It’s the beginning of the year and I have been looking at the fact that, in my mad scramble to get my book finished, I have not been so good at self-care the last couple of months.  Meditation has been sporadic, yoga practice minimal, trips to the gym only 1-2 times per week, rather than my ideal 3-4.  Only been on one hike.  Getting to bed too late.

I’ve been pretty disappointed in myself, but also embraced and accepted that part of meeting my deadlines involved putting a lot of condensed time into editing and preparing for the book launch.

Still, it’s been gnawing at me, and I knew that it was an excuse. My soul longs to be back on track.  Ever since I was sick over Thanksgiving, it’s been hard to get back up on the horse, build up my conditioning again, and return to the habits that keep me feeling healthy, whole, and energized.  I needed to get self-care back into my regimen.

Then, I read Angela Lauria’s blog (she’s The Author Incubator – the program that pulled this book out of me!)  She’s dropping self-care.  What?  I knew there was more to the story, so I read on.

In a meditative insight, she realized that the idea of “self-care” made it seem like a “should”.  Something you have-to do, something extra to put on your plate.  I felt the heaviness in my body.  She was right.  Self-care shouldn’t (hmmm, there’s another should!) be a have-to, or something extra.  That didn’t sound like the healing practice I intended it to be.

Her reframe was to call it Upgrade Time.  OK, that makes sense.  But it still didn’t sit right with me.  The idea of an Upgrade made me feel like I wasn’t already good enough.  That wasn’t in alignment with what I believe, or what I teach.  We are all being Divine Beings, and my approach is to reveal that truth, to let go of anything that hinders our perception of our sacred essence.

There’s nothing wrong with us – there’s only misperception and blocks that we have created to realizing our inner truth. Those blocks aren’t who we are, but learned behaviors and perceptions from the world. It’s not a matter of upgrading ourselves to a “better” version of us, but rather seeing the truth of who we already are.

As I sat still for a moment and checked in with my own inner truth, I returned to the word Alignment.  That was the word that resonated with me.  I’ve been feeling out of Alignment with the Divine, with my essence, and with my body.  Those practices of exercise, time in nature, meditation, and yoga return me to feeling aligned with my Higher Self.  I know that when I’m aligned, I’m more present, relaxed, joyful, creative, productive, and calm.  Some of the very qualities I talk about in my book.  I knew I was on to something.

Some of the synonyms of alignment are balance, harmony, accord, and symmetry.  To be aligned with the Divine and my true Self was harmony.  That’s what I long for and relish when I’m in Alignment.

Moreover, Alignment is something that I can practice all day long – not just when I’m doing a “self-care” routine.  It feels like a deeper level of self-care.  I can notice if my breath feels in Alignment; my actions, my state of mind. Alignment connects with one of my main spiritual values, Presence.  I don’t have to wait until I’m working out or meditating to practice Alignment; I simply open myself to it, wherever I am.

I could easily use this, though, as an attachment to being perfect, and criticizing myself for not being in Alignment.  But that self-criticism wouldn’t be an alignment practice.  It’s not about getting it right… it’s about feeling that inner ease and attunement to my greatest Truth.  Alignment can simply be my compass to help re-orient myself, and feel connected to Spirit and my Divine Self as often as possible.  Exactly the idea I had for my January retreat, too.

When I am aligned, I allow the natural flow of Spirit to come through me.  I open myself to receive.  My body relaxes, tension releases, and my mind calms down.  Alignment isn’t a doing, it’s allowing myself to Be.  From that harmonious state, I gravitate towards choices that are healing, creative, inspired, and soothing as well as energizing.

Upgrade Time works for Angela – for me, Alignment is the word.  So I’m pointing my compass that way, and allowing even this moment of typing at the computer to be in Alignment with Source.  I relax my shoulders, take a deep breath, and quiet my mind, so that the inspiration can flow.  Now, I feel complete and motivated to get dressed and step into my day.

How about you?  What feels like Alignment to you?  Or do you have another word that fits better for ways to care for yourself in body, mind, heart, and spirit?  I’d love to hear from you!


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