How to live a more meaningful life: An open invitation

I invite you on a journey.You are invited

I am on a path to make my life more rich and meaningful, and I encourage you to come along with me.

Because I’m approaching my 50th year, I find myself wondering about my place in the world. What is my purpose here? What will my friends and family say about me and my life when my life is over? Will I have an impact?

This musing leads me back to one question: What am I doing? When I answer this question, I feel a bit unsettled.

I’m starting to understand where my discomfort is coming from.

The treadmill

Like many people, I sometimes think, “When ______ happens, I’ll feel better, or my life will be good, or I’ll have ‘arrived,’ or I’ll be happy.” I set goals I want to accomplish so that any or all of those results will occur. And when I reach those goals, I do feel better!

But after a while, the luster fades, and I’m back to thinking, “When _____ happens . . .”

It’s a kind of treadmill. Researchers call it the hedonic treadmill (also known as hedonic adaptation). This is the process most of us experience when we adapt quickly to a new element in our lives. If my goal is to get a new bicycle and I achieve my goal, I’m thrilled with my new bike! But after a few weeks, I adapt to the new bike that has entered my life, and I return to my pre-bike-acquisition emotional state.

I am back on the treadmill, aiming for my next goal. The familiar question looms in front of me: What am I doing? And why?

The missing piece

I’ve been studying a type of therapy known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I’m beginning to answer those questions in a way that eases my discomfort and leads me forward on the path to that richer, more meaningful life.

ACT is about accepting what we can’t control and committing to taking action. It encourages us to reflect on what we’re doing and why we’re doing it: this process helps me to understand what I’ve been overlooking in my life.

The component that I’ve been missing recently is values. Not that I don’t have any; I have numerous honorable values. But, I do not always allow them to be what my life is about. When I think about it, the most treasured times in my life have been centered on my values.

Many years ago, my partner at the time, Ruth, had metastatic breast cancer. You might think this was the worst time in my life. But it wasn’t. It was one of the best times in my life. When I look back, I see that those years were extraordinarily rich and filled with meaning. Ruth said in all sincerity that she would not have traded away her experience with cancer. And I felt the same way.

Why? Because we chose to live according to our values. We had a goal for Ruth to live as long as possible with her terminal illness, but the key was how we lived our life together during that time. We learned the art of nonresistance along the way, and so we valued acceptance. We accepted Ruth’s cancer along with the other ups and downs that come along in life.

We valued honesty and intimacy. We had many long, fruitful, cherished discussions about death, dying, and how to live our best lives. No topic was off limits. Our conversations wove a deep emotional tapestry of our relationship.

Because we knew our time together was limited, we valued being as present as possible with each other and in the world. People who experience life-limiting illnesses often say, “Colors seem more vivid, aromas smell better, and chirping birds sound like music.” I can testify that is true! Living fully in the moment does, indeed, bring more texture and brilliance to life.

I understand now that living according to my values was the essential factor that made my experience during that time so rich and meaningful. It wasn’t about goals or any thought that started with, “When _____ happens . . .”

Come with me?

I am on this path toward living a richer, more meaningful life. I’m not saying I want to live a stress-free always-happy life. I want my life to be purposeful, even when I’m struggling with sadness and depression. I want to keep meaning and intention in my awareness when things are going well and when life sucks. I want my answers to the questions, “What am I doing? And why?” to be aligned with my values.

Will you come with me?

Many of you have written to me telling me about your struggles in life, and in your stories I hear echoes of my own experiences. “If only I didn’t have depression/worries about my child/a broken heart/anxiety/lack of confidence/financial problems—I’d feel better.”

But what if you could lead a life full of purpose and meaning with those challenges? What if you could say, “I may be struggling right now, but I still know who I am and what I stand for, and I will act accordingly?”

I invite you to travel this path with me.

Will you come?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

We will delve more deeply into this topic in the following posts. Next up: What are values? What’s the difference between goals and values? And, how do I determine what my values are?

