We talk a heck of a lot about ‘alignment’ on the spiritual path and it can start to sound like a catch-phrase rather than anything concrete.
We talk about getting in alignment with our higher self, our soul purpose, intuition or the Universe at large. There are many ways the term can be applied depending on your focus.
In this article I want to discuss what spiritual alignment is exactly and why it’s important. How to tell when you are out of alignment and then how to get back into it.
What is spiritual alignment?
Spiritual alignment is being in tune with our soul purpose. We all have a unique reason for being on this Earth – something we come back to time and time again (whether in the context of a job role or not). Our actions, thoughts, emotions and spirit are on the same page and we are moving with ease in a particular direction.
You can also think of alignment in terms of the different aspects of our being: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. These aspects of our being are not separate by any means, but they can sometimes conflict in very obvious ways.
We might have a desire in our heart that we never put into action, we might feel an intuitive insight but find our emotions are the opposite. Alignment at its most basic level is when all of these different aspects of our being are in congruence – easier said than done!
Alignment is also about trusting ourselves. We’re not always going to get things right (even if we are connected to our intuition) and we’re not always going to feel good about where we are. This is a part of life, but we can often forget that and judge ourselves harshly.
Alignment can also exist in these moments where feel sad, lonely, confused, but allow ourselves to sit with those emotions in neutrality. To trust that we can be fine in the meantime, and be open to a solution.
Signs you are out of alignment with the Universe
You feel uneasy
A key sign that you are out of alignment is that you feel incredibly uneasy; you can feel a direct conflict between what we say you are and what you do.
You find it difficulty to let go of the past, to forgive or work through resentment. When you say you’re going to do something it’s rare that you actually follow through on it.
When we are in alignment we feel a deep sense of peace, acceptance and a freedom that comes alongside that.
You can’t hear your intuition
Spiritual alignment is accessed when we can hear our intuition clearly and can take action on it.
Often when we aren’t in alignment we can’t hear our intuition at all! It’s as if we are trying to tune into a specific radio station and all we can hear is static.
Another side to this is that we can hear our intuition but it feels muffled in some way, or we can hear our intuition clearly but feel powerful to do anything about it.
When we aren’t ‘feeling like ourselves’ this is a great sign we need to take a step back and consider how we can better balance empathy for others with empathy for ourselves.
Your path is cyclical
We can see physically where we are out of alignment when our path is taking us in circles. We set goals and don’t work towards them, constantly coming back to square one. We face the exact same unhealthy relationship dynamics with different people. We work towards different goals but nothing actually clicks.
This is also a symptom present when we are being led by our shadow side rather than our intuition. It’s as if a physical shadow has been cast over our lives, and we cannot find a clear pathway forward.
You feel tired
Building on the last point, another huge sign that you are out of alignment is that the magic or passion has gone from the hobbies and interests you used to love.
Suddenly the job you’ve loved no longer fills fulfilling. Your relationship doesn’t feel the same anymore or isn’t progressing. The hobbies that used to bring you joy no longer do.
This sudden shift in emotions is often what sparks the awareness that something is ‘off’. We feel bored, tired, confused – a whole range of conflicting emotions at once.
When something changes energetically it takes a while to see the effect in our physical environment. Often this sensation that something isn’t quite the same, comes after months or years of internal changes.
Suddenly we’re looking at our physical environment and it no longer mirrors what we are feeling inside. This is when we know it is time for a change.
From one perspective these are clear signs we are out of alignment, that something is wrong and needs our attention. However if we have awareness of where we feel ‘off’ this is actually a positive.
It means we are becoming more cognizant of what we need and how we can better move towards our soul purpose. We might experience a brief hermit phase, a dark night of the soul or just feel distinctly disconnected, but these periods eventually bring us into deeper self-awareness.
How to get into alignment
Tune into your intuition
One of the reasons we might find ourselves in or come out of alignment is because we haven’t nurtured the relationship we have with our intuition.
If you just can’t hear your intuition or don’t feel you have a strong relationship with it, you have to consciously tune into it instead of expecting it to become clearer on its own.
- Find a comfortable spot and get into a seated position.
- Bring your awareness to the stomach.
