Episode 72 – Alignment, Rest, and Knowing How to Balance It
Listen to this episode here!
Rachel begins this episode speaking from the heart on how she has compromised her alignment over the previous weeks. After overdoing it with work, and getting caught up in late-night Netflix episodes and mindless Instagram scrolling, Rachel recognizes that she has been deprioritizing herself for what does not serve her. Diving further, she speaks on the patterns of misalignment that have showed up throughout her life – and how she even compromised herself for social media.
Comparing this to times in her life where she felt aligned, Rachel recognizes it is simple acts of self-care – waking up early, staying active, and taking 3 minutes to clean the car – that bring the most peace to her life. With that, Rachel speaks of the need for true rest, which does not take place in front of a television.
What does alignment mean for you? What do you need to feel good? Recognizing what is important for you is the first step to living a balance life rooted in your own truth.
[001:22] Hi and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations With Yoga Girl. I am, I think right now I’m in a little bit of a transitional space, in terms of this podcast. So, I mean you guys already know, I spend a couple of hours every week recording this podcast, preparing for this podcast, recording the ads, setting up the equipment. Sometimes I do research for a podcast, if I have a guest on the show it requires tons of research and preparation and things like that.
[001:52] It kind of sounds like a simple thing, like once a week I just sit down, I talk into the mic for like an hour, and then I’m done, you know, that’s what recording this podcast is. There’s (laugh) a little bit more to it than that! Of course, you know, we edit, I have someone who helps me produce it, we find sponsors for the ads, things like that. But because I’ve had this very light-hearted feeling all the time, since the first podcast I ever recorded, like, “Oh, this is no big deal, and I’m just sitting down to share with people who I already love in this community, who I talk to every day through social media anyway.”
[002:26] So, I usually … I haven’t given it that much thought in terms of how I actually sit down to record. We have this kind of … I think our equipment is like a little outdate? I don’t know, it’s not like brand new fancy flashy equipment. It’s this like recording device thing, and then I have a mic, and then I have a mic for a guest, and then I plug it in and that’s it. But I will literally record anywhere, anytime. I have done this when I was in back pain, lying flat on my back, in bed. I have done it propped up with pillows, I do it at my kitchen table, I have recorded once in the bathroom, which was bad. I had to redo that it was … it turned out really echo-y (laugh) because the baby was crying and Dennis was with the baby, and I just had to try to find a quiet place. I do it on the road, I’ve recorded in France and in Italy and in Sweden and in Aruba, and everywhere I go, I record this show.
[003:19] Something that I’ve realized that, for me, is kind of a good metaphor for “missing” something that’s actually really important in life, or missing out on the learning is how I sit down to record this show. Meaning, I don’t have a proper setup for this, and I think for the first, at least … at least until my first recording that I did with Lara Heimann, you guys know my super awesome friend and anatomy teacher and alignment geek, Lara, where we started talking about text neck and neck alignment and things like that. I think all the way up until that episode, whenever that was, I would literally sit hunched over at a table recording this, or I would put the mic, I have a little mic stand, I’d put it in my bed and I would just, like, kind of … you know, collapse into this awkward shape where I would sit leaning forward to get my lips really close to the mic. It occurred to me fairly recently that for someone who spends so much time in her day really doing my very best to be mindful about so many things, like, mindfulness, and actually becoming aware of my actions, of my physical alignment, of how I parent, of my relationships, how I show up in the world as a human being, I’m all about finding awareness. If it’s through practice of yoga, and into day-to-day life. Whenever I sit down to record this podcast, all of that has just gone out the window. Because, and I’ve realized this, because I’ve had this, “Eh, whatever. It’s just a podcast, it’s just an hour of me talking into the mic.” But think about it, if I … say I spend maybe two hours recording every week, you know, this pod is like an hour-fifteen, and hour-and-a-half sometimes, and then I record ads, and sometimes I fork things up and I do it again. Say it’s like an hour-and-a-half to two hours a week. Spending two hours a week misaligned, you know? Not in a harmonious state. That’s a lot of hours in a week to compromise my body for the sake of something outside of me. Do you guys know where I’m coming from?
[005:30] If I’m sitting hunched over and it’s like, it’s just an hour, it’s fine … because we don’t have a proper podcast setup. I’ve been looking a little bit online and some really famous shows, and people that are like super podcast pros, and they have studios, and they have mics that drop down from the ceiling so you can literally just align yourself whatever way is the most comfortable for you, and it’s just this mic will adapt to wear you are. People have, like, recording booths and studios and … I don’t know, all sorts of stuff. Then I’m like, “Why am I compromising myself for stuff? And how often do I do that? You know.
[006:09] So I started kind of evaluating this, and I’m not even, like, I’m not in any pain or anything like that, it just occurred to me that when I sit down to record the podcast, I’m not as mindful, because I think, like, “It’s just an hour.” But how many times a day, or how many moments in my life do I say that? Right? Like, “Doesn’t matter, it’s just that one thing.” Like, for instance, yeah, the other night … This past week I’ve been feeling a little bit low on energy. Actually, every person I talk to these days is feeling really low on energy. And I had to look it up. So, astrologically, there are two major things happening right now. There’s Mercury in retrograde and Mars is in retrograde, which does something with our moon. I don’t know exactly how it works, I have to call my astrologer to tap in, but it’s a little bit depleting, and the gist I get is everyone is feeling a little bit low on energy, we need kind of to move through these retrogrades, we need to invite a little more peace, a little more energy into our lives as well.
[007:08] Anyway, I’ve been feeling low on energy and I’ve been talking about this stuff and thinking about it, and like, how can I bring more alignment, so that I can align myself in every way in life? The other night I decided, okay, you know, I’ve had a really hard time coming down from this intense work period that I’ve had over the past couple of months. I shared it in last week’s podcast that I have this feeling of just being a little unsettled, like I just need to slow down and soften and come down. And then a couple of days ago I was like, “Okay, well I gotta get back to Project Alone Time, at I gotta get back up, like, wake up at five in the morning, the way I normally would, so I have my two hours just for me and I don’t feel like I’m spending all day catching up with everything else, but I get ahead of my own space, my own self care before everything.
