This morning, my coffee is tasty and hot, and I’m pleased with how lovely the espresso shots I pulled just happened to be; I am not a professional barista. I do my best, and even first thing in the morning I try to pull each shot mindfully, with great care, exactly as I have learned to do it. I enjoy the result.

This morning, the trickle of the aquarium in the background is soothing, and calls to mind little brooks and creeks. I enjoy some moments watching fish swim, and observing their awareness of their environment and each other. I contemplate free will, intention, consciousness, and wonder again what fish might ‘think about’.

Stormy weather.

Stormy weather.

I consider the day ahead, in the context of the day behind me. Yesterday went sideways in a most peculiar way, but very telling. It would be difficult to share much more about it without sharing too much, which quickly becomes both tedious, and riddled with rampant emotion of limited perspective. Let’s not do that. Let’s talk, instead, perhaps, about how much our values actually matter – to ourselves, to each other, to our relationships. Having a clear understanding of what we value, ourselves, is challenge enough; having an understanding of the values of others, enough to really ‘get them’, has so much to offer… and sometimes seems very hard to come by.

Can you answer this question: “What are your basic relationship values?” I answer it with my Big 5 (Respect, Reciprocity, Consideration, Compassion, and Openness). I have some important personal values, too, upon which I am attempting to build the life I want to live: Mindfulness, Perspective, and Sufficiency. That I know my values doesn’t ensure my choices are always based on such, and this is the nature of adult value decisions; we choose our values. The values of our childhood are instilled in us through education, example setting, and experience. Adulthood allows (requires?) us to re-examine them, and choose wisely based on what we have learned, values that represent the best of who we are. We have the opportunity to make those choices, make changes, and live well. We have other choices, too. The values we demonstrate, whatever values we say we hold, are the values we communicate to others through the power of our actions, as well as the clarity of our words.

I guess the test of success is ‘do your chosen values support the life you really want?’ As we are each having our own experience, the choices, and the evaluation, belong to us individually. In that legendary ‘perfect world’ so many laud and yearn for, our relationships are with others who share our values. We’re human beings. Each having our own experience, and making our own choices, and it is most assuredly not a perfect world. Still, we could do worse than choosing our relationships based on the values we truly hold.

Beyond the storm.

Beyond the storm.

Today is a good day for love, and for living my values. Today is a good day to make my best choices to meet my needs over time. Today is a good day to recognize that everyone makes their own choices, chooses their own path, and that the map and the journey are customized; we rarely see the world or our circumstances quite the way someone else does, however dear they may be. Today is a good day to respect the path someone else chooses to walk. Today is a good day to change the world.