I’ve had three sessions now with my current therapist. I forgot how strange it feels. It’s just as awkward as your first few dates with someone. So far, it’s going well. It’s gotten more and more comfortable each time. It’s funny – I thought she’d talk more. After the first session I thought – “hmm I don’t feel like she gave me any life altering advice, I should prob never see her again.” Then I realized, oh she let me do most of the talking, you know, like a therapist is supposed to do. I’m glad I’ve stuck around.



At our last session, we talked about Values. She gave me a deck of about 75-100 cards. They each had a different value written in one to three words with a short sentence describing them. The values ranged from nurturing others to family to money to fame to justice to accomplishing great awards/achievements...She had me categorize them in three piles:

Very important to me

Important to me

Not important to me

This took up our entire session. Some were very easy to decide. I’d basically fling those out of my hands, gracefully of course. Others had me really uh, you know – over thinking. I’d end up looking at my therapist like this:



Like why are you doing this to me?? I have a child! (cat)


It’s fine, I’m fine.


Eventually, we finished. I felt very satisfied with my ability to get through them all in under an hour. Then, she took away all of the value cards I decided were not important to me and that were important to me she had me spread out all of the very important to me values out on the table. Then she said: pick 5. And I thought:



This took…pretty long.

After what felt like several hours, I finally had my 5. The values that are most important to me in my life.

In no particular order:

  • Self acceptance
  • Health
  • Creativity
  • Adventure
  • Risk  


Self Acceptance

This one didn’t surprise me. I don’t feel like I could live life true to any of my values if I didn’t accept myself in some way shape or form.



This was tough only because there was one card that said fitness and strength and another that just said health. I really want to be fit and strong. I always have. I’m just now really going after that goal actually – but in the long run I want to live a long, health life. I want to feel good. So, I value health over fitness.



My purpose.



This one surprised me so much. I’ve always known I wanted to travel and see amazing places. I didn’t think I’d make it a top 5 value though, because I have not been on an adventure, a true adventure…in several years. It’s possible the last adventure I had was moving to Chicago. Before that it was studying abroad. Where’d that go in my life? Talk about a therapy breakthrough. I didn’t know it was so important to me until it was staring me right in the face. One might say…I owe this to myself!



I may not go on adventures lately, but I definitely think I take risks, even if it’s just in my own way. What I mean is, I’ve definitely said no to things out of fear. I’m not perfect after all. I do think that I’ve put myself out there and been vulnerable on many occasions. That counts for a lot in my book. Even writing this blog post feels like a risk. I’m terrified every time I hit publish or share. It can feel icky to share your feels. I have to say though, it’s been pretty rewarding.

Cheers to taking more risks, clearly I’m drawn to it.


I wanted to share this because it has really opened my eyes and helped me to understand myself so much better. Even though a few values were pretty simple for me to declare, a lot about this exercise surprised me. I also learned just as much about what wasn’t important to me than I did about what is. If you can find a version of this online or you also have a witchy therapist, you should try this too.


You might surprise yourself.



self care, self flare



Published by Kelly Tietjen

Chicago gal offering my own take on self development, creativity, mental health and more.

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