About midway through last year I had decided to join a company that I was hoping would give me time freedom, financial freedom, and location freedom. While I had good intentions joining this company and the person who convinced me to join did too, about six months later, I learned a hard lesson in the art of failing.
If you know me, you know that I’m someone who doesn’t do things that don’t align with who I am. It’s just how I choose to live. It allows me to trust myself because I am always trying to honor myself and it allows other people to trust me because they know that I am always real, raw, and transparent with how I live my life. Life is too short to be living by anyone else's rules but your own.
I was so intrigued by this idea of working online, and so intrigued by the idea that I could travel and work, because the job I had at the time was kind of sucking my soul… so I was desperate for a way out of the 9-5 lifestyle (or if you’re me, it was more like a 6am-7pm with a long lunch break kinda thing) that I said yes to a company that I knew deep down didn’t align with my values.
At the very least, I tried. I tried to morph this company and its products into something that aligned with my values because I really wanted to make this freedom thing work. Even friends and family would tell me “Lina, this doesn’t seem like you.” And I would mentally give them the middle finger and promise to myself that I was gonna make something out of this. I have stubborn tendencies… if you can’t tell. So I kept on trying to push through the uncomfortableness of not speaking my truths and kept trying to create something out of nothing. Because of this misalignment, it led me to having increased anxiety, not trusting myself, feeling like I couldn’t be real, feeling like I had to stretch the truth to people I cared about if I wanted to get a sale, and needing to sell a product that I truly did not think was going to really change anyone’s lives or help the planet in any way. So basically, I was feeling like a fake piece of shit. And of course, this led to me failing, which led to me basically going into hermit-mode and wondering if I could ever be successful at anything.
But wait, Lina, what does it mean to be in alignment? Ahhh, wonderful question! I’m so glad you asked. Let me take a moment to explain. As humans, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are remarkable creatures in so many ways, one of the ways is that we have this incredible ability to navigate this life, this experience, based on how we feel. Our emotions are our roadmap. That’s right, our emotions are basically signals to let us know if we’re on the right path for us. Because we are spiritual beings at our very core, that means that at our core we are, simply put, pure loving light energy. Let’s call this core our inner being. And all our inner being wants is for us to feel connected to the cosmic unconditional love that lives within each of us. Now, stay with me here, I know this sounds far out but just hang on for a moment longer and I'll steer us back to Earth.
When we are aligned with our inner being, we feel GOOD. We move with the flow of life without resistance, things fall into place with great ease, and we are in awe of how beautiful life can be. When we are in alignment we are able to be our true selves, we radiate a love that comes back to us ten-fold, we already have everything we need, and gratitude shines from our every pore for all of life’s experiences, both “good” and “bad.” We are thinking loving, non-judgemental, and caring thoughts about ourselves and others. We are connected to our inner being which leads us to feeling free, alive, and open.
When we are out of alignment with our inner being we tend to not feel so good. This is when feelings of anxiety come in and probably things like frustration, resentment, and despair. Life seems hard. It feels like no one understands us, like nothing ever works out in our favor, we’re confused about who we are, where we’re going, and why we’re here. We probably feel tired, uninterested in life, and untrusting of anyone. Our thoughts are centered around judgement, negativity, and complaining. When we are disconnected from our inner being these feelings of fear, aggravation, disappointment, and self-consciousness tend to arise.
Now, here is the most beautiful part: because these emotions are indicators of how aligned we are with our true selves, we can actually find gratitude for ALL of them. Yes, indeed, we can find gratitude for our pain and suffering just as much as we can for our joy and pleasure. This is why you’ll see me put “good” and “bad” into quotations when talking about emotions and experiences because something I’ve learned about life is that most things aren’t meant to be categorized into good vs. bad. Doing this makes us believe that we should only feel certain ways, when in reality we need ALL of our emotions to help us navigate through life. We need to feel emotions like anger, grief, and fear because they help us know when we are off track or out of alignment. We need to feel emotions like joy, gratitude, and optimism because they indicate when we are on track and in alignment. In my experience, anytime I’ve felt pain, anger, grief, and fear, all I’ve needed to do is give that part of me feeling that way some attention and love so that I could fully express and process those emotions to allow them to move through me. And this remarkable thing happens when you allow all emotions to move through you in a healthy way instead of pushing them down and ignoring them because we’ve deemed them as “bad”, you feel lighter. On the other side of these emotions that don’t feel so good is Love. With a capital L. Always. We have to feel it to heal it. Try it for yourself and find out. I can’t promise that it won’t hurt, but I can promise that it’s worth it.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE NOT IN ALIGNMENT
You have feelings of anxiety, frustration, confusion, indifference, wariness, etc
You feel resentful, detached, depleted, panicked, apathetic, etc
Your thoughts don’t feel good
You’re not excited about life or what you’re doing
You’ve tried everything to make it work and you still feel unmotivated and uninterested
In general, you just don't feel good most of the time
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE IN ALIGNMENT
You have feelings of joy, thoughtfulness, gratitude, clarity, compassion, etc
You feel accepting, free, creative, playful, alive, focused, non-judgemental, etc
You think thoughts and do things that feel good to you
You’re excited about your life
You’re motivated and excited to do your work
In general, you simply feel good more often than not
So, there I was, feeling disconnected from the world, feeling like I had lost my sense of self, and feeling like I had just failed at something. Failure is something I’ve taken a good look at recently. My fear of failure has come up a lot for me this year, and it’s something that stems from childhood. As a kid, I always felt extreme pressure to do well in school. I was naturally a really good student, but my parents always expected A’s and nothing less. Of course, they did this out of love and out of wanting me to be able to get into a good college and be responsible. But this led me to creating the belief that if I was anything less than perfect, I wasn’t worthy of love. And a quick note here to say that I define a belief as something that we tell ourselves over and over again until we think it as truth. We live our lives based on our beliefs, some of which serve us well and some of which do not. This belief that I had created as a kid, that I had to be perfect to be loved, came up a lot this year because it was something that I had to realize was no longer serving me. I did a lot of shadow work and inner child connecting to begin to release this belief and rewrite it as something more like: I am loved just the way I am. Ah, doesn’t that feel better? With this new belief now something that I repeat to myself on the daily to rewire my brain into truly believing that, I came to another conclusion about failure. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say: There is no such thing as failure. For me, I now like to look at failures as simply learning opportunities. I mean seriously, if you learned something from it, did you really fail? I don’t think so! As long as you learn from what you’ve done, you can then take what you’ve learned and apply it to the next experience that comes your way. That feels much better too, right?