In subsequent weeks, we’ll discuss obstacles to living a values-based life and how we can learn to accept things that are out of our control in a gentle yet active way.

Recommended reading: The Happiness Trap, Russ Harris.

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86 Responses to How to live a more meaningful life: An open invitation

  1. Gary Korisko March 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Bobbi:

    You picked the right profession. You have a very pleasant and effective way of discussing difficult subjects.

    So many of us (myself included) have missed out on great opportunities in life waiting for that damn ______ to happen.

    I’ve often told my wife that I’m glad we didn’t wait until ______ (we could afford it) to have children. We’d have missed out on the best time of our lives.

    great advice and wonderfully put as always, Bobbi! :-)

  2. Bobbi Emel March 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks, Gary!

    Hey, like I said, this is a journey, so I know I’m still going to have times of waiting for ____ to happen. But at least I hope to be more aware of it now!
    Bobbi Emel recently posted…How to live a more meaningful life: An open invitationMy Profile

  3. Terri March 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Hi Bobbi,

    Well I have to say that is exactly what i needed to hear right now, so thank you for the reminder.

    I am just finishing up my current job and it has been a very great experience with many ups and down. I have been feeling that oh god i cant wait to finish this job, i’ll feel better etc etc. What i noticed today was that i love my profession and the doing of it, so with the last few days left, i would like to make the most of it.

    I think more the truth is here, the I’ll be happy when i finish really translates to the exact opposite and feeling sad that i didn’t enjoy my last few days appreciating the journey i have had there and with the people who i have spent so much time with. I corresponds much more closely to my values..

    Thanks Bobbi, i really like your blog. You manage to post things in such good moments.

    x

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      Hi Terri,

      I’m glad that the timing of this was good for you!

      Terri, it just sounds like you’re having mixed feelings about finishing your job and that’s really natural. I think our work together on determining values and how we can bring them more into our awareness and our daily lives will be really helpful for you right now.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  4. Annmarie Wilson March 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Bobbi,
    This topic resonates with me so much, due to my son’s illness which has me thinking about my own life and how it is a journey. So far my life has been enriched with meeting new people throughout our move an army spouse. I have been enriched by so many experiences and we are almost finished with our travels. I wanted to make the most of it since I learned about my son’s health and I am planning on taking care of myself more than I have in the past so that I can take care of others. Thanks for taking the time out to be aware of what we need to do as clinicians so that we can enrich our lives and others.

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      Hi Annemarie,

      It sounds like this is a timely conversation for you, too. Thanks so much for sharing your insights and I hope that both you and your son experience peace and healing on the path of his illness.

  5. Alex Blackwell | The BridgeMaker March 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Bobbi,

    As a newly-turned 50-year-old, I’m so with you! I’m looking forward to sharing the journey.

    Alex

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

      Hey Alex, great to see you here at Bounce! And I’m glad to hear you’re coming with me on this path. I love how we can share these travels together through our writing! Be well, my friend.

  6. Jim March 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I’m in!
    Great post. This resonates with me. I recognize this in my own life and have tried to stop and appreciate things the way they are. But sometimes what is in front of me looms large and takes over my thoughts so that I find myself saying, “When this gets better I will feel good.”
    I look forward to your next post.
    Thank you.

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Hey Jim, I’m glad you’re in! And you know, we all have that experience of “when _____ happens, then life will be better.” Sometimes it’s true! But the real depth and meaning of life lies in being closely aligned with our values. I look forward to walking with you on this path!

  7. Christy B March 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Bobbi,
    The only thing I can say about this article is……………..I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and through that strength, I am able to stand strong against my trials.

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Hi Christy,

      I’m glad you’re faith is sustaining for you!

