Perspectives 17 – Making Choices from Our Center: Using Core Values to Find Clarity

Issue 17: July, 2019

In This Issue

• Making Choices from Our Center: Using Core Values to Find Clarity

• Upcoming Couples Workshop, Labor Day weekend, with Thai massage therapist Rissa Wray

• Fall workshops at PCC

• Interested in a Coaching Group this Fall?

Know somebody who would benefit from reading this eNewsletter? Please forward it to them using the link at the bottom. Thanks!

. . . . .

Making Choices from Our Center: Using Core Values to Find Clarity

Many of the people I coach with come to me wanting a clear way to make “good” choices – choices they won’t regret, choices that will bring them joy and fulfillment.

We all want to know we are doing the “right” thing, making the best choice we can. The dominant culture usually tells us to do thorough assessments, and have a vision and a “plan”, or, it tells us what we need is to be clear about our “life purpose” and then these decisions will… just make themselves? And that even sort of works, when we have that upfront clarity; then choosing is relatively easy, and we are likely to find a good path, as long as we are right about our purpose. But often, we don’t have that clarity. So, then what?

For me, making good decisions starts with core values. If we are reaching for a fulfilling life, we are reaching for a life lived in ways that are deeply resonate with our core values—that is, with the qualities of being that are most important to us. Once we are clear about our core values (much easier for many of us than being clear about our “life purpose”), our markers for knowing whether we are on the best path can be found by asking “in what ways will doing x or y support me in living more deeply into my core values?”

If you’ve worked with me, you likely have a list core values and have spent some time exploring them. If you need to identify your core values, here is a link to a way to make your list.

Once you have that list, here is one structured way to use those values in making decisions.

Evaluating Options Using Core Values

  1. List all of your core values vertically on the left side of a sheet of paper (or two). (Again, here is a link to an exercise for identifying your Core Values.

  2. Make two (or more) other columns on the rest of the page – one for continuing to do what you are doing (or some other default choice) and one (or more) for either “not that” or some other, more specific option. (The latter is “better,” in the sense that it will create clearer results, but only if you have a vision of what that option or options would be.)

  3. In each column, rate on a scale of 1-10 how fulfilling this choice will be for you in terms of living in/expressing authentically each core value, with 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “completely.” You are rating each value independently on that scale, not rating them relative to each other. (So “security” or “discovery” might be a 9 in one column and a 3 in another.)

  4. Once you’ve filled it all in, step back and see what it shows you.

The assumption here is not that you can just “do the math”—totaling up each column and just choosing the one with the highest total—but instead that this work will help clarify which of your core values you think will be deeply supported by each choice, and which will either be actively compromised, or will need to be supported in other ways to thrive in that environment. This should help you understand the complexities, and think in more specifics about what you want.

A next step that is often useful is to back up and ask yourself what’s driving some of those key assumptions, and whether they are actually true. Sometimes we make assumptions about who it is ok for us to be in a given environment, or what is likely to happen, which may or may not be real.
Another good step is to ask yourself how you might strengthen your capacity to live in the core values that might be compromised by a particular decision in other ways. We don’t need any individual job, relationship, etc. to be the primary space for expressing all of the things we want to be in the world.
Keep exploring, get curious about what you uncover, and see where it leads you. And, if you want some support around a particularly thorny choice or dilemma, coaching can be a great way to get clear about a particular situation or choice and build your ability to make other choices later. You’ll find info on my coaching work at the bottom of this newsletter, and on the website.

Related Articles

Navigating Change Together

Working with Shoulds

Join the Conversation

  • What was your experience trying this out?

  • What other tools do you that help you make choices you feel good about?

You can ask questions, share your experiences, and be part of the conversation at the bottom of the page.

. . . . .

From Conflict to Creativity: a workshop for couples

Saturday, August 31st and Sunday, September 1st, 10:00-4:00

at the Everett House Community Healing Center, 2927 NE Everett St in Portland.
I am teaming up with Rissa Wray, a Thai massage practitioner, to offer this experience-based workshop (more on Rissa below) for couples.
We live our lives in relationships with other human beings. Since we all have our own distinct perspectives, desires, and backgrounds, conflict is inevitable. It is not something we can avoid. It is not something we should even try to avoid!
when we embrace conflict as a gateway to profound breakthrough – as a call to slow down, take a deep breath, and get curious – we can create the most powerfully creative solutions together, rather than staying stubborn, staying stuck, staying quiet, or getting angry.
To do that, we need tools; tools for self-soothing and building resiliency, tools that support self-confidence and compassion, tools for building mutual respect and trust in a relationship between equals. It starts with finding compassion for your fears and reaching with curiosity and love across the gaps between us.
And while getting new ideas, and using different language can be useful, all of the emotions that arise get processed through the body; relationships exist as felt experience.
Because of this, I am teaming up with Rissa Wray to create a workshop that addresses the body, the mind, and our interrelated existence.
We will go deep. We’ll move between different ways to explore and make shifts. We’ll take breaks. We’ll have fun! Coming together as a group to learn is one of the most powerful experiences we can have. The focus isn’t just on us; we get to grow and learn new skills, and we remember we are not alone.
Existing in relationship means having sometimes conflicting desires, aspirations, and perspectives. Embracing this fact and changing your perspective to see conflict as a call to creativity is one of the single most profound shifts you can have. You can turn pain and turmoil into strength, bravery, and resilience – together. Join us as we explore ways to lean into these possibilities.
Registration is limited to 5 couples. The cost is $515 per couple. Yes, this workshop is LBGTQIA+ and poly welcoming (let us know if you are planning to be more than a pair).
To register, use this registration form.

