Emma Cannon on why we need to achieve alignment
Balance has always been at the core of my philosophy towards health. Achieving balance – in energy, emotions and life – for my patients has been my work for 25 years. It is the cornerstone of Eastern philosophy.
But back in 2017, Forbes published an article by Todd Emus, calling time on balance as “one of the most harmful myths of our time”. A little extreme, perhaps? Surely Eastern philosophy can’t have got it so wrong? Todd talked specifically about work/life balance. He argued that constantly seeking to balance both only ends up in a “tugof- war of your time and energy”. He has a point – striving to achieving balance can be exhausting in itself, and where does it actually get us?
When I started practising in the 1990s, the word balance wasn’t even in our language with regards to our health and how we lived life. In fact, everyone was living wildly out of balance, unbeknown to them.
But then some time around the millennium we became a bit more sensitive, more open and touchy-feely. Where we were once all shoulder pads and living at a hundred miles an hour, drinking Chardonnay after work every night and eating whatever we fancied, suddenly the wheels started to fall off.
There is a theory in Chinese medicine that there is opportunity within crisis. One of the rules of energy is that sometimes things fall apart before they become whole. In this unravelling, huge energetic imbalances cannot be contained anymore. So the concept of balance was very important after the excesses of the 1980s and 1990s, simply because we had been so out of balance for so long.
There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a balanced world, and that, my friends, is where alignment comes in. Alignment is that feeling you get when you aren’t pushing against the grain anymore, and instead you take the path of least resistance. You focus on your goal, you envisage it, and then you wait for the signs and the opportunities to come to you. People turn up at the right time, seemingly without effort, and stuff just works out. Synchronicity, the best friend of alignment, now features heavily in your life. Where once you were amazed by synchronicity, now you take it in your stride, quietly smiling to yourself with that inner knowing that this is all part of the plan.
This is not magic, nor is it make-believe. This is about having clarity and focus in your life. It’s about saying yes to the things that serve your purpose and not getting distracted by the things that don’t. Not everyone can choose a job that aligns directly with their purpose. But you can begin to make subtle and significant shifts in that direction. You can stop distracting yourself with unhelpful behaviour, such as unhealthy habits or substances you use to self-medicate with. This only serves to move you further away from your purpose.
Alignment is about identifying what you want more of in your life and nourishing that. Think about how you can spend more time doing what feeds your soul. Which activities or pastimes make you feel energised? Try to find ways to build these into your work and make them the focus of your life. Rather than sidelining your passion, live your passion. The things that give us energy are the expressions of our soul and our authentic selves. When you are clear about your life mission and give it your attention, it will grow and flourish. Balance happens without effort when you are in alignment, because with alignment everything flows. This doesn’t mean you will have a life without challenges, but it does means that you will have a life of your own creation; an extension of your heart. What are you waiting for? The time is now!
Emma is an integrated women’s health expert, registered acupuncturist and author emmacannon.co.uk
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