I have the opportunity to be working with Deane Giordano. She is a business coach and has been helping me regain my focus on my business/my life/my art – it’s all the same to me.
I just had to share with you an exercise I’ve been working on, finding your values list. I have read plenty about direction and how to plan your day and your week around your big life plans and values. My problem has been that I’m not exactly sure about values. I was raised on the Bible and any time anyone talks about values I refer back to key verses and chapters on character and virtuous women. The Bible has served me well all my life, it’s been a great compass and, well, “the cornerstone of my foundation”, like it says. When it comes to what I want, however, I don’t know how to answer that. What’s important for my life and my happiness?
Value: The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something
Before I started Deane’s project I looked up the definition of value and was reminded that value is also an art term, the lights and darks.
A value painting is an important step in planning the composition of a painting and where the eye will be drawn. If all the values are the same or if poor planning is involved the lights and darks of the painting don’t move the eye around, give off conflicting light sources, and can make things bland. Planning the values in a painting before I paint it has helped me create much more vivid pieces. This definition of values resonated with me and has really shown me how appropriate it is to have your values clear before you plan out your day, your week, or your life.
So, here is a great way to find your values, it’s a two step process to follow along with Deane. You can get it for free here. In part 1 you reflect back on events that have shaped your life, moments that you have felt perfectly in the flow with life, your qualities as a child, what makes you angry and frustrated, and what you can’t live without. Deane explains it in a much better way that gets those ideas flowing and lets the memories flood in. I had so much fun reminiscing back to my most favorite times in my life. I also love the awareness it brings to frustrations and complaints. WHY are you so angry at bad drivers and people that are late?
You know what is really amazing about this values exercise? Deane calls her worksheet a “Values Roadmap”. The first time I did this I was sitting in the living room and looking at my roadmap. Yes, years ago a spontaneous mess turned into a visual roadmap for my life. It hangs on my wall and I use it as a guide to focus on my life path. What I was thrilled to see is that as I did this exercise it began to help me interpret my roadmap in a new way. For instance, most of my roadmap is green, that’s how the colors mixed together when I spread them all over the place. Someone told me that green is the color of healing which I didn’t realize when I painted this but as I learn about my values, healing has come up over and over in the form of helping others, comfort, and self-compassion. I am also learning how important nature is to me and green represents my favorite parts about nature. Instead of seeing this dominantly green map as mixed up colors, I thought about nature and healing permeating through my life, it’s like ripples and experiences I’ve gleaned or left behind.
Taking a look back at events that shaped my life really hit home for me. Here’s a couple lessons I wrote down from what I experienced:
- I was true to myself and I found my place
- follow your heart and you’ll find a solution
- if you don’t feel like you belong you DO belong somewhere else
- trust your gut
- do what you love, let it guide you
- doing what you want is right, even when it scares you
- the universe provides, you don’t have to worry
- I can make a difference. Taking action, helping others gets rid of fear.
- take a literal step out in faith and you’ll find the next step.
This process has been so insightful. Do you remember who you were as a child? Did you know that you are that same person? Do you remind yourself every day about your purpose and the things you want to change in this world? The person you want to be? It’s not hard. All you have to do is remember and choose. Everything we do and don’t do is our choice! And the adventure that follows is ours to experience. Speaking of childhood, remember the “Choose your own Adventure” books? What was your favorite?
If you don’t have your values clearly written out and easily accessible I hope you do it. It will add that intensity and direction to your life that will make it pop. As a biased artist I see life as art. What does your life look like? Because it is all beautiful. Is it swatches of contrasting colors? A pristine still life? A woodsy landscape? Random splatters? Clean geometric patterns? If you see my road map I do not consider it a good painting. It’s messy, flat, rather boring, but there is subtle depth to how the colors have mixed together and every time I look at the bright red line to light and bursts of color I get so excited. I don’t know what’s at the end of that path but that’s the road I want to be on. Please choose the road that excites you and thanks to Deane for helping me put into words what that road is.
Do you need a roadmap of your own? I haven’t offered “My Roadmap” for sale for quite awhile but I feel it has such a strong message that I want others to be able to fix their own roadmap in a visible place to remind them about what they are reaching for and where their decisions are based. This week I am making it available on Etsy again and for those that have read this post I’m send “my roadmap” with free shipping. Just visit my etsy store and enter “Valued” as the promo code.