I’ve never considered myself to be spiritual. I’m rather a pragmatist. For a long time, I only trusted my own proven skills and I ignored my intuition during the day too often. My Cartesian mindset has always dominated my thoughts and actions. So when somebody started talking to me about “alignment” during my life and executive coaching course, I almost instantly left the classroom. I wasn’t looking for spiritual training! But I couldn’t be more wrong… I quickly understood that it was a great decision to stay – and to follow my intuition for the first time. Because during that class, I was taught that without ‘personal alignment’, it’s impossible to make any sustainable and authentic progress in life.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to write another article about how the world has changed in 2020. However, I would like to take the time to explain why I think ‘alignment’ has become so important in our balance and personal lives in 2020.
A SLAVE OF TO-DO LISTS
Our lives are filled with to-dos. These tasks that we receive and add – with reminders! – to our agendas and lists. It gives importance and purpose to our lives! “Because a good life is a busy life.”
But the results of this mindset are unambiguous: we execute, we check our boxes and we don’t take the time anymore to think. Nor do we leave space to our intuition.
Box by box, we distance ourselves from what makes us happy in our lives, what makes us feel alive, and what makes us feel satisfied with what we do on planet Earth. Actions follow each other at incredible speed and … and… And what? Is this it?
And as the cherry on the cake, we want to be happy, balanced, and completely aligned with our own being.
TURN YOUR AUTOPILOT OFF
For once, please turn off your autopilot that drives you to mindlessly execute the tasks on your to-do list, composed by yourself and others. Instead, learn how to trust yourself. You have the right to exist above the actions and responsibilities that have been addressed to you.
If you want to get the cherry on the cake, you’ll need to be able to take a break. Not necessarily by moving to the other side of the world and live off peace and love and self-caught shrimps. No, it means to allow yourself to press pause and to reflect on your life and your own values.
Because, in the end, what are your values? Which ones do you believe the most in? What drives you in your life? What really makes you feel alive?
If you keep going in autopilot mode, your life will keep going really fast, until … BAM, you crash into the wall of regrets. And then, it might be too late.
Let’s get back to what we were talking about. If you are reading this article, it’s not too late. It’s never too late. You’re the living proof of it.
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
Start with the beginning and make an assessment of your own life: what is the most important thing in YOUR life? What are the 4 keywords with which you would describe your life? If you had no restrictions whatsoever, what would you do? Listen to yourself and trust yourself, instead of trusting the latest trends or listening to what others have to say.
This article doesn’t want to pretend to be revolutionary, but rather tries to grasp the notion of personal alignment without becoming too spiritual – or at least, not too much.
Alignment means to feel good with yourself: with your body, with your mind, with your heart, with your emotions.
THE 7 LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Richard Barrett, the founder of Barrett Values Center, developed a model consisting of the seven levels of consciousness and the seven steps in psychological development. Even though his concept is only a theory, it will allow you to ask yourself the right questions and to analyse your life from another point of view.
1- Survive > Surviving
During our first 2 years, we do whatever is necessary to stay alive and to satisfy our physiological needs: sleeping, eating, drinking, … Survival is our main objective!
2- Relationships > Conforming
Between 3 and 7 years old, we acquire the skills and behaviours that make people we care about give us affection, love us, pamper us, etc.
3- Self-respect > Differentiating
Between 8 and 25 years old, we have the need to feel valued and to be acknowledged. We’re looking for our own identity.
4- Transformation > Self-development
Between 25 and 40 years old, we start taking our responsibilities: on a personal, emotional and family level. We become independent: autonomy and freedom are key.
5- Internal cohesion > Self-actualizing
Between 40 and 50 years old, we become conscious of ourselves. We realize that there are adjustments to be made in our lives as gaps start to form between our ideals and the reality of our lives. Our life’s purpose becomes more important than our past choices, so it’s important to make certain choices and decisions and to change certain parameters.
6- Making a difference > Integrating
Between 50 and 60 years old, we feel the need to connect. We prefer authenticity, integrity, honesty with ourselves and others. We start looking to make a positive difference around us.
7- Service > Serving
After 60 years, the most important thing becomes contributing, giving yourself to the greater good, sharing, teaching what we learned during our life, etc…
Important note: these 7 levels of consciousness are only theoretic and just wants to show us that life is layered like a good lasagne. If one or the other layer (from 1 to 3) has not been properly integrated, the transitions between steps 4 and 7 will be restrained. These fears, self-doubt and incomplete stages will create obstacles in our lives.
Luckily, it’s never too late to become aware of them, unblock them, and add more fluidity in your life.
TRUE VALUES ARE FUELED BY YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE
Do you know those robot vacuum cleaners? The ones that tirelessly clean every corner of your house? Until… they run out of battery and you have to plug them back into their charging station before they can continue their vacuum mission.
The same goes for us, humans. We’re not so different after all. We need our charging station, where we can charge our batteries and feel safe (emotionally, physically, psychologically, …) before we can get to work again.
These safe havens are indispensable for the quality of our lives. Without them, we wouldn’t dare to take risks or to develop ourselves. These safe havens are typically things such as our family, “our partner”, but can also be a country, a city, an object, a place, a culture, a group of friends, an association, a value, etc.
They allow you to first grow your self-confidence, and afterwards your confidence in other people. They will help you to determine who you are, what you like and what your personal values are. These values will guide you towards what’s really important in your life. They will inspire your choices in future decisions, whether they be professional or personal. You need to be conscious of your own ecosystem before you can even pretend to be aligned with yourself and your values in regards to the world we live in.
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
So, if you haven’t skipped the article and arrived at the end, it means that you are ready to ask yourself the right questions! On which from the 7 levels of consciousness are you? Do you accept yourself as you are and do you acknowledge that certain levels need more energy and reflection in order to be fine-tuned and completed? And above anything else: don’t try to be perfect. You’re “beautifully imperfect”.
Take the time to become conscious of your safe havens by starting to make a list of them. These will become indispensable for your decisions, actions, and risks that you will take in the future that starts … now!
Writing by Mathieu Bonte / Copywriting by Louis Liekens