[007:53] So that day I was like, “Okay, I’m done being lazy! I had two weeks of waking up late,” which for me is waking up at 6:30, but it still means I don’t have time for practice in the morning, but I try to squeeze something in before bed, or try to get the studio, which doesn’t always work. So, I did that, and then I was with my mom, my sister, and Dennis. We’re on the couch, we’re watching Good Girls (which is a really good show!), and I’m like … I sensed that, you know, when you watched an episode of something or you watched a movie, and your body is like, “You know what? I could go to bed right now. I’m not exhausted, like, I’m about to pass out on the couch, but going to bed right now would probably be a great idea.” It was like 9:30 or 10. Then there’s that little side of me, like, “Buuuuut, you know, just one more episode. It’s just one episode, you know? There’s no harm in that, it’s just one, it’s like 45 minute.” And I’m like, “Well, okay, okay, one more episode.” And then we watch one more episode, and then, like, “Okay, well now I really gotta go to bed. I’m getting up at 5 in the morning.” And then Dennis was like, “We’ll just do one more,” and my sister is like, “Let’s do one more.” That inner side of me was like, “Well, it’s just one more episode.” And what the fork … what do you know, the way Netflix warps you in, into the space where it’s just … I don’t know what it is about Netflix, man. It’s just … I kind of miss the good ole days where if you liked a show, it came out once a week, and you had to like … When I lived in Sweden, when I was younger, I had to wait for every Wednesday night at 7 o’clock, another episode of Friends came on. And all week I was like, “Oh my god, it’s Monday, Friends is almost out!” And then it’s Tuesday, and then Wednesday Friends came along. And I was so excited about episode. I would watch one episode, a Friends episode, how long is that? It’s like half an hour, and that was it, that’s all you got for that one week. So when your show was over, if you were really lucky, there was an amazing episode of something else that you also happen to like following that one show that you enjoy. And then you would watch two shows, right? Two things. But that was really rare that that ever happened. And then when that was done, like, you would pack up your shit and you would move on with your life, you’d go to bed. And on Netflix it just continues! It’s never-fucking-ending. It’s just one episode after the other, and for me, it’s sort of, like … I don’t know, once you’re scrolling on Instagram, once you’re in that … I don’t want to say mindless, but yeah, kinda … Once you’re in that mindless space where you’re zoning out and you’re scrolling through something or just watching Netflix, not because you’re engaged and super excited to watch this movie that you really like, but because it’s just kind of there, and it’s a way for you to just, you know, direct your focus somewhere, because you’re tired or you’re sad or you’re feeling low, or whatever it is. Netflix becomes almost like an escape from whatever it is that we’re sitting with.
[010:41] And I had that inner voice that was like, “Oh my god, go to bed,” and then I didn’t fucking go to bed. And yeah, we were up until, like, 12 o’clock, midnight, watching some dumb show. Okay, I don’t want to say it’s dumb, Good Girls is really good, you guys should all watch it, but you should watch, like, one or two episodes and then go to bed. And yeah, of course, the next morning I had four and a half hours of sleep, and then my alarm goes off at 5. And I’m like, “Well, there’s no way, no. No way in hell I’m going to get up right now.” So yeah, I slept til 6:55 when the baby woke up, and then I had another day of feeling like … yeah, like low, like I didn’t catch up, and I didn’t give myself that space that I really need right now. I need that early morning. I need it. I need to get up at that time so that I can sit in silence and meditate and just be alone and be in peace before the madness of everyday begins. I really need it right now. I’m feeling low on energy, I need that.
[011:38] Then, yeah, for me that was like I stepped out of that place of alignment, because my mind was like, “Well it’s just one episode.” And I do it all the time! With a variety of things, where I just sort of deprioritize what I actually need to do something that … Yeah, that just isn’t all that great. I don’t know what else to compare it to. It’s like, well maybe you have one glass of wine and it’s amazing, or you’re with friends, you have two glasses of wine. That’s also great. Two glasses of wine, that for me is like … I don’t need more than two glass of wine. One glass of win is the perfect amount for me to just wind down at the end of a day, or if I want to enjoy a little wine with dinner, a glass of wine, I never enjoy the second glass of wine as much as I enjoyed that first glass of wine. One glass is perfect. And yeah, if we’re in a social place or with friends having dinner, it’s a longer night, whatever whatever, yeah, maybe I’ll have another glass. But after that, like, no. There’s just nothing about that third, fourth, fifth, whatever, glass that comes after that that’s going to give me, you know, add on to my experience. I have very rare moments … I’ve had amazing nights out and can have so much fun with my friends. We had a night out with the Island Yoga team, actually, a couple weeks ago, which was so so so so so much fun. And yeah, I had more than two glasses of wine. Was it worth it the next day? No! (laugh) No! It was not worth it. It was worth how much fun we had. But could I have had all that fun without the extra drinks? Yes, absolutely, I mean, 100%. But it’s just that, like, “It’s just one more glass of wine, that’s not a big deal …”
[013:20] So, what I’m pondering right now is … What is it. First of all, I’m wondering, am I alone? I don’t think I’m alone in this. I don’t know, I have reverted from … I think most people, when we ponder issues or problems or insecurities or things we want to change or whatever, we tend to think that we’re the only ones who feel this way, and no one else knows what it’s like, and we can’t talk about it because it’s shameful, and we’re the only ones who do this weird stuff. And then, you know, what do you know, you open up about it and you realized there’s a bunch of people that feel the same thing! There’s a lot of people out there that do the same stuff, that have the same issues, that have the same problems, that think the same thoughts, we’re all like one big organism just with a bunch of limbs. Thinking that we … We think that we operate separately, but we totally don’t. Well, I think most people kind of live with that idea of, like, well I’m so alone in my stuff. I have sort of morphed into this opposite end of that, where I do so much of this emotional, energetic, physical, spiritual, heartfelt work, that’s just every single time it comes down to the fact that we’re all the same. That I now just assume that I’m not weird. I assume, everything that comes my way, I just assume, like, “This is totally normal.” Probably even the weirdest stuff, stuff that I probably would never share on the podcast, I just assume other people have the same stuff as I do, and I’m just waiting for the moment where I share something totally out there, and people are like, “Ummmmm, no, that’s just you. You’re just super weird.” But yeah, I’m yet to come across that.
