I was in a yoga workshop this past weekend, and our teacher asked us what it meant for us to be in alignment. Most all of us said the same thing. Being aligned was similar to being in balance. When my thoughts, actions, and emotions are all in alignment, then the doing becomes effortless.
The real work is not ticking off the tasks on my to-do list or cleaning the kitchen floor. It’s maintaining the integrity of my spiritual values. It takes work to keep selfishness and judgment out of my heart and mind. Left unattended, pride and ego grow like a fortress around me, blocking out the “Sunshine of the Spirit.” When I’m out of alignment, when I’m not living according to my principles, then I may as well be under a rock. No light, only struggle.
When I’m struggling, usually it’s a systemic struggle. My brain wants to blame shift, my body wants to eat sugar and carbs, and my spirit is low. I’ll suddenly realize that I’m fighting everything and everyone. There is no peace. Why? Because at some point, I’ve stopped doing the things that keep me in alignment.
What happens when I DO the things that keep me aligned? I get the polar opposite results. I quit fighting everything and everyone. I set and maintain firm boundaries with my kid while being wholly detached from his reaction. Sugar-free pudding snacks are lovely. It’s a freakin’ miracle.
Here are the things that keep me in line:
Prayer and Meditation go together like macaroni and cheese.
Prayer reminds me that there’s a God, and it’s not me. Meditation teaches me that everything is temporary, including my thoughts.
I’ve tried praying without meditating and was still victim to my overactive mind. Whenever I felt threatened, whether it be from the people on the other side of the dinner table to those in Congress, I was quick to reach for my self-righteous bludgeoning tool. Judging everyone that disagreed with me as idiots, I became incapable of true tolerance.
I’ve tried meditating without prayer, and while I learned how to soothe my thoughts, I developed spiritual pride. My perceived “enlightenment” fed my ravenous ego while pride added bricks to the fortress, casting a shadow over my soul.
Helping and serving others, for no profit or gain other than to simply be of service. Try it. It’s fun. What’s even more fun? Performing random acts of kindness and not telling anyone. It makes me feel all giddy like I’m in on the best secret ever!
Here are some other things:
- Reading scriptures and spiritual literature.
- Connection with like-minded people (Hello, Oxytocin!)
- Exercise (Asana anyone?)
What about you? How do you stay aligned with your spiritual values or God’s will?
Just for Today
Regardless of how I feel, I will take action to clear away pride and make way for the Sunlight of God to enter my heart and mind.
Thanks for reminding me that the actions I take help align me to your will for my life. I realize that you want me to be happy and free from my raggedy thoughts and old, outdated beliefs. Renew my mind, God, and help me stay right here, in line with your light and love.