After a while I recognized that I didn’t really fail. I was just out of alignment with my inner being. This misalignment led me to not being successful because trying to sell products and build a team for a company I didn’t resonate with really did not feel good. This realization prompted me to take the better part of this year to tune inward and get clear on who I am, what my values are, and what I want to stand for. Then this amazing thing happened. Once I allowed myself to release the thoughts, beliefs, and actions that we’re not in alignment with my inner being, I began to feel better! It took some time to regain trust in myself. I spent every morning for about eight months deep in meditation. I journaled every day to help myself see my patterns and see where things were working and where they weren’t. I took time to love myself fully and contemplate what life I want to create. I listened to inspiring podcasts and read inspiring authors, took social media breaks, and invested in a coach to be my mirror and help me stay focused. I started investing time, energy, and money into myself and what I love to learn about. I created a morning routine that I still stick to this day that allows me to start every day with my cup full. I can now happily say that I am feeling more confident, open, alive, and connected to my inner being than maybe ever before.
Another quick note: staying in alignment takes work. It is a never ending process of healing that we constantly have to choose to take part in. And sometimes things happen in life, we start to get into a negative rabbit hole, or we make decisions that knock us off track. This is OKAY! Learning is not linear, it's cyclical. Sometimes things will come up that you thought you dealt with already and you might be frustrated that you have to deal with it again, but just remember that things come up to teach us something. More than likely it’s coming up again because it hasn’t been fully released yet, and you needed a better level of understanding before you could look at it again. It’s not like one day you wake up and suddenly you’re in alignment, no, you really have to commit to it. Being in alignment is like building any other muscle. You can’t just go to the gym once and suddenly have the six-pack you’ve always wanted, you have to commit to showing up for yourself every day. Same goes for inner work, you have to show up for yourself everyday, in all your forms, and commit to loving yourself so deeply that nothing is going to stop you from living the life you want to live. It’s not always love and light and unicorns. Sometimes its pain and grief and bitchy fire-breathing dragons. Sometimes you gotta be like the lotus flower and grow through the mud before you can bloom.
After taking some good time for myself and really tuning in to myself, I recognized what my inner being and intuition knew all along… this company was not for me. So I began to delete all the posts I had made about it from my instagram and also told my friend that I was going to discontinue working for them. It was a little painful because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and didn’t want it to affect our friendship (it didn’t, thankfully). In all honesty, I still have so much gratitude for this company and the lessons it brought me. Even though it wasn't in alignment with me personally, it still opened my eyes to the idea that I can be my own boss, that I can live the life of freedom I want, and that there really are opportunities out there that will allow me to do that. Plus, it prompted me to get super clear on what I want and who I desire to be. So thank you, misalignment, for showing me the way back to myself. At the end of the day, a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I began to feel like I could breathe again. It was like I had just opened up all this new space to create something new in my life, I felt free to be me again! This is the time when Lina Learning started to come into fruition, my creative energy started to come back, and I started to authentically connect with people again the way I love to.
A remarkable thing happens when you release things that no longer serve you. You create space. And when you create space, that gives the Universe a signal that you’re ready for something else, something more in alignment to drop into your life. And, of course, that’s exactly what happened. Actually, in my case, quite a few things started to come together for me once I released the attachment to things that weren’t in alignment. I began creating Lina Learning and ideas started flowing to me like magic, I began getting invited to become a part of communities that truly align with my values (check out Nectar and Honey, a community and platform I am co-creating with two other beautiful beings), I began feeling more confident about the life my partner and I are creating (more on this later), I began to ask for things and receive them in abundance (literally would think of something I needed and it would appear to me within the day, for free). I even found a new company that I feel one hundred and ten percent fits perfectly into the life I am creating and fits all of my values that I am now a distributor for (it’s called Enagic, a company that creates medical grade in-home water ionizers) that will provide that time, money, and location freedom I was dreaming of along with a loving community to call my friends and business partners. And the best part is, I feel fully aligned and excited about all of this. How do I know I'm in alignment with these endeavors? Every single part of them feels SO GOOD. I'm excited to work and to create. I love having team calls and truly enjoy collaborating with my business partners. I feel so grateful that I get to write pages of my life experiences to share with you. I am totally ecstatic and have chills all over my body as I write this. THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE IN ALIGNMENT. I sometimes have to remind myself that life really can be this good. I am finally feeling like I am on the path of least resistance, on my path of greatest joy, my path of greatest clarity.
The funny part is, I had to “fail” to get here. I had to spend some time in misalignment to understand what it means to be in alignment. Take it from me, you don’t have to have it all figured out. You just have to try. Who knows, you might be one more adjusted misalignment away from creating your dream life.
~take what you need~
How are you feeling?
Where in your life do you feel misaligned?
Where in your life do you feel aligned?
What can you change to bring you more into alignment?
Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. How do the thoughts you think about yourself feel?
What are you holding on to?
What are you passionate about?
What is important to you?
What brings you joy?
What do you like to do?
What makes you feel free?