  8. Margarett Meyers March 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi Bobbi. I really enjoy reading your writing (I too am a writer) and I related so much to this post. I am 63 years young and have lived by “what ifs” for most of my life until recently. I’ve lived a very tumultuous life full of abuse. I always thought that when _____ happened, I would be wonderfully wonderful, but “it” never happened. I searched for it for years and years, moving 106 times covering nine states attempting to find it. I married four times thinking that was “it” and divorced four times when I learned the hard way that it wasn’t. Only recently did I learn that happiness is a choice. I got my “picker” fixed and made that choice to be happy. I have always tried to live by the Golden Rule and my values and my faith are very important to me. I am finally following my dream and what I believe to be God’s purpose for me and writing my first book. I want to help someone else to not go through what I have and comfort those who did. I am also moving for the 107th time. But this time, I am moving a “happy” move and will be near my daughter and granddaughters whose lives I missed too much of. I even have a new love interest in my life and things are going so well that I don’t know how to handle it. I’m not living by “what ifs” and “when _____ happens” anymore. There are still bumps in the road, but I’m working on living the life that God intended me to live in the first place and I intend to be happy. Happiness is my choice and I will not allow anyone to take it from me again. Your advice is advice I wish I’d had many years ago and I hope that others will heed. Thank you. I would love to follow you on your journey. I still have a long trail ahead ot me and a great deal to learn.
    Margarett Meyers recently posted…The Snake in the JohnMy Profile

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      Hi Margarett,

      I’m glad you’re jumping into this adventure with me! Thanks so much for sharing your story. It looks like you’ve done a lot of work toward values-based living already and I’m excited to see what the future holds as we walk this path together!

  9. Priska March 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Hi Bobbi,
    I am so with you on this journey.
    I started feeling the need to follow my values a couple of years ago.
    I am now in my late fifties, a late bloomer.
    Funnily enough one of the first books I read was The Happiness Trap.
    Another book which had an impact on me was The Power of Vulnerability.
    The Happiness Trap made me aware that I was trapped in waiting until…..to be happy.
    The Power of Vulnerability allowed me to ‘let go’ of having to be in control of life’s outcomes, that it’s OK to be vulnerable.
    Priska recently posted…10 steps to take you toward your mid-life reinvention.My Profile

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Hi Priska!

      I’m so happy to have you on this journey!

      I love Brene Brown and all of her work on shame and vulnerability. One of her books which had an impact on me was The Gifts of Imperfection. Also, both of her TED talks are heartwarming, authentic, and powerful. If you haven’t watched them yet, I highly recommend them.

      Thanks for sharing your story!

  10. Tina Gilbertson March 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you for the invitation to join you on this journey, Bobbi. The timing of your post was just perfect for me. At 46 I’m really starting to think, “What’s it all about?”
    I look forward to your future posts in this series; you always have such great insights to share. I accept your invitation with gusto!

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

      Hi Tina!

      Oh, you’re just a youngster at 46 ;-)

      Seriously, though, I’m excited that you’ve accepted my invitation! It will be great to have you and your insights on the path that we’re all traveling together!

  11. Mark S. March 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi Bobbi,

    Yes I would very much like to join you on your path.
    I would like to get off the hedonic treadmill if at all possible. Never heard that term before, but it makes sense I have always wondered how my life would have been different had I known of this treadmill at a younger age.

    I think ACT has so many great concepts that I would like to learn to incorporate into my daily life. I have read parts of “The Happiness Trap” and was very impressed with the very logical way the subject was explained. My stumbling blocks were the exercises – especially those related to discovering my values. With the author stating numerous times that reading the book without carefully doing the exercises was a big mistake, I decided to headout on an easier path and keep searching. Your blog now encourages me to try again with ACT. I enjoy your friendly, non-judgemental and “conversational” style of writing and I look forward to seeing where you go with this topic.
    The topics you listed for future posts sound great. Thanks!

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Hooray, I’m glad you’re joining me!

      Maybe the timing of when you read The Happiness Trap wasn’t right back then and now is the time to get back to some of the ideas.

