Embodying the Values of AUK

NO Naomi Orbegozo Public Seen by 31

I have been reflecting for a couple of days on how to start a conversation about this on here. It is a huge question and threatened to overwhelm me so I decided to reduce it to 'How can I equip myself to participate fully and wholeheartedly in this specific part of the revolution; AUK?' As there is such a lovely, clear list of core values provided, I thought I would start there and reflect upon what they mean for me and how I can embody them in my relationship with myself and others. Below I share, what seemed to me, to be my most important insights about courage...just in case anyone else might find them, or the process of reflection, useful.

How would I like courage to reliably manifest in my life? 

  1. Vulnerability in communication. Ability to question myself in public and learn out loud. To laugh at myself.

  2. See issues from other perspectives with true curiosity and without feeling a threat to my identity.

  3. Bravely explore liminal spaces and unknown possibilities between these perspectives.

  4. To act wholeheartedly while acknowledging uncertainty of the results of my actions.

  5. To take full responsibility for my actions and choices.

  6. To be able to sit with despair and hopelessness with patience and clarity.

  7. To take space and time for self care.

Of course this will be a continually updating process. I will continue to share my reflections on the other 5 values and invite others to do the same if they feel compelled.


Maria Sun 29 Mar 2020 11:46AM

Hi Natalie. Love this, thanks for sharing. Since the beginning of being a part of The Alternative in Denmark I always felt this - a reflection of how the values are embodied on a personal level - was missing. It actually takes a lot of courage to embark on such a self-reflection so thanks for initiating! And your articulation of courage is definitely inspiring me. Will reflect and aim to contribute later today.


Naomi Orbegozo Mon 30 Mar 2020 10:12AM

Oh great! I'm so glad to hear you find this important too. I feel validated :) I look forward to hearing your reflections, as i'm sure they will fill some holes that I didn't think of. I asked my husband the same question and his answers were so different, it made me look at courage through a completely new lens.

I also started writing a list of strategies, resources and ideas that have helped me work with courage, but realised that it was such a wide mishmash of different things, that it would be too much to do that for each value individually. This is something that really fascinates me though...the different narratives that lead to 'Aha moments' for different people, the unique combinations of metaphors, experiences, stories and concepts that feel 'true' and change people's inner architecture. If anyone is interested, I would love to compare 'aha moments' at some point :)


Maria Mon 30 Mar 2020 3:23PM

Hi Naomi (sorry about the Natalie before, think I had someone else in our community in mind).

Sharing my reflections/insights on what it means to me to have/embody/practice courage, in what came out as these three points.

To know and to take responsibility

Recently I’ve reflected a lot on the word responsibility, what that means to me and how I figure out what my responsibility is. I guess it relates to figuring out how I can make a difference in my communities and in the world using my skills etc. but to really know my responsibility (so to be able to take it) goes deeper than that. It is a daily practice of observing and listening to what others are showing/telling me (directly but mostly indirectly) and what arises within me as a response to that. Often, because I’m self-centred and focused sorely on getting across my own ideas and belief and fulfilling my own wishes, I completely miss how others need me to show up for them. I try to see all my relationships, personal and work-related, as mirrors for me to look deeply in and understand how I can be of service to a better world for all.

To wholeheartedly accept whatever arises 

I think my default reaction is to fight against whatever I don’t like and I've found it requires true courage to fully accept whatever conditions and situations I am presented with, and from that place of acceptance, work to change things for the better. I think of acceptance as a peaceful and clear state of mind, from which lasting change can take root and grow. I can let go of grasping to how things should be different and focus my energy on making them so.  

To face challenges with joyful humility

When things are just f-ing difficult, whatever I do I don't see the results I hoped for, I feel like I'm stuck and not improving, facing the same challenges again and again, my default is to become discouraged and wish to give up/run away. But with courage in my heart I feel I can approach such a situation with joy and excitement understanding that it presents an opportunity for evaluation, questioning and learning. With courage I can at the same time step into humility, acknowledge my inadequacy as one individual and reach out to others for help, support and insights.


Naomi Orbegozo Tue 31 Mar 2020 5:53AM

I really appreciate your deep exploration of this Maria. A lot of learning for me here. The idea of listening to what is needed in the moment as responsibility is connecting up some dots for me and your use of the word disCOURAGEd in this context caused a small explosion in my brain and a whole new understanding of the word and the feeling...I somehow missed the word courage staring at me in the face until now :) The strategy of looking at what seem to be crappy situations or insurmountable challenges as opportunity for excitement and adventure seem very powerful to me. Perhaps also something to be explored in the 'Tell the Story' group?


