On Alignment + Holistic Living
I went for a nice long walk with Piper this morning for the first time in what feels like forever! It’s been a rainy week here in Squamish, not that I’ve noticed much—we’ve both been so busy working, preparing for our Holiday travels to the UK, and dealing with / figuring out / planning all things real estate.
Those who follow me on Instagram know that I’m selling my house in Milton, Ontario, and that process has meant daily phone calls across the country with my Realty team, picking up my bootstraps and organizing paperwork and finances, consolidating photos and information, ensuring a smooth transition for my lovely tenant, and dealing with all the little things like the rental company for the hot water tank. And this is all happening OVER THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. My home was listed yesterday, December 19th 2019, and there have already been 12 confirmed showings. Needless to say, it’s been quite the month!
And all this time has proven to me is that you cannot plan for the good things that happen in your life. All we can really do is continue to learn, to optimize and to align, in all pillars of living.
Here on my blog and on social media, I talk about alignment and holistic living frequently. And I do this because… I can’t really help it. It’s followed me around through life these past few years, and all I can say is that my own life has become easier, calmer, more rewarding, more enjoyable. It’s also been harder, at time, in order to get here. It’s not an easy approach to take—to take a big-picture view of your life, your work, your home—and consciously, with awareness, begin crafting it how you’d like it to be. While trying not to let fears and stale issues come up and scare you out of staying the course.
But a ship was not made to stay safely tied to harbour. Go out to sea, even if you’re not sure what you might find there.
I know it can sometimes sound woo woo—but all of this happening to me, which I now see as for me and because of me, has completely transformed my life. So today, I wanted to share my thoughts on what aligning with yourself looks like, speaking from me own experience.
“In every person’s life, around 27 to 29 years old, the stars and the planets align themselves to exactly the way they were when you were born. You’re faced with yourself. There’s no running away.”
— Lykke Li
For me, it all started when I was 27, during my Saturn return (Google it), which I don’t believe is a coincidence). I began with explorations into my work—or more specifically, frustrations with my working life despite having everything. I was a successful, award-winning creative-turned HGTV star, but not only did something not feel right, some things started not to feel right. During some time off from filming, it hit me that I wasn’t truly happy with where I was heading. I felt very… away from myself. But life went on. I filmed another season, and then my awayness felt more like burnout. So I quit. I up and moved across the country, toward everything I wanted and that felt right and healthy for me, and I quit my job…
Once I was settled in my new home, my focus turned back to work, this time, asking myself “what the hell do you truly want to do?” and getting no answers—at least not for a while. These questions turned into explorations into myself, specifically how I naturally operate and function when I’m at my best. The real turning point in my case happened was when I took the Kolbe A Index online ( read about my experience here). Essentially it’s an aptitude test, only instead of telling you what job you should work, it tells you how you should be operating within your work and roles to truly optimize your natural strengths and tendencies. It gives you insight into how you work best when you’re relaxed, unencumbered, and in your element. I liked it because it not only addressed my skills (or lack thereof), but it took into consideration how I work, move, live, and feel. It brought a living, breathing, feeling aspect to my work. It brought a holistic approach into how I was to go about figuring out the answer to “what the hell do I want to do?”
It’s quite simple really. When you think about it, we are all born with a set of natural tendencies, personalities and abilities as well as a developing set of nuances and holdups. These are things you cannot change. Then there’s what we choose to study and do for work, what we eat, where we live, etc. These are things you can change, or that you at least have free will over and can make shifts within.
Alignment is is honouring your “uncontrollables”—the things that make you you, and that you cannot change—and understanding them better so you can make educated decisions about your life, make better use of your strengths, skills and time, and ditch the things that bring you down or away from yourself. And just like a vehicle runs more smoothly and requires less energy when it’s wheels are in alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. It works both ways… And holistic living sees this, and raises the stakes. It poses: “Now that we’re all on track, how can we bring this awareness and intention into all pillars of life in an effort to improve them all?”
How can we make shifts within our homes, our relationships, our work, and our selves toward a state of balancing? Not balance, not stillness, but maintaining a state of centredness, a bamboo shoot that’s always swaying, but never falls. And how can it keep from tipping? If it has a strong foundation, it’ll take a lot to tip it, but it’s surely possible. It was for me (hello burnout). But if it’s approached and then supported from all angles, it has an opportunity to root down again. And it has the opportunity to move a little more freely with knowledge that it’s been considered. I got a little descriptive with the nature metaphors there, but my point is this: When we allow our homes, our jobs, our lives to both be influenced by, and cater to our true selves, everything becomes more effortless, and all of the weights can lift. Not right away. And maybe not a ton at first. But bit by bit, in the time it needs to. And then a little bit more. Exponentially.
While my journey began through making shifts in areas I had perspective on and control over, like my work, it began to unfold my home and personal life as well. Since this all began in the summer of 2017, I’ve discovered new directions for my life and what I want to be doing, all while working through and ditching bullshit of mine I didn’t know was even there. Life is good.
Now, taking a step towards finding more alignment in your life doesn’t have to mean making a big move or quitting your job, like I did for me. It’s possible to seek alignment while keeping every aspect of your life the exact same, on paper. It’s in your free will, it’s how you choose to show up every day; what you choose to fuel you; how you spend your time; how you feel; how you move; what you need. Whether the shifts are big or small, the resulting domino affect of alignment begins, and if you let it, it will positively affect all areas of your life by nature.
Crossing the threshold can feel intense and like a practice in questioning (the self, the world, etc.), but rather, finding true alignment and living holistically is an inquiry into every aspect of your life with the intention of understanding it, respecting it, and then making intentional shifts within it. It’s a process in awareness, making it a practice in life-crafting.
Aligning with yourself should feel like you’re inching closer toward yourself, toward comfortability in all areas of your life. Your home will feel homier, your work more fulfilling, your relationships more rich, and tour life more joyful.
I’m very excited to continue exploring this topic, and hopefully help all of you improve your own lives, homes and jobs! This concept has already made its way into my philosophies around home design, as you can read here, it’s inspired a new design business I’ll be launching next year, and it has led to some exciting personal life developments that I’m excited to share on my newsletter, and later, here on my blog.
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