My Co-Leader:

Rissa Wray

Rissa Wray is a Thai massage practitioner and yoga teacher from St. Petersburg, FL. She has been practicing and teaching Thai massage since her first trip to Thailand in 2012 – and yoga since 2014. To date, she’s worked with hundreds of couples and thousands of individuals using Thai massage and yoga as the mediums to help each person heal themselves and their relationships. Trauma must be processed and released through the body, so whether you’re experiencing a group or individual session, your body has the opportunity to transform and find balance and the release you need to move forward healthier and more integrated.
And, in case someone forwarded this to you and you don’t know me: I am a facilitator, trainer and coach for individuals and relationships of all shapes and sizes. My work is about creating containers where discovery and growth can happen. I am always focused on building the capacity of the person or people I’m working with to do the work they want to do. My approach is holistic and invites the wisdom of the whole person, including the body, to lead the process of discovering what each of us needs to thrive, as individuals and in relationships and groups. And while the work is sometimes slow and done in small steps, it is always focused on transformation, not on incremental change.

. . . . .

Fall Workshops at PCC

I am teaching three workshops at PCC this fall term. Locations and other logistics are yet to be determined for two of them but, in case you want to mark your calendars, they will be:
Taming Your Inner Critic – a Lunch and Learn at the Central Library – October 17th at noon

Self-judgment can paralyzes us, hold us in fear, keep us from growing into our strengths and doing what we want to do. Changing your relationship with your inner critic allows you to move with more ease, through fear into action. Come explore ways to do that.
This is a free, hour-long workshop offered in partnership with the Library. It is held in the meeting room on the main floor of the Central Library downtown (just to the right as you walk in the door). Pre-registration is NOT required.
Creative Problem Solving on Tuesday, October 15th from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Creativity is never more important than when you’re searching for an answer. Discover ways to tap into your most creative self when tackling any problem.
Running Good Meetings on Tuesday, October 29th from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

What drives you crazy in meetings? What do you wish you could change in the meetings you run, or participate in? This workshop combines lively presentations on useful tools and practices with Q & A and highly interactive exercises based on actual challenges experienced by participants.
You can register for these two workshops once the fall schedule is out (August 14th), by going to PCC’s Community Education website.

. . . .

Interested in Being Part of a Coaching Group this Fall?

I am considering forming a coaching group this fall and I want to get a sense about how much interest there would be.

Some basic information about my coaching groups can be found on my website. I’m open to any number of possibilities for how to shape a group this fall, but my initial impulse is to model it on a group I did a couple of years ago, called Moving Through Change. That was a group for women living in uncertainty, and included women recovering from cataclysmic upheavals, women starting to feel like they want something new, and pretty much everything in between.

Regardless of focus, we’ll likely run for three months, meeting every-other week at my home in outer SE. We will take time to listen to our own hearts. We will interactive facilitated exercises, writing, art, and gentle movement, to explore where we are, and what we want to create in our lives going forward. We will learn from and support each other, and allow ourselves to be curious about what is possible.

If you are interested, or just want more information, please contact me.

. . . . .

What People Say About My Groups and Workshops

“Emotional, rewarding and life changing.”

“The group was inspiring, stimulating, helped me shift out of negativity toward optimistic ideas. I love your style – welcoming, supportive.”

“This workshop has changed how I think about my life.”

“I now have LOTS of tools to help me make shifts in my life that I’ve wanted.”

· · · · ·


Are you reaching for some kind of transformation in your life, work, or relationship?

Whether you are clear about what you want to be different, or just clear that something needs to change, coaching can help you move through the process of identifying and letting go of what’s in your way, getting a clearer, more useful sense of what you want, and developing new frameworks, tools and habits that will get you there.

We will focus in on what is most alive for you, most stuck, most confusing, and discover ways for you to access your own deep wisdom and to release old patterns that have stopped serving you and are preventing you from making the changes you want to make. Coaching is practical — learning and action are integrated, so you are actually taking the steps you want to be taking while getting more clarity about what makes these changes challenging and how to make it easy. The cost for three months of individual coaching is $585. The three-month package for relationship coaching is $915.

You will find information about my coaching work on the coaching and relationship coaching pages of my website.

. . . . .

Quotes from relationship coaching clients

“I appreciated the concrete tools Tasha provided. In contrast to couple’s therapy, where we would get caught up in unhealthy narratives, we found more productive movement and commitment to the process in a short amount of time.”

“Through coaching, we learned how to become less triggered and reactive with each other, making it possible for us to see, hear, and engage with each other with compassion, curiosity, and resilience.”

“Tasha’s support has made us more resourceful listeners and collaborators in our partnership, as well as in other relationships with family, friends and colleagues.”

. . . . .

Lake Shore by Shamsah Ebrahim

Photo by Shamsah Ebrahim

I wish you a lovely summer.


PS: Pass it on
If you know someone who’d benefit from this newsletter, please pass it on to them. Thanks for helping me connect with the people who want what I’ve got to offer.

Posted in Different Angles | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *