Clues from the past can help you in the present

It was back in the late ’70s and I was in my early 20s. While I enjoyed going to the mall and the clubs and doing all the other things 20-somethings liked to do, I also have great memories of visiting my Aunt Ginny.

Ginny and I shared a love of beautiful and nurturing things: good food, pleasing surroundings, flowers, music. Her home was tastefully decorated with furnishings that actually coordinated. It was a stark contrast to my dingy little apartment that was sparsely outfitted with old, mismatched castoffs from who-knows-where because that’s all a 21-year-old could afford.

Ginny’s home was not the museum-quality environment as many others of her generation; instead, it was a welcoming home to be lived in and enjoyed. Everything was in its place, but in a comfortable, homey, inviting way.

And Ginny always had easy listening, elevator-type music playing on the stereo. While I never listened to that kind of music back in my apartment, I loved the peaceful, relaxing feeling that it gave me when I visited her. It never crossed my mind that I might be weird for actually enjoying elevator music at that age.

I loved and cherished the long, meaningful conversations I shared with Ginny in her home, but I also loved my visits to her house for the peace and harmony I felt just by being there. It was a great loss when I moved away and that chapter of my life ended and then years later when Ginny left this world and I would never be able to visit her again.

Now it’s 2017 and I look back on that era of my life and what it reveals to me in present time. A few years back I led a workshop on creating life balance for a group of dynamic women with too many items on their to-do lists. When I create a program, I always work through the handouts myself just as the group participants do.

The first step in this workshop was to identify our top eight values. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that peace and harmony were right there at the top. But truthfully, I had not given it much thought prior to that exercise.

Now, looking back, all the signs were there…the beautiful, calm feeling I enjoyed at Ginny’s; my dislike of crowds, confrontation, and excessive noise; the soothing music I still enjoy listening to while working at home; the centeredness I feel when I practice yoga and meditation.

The desire for peace and harmony was always there. I simply needed to recognize it. Now that I have identified this need, it’s much easier to create it in my daily life. And now I am building a career that allows me to help others create these wonderful feelings in their own homes.

Looking back throughout your life, what trends do you see that can give you clues to what is most important to you now? And how can you incorporate these values into your life on a regular basis? Please leave a comment below.

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