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What's Your True North? | #Autotherapy #TherapyOutLoud

"We, much like a compass needle, will wobble a bit before finding true north."

I was asked on a podcast the other day, "Who's Aia?"

It's fun and funny to introduce myself today - I can't help but smirk at how 180° different I am from who I used to be - from how I would have answered that question 6 weeks ago, 6 months ago, 6 years ago, 16 years ago. Though, I suppose that's the beauty of living, right? the privilege of evolving and not staying the same?

I can still remember like it was yesterday the particular reflective writing session where my own therapist asked me to outline my values. I don't often get stumped but I remember feeling like this particular prompt was particularly abrasive.

What do you mean, my values?

It's not a question we get asked often in this life - for one that decidedly dictates so much of how, when, and why we act as we do.

I was irritated at her steadfast, nurturing yet stoic confidence in her question.

What are your values?

Openness, in every facet: open-mindedness, open-relationship'ness, open communication'ness. All the openness. That's what I value.

Communication. All the communication. Words. Talks. Lyrics. Hard stuff. Unapologetic truth and unconditional positive regard throughout.

Unabashed truth. "This is my truth. Respect me or die." <-- I didn't always quite have the intestinal fortitude to pitch it this way, but when I began evolving I realized that I only have one truth. It's binary. and I choose it.

Shadows. and serenity within them. We cannot change our past, but we can change our narrative and redefine pain as purpose. It's hard as hell to do, but it can be done.

Evolution. Constant, non-stop, sometimes gut-wrenchingly painful but always moving forward evolution. In my world, it's evolve or die. I would rather cease to exist than fail to move forward.

Fearlessness. Not in the absence-of-fear type way, but in the "I'm going to do the thing despite how afraid I am." way. Call it courage. Call it whimsical, carefree, bold. Whatever. But I value living life outside the lines of fear in a BIG way.

Synergy. I value 2+2=5. I value always looking for the hidden evolution (👆) that comes from looking for the under-the-surface added value / meaning / magic.

Magic. that said... there, I said it. I value the magic. The kind of consciousness / awakedness / awareness that chooses to believe there's something bigger at play (call it what you will). The idea that not everything is face-value seen, not all truths are science-backed, and that before we thought we knew everything, the only thing we knew for sure was that we knew nothing at all. Where are your values most aligned? she asked me.

"They're not." I responded.

Which of your values are most misaligned? and how?

It's incredible how much can come up when you stop to reflect on what you believe, bone-deep, to be true.

Our values are our guide posts.

Nobody teaches us to hear to our intuition, let alone listen to her. We pursue stuff because we're told to, expected to, pushed toward - and not because we've consciously made the choice to pursue the thing. Imagine what would happen if you focused 100% of your energy and intention solely on what you believed to be right rather than what is popular or pleasing to others. Nobody tells us that in the face of not knowing what to do we just need to stop for a sec - and do nothing. sit. in stillness. and silence. and breathe. and the answers will come with resounding force from deep within - full-bodied all-senses-awake encompassing knowing. It exists. If we allow it.

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