In my ideal universe, I would be flourishing. I would be strong, fit and energetic. I would think clearly and critically, and use those results to take prudent action. My external presentation would match my internal qualities, be an authentic representation of my nature if you will.
Given that I was ill for a long time, and my new life came about through the death of someone else (cadaveric donor), you wouldn’t be surprised to know that wellness has become my most valuable thing. Well, not merely wellness, but something more – a state of flourishing or perhaps blooming. Of coming into, and using the full capacity of my body and intellect. Being fit, having stamina, positivity and capability.
Not asking for much am I? But really, do any of us ever slow down enough to recognise that we could be more than we are in fact being? Somewhere in the busyness of day to day living we have forgotten the joy of being alive, of using our minds and bodies they way they are supposed to be.
If I really valued my body, wouldn’t I then take care of I? Feed it good food, make it move well and often, prioritise the medicines that preserve the life of my new kidney? You would think so wouldn’t you? But like everyone else I get caught up in things that don’t matter in the scheme of life, the universe and everything . I need to develop a plan or perhaps a system. Not just jump on the latest get thin/fit/beautiful quick fad, but develop a long-term sustainable approach to maximising the gifts this body provides.
During the deterioration of my kidney function, and through my time on dialysis I felt as though my brain was losing its sharpness. Day by day, slowly and inexorably. Decisions were hard work! Many times I laboured on with grit and determination, but little deep reflection on circumstances and consequences. I think it’s important to critically consider decision points rather than moving ahead on automatic pilot, or learned responses. So for me, good decision making requires critical thinking, an understanding of myself, a sense of fairness or equity in the application of the results, and lately, an amount of sheer bloody-mindedness following through despite what others think. But I also think good decision making requires an amount of subject expertise and a broad exposure to different ways of thinking. So it seems that understanding and developing my mind requires a development plan as well.
I struggled to name this aspect but came to it via the notion of command presence while reading Generation Warriors  . We all know that first impressions matter, and that once made they are hard to change, but we don’t recognise that it happens every minute of every day. We think of it in the grand contexts of first dates, job interviews and big presentations, but it also impacts our smallest transactions down to buying lunch or asking supermarket workers where the baked beans are. As a young “petite” person I struggled to be taken seriously, and as I grow older I find I struggle to even be seen. I need a “look” or style that tells people what to expect, sort of like metaphysical tiger stripes telling people to tread carefully!
So that’s it – the state of flourishing is the thing I value the most. What is the most valuable thing to you?
Next time I will reveal my second value, and in future posts explain how the aspects of flourishing emerge in my life.
If you are wondering “What the?” here’s where we started values: introduction.