Thoughts On Alignment
Ahhhhh. Here we are, week four. Wherever you are in this process, please give yourself a huge thanks for being willing to show up. Even if you've only peeked at emails and checked the Facebook group once, every little bit matters, I promise.
This week is about alignment to your Bigger Yes, to your dharma, to your divine nature. If you are still muddled about your Bigger Yes, I still suggest you go through the worksheet and attempt the exercises. Sometimes we only uncover these things by doing them.
Process. Is. Messy. Know that and do the next step.
Alignment can sound like a rather clinical word. Like something we strive toward, and once we achieve it, we are locked into place and everything clicks. But that's never how it is, of course, and not how I intend you to look at it in this process.
Think of alignment as a forever attunement to your truest self. It's a game of warmer/cooler and of course correction once we know something isn't working, which also implies that we go off course often, and sometimes for a very long time. Throughout this course, I have been reminding you and urging you to listen to your own intuition. To tune into the frequency of your heart, of your desires, of possibilities that exist in you that have perhaps never been awakened. The process of alignment is simply taking action toward that frequency (otherwise known as your dharma). It includes all aspects of your inner and outer life.
I believe the biggest mistake we can make, and the thing that can cause us the most despair and frustration, is believing that we are somehow irreversibly off course. That we are so far out of alignment with ourselves we simply cannot find our way back home. The thing is, the blocks and obstacles are the path. We only learn by living. As Cheryl Strayed says in Tiny Beautiful Things, “We often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.” I would not seek to be closer to myself if I hadn't felt the pain of being so far away. None of us would. So the beginning step in this alignment process is to trust that where you are is exactly where you're supposed to be, and everything that's happened is part of your long, winding path back home, if you choose to take it.
The second thing I want you to know is sometimes, most times, we can only see a few feet in front of us. E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” That's been my experience of just about everything, not only writing. It is wonderful to have a vision in mind, but the work of alignment is done step by step, breath by breath. By asking yourself: Does this feel right? Is this what I really want? Is this moving me closer to life, or further away? Is this what it means to be alive?
And then waiting until you hear and answer. And then trusting that answer. And then, acting on that answer by adjusting your speech, your thoughts, your actions.
The most beautiful words I know of when it comes to alignment are from Mary Oliver's poem, The Journey. So I'll leave you with those. I love you. This process is working on you, even if you can't yet feel it.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Live Class Recording
The House of Belonging by David Whyte
Additional Live Class Recording
Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich
Notes & Homework
Continue your morning prayer and Morning Pages daily practice.
Watch or listen to the lecture.
Create a vision board (part of the worksheet).
Write a letter to your future self (part of the worksheet).