[014:57] So I’m just assuming right now that I am not alone in terms of … you know, sometimes having a hard time turning Netflix off, or having a hard time sticking with only one glass of wine, or having a hard time … Like, who eats a couple of spoons of ice cream, like, vegan or not … Who does that? Me and Dennis, and Dennis is, okay, I’m going to say it … he’s even worse than me in terms of this stuff. But if there is food in front of him, it doesn’t matter if we’re at a fancy dinner party somewhere, if there’s people around him that he doesn’t know, he will finish everybody’s plate. Always have, always will. He’s, like, a vacuum cleaner for food. And, you know, if we’re home and we’re on the couch, and there’s like, I don’t know, say I bake a pie, we bake something and it’s a big thing, probably I should have a little slice and then I’m good, like, I’ll always go for the second slice. Because, you know, life. He will literally go for a third slice and a fourth slice, and I have to look at him, like, “Hey! Is this making you feel great right now?” (laugh) He always goes 150% for everything food and like chill related. That’s his thing.
[016:11] So I’m wondering, if I was married to a person who was the opposite of that, I don’t know if they exist out there, the people who are really modest and don’t overdo stuff and just … I’ve heard about people that are like, “Oh no, it’s just a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream and I’m good.” And I’m like, “Oh my god, who are you?! How do you not finish the whole pint if it’s on the table? I mean, come on, that’s just …” I don’t know, if I’m weird, please let me know, please please tell me right now and I’ll stop assuming that everybody does all of the weird stuff that I do.
[016:39] But I’m thinking, like, what is it in us? So, say I’m not alone in this and we all go through phases. For me it’s definitely phases, 100%. Especially the Netflix stuff. The food stuff is not so much … it’s not a massive thing that I ponder a lot, but the Netflix stuff, I’m thinking about it all the time. So I have that knowing, like, okay, I want to go to bed at 9:30 or 10 so that I can get at least 7 hours of sleep, which probably will be like 6 anyway, because it takes me time to go to bed and all of that stuff, so that I can get up in the morning and have a really great day the next day. What is it inside of me that, first of all, that suggests, like, “Mmmm, let’s just stay on the couch and watch Netflix for three more hours, what is that voice? What is that inside of me? And, where does it come from? What’s the point of it, and how can I counter that with something different? And it goes in phases. I’ll have some phases where just everything is totally easy. I’m not into any of that at all, like, at all. I don’t know, I have phases where I don’t want to drink any wine at all, where I don’t have this sweet tooth, where I don’t want to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. I have those phases where it’s all easy. Then suddenly, it’s just like that pull becomes really really strong. And I know the only thing that counters that, because yeah, no one feels good lying on the couch eating ice cream watching Netflix, like, forever. No, at least I don’t know anyone who can do that for extended periods of time and feel good. The counteraction to that is getting outside! For me, get up at five, practice yoga, move your body, go for a swim, go to the beach, go for a run … Okay, not a run, I hate running. Get outside, move, do something, and don’t linger in that energy of that lower, tired energy. Because the tired energy, and I’m already feeling kind of tired this week, it just feeds into more tired energy. And resting, that true restful space, it does not happen in front of a TV. I promise you that. It does not happen in front of a TV, at all. At least that’s totally, totally my belief, what I’m sitting with.
[019:04] So I have been, during this past week, I have been really evaluating that. Where in my life does this misalignment show up, and how can I … First of all, how can I be kind to myself? That’s a big thing. I’m not saying I’m going to, you know, I should be forcing myself to wake up at 5 am every single day, and never sit on the couch. No! There’s balance to everything. But I can definitely sense when that scale starts tipping toward too much of that energy, and then everything else becomes harder, because I’m not resting. So yeah, the more Netflix episodes you watch, the more Netflix episodes you feel like you want to watch. (laugh) It’s like a Netflix cycle that leads you into the pits of hell. I don’t even know what’s at the bottom of that. (laugh) I can like … you know, I can’t compare myself to like a … I’m sure there’s much more extreme versions of this. I don’t know what to compare it to …
[019:57] Yeah, okay, when I was 16, 17, before I found meditation or yoga, before I changed my life at all, I had this boyfriend, he was my high school boyfriend, we were together for almost 4 years, 3 and a half, something years, since I was 15, for a super long time. We had this destructive … We were super in love. I still, I have so much love in my heart for him. We still talk sometimes, he doing really great. But we had this very destructive relationship where we could literally … I would wait all week for the weekend to arrive so that I could feel nothing, because that’s sort of what we would do. Friday night we would go to the store and we would just pack grocery bag after grocery bag with really shitty food. Like, super super super shitty food. Everything. And I remember, like, I needed something that was super sweet, and then I wanted to counter that with something super salty, and then I wanted to counter that with something that had ice cream, and then counter that with something chocolate. Then if I was lucky enough, it would spin around and I would get back into the sweet and then the salty. I just … I’m guessing I was binge eating. I was really in not a great place in my life, at all. I think I was pretty depressed. I had easily at least half a year, maybe more than that, where I cried every day and I just couldn’t figure out what to do to stop crying. It was before I had dealt with any of my past, any issues, you know, all the things that I talk about all the time. But I was for sure self-medicating. That’s what that was for me at the time. We would lie in bed and eat and watch movies. That’s all we did. And we could literally do that for like two or three days in a row, and then fall asleep at four in the morning, and then sleep all day the next day, get up, go eat something, probably smoke a pack of cigarettes, and then go back to the grocery store and buy more junk food so we can watch another movie and eat more shit. And I lived that, like, really really downwards super shitty cycle of just trying to eat my feelings, zone my feelings out. Yeah, and alcohol was a big piece of it too then, and cigarettes. But specifically that shitty shitty shitty food.