      We’ll do a little bit of work in the next few posts, but it will be well worth it, I promise!

      Thanks for your kind words about my writing, too. I really appreciate it!

  12. Anna March 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Bobbi, thanks very much for your invitation. For many years, I have been pondering why my life is not happy, fulfilling anymore. What has happened? Why am I so lost?
    I have been unhappy even something nice happened, which I told myself I should. But I am not, … I cannot make myself happy.

    Looking forward to reading your new post and learning about the values of my life. perhaps this is the key to my own happiness.

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for sharing your experience here. I think you’ll learn a lot about yourself, happiness, and what can really create a meaningful life.

      Thanks so much for joining me!

  13. Kerry March 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Your invitation caught my heart right away. The fulfilling will come while learning the focus of the journey.

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      Hi Kerry,

      Looking forward to having you with us!

  14. Carole Lyden March 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi Bobbi,
    I believe that acceptance is the key to a more satisfying life. We often desire things in our life but once we have achieved that desire we are no longer satisfied and seek happiness elsewhere.
    I am 58 this year, I have closed my psychotherapy practice. I have finally let go of something that was important to me and yet reached a place of acceptance that this part of my life is over.
    Acceptance brings peace of mind.
    Carole Lyden recently posted…How to become a flagship writer- 10 actions to fast track your writingMy Profile

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      Hi Carole,

      Acceptance does bring peace of mind. It can really be a trek, though, can’t it?

      Thanks so much for sharing your insights!

  15. Melanie March 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Please count me in. Looking forward to the journey. :)

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Melanie, you’re in!

      So looking forward to traveling this path together!

  16. Susan Schwartz March 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Bobbi,
    Count moi in. It’s so exciting to see you take your place as our gentle guide. And besides that, so helpful to hear and benefit from your heart-centered perspective…and very wise words.

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      Susan, vous are counted in! I think that’s probably both horrible French and English . . .

      I’m looking forward to your wise words on this journey, too, my friend!

  17. Kimberley Grabas March 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    I would love to join you, Bobbi!

    I recently took a class in meditation to learn to quiet my mind.

    So far THAT has not been mastered, but what I did learn was that happiness or contentment or peace can not be found from external sources. We believe it can, which explains a lot of our angst, but more money, more power or even more time will not result in more happiness.

    Interestingly, changes internally can influence things externally, both in how the world responds to you, and how you respond to the world.

    I have caught myself just trying to “get through” instead of truly experiencing life, and I am no longer prepared to accept such low standards for myself.

    I’m with you on working towards a richer more purposeful life!
    Kimberley Grabas recently posted…The Writer’s Guide to Building an Email ListMy Profile

    • Bobbi March 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      Hi Kimberley!

      Hey, I’m so glad you’re in! And thanks so much for sharing your experiences with meditation and some of the lessons you learned and are learning.

      It’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind of our lives but I love your statement about not accepting low standards for yourself – stellar!

      Looking forward to walking this path with you!

  18. Jackie Paulson March 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    I am on a new life path, not sure where it is going but I am going somewhere other than here! want to be in a new life of happiness, awareness, abundance, and so much more. Your invite came on a day of many things going wrong, so this is the path or RIGHT!
    Jackie Paulson recently posted…GoodReads Reading Challenge 2013My Profile

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Jackie, I’m glad the timing of this post was just right for you. I look forward to our path together and learning from you, too!

  19. Jaime March 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Hi! You have caught the gift, and are an inspiratonal person and writer. This could not have come at a better time…. stress has been my downfall for a while now. I want to LIVE more in the moment, and make the most of every day, rather than waiting for “something” and seeming like I am just going through life, marking time, so to speak. And really what is this “something” we tend to be waiting for?!! I am definately in, on this journey with you and everyone else. I look forward to the next step! bless you all! :)

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Jaime,

      Sounds like this post was timely for you as well! I appreciate your kind words about my writing, too. I hope that we can all learn together as we make our way on this journey!

