When you are clear on what you stand for and what matters to you, you can set goals and take actions that align with your values, creating a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and authenticity in your life.
Growing up, Nicola Jane Hobbs knew plenty of successful, ambitious women, but with their drive also came anxiety, overwhelm and fear. By contrast, Nicola decided she wanted to become a relaxed woman – a woman who prided intuition and self care over productivity and overwhelm.
Nicola is the Founder of The Relaxed Woman, a feminist psychologist, integrative therapist and social science researcher, specialising in women’s relationship with rest. Her philosophy of relaxed living and pursuing passion projects is something we really resonate with here at LH Agenda. We’ve been following her writings for some time now and starring her emails in our inboxes to reflect on when we need them. So we finally reached out to Nicola to ask her permission to share an excerpt of her writing with our LH Agenda audience, she kindly obliged, and we hope her words speak to you as much as they have spoken to us.
Excerpt from ‘to live gently’ by Nicola Jane Hobbs
I spent years living in a way that wasn’t true to what mattered to me, without even realising I was doing so.
I think many of us do.
Regardless of our gender, we internalise patriarchal values and banish the parts of ourselves that are most feminine.
The intuitive. The soft. The emotional. The free-flowing. The playful. The restful. The cyclical. The dreamy. The gentle.
And this can leave us feeling unbalanced.
We become overambitious. Overmaterialistic. Hyper-independent. Hyper-competitive. Self-judgemental. Self-critical.
And this energy ripples out into all areas of our lives.
Work. Relationships. Food. Money. Our capacity to be present. To play. To rest.
One of the most powerful ways we can nurture our feminine energy is by getting to know our values – our North stars – so that we can begin to create a life that honours what matters most.
As we identify our core values, we can mother them into being using a brilliant practice called Values Writing.
As we take five minutes to write about our values – when we’ve lived by them, when we haven’t and how we can embody them in our daily lives – we can begin to honour them and actualise them.
How to identify your core values
Identifying core values is a large part of the Dream/Define/Do system of our LH Planners. Your values matter because they’ll carry you through the storm, the hard days and the good days on your journey to achieving your dreams. Your values provide a compass that guides you towards a life that is true to yourself and brings you joy and satisfaction. So, take the time to discover and define your core values, and use them as a foundation for designing a life that is aligned with who you are and what you want.
This is an exercise on identifying your core values from the pages of our LH Planners. Take a quiet moment to reflect and write without distraction. Consider the list of values below and write down the ones that feel true to you (you may also like to add your own values to the list).
I value this in other humans…
Integrity / Honesty / Kindness / Generosity / Consideration / Wit
I want a world that values…
Sustainability / Ethics / Human Rights / Animal Rights / Gender Equality
I dream of a future with…
Freedom / Passion / Legacy / Joy / Family / Status / Happiness / Independence
Now look at your list of values and choose your top three – these are your core values.
Now that you have identified your core values, take some time to reflect on situations or areas of your life where you have lived in accordance with your values, as well as situations where you may have strayed from them. Once you’ve gained a deeper understanding of your values in action, consider how you can incorporate them more fully into your life moving forward. Answer the following questions:
When have I lived by my core values?
When haven’t I lived by my core values?
How can I embody my core values in my daily life?
Living out your values
Kasia Gospos, our founder, is an example of someone who has intentionally aligned her values with her career path. Kasia was working in a “safe” job as a management accountant, going through the motions, when she paused to reflect on her values. She was reminded that what matters most to her is freedom and being available for her family, which inspired her to quit her job and redesign her career to allow more flexibility and autonomy. She also made a conscious decision not to enter into long-term contracts that would limit her ability to prioritise her values.
If health and being there for your family in the future are important values to you, consider how your current lifestyle aligns with these values. Are there changes you could make now to ensure that you prioritise these values in the long term?
By embodying your values consistently, you can create a life that is meaningful, fulfilling, and in alignment with who you truly are.