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So my goal for this week is to share some ways to maintain optimal alignment. I know the term alignment gets overused a lot but it’s a simple way of describing what happens after you tap into the potential of continuous practice. Over time there’s an increased level of sensitivity that occurs:
“The beauty of being more sensitive lies in the discovery that beneficial things naturally start feeling good, better than before, and therefore become more attractive to you. Things that are bad for you no longer hold the attraction they once may have had. Your diet, for example, may undergo an effortless change. Certain foods you previously enjoyed may no longer be so appealing, and previously uninteresting foods may now entice you. Lifestyle habits may also change without conscious determination.” - Erich Schiffmann
As Schiffmann explains, this enhanced level of sensitivity extends beyond physical health – it effects the mental state as well as your way of life. The outer state is a reflection of our inner state, so when we’re feeling on point life takes on a fluid quality. This occurs in our interactions, our execution of tasks, and our ability to move seamlessly through our days. This level of impeccability is similar to driving a sports car. There’s a sense of assurance that comes with knowing that the intelligent design of the vehicle will produce a higher level of efficiency.
It’s the same with being behind the wheel of our conscious lives. But there’s a shadow element to this experience as well because feeling in tune can be pretty addictive. Once you get a taste of what that level of performance feels like you can become increasingly aware of the times when this is NOT happening. Which can be really frustrating.
All vehicles require tune ups from time to time and without regular alignments they don’t operate at peak performance levels. This applies to our life practice as well, and there will be times when there’s a noticeable dissonance, both in our bodies and our external environments. When you start to recognize that things are not operating harmoniously that’s a good time to take stock of the situation. Some tell tale signs include:
- Mental tape-loops
- Aches and pains
- Feeling distracted
- Encountering technical “speed bumps”
- Increased irritability
- Making more mistakes than usual
- Spilling things
- Low energy levels
- Anti-social tendencies
- Wasting money
Once you have a sense that something is off you can begin to take steps towards realigning yourself. One way to go about this is by listening to your intuition (which isn’t always easy to do when things are feeling off). These messages can take different forms. They might appear as recurring thoughts of ways to nourish yourself, such as eating a home cooked meal, treating yourself to some kind of soul food, or getting a good night’s sleep. Or you may start to see repeating messages in your external environment which remind you of things you’d like to do for yourself, like having fun or spending time in nature.
Another tool that I utilize for getting unstuck is saucha, one of the niyamas (observances) of Yoga. Saucha refers to purity in mind and body. So if things are feeling funky inside there’s probably something I can do about it on the outside. Maybe my yoga mat could use a wash, or I’ll do some kind of body care, or I might freshen my living space with a little housecleaning.
What sorts of ‘tune ups’ do you find to be helpful? Feel free to share any tips or suggestions in the box below.