[022:16] I’m not saying that that’s the way I live now, no, not even remotely. I mean, I get up at 6:30 every day, I still do yoga every day, I work a lot every day, I’m outside every day, I go to the beach, I swim, we move, all of that. But there is something that happens, like, when the baby is asleep and we have had dinner, like 8 o’clock, 8:30 … when I’m low on energy I can just lie on the couch and just … I don’t know, is five episodes on Netflix, is the insane? (laugh) To me it sounds like it’s insane. It sounds like I could watch two episodes on Netflix and then go to bed and my life would be a little bit more balanced. But that’s just the zone, it’s … I don’t know, it’s like I get pulled into this lower energy place, and I … It’s really hard to get off the couch!
[022:58] For the past week, that’s the energy that I have been sitting with, and I’m hoping it’s this astrological thing, and then … who was it? Who was telling … I can’t remember, a friend of mine was like, “Didn’t you just work for 26 days straight, 18 hour days without a single day break?” And I was like, “Yeah.” “Well maybe you’re just tired. (laugh) Maybe you just deserve to lie on the couch, maybe you should just watch Netflix until you feel like you don’t want to watch Netflix anymore.” And I was like, “Well … yes, all of that is true and valid.” I feel like I’ve had a week of being tired now, I don’t want to be tired anymore. I’m kind of done. And also I’m aware now that lying on the couch is not a place of rest for me. It just brings more of that energy of being unable to get off the couch.
[025:47] So I had a whole week of that, got really fed up with it, and I started evaluating this idea of alignment, and what does alignment mean for me? Actual alignment. Alignment does not mean that I have to get up at 5:00 every morning, do two hours of yoga, all of that stuff, for everything to be perfect and fit perfectly into my idea of alignment. Alignment means, like, when I need, when I have that need of extra self-care, then yes, then I get up earlier in the morning. It means I make space for myself at some point every single day. It doesn’t have to be at 5, it can be at any time of the day, but I make sure I roll out my mat and I get on that mat. And yeah, it means eating healthy, pretty healthy, the way I normally eat. And yeah, it still means I’ll have a glass of wine at the end of the day. It still means I’ll find vegan Ben & Jerry’s when I want that. All of that is still within alignment for me. There comes a point where it just, the scales tip away from alignment towards something different. I’m sitting with right now, like, how many times do I invite that into my life on a daily basis, and where does it show up? And also, where does it actually come from?
[026:54] So, I’m doing it with the podcast. Once a week, whenever I sit down, and I’m not in this aligned space, when I’m hunched over, jutting my chin out, I’m just physically out of alignment, and I say, like, “It’s just a podcast, it’s fine.” Like, I don’t have a proper setup. So I changed, I let that be a thing that I do. Well, no more! No! That’s not cool. Two hours a week or one hour a week of consciously choosing to put myself in not awesome alignment? No! Why would I do that? Today, I was like, “No! No, no.”
[027:30] Yesterday, what day is today … see, I don’t even know what day it is. It’s Wednesday today, I’m recording this on Wednesday. Yesterday was Tuesday and I had officially had that, like, “Oh my god, I’m fed up, I need to get out of this funk that I’m in right now. I can blame it on astrology, on the stars, whatever, or the fact that I’m tired and I overdid it with work, whatever, but I’m not going to have another week of feeling low. So I’m going to shift something around.
[027:53] Another component that really comes into this, which I haven’t even mentioned, is the fact that my baby has run wild. Lea Luna has … I’m not going to say lost her mind, because she’s 16 months, she’s not even 17 months old. Oh, she’s going to be 17 months soon. This week, next week. I gotta look. I gotta look at a calendar. But yeah, 17 months is coming up. How long do you count months, by the way? Is it until they’re 2? I think so. Or is it until they’re a year and a half, then you just say they’re one and a half, and then they’re 2-ish? (laugh) I need help, I don’t want to be one of those moms who is like, “She’s 54 months old.” Like, no. Anyway, she has run wild. She is, I mean, I know it’s a phase because everything is a phase, but she is … yeah. Wow. I … It’s like a whole podcast episode on its own. But she is … Yeah, I don’t want to even use the terms like, “Throwing tantrums.” She’s feeling a lot, that’s kind of the gist of it, I think. I think she’s in her feelings. (laugh) She’s like that Drake song. (laugh) She’s all in her feelings. She’s just experiencing a lot at the same time, and I think she’s unable to figure out what to do with all of her emotions, also while trying to communicate, not always being able to communicate everything because, yeah, she doesn’t speak properly yet, and I think all of it is just leading to a lot of frustration for her. So we go through … We had a whole two days where she did not stop crying. I kid you not. And this is … she’s a sunshine baby. Normally she’s always so happy. And then she got a little sick, she got a fever, a 3-day fever with no other symptoms, and then when she came out of that fever she was just tired and low, she was so cranky, and I was sure, like, “Oh my god, she’s sick, she has pain somewhere.” And then it just … it stuck around. She’s not sick. She’s sleeping super well, the way she normally does. She has no symptoms. Maybe she has pain, like molars or teeth. It’s impossible to know. But the way she will go from complete amazing joy and sunshine and life is so great to throwing herself facedown on the floor, banging at the floor, screaming, and then she’ll pick her head up and she looks at me, like, am I watching? You know? She’s not lost in a tantrum. It’s like a conscious tantrum where she screams and cries, but it’s not 100% real. It’s like she’s making it happen, and then she looks at me at the same time to kind of … I think she’s just testing to me. Testing all of her boundaries. Can I do this? Can I not do that? What am I allowed to do? What am I supposed to do? Is this write or wrong? She’s kind of figuring out that she’s her own person with her own emotions and her own abilities. She can choose to leave a room and close the door. She can do that now. It’s just a lot for her.
[030:49] And sometimes these kind of tantrums or whatever you call them, they start off, I can tell she’s consciously like, [fake crying sounds]. She makes that sound while looking at us. But if she goes on for long enough it becomes a real thing, and then all of the sudden she gets completely swept up by emotion, and it’s real. And then she really cries, and it becomes a huge thing. It’s just exhausting. Man, it’s exhausting. Crazy.
