When you sense that you are living “off centre” there could be any number of reasons for feeling the way you do. In my experience a great place to start is to look at whether you are living in alignment with your authentic values. I’m not talking about the values that are forced on us all by society at large or even an education system that prioritises certain outcomes. I’m more concerned with the values that you hold dear that may have been buried by the expectations and beliefs of those around you.
I read this recently:
‘To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.’(Sorry I’m not sure who said this…must keep track of who is writing these amazing things!)
This is not to say you need to become blatantly oppositional, it just means to be true to yourself and not be swayed by dominant thinking within society, within your friendship circles but also within the education system if it does not align with the values you treasure. Once you are clear about what it is that you value you can stand strong in support of these.
One of the first steps in living a centred life is to identify your core values so that you can start living in reference to them. Some examples of mine are:
I value physical health and vitality; mental health; spiritual practices, learning, my family; my friends; eating healthy food; meaningful work; being in nature…. You could devise a list that rings true for you. In the busy-ness of our day we can be living very much on auto-pilot without ever stopping to ask ‘Is this how I want to be spending my time?’ ‘Does this feel aligned with what I value and what I want to be bringing to this world?’ When we pause to reflect we can move from ‘auto’ into ‘manual’ mode – much more in control and living intentionally. When we bring what we value into the light of awareness and consciously set about connecting with these in our daily life we can feel a sense of alignment return. If you are feeling stuck, restless, dictated to or feel a lack of control, this small practice might be just the thing to get you feeling more centred and ahold of the reins.
You might like to journal about what it is you truly value, reflect on how much time you are giving in your day / week to those things…..it will soon become clear as to whether or not you are spending your time on things that inspire you and create joy in your life and where you can make more time for these things! Through awareness we become clear with what is lifting us up or dragging us down. With clarity comes action and so too change.
This week: spend some time alone determining what you truly value so that you can begin to take small steps to centre your life around these. Once these become the focus for living they will inform your teaching – that world-changing work that takes up much of your day!