  20. Jaime March 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    opps, I meant you have quite the Gift, not caught it!! bad typo there, sorry

  21. Loulou March 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    Hey Bobbi
    Your email has come into my life when I need this most. I am currently having chemotherapy for breast cancer which is something I did not expect at 39, just 2 years into my marriage and with a 1 year old son. I have found myself thinking when _____ happens and when _____ finishes I will be happier and I’ve realised I’m wishing my precious time away without enjoying and cherishing every moment I have now! I too have started meditating but am only early days and with your guidance I hope to start living now, accepting the now for me and truly finding out what I am here for. I do see my cancer as a turning point an opportunity for change. I just haven’t known how to go about it…. I believe many changes in my life are happening so timely and I’m being taken on a new path every day. I’m looking forward to sharing this experience and discovering a new richness in life.

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Hi Loulou,

      Wow, it sounds like life has really thrown you a curveball, hasn’t it? (American baseball term – I hope you’re familiar with it!)

      Cancer can bring some surprising blessings along with the tremendous challenges and aspects that completely suck. I’m glad you are open to looking for that turning point because there may be one happening for you even as we write! I am really looking forward to hearing and learning from you as our journey continues. I think the next few posts will be really helpful for you.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. Even though there is an ocean between us, I am glad to walk this path with you.

  22. Ann March 20, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Hi Bobbi
    Im so excited about this journey. Im 47 and have just come to a happier peaceful place after the breakdown of my marriage and walking on eggshells for 20 years. I feel really good now, and no matter what the problems , I still feel at the end of the day that life is good.So looking forward to learning to walk a more authentic path with you.

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Hooray, Ann! I’m so happy you are joining us on this journey we’ve all undertaken. I’m looking forward to learning from you!

  23. Nicole D. March 20, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    Yes…. I will surely give it my best shot.

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Great, Nicole, I’m glad you’re here!

  24. Karen March 20, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Wow! I am currently on the same path toward a fantastically wonderful life no matter the circumstances. Thanks for sharing your journey. I am finding my experiences to be amazing!

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Karen,

      That sounds great. I am really looking forward to hearing about your experiences as we continue forward!

  25. carda March 20, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    when i read your article the first thing i thought was “just let it all go”. all the stuff that hangs us up and all the hurt and resentment. easier said than done but that stuff just chains us. remind i said this when i need to hear it. the trick is learning how to let go. we’ll talk about this face to face soon.

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

      Carda, letting go is a major part of this whole deal. I should have flagged your comment with “spoiler alert” because I’m going to be writing about this pretty soon. But the trick is maybe not so much about letting go but about letting things be.

      I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!

  26. Austin March 20, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    I am with you Bobbi!

    Just recently I experienced clarity in relation to my values. They are: Serenity, Love, Order, Freedom, and Truth.

    Thank you for this encouraging and inspirational post! I am excited to live out my values each and every day! :)

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Hey Austin!

      I’m glad you’re coming with us! So good to see you here!

      That’s extremely cool that you have had some clarity about your values. You’re a bit ahead of the game! I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences as you weave your values into your awareness and daily life!

  27. Belinda March 20, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Wow…Bobbi this sounds like an awesome adventure/Journey. Please count me in. I have so many faceted issues attached to my being that lately I feel scattered most of the time and cannot enjoy the simple things in life. It never crossed my mind that it falls upon values. I have questioned the meaning and purpose of my life for over a decade now but always seem to spin my wheels. Maybe this journey will deliver me from my never ending roller coaster ride. I look forward to your insight and expertise. Keep Smiling ;-)

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Belinda,

      I’m so glad you’re in!

