After years of living in what felt like a permanent state of conflict between what I thought I was meant to do, and what I felt I should do, I have been trying very hard of late to live more closely aligned with this question:
Does this >whatever it is< align with my principles, believe or values?’

If not – why not, and what am I going to do about it?

It has been very liberating and yet strongly focusing on how I deal with all sorts of things, from work issues, friends, family and life choices.

Add that to my personal mantra – “The only thing that you can control is how you yourself behave/ act/ respond” and I feel I could start a inspo printing business!

Seriously though.

Recently I was having my quarterly coffee with a girlfriend of mine – we are both disgustingly and happily busy and will routinely, despite our best efforts to the contrary, only pull off a coffee date every 3 months  – at best! – where we dump on each other, dust each other off, lift each other up, pay for the coffee, hug and leave. We are the Cactus Girls, needing very little quantity from each other but ensuring for that coffee date that it is a brutally honest, high quality and unapologetic exchange.

On the most recent coffee, it became my turn to dump, and I was seeking clarity on a relationship I have that is in choppy waters. My conflict was not that there was conflict with this other person, but that I was not sure how best to manage the situation – ideally the outcome I want is one where that relationship is stronger than before, but retaining the values I care about most – honesty and kindness.
And my cactus friend asked me ‘how does this line up with  your personal values and principles.?’

And we discussed it, and it became clear.

It is really simple – define what or who it is you want to be, then measure any actions, especially ones that cause any kind of inner conflict, against that standard.

Does it align?

If not, then that is why it is causing you conflict – so change your intentions, actions or behaviours.

As I normally do after a cuppa with my cactus friend, I walked away with plenty to reflect upon, a load lightened and the path more clearly lit.