On this episode, life coach, MaryAnn Walker, explores the significance of values in our lives, how they influence decision-making, and the importance of intentional living. Through personal anecdotes and examples, MaryAnn highlights how actions often reveal misalignment with stated values, emphasizing the need for conscious awareness and deliberate choices.
Listeners are encouraged to identify their core values, prioritize them, and ensure their actions align with these values to create a more authentic and fulfilling life. Ultimately, "Aligned living" empowers listeners to live in accordance with their true values, fostering personal growth, peace, and authenticity.
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Well, hello and welcome back. I'm so glad that you were here. So today I wanted to start off by sharing some super sweet messages that I received this last week. The first one said, I just have to tell you how much I enjoy your podcast and your posts. I look forward to them and find them so soothing and healing and your laugh. I just love your laugh. It always makes me smile. I just love you. Thank you for doing what you do. You were such a blessing to so many people. And the second message said, I just want to drop by and say a big thank you for sharing. So openly, your podcast is a treasure trove of wisdom. The episodes are packed with valuable insights and actionable tips. It's clear that you pour your heart into each episode and it truly shines through. You guys, these messages felt so good to receive. So thank you so much. I really do treasure these messages. And I actually have a separate notebook that I keep, where I compile all of the positive messages that I receive so that when I'm feeling discouraged, I can turn to these and be reminded as to why it is that I do what I do. And what was really interesting was on the day that I received these two very positive messages. I also received a less than kind to message. Somebody was offended by one of my posts and they let me know that they thought I was wrong and it really wasn't a huge deal. They're entitled to their opinion. And I am entitled to mine. And surely I think in this instance, it was truly just about semantics. I think we're probably more on the same page than she actually thinks that we are. But as you know, I'm a recovering people pleaser. And so it did kind of give me pause to receive negative feedback. And I did have to coach my way through it a little bit. And also I just really love how things work out. I mean, the fact that on this day that I received this negative message that I received, not one, but two, twice as many positive messages. That just really felt amazing to me and felt pretty validating. So thank you so much to those of you that have reached out to those of you that have left a positive review on the podcast. It really does make a difference. So thank you. That is something that I really value is connecting in with the people that generally resonate with me and I, with them. And I value those connections far more than I value being liked by everybody. Another interesting experience that I thought I would share is after I recorded my podcast episode on embracing differences, specifically addressing my own family and the LGBT community. For the first time ever in the history of my Instagram. I lost more followers than I gained. And maybe it's a coincidence and maybe it's not, but I do know that for two weeks in a row, I lost more followers than I gained. And you know what? This loss in followers, it didn't really bother me. And you want to know why. Because first of all those people, they must not be my people and that's okay. I really, truly hope that they are able to find a coach that better aligns with them. And also I value making the world a safer place for my family, even more than I value increasing my following week after week. And that's what we're talking about today is values how they show up for us, how they impact our decision-making and how we can be a little bit more intentional about living life. According to our actual values, just being consciously aware of it. I would say that most people truly believe that they are living in accordance with their values. And also at least for the people pleasers, sometimes our actions reveal that we aren't actually living in alignment with our values. So for example, maybe we say that we value filling our own cup first so that we can continue to love and serve others. But then we might find ourselves in situations where we are self-sacrificing to the point where we can't help anyone, least of all ourselves. So in this instance, we're actually valuing other people over ourselves and creating a sustainable way of living for ourselves. Another example that I saw recently I'd read, it was a bride who was upset by the small number of guests that had RSVP two or$3,000 per person, destination, wedding. Ultimately, she really had to think about what it was that she valued more, having more people in attendance or the location of her wedding So think for a moment about what it is that you value most and see if there may be some competing values. So some of my values, as I stated earlier, are creating a safe space for my family and genuine connection and authenticity. I also value peace, clear and compassionate communication. Long-term stability, safety, security, family connection, consistency, adventure, play creativity, understanding and so much more. And it can be a really interesting experiment to see how I prioritize each of these values in any given moment. Because the truth is sometimes we're a little bit like toddlers. We want the sweet treat now, and we don't want to eat our vegetables first. But prioritizing sweet treats is going to lead to potential health issues, dental problems, obesity, and so much more. So we might say that we value eating our vegetables. But our actions of choosing the sweet treat is actually providing evidence for our brain, that sweet treats and immediate gratification. That that is what should be prioritized. There may be times when I have to really reflect on what it is that I'm choosing to value most in the moment. So for example, do I value peace or long-term stability more? These are both things that I truly value, but sometimes things can get a little bit fuzzy, right. Especially when I find myself falling into my old people, pleasing ways. When this happens, I might find that I'm actually choosing short-term peace over longterm peace and stability. This can look like remaining silent and not speaking up to create change in our relationship. And we're doing this in order to keep the peace, rather than choosing into the uncomfortable conversations. That will create that longterm peace and that long-term stability. It might look like not making a request to have our needs met because in the moment we're placing our value and not upsetting the other person. We don't