- Breath deeply from this area for a few minutes
- Bring your focus to the third eye
- Ask yourself a question
- Notice what words, phrases, impressions or images come up
Questions to ask:
What do I need today?
What do I need to face today?
What do I want to create today?
The first time you do this exercise you might find that nothing of note comes up for you. However the more you come back to it the easier it will be to start noticing how your intuition comes through and what it sounds like for you (which will be different for everyone).
When you are comfortable asking questions of your intuition in a safe and quiet space, take this exercise with you about your day. Check in before you go into work, while you’re doing the dishes or going for a walk. The more you bring your intuition into everyday life, the more consistently aligned you will feel.
Boundaries are a key aspect to getting in alignment. If we do not have strong boundaries it doesn’t matter what our intentions are, we will be dragged in the direction that other people are going – whether that is beneficial to us or not.
We can boundaries that are in relation to our own behavior, and we can set boundaries that are expectations for how others will act in our space – both are important. A boundary for ourselves might be to limit our media consumption, while a boundary we set for others might be to leave an interaction if someone is not acting respectfully. All boundaries go back to what we do for ourselves, although categorizing things like this can make things easier.
Consider all types of boundaries. Mental and emotional boundaries might relate to topics you do and do not want to discuss or spend too much time on. Physical boundaries relate to what actions we take. Spiritual boundaries relate to the limits we set around our spiritual practice – what we express or discuss with others, along with the activities we do which bring us into alignment with our soul or higher self.
Create an intention
The next step to getting into alignment is to set strong intentions.
Intentions are how we focus our energy in day to day life to meet one overarching goal. Often compartmentalize different aspects of our being in our daily routine.
We are one person in work, one person at home and one person in public. We will bring a very different type of energy to each one of these areas and that is to be expected.
However in order to bring things into better alignment we want to be bringing a consistent energy to each and every activity we do. How we do one thing is how we do every thing.
At the beginning of your day imagine that you are an empty vessel that can be filled with whatever type of energy you come into contact with. If you do not set an intention (consciously or unconsciously) you are going to be filled with energy that doesn’t serve you, taking on other people’s stuff like a sponge.
In the morning when we wake up think of a single word, phrase or affirmation you would like to apply to the day.
Example: Today I am motivated.
As you go about your day notice how your energy is aligning with this intention, and adjust yourself accordingly where it isn’t.
To tie all of this together a mindfulness practice is essential. Part of feeling out of alignment or disconnected in some way is the sense that we are doing something wrong.
It’s helpful to hold this awareness so that we can properly redirect ourselves, but important not to use these period of misalignment as a way to beat ourselves up or self-judge.
Even when you are out of alignment, you can also tune back into your intuition, higher self or soul. It’s ok to just be at times, even when there is action to take or stuff to clear up.
Even when we are in alignment, we’re still going to have to contend with dissatisfaction or confusion. So a practice of acceptance starts even before you’re where you should be.
How to know you’re in alignment
The thing is, alignment is not an end goal. Once we are in alignment we aren’t necessarily going to stay that way forever and that’s to be expected.
Alignment involves all aspects of our being: our emotions, thoughts, actions and physical environment. We don’t always have control over all of these elements. Not a single person is aligned all of the time.
What matters most is that we are aligned to a point where we can navigate forward in an intuitively and powerful, not perfect, way. We’ll feel more aligned in some periods of our life than others, but ultimately knowing how to get back to a good place and having the right tools to support us.
You know you’re in alignment when you feel a deep sense of peace (rather than apathy) about your circumstances. When what you say and do are in coherence and where you can hear an intuitive insight and feel empowered to follow it.
I like talking about magic because I think it’s important to hold the possibility of good things happening in the mind, even if our circumstances don’t exactly align.
When we are in deeper alignment there is a sense that every moment, every day, is filled with a subtle but evident magic.
One of the ways this magic can present is through synchronicity. This is a term coined by Carl Jung which describes events that seem like coincidences on the surface, but have a deeper connected purpose.
For example, thinking of a person from the past who you’d love to reconnect with and then ‘randomly’ receiving a text or call from them.
As we get more aligned we experience an increase in synchronicity. Our dreams can also become more meaningful and vivid.
Overall, we start to build a clearer vision of what our lives can look like moving forward.
Sure, we might not have all of the details down, but we can plan further ahead than we used to.