To dive deeper into myself I have been doing some quests and courses via Mindvalley. They are absolutely wonderful and I can recommend anybody to take a look. Now one of its founders, Vishen Lakhiani, has recently published his new book “The Buddha and the badass” and I love it. I am not even half way and I have already gained so much insight of myself and I am going to share it here.

Mind you this is massively unfamiliar to my mind so I am purposely going to do it. You see what is familiar is slinking away in the shadows, afraid of being vulnerable, of being judged. But the thing is nobody, nobody can judge you but you. So here is to making the unfamiliar familiar and the familiar unfamiliar (which by the way is breaking a rule of the mind: the mind loves what is familiar and runs away from what is unfamiliar)!

The purpose of one of the exercises explained in the book is to extract your foundational values and it is called the Origin Story Exercise, developed by Drima Starlight. You close your eyes and think about the highs and lows in your life, starting when you were a child. There are stories to every one of those highs and lows and from those stories you derive your foundational values. The list of values that came out of my stories is quite long:

  • Love
  • Trust
  • Loyalty
  • Personal growth
  • Healing
  • Spirituality
  • Transformation
  • Joy
  • Courage
  • Leader
  • Creativity
  • Honesty
  • Belief in me/confidence
  • Perseverance
  • Kindness/compassion
  • Empathy
  • Spirit
  • Connection
  • Learning
  • Happiness

A few of those values I did not have to think about, because they have always been there as long as I can remember. Kindness/compassion is one of them. Being kind to people, even complete strangers, does not cost a thing and can make someone’s day. Almost hand in hand with that for me is empathy. I know what people are feeling, how they feel, how the dynamics in a group feel, who is what. That can be quite overwhelming at times, but again it has been there always. Spirituality and healing, loyalty and creativity as well as a few others.

What has not always been there was for example perseverance. Everything always came easy to me. I never had to make an effort to get what I wanted, until I failed my exams at high school. That year I again had not put any effort in schoolwork thinking I could easily do it. For me it still came as a shock that I didn’t make it! I felt stupid and if given the chance I would have hid somewhere so that people would not mock me, but of course I couldn’t. I had to go to school, I had to do the exam again and this time I had to work for it and I did it, I persevered and it paid off. Trust is another one. Overall I was scared to give myself completely because people being people could hurt me and if I gave all of me to someone that might exactly be what they would do. Plus I could hurt them! That would make mé untrustworthy (talking about how a mind can give you a belief because at one moment in your life it deemed it necessary to keep you from harm!). I learned that is ok to trust and yes I can get hurt or hurt people in return, but to accomplish something that is dear to me or be in a healthy relationship I needed to trust. So there you have it.

Now from the list of values that came up there are four values that cluster related values and those four are:

LOVE -> love, trust, happiness, joy and courage

CONNECTEDNESS -> loyalty, honesty, kindness/compassion, empathy, connection

SELF-GROWTH -> personal growth, learning, creativity, belief in me/confidence, perseverance

TRANSFORMATION -> transformation, healing, spirituality, spirit, leader

Writing this down makes me realize that there can be another value added to the list; vulnerability. And I would put that under the value of CONNECTEDNESS. It actually feels good to show my vulnerability as it opens a door for other people to be vulnerable without being judged. I find I rather like making the unfamiliar familiar.