Identifying Our Soul’s Values – How Do We Actually Do It? (part 2)

4 Steps to defining and connecting with your Soul’s Values

© 2016 Anna Maria Bäck & Sourcing The Way

A quick re-cap from part 1 of this blogpost:

We’re all leaders, regardless of position, life style, or creed. For me, leadership is closely linked to my values and to questions like “Am I the best I can be? Am I taking responsibility for my actions and reactions?”

It’s difficult to answer such questions without knowing what our values or guiding principles are. For the most part, we seem to use values to distinguish between “us” and “them”, or what is considered “good” or “bad”. We’re also used to talking about “moral values” and “ethical values”, but how often are we encouraged to explore our soul’s values?

The cool thing about our soul’s values is that they connect us to something deeper, something bigger than ourselves, and they help us align with actions and expressions that bring meaning and fulfilment to our lives.

Sticking to your Soul’s Values promotes and supports your personal and professional growth. It increases your experience of clarity and sense of freedom and possibility in your work and life.

As a result you will:

  • Feel empowered to up-level your service and contribution in the world, leading you to new beginnings and empowered self-leadership.
  • Experience peace of mind, while being aware that we create our own realities with our thoughts, beliefs and actions.
  • Manifest inner balance and harmony.
  • Build confidence in your innate worth and abilities.
So, what are the steps – how do we actually do it?

Continue reading Identifying Our Soul’s Values – How Do We Actually Do It? (part 2)

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Being of Service to Your Soul’s Values – A Tool for Inner Transformation (part 1)

 

Living Your Soul’s Values – A Novel Concept?
    – How to define, connect with, and live one’s values

© 2016 Anna Maria Bäck & Sourcing The Way

 

Leadership is a verb, not a job.

Chris Clark

 

We’re all leaders, regardless of position, life style, or creed. Thinking that we don’t matter, or that our actions or reactions don’t matter, is not only irresponsible, but also a testament to a deep feeling of separation. For me, leadership is closely linked to my values and to questions like “Am I the best I can be? Am I taking responsibility for my actions and reactions?”

It’s difficult to answer such questions without knowing what our values or guiding principles are. We usually enter the conversation about values through one of two doorways. For the most part, we seem to use values to distinguish between “us” and “them”, or what is considered “good” or “bad”. We’re also used to talking about “moral values” and “ethical values”. Both approaches speak to human behavior, but there’s a third doorway – to knowingly embody and consciously live our values. In other words, to ask “Am I “being” my values? Am I being true to them for myself?”

The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.

John Wooden

To ground and integrate the values we aim to live by, the natural first step is to identify and define our soul’s values — our foundation. But identifying and defining values isn’t enough. For me, it has been equally crucial to connect with my soul’s values – by bringing them into my body and mind, and stay connected to them in my everyday life.

It’s easy to get lost in abstract thinking when talking about values. For a more practical approach I like Jaemin Frazer’s descriptions of the “Be-Do-Have” model and three common approaches to trying to get ahead in life, “The Victim”, “The Worker”, and “The Winner”, excerpted here:

Continue reading Being of Service to Your Soul’s Values – A Tool for Inner Transformation (part 1)

Challenging the Ego – Is it worth it?

With everything that is up in this world currently – the US election circus, the roaring patriarchy, the rise of the feminine in both men and women, our disregard for mother Nature, the arising call for people’s equal inherent value, to name a few – I feel called to write this post.

So, why the question, “Challenging the ego – is it worth it?”.

In spiritual circles it is sometimes said that we need to conquer the ego. That the ego is bad, that it is only out to serve and protect itself and its interests. I take a step back and compare this with what is going on in our human collective psyche – the seeming opposing forces calling for, on the one side, the individual’s right to choose and be in charge of his/her own life, where there is a belief that the success and therefore right of an individual has precedence above everything else, and on the other side, the call for a more humane attitude as there is an awareness that we are all connected, where looking out for one another will inherently mean that we are also looking out for ourselves, where there is a belief that it is possible to thrive by supporting one another.

For the past 10 years I have challenged my ego to own up to its ways while following an unseen trajectory. It has been a fascinating journey which has involved a lot of dedication, will, and a deep desire for evolution.

