Actions and Values – Being in Alignment

Natural High’s last few blogs such as:

Living Inside Out
Conflict and Opportunity
Is God In Love With Drama
Unstoppable

along with the beginning of a book discussion on Rabbi Michael Lerner’s book, The Left Hand of God have gotten me thinking on why we do not align our actions with our values.  How to align my  actions with my values was one of the first things I learned years ago from Tony Robbin’s book – Awaken the Giant Within. In it he describes a process of identifying your highest values and placing them in a prioritized list. If you are clear on these 5-10 values any choice you make can be seen as moving towards or supporting the value or moving away or undermining that value. Values are described by words such as health, love, knowledge, wealth, peace, etc.Simple example: If I value health, then my choice of foods becomes clear to me. Unfortunately for me, even though I have known this seemingly simple process for years, the knowing and the doing of this simple exercise are far apart. 

In more recent times I took the Landmark Forum’s basic and advance courses and a seminar in Commitment. In Landmark Forum terms, when I do not eat healthy, I am not truly committed to health or I am secretly committed to something else more powerful, like comfort for example.

So many of us are aware of the values we wish we were aligned with or committed to, yet we take opposite or undermining action. We vote Republican because they will crank out tax cuts to make us wealthier even though we understand that they will pay for it by reducing the care for the sick, poor and elderly.  Yet if we were asked whether we value compassion and caring for the sick, the poor and elderly most people would say “of course.”

If asked, most of would say we value diversity, freedom, peace, and love. Yet we act as if we are committed to uniformity of thought, greed, war, and hate.

Why do our actions value religious dogma over spiritual freedom? Why do we continue to allow homophobia, anti-semitism,  xenophobia, racial and political prejudice instead of fighting for choice, freedom of religion, diversity and political discussion?

How do we, as loving, caring human beings, align our daily actions with these things we say we really value?

Will my actions tomorrow be in better alignment with those things I value most highly – love, peace, family, community and health?

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~ by in2l on February 7, 2007.

7 Responses to “Actions and Values – Being in Alignment”

  1. This is a very powerful question! It is the heart of the word ‘repentence’, which means to turn around. When my actions do not match my values, do not match what I am committed to doing and being, I turn my actions and take the path in alignment with who I say that I am.

    Thanks for that insight. Repentence seems to allow one to choose a revised course for oneself and to make amends.

  2. You can align your action with values only when your values arise out your deep consciousness. then your values are beyond your mind which effect your actions

    Mind – you are controlled by actions

    No mind – you and your actions are same.

    Just a thought, thanks for posing wonderful Question?

    I think this is the heart of the challenge I face. I think I truly have absorbed these values, but they are not at that “no thought required” stage yet. I am thinking about a monthly focus on each of these values to work them deeper into my consciousness. Thanks for the insight!

  3. I think Suresh is on to something. I find myself sometimes acting against who I say that I am… One of the Christian ways is to have tolerance for fellow man. Well, I find myself lashing out sometimes at my neighbors over a stupid thing like blocking our street with their cars. It’s a small street and if I can’t get into my driveway, my blood boils and I could scream. Sometimes I have “words” with some people. All this is without thinking. When it’s over, I regret it.

    I think that what Suresh was saying is that if our awareness goes deeper than our mind, then when our minds are out of commission by these sort of situations, we will truly act according to our beliefs.

    This is exactly where I am at. It is as bad as this – I leave the office for lunch telling myself I will eat healthy food. I even manage to go to a place that sells healthy food. Then I choose the healthy food and eat it. Then I go back and get a sweet, fattening dessert! Game over!

    I keep sabotaging myself in this manner even though I say I value health but I will keep trying.

  4. AMENDMENT to my comment above… our Christian way is to LOVE our neighbor. Sorry, I failed to revise my sentence fully as I was changing my thoughts.

  5. Thanks for visiting my site and I appreciate your comments and the blogroll – thanks!

    This is a fantastic, thought-provoking post about one of the most difficult things to do in life – be who we want to be. Not just believing it or saying it, but doing it. I just wrote a post about being a working mom and in writing it, saw the development of myself over the last decade into actually putting my priorities/goals/missions into daily practice. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I’m getting better at it. At the basic level, I think it starts with living a life that shows love and respect and moving outward from there.

    Thanks again – take care!

    I will stop back and read your working mom blog. I love the result of a good look backwards to see what worked for me and keep it, while discarding the things that don’t work well.

  6. I’m not always sure how to place my values at the top of my priorities list because their practical implementation is dependent on many variables. We are taught that wisdom includes a posture of nonjudgement; this is a difficult stance, for everyone loves judgements, making comments about these bad people and those nasty opinions. So, for me, I don’t need to put a bumper sticker on my car to say I am aligned with this party or that group. Some may take this to mean that I am lazy when it comes to values. Not so. It’s more a matter of working for positive change by–as Natural High recently reminded us–celebrating and focusing on what’s right than on what appears not to be right.

    –Malcolm

  7. Off topic – Help with PM?
    lost password
    Boss Resurfacing
    Boss Resurfacing

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