Do you ever get the sense there’s something out of kilter? That something doesn’t quite feel right?
Maybe you know what it is. Perhaps you can’t quite put your finger on it but it’s a niggly sense that something needs to change.
A strange but very real sense that something isn’t quite aligned properly.
What’s going on?
We live in a society which has, in many ways, lost its alignment to the natural rhythms of life. The natural ebbs and flows of energy through the day and through the seasons are ignored. We’re expected to be switched on 24/7. Our consumerist culture tells us to look outside for answers and happiness and to never feel content (otherwise we might stop buying things!).
As a busy-obsessed, productivity-driven culture we’re lost alignment to the beautiful lessons of cycles of the seasons – the wheel of the year which continuously moves through cycles of birth & growth, maturity, letting go, dying and back to re-birth.
We’ve out-sourced our health and wellbeing to a medical system which revolves around drugs. Doctors aren’t trained to even recognise and help with the lifestyle issues which underpin so many conditions and diseases. It’s a rare GP which would inquire into how your mind is affecting your body (and vice versa).
We’ve lost our connection to spirit, to source … our soul is yearning to guide us but we deaden its whispers with social media, food, alcohol, busyness, TV… what’s your numbing drug of choice?
On an individual level, there are many ways that we can be living out of alignment:
- Eating food which doesn’t truly nourish us;
- Not getting enough sleep;
- Working in a role which doesn’t align with our principles and values;
- Too much sitting – not enough movement;
- No down-time;
- As a woman, not being aware of the natural fluctuations of energy throughout your monthly cycle.
That’s just a few of the myriad of ways – can you think of more?
It’s time to realign
Gosh, this sounds like doom and gloom doesn’t it?
Yes, the situation can look bleak – for ourselves and for our society.
I am a believer in creating your own reality.
Through the thoughts you CHOOSE to think to the actions you CHOOSE to take, it IS possible to smooth out the kinks! And when one person chooses a better way that energy ripples out throughout their life and touches others.
So, this is what I mean by “Living Life in Alignment”.
It’s about listening in and connecting … to yourself.
It’s certainly not about aligning yourself to external pressures and messages about what you ought to do / be / look like / possess.
It’s about re-learning to trust yourself.
A re-membering. Putting yourself back together after being pulled apart by external forces which only want to reshape you into a model, docile consumer who doesn’t think for themselves.
From my years of yoga practice, studying myself, teaching and learning I’ve identified four key areas where we can focus on realigning our lives.
4 keys to living life in alignment
Take control of your life. Look at these four areas within your life and make a conscious decision to reconnect; to realign. These can be tiny little steps – they soon build and you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come!
Here are some simple suggestions.
Learn to listen to:
1. Your body’s needs – for nourishment, movement, rest and relaxation
This is a huge topic. With so much “food” in supermarkets containing very little nourishment; with our forced sedentary lifestyles often chained to a desk; never being able to switch off so our bodies don’t get the rest and relaxation they need to maintain equilibrium, it’s no wonder there’s so much stress and stress-related illnesses in our society.
Tips: do some simple stretches when you get up in the morning; get up from your desk and go for a walk at lunchtime; swap one cup of coffee a day for a herbal tea or water.
2. The messages coming from your mind and emotions
If you often feel angry, don’t just try to deaden it or numb it out. Feel it and ask the anger what message it as for you. What positive action can you take to transmute the energy of the anger into something proactive? Approach moods and emotions as messengers. Don’t push them down or bottle them up – they’ll explode in your face otherwise!
Tips: next time you feel a strong emotion such as anger; fear; doubt – notice it. With mindful compassion and curiosity breathe with it and see how it feels in your body. And ask it what action do you need to take so you can use the energy rather than letting it eat you up.
3. Your soul & spirit & intuition
Those whispers of inner guidance which you deep down know are right, even if your mind gets worried and tries to convince you they are wrong. Connect to your soul, your heart, your spirit. That place within you of wisdom, peace and joy.
Tips: At least once this week give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to sit still, breathe. Let body and mind settle. Place your hand on your heart and ask yourself – “what do I need to know?” Without expectation or judgment let your inner guidance whisper to you.
4. The cycles of life
As a woman, learn to listen to the messages of your monthly cycle – or, if you don’t bleed or don’t have a womb tune into the monthly lunar cycle. The inner seasons of spring (pre-ovulation / waxing moon), summer (ovulation / full moon), autumn (pre-menstruum / waning moon), Winter (menstruation / new moon).
Tune into the actual seasons and the Wheel of the Year – each part of the year has its own energy which we can tune into. E.g. the rising potential and growth of spring; the abundance and harvest of summer; the letting go and dying back of autumn; the inner stillness and time to rest of winter.
Tips: Check the moon phases – what phase are we in today? And/or what phase of your menstrual cycle are you in? What season is it out there? Can you feel into the seasonal energy and how it may be affecting you? How might you tap into it?