body

Are you aligned?

You have probably heard of the newest buzz word in town that seems to be the solution to every single problem, and the answer to every failure.

--- ALIGNMENT---

The truth is, bad things don't happen because we are not 'aligned'. That's a weird way of looking at life. We are trying to make the best of our lives and sometimes we fail, falter, meet roadblocks or life is getting in the way of your plans, because you get sick, or there is some major life event happening for you. It's not that we can avoid all sources of pain. It teaches us what we need to know to evolve.

So when you hear something like "Oh, you didn't succeed in your project? It must have been misaligned with your true calling." please let it go immediately. Because this way of looking at alignment sounds ridiculous and remarks like above are not helpful at all.

However, there is a true part to being misaligned and the blockages in life. As I was living a severely misaligned life for a long time I experienced a lot of extremely hard situations, which I didn't quite understand because I was constantly trying to work hard, do my best and make the best decisions I could possibly think of. However, things went awry and the last 3 years everything came down crashing down around me, relationship, work, everything at the same time. The only way to get through this mess (I thought) was to continue my old coping strategies of thinking things through, making lists, and fighting for a good outcome. Although I felt like I was doing the right things, and moving forward, the only thing that could make it all better was not holding on to striving and fighting the situations I was in, but letting go. I had to steer myself away from the things that were holding me back.

To find out whether you are in alignment click here

Letting go sounds so easy. "Just let go and everything will work out fine!"

Well, eh... letting go isn't an easy thing to do, because it isn't an active verb, let alone the fear that comes along with it. When your life isn't working out while you are busy planning, deciding, organising and coping, the scariest step to take is to let it all go. That's just not  something  your mind can do actively - ah, well today I'm just gonna let it all go - that's just not how it works. The more you want to let go, the harder it gets, the more anxious you get. That's because ego wants to protect you and gets in the way. It starts screaming in your ear that you can't, shouldn't, all will go down in flames, and so on. It's makes it impossible to hear the whispers of your heart, or to understand your gut's language of intuition. The only thing you listen to is the fear, the scary thoughts and disastrous scenarios playing out in your head.

For me this wheel of negative thoughts, fear, obstacles, conflicts led to illness. My body started to protest, I became very tired and hyper at the same time, I couldn't cycle without chest pain, I couldn't breathe properly. My body was signaling to me that I had to change but I didn't hear what it was saying. My body stopped me in my tracks by creating a situation which forced me out of it all. Because clearly, my mind/heart wasn't going to take the steps.

There had been severe misalignment between my body, my mind, my heart and my Soul. Those are all different layers of our being and in order to be happy, healthy and fully functional as a human being they need to be aligned as much as possible. When we are tired, we need to rest. When we are hungry, we need to eat. When we are not hungry, we shouldn't eat. This also means that when you are coping with chronic illness or a stressful situation you will have to align your plans, expectations and activities because there is a limitation somewhere in one of the layers. It sounds very simple but we're largely overriding the signals in our modern lives. When we do that for a long time, one or more of the layers of our being will be complaining and acting up. We call this 'symptoms'. We then start looking for a physical cause, but maybe it's just a misalignment between the layers.

During recovery, I learned how to take care of my body and how to listen to it again. I had to reset myself and start from zero, bed rest in my case. And not beating myself up for being in this situation I created myself by pushing and striving and fighting. That took me a while to be honest, to let go of the fighting mindset, towards myself. Self care and compassion is the most important thing to do, especially when you are healing.

Letting go just happened. I don't know when exactly.

She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

~ excerpt of 'She let go' by Rev. Safire Rose

When I gave up fighting, stopped trying, took plenty of rest and healed my body, I truly allowed alignment to happen. The only way to do this is to listen to the signs of your layers and stop doing things that make you feel misaligned and miserable. If you check in with yourself daily, you will begin to notice. And then, one morning, you wake up, and you let go. Slowly, I began to feel subtle differences in what was working and what was going against the flow. My intuition began to show me the way. I felt overcome with joy, because I could see the light again at the end of the tunnel. In learning a new way of living, by listening and acting upon it, I ditched the old ways of being misaligned.

It's not always easy and I still get sucked in by daily life but I am capable of pulling myself out of it. I recognise I'm not aligned anymore. For me that shows up as fatigue, tiredness, tension in my chest, breathing uneasy or just generally feeling 'meh' or emotionally dull. Noting this enables me to consciously make better decisions and take care of myself. I know it's time to stop what I'm doing because I'm in a mode of striving instead of allowing, and it's killing the flow of energy. And sometimes it just means going to bed at 8 pm to get some rest.

 

A fish on land

Fish on land do not live a healthy and prosperous life. When out of the water they desperately try to crawl back into the stream. That's their nature, their reflex. A fish's body knows what to do when placed on land, although it has little brain to think about it extensively.

We humans have a problem. It is called 'the mind'. And we tend to overrate it immensely.

Humans consist of multiple energy layers, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. The mental body (mind) is only one of them. We are usually not aware of this, discerning the layers one by one takes time, practice and awareness of the way the layers communicate.

In our hectic, modern, day-to-day lives, we don't have the time to be present and listen to the different layers. We only listen to our mind, our thoughts. Planning and orchestrating our daily activities, monthly plans and year-ahead-project schedules.

