I've been working with the concept of alignment lately - but not on my yoga mat. Well, of course, on my mat, too. But that's not my primary focus right now. Instead, I'm focusing on alignment in my life.
This feels like a somewhat nebulous concept to me - like something that sounds amazing and gets a big resonant yes in my body. But then when I go to explain it, much less do it, I don't really know what it means.
So I thought I'd try to break it down.
My gut feeling is that I've lived much of my life out of alignment - but I didn't think that was the case (especially at the time). I thought I was doing my best to follow my passions and do what I wanted to do, what I should do. And, I suppose, that I did do that in some ways - especially the doing my best part.
But I tended to lean more heavily onto the should part of things than the what feels good and right side of things. Starting in late high school/college, my career trajectory looked something like this:
So that brings us up to today. Are you sensing a pattern here? I certainly am.
What's interesting to me is that I could have told this story very differently: "Look at me! I had two master's degrees by the time I was 26! And check out the important jobs I had with tons of responsibility!" And that is, honestly, how I held the stories myself and shared them for a long time.
But over the past year or so, my perspective has drastically shifted. Instead of a pattern of accomplishment, I see a pattern of not listening to myself as fully as I wish I would have. This isn't to discount the accomplishment because there is something in that. Instead, it's to give myself some empathy for trying the best I knew how to meet my needs and having to learn to do that slowly, over time. I feel like I'm just at the tip of the tip of the iceberg now.
And what I can see, and more importantly feel, from that tip is what it's like to be in alignment. To magnify my trust in my experience, as one of my teachers so beautifully puts it.
I fear that this, again, may sound a bit too metaphorical for my taste (although there is certainly something in it that goes beyond description). So I'll just say what it looks like for me on most days:
Slowly, through this process of staying with my experience, I feel myself coming into alignment. It feels like a deep knowing inside that I'm doing what's right for me at this moment. It also feels like not doing much (if anything) out of obligation. And saying yes only to the things that feel like yes more and more often (not always; I'm not fully there quite yet). And being okay with all the days and ways I'm out of alignment - while knowing more and more the path back.
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