Maria Mon 30 Mar 2020 3:43PM

Yes! It would indeed be great and useful to think of strategies, processes, resources that help us find courage within ourselves so we could consciously and with intention bring courage into our spaces and gatherings. Please share your findings :-)

I was also thinking it might be valuable to articulate the importance of living/embodying these values so that they don't just becoming abstract words/fluffy concepts on a webpage. How could this be presented? Through personal stories, pictures etc.? Welcome ideas!


Naomi Orbegozo Tue 31 Mar 2020 6:26AM

I have been trying to compile a sort of list of strategies and resources etc but it is very messy and far too long at the moment...I find I can suddenly relate everything to courage in some tenuous way :) Perhaps exploring the other values will give me some more clarity...so i'll get back to you on that...

I think it would be a great idea to encourage a deeper reflection of the values in the way they are presented. Personal stories are always powerful, fun to read (and write) and invite reflection in themselves. I also think simple questions are a very straightforward invitation for deeper consideration...they are kind of irresistible. Just adding the question of 'what does this value mean for you?' at the end of each description would automatically trigger at least a thought, or a feeling or a memory perhaps...and if not, the feeling of being asked is also quite nice, at least for me, it gives me more a sense of 'mattering'.


Maria Thu 2 Apr 2020 3:26PM

Yes agree! Should we aim to explore each value in this space and then maybe bring to the Tell The Story group how this exploration could be share/presented on the Daily Alternative (and other places) to inspire others to explore these values for themselves and/or embody them in their own spaces...? I've started to explore empathy a bit as it is coming up for me a lot these days.

Also, as we, in this group, would be looking at them from a very personal space, I've been thinking about the different answers that would arise in the other subgroups e.g. how would courage show up in a new economy? how does an economy have empathy?

One thing at the time I guess... :-)


Naomi Orbegozo Fri 3 Apr 2020 9:39AM

I love these ideas and immediately want to explore them all at once (: but you are right, one thing at a time. I am currently on my 'generosity journey'. I really look forward to hearing your reflections on empathy as it is something that I definitely struggle to come to grips with.

Your suggestions have given me a new sense of motivation and purpose. Thank you.


Naomi Orbegozo Mon 6 Apr 2020 11:26AM

Here are my rather long-winded reflections on how I would like to embody generosity:

  • Giving without expectations - I am definitely guilty of giving without generosity. I have certainly given things/time/energy to people with a manipulative intention and even if this wasn't perceived by the recipient, it was not a nice feeling for me. The times that I have given from a place of true generosity with no attachment to the outcome have actually been so much more rewarding and deeply joyful. I would like this way of giving to become 'the norm'. 

  • What can I truly give that will be truly appreciated? - I have also been guilty of giving so much away that I have found myself diminished or suffering afterwards. This has often lead to the recipient distancing themselves because it was a bit overwhelming and they didn't want to hang out with a diminished and suffering person! This didn't feel much like generosity either...so I guess I would like to work on a deep level of discernment of what can be truly given and what can truly be of benefit in a given situation...lots of listening I think.

  • Generosity with myself - I had a real turning point in my yoga practice recently...it had got a bit stale and I was seeing it as a duty to be performed every morning. A couple of weeks ago however, I suddenly saw the beauty in the gift I was giving myself by spending time connecting to my body and breath everyday so that I can move through the world with more grace. This change in attitude made me feel generous and grateful all at once and my practice transformed. I am now trying to apply this to other aspects of my life...everything from flossing my teeth to taking part in this community...when I manage it, it is a very beautiful lens to look through. I also find acknowledging the benefits I receive from acts that I may try to portray as 'selfless' to be much more honest with myself...but perhaps this is a train of thought to be explored somewhere else.

  • Receiving learning - often, when someone has introduced an unfamiliar topic to me, I have pretended to know what they're talking about out of a fear of 'losing face'. I think I have withheld a really precious gift from both of us in these conversations...in my experience, the feeling of contributing to someone-else's learning is so gratifying and of course learning itself. So for me, I think seeing curiosity as an act of generosity is very useful.

  • Truly listening - I don't think this one needs explaining.

  • Lack of greed - I think this is a big one for me. When there is no tangible recipient, it is hard to grasp that I could be depriving someone of something...whether it be the choice to work in the industry I am supporting, or the last pack of toilet roll in the supermarket...I don't know, I'm finding it hard to put into words. I guess what I mean is that greed and generosity can't exist simultaneously so working on letting go of greed or possessiveness seems like an act of generosity in itself.