The distinction was inspired in a late afternoon colleague yarn about the word frivolous. Casual banter about what might be worth doing on the weekend and the word frivolous was in the mix. Suddenly realised that particular word for me carried a lot of emotion about wasting time and energy on unimportant things, 'a sin' even (biiiiiig value judgements). There was a twinge of guilt attached to even using the word in connection with legitimate fun [now there's another angle I hadn't seen coming - having to justify fun as legitimate]. Whereas my colleague had no such beliefs attached. For her frivolity was a light, fantastic word that carried the promise of guilt free pleasure because you'd set it up that way! What an amazing concept...
The encouraging wake up call was that beliefs really do need some serious, or maybe even more effective, a bit of frivolous examination because often they don't even belong to me (learned this years ago practicing Narrative Therapy, but clearly the concept hadn't soaked all the way through). This conversation threw me into a space that found deep memories, and left me pondering habits I thought were just reality - not a construct of earlier experiences. The beliefs were often planted by well meaning [or not] adults or peers who either really believed what they were telling me or had some vested interest in me adopting their framework.
Values on the other hand I BELIEVE [grin] I can choose to plant and nurture from scratch. If I can attach them to an existing belief, or build a new framework of belief around a chosen value, all the better, 'cause it'll probably seep into practice more easily. I want more than anything to be in line with my own values so I can enjoy the river flow and the peaks that might take a bit of pain to reach, discarding along the way the unnecessary weight of old beliefs that are not serving me or anyone else... I feel lighter already!
Duck flaps his wings for the hell of it, with no intention of taking off