So far, I have determined that my primary value is the state of flourishing, and this is assisted by a happy household, reassuring relationships and pleasant pastimes. Next on the list is a steadfast spirit. If I had grown up in a firmly religious home I might have called this soul, but despite Descartes  musings, I am not convinced my “soul” is a separate thing to my body. In his favour, I do occasionally find that my body does things while I am not looking…
Having started this post with an intellectual exercise, I must now make it clear that I see my tangible, objective intellect as “mind” and therefore part of the value of flourishing, whereas spirit concerns the intangible, subjective or feeling aspects of mind. So what are the intangibles that need to be worked on?
If you watch a seed grow, you will see it develop from a simple thing to a complex thing and in essence, this is my goal. To move beyond simple, unquestioning reactions towards more considered chosen responses. This involves challenging myself to reassess positions that I might once have considered “true”, e.g. brussel sprouts suck! (as this is an introductory post I am keeping it simple, non-controversial and in keeping with the vegetative theme). To do this I might examine different cooking methods, how sprout freshness and preservation impacts the flavour and so on. I did actually do this recently, and I am happy to tell you that fresh baby brussels stir fried in butter with garlic and chilli are delicious!
This is simply giving something back. It might be as simple as taking a reusable cup to get my café latte or something that I perceive as more difficult such as hands-on care of someone with special needs. It is probably more useful to put some basic choices (e.g. reuse, repurpose, recycle) on autopilot, and seek opportunities to use what might be called my god-given talents for good (not evil).
And having come this far, it occurs to me that there must be space for courage. A comment on an earlier post reminded me that sometimes people we know don’t understand or like it when we change. I found it very hard to give up smoking because many of my smoking pals took my choice to improve my health as a choice to reject them. It was a difficult and painful time, but I had to choose me. And that’s ok – sometimes we have to let go of old things to make space for the new. To borrow a song, I give myself permission to choose me for me .
And that, in a snapshot is a steadfast spirit. Are these things sufficient or are there aspects I have missed?
Next time I’ll discuss my last value area, and in a future post make some plans to develop this area further.
The story so far: