions but the thoughts that fuel those actions, the ones that judge, criticize and hinder any movement towards those values that bring about a fulfillment of my spirit but contradict the belief that Safety, Stability and Security are essential. To live into my truth I continually have to practice being death-defying. I’m not into extreme sports unless you include taking leaps-of-faith an extreme sport.
So assessing my values and re-prioritizing them is a big practice I take on at the end of the year.
Another practice, Julia, is to make a list of regrets; what I did or didn’t do over the year that had things turn out the way they did. There isn’t anything to fix, heal, change or convert here, nor necessarily to forgive. Looking at this list lets me see where I didn’t act according to my highest good or my highest truth. I can sit with myself or with my coach and discover what survival strategies were in place that had me choose to choose what I chose. I ask myself what was I serving that created the regrets. What was I afraid people might find out or decide about me – or what I would find out or decide about myself? What was I afraid to discover about me? What would I have to face if I were to discover something about myself I wouldn’t like or respect? These questions allow me to go beyond the basic list-making of New Year Resolutions and become ever more resolved to transform my choice-making process to ensure the outcome I’m wanting.
There is a part of me that doesn’t want to be so accountable and responsible for creating a bigger, better and different 2011. I want to appreciate all I’ve done to make 2010 the year it was; to remember where I was courageous and brave, where I allowed myself to be vulnerable in service to my highest truth and highest good; where I pushed myself to be generous beyond my means, knowing that the abundance of the Universe is always showering gifts upon me. I want to acknowledge myself for all of the stretching and strengthening I did this year to become who I am and to be the foundation of who I’m becoming.
If I can follow through with these three practices, Julia, I believe I will be ready, perched on the edge of my nest, like a fledgling eagle and make the leap into the ethers anticipating the exhilaration of what’s to come.
May your year be filled with courage and daring acts of being you!
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