Too much change, too fast, becomes counterproductive. It can feel overwhelming because it pulls us out of alignment with our habits, beliefs and values without giving us enough time to adapt.
If you’ve slipped into overwhelm, it’s most likely not because you’re a loser but because you are stuck in situations that have pulled you out of alignment with your inner truth. Restoring alignment and flow in life is at the core of all personal growth.
To regain harmony, you need to restore a greater sense of alignment between your external environment and your inner self. This restoration work has two parts: changing your outer environment and changing your inner relationship to your outer environment.
To restore alignment with your outer environment, you may need to let go of friends who drag you back into old habits or step out of a destructive relationship at work or home.
The second part requires changing your internal relationship to your outer environment. This alignment is more important because you have complete power over your internal choices, whereas you have less influence over your outer environment.
Changing your internal relationship with your environment takes a lot of effort – there are no short cuts to glory here. The payoff – increased peace, harmony, joy, energy, clarity, self-respect, empowerment, satisfaction and meaning in life – is its own reward!
Here are some critical components that can help you restore alignment with your environment.
Refocus on your core values. As you do this, an inner sense of integrity will return to your life. When there are no discrepancies in your value system, decisionmaking becomes easier, so you can align with environments that support your being instead of suppressing you.
- Define Your Purpose
You are the only person who can define what your life needs to look like to have meaning and success. For a moment, imagine you are at the end of your life, reviewing the life you’ve just lived. What’s the single most important accomplishment in your life? What is it you wish to be remembered for? What is the legacy you leave behind? When you connect with that core purpose, it will bring focus to everything else you do.
- Look for Clarity
Next, what things in life bring you joy? Even if you can think of just one thing, reflect on it until you see why it brings you joy. Is it playing with your dog because it makes you feel unconditionally loved; or spending time nurturing family members where you feel that you are making a valuable contribution? Identify what brings you joy and why; then start looking for ways to bring more of that into your life. With clarity around what brings joy and meaning to your life, you’ll enjoy the effort of working toward it, instead of feeling burdened.
- Cultivate Awareness
Observe animals in the wild and you’ll notice how fully present they are in each moment. For them, it’s a matter of life or death. For you and me, the process ultimately leads to the same outcomes although we’re not always aware of it. Each waking moment, we make choices that either move us toward a fuller expression of life or deaden the Life Force in us. Cultivate full awareness and you’ll make more optimal choices.
- Stay present
Stay present in the moment; discipline your mind and bring it back from a hypothetical future fraught with fear (“What if I lose my job?” or “What if I get cancer?”) Fact is, the future is not created yet and by letting fear-filled thoughts run rampant in your mind, you’re setting in motion probabilities that won’t serve you well! Likewise, ruminating about yesterday serves no purpose other than distracting your focus and draining your energy. At the end of each day, review the events of the day; forgive those who’ve hurt or let you down; ask forgiveness for those areas where you didn’t live up to your highest potential; resolve how you’re going to make different choices; and then let them go! Stay present – this is the only place from where you can bring about meaningful change.
- Be resourceful
When faced with challenges, don’t limit your options. Choose different responses; find more than one way of looking at things. Broaden your viewpoint to include possibilities you may not have entertained before. Consider all options you can think of before narrowing down your choices. You’d be amazed at how this simple exercise opens up possibilities!
- Banish self-judgment and negative self-talk
When you indulge in self-judgment and negative self-talk, you’re replaying the old tapes of others’ criticism and judgment that you’ve internalized. These behaviors are self-destructive. Stop it! You wouldn’t dream of attacking the Divine Presence in you, so why would you attack the human aspects that need healing? Healthy introspection acknowledges limitation and failure without judgment and allows you to change behaviors that no longer serve you.
- Maintain respect
If your actions were made public, would you retain self-respect? Societal norms commonly condone acts of greed and dishonesty as long as the perpetrator doesn’t get caught. Tolerating such lack of integrity undermines respect for ourselves and others. Do only that which you’d respect in another, and that which you wouldn’t mind being made public. When you maintain respect, you are strengthening the foundations of your life and your society.
- Stay in the Game
The game of life is not over until the final breath. Don’t give up at half-time because you’ve fumbled the ball. Never let one bad move knock you out of commission – get back in and give it your best! Change the things that don’t work and focus on what does. Give thanks for the breaks along the way and keep at it until the final moment! Miracles and breakthroughs often come at the most unexpected times, but you must be in the game to benefit from it.
Working with even just a few of these aspects will help you restore a sense of alignment between your inner life and your external environment so you can be the difference our world needs now!
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©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.