      Let’s walk this path together and see if we can bring more joy to your life, okay? Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  28. Deirdre March 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Thank you Bobbi, I would love to join you on your journey. It is so true that we can so easily get caught up in the ‘when I lose 20lbs/get my dream job/have enough money’ I will ……(insert as applicable). For me, I feel it is a form of avoidance, as long as I am not ‘perfect’ my perceived ‘less than’ state is acceptable because I haven’t reached the point where ‘I will be whatever’. Here’s to living in the moment and enjoying the journey, thanks for asking me along..

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Deirdre,

      Most of us are expert avoiders so I think you have a lot of company here!

      I’m looking forward to hearing how this journey progresses for you as we move along this path together.

  29. Ellensue March 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi, Bobbi:

    Amazingly enough, I’ve been working through “The Happiness Trap” myself! I, too, have found that book life-changing. I almost look forward to unpleasant feelings so that I can apply the techniques! I also love his concept of “urge surfing.” I’m in!

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Hey Ellen! Good to hear from you and I’m glad you’re in! Wunderbar!

      Russ Harris really makes ACT accessible and I think the tenets make a ton of sense. Glad you found The Happiness Trap!

  30. Rosie March 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Wow Bobbi, perfect timing for this. I have spent the last 4 years waiting for _______ to happen and thinking everything will be ok when it does. Well, ______ did not happen and I now know that _______is not going to happen. Loss of all hope is very painful. I need to figure out how to let go of that hope and be more present to this moment. Practicing mindfulness is helpful, but sometimes I would rather wallow in the pain of the lost hope. I’m ready for the journey.

    • Bobbi March 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      Rosie, I can’t believe that my weekly quote from Pema Chodron arrived today because I think it was meant for you! Here it is:

      Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.

      Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.

      I’m glad you’re joining us on this journey, Rosie!

  31. Rosie March 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Yes, I saw that. And you are right, it spoke to me!

  32. Loulou March 21, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    Hey Bobbi
    A curve ball is exactly what it is. I shared your post with my husband last night and I wasnt sure what he’d make of it. He was very open and it allowed us to discuss things we haven’t before…. we are now following this together. We hope it will bring us both into the moment to look back on this time with positive feelings as opposed to the negative feelings we’ve been having.
    I’m looking forward to the next posts.

    • Bobbi March 21, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Hi Loulou,

      Wow, sounds like it took some courage to share this with your husband. I’m really excited and humbled to have you both choose to join me.

  33. Halina Goldstein March 21, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I so appreciate your sincerity. And yes, this is it: the subtle place where values and life meet (or not).

    I have had similar experiences: the most challenging times in my life (such as death of a loved one) being the most fulfilling also, because of the clarity, the willingness to meet life openly, rain or shine (at these times it didn’t feel like a choice – it just happened).

    But then, things change, all is well – and compromise sneaks into one’s life…

    Although it’s much less now, I have noticed that when I got too eager about doing things “right” (as in building business the right way, the smart way), I sometimes would be compromising with my values, in ever so subtle ways…

    It’s much less now because the people I’m serving (widows) call for the best in me. That too leaves me without choice, almost, thanks God.

    This being said, it’s work in progress and your invitation is a gift!

    Thank you -

    Halina

    • Bobbi March 21, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      Halina,

      I like your framing of how we slide into unawareness again – compromise. I think that’s really true and I’ll be thinking about that as I develop the next posts.

      I’m so glad you’re joining us!

      And thanks so much for the work you do with widows. It’s an issue near and dear to my heart.

  34. Patti March 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Wow, Bobbi. This post has made me do some reflecting. That treadmill of ‘once ______ happens, then I will be happy’ still catches me up once in a while, even though I consciously try to stay focused in the present.

    Looking forward to learning more about the ACT system in your future posts.
    Patti recently posted…Healing the Black Holes of Your LifeMy Profile

    • Bobbi March 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Patti,

      A little reflection is a good thing! I’ll be interested to hear what you think about the next posts.

