Lately, I have been referring to the word align, when trying to organize my life. The word itself is defined as, “To arrange in a line. To adjust. To produce a proper relationship or orientation. To ally oneself with a cause. To adhere to a prescribed course of action.” – Free Dictionary. When dissecting the word, it almost appears as though it is a chase towards perfection. Yet, I concluded that the word align is instead an attempt towards creating balance. As a yoga teacher, I teach tools to create balance in the body through anatomical alignment, in the breath, and through responses mentally and emotionally. However, that certainly doesn’t mean I am always in a balanced state or calm and collected at all times. As a matter of fact, I can be very impatient, I have a hard time saying “no”, and can overthink quite a bit. So, it is the very tools I teach to my students that I also have to teach myself every single day. In an attempt to align my life off the mat, I have discovered some very useful steps to understand where I may need to adjust. It took me a long time to understand that I have complete control over my life and nobody can take that away from me unless I give them permission to do so. We can lose sight of that so quickly and get into the bad habit of saying “I HAVE to do…” Just remember, you don’t have to do anything unless you choose to do so. Of course, there are consequences to every choice, so you must decide what you value the most. One you gain a deeper understanding of who you are and diligently identify what you need to be happy, you will positively impact the direction of change in your life and those around you. All you need to do is ask yourself 3 simple questions and then make it happen.
You never know until you ask...
1: Where do you need to align your life?
In what areas of your life do you feel stuck or unhappy? What do you need less of and what can you use more of? How can you change your situation or perspective? For most people, this has to do with relationships. This could be a relationship with your job, your family, your friends, or a significant other. Once you identify where you need work, reflect more specifically on why you would like to see change. Perhaps you don’t feel valued, are having difficulty communicating, or need more support.
2: Where can you sacrifice in order to make room for your priorities?
Are you more concerned about money, spending time with your family and friends, or making a little more time for yourself? Of course, there are times where you need to hustle a bit more to keep yourself financially stable, but we can often be blinded by the façade of money that we lose sight of what truly lights us up. After all, when you are on your deathbed, I guarantee you won’t be saying, “I wish I worked those extra five hours of overtime.” Perhaps, you sacrifice the extra pay on Thanksgiving to be with your family.
3: What inspires you and how can you add a little sparkle to your life?
As human beings, we are constantly searching for inspiration whether we are more creative or analytic. That is why social interaction, seeing and trying new things, and going outside our comfort zones are so fascinating. Why do you think Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are so successful? Because, they allow us to venture outside of our own minds with just a simple scroll on our phones. But, why just limit yourself to living vicariously through the lives of others when you can make it happen for yourself.
If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.
If you don’t feel valued at work and have the evidence to back you up, ask for that raise. If your boss keeps calling or texting you on the weekends, set boundaries and ask them to wait until Monday. If you want more time with your friends and family, you might have to sacrifice time at work. If you want to travel the world, you might consider putting a portion of your paycheck towards saving up for a trip to France. All things within reason are possible, you just need to ask yourself the right questions in order to take steps to make them happen.
Hi, I'm Lauren and I am here to support people to find freedom in being authentic and the power to carry that out in their lives and community. Writing is one way I like to explore that for myself. Here is my archive of reflections.