When I look up the meaning of ego I find: “A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance”. In psychoanalysis it refers to “the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.” In philosophy (in metaphysics) it refers to “a conscious thinking subject“. And from the Cambridge Dictionary: “your idea or opinion of yourself, especially your feeling of your own importance and ability”.

What I have found is that I have a choice. In my own experience I have learned that my views, beliefs, judgments about the world coming from my ego, can be either very limiting or very open and expansive. That my attitude creates a frame for how I perceive the world around me and my own life experience.


Early on it became clear that the structure I had created as a result of upbringing, social circle, and personal experiences was a tightly fitted suit that did a good job at keeping things in place, but was, however, equally limiting my ability to move and gain an expanded view of life and the world we live in.

On November 6th, 2006 I asked a similar question in my then blog, “Little Green Men and Tall Angelic Beings”. I wasn’t aware then that what I was challenging was the ego, my own as well as other people’s. I blush when I think that my voice from 10 years ago will be shared here as a raw expression of innocent curiosity and in part a hurt ego. I smile as I read this early contribution to the written word. It isn’t a poetic and eloquent expression, but a heartfelt sentiment to the experience of deviating from the norm, from spilling over other people’s measuring cups:

Is it worth it?

Standing out or being different is not easy. At the beginning I had to defend myself all the time, explaining to people why I would want to move abroad again… “Hadn’t I already been there and done that?” I tried to explain that it isn’t about what I do, it’s who I am.

My mother had said to me that I’d always been extremely curious and always had the need for change and learning new things. As if moving abroad was not enough, I know some of my friends lifted an eyebrow (some of them two) when I told them about my quest for spirituality.

Why is it that people automatically judge in a negative way when something different is on the horizon? Why is it so difficult for some people to sit back and just listen, take it all in, and then give their verdict? Many times I have had to fight verdicts based more on the other person’s fear of the unknown than on the actual facts. I think it is rude to slag someone off without knowing all the facts. The world would be a better place if humanity would focus on the good instead of the bad.

So, is it worth it? Hell, YES! I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have learned so much about myself as well as about other people. And I have become a better person as a result of it.

It is worth being different. Believe in yourself!

Many rivers have floated under lots of bridges since that post… In my “quest for spirituality”, I have made it central in my life to practice forgiveness and gratitude. I understand that one aspect of who we are is the sum of our experiences, and, based on our individual lens, all of us do the best we can with what we perceive that we’ve got. This isn’t a justification for awkward behaviour or action/reaction, just an expanded perspective as we all have “our own perceived truth”.

A few key learnings from the past 10 years:

  • Everybody needs to feel seen and heard
  • Everybody does the best they can with what they’ve got
  • We are always part of someone else’s experience
  • Our ego wants us to be safe
  • We can never fall off our path

I’ll end this post with my very first blog post ever, as the questions I posed then are still very much present and “up” in the collective:

Why is it…

30/10/2006  

Why is it…
…that most people are afraid, and feel the need to only believe that which they can see, hear or touch? …that most people don’t ever stop for a moment to live in ‘the now’? …that we are terrified of finding proof that we are not alone?

What would be so terrible…
…if we were to find that we are getting help with the big as well as the little things in life? …if humanity started to believe in a higher power? …if we were to accept that the universe is there for us and all we have to do is ask? …if we were to start to think about the person behind the mask we rush past in the street? …if we started focusing on what we have instead of mucking about focusing on what we don’t have?
 

Although the above wasn’t originally written with the ego in mind, I can’t help notice how the questions do their bit to keep the challenge alive.

The Business of Beyond: Setting the Stage

Lately, I have been given the opportunity to ponder what set me on to the path that I am on, and what it was that got me started. Curiously, what I notice is that one was a life event and the other was a life decision, or life choice if you will.

The life event I’m referring to is my grandmother’s passing in 2003. I wasn’t aware at the time that something had kicked off. Mostly there were life situations and things happening that propelled me forward, not much of what I would today refer to as “conscious decision making”. I didn’t see any connections between events, and the thought that it would be possible to them to string together, taking me in a certain direction, never crossed my mind. The events were easy to respond to in that they showed up with enough space in between them to help me see and understand that there was a next step there for me, i.e. it was time for a change.

