Being aligned is a word or an expression that you may have encountered but, you may also have asked yourself:
What does it mean to be aligned?
Whether you’re very familiar with personal development or not, you may still wonder what it means. Also, if you know what it means to you, but you’re unsure whether you’re aligned or not, let’s delve into this topic together.
Being aligned: a definition that is unique to you
I’d like to open the debate, because what being aligned means to you may be different from my own definition.
This doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or that I’m wrong. It’s just a personal interpretation of how it speaks to us.
So, when we say: ‘I want to be aligned’ a question that could follow is ‘Aligned with what?”: Aligned with my values, my belief systems, my principles?
We can also take this question the other way around: what does it mean to not be aligned?
For example, if someone is not connected to her physical sensations, would that still speak to her?
I personally associate the fact to be aligned with the mind-body connection. I am a person who’s strongly connected to my physical bodily sensations and when I say that I am aligned, it means that my mind and my body agree with one another (if that makes sense).
My personal experience of not being aligned
Let me give you one of my latest personal examples related to my previous job.
My number one value, like many others, is freedom. Being employed, no matter what I would do in a company, means going against my main value.
So I found myself in misalignment when I was still spending more than 40 hours a week doing something that was against what I believed in. Adding to that that I didn’t find any sense of fulfillment nor purpose in what I was doing (not mentioning the ethic of the industry I was in).
When the mental pain becomes physical
Because of all these aspects, I was feeling physically unwell for a long time, experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety. One day, I even ended up at the hospital because of the physical pain caused by stress.
While on my way to the hospital, I realised that my pain was real; and I felt sorry for myself.
I felt sorry because I pushed myself too much, ignoring what my body was telling me. For a long time, I tried to deny it, because it was all in my head. And because it was in my head, there was no tangible proof.
How do you convince others that you’re not feeling well when there is no physical evidence of it?
The truth is that we are the only person who knows best what is best for ourselves, physical evidence or not. And most importantly: no matter what others may think or say.
In that situation, being at the hospital because of my anxiety, I finally had some proof in the physical world that I wasn’t well.
The mindbody connection is real
I was suffering and it wasn’t just in my mind. I wasn’t making this up. From that moment, it felt like I could use this episode as an ‘excuse’ to leave my company eventually. Before that, I had so many excuses I tried to hold on to such as:
‘It’s not reasonable”, “I have no plan B”, “That’s all I’ve known, what will I do after?’, etc.
Back then, I was relying a lot on my mind, listening to it and trying to convince myself physically and emotionally that I was all right. After all, ‘it could have been worse, especially during Covid crisis’.
So I tried to pretend everything was all right until my body sent me a stronger signal. Without it, I wouldn’t have listened to it otherwise and I would still have ignored it.
Are you aligned?
This experience is the reason why, to me, being aligned means that my mind and my body are looking in the same direction. As if they would agree with one another.
So my question for you is this:
Is there a situation you’re experiencing where your mind and your body don’t align? It could be in your relationships, your lifestyle, a decision you’re facing or a challenge that you may be facing. Take your time to reflect and introspect.
Honesty is key to assess whether you’re aligned or not
To me, having a holistic approach to life, to your life, is key to maintaining balance. Once your emotions, your thoughts, your actions and your beliefs are aligned, then there’s no conflict; then there’s peace.
Of course, I’m not saying all of a sudden you won’t have any worries and every aspect of your life will be perfect, but at least you will have a sense of alignment.