One of the biggest “un-learnings” I’ve done in the last several months has been to get rid of the belief that hard work is the only thing that leads to success, or to making money. That you have to work X amount of hours per week or struggle and force yourself through unpleasant tasks that kind of feel like you’re trying to force a square peg in a round hole. And I’ve been learning that there’s a much more beautiful and fun way to approach work and to tackling each day.
While I enjoyed certain aspects of my marketing job, and putting myself into new and unfamiliar situations in order to push myself and grow, there were a good amount of times, especially at the end, where I felt like I was willing myself to be something I wasn’t. Of course there’s a difference between pushing through discomfort to get to growth, or an end result that’s in line with a desire of yours. But I’ve come to believe that we’re not created to live lives constantly filled with struggle and resistance, especially when it comes to our vocations.
This flies in the face of the way we’re raised at times, and especially in what we’re used to seeing and hearing from our [American] culture. The American Dream is to work hard and prosper, right? Our lives typically revolve around work, and very few of us stop to ask if this is even working for us, we just accept it and keep pushing through it.
There is nothing wrong with working hard, or wanting to make money – especially if those are things that bring you a lot of joy and excitement, I just want to introduce a new way to approach work and money, something that has shifted the game for me, and that I know I’ll continue to talk about here. The practice I’ve been implementing into my life is alignment before action. (Not a concept that I made up). I learned about this practice from Jess Lively, who had learned about it from Abraham Hicks, and I have the privilege of getting to dialogue about it with my bestie Jessie as well. Here’s the simple premise of it: Allow yourself to get into alignment (aka a good mood or a good place emotionally/spiritually/physically) before starting your day, tackling work that needs your attention, or when you are lacking inspiration or motivation. The reason being that the best work and versions of yourself flow much more effortlessly when you’re in a good place vibrationally (just meaning your emotions are higher on the vibrational scale). You end up spending less time “efforting” and more time doing things that feel good, and you get to watch your productivity and quality of work increase, while spending even less time actually “working.”
So what does that look like practically? Literally just doing whatever makes you the happiest and speaks to your soul in a life-giving way. So some days that can be taking yourself out to breakfast or just knowing you’re going to make yourself a chocolate croissant for breakfast. Reading a book that fills you with wisdom and peace. Praying. Connecting with a Higher Source. I meditate on the feeling of being filled with perfect love and the truth that I am fully loved by the God of the Universe until I can feel the feeling coursing through my body. Some days I just want to go for a walk. I read different books as my “devotions.” I used to always feel like I had to be reading specifically from the Bible otherwise I was just reading watered down spirituality. But truthfully I had a hard time connecting to those words, and sometimes I still do. Single verses are still very much apart of my mantras and meditations and alignment routines that bring me closer to God. But I’ve expanded those routines and sources to books written by spiritual teachers I love (currently into Richard Rohr) or books about consciousness and spirituality and varying viewpoints on it all. Podcasts are also a big part of my alignment times. The Lively Show, the Liturgists, My Favorite Murder lol.
Music is another big part of alignment. You know the songs that put you in a good mood or make you want to dance no matter what? Listening to just one or two of those in the morning or on the way to work or to wherever you are going can be so mood-altering. Some mornings I need to dance out all the energy I have in me, and so I know my go-to songs to put on to do just that (I’ll share my High Vibes playlist here in a future post). Your location and surroundings can so affect your mood and work as well. When I am somewhere beautiful or calming, I find that I’m in a much better (emotional) place to tackle whatever it is I need to, or to quickly get into an inspired state. I recently discovered Morning Lavender which is a shop and café a little further from my house than I’m used to traveling to, but when I first visited it, I was so enchanted and delighted by it, I found new dreams popping into my brain and words flowing freely from my fingers as I went to write. Not a surprise I’m back here again as I type this.
I recently wrote out a list of the things that help bring me into alignment – whether they’re thoughts I focus on, routines or rituals I do, things I eat, songs I listen to, clothes I wear, etc. that all help boost my mood, and ensure I’m in the best place possible before approaching my day, or if I need a mood shift midday. I’ll share that eventually in case it gives you ideas of things that would work for you :) Not only has this practice changed the way I approach and produce work in my life, but it has massively boosted my happiness levels - even though I would have previously considered myself to be a generally happy person - allowing me to live in a somewhat constant state of awe, wonder, delight and gratitude. It’s the best and I can’t wait to keep sharing more :)