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ACEs Healing: Spirit


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What are your Core Values?

Personal core values are the baselines used to direct your choices and decisions in life. Always keeping in mind, the big picture and not allowing temporary moments to derail you from your overall goal is how you stay true to yourself. Many times, core values are based on what society or our culture determine them to be, such as:

  • Graduate from college
  • Get married
  • Have children
  • Live happily ever after

Determining your own core values, regardless of the opinions of your friends and family, is another way to stay mindful by choosing what works best for you. For example, say all your friends seem to be getting married or starting families and you have not found the right spouse yet. Staying true to your core values of having a spouse who respects you, is a good communicator, and cares about your well-being will remain above the societal value of being married just to say you are married or because you feel like you are being left behind.

When we ignore our core values and follow the crowd, we sometimes find ourselves in unfavorable situations and kicking ourselves saying "If I would have just followed my values instead of trying to live up to someone else's I probably would not be in this situation". Thinking about the bigger goal in the moment and any positive or negative outcomes in the beginning, can save you time and headaches in the long run.


What Did you Learn?

Make a list of life skills and values you learned in your childhood, that you still live by today consciously, or unconsciously. Learned can mean that someone verbally taught them to you, or you learned from the actions of your caregivers. For example, to have a career meant to get a job and work there for 20-30 years, then retire.

Create a list for each category:

  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Finances
  • Work
  • School
  • Self
  • Community Member
  • Other Areas of your Life

Then using the same categories, list all the life skills and values you did not learn, receive, or were deprived of as a result of Adverse Childhood Experiences, such as:

  • Security through attachment to a caring adult
  • Joy of human companionship
  • Your responsibility in relationships
  • Healthy boundaries
  • How to study and achieve goals without giving up
  • How to know when it is time to leave a job you are unhappy at
  • How credit works
  • Love, safety, trust, belonging

What Does your Model Home of Life Look Like?

Some families live by the mantra of "Do what I say not as I do". We grow up and realize that we function on a good portion of what was taught by actions and not told to us with words. As adults we can choose what values we want to live by and eliminate the ones we no longer want.

Like the model home located in a developing neighborhood that displays the many possibilities to choose from when building your own home; what does your model home of life look like? The original model home is the home of your childhood, what did they teach you or did not teach you and how does it show up in your life today?


What do you do to feed your spirit and become wiser in your day to day living?

  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Converse with friends and family
  • Life coach
  • Mentorship

How to Rewire your Brain using Neuroplasticity

Brain plasticity works two-ways; it is just as easy to generate negative changes as positive ones. Now we can start to replace your negative experiences and skills, what happened in the past, with positive experiences and skills, what you want to happen in the future.  

How can you become the person you want to be?

First, check your belief system. 

  • Do you trust yourself? Others?
  • Do you believe you are worthy?
  • Do you believe you are competent enough to do it? Whatever it is.
  • Do you have a voice and believe you matter?

Name skills of survival you may have used in the past.

  • Manipulation
  • Cunning
  • Quick-Wit
  • Clever
  • Crafty
  • Charming
  • Lying

Name skills needed for a successful person to have in the real world.

  • Self-Control
  • Self-Esteem
  • Healthy Relationships 
  • Communication
  • Self-Regulation
  • Compassion for Self and Others
  • Empathy
  • Problem Solving - Grit
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Self-Discipline 
  • Helping Others, Accepting/Asking Help
Life Skills Wheel

Next, choose the topic-specific resilience skills you would like to have and start working to add them to your character. Through practice and new experiences, you can have the skills you need to be a successful person in any area of your life:

  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Finances
  • Work
  • School
  • Self
  • All Around

Other Resources


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