Values and Penguin Sweaters

What in the world do these two things have to do with one another?

Let me tell you.

How is it possible I have made it to my mid-40s without ever making a list of my Values until today?  I have participated in personality tests and all sorts of personal growth workshops but I never listed all my values outside my brain, what the words mean to me, and how I attempt to live with them.   I am listing mine here, not to say “look how great my values are” but rather to encourage a moment of self-awareness by listing your own or see if any interpretations have shifted over time if you made a list in the past.

Okay, now shortly after completing my Values list, I learned of a call to knitting sweaters for penguins affected by oil spills today and it occurred to me that knitting for any animal in rehab is a wonderful way to combine my love of knitting and creativity with my love of the interdependence of all life.   Yes, this appeal has appeared in Snopes as being impossible to know when the numbers of sweaters has reached maximum overload, but I figure maybe a surplus of penguin sweaters is not a bad thing.  Oil spills happen.


1) COMPASSION – “co-suffering” – I would like to gather more techniques to bless and release the suffering of myself and others. The Buddha is reported to have said: “It is possible to travel the whole world in search of one who is more worthy of compassion than oneself. No such person can be found.” To manifest effective compassion for others it is necessary to be able to experience and appreciate one’s own suffering and thus have compassion for oneself.

2) SPIRITUAL GROWTH – Keeping open channel to Source for guidance, support and awareness on my path.

3) HUMILITY – I don’t know everything. I may not know anything.

4) FREEDOM – Birthright of each person to discover and work toward their own freedom.

5) HEALTH – Lean toward healthy foods, healthy actions for my mind, body, spirit.

6) CREATIVITY – Strive to allow time and practice for what is emerging.

7) LISTENING – The best way to learn.

8) RESPONSIBILITY – Showing up for those who depend on me, taking responsibility for my choices and actions, acknowledging all choices were made with the best understanding available to me at the time (even those that ended in “disaster”).

9) INTERDEPENDENCE – Constant awareness of “inter-being” of all life so my illusion of self as an island is kept illuminated.

10) LOVE – Striving toward unconditional love for self at all times.

11) HUMOR – Laughing at self and appreciating humor in even the darkest of places is a great survival tool and medicine.

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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