“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” —Thomas Merton
I am tired of looking “outside the box” for answers, guidance, and ultimately happiness, when I can just access it from WITHIN. This year, I have been experiencing and learning this lesson the hard way. Many times when I feel that something is too hard, I search, struggle and push outside myself for someone else to help me.
When big obstacles have gotten in the way of my plans, my happiness, my life…I have found myself totally stuck.
And I react like this…
This just takes too much effort!!!
This makes me tired, frustrated, and fearful!!!
(Yes, that may exclamation points needed!!!)
Let me clarify: Asking for help is not a bad thing in and of itself. It actually takes a ton of courage and is something that we all need to do often in order to learn and grow. But, what I am talking about here is the kind of help that we reach for out of fear.
When we are moving through an emotional journey – filled with pesky obstacles – it’s easy to want other’s help – pronto! To want someone else to tell you it’s OK to quit. Or to say that they can carry a load for you. Or to give you the “perfect” solution.
But, here is what I have learned over and over again: Instead of crying out for help out of fear, I need to sit with the obstacle. Look it in the eye. Feel OK with its discomfort for a little while. Become aware of my feelings about it – and why I have them. Then, turn inward to make my own plan of action. And trust my own intuition – my own truth – to decide what to do.
This, my friends, is called alignment.
More on that in a minute.
But first, you’ll notice I have been writing a lot about fear recently. Of how most of us get stuck because of it, because of the risk of failure. Other times we are stuck because we don’t even know what we want in the first place. In my last post, I shared what I was committed to doing despite my fears. And I am taking action on them. (Have you written your commitments yet?) However, that doesn’t mean my journey will be easy, and certainly doesn’t mean it will be obstacle free!
(Yours either. Sorry. :( )
That’s why I want to encourage you today. To let you know that I, too, get STUCK! And not only do I get stuck… but sometimes I feel like a total stick in the mud. I have learned from many teachers that this is the journey of a teacher… to experience what their students are going through as well. We are in this together!
Finding yourself in that sticky mud can be really scary. Like, “How the hell did I find my way back here? I thought I got over this already!,” kind of scary. Yikes!
Life will continue to offer us that muddy mess until we become aware of what the old habit is that keeps coming back.
AWARENESS is good. No, I mean great!
The issue is if we just stay still in the awareness and continue to complain about the same issues over and over again.
It is ACTION (the practice of the AWARENESS) that will begin to put you in ALIGNMENT.
(Told you I would come back to ALIGNMENT!)
So it looks like this…
AWARENESS + ACTION = ALIGNMENT
You can think of it this way: It’s feeling Rhythm and Flow that results from being in Alignment. We all know when we are out of flow. And we also all know what it is like to feel in flow.
Can you venture up one moment that you felt in Rhythm and Flow? Go ahead bring it to the forefront of your mind…
Ok… you got it? Good!
When you were in the state of Rhythm and Flow you had awareness, and were taking action. Once you took the action… you became aligned.
Once you were aligned… you got it… you felt the Rhythm and Flow!
An example with Nutrition:
Awareness: Become aware of the food that nourishes you and the food that doesn’t.
Action: Practice ingesting Simple Clean and Whole Foods.
Alignment: Set your intention to continue to follow through on your Action step.
Rhythm and Flow: Your body starts to metabolize and do its job of keeping you healthy. (And you feel amazing!)
I, too, must always come back to these 4 Pillars of Emotional Practice… it works in every area of life! Now, I invite you to take a stand. (Even if you’re in the mud!) Let me know what it feels like to be out of Rhythm and Flow or in Rhythm and Flow.
Or give me your own example of how you got to feel rhythm and flow using Awareness, Action, and Alignment.
I would love to hear from you!
If you don’t want to post on the comment section, email me personally at
Here’s to getting out of the mud, looking inward instead of crying for help, and feeling the rhythm and flow,