The life decision that got me on to the path that I am on, happened in 2005. Or should I say – that consciously got me on to the path I am on… I had recently moved back to the UK. I was still in the same job as I had been in Sweden, the only difference being I now worked remotely. I continued to live life the way I had in Sweden, just in a different country. I had felt nudged to move back to the UK for no particular reason other than that I missed it. Or so I thought…

Looking back, once I had moved into my new place in St Albans, Hertfordshire, I was presented with one situation after the other, each speaking to their value as pieces in a puzzle.

Continue reading The Business of Beyond: Setting the Stage

When I knew my gut could be trusted…and 3 things I learned along the way!

 


Have you ever felt the answer to a question or a circumstance in your gut, while the world around you is saying something different…?

I have.

The story I am about to share with you has helped broaden my understanding for how my gut(-feel) is a refined instrument and a trustworthy – and worthy – source.

The unseen tapestry…

My experience is telling me that there are many layers of information available in each situation (a tapestry of sorts). And to the extent that I am able to avoid having a preferred outcome in mind, I will open up to an equal extent to these added layers of information, leading to a deeper and richer experience. Or, expressed in another way – leading to a path of least resistance.

There is an enormous web of interconnected layers of information surrounding us all the time. There are the most immediate ones that are linked to our personal experience, then there are the ones that are linked to the people around us and the way we are connected. The richness of this web is extensive. Based on my own experience, trying to force a preferred outcome to happen is just as fruitful as trying to squeeze water from a stone. Not that preferred outcomes never happen – they can and they do. However, if they do, they usually come with a lot of effort and they cause a lot of bumps along the way.

I have been cultivating my intuition and gut-felt sense (e.g. deep listening, listening for aliveness) since 2005. During this time I have come to integrate this practice into all areas of my life. I use it in my decision-making process, to find clarity and to understand which direction is resonant, and to identify next steps. It has been, and continues to be, a deeply profound and rewarding journey and – for me – a way of life.
Continue reading When I knew my gut could be trusted…and 3 things I learned along the way!

You Are Your Tribe

I’ve had the urge for a while to write about what it is like doing what we do, and to share part of the story from an experiential perspective. To do this I’ll be speaking to everyday stuff with everyday-speak, adding a sprinkle of esoterics.

As with all start-ups or entrepreneurial initiatives, coming to understand who your peeps really are and what you really bring takes time, not to mention figuring out what the value is.

Jeff and I had a pretty good sense of what we bring when we set out in 2013, but it wasn’t until we started practicing properly that we really got to know where the gems are. We are currently in year three, and we have learned so much about who we are, how we can serve, what capacities are our forte, how we mix as a team, and who our tribe is.

“The distance you can lead other people is the distance you have traveled yourself.”
    –Laroques des Alberes

So, what do I mean by ‘tribe’? Well, for me, I’m referring to a group of people who are genuinely interested in who you are, and, in our case, who share (important!) a similar desire for growth and evolution. The funny thing about understanding who one’s peeps are, is that along the way you come to see that your tribe basically has the same underlying needs that you do (or did), and thanks to your experiences and lessons in life, and how you handled them, you are perfectly positioned to help your tribe (or audience) solve their problem.

Continue reading You Are Your Tribe

Story: Once Upon an Evolution

The word “story” is defined as: “an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment”, and “a report of an item of news in a newspaper, magazine, or broadcast”.

Each of us holds “story” in our own way.

Often, we think of a story as including actions, events, and quite often drama. It is seemingly the case that we tend to hang on to stories, as they are a way for us to label and identify what is true for us.

What would life be without stories, or without us hanging on to them? For some, that would translate to emptiness and a no-man’s land of sorts. For others, it would be the equivalent of a simpler life.

I would like to offer an additional take on how we can relate to “story,” and that is:

The tale of a story exists between the beginning and the end of a transformative experience, i.e. no matter the content or context, stories are informed by circumstances that imbue change, and in many cases, evolution.

This excites me to no end as this means that we have an option to hold story as an evolutionary tool, and that instead of hanging on to the story itself we can stay connected with the essence of the learning that has come from it!