ReFirement at any age: Vital core values to know, practice and stay true to

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

In a world of chaos, where one’s core values are tested every day by the influences of our society, stay true to yourself and your values, at all times, even when no one is looking.

It is important to stay grounded in the values and beliefs you have come to know.

The battles we wage on ourselves and the world can be a never ending-struggle if we don’t stay centered.

Here are a few practices to stay centered and true to your values:

  1. Dial in to that person who has been the essence of you since you were born. We go through several changes and evolutions in our lives for many different reasons. I think we can all agree that we’re not the same person we were twenty, thirty, forty years ago yet that spirit at our core doesn’t go away. Sometimes, though, we lose our way and drift from our center and become off balanced for a time. I lost myself twice in my life in both of my marriages where I adjusted my words and mannerisms in order to keep the atmosphere quiet and peaceful. I did this for many years and as I broke out of it and returned to myself, I was met with resistance because I wasn’t catering to their demands anymore. Some of us change more than others, due to extreme life changing events. No matter what happens, we must carry on and stay grounded until we get to the other side of whatever obstacles are in our way. Embrace the you, you truly are, and have always been, at your core.
  2. Remove what is no longer genuine. Give up with reverence and compassion what doesn’t work, in order to stay close to what is sacred to your soul. This may be walking away from a friendship or a relationship or an organization or a job that isn’t congruent with your values and beliefs. Always take a stand for yourself and your values. You’re defined by what you stand for. Oprah Winfrey
  3. No “stinkin’ thinkin’”. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Keep in mind that at the heart of all struggles, there is a peaceful, enduring center. All we have to do is reach for it, again, another action that’s easier said than done. The way you can protect your mind is by avoiding all together or at least drastically reducing the things that poison it, like social media, gossip, negative news, etc.
  4. If you can do that, you’re ahead of the game (not that we should think of life as a game, necessarily!). Two ways to do that and the first way is a repeat of the prior practice, which can’t be repeated enough. Avoid all together or at the minimum, scale back on falling down the rabbit hole of social media, gossip and negative news. The second is to fill your mind with positivity through books; people and activities that not only bring you joy but also brings joy to the world around you and becomes a domino effect that could spill out into the world at large.

I end with a wish in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, which is also my wish to you.

This is my wish for you:

Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life,

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