Core Values

The first week of my graduate program in the Fall of 2010 was at a camp near Port Orchard, called Pilgrim Firs. This camp, consisting of several cabins near a small lake with Commons and a large mess hall, was where my cohort of 23 students gathered for the first time. Anxious to discover what awaited us, we worked through some very honest, and sometimes painful, exercises that tested our resolve as we embarked on our two-year, life enriching journey. I often compared this schedule to that of the Military Reserve -- one week per year and one weekend a month in service.

We were introduced to some pretty amazing literary and practical professionals throughout the two-year period of program study. During this first week, one of the practitioners, Dr. Bill Grace, conducted an exercise in personal core values.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about core values as a way in which to approach my own feelings of dissonance in this time of political unrest and turmoil. I have felt an immense disparity between news cycles and social media, and my own core values.

As a result of pondering and reaffirming my personal values I contacted Bill Grace in an email, asking for permission to publish the Core Values exercise he conducted back in the fall of 2010 at Pilgrim Firs.

Bill sent me the exercise sheet and facilitator’s guide which I am happy to share with you here on It may seem like a simple exercise, and you might think that you know your own core values. However, doing the exercise can be powerful, interesting and even eye-opening for some. I hope you enjoy it.

As always, please feel free to comment on this, as well any article on this website – and share with your friends and neighbors!

Core ValuesM Morgan