January: Be True

January: Be TrueJanuary feels like an ideal month to focus on the “Be True” of Wise Introvert’s call for more authentic living. When you understand yourself better, that truth becomes the foundation of all your choices as you move through the rest of the year.

Values are a critical part of that roadmap.

If we think of values in terms of what’s most important to us, or what guides our priorities in life, there’s an understanding that they must exist through action.

And what if your values are not reflected in your action?

You’ll know. Because it will show up for you in one way or another: that’s the feeling of dis-ease. Living your life in a way that prioritizes someone else’s values can ‘eat away’ at your body, mind, and soul. Most of us do it to some extent – until it catches up with us and we get a wake-up call.

One of my wake-up calls came about six years ago when I finally burnt out. At that point, if I had the energy to walk my daughter to and home from school, I was having a good day.

I wanted more. Perhaps you can relate.

So let’s declare January as the perfect month to huddle in and focus on clarifying what is more true for us at this point in our lives.

You already know yourself. The answers are always within you. But if you’re still reading, my guess is that you’re wanting to get more clear. You’re still feeling stuck or frustrated in some way. Or perhaps you’re making your way through a transition and feel uncertain about what comes next.

Values are critical to your “Be True” roadmap. There are a number of ways to uncover your values and different methods work for different people. This is one approach that has helped me to get concrete because the analysis is based in what I have actually done (not what I think or wish).

The exercises will highlight contrast for you – and that contrast can lead you to getting more clear about your truth.

Here are some questions for you to ponder as you dig deeper:

 

How do you spend your TIME?

Just take a look at how you spent your time yesterday (assuming it was a ‘normal’ day for you – extend to whatever time frame makes the most sense for you). What exactly did you do? How did each activity feel? How much of it really mattered to you? How much of it was for some external obligation or commitment that felt like ‘going through the motions’?

 

How do you spend your ENERGY?

Reviewing the breakdown of your day, take a look at it in terms of your energy. At what point did you feel energized? At what point did you feel drained? Look for commonalities in the factors that led you to feel that way.

 

How do you spend your MONEY?

Taking time to review your last credit card and bank statements can be very revealing. What did you spend your money on? Compare that to your income for the month. If you categorize your spending, what proportion of your income was spent on each category?

How does that feel to you? You’re either spending money on what you value, or, you’re spending money on what you think you should value/what others value. Sit quietly with the numbers. Which is it?

 

All of these questions can help you to clarify your values. Because your values are more than what sounds nice to prioritize. They’re experiential. You’re living them (spending your time, energy & money on them) or you’re not.

Clarity can come through contrast. If you identify something that’s not feeling quite right to you, reflect on what would feel more true. Create space and trust the answers that arise from within you.

To practice living more true does not mean that you’ll no longer get off track.

It does mean that you can feel more like you actually belong in the life you’re creating for yourself. That opens the door to more peacefulness, confidence, joy, and feelings of authentic success.

I’m curious, what surfaced for you as you read this? Did your truth already start speaking to you? I call it my intuition, or gut reaction. Trust yours.

9 thoughts on “January: Be True”

  1. Great questions Marla. I know when I’m learning something new like I did this year with writing and marketing my book, I allow my time to slip away. One reason is my passion but the other is not really knowing what I’m doing. My goal this year is to get control of letting the time slip away no matter what I’m doing even if I am passionate about it. I want to get to where whatever I’m doing is an energy booster not an energy drain.

    1. “I want to get to where whatever I’m doing is an energy booster not an energy drain.” I LOVE that Diane – and can relate to the time slipping away. Sounds like you have an interesting year ahead! Excited for you. Thanks for sharing…

  2. Great message Marla, and oh yes, I have a vivid recollection of my own “burn out.” I was sitting at the desk in my home office working on my priority list for the day before I headed off to work. The strangest thing happened … without any big drama, that task list turned into a letter of resignation. I had no other job lined up, no plan, I just hit the wall. I printed it out and took it into the owner when I got to work and he just sat there with his mouth hanging open. I must admit I really lucked out considering my lack of planning because no sooner did the word get out and I had several job offers – not sure I’d ever do that again, but I’m not sorry I did it either.

    1. There’s a time and place for everything and sometimes, as you say, you just have to trust yourself and go for it. Thanks for sharing Marty 🙂

  3. As a natural self-analyzer, most of your suggestions are something I already do. I do want to thank you for the thought to look at where I spend my money. I never associated it with value or should value. I knew that I chose to spend money in different ways than my mom, and it bugs her. I really appreciate the insight. Thank you!

    1. I think we have much to learn through our relationship with money – and it’s an area that many of us overlook. If you haven’t read “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez, I highly recommend it.

  4. I love this post, Marla – a clear clarion call to sound in the New Year and to renew our commitment to our same old selves! What came up for me was the word Congruence. As a Yoga teacher I use the term Alignment a lot (defined by the amazing nonagenarian Yoga teacher Vanda Scaravelli as ‘the clear flow of force through the body’). I know I’m somatically aligned if I can stand in a queue at the Bank for 40mins and not get backache or sore feet, and I know I’m congruent if I feel empathy and compassion for the slow clerk, despite already running late. Inner and outer flow! Happy, healthy, harmonious 2015, Everybody!

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