Being only one of the layers, the mind is trying to steal the show for the others layers. They don't get enough air time (it's funny that thoughts are associated with the element air...). Moreover, the layers are connected to each other. Our thoughts are connected to our emotions, we feel sad when we think sad thoughts and we think negative when we are feeling down. We decide to skip lunch because of a meeting we have and we completely ignore the signs of our physical layer that it needs to be nourished. The mind constantly tries to control our emotions and our bodies in order to survive and make rational decisions. This ability of the mind gives us tremendous power in structuring our lives and inspired humanity in achieving great technological advances. The downside is that we think our mind is superior. We let the fish think about its strategy to much.

Our mind is not superior to the other energy layers. It's just a tool to manifest direction. Just like the body is flesh and blood but also a tool to manifest hopes and dreams, plans and ideas.

Without our body we would be an idea that never happens. The idea of which we *think* that it originated from our thoughts, that we ourselves came up with it. Knowing that our minds are only a bunch of interconnected neurons, it's hard to understand why we consider those electric signals inside our brains to be our personal, private thoughts.

How does our brain cells know what we want from life? What we are here for? What makes us happy and what lights us up? That's where Spirit or Soul or Higher Self comes in. A force that just knows and is in all of us. The force that makes the fish crawl back to the water. It guides us towards our purpose. It's pure consciousness and we humans are trying to express that consciousness through energy, emotions and thoughts as signals in our brain, turned into matter through our physical body into action or creation.

When we are imbalanced, this conscious manifestation along the lines of purpose becomes impaired. We don't hear, feel, sense our Higher Self anymore. We don't notice the misalignment. We even do things that go against our alignment with our Higher Self, very often, persistently. We stay in situations that we should run away from. We are like a fish that lays still on the shore, thinking and re-thinking it's strategy and the reasons it should stay on the shore although it's dying. It's so easy to understand why we feel stagnation in your lives, why we are running around in circles, living and re-living the same patterns over and over. And why more imbalances and illness arise.

When we are not aligned, we are out of balance. We can be imbalanced in all layers, people like me, intellectually trained and used to analytical thinking, have the tendency to overthink and overuse the mental body. It becomes too important, we are not in touch with our emotions anymore and not aware of our bodies. Others have an overused emotional body. They tend to react emotionally to difficult situations and don't know how to change their lives for the better. This can lead to emotional instability, inability to make decisions or constantly feeling 'too emotional to think'. Overused physical bodies send us signals about constantly having to move, and exercise, and being in the present, being still can cause a person to feel very restless. Another example of an over expression of the bodily layer is the perception of all the bodily signals by the brain as equally important, leading to all kinds of physical complaints like sensory overstimulation, pain, overwhelming bodily sensations. The brain isn't able to filter the signals, because the body had to turn up the volume to max to reach the brain. Sometimes we only see the imbalance appear when one of the layers quits for a while. For example when we have a concussion and our mental function is distorted for a few weeks. Of when we are forced to stop exercising due to an injury of some sort.

In order to fulfill our highest potential, all layers, mind, emotion, body and spirit, must be aligned. You can't make a fish sit on land for a long time. If you do, it dies gasping. Likewise, if we humans don't listen and are refusing to crawl back towards the natural flow, stagnation happens, we falter, things are harder, we gasp for air and sometimes we are so persevering that we even become ill... or worse.

The different layers of our Being have a language of their own. They communicate whether we are the fish in the water, or the fish on land. Misalignment truly is communicated to us. Make sure you listen.

Screaming silence

Many positive things can be found about meditation and its effects, in fact so many that it seems to be the solution to everything. But for me, it wasn’t, not naturally, when I ran into a complete burnout. I wanted to meditate and tried many times but I couldn’t do it when I got stuck and it became an impossible task when I was in the depths of the abyss.
The months prior I felt that something needed to happen and I tried to calm myself with meditation attempts. What I didn’t know was that I was already so stressed out that being still in meditation caused the volcanic pressure to rise and overwhelm me. Yoga and relaxation exercises drove me crazy due to the anxiety and stress that came to the surface, causing the opposite to happen. I found myself in a chaotic mind, my thoughts sounded like 6 symphonic orchestras playing in dissonance, a cacophony of noise. I felt like a total failure ‘who couldn’t even meditate’ and I began to skip my weekly yoga classes to prevent myself from going down the vortex of chaos.

When I had to have emergency surgery, the carefully strutted house of cards came down. My body forced me to a stop and for a few weeks, I was only a shadow of myself.

Now, 3 months later, the physical signs of my completely disrupted stress-system are subsiding, and I was able to pick up simple daily activities. I now meditate daily, to tune into myself, feel my body, experience my emotions. This is of great value because I am able to connect to my feelings and act on them. To set boundaries, or allow things to happen, to rest or do something. So much is happening inside of me at this moment that I can’t even begin to describe it all. After 2,5 year in survival mode, it’s so freeing to be connected to my body, my intuition, my emotions. Some things are a recognition of something I once had and lost, other experiences are new and a beautiful discovery. What opened the door to improvement is meditation.

It is not easy for me to explain how my brain went into overdrive every time I put my body in a resting state. What is do know is that it is really important is to be gentle and soft. The system experience disruption, don’t make it worse by overwhelming yourself with something new or strenuous. When you start yoga or meditation or you come back to these practices after a long time or in a state of confusion or overstimulation, be nice to yourself. Don’t practice for too long, 15-20 minutes at most. When you bring awareness to your body it will begin to tell you what is wrong, sometimes it’s traumatic to feel all those things all of a sudden. Remember to be gentle and loving towards yourself and to ease down your practice. Start with 5 minutes of meditation when 15 is too much. Don’t go to a full yoga class but practice just one or two poses for 10 minutes and go from there.

Meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices are possible and provide healing, although sometimes you have to go through the chaos first.