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IX. The Magic Wand Continued: Exploring Who You Are -
Learned Values

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
— Oscar Wilde

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods

Please read over the quotes above again and look at whether they apply to your life. Are you fully living or just existing? It seems like most people do not live, they really do just exist. They go to work at jobs they dislike, jobs that cause them stress and sometimes illness. They do these jobs so that they can exist, pay the bills, keep a roof over their heads. They live their "real lives" on the weekends, holidays and vacations. We all know people who dread Monday mornings.

Then there are those among us who stay in relationships that stifle who they are. They stay in relationships with people they don't even like, just so they won't be alone. They live lives of "quiet desperation"; lives that don't feel meaningful and are filled with all sorts of things that they do not value. They do work they do not enjoy, have relationships they endure and activities they use to either live viciously through others or use to numb their pain. Does any of this apply to you?

Or are you thinking you did the core value exercise and yet you are still not living or even beginning to live your core values? Your life is not filled with all that you say you want. Are you wondering what is stopping you from having what you want? Are you wondering why you are stuck in a job or relationship that feels totally out of alignment with who you are?

To understand why the above might be so, I want to talk about learned values. These are the values that we have learned in order to survive in this physical world of the five senses. When we depend only on our physical senses and don't understand that we are really spiritual beings living in physical bodies, we get all hung up on survival. We live by what Gary Zukav, calls external power in his excellent book, "The Seat of the Soul". External power is power "over", by that I mean over others, over nature, over ourselves, over our needs, over our wants, etc. In order to feel good we must have power over something or someone. It is very fleeting, as I am sure you are aware. How many times have you gossiped or put down someone so that you could feel good and then realized how fleeting the "good" feeling was.

Authentic power is internal, it comes from within ourselves and from that universal force that we call God, Goddess, Divine, Higher Power, etc. It is the power of your soul, that which lives on forever and can never be destroyed. When we live from this internal power then and only then can we be truly in alignment with our core values. For our core values are really why and what we came to this planet to live and spread. These are values such as compassion, truth, beauty, creativity, peace, integrity, etc. Check over the values you choose from the last exercise and see if they are core values or learned values.

Then check your life and see what values you are living daily. Are you coming from your core values, from your spirit? Or are you so wrapped up in surviving you haven't taken the time to really check in with your soul on your values. If this is the case, you are probably sabotaging yourself from having that ideal relationship, career or even life.

For example, I am sure you probably know someone who has said they want to be in a loving, mutually supportive, committed relationship. Then when they got into a relationship with someone, they were so distrustful that they drove the other person; who started out as loving, mutually supportive and committed; into the arms of another or at the very least out of the relationship. This is an example of a learned value of safety, the person has unconsciously decided to be safe and nobody is going to hurt them again emotionally. Or you may know someone who says the above, yet due to wanting to feel safe, they don't even get involved with people who could be loving, mutually supportive or committed.

This person is probably not even conscious of this learned value and yet they keep making decisions based on it, rather than their core values. So if you are not getting what you want, take a look at what you say you want and what you have. Doing the exercise below will help you see where you get yourself stuck with learned values.

Exercise on Learned Values
Get out your journal or a sheet of paper, find a place where you can sit quietly without interruptions for about an hour. Get into a comfortable position and focus your attention on your breath. When you are ready, gently close your eyes. Take three very deep breaths, breathing all the way into your belly for a count of 8, hold your breath for 4 and release it through your mouth for 8. Then breath normally, again focusing your attention on your breath. However, as you breathe in, picture yourself breathing in relaxation and as you breathe out release any tension. When you are feeling totally relaxed, let your mind drift and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. In what areas of my life am I most stuck?
  2. What learned values am I living that keep me from my authentic power?
  3. What can I do to overcome these learned values and start to live my core values?

What ever comes to mind, allow it to be there. Write down exactly what you are feeling or what comes to mind. If nothing specific comes to mind, however you receive pictures or recall an event from your past, write those down.

If you are an avid dreamer, sometimes it helps to ask yourself these questions before you go to bed. Have a pad of paper available next to your bedside and ask yourself to wake with the answers to these questions.

Read over what you have written down. What does it say to you? Not what it might mean to someone else but to you personally. For example, one of the participants in a workshop I gave, was struggling with a career issue and wanted to find something that would make her heart sing. When she opened her eyes after an exercise, her attention and eyes were focused on a large fake plant in the room. As she looked at the plant it reminded her of a tree and then her dogs came to mind. As her dogs came into focus she realized that she wanted to breed and raise dogs.

This is getting into intuition somewhat and we will talk about this more in a later newsletter. So if you don't get such a clear message and what you have written eludes you totally, please feel free to call or email me. I will be glad to help you figure out what your dreams or messages are trying to tell you. Either that or wait until we work on the intuitive and maybe you will be able to intuit it for yourself.

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