[031:17] And of course I’ve been, you know, I have that Inner Critic that tells me I’m not a great mom. So I’ve been blaming myself and thinking, “Okay, well wait, is it because of the teacher training? I was gone a lot and now she’s not feeling sure because I was saying goodbye to her so many times every day. Is she feeling unsteady and unsettled?” She’s also in this complete clingy crazy fucking place where, yeah, my whole right side of my body, in weird places where I never have pain, have started seizing up because I carry her all day long. Like literally all day long. I carry her, and then she wiggles and she gets pissed, she’s like, “Put me down.” And I put her down and then she turns around and she lifts her hands and she screams because she wants to get picked back up. And I pick her up and she’s like, “No, put me down.” And then she’s like, “Pick me up!” And then I pick her up, and she’s like, “No …” Yeah, and it’s a cycle. Like, 2,000 times a day I pick her up, I put her down, pick her up, put her down. [Deep Breath]
[032:06] So, all of this, of course, has contributed to my tiredness, I’m 100% certain. And yesterday was my day of, like, No. I can’t. At the end of the day I’m so fucking tired. All I have energy for is to lie on this couch and watch episodes of some show I’ve already seen, it means just, I need to cut this now and I need to shift something, change something, it’s not going to happen on its own. Enough is enough.
[032:35] I’m now in the process of aligning shit. (laugh) I feel like I need a term for it, or maybe I need a hashtag for it, I need something. But I’m in the process of aligning life, especially those little parts that I deem not super important, like the way I sit down to record this podcast every week. Today I made a huge effort. I went through every room of my house and I tried different parts of the house, different rooms with different setups. Different tables, different types of furniture, different pillows and things until I arrived at what feels like a really great and well-aligned setup for this podcast. Because normally I just … I’m always stressed, going somewhere, or the baby wants my attention, I’m like, “Oh my god, I gotta do the podcast! Okay, I’ll just do it right here.” And I just sit down and I press record, and then I do it. I’m not taking enough time to stand back and mindfully, consciously, with patience and calm be like, “Hmm. Should I setup a permanent location for my podcast that just feels great? A place that’s maybe harmonious and well balanced, where I can light some candles and sit-up straight and not jut my chin out and not round my upper back, and just feel great. Even if it’s just the podcast, and it’s just an hour and a half a week, how about we make that a good hour and a half? And now!”
[034:01] It didn’t take that much time. The baby … I put her down for a nap, and normally when she naps I’m like, “Oh my god! Podcast!” Dennis helped me set it up somewhere and I sit down and I’m like, “Oh my god, I have to finish now now now, because when she wakes up I want to be there.” No, you know, it took us like 30 minutes, maybe. How have I not taken 30 minutes of like a year of recording this show to just find a permanent spot in my house?! I don’t know what’s wrong with me! But yeah, it’s because I deemed that it’s not so important. And it’s also self care. So, right now I am sitting in my bedroom (laugh) which I always used to say it’s not a good space for recording, because it’s close to the baby’s room, so if she wakes up maybe the mic will pick up her crying or something. But I don’t know, that’s okay. You guys know I have a baby. If she cries, like, it’s okay. I have one of our dining chairs in front of me, and if I put the mic stand at a specific height and then on top of a specific-sized book, it’s the perfect height for me to keep the crown of my head perfectly aligned above my shoulders and aligned above my hips, and I can pull my chin back a little bit just to kind of counter that text neck feel. And I can light candles here, and I have my crystals in here. And actually the sound is really good in here, and I’m just, like, yeah. Telling you a bunch of shit that you probably don’t care about.
[035:27] But my point is, it didn’t take me that long to fix what has been a problem for over one year. That I don’t have a permanent place in the house to record, I’m always shifting things around, and I end up compromising my own alignment for the sake of something outside of me, and I don’t want to do that anymore. So it’s not so much, like, I don’t have the time. It’s like, no, it hasn’t been a priority for me. That’s just what it is. That’s just as simple as that.
[037:41] What other parts of my life have I been … have been sort of misaligned? One thing is my car. I don’t drive a ton, like, Dennis is the one who always drives. I don’t really enjoy driving a lot. But my car, the inside, my dashboard has been super dirty, the … what do you call it, the cup holder area next to my car has been filled with shit, with just crap. Old receipts and, I don’t know, pens and that one earring I still have because I lost the other one and I think one day I’m going to miraculously find it, and then that one earring will be useful. It has been full of just stuff. Every time I get in the car to go anywhere, I look at that mess and I’m like, “Oh god I hate it. This car. This car is such a mess. I really should take a moment, clean this space out.” And then do you think I do it? No, I never do it. Because I say, “Oh my god, look, I’m just driving for five minutes, I’ll do that another time. It’s just a short car ride. I don’t have the time for that.” So I never do it! And then, yeah, I don’t know how long has that one shitty earring been in my cup holder annoying me every time I step into the car to go anywhere? I’m like scared to think about the last time I wore a pair of earrings, because it’s been so long.
[039:02] So yeah, yesterday I got into my car, I got into the car without going anywhere. It took a conscious effort for me to get to the car just to clean stuff up. Yeah, it took me like three minutes. It was zero time. And I found money in there! (laugh) Score. Came with a reward. Found money in there, and threw a bunch of stuff away. I threw everything away, everything that’s garbage, and now, yeah, I got into my car the next time and I’m just like … how easy was that? Why did I have to put myself through just that little bit of mess? It’s so unnecessary. And yes, I did have the time. It took three minutes. I have three minutes.