want to inconvenience them. We don't want to make things harder for them, but this isn't going to create longterm stability and sustainability for us. In fact, instead it's going to be creating resentment and potentially continuing a pattern of imbalance in the relationship. So really ask yourself, what do I really value? And am I living in accordance with those values? Maybe you value both fun and play, and also you value financial stability. If you were form of play and adventure costs a lot of money, this might create a little bit of conflict for you. And when this happens, are you going to choose to place your value into making memories? Or are you going to choose to invest in financial stability? Or maybe you truly value financial security and you value education. What will you do? What is more in alignment with your values, delaying education until you can pay for it yourself or choosing into a little bit of financial insecurity in the form of debt. Uh, in order to get your education sooner. And I'm sure that as I'm sharing these examples, many of you are probably thinking which one you value more in that situation. And maybe even making judgements about which answer is the right answer, but the truth is there is no right answer. It's okay to value, whatever it is that you value, just make sure that you're choosing it consciously and on purpose. For example, the Reddit bride that was upset that more people didn't RSVP two or$3,000 per person, destination wedding. If she was really honest with herself and what she was valuing, she would see that she actually had two competing values. She was upset because she values both the presence of friends and family, and she values the destination that she's chosen for the wedding and really thinking through which one do I value most in this moment and which one is most important to me, if there are competing values and choosing into the one that's most important that can help to minimize hurt. And minimize resentment so if, for example, the destination and the memory of getting married at that destination is what is most important to the bride. Wonderful. She can know that she is living in alignment with her values and know that she was choosing her day on purpose, knowing that the groom and the destination, or what is most important to her. And then she can kind of let the rest go. If, however, as she's planning, she realizes that having her friends and family present for that special day is what's most important to her. Then she might want to consider shifting her venue to make it more accessible to everybody that she would like to have an attendance. And maybe she would choose instead to have her honeymoon be at that destination. Neither choices wrong. It is her wedding day and she gets to choose what it is that she values most. But recognizing that she may have some competing values in that moment that can really help her to become really clear about what it is that she wants to choose on purpose. And then kind of let the rest go. One of my guilty pleasures is hoarders. I love the psychology behind it. It's kind of fun for me. And I admit that as I am moving, I find myself enjoying watching porters even more because it really helps me to get rid of stuff. That during one particular episode, they were cleaning out this guy's house and they were literally using a shovel to clear all of the debris off of the floor. And as they were cleaning, they came across cases and cases of empty bottles. And I really loved the home organizer that was helping this guy out with this task. She was so amazing. She sat with him with every single item, making him consciously aware of what he wanted to keep and what he wanted to get rid of. And so when she asked him, all right, do you want to keep these bottles or do you want to toss them? Then he said, well, we can toss the bottles, but I want to keep the caps because you can actually win free, stuck with the caps. And the home organizer was so sweet. And so patient with them as she kind of chuckled through herself, softly, she looked around all of the stuff that they were getting rid of. Right. And she kind of gently pointed out to them that, all right. Well, the whole point of doing what we're doing is to create less stuff. Not to find ways to get more free stuff, to keep it the house. And then she also really asked him a really important question. Essentially. She asked him if those caps fit in with his value system. She'd had a conversation with them earlier in the episode where she asked him what it was that he truly values. And he said that he really values personal and spiritual development, and he also has the value and the goal of writing a book. And then she asked him if keeping those caps would align with those values and goals. And ultimately he decided, Nope, they would not. So bring this into his conscious awareness, what it was that he really truly valued that made it significantly easier for him to let go of the bottles and the caps. His whole life he'd had essentially been acting as though his greatest value. Wasn't getting good deals and not wasting anything, but this was creating chaos for him. And it wasn't in alignment with his values. What he really wanted to value, not only in word, but also in his action was spiritual and personal development. And once he brought that to the forefront of his mind, he was able to release anything in his life that was not in alignment with those core values. And this series is a really fascinating one, because so often as you're watching the show, you can see that the work gets done, but their mindset hasn't shifted. And so within a few months, the house is going to look basically the same as it was. But the love and the care and the coaching that this home organizer did with this particular guest on the show. He was one guest where I could see a tangible shift, a tangible mindset shift. And I could tell this guy he's going to be one that never goes back to the life he lived before he had realized that what he loved even more than the possibility of free stuff was peace of mind. And for him, peace of mind meant I clean and clear space. It would better support him in his personal and spiritual development, free of distraction. And I love the home organizer even helped him to set up a little desk and study area where he could do his writing, being free of all of that distraction. So notice what it is that your actions are actually valuing. See what it is that your actions are creating for you. Notice, if you were saying that you value one thing, but if your actions are actually telling your brain to value something else. And then decide if your actions are actually supporting the life that it is that you want to create. So some of the questions that you might ask yourself, especially as a helper, a healer, or a people pleaser. Am I doing this to make other people happy? Or am I doing this? Because it really makes me happy. In