If you’ve been hanging around the personal development world at all recently, you’ll know it’s a bit of a buzz word out there right now.
But it’s SO MUCH MORE than a buzz word. It’s actually a really important factor in figuring out who we are as people, what makes us tick, what lights us up, and what we should be doing with our time.
Now, just for the record, in this post, alignment is all about purpose and living a meaningful life, in accordance with your own values, needs and wants. We’re not talking today about the biomechanical alignment of your body parts (though that’s just as important! This is another reason I love the concept of alignment – you get double the bang for your buck with this one little word.
I often see that poor life alignment is “the missing link” for many people. Sometimes, even when everything is “going right” in our lives and we seem to “have it all” with a coveted job, gorgeous partner, happy kids, beautiful home, solid nutrition, great movement habits and focused mindset, we can still feel like something is missing. We can still be unhappy, miserable, anxious, frustrated, even angry. And then of course there’s the guilt. “I have so much, why am I still unhappy? I shouldn’t be so ungrateful, I should try harder to be happy.”
It’s really quite frustrating because outwardly there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong – but we still have that gut feeling that something isn’t quite right. It can often come down to living a life that isn’t in alignment with your core values as a person, and which doesn’t provide you with meaning or fulfilment. It’s something that’s difficult to truly understand, until you start to really dig deep into your own heart and soul, and figure out what you truly WANT out of life, and what truly FEELS right for you, both physically and mentally.
In OT speak, we call this “Meaningful Occupation” – doing the things and roles that are meaningful, purposeful and enjoyable to the individual. In personal development land, they call it alignment. It’s one and the same.
I recently caught up with the wonderful Soli Goodes, Dream Life Coach and owner of Business Goddess to talk all about alignment. This interview was recorded as a bonus feature for the participants in my Busy Woman’s Stress Makeover program, but again I’ve decided to share it for free with everyone. I’m so excited to bring this interview to you as we had so much fun recording it. Honestly, we could have sat there for a couple of hours chatting away, but we’ve done you a favour and kept it to around 20 minutes!
Soli Goodes, Dream Life Coach and director of www.businessgoddess.com.au
In the interview we talk about:
What alignment is
How to tell if you’re living a life out of alignment
How to get back on track to being IN alignment
So grab yourself a juice or a cuppa and get comfy to have a listen. And don’t forget to let us know what you think, either in the comments, or on the Bloom Wellbeing facebook page.
Until next time, keep well and live your best life.
I’ve got something special for you on the blog today. Remember ages ago when I told you about the book The Parent Manifesto by psychologist and parenting expert Jodie Benveniste? I blogged about it here in case you want to check it out.
Well a few weeks ago I was super-excited to be able to record a Skype interview with the completely awesome Jodie, which I’ve used as a bonus goodie for my Busy Woman’s Stress Makeover program.
Jodie Benveniste of www.parentwellbeing.com
However, I had such a great time interviewing Jodie, and she provided such great information, that I really wanted to share it with all of you. So that’s what I’m doing!
In the interview we talk about why this women’s stress epidemic has become such a huge problem, particularly for mothers, and how we can help free ourselves from stress by creating our own parenting style, in line with our own values.
It’s such a great interview – despite the interruption midway through from my curious daughter – please excuse that, but that’s what happens when you work from home!
Wow! Can you believe it’s the last day in November! Yes, tomorrow officially marks the start of the crazy, hectic, silly season month we know as DECEMBER. Bah – bah – bahhhhh!!!!
Are you ready for it? Got the Christmas shopping done? Arranged the meal plan for Christmas day? Booked the caravan park for your Boxing Day getaway? Put in your Christmas leave form yet?
There’s always so much to do at this time of year. Family functions to endure. A million parties to dress up for. School concerts to attend. Kindy graduations. The list goes on.
