After this great conversation, I revisited my most recent check-in, and noted that the three words I had condensed down to still didn't feel quite right. This got me thinking again about "priority/ities," and how they function in our lives. To the same tune of thinking about "buckets" for how you divide your resources, I got thinking about buckets for collecting your priorities (or as I'm taking to discussing them, at least in this post, how you "live out your values"). While I am down with the "values" word, I think the "priorities" word has too much baggage for me. Instead, I'm leaning toward this:
Values and Living Them Out.
I also tend to lean away from the "mantra" word, as feels to me like a co-opting of something I don't entirely understand. So I'll stick with values. The thing I want to memorize/ that I am returning to after trying some words that didn't feel like they fit:
Even "Purpose" to me feels a little stagnant - it feels like a thing that exists rather than is constantly developing. Perhaps its just a matter of me reframing it for myself while remaining open to the idea of change.
As for the "Living Them Out" part, this comes in so many ways for me, but there are three main categories I feel have emerged in my (copious) amount of time thinking about all this:
I think this is resonating for me because these three categories really serve all three of those above values. To me, "Growth" includes health and leaning into curiosities, which for me often intersect as subjects like food, cooking, sleep optimization, building presence and movement. It also serves my topical curiosities about things like music, mystical lore, fashion, personal finance, emergency preparedness and simplicity. Really, I believe curiosity and following to me tantamount to being a healthy human-person. In this way, Growth allows me to live out Vitality, Purpose (curiosity leading to new ways to find Purpose) and Contribution (therein helping me contribute more to others as a result of my own discovery of what is working for me in striving to better myself as a human-person).
"Relationships" is my container (love this "Container" idea, Leo Babauta) for Kris, my parents and his and our brothers and sisters and my friends. I consider these to be my closest and most important relationships - I value the ones I have in working scenarios, though perhaps consider them to be a part of that "Purpose" value. That said, I also consider these listed Relationships to be part of my Purpose, as well as my Vitality of course, and a way that I am able to offer Contribution. It's all connected. My own work on myself an delving into curiosities often makes its way back to the people I care about, helping them figure out their own best modes of self and curiosities. Therein, the Relationships container fulfills all three of my values as well, in very interconnected ways.
And the big D, "Dance." It feels important to state that I am completely open to the idea that the label on this may change (or be added to) some day. For now, I feel Dance is also a big three container for my own Vitality (health, focus, dedication, determination, curiosity), Purpose (it feels most resonant here, as "Dance" and "Purpose" feel nearly interchangeable to me) and Contribution (it is my way of contributing to others through helping them find joy in moving their bodies, connecting to others, finding presence in themselves, connecting to history through education and performance).
Values: Vitality | Purpose | Contribution
Living Them Out: Growth | Relationships | Dance
This is how I check in.