other words, am I currently prioritizing other people's emotions? Or am I valuing my own emotions right now? And this will really help you to clean things up a bit when a request is made of you. So maybe it really does feed your soul to say yes. And if that's the case, do it feeling that wholehearted yes. Is a very good sign that what you were saying yes to is in alignment with your values. If, however you find that you were saying yes, solely out of duty and obligation, then maybe there is a value conflict and saying yes. And that situation is actually going to result in bitterness and resentment. Rather than connection and love. So just notice how you feel in the moment and choose it on purpose. Another common theme that I see among the people. Pleasers is valuing comfort. Over actually creating the life that you want. Many people pleasers are pretty conflict averse. They value peace over happiness. They value peace over mutual development. And if I told them, I said, Hey, it sounds like you're valuing peace right now. They would probably say, yeah, of course I value peace. Blessed are the peacemakers. It is so good to value peace. And yes, they are right. It is so good to value peace. And also sometimes valuing peace in the longterm means having a little bit of a lack of peace. In the short term, it can mean leaning into the discomfort. So don't confuse, valuing short-term peace. For valuing longterm peace. And you will know the difference between what it is that you're valuing and which kind of piece that you're valuing by what it is they create, because sometimes valuing that longterm piece that is going to create some short-term discomfort. But it is 100% worth it and is actually more in alignment with your values, then keeping the peace and keeping your mouth shut in the moment. One thing that I talk with clients a lot about is the importance of irritating the situation. We want to avoid conflict at all costs. And that means not irritating anyone, but if we are really honest with ourselves, we would see that we're already feeling irritated. We're already feeling like something needs to change, but for whatever reason, we're choosing not to say anything in order to keep the peace, but then we become more and more angry and more and more resentful. And then eventually we'll probably explode at the other person. And then the other person feels totally blindsided. And in that moment, it's good to notice that we're no longer standing in integrity. Right? So the peacemakers are going to hold the piece until they can't hold it anymore. And then they're going to explode and then they're no longer acting in integrity and it's a big mess. So just notice what it is that you're valuing in the moment and choose it on purpose. You are going to have competing values. But take a moment to just really look at the situation and decide which value it is that you want to lead with. We are all going to have competing values at one point or another that's life. But the key is making sure that you weren't sacrificing a core value. For one of your lesser values in the moment and truly when you're able to bring your values into your conscious awareness, that's when you're going to experience significantly more peace. When I saw my followers dropping, I could have made being liked my most important value and I could have made it mean that I needed to change in order to be liked by everyone. But when I realized that I valued finding people that genuinely resonate with me. People that really value what it is that I've tried to create in this community. Then that makes it a lot easier for me to let go of the people that aren't heading in the same direction as me. In fact, seeing people unfollow me, it actually lets me know that I'm doing a pretty good job of narrowing my focus to find those that do resonate. So today's homework is to identify what your top values are. Maybe you want to make a list of 10 or so values and kind of list them in order of priority. And then look at your values and see if you can pick your top three values. These are going to be your core values, and then ask yourself if you are really living in alignment with those core values, that guy from hoarders came to realize that he was not actually living in accordance with his values. He came to realize that his actions were actually placing his lower values above his core values. And once he realized that then he was able to adjust accordingly. You can do the same thing. So make a list of your values, rank them, and then make sure that you're living in alignment with these values. So just to get you started, I've already talked about a few values, but I'll share a few more that I have seen in my personal life and in my coaching sessions. And this will just kind of give you an idea of some things that might be coming up for you. So some other values might be safety and security, adventure. Love compassion, understanding cooperation, reciprocation, nurturing, existing relationships, developing new relationships, financial security. Education. Autonomy collaboration. Honesty kindness. Family. Friends cleanliness, free time work time. There are countless things that you can value. This is just a very, very short list. But really think about what it is that you're valuing in the moment. In fact, any time you're experiencing conflict internally. Or with another person, it can be a very wise thing to do to just take a little minute to ask, okay, what am I valuing right now? Another common thing that I see with people is when they value being understood more than they value understanding. And that can always be a very interesting thing because then it ends up with basically two people not feeling heard or seen or understood and so really reassessing. Okay. Is it more important for me to get my message across. Or for us to both see and hear each other, what is it I value most, do I value being right? Or do I value seeing what is right. And as you practice becoming more aware of what it is that you are valuing in the moment, the more skilled you will become at assessing what it is that supports the life that you ultimately want to create. So, Hey, if you would like some help and support, identifying your values, come and work with me, it really can help to have somebody else mirror back to you. What it is that you're currently valuing. And what is it that is creating for you so that you can better see if that is something that is really in alignment for you. So just as a reminder, I am on leave until I get settled into our new place. But once we do get moved in, I will be upping my availability and I would love to work with you. So if you would like to start coaching towards the end of August, first part of September, come and join my waitlist now, by going to Maryann walker.life. All right, everybody here's to living life on purpose and according to our values, I love you guys. And let's talk soon. Bye now.