In the world of life coaching and self help, we often talk about living in alignment. That term “alignment” can seem elusive. It refers not to a place or a specific emotion, but to a grey area of experience. It’s a term for the constantly shifting state of being where your decisions, thoughts and attitudes are all in sync with a greater vision you have for your life. As the vision changes, the rest falls into place. It’s an undulating and responsive place to live, and it’s often hard to remain in complete alignment. Adjustments are required.
The older I get, the more I realize my desire for alignment and the peace it brings. I have to force myself into creative expression, where it came easily to me in childhood. I take note of my thoughts and am often surprised by what I hear. My own actions don’t seem to always be conscious decisions, instead happening as a natural result of whatever wave of emotions and energy I’ve taken on throughout the day.
I have built a support team to keep me on track, as I need it: I have a loving therapist who reminds me of the strength and creative power of the brain. I have a coach who pushes me to recognize fear as a safety net. I have a nutritionist that insists that only beautiful, light things enter my body. I have a pup that reminds me with a single look how far I’ve strayed from kindness or pure love, in the heat of frustration.
My favorite support, though, has been my yoga mat. I don’t practice every day (although I strive to). I also don’t consider myself the “best” in the class-often opting for child’s pose when the pose feels too far out of reach, or for easier modifications. But I go back. I always show up. Again and again. I find a sense of peace and literal mental and physical alignment on my worn mat, forehead pressed to to the floor.
I envision my yoga practice as the act of getting back into alignment; the shuffling of the body and the mental chatter into a streamlined drip, my crown opening up like a funnel. My practice allows the flowing light of the divine to rush down my spine like a mighty river, filling each reservoir and rib along the way. If I can end my practice feeling more aligned with my truest and best self, I consider it a success.
So I’ve made the commitment to deepen my practice. To become more aligned. To strive for my best self more often. To laugh at my mistakes or missteps along the way. In just a few short weeks, I’ll be heading to the mountains. I’m removing myself from the distractions of daily life (Netflix, junk food, naps, bills) to be with myself and my mat. To design a practice that leads to strength and away from fear and guilt. A practice that reminds me that with my forehead pressed to the mat, and my breath warming my face, I am in it. I am receiving and acting in spirit, in sync with the greater vision for my life: chasing peace.
If you're interested in joining me in a 100 hour yoga retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains this October, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the program here. If you tell them you heard about the retreat from me, you'll get a $200 discount!