How to know when you’re in alignment

I often hear people express that they want to be in alignment, or that something isn’t in alignment in their life. But what does being in alignment mean?

First and foremost, alignment is a feeling. It’s that sense of ease and flow you get by making decisions and taking the steps that are for your highest good. They just feel right, right and freeing.

Next, being in alignment means living true to your personal values. It means establishing boundaries and saying, “No, thank you” to things that do not line up with your core values. I’ll give you an example. Last fall I was involved in a women’s retreat day. I love the organizer and all the amazing, loving work she does for herself and the community. The charitable organization she chose to receive the proceeds, because it meant a lot to her beliefs, wasn’t in line with my own, so even though I’d committed to her, I had to stay true to myself. It was an incredibly hard decision, but it did not feel right in my soul to be associated with that particular organization.

Which brings me to listening to your body. When I thought about being a part of the women’s retreat day, even though it meant saying no to my friend, I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach and a heaviness around my heart. Have you ever had a heavy feeling, or a sense of dread when you made a decision? That’s your body’s way of giving you a message. Or maybe you’ve experienced the opposite, you feel light and certain when making a decision that you know, in your soul, is right for you.

How can you tell when you’re out of alignment? You know when you make a decision, say about a new job, and you get the sense that it’s not a great fit, but you take it anyway, telling yourself that it’ll be fine, that it’ll all work out? You get a few weeks, months or even years into the decision and every day you get up and wonder how you got to that point? You might feel worried, anxious, disconnected, fearful, unwell, drained, exhausted, or maybe you’re sick too often. You may be physically out of alignment with headaches, digestive issues, tight neck muscles, or maybe you throw out your back. Those can all be symptoms of being out of alignment.

It’s not always easy to live in alignment, especially for people who desperately want to please others, who don’t want to let others down. Consider — how are you letting yourself down by not being in alignment?

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