I completed an exercise a few weeks ago where I had to share a peak experience from my life. The experience that came to mind was hiking Yosemite. Me, my husband, my brother and his wife took a weeklong backpacking trip through Tuolumne Meadows in July 2014. I will always remember the year because it was exactly 2 months before I found out I was pregnant with my first child. And looking back I feel like it was my last great adventure as an untethered woman.
Through the exercise we were encouraged to really think about what specifically felt so great about that experience. Some of the thoughts that came to mind were:
My husband and I spent 6 months training for the hike. We walked several beautiful trails throughout Northern California that we never would have explored on our own. And being on the trail, butting up against obstacles tested me to the extreme. I had no choice. I always had to find a way to keep going.
I accomplished this giant event with my brother. My brother has a family of his own and we don’t always get the time to connect over multiple days. It wasn’t always easy, there were a few heated moments on the trail because were exhausted. But this is also part of the bonding.
I have always enjoyed connecting with nature and Yosemite is one of the most majestic places on earth. There was literally one night when the moon was full and we were heading into our tents that I thought to myself, “It can’t possibly get any better than this.”
Living life to the fullest
While we were hiking we passed a distress flag on the trail. We went to see if they needed help and discovered that someone in their party had passed away over night. They all agreed that he couldn’t have died in a more perfect place, doing exactly what he loved. I believe that’s the way we should all live our lives.
Sense of humor
One morning I went to relieve myself in the woods. When I emerged from the bush where I was squatting, I saw a young couple waiting patiently for me to finish. I jumped and returned to our camp. My husband and brother were laughing hysterically. Apparently I had chosen to use the restroom in the middle of the trail. That must have been quite the sight!
After exploring my key values expressed in my story, I then took look at how I can use what I have learned or accomplished in the past to help me reach my current goals. I came up with this list of questions that I can ask myself:
What needs or desires am I trying to fulfill?
What is the main value I am trying to express?
Am I currently able to express my values and myself on a regular basis?
Can I use these core values to reaffirm my choices or decisions if I decide to make a shift?
What would I need to do differently to feel more connected to what truly matters to me?
These questions really help me gain clarity and insight, especially if I feel like something I am doing is off or not working.
Now I have a few questions for you:
What are your core values?
Do you feel like you are able to express them in your current role or situation?
What simple shift could you make this week to help you get more in line with your values?
I look forward to continuing this conversation and hearing what you have to add.
All the best,