It’s also a really, REALLY expensive time of year (at least it can be). All that primping and those new outfits for all those parties can add up!! Though if you’re like me you just give up on shopping for new threads and hope and pray you can still squeeze into last year’s party dress! Am I right?
Put all this together and what do you get?
All wrapped up in shiny Christmas paper with a red bow on top. A great big parcel of stress. More unwanted than that foot-spa hubby got you last Christmas.
Stress is huge for many people this time of year, which is why I’ve created this totally FREE four part video mini training series “De-stress for December”.
It’s four of my favourite little strategies for letting go of stress, and allowing yourself to have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season.
Check it out on YouTube and get ready to relax these holidays!
ps. If you liked this video series, you really should check out my four week online stress management program, the Busy Woman’s Stress Makeover. It’s just $89 and it will lead you through an entire body-mind-soul stress transformation!
Never heard of a mandala? Maybe you’ve heard of them, but had no idea they could improve your wellbeing?
Have a read of this great guest post by Nan Berrett.
You feel like grabbing a handful of your hair and pulling really hard, but you know it’s not going to help.
There are plenty of tricks you can use to help your mind de-stress – it’s just a matter of finding something which works for you and gives you the results you need.
Our minds are constantly filled with clutter. Some of our thoughts are useful, but many are just distracting ‘noise’ which are tiring in their own right. When we are stressed there is an additional persistent humming in our heads which focusses on our fears and anxieties – and this is the most difficult noise to silence.
If we are fearful of an outcome, worried about our relationships with our lovers, families or friends, concerned about looming deadlines, unfinished tasks or general overload because we take on too much, then it becomes important to try some calming techniques for the mind.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word which means “circle” and although it is a spiritual and ritualistic symbol associated with Hinduism and Buddhism, it can be used as a tool to allow your mind to problem solve and find calm.
In spiritual practice Mandalas are often created using coloured sand and form intricate and exquisitely beautiful patterns, but for our purposes we will create a Mandala using paper or card and a handful of coloured textas, pencils or crayons.
How to create your own mandala:
Start by drawing a circle on your paper – use the boundary of a saucer rather than a dinner plate. Somewhere inside the circle, not necessarily the centre, draw a representation of your anxiety. This can be as simple as a symbol, a letter of the alphabet, a stick figure, or even a word.
Take a black texta, pen, or pencil and, starting from just outside the boundary of the circle draw parallel lines, like a little road, and wind this path within the confines of the circle, until it reaches your anxiety drawing. This bit can be tricky and you’ll have to concentrate, drawing one side of the track and then the other side, so you keep the path even.
When you finally get to your goal you can start the fun part. Choose your first colour and begin to fill the track – you can use the same colour all along, or you can change colours. While you are colouring in start thinking about your anxiety and consider some of the strategies you could use to eliminate it from your life or fix it.
When you’ve finished the path, it’s time to colour in the remaining white space – this is your Mandala, so you choose how you want it to look. Draw patterns, dots, block colour, whatever you feel drawn to do.
You’re almost finished – take the black texta and go over the lines of your path again and make them stand out. Add some shading if you want to. Pop some edging onto the boundary of the circle and you’re done.
Sit back and admire your work – it looks pretty good!
You may have had some emotional reactions when creating your Mandala. It’s not unusual to cry, or even start talking to yourself while you’re working. There’s nothing wrong with showing some emotion.
Look at your Mandala and trace the path from the outer edge to its windy end. Every turn represents a new thought about the problem, a memory, a decision.
The Mandala in the illustration above was one I drew years ago when I was having some serious issues with someone I considered my best friend. At the time I felt betrayed and abandoned, but by the time I had finished the exercise I had remembered all the great things about our friendship and that I was as much as fault as she had been. It gave me the clarity to approach her and mend some bridges – best thing I ever did.
Nan Berrett is a communications consultant who also workshops strategies to support positive emotional wellbeing outcomes – these include creating and walking labyrinths, journaling, creative writing and poetry.