Non-Negotiables

“Refuse to let anyone, or anything, repress your vivid energies…that means your opinions, your thoughts, your ideas, your values, your morals, your ideals. Let your own innate cycles dictate the upsurges and the downward cycles of your life, not other forces or persons outside yourself, nor negative complexes from within.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés

flowers-along-my-path

Daily I receive an email from Daily Good containing various stories and articles that inspire goodness, generosity and the like. Today’s article, “What Are Your Non-Negotiables?” (link here), really made me think.

“With the same no nonsense approach that one commits to brushing one’s teeth twice a day, non-negotiables are practical yet non-yielding building blocks that create a life of substance and strength.

What are your non-negotiables, in life, in work, in your relationships? Take some time and write them down. To discriminate what you want in your life, and what you do not want – to separate the poppy seed from the dirt – takes discipline, mindfulness, will and spirit. And it often means holding out for what one wants, in the face of enormous pressure.”

That’s a tough one. Yikes. What am I committed to in my life and work that it’s as fundamental as brushing my teeth?? Well…here are a few things that make me who I am.

– As a rule, I try to be kind as often as I can. But I have zero tolerance for anyone who treats my boys poorly. I don’t care who it is or what the reason.

– I do everything I can to avoid violence in the movies I watch, the music I listen to, or words in my vocabulary. (The latter can be attributed to the Franciscan roots of my long-time employer.)

– No checking work email or voicemail on weekends or while on vacation. I’ve learned it’s the only way I can fully detach from the office.

– I won’t eat in restaurant that allows smoking. (And I will not date or marry someone who smokes.)

– No meat, with the exception of fish on occasion.

– There are a few retail and food establishments that I refuse to patronize because of their public political stances/policies on various matters. But I won’t list them because political opinions voiced on social media mostly make me uncomfortable.

So that’s what I’ve come up with so far. (I likely have more.) Obviously my non-negotiables aren’t for everyone. But they’re authentically mine and part of my makeup — my core, my actions, my values. While it wasn’t an easy exercise for whatever reason, I thought it was really worthwhile. Definitely something I’d not thought about before.

“As we honor our own and each other’s authentic selves, and their skillful expression, we co-create a world with new possibilities and freedom.”

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