Baby it’s cold outside and we’re upon the shortest day of the year, known as the Winter Solstice, or by Pagans as Yule. This day marks the point in the year where, from here on out, the days begin to grow and the Sun makes it’s return. The underlying themes of this glorious Pagan holiday are gratitude, introspection, and planning, and that is exactly what we’ll be reflecting on today.
For this exercise, take three pieces of paper out. On the first, list everything you are grateful for from the past year. Then, on the second, take a personal inventory of how much you’ve grown from the beginning of 2017. Write out a timeline and see if you can mark off your personal growth through the months.
Next, as I explained in my email blast, this is where it get’s interesting.
From your growth’s trajectory, I want you to see if you can derive some values from the direction you’ve been heading. Have you been paying more attention to self care? Have you acted more courageously? Have you only kept those that are loyal close to you?
These characteristics are the things that you hold close, and should serve as your guidepost to intentionally move into 2018.
So from here, flip that paper over and write out your goals for 2018, but try to align them with the values you’ve carved out for yourself.
This is just a taste of the kind of work we’ll be doing in my new group program, starting January 2018, Resolve to Revolutionize. Check it out so you can start your year right, and stay witchy ( *)
Episode 9 is live! Here you’ll meet Dr. Meredith Watson, an incredibly bubbly alchemist who will help you grow your business with integrity! If you’d like to follow up with Meredith you can find her at her Confidence Lounge(along with me!) and at her virtual villa!
All too often we find ourselves being treated the same way by different people and we’re left scratching our heads as to why this keeps happening to us. Well, as the Justice card implies cause and effect and accountability, it shows us that we need to take responsibility for how we TEACH others to treat us.
Well what the hell does that mean? This is the question I asked myself in the beginning of my recovery. Because I had no idea what that looked like and that I just found out it existed, I time and time again found myself in unhealthy relationships. Which brings me to the cyclical nature of boundaries and values. If you can not name your core values, you can not have clear boundaries. If you do not have clear boundaries, people will go too far with you because you haven’t created a mental sanctuary of protection. And when you get hurt because of that, you lose further site of your values. This is why boundaries are so important.
I talk about this subject at length because not so long ago I had no boundaries and my life was pretty fucked up. But when I got the help and did the work, my boundaries started coming out of the ground, and my relationships of all kinds were strengthened. If you are like I was and have no idea what this looks like, let me offer up some clear cut instructions:
Step one: find a list of core values online. Write down the ones that stick out to you on a piece of paper and keep whittling that list down until you get to about 10 core values. This seems like an extremely daunting task because all of these values are super great, but this is a personalized list to find out what means the most to YOU. You’re looking for priorities, not abundance.
Step two: cut that damn list in half. Again, we’re looking for values with utmost priority in your life. This is tough, but use your intuition. Your gut will lead you to what is important.
Step three: look at the complete opposite of your value (aka your threat.) See what will come in opposition of your value and make a pact with yourself to not allow it in your life. This takes practice but this is how you create a solid and valuable life. You don’t deserve to tolerate someone or something that completely bowls over your values.
Step four: realize that you just created a boundary. Yup folks, that’s right. The ability to protect your value is the creation of a boundary. So congratulations!
Let me give you an example of what that looks like.
My top five values are authenticity, balance, courage, friendships, and self respect. From the balance area, I’ve created a boundary in which I will not over exert myself by working over 40 hours a week. I need my me time and so I have created a situation in which I am respected by my employer. If I feel like I can’t be myself around someone (authenticity,) I choose to not be around that person when I have the choice. And most importantly, if someone does not respect me, I stand up for myself because I do not deserve ill treatment. This includes shutting down my inner critic. All of these acts take courage, and a strong tribe to support you.
Through all of these examples I’ve tried to paint the picture of exactly what the boundaries/ values relationship looks like because I sure as hell had no clue when I first started my recovery. I am a visual learner, and having been stuck in a black hole of depression and martyrdom, I couldn’t see outside of myself far enough to know what a healthy relationship looked like. So don’t wait around for change. Grab a pen and get proactive. There are plenty of lists online so you don’t have to think up a value out of thin air. Get some values, create some boundaries, and stay witchy ( *)
A man suspended, upside down, with one leg free and one bound to the tree he hangs from, is symbolic for self sacrifice. His face is calm, but his need for martyrdom may come at a price; his mental and emotional well being.
This is why we need to be careful about people pleasing. As someone who talks about and is conscious of her own codependency, it is a very slippery slope when turning into a “yes man.”
Saying yes to everything at work, plans you don’t want to do, or really any kind of task that your heart isn’t in is people pleasing. If you can’t pick up your friends child after school, then why did you say yes? If you don’t want to go to that horrible party with people you don’t know, why did you offer to drive? Whatever the instance is, we all know when we’re doing something for another reason other than we actually want to do it.
The reason why people pleasing and codependency are so dangerous is because of the underlying factors. You’re saying yes and over extending yourself from a place of fear and a lack of self confidence. “Maybe these people won’t talk to me anymore if I don’t go above and beyond for their friendship. Maybe I’ll die alone if I don’t say yes to everything they ask.”
You see how sick that sounds from the outside?
The truth is, when you are confident, you value your time. This doesn’t mean you won’t do a favor for a friend if they ask. If you can, you will. And you’ll do it with love. But the point is, that you won’t do it out of fear of loss, and you won’t do it if it completely inconveniences you because you value your time.
I know I tend to talk in extremes, but we can all relate to people pleasing on some level. We’ve all done a shade of it on the spectrum. But when you recognize when you are doing it, it is easier to stop and honor yourself. At the end of the day, it boils down to “Do I want to keep lying to myself and others for fear that they won’t like me?”
So get honest about your needs, and as always, stay witchy ( *)