[039:42] Other ways this has manifested, and I mean, this is kind of a big one. Thankfully I don’t do this anymore, at all. It’s been years since I did this. But I used to do it, it’s a really big one. I used to constantly compromise my own body for the sake of social media. Saying it right now, I’m embarrassed for myself to speak these words. But since we’re old friends and I have no shame of any kind, my early years of Instagram and Facebook and stuff, it literally did not matter how I felt in my own body. I could have a really kind of shitty … I have my upper back and neck stuff. I could have a day where I didn’t feel great, like not intense pain, but where I just, like, feeling a little tight, a little stuck in my upper back. And oh my god I have to post something for Instagram. I have to feed the gram! You know, if I was in some beautiful place, the beach or whatever, I would still kick up into a fucking handstand, and I would hold that shit. (laugh) Because I knew, I have to create content, I have to take photos, I have to do this stuff, I have to come up with some wise words to say here so that I keep this Instagram machine alive. And I did that so many times, where it’s like, I would come down from that handstand, got the photo I wanted, but like, did it really feed me? Did really bring me something? Oh god, I shudder at the thought of the fact that I actually used to do that. Yeah, luckily it didn’t take me long to kind of have an awakening realizing that, okay, that’s just no. No. No. No. No. No! (laugh) No way. And I mean, these days, yeah (laugh), I feel like Instagram is lucky to get one yoga photo out of me a month maybe? And it’s … the reason I take such very very very very few photos of myself in my practice is because I don’t feel like it. It’s just that simple. If I post anything that’s yoga related, it’s usually a video, and it’s usually a little snippet of something that was just genuine. Like I’m practicing anyway, so I can setup my camera and it’s not a big deal, and it’s real. And sometimes I’m like, “That just didn’t look good,” or, “Didn’t look inspiring, it wasn’t anything special at all.” And then I wouldn’t post that. But now I’m feeling like especially if it’s not something special, that’s special. Showing the world what a genuine, normal yoga practice looks like, without makeup and sunsets and without editing, nothing. It’s just messy. Yeah, because that stuff inspires me. I look at people I follow on social media now, they are as far from this idea of yoga and perfect and what it’s supposed to be as possible. I’m literally allergic to fucking … I’m allergic to shit that isn’t genuine. Is it possible to post photos of yourself in poses and still be genuine? Yes! Oh my god, for sure, for sure. There’s people out there who do that, and some of them I follow. But that, like, “Oh my god, look at me in this perfect pose in this perfect place with this awesome quote.” Like, ugh, I could just gag on that shit. And yeah, probably provoking some of you right now. I’m sorry. I’m just kind of busy living my life, not giving a shit. But yeah, I’m really glad that I stopped doing that.
[043:03] So, evaluating right now all of those moments, and they show up so many times. How many times in your life do you find yourself stuck or caught in a conversation that does not interest you, and you stay anyway? This is, like, this is kind of, I think, an interesting topic to get into. How many times a day do you find yourself in like, I don’t know, polite, stupid conversations about the weather or some family member talking to you about politics that you really don’t resonate with, or you’re at a dinner party or a gathering, and you’re politely standing, smiling, but you’re just genuinely not into what the other person is sharing. Or maybe it’s even worse than that. Maybe you have a relationship with someone, or a friend or a family member, or whatever, a person who is an energy drainer, so it’s not just you kind of having to sit through a conversation that you don’t feel anything about, but actually someone who sort of kind of warps in on your energy, and after you leave you just feel completely depleted. Like, we have those moments. Everybody has those moments, some of us more than others. Some people have a ton of energy drainers in their lives, and it just kills us. Oh my god.
[044:19] And it also brings us out of our alignment completely. What is alignment? Alignment, for me, is just standing with my feet on the ground, feeling like, “I’m here and I feel good about being here.” And yeah, sometimes bad shit comes our way. Difficult stuff. It’s still me, feet on the ground, saying, “Yeah, I’m here. I’m present, it’s my life, it’s my pain, my struggles, my issues, my stuff. But I’m here. I’m not zoning out trying to be elsewhere.” That’s alignment for me. Alignment for me is not that fourth glass of wine. It’s not that fourth episode of whatever you’re watching on Netflix. It’s not staying up all night long and then feeling like shit the next day. No, that’s taking it too far. So there’s that … Someone bring me a term so I can bang myself over the head with this! It’s balanced and then alignment and then it’s … it’s misalignment. Yeah, I like that term because it sort of, yeah, that applies to our bodies, our physical bodies, it applies to our practice. It applies to every single thing we do. And when we decide, “No, enough is enough. I will not put myself in any sort of place that pulls me out of my alignment ever again,” we realize we have to make some radical fucking changes in our lives. It’s true, and it’s not just our yoga practice, having to reevaluate that. Our posture is a big thing. Me recording this podcast, me cleaning up my car, me deciding to not sit through that fourth episode of Netflix but actually getting my ass to bed, getting up at five when I really need it. It’s also choosing to surround ourselves with the type of people that really lift us up and that also agree. The people that are in that same vibration as you. For me, someone who has their feet on the ground, that same alignment of like, “Yeah, this is my life, I’m here, unapologetically.” (laugh) Is that the word? Unapologetically. (laugh) You guys know I’m not stupid, right? I’m just Swedish. Unapologetic. I feel like that’s a word. If I way it enough it’s going to sound like a non-word, but I feel like that’s a word. People that are just unwaveringly, okay let me use that word, present here now.
[046:34] There’s amazing people, I have some great people in my life that just can get caught in places of total insecurity, or gets sucked up in other people’s drama and other peoples’ business. People that are good people but are just not living in alignment, right? And that sometimes can also get really draining. So, I like to think, “Okay, can I support them somehow within my alignment, for them to find their path or find their way or work through something.” But if it ever pulls me out of mine, no, no. That’s it for me. I am not in the business of disappearing into anybody’s problems. I’m not in the business of disappearing into anybody’s shit or drama or making anything else more important than my own. I’m done with that. I’m not anybody’s rescuer or fixer, no. If I have stuff, it’s mine, and I don’t want to escape it. I don’t want to escape it with Netflix, with wine, with food. With relationships that don’t do me any good. It really reminds me of when I came out of my first spiritual groups that I did, my first moments of just big awakening, I had one of those moments that was just … It was like a brick in the head. The realization, for me, of how much time I was wasting pretending to be interested in things I really wasn’t, how much time and energy and how much of my life had been wasted away engaged in pointless conversation with people that aren’t really listening, with people that are just waiting for their turn to talk and say something smart and witty. Or when people … talking shit, like, people gossiping, people bringing drama, people … you know, fighting about something. I don’t know, how much of my life has just been wasted away in just pointless stuff? And that brick in the head, for me, was so big after those first groups that I did, if I ever found myself immersed in any type of conversation that did not resonate with me, I would leave. (laugh) And it maybe doesn’t sound as crazy as it was. It’s kind of crazy. Imagine this. I’m at a dinner party or, like, whatever. Gathering or drink or something and you’re polite and you mingle and you kind of … It’s very Swedish also that when you’re at a party, that you mingle. You have a few moments of conversation with someone, and then you move onto the next person, and then you move onto the next person. You have to cover everybody in the room. It’s very Swedish. It’s awful! (laugh) Actually, I think it’s fucking awful. I don’t think it’s a very American thing, actually.
