“When you’re aligned with your Soul, you’re aligned with the whole.”
~ Kris Franken
Plumb bobs are weights suspended by string and are used to indicate verticality. Egyptians used them to build the pyramids and builders throughout the ages have used them to determine if framing and walls are “plumb” or perfectly vertical. In the building trade, having perfectly vertical walls matters.
Metaphorically speaking, our souls are the framing for our psyches but how do we know when we’re in alignment? How do we know when we’ve reached a state of emotional flow? We feel it. It’s as if we have internal plumb bobs. The cognitive dissonance we’ve experienced by having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes is gone. Instead of internal noise, there is internal peace. There is a clear, unimpeded line leading from our core values to our actions.
I’ve experienced this process and know what it feels like to be out of alignment and then, with intentional work, to be in alignment. Here’s an example: I believed that I valued self-respect and honesty and deeply believed that I was an honest person. But, I had a hard time saying NO and said YES when I didn’t mean it. I wanted to please everyone and always left my needs out of the equation. As a result, I found myself frequently irritated and upset not only with myself but with everyone else. If I had been in alignment with my values of self-respect and honesty, I would have said “No, I’m so sorry but I simply don’t have time.” Or, I would have said, “No, I won’t do this because I disagree.” When I began telling the truth by actually saying NO when I meant it, I initially experienced lots of discomfort because of my need to please others and I worried about what others would think of me. When I realized that I was the only one feeling this discomfort and that others actually respected my decisions, I began to let go of my incongruent behavior. As I practiced this new behavior, my feelings of honesty and self-respect grew, my need to please others diminished and my feelings of discomfort virtually disappeared. It was noticeable – I felt at ease and authentic. I was no longer creating internal road blocks. I was in alignment.
This is the state of flow – of being in alignment with our values. It is the essence of emotional sobriety and reaching this state of well-being is usually the result of hard work. Beginning with the awareness of psychic dis-ease and then moving through the stages of awakening, discovery, courage and action, we can find and experience flow.
Once we reach a state of flow, it doesn’t mean we’ll never hit road blocks or snags again. We will, and this is the nature of life, so don’t despair and don’t set yourself up with unrealistic expectations. Observe the road blocks – see them for what they are – temporary conditions – pause and take a look at where they come from – find detours, if necessary, accept them if you must or move through the stages of change again. You’ll be guaranteed to find your way if your intention is to be in alignment by living your values.
If you are interested in doing a Values-Based Living self-assessment, just sign up for my email list and I’ll send you a downloadable PDF which includes the assessment along with some powerful journaling prompts. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. This is an exercise that is worth doing. Give it a try – see where it leads.