  35. Sylvana March 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    I’m totally on board! I was on vacation – and just got back – catching up on email, etc. – yes, I even took a vacation from emails! I have become much more mindful and repeat mantras such as “relax and enjoy”. Being present with what is, enjoying the “journey”, etc. I know I have the luxury of getting my act together – by having a chronic illness, rather than a fatal illness. I’m a work-in-progress/process with enjoying life NOW rather than waiting for what-ifs. Thank You

    • Bobbi March 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      Hey Sylvana!

      Glad you’re on board! You are going to bring a special wisdom to the group as we all travel this path together!

  36. Tammy March 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I have a more meaning life because of people you.
    It nice to share with people.I,m figuering out
    how to let go and enjoy the good things more.
    Have a nice day.
    Tammy

  37. Amit Amin March 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Yes, I’ll join you!

    Extending your point a bit, something Jonathan Haidt said a while ago comes to mind – it’s not just about having values, or even about following them, but about weaving them together into everything you do, such that everything in your life in some way touches to your core. Do that, and you’ll have cross-level coherence, the foundation of meaning.

    Or so he says. Sounds good to me.
    Amit Amin recently posted…Time or Money? Lessons Learned from Sleeping with a StrangerMy Profile

    • Bobbi March 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      Amit, I like what he says, too. Let’s go with it. And I’m glad you’re joining us!

  38. kitten/barbara March 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Bobbi, I find it totally amazing that you are able to respond to everyone and keep everything straight. I would like to join you. Maybe if I share a journey with friends it will be easier to stay committed.

    *hug*
    kitten/barbara recently posted…BounceMy Profile

    • Bobbi March 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi kitten,

      I’m glad you’re coming with us! It does help to have friends along on a journey, doesn’t it?

  39. Shawn March 30, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    This post is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been very goal oriented lately. I haven’t been going against my core values at this time, but I may be coming very close. You really put this into perspective for me. Thank you! I am recommitting to make sure that every goal that I set is really in line with my values and I never lose focus of my purpose.
    Shawn recently posted…Neuro Programmr 3 ReviewMy Profile

  40. Teresa March 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    I want to be part of the journey. I especially want to practice nonresistance in my daily life and live in the moment.

  41. Hanne April 5, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    After having recovered from a depression and being the “improved” me, and after a 36 kilos weightloss, I am ready to follow this new path and way of living. I admit… I have been that person who thought: if this and this will happen, I will be so happy. But, what if it never happens, you will be sad and perhaps angry at yourself. That was once me… One failure after another made my life sad, and it made ME sad.
    A value-based life sounds good to me and a much better approach to be happy – in the exact moment. :)

    • Bobbi April 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

      Hanne and Rita, I’m excited to hear about your experience as we all take this journey together!

  42. Rita April 5, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Great blog!thank you… I am definitely in!

  43. Rona June 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    I will come with you on your journey. I must.

    • Bobbi June 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Welcome, Rona! We’re glad to have you along.

  44. Michelle July 23, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    I’m scared, but I’m in !!

    Thanks, Bobbi. :)

    • Bobbi July 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Being scared may show that you’re doing the right thing, Michelle! Welcome!

  45. Ilina July 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    what do you do when you do not know what you believe anymore? what are you values and what you need to do? what happens when you have an identity crisis?

    • Bobbi July 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

      Hi Ilina,

      I think you may know what you believe, but may have a hard time remembering right now. Take a look at the next post about Naming Your Values and use the worksheet there. I bet you’ll be able to see that you have a better understanding of what you value than you thought. Give it a try!

  46. Ayelet Zankel January 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    i am asking myself the same questions lately. but the idea to explore my values is new to me. when i was younger i had principles i followed. they guided me.
    the only principle i renember is that i believed (and still do) we are all equal and deserve the same rights.
    i even tried to fight for this principle.
    how i miss that time in my life…
    thank you bobbi for reminding me!

    • Bobbi January 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Hi Ayelet, I hope that this will prompt you to really take a look at your taproot – the values AND principles that keep you rooted in life.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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