How to Stay in Alignment with Yourself
What most of us refer to as stress and anxiety is really a matter of being out of alignment with ourselves. Physical and emotional upset occur when our thoughts, words, and actions do not align.
If you’ve ever driven a car that’s out of alignment, (say back when you were 17…) you know how terrible it feels. It shakes, and wobbles, and sometimes nearly pulls the steering wheel out of your hands! There’s tension on the car when the four wheels aren’t all moving in the same direction, so the car feels totally out of control!
And that’s how life feels when we’re out of alignment with what matters to us and with who we want to be. Misalignment sneaks up on us a little at a time until we’re suffering, and wondering, how did my life get so out of control? Here’s an example:
I occasionally drive for Uber, because it’s fun and great extra money. I recently picked up a man (about 50 years old – my age) at this place of residence. As usual, I asked a few “small talk” questions to find a potential common ground of conversation. He explained that he was single and meeting friends for dinner a few miles down the road. As the drive continued, our conversation moved along awkwardly because he was so distracted by his phone. He kept saying sorry and turning his attention to that small 2×4 screen. When we arrived at his destination, he looked at me and then his phone and said, “I hate this thing.”
I responded jokingly, “There’s a solution for that.”
“Yeah,” he said, “I know.” Then he walked off to meet his friends. I was doubtful he’d have a better time…even with people he already knows. By his own admittance, his phone was in charge of his attention.
We become out of alignment when we give our power over to things and people so they can control us. We act as if we can’t do anything about it. This man was a perfect example of someone being controlled by his external environment and feeling very resentful about it. He couldn’t put the phone down for five minutes to have a conversation. I could have been his soul mate and he would have never known! The question remains, who, or what is in control of what controls us?
Like any good moving vehicle, we all experience bumps in the road, life changes and new experiences that can knock our wheels off track a little, or a LOT! Here are some tips you can use to tune into yourself and ask, “Am I in alignment with what I want? With who I say I am?”identify
The first step in getting re-aligned is recognizing when you’re out of it. The symptoms are easy to identify: anger, frustration, stress, anxiety, worry and doubt. When we experience these feelings, an adjustment is usually needed. If you’re still using the word “hate” that’s also a clear sign!
What am I doing/saying that is causing me to feel frustrated, angry? If you don’t already have a top priority list, you need one. Getting what matters down in writing is a commitment of sorts that we can turn to for guidance when we forget. With the “what matters” list it becomes easier to ask yourself, “What do I want to give priority in my life?”
Make a vow or self-commitment to give up or stop doing the things that don’t align with your priorities and threaten to sabotage your happiness in life. Make a mental note to follow through on what you say. Self respect and integrity come from honoring “your” word above the demands of the external world. How Much Do You Value Your Own Life?
Take the next action needed to set things straight. Maybe you need to set a new boundary, or clarify an older one. Maybe you need to say “yes” to important priorities in advance so “no” becomes easier. Revisit your self-agreements often. Take action to keep the wheels of your life aligned. Get rid of distractions. Especially tell your phone and your work who’s the boss of your life. Read about my Date with the Text Addict!
It’s a guarantee that you will get off track in life. We all do. That’s not what matters, what matters is that we learn to assess when we’re out of alignment and then get ourselves heading straight back down the road we really want to travel.
Thanks everyone for reading! If you can, share with us the last time you felt out of alignment with your life and what you did to get back on track. I love other people’s stories!!