The first time I heard the word alignment used in reference to ones life was during a talk by Abraham–Hicks, the author of The Law of Attraction. It felt like such a concise way to explain those magical moments when everything just lines up perfectly. According to Abraham, when we are living our lives in alignment with our essence, we are living as close to bliss as possible.
Abraham recommends using our emotions as a guidance system to gauge whether or not we are in alignment. When you feel joy, peace, love or compassion, you are in alignment with your highest good. When you feel annoyed, frustrated, nervous, anxious, impatient, depressed, lonely, angry... you are out of alignment. It is our ongoing practice to navigate ourselves back into alignment. NOT by stuffing all our 'negative' emotions down or away, that doesn't work, we need to clear them. Which means we need to allow them to move through us. We need to feel our emotions, without judgment, rather, with awareness and equanimity.
The more awareness we bring to our emotions, and by awareness I mean simple observation – without analyzing, the more fluid our emotions will become, moving through us with ease, and creating increased access to our authenticity, our essence.
When in alignment with your essence everything you need to reach your highest potential starts to show up, as if by magic.
I have spent the past four years mindfully practicing this concept. The first two years required an immense amount of effort. Just remembering to bring awareness to everything I was thinking and feeling all day long was exhausting. I found that I was constantly having to reorient myself, to point my thoughts in the direction of positivity. And I'm a naturally positive person, a genuine optimist!
Yet, I still felt the pull of my sneaky shadow self (or subconscious) trying to lure me away from my deepest desires and the truth of my being. This is where awareness is essential. As soon as I would have a negative thought I would replace it with a positive affirmation but when 'negative' emotions would show up, without being precipitated by a negative thought, there would have to be a pause and an inward listening so that I could allow for a conscious release to happen, a healing.
Negative thoughts will activate negative emotions, that's why it's good to nip those thoughts in the bud. But when 'negative' emotions show up without any conscious thought attached to them, it's important to take notice because those are the emotions that can reek havoc on our lives, preventing us from moving forward, towards our highest good. Those emotions are usually linked to hidden subconscious beliefs or traumas.
That's why it's good to pause and look inward, again without too much thought, just observe what's happening internally. Can you feel the emotion in your body? Is your heart racing? Is your stomach turning? Do you feel a headache coming on? Sit with the physical sensation of what you're feeling and breathe through it. Don't analyze it, don't try to figure it out, just stay with your breath. Use your breath to release it. Inhaling into the sensation and releasing it with your exhalation. Do this until the sensation passes, as many times throughout the day as you need. It can feel like a full–time job but the reward is that you are moving closer to your authenticity each and every time. Which is where all the magic is.
I found yoga to be the best medicine for releasing blocked or resistant emotions. Yoga opens up the energetic pathways, allowing those buried emotions to move, sometimes being released with breath, sometimes with tears, sometimes with a good journaling session immediately after being on the mat.
Being really disciplined with my daily meditations has also been deeply healing, and transformative. Meditating regularly helps reprogram your brain, creating new neural pathways, allowing for more positivity and warm-hearted feelings to show up. If you want the science behind it, read this article.
But the biggest shifts have happened for me whenever I've stepped outside of my comfort zone, into my fear. That's when I experience the most obvious growth, with immediate rewards. Once you experience that kind of magic you get hooked – a healthy addiction!
The closer you get to your authenticity the more empowered you feel to continue moving towards your most vibrant truths.
I've been striving for authenticity my entire life. Just the other day my uncle James shared a memory of me as a five year old, he described me as being, "a brash, hard headed little girl who just knew what she wanted and who was always ready to speak her mind". I remember that fierce little girl, she would fight for her freedom like her life depended on it. I also remember the disturbances it would cause and the rejections it created.
So I adapted, as all kids do. I learned to hold all that fierceness in so that I wouldn't upset anyone. I buried it so deep that I mistakenly believed I grew out of it. When in fact the battle had turned inward, against myself. I rejected the truth of my being the day I decided to appease everyone else.
The past two decades have been a long winding journey back to myself. The past year has felt like the culmination of that long journey, the final stretch towards the essence of my being. Just like the last stretch of a marathon, I feel bolstered by the sight of the finish line. Not that my journey is coming to an end, more like I have finally reached home after being away for far too long.
The past couple of years have had some incredibly arduous moments (sometimes lasting days or even weeks) and during those times, I learned the fine art of surrendering. It's amazing what happens when you surrender. Abraham has a great analogy for it: if life were a river we would all be in canoes doing our absolute best to paddle upstream, huffing our way through life with sheer force, when in fact everything we desire is waiting for us downstream, all we need to do is let go of the oars and allow the river to carry us there.
Sometimes you just need to let go.
That is not to say that we no longer need to take action. We still need to seize opportunities as they present themselves, and make adjustments when we hit rough patches. Life will always throw you curve balls and like all things, the more you practice the better you will get at navigating it all with grace.
Everything is constantly in flux. We need to step (or fall) out of alignment so that we can grow. We need to go through a little discomfort to get the next stage of our development. That is just the natural way of things. Like a sprout bursting through the seed casing, a snake shedding it's skin, a mother giving birth... discomfort is part of the process of growing. Resisting it is futile, it just prolongs the suffering. Surrendering and accepting allows the experience to be more fluid, more graceful, as we travel to the other side of the discomfort.
Bringing awareness to the discomfort allows us to clarify what we really want by seeing what isn't working. We are just honing our desires every time we fall off course. So if you feel out of alignment with your life's purpose or your essence, start focusing on where you'd rather be, what you'd like your life to look like. Start with a vision and let your emotions guide you towards it.
Do what you need to do to get through, whether it's letting go or pausing to bring awareness to your breathing or going to sleep. You are always on your way towards a more expanded, brilliant version of yourself. You are always moving towards your essence, especially when you let go.
These days I embrace that fierce little girl's brashness, it's what gives me the courage and the momentum to continue moving towards my authenticity, towards the truth of my being, towards my highest potential.
I have let go of trying to appease people. Which by the way, is so fucking liberating! I highly recommend it.
My greatest wish is for everyone to feel the freedom, joy, and deep sense of fulfillment that comes with living a life in alignment with your deepest desires - your essence.