Out of Alignment

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

I practice being authentic on a regular basis, and still, I get side-tracked every now and then. Or on a regular basis. That’s life, right? The older I get, the more necessary it becomes for me to reconnect with my authentic self every at regular intervals to make sure I’m in alignment with who I am and where I’m headed.

I have to remind myself that it’s not because I’m broken and need fixing, it’s because I’m human. I have a natural tendency to get distracted by various trips down the rabbit holes of the interwebs, finishing up just one more “quick” thing (which often leads to many more such “quick” things), and sometimes even by squirrels

I was driving along and noticed my steering wheel pull slightly to the right. It didn’t seem like a big deal, but three months later I had built such strong tricep muscles in my left arm from the getting-worse-pull, I was beginning to look lopsided. A slight exaggeration, sure, but you get the point.

When something is first out of alignment it seems like it’s no big deal. But if every day it gets one degree further out of alignment, how long will it take before everything is completely out of whack? For my car, it was about three months.

Three months of driving to and from work, five days a week, fifteen minutes per trip adds up to roughly thirty hours.

My car still took me from Point A to Point B, regardless of the thirty hours of additional effort. But when I think about that extra effort, I spent more than a full day with my car trying to take me in a direction I didn’t want to go. What happens when I let that happen in my life?

Diverging PathsIf I’m spending time with friends who don’t align with my core values, how much extra energy am I spending on keeping myself aligned with my values? Or, realistically, how far am I straying from my core values in order to honor someone else’s values over my own?

How much time am I spending on someone else’s path instead of moving forward on my own path?

But it’s not just about the time I spend with people who sometimes don’t align with my values. It’s more about the person I spend the most time with: me.

Consistency is a value I’m currently focusing on and, yet, I found myself this past Sunday evening pouring “one more” glass of wine to celebrate a successful workshop.

Even though I didn’t go overboard, “one more” glass of wine meant sleeping in on Monday morning. It also meant being groggy as I sat down to get some work done. It meant more circling in my mind to try and find the words and phrases to express exactly what I wanted to say. It meant this post getting out on Wednesday afternoon, rather than Monday morning.

In the grand scheme of things, that’s two little degrees off course. Big deal, right?

But if I’m striving to honor consistency, I’m putting myself at a serious disadvantage by putting off a post by a couple of days. If this is happening with my writing, where else in my life am I not being consistent? This week may see just one post, rather than the two or three I had planned to write. That’s fine for this week. And also, it’s important I catch myself while I’m still just a couple of degrees off course so it’s easier to get back on my path of consistency, if I so choose.

Now, I’m not saying I’ll never have a couple (or three, I dare say) glasses of wine to celebrate a successful project or workshop. What I’m saying is that when I do, I’ll sit down and get clear on how I want to realign with what’s important to me before it’s three months down the road and I haven’t published a blog post all quarter long.

You don’t have to give up the things or people you love in order to stay aligned with what’s important to you. You just need to check in with yourself regularly and redirect when necessary.

Otherwise you might look back at the end of 2014 year and wonder where all your good intentions went and how you got off course.

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