[049:12] I would find myself in these conversations of people talking about, whatever, this nothing. Yeah, just something. And I would catch myself fake smiling, or with that feeling in my body of like, if you get really tuned in to that inner energy, that sense of … If you’re really present in your body, you will be able to, like … Every moment of the day you’ll be able to tap in and just see, like, does this feel like it’s the right place for me right now? And if it’s not, your body is going to tell you. You’re going to feel a little unsettled, a little anxious. Your mind is wandering. Ugh, no. And instead of just sitting through that conversation or smiling or waiting for like a little opening so that I could escape, or whatever it is that we do to be polite, like it’s polite to let the other person finish speaking, even though inside you’re like, “I don’t care!” To me, now, isn’t the more polite thing to do is to let that person have a conversation with someone that’s actually interested in what they’re saying? So, what I would do is I would be like, “Excuse me, I have to go now,” and I would go. (laugh) I would just without any explanation, like, I wouldn’t lie, because I was also in this place of absolute truth where I would not lie about anything ever, even if it would hurt someone’s feelings. I was just unable to not speak, like, hard truth. I would be like, “Yeah, this conversation just isn’t of interest to me,” and I would just walk away. People thought that I was insane, and probably fucking rude. I mean, I was really rude, it is a really rude thing to do. But every time I did that, and of course with time I found more finesse. I found more subtle way, there’s definitely subtle ways to casually, gently excuse yourself from a conversation, from a group of people, from whatever without hurting anybody’s feelings, without causing a scene, without making anything, because of course it would bring drama if someone was telling me a story and I’m like, “Excuse me, it’s just in my heart this is just not resonating with me right now.” (laugh) “I’m just sensing … my sense of energy inside my body right now is just telling me that I must leave this conversation. This is just not of interest to me at all.” (laugh) Or there’s my favorite one, “I’m so sorry, I don’t think this is beneficial for the future development of my spiritual evolution. I must excuse myself immediately. Goodbye, Namaste.” (laugh) Oh god, oh my god, I have been such a bitch. Jesus Christ. If anyone was in a conversation with me and I left like that, could you please send me an email or something so that I can apologize?
[053:27] But every time I would do that, something inside of me would rise a little bit. Like, really. This is … it really comes down to living in alignment and living your own truth. So never ever ever faking it. Never faking it. Who do we serve when we fake it? Really, you’re not serving yourself, because you would rather be somewhere else. You’re not serving the person who is talking, because you’re faking it, you’re pretending, and somewhere deep down they know. On an energetic level, at least, we are aware when someone is completely immersed and present and interested, because you’re both in that same vibration, right? You have this mutually beneficial exchange of energy. That’s a really amazing thing, when you find a conversation like that. It’s like one of those conversations that just lights you up, and you leave and you feel like you’re on fire. You’re lit up, you’re ready for life. And there are those conversations and you leave and you’re like, “Ugh, god.” Like you need to purge yourself of something, or you’re just feeling low, you feel tired, or you feel like, “Oh my god, all I have the energy for right now is to lie on the couch and watch five episodes of Good Girls.” (laugh)
[054:38] So, learning how to distinguish those things, first of all, it means that you can get a little smarter in terms of how you navigate through life. Like, I learned through experience the types of people that I really vibe with, the types of people that I don’t vibe with. As soon as I come across people that I don’t vibe with, I just, I don’t interact with them. I just don’t. I can make that conscious choice, whereas before I was really in this kind of needy place when I was younger, especially as a teenager. I just wanted everyone to be friends with me, I wanted everyone to like me, I wanted everyone to be at my house, I was just in this need of confirmation all the time. So anyone who would invite me for anything, like, I would go. If there’s any opening with anyone, I would be there. I have been to gatherings with people, groups of people where I really was trying to make my way into the group, but I didn’t even really like them! (laugh) How crazy is that? I really didn’t even like them, and I can actually genuinely remember that feeling of like, “I just want them to be my friend.” But I didn’t even like them! WHY did I want them to be friends with me when I didn’t even want to be friends with them, like, really? And then I’m just doing everyone a giant disservice trying to pretend that I’m fitting into a place when I’m really not. And, you know, my community was somewhere out there waiting for me, but I had to first find my own ground. I had to first align myself into my own truth, my own self, my own opinions, standing firm, being assertive with what kind of life you want, what kind of people you want in your life. And then my community found me! I didn’t even have to try.
[056:16] And yeah, it doesn’t have to be a … I mean, my close group of friends, it’s fairly small. And yeah, that’s probably a good thing. It’s hard to find your people, and once you have them you’ve got to hold on, and you cultivate those relationships. When something comes along and it’s not serving you, it’s not feeling good, move on. And it’s a hard thing to do. Yeah, moving on. It’s not the easiest thing to do, and I think that’s why we tend to cling with relationships, or our friends, romantic relationships. It’s a hard thing to just be like, “You know what? I think we’ve had this great thing going and I think it’s done now, maybe it’s time we move on.” That never happens. If we end a relationship of any kind it’s always through drama and pain and yelling and anger and this and this and that, but I don’t know. I think life would be a lot easier if we just cut our losses. If you have something in your life, if it’s a personal relationship or maybe a habit. Like, my habit of that third or fourth Netflix episode, I am done with that. I totally, totally am.
[057:23] Now, going out to dance, that happens maybe once every six months for me. Next time I have a night out, yeah, after that second glass of wine, I’m done. I totally am. Now, the question is, next time I am out and I’ve had that second glass of wine, will I be able to confidently say the same thing? I don’t know, I’m totally hypocritical. I preach something and I something differently all the time. Who am I to talk? But I try my best, right? I mean, that’s all we’re doing here.
