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What is alignment and how can I use it to manifest my desires?

Being in alignment means consistency/harmony between your thoughts/beliefs, words, and actions. When what you believe, what you speak about those beliefs, and the actions you take accordingly are all rooted in a consistent truth, you experience alignment. The illusion of a separation between you and your desires dissipates. There's a feeling of ease that comes along with alignment. This is not to say that there isn't work required- there will be- but you can do hard things with ease when you're in alignment within your beliefs, words, and actions.

One of the five niyamas (observances) of yoga is Svadhyaya. Sva meaning self and Adhyaya meaning lesson, lecture, or reading. Together, Svadhyaya is interpreted to mean the studying of your true Self via scriptures + holy texts and recognizing your own thought patterns, habits, beliefs, and behaviors in order to move closer toward alignment with your true nature. The Sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutra says, "Study thy self, discover the divine." II.44 In modern times, studying holy texts will work for some. Personally, I find a lot of comfort in studying the Bhagavad Gita and even some Bible verses and applying them to my life. But deep conversations with friends, listening to motivational speakers or wisdom from podcasts can also serve this same purpose of self-reflection and study.

Taking an honest stock of yourself isn't always easy. For you to take radical ownership of your own thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions and recognize that you're responsible for your life requires an openness to vulnerability, which in some cases can be quite painful. It can hurt to realize ways you're falling short of loving yourself or living out your values. It can feel shitty to be brutally honest with yourself about how you believe and say you want a better job with higher pay, but your actions show that you don't give your time and energy to improving your craft, revamping your resume, or networking in your desired industry.

In an effort to protect itself, your ego can get defensive when you begin to question if your thoughts, words, and actions are working for you or against you. But by the same token, this is good news that you're equally capable of making changes to your thoughts, words, and actions to work in your favor as you have been in making them work out of your favor. In acknowledging that your thoughts, words, and actions are not serving your highest truth, you can begin to implement strategies to re-route your life to serve you and bring you closer to union with your true Self- the true purpose of yoga.

As an exercise to cultivate awareness about yourself, journal the following:

What is the desire: i.e. a loving and devoted partner who cherishes me

My thoughts about this desire: i.e. I think true love is hard to come by, I believe devotion to a partner is something I only see on tv or read about happening to other people

My words about this desire: i.e. I tell my friend the man of my dreams probably doesn't exist, I say I've never seen the type of love I want in person between a couple

My actions about this desire: i.e. Instead of giving myself the same love and devotion I want from a partner, I deprioritize my needs and don't spend time investing in my own hobbies and interests. I keep giving my time and energy to love interests who demonstrate they're not capable of honoring my needs.

Once you've identified your thoughts, words, and actions about a desire, it's time to interpret your findings. Go through each category and notice whether your beliefs, words, and actions support your desire materializing or not. Then, re-write the script, envisioning what thoughts/beliefs, words, an actions someone who has this desire would have/say/do:

What thoughts support my desire: My love and devotion to myself attracts a partner who is capable of matching that love and devotion. I deserve to be cherished. I radiate divine love.

What words support my desire: I talk to my friends about the qualities my ideal partner has and and stop talking as if it's not possible for me. I talk to people who are in loving, devoted relationships about their experiences.

What actions support my desire: I spend time loving and being devoted to myself. I invest in my own hobbies and interests. I spend time in places where my ideal person would be. I give my energy to people, places, and things that honor my needs.

Empowered with this insight about yourself, you can begin implementing changes to whichever area needs a change. For me, I found listening to affirmation tracks were super helpful in re-programming my thoughts initially. Journaling is also a major key for me. Being curious about yourself helps shed light on parts of yourself that need love, attention, and understanding. Be kind to yourself and know that this is all a journey and process.

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