As you know, I have been creating an interfaith center here in Las Vegas for the past two months. In creating the programs for it, I fell into the trap of doing what I should do rather than what is in alignment with me. I should have noticed earlier that they were not in alignment because I was dreading them. Doing the set-up work felt like drudgery. Even when I did implement them, I was not very good at it. One example is that I decided to do a Sunday meditation service on world prayers and meditations. The moment I put that into my calendar, I did not feel comfortable with it. I went to my Dean and seminary classmates for resources and advice. I talked to my school mentor and close friends. I just could not quite tell them why it felt so uncomfortable for me. For a short time, I just thought it was because it was something new, so of course I would have reservations.
The truth is that doing world prayers and meditations every Sunday does not use my strengths. I am a facilitator at my core and not a teacher, which means that I like to draw out conversation rather than teach as if I know Truth. I was having a difficult time deciding how to do a Sunday service if it was not going to be in the traditional model of a sermon. I believe there is really nothing that I can teach you that going into your own soul will not teach you better. I believe in the power of your own soul to tell you what you need, rather than me trying to make you be a spiritual person in the image of what I think is truth. Without the Sunday sermon, I was struggling to provide the inspiration for the meditation. Honestly, my meditation service was pretty terrible. I am grateful that not very many people witnessed it:) So today, I finally felt the incongruity enough to finally see where I was out of alignment with my soul. Instead of using my God-given talents, I was trying to be like the teachers I have admired in my own life. I was not building some of my groups around what I am really good at and have a passion for. Today, I changed my Sunday service to a Soul-Versation service where I provide inspiration in the form of a poem, prayer, or story and then I help facilitate a conversation with people about that inspiration. I take them into prayer and meditation to deepen the experience. I feel so much lighter have the burden of that incongruity lifted.
I'm sharing this story today because we all have moments where we are out of alignment with ourselves. The key is to notice our own signs of when we are not congruent with our soul and to take authentic steps as soon as we are aware. Here are ways that I know that I am not in alignment with my soul.
- I dread doing something or it feels like drudgery
- What I am doing has no energy for me
- I feel drained by doing it rather than recharged
- The person I am with drains my energy
- I have a lot of anxiety
- I feel unsettled in my spirit like something isn't quite right
- I get intuitive guidance that it isn't right
- I look to others for answers instead of going within
- My body feels tense and I often hold it in my jaw and shoulders
- I try too hard
- I am terrible at whatever it is I am trying to do
Here are my questions for your reflection this week (see, I even facilitate in my blog;)
1. What does it feel like for you when you are out of alignment with your soul?
2. What are you tale-tell signs that you are not congruent with yourself?
3. What are you doing now that is not using your strengths?
4. What would it look like if you shifted that part of your life to actually use your strengths?
5. Is there one area you can do something differently to be in alignment with your soul? What is it and what are you going to do differently?