[057:51] And actually, I had finally, I mean, after yesterday, it was a pretty magical day. I made these decisions, I realigned some stuff, I cleared some stuff out, I made some new decisions. So, of course, it starts with finding out where in your life are you misaligned or not aligned or … I’m going to come up with a term for what the fork I’m talking about and I’m going to coin it, okay? Oh yeah, where are you lacking alignment in your life? Is it on the couch before going to bed? Is it how messy your car is? Is it your relationships, your friends? Is it your eating habits? And how can you, first of all, identify those spots, and then catch yourself? That’s the thing, catch yourself! Don’t just get in the car and drive away annoyed at how messy everything is. Take those three minutes, stop, clear some stuff out, and get on with your life. Change something if you need to. Catch yourself, and then make that change that you really need.
[058:44] And after I did all that stuff yesterday, it was a beautiful thing. I want to, I truly believe that these things are super aligned. I ended up alone at home with the baby, and I haven’t been just alone with her, uh, for a while. In the past week we’ve had this challenging week. Of course I’ve been tired and struggling, so she’s been struggling, and it’s been hard. We had one genuine really calm morning all week where there was no … you know, she wasn’t fuzzy, she wasn’t cranky, no tantrums, no screaming, nothing, nothing, nothing, and it was a morning where it was just her and I, morning, I got up at five in the morning. She woke up pretty early, I think 6:30, no one else was awake, and we sat outside on my porch. She sat on my lap, I meditated for 20 minutes. Like, she sat in my lap for 20 minutes, just, you know, I was just amazed. And we were so present together. Because I kept waiting for her to charge up and try to throw ourselves down the stairs or something. Sitting with a toddler in meditation is a really great way to find intense presence, because you have to be really present because they might do any crazy wild ass thing at any moment. But she just sat there. And I had a camera on, and I saw afterwards, she’s just like looking at the sky, and she’s pointing at the flowers on this pillow that I had in front of us, pointing at a thing, and just like, you know, touching my fingers. She’s just so present, so chill. And I didn’t make the connection until yesterday when I found myself completely alone with her in the house, we always have people around, we’re shooting a bunch of stuff right now. We have a videographer and some assistants and stuff at the house all the time. My mom is here, my sister is here, Dennis of course. It’s always kind of busy, but most of it is family, so it’s good busy. But I think Dennis went to go swim and play soccer and my mom and my sister went to do something else. I was just alone. The moment everybody left she woke up from her nap and she walked around the house, she saw no one was around. I had just gone through my whole alignment thing and cleaned up the car and did stuff and made some new decisions and things like that, and it was like she took a breath, and she like … And we sat outside on the porch doing absolutely nothing. Two hours maybe? Doing absolutely nothing. We drew a little bit. I did some yoga. She came to lie down right by my side and we just looked at the clouds. She was the quietest, the calmest, the most patient she’s been all week. Oh my god, it was amazing.
[061:18] I realized, wait, this is just the way she was that morning when it was just her and I. So, could it be that she’s just missing me, and this past week I’ve been mega, like, physically present with her because I missed her so much during teacher training and I felt like I’d been away a lot, so I’d been trying to make it up by being here all the time. But because I’ve been unsettled, I haven’t felt super present. I haven’t felt like I’ve been rested, I haven’t felt grounded. I’ve had my feet on the ground and I’ve been trying to arrive at that place. What if she has just missed me? And then yesterday everything just sort of clicked, and I got to just sit with myself for a second, and she’s like, “Oh, hi. There you are.” I mean, that’s … that’s just really the experience that we had. And I was present, she was present, and since yesterday afternoon everything has been so calm and quiet in this house. I can’t even … I tear up a little bit just sharing it, how quiet everything has been.
[062:20] So I don’t even know what the moral of this story is. It’s like if I’m present with myself, my baby is present with herself. It’s of course not always that simple, but … I try to sit with her in those challenging moments, when she’s crying, when she’s screaming, I try to sit, I try to ask her questions, “And how are you feeling?” And I try to explain things, “Well we’re not going there now, we’re doing this.” But if I’ve been doing all of that whilst feeling tired, while feeling drained, while feeling unsettled like I have to do a thousand things but I don’t have time to do them. Yeah, like I’m there, but am I 100% there? And then that afternoon yesterday of just us, just chilling, doing nothing special, and it was the first time since this intense work period that I felt something settle inside of me, deeply. That, ladies and gentlemen, was resting. That was resting. We laid … I have a woven little yoga mat that I take outside. It’s like woven in the fabric. We drew with her crayons, we ate some cookies, took a little swim in the pool, just sat there, basically, drawing, breathing. That was resting. Watching Netflix, not resting. Being super present and quiet and still listening, being, breathing with your baby, that’s resting. At least it is for me.
[063:51] So I’m excited now about my week of alignment ahead! (laugh) It’s Wednesday, I have officially recorded this podcast feeling amazing all the way through. I will never compromise or step out of alignment for that ever again. Lots of things shifting. I had a relationship shift yesterday, just this thing that clicked. My car is cleaned. Won’t be sitting down for more than one episode of anything of Netflix tonight. And that’s my promise, because I have a 5 a.m. wake up call and I’m really really really excited to have my two hours of total self care, because I still need it. I still need it.
[064:33] What do you need to feel good? What do you need to feel good? What do you need to step into a place of alignment, to continue to align yourself with your own truth, that what’s important to you with doing the type of work that you want to bring out into the world, being the type of parent you want to be, the type of friend? Wife, husband, son, daughter, whatever roles, whatever hats you wear in the day to day, what do you need to feel good so that you can do all of those things and be really present and align yourself with people that are meant to be in your life for the same reasons. Ask yourself that question, and if you need to make a change, go make that change!
[065:17] Let’s have a good week. If this is an astrological thing and there’s more people that have been feeling heavy and low, please share it with me so that I don’t feel like a total weirdo. And let’s really take today to shake things up, hmm? Make the changes if you need to make them, and let’s have a really, really strong, solid, inspired day tomorrow. I’m excited about tomorrow morning. I hope you are too. Thank you so much for listening, love you guys so so much. And I’ll see you next week.
[End of Episode]
Transferwise – transferwise.com/podcast
Molecule – onmolecule.com/yogagirl
Design Crowd – designcrowd.com/yogagirl
Four Sigmatic – foursigmatic.com/yogagirl