Are you living the same year over and over? A couple of years ago I heard a speaker ask that to the audience. Yep, I was living the same year. Again. And it was tiring. I’d been spinning my wheels for a long long time, and it wasn’t getting me anywhere I wanted to go.
I’d reached a point where the struggle was exhausting on a daily basis. Something had to change. But turning the large bus that my life had become – with a husband, kids, friends, family, a business, and an overscheduled calendar – was going to take a lot of work. And I wasn’t quite sure how to do it.
The Habit of Entrainment
Throughout my life I’ve struggled with entrainment. It’s when your brain, your body, and/or your energy synchronize with the dominant vibrations in your surroundings. You can entrain with a person, a group, a mode of thinking or a way of being. And most often it happens unconsciously.
You may have heard the saying, “You’ll become the 5 people you hang out with the most.” Without consciously thinking about it, I was falling in line with what others were doing around me. Some days it was a relief to not have to be the one doing the thinking. But then I left it to someone else to speak for me.
Unconsciously, I had synchronized myself with the thoughts, the people, the priorities, the collective vibration of wherever I spent the majority of my time and energy. I was grounded completely outside of myself – in other people’s priorities and agendas.
If you’re doing the same, where is it getting you? Don’t judge your answer, simply observe.
Are you moving closer to where you want to go or just spinning your wheels? Perhaps it even feels like you’re sliding backward some days.
As you move through your day, notice what you synchronize with and which people you’re pulled towards. Are these influences helping or hurting you? Are they making your life better?
Alignment is when you make choices consciously in line with your values and goals. Most of my life I had fallen unconsciously into entrainment. I’d been out of alignment with myself and my own needs. And it kept me stuck.
Do you find yourself falling into entrainment by default? Are you busy worrying about everyone else and being grounded in things outside of yourself? Do you know what your own needs are?
In both my personal and my professional life, I’ve made the pursuit of alignment one of my big goals for this year. By incorporating some simple practices into each day, I’m moving into greater alignment with myself, and farther away from the automatic default of entrainment. I’m directing my choices to create what I want out of life, instead of my surroundings directing me.
If you’d like to do the same, here are five simple practices that can help you move out of entrainment and into alignment.
Moving from Entrainment to Alignment
Moving into alignment with yourself instead of entrainment with others is a lot of work, and not something that can be accomplished overnight. It’s a process. It’s a daily practice. Here are a few simple steps to move you in the right direction:
1. Identify Your Values
Now that I’ve defined my values, I’m better able to make daily choices that are in line with them. My decision making has become a lot easier.
2. Establish Your Goals
My personal goals this year are family, health and growth. Once I figured that out, I realized that most of my time was spent driving around to meet up with people who were not my family, doing activities that did not support my health or growth. I had to start saying no to those people.
Professionally was no different. I had to get really clear on my goals so I could stop wasting time and energy– and hard-earned money– on futile pursuits. My business goals this year are: to write a marketing book, to grow my community, and to build my client base.
Writing down your goals gives you a much higher chance of reaching them. Define your goals, then stick to them. Center your decision-making around these priorities, and say no to all the things that won’t help you get there. Give yourself the chance to succeed.
3. Pay Attention
I had to stop living my life on auto pilot and to start paying conscious attention to my thoughts, words and actions. How was I spending my day? Did I treat my family with care and love, or impatience? How harshly was I judging others and myself?
That level of honesty is hard. It takes practice. But it gave me some raw and real answers to what I wanted to know. And it showed me where I was grounding my energy.
I’m paying more consistent attention to things in my life now. In the process, I see myself simply as an observer gathering information.
No longer do I allow myself to weave elaborate stories or get swept away in other people’s drama. I pay attention, and I try to be kind and compassionate in response to what I discover.
4. Choose Consciously
Living in a state of entrainment, I was letting my unconscious rule my world. Unhealthy patterns kept repeating themselves in my life and relationships. I was living the same scenarios over and over.
Science tells us that the unconscious emotional brain is responsible for the majority of our decision making. But when we become aware of our patterns, belief systems, and thought processes, we can consciously create our experiences in the world instead of feeling victimized by what happens to us.
As I move into alignment, I’m directing my daily choices to be in service to my personal and professional goals. I’m giving myself permission to say no to things that don’t move me in that direction and granting myself permission to succeed. What a relief it is to finally feel confident about saying no.
5. Let the Story Go
Most of our unconscious thought patterns are a result of what we were taught in childhood. Right and wrong, worthiness, expectations, money beliefs, priorities. Whether in our families or our environment, we absorbed these teachings as the truth.
As adults, these unchecked belief systems direct our lives. But in all honesty they’re simply stories we continue to tell ourselves. They are unconscious belief systems, which are not even true.
I’d say letting go of my stories was the hardest step in moving from entrainment into alignment.
I created a daily meditation practice, and without judgment, simply listened to and acknowledged what came up. Every day it was something different. It was fascinating and frightening at times, but ultimately liberating.
The practice that works for you may not be meditation. It could be a walk, journaling, art, or just a few minutes hiding in your closet to be alone with your thoughts. Crying helps too.
Take the time to let yourself rest in stillness. And make your practice consistent if you want to see results.
After many months of consistent daily practice, the voices in my head have quieted and I can finally hear my own voice. When I’m in a group, I now hear the stories that others are telling themselves and the judgment I attach to them. I let their stories go, and whatever opinion or judgment I’ve formed of them, I let that go too.
I’m now grounded in myself instead of everyone else, and my energy is measurably lighter. No matter what you’ve been taught, it’s not your responsibility to carry everyone else’s stuff. Give yourself permission to let all the stories go.
Bringing it All Together
Over the past two years, I’ve consciously been working to live my life in alignment instead of entrainment. To be grounded in myself and my needs instead of everyone else’s. To understand my patterns and release the beliefs that are holding me back.
It’s a lot of ongoing effort, and not something that can be accomplished overnight. It’s a process. It’s a daily practice. Turning the large ship that is our lives in a new, more aligned direction takes consistent and persistent effort. You have to pay attention and make conscious choices. It’s challenging and sometimes exciting, but it can be done.
Making this shift seemed like a tall order at first. But aligning my time, my energy and my money with what I want and need has been consistently shifting things for the better.
I’m consciously choosing to move into alignment with myself instead of entrainment with everyone else. After reading about it for years, I’m actually creating my own reality and living an amazing year that I’ve never lived before.
This is an original article from Alternative Health Marketing. If you’d like to republish this article on your blog or print publication, you may do so freely with the acknowledgement, “This article is republished with permission from Alternative Health Marketing,” and provide a link back to the original article. It would also be great if you could email us and let us know where it’s being published.
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