rituals

How I Align My Life: Ways to stay grounded at work + at home

30 Aug 2020

After finding my rhythm in quarantine, going back to work is hard. But, the key is to align my life + find my center. The thing is… I’ve always had a problem with alignment. You see, I have very stable rituals + routines that ground me at home. Ones I’ve used for years now, though I vary which practices I use throughout the year. And, last week, since I have returned to work, I also returned to setting aside 30 minutes after I wake up for meditation + journaling. I use this sacred early morning time as a chance to contemplate, release, get perspective, and prepare myself for the day ahead. But, honestly, that is often the only time of day that I really sink into these rituals + routines that help me return to my center. I do practice a few rituals + scrounge up a few minutes for alone time during the work day, but I deeply want to align my life more.

The grounded + anchored way that I start my day is something that I want to carry with me throughout the entire day. From home to work and then back home again. I don’t want it to feel like I have two different ways of being – one slow, calm, grounded at home. And rushed, stressed, with a few stolen deep breaths every here + there at work. Like I said, I want to align my life. I want to carry my slow, contemplative energy everywhere.

My rituals + routines should be the same wherever I am. My sense of grounded-ness should follow me no matter where I am.

Of course, in general, I am a fairly calm + grounded person. I need to be in my work. But, I often feel a sense of disconnectedness from my soul when I am at work. Admittedly, much of it is because my days are very fast-paced, requiring a lot of flexibility, and attention to the moment, the person, the task right in front of me. Often, if I have a little time to sit in my office + work, my focus is broken by someone’s need for something right then + there. And, in my work, there is a fine balance between responding to the needs at hand + saying wait or no to whatever seeks to pull my attention from one task to another.

It is not really possible for me to plan my day, and yet, plan it, I must. So, I have my lists, my meetings, and my sessions that are in my calendar. But, I also must react in the moment to crises, emotions, problems, and the needs of others. My tasks + plans change many times from minute to minute, challenging me to go with the flow + stay present in the moment + remain positive when negative energy/sadness/chaos/depression swirl around me.

Of course, flowing + being present are two ways that I deeply believe that we are called to live. However, in a fast-paced, ever-changing workplace where my focus is being flexible + present for my students + co-workers, I feel called to be the one that is calm, anchored, and grounded. I am often the one that others seek for support, advice, a listening ear, and answers.

However, remaining calm, anchored, and grounded requires me to engage in routines + rituals that slow me down. Practices that bring me back to my center. And I know how to do that at home. Hell, my whole life at home is almost one slow, simple, contemplative way of being.

But, I cannot just refuel myself + return to my center when I am at home. I must find a way to receive the quiet, contemplative time that my soul requires throughout the day. I must create space for slow moments. I must align my life so that who I am + how I am called to live is at the deepest core of every single moment – whether in my sacred space at home or in the middle of it all at work.

Last week, I realized that my practices, rituals, and routines have always been available to me no matter where I am. And they are easily brought into my work place. The “problem” is that I have not had the discipline to set aside the time or seen the ways that I can engage in them throughout the day.

Since I have been home for 5ish months, I learned to sink deep into the rhythm of my soul – and it was like living in complete alignment. Now, however, that rhythm has been shaken up with the end of vacation + working from home. That means that I need to realign my life so that I return to the rhythm of life that my soul needs. Of course, I need to reimagine + rediscover ways that work within my daily responsibilities. I need to realign my life so that I find that sense of slow, anchored living that keeps me grounded wherever I am + whatever I face.

But this is exactly how it is supposed to be. Quarantine + working from home was a very sacred time of learning, practicing, and living in rhythm with the way that my soul seeks. But, it was never intended for me to stay in that flow. That was just the beginning, the initiation, into truly living a slow, contemplative life in rhythm with nature. It was always meant that I bring this out into my everyday life, embodying the rhythm of my soul right in the middle of it all.

That is what makes life meaningful. That is how to bring soul + spirit into daily practice. That is how to align my life. But, it will also take time + practice + adjustments + patience.

Last week, I consciously tried to bring those most important rituals + routines to me into my everyday life. Not only in the early morning at home, but at work + in the evening at home (when I am often so tired that I cannot seem to accomplish anything). It was not a perfect week by any means, but it was a step forward to align my life.

So, what are those things that help me stay grounded + return me to center?

  • meditation
  • photography
  • candles
  • time in nature
  • cards + crystals
  • writing + reading
  • coffee
  • long discussions

What I realized this past week, for the first time, was that I can carry all of these ways of returning to center with me throughout the day. For so long, I’ve seen them as my routines + rituals at home. But, with a little creativity + effort, since they are essentially my way of being, they can (and should) be incorporated into my work. They are the practices that can help me flow in rhythm with my soul no matter where I am. It really is simply a mindset. It is deciding to commit to the way of life, the rhythm of life, to which I am called. And then making time + space to simply be who I am.

This autumn, just as this spring and summer, everything will change once again as we return to work, enter the season of autum + the dark months of the year, continue to face the pandemic, and vote for the next leader of the United States. It is the perfect time to allow myself to slowly, mindfully begin to ease into the daily rhythms that keep me grounded + anchored. And, that will not only help me align my life + return to my center; but it will keep me stable, calm, and in rooted in my deepest self. The essence of who I am + who I am called to be.

And, lovelies, when we live in alignment with our soul + in rhythm with our truest nature, then it not only makes our lives more calm + meaningful, but it affects + changes + inspires all of those around us. To align our lives, we most definitely receive a sense of peace + freedom every day, but we also change the entire world. Just by being who we are.

xoxo. liz.

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