To further explore your core values through a photographic study of your day-to-day living environment.
- Digital camera (very simple: your built-in camera phone will be just fine)
- A free photo collage-making tool. I find Fotor and Canva both beautiful and simple to use (and free!), but if you prefer to work on your mobile device, there are many other collage apps to choose from.
- Revisit your core values as discussed in class. Which values emerged for you? Make a note of them in your journal. If it has been difficult to articulate your core values or you’re still uncertain, we invite you to view this list of core values and notice any resonances/dissonances in your body’s reaction to the meaning of the words.
- Holding your core values gently in your heart, mindfully move through your space and notice where those core values are embodied physically. For instance, if one of your core values is being in nature, perhaps you keep fresh cut flowers in the house to invite that in. Or perhaps you have a collection of beloved stones you might make photographic note of. If you deeply value connection with children, you may have kids’ art on the wall.
- If you’re having a tough time seeing your space with fresh eyes, imagine you were an alien having know knowledge of who you were. If they entered your space for the first time with curious eyes, what might they deduct you found important?
- Simply move through the space for as long as you wish (at least 15 mindful minutes) and photograph your core values as they express themselves in your space. Try if you can to refrain from intentionally setting up / arranging anything that isn’t true and present. If judgments come up, simply notice them, offer them a tender pet, and return to your photos.
- When you’re done—and you’ll know when that is—reflect on the images you’ve shot. Which ones speak most to you? What noticings are coming to mind? What feelings in your body have emerged? Make a simple note of those impressions in your journal and advance to the Questions for Reflection section of the Invitation.
- Optional: If you wish, head over to one of the photo collage apps mentioned in “Materials” above and craft a visual college of your values. If you feel comfortable, you may wish to share your collage with the group on the Mighty Network. You may also wish to print out your collage and hang it as a beautiful reminder of that which you hold most dear in your life.
Questions for reflection:
- In what way(s) did your external environment represent your core values?
- If your chosen core values aren’t strongly represented in your environment, which values are?
- As you moved through your experience, did you find that another value emerged that you weren’t fully aware of? What is it, and how is that realization for you?
- Are there any surprises that came up for you? Do your environment and your heart tell the same story?
- If you were to use your skills of mindful, curious observation to view your environment through the eyes of a stranger, what core values would you surmise existed for the person who lives in your space?