Alignment Lecture


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.

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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.

 

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

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

was terrible.

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.

-Mary Oliver

Live Class Recording

Resources

The House of Belonging by David Whyte

Additional Live Class Recording

Resources

Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich

 
 

Alignment
 Playlist

Notes & Homework

homework

  1. Continue your morning prayer and Morning Pages daily practice.

  2. Watch or listen to the lecture.

  3. Complete the worksheet.

  4. Create a vision board (part of the worksheet).

  5. Write a letter to your future self (part of the worksheet).