For five years now, I have been on a quest to create an aligned life. I believe when a person’s life embodies his or her essential core values — and when it reduces aspects that are not aligned with these values– this person has an aligned life. Embodying anything, though, includes all of its components.
Components of a life (and components to consider when building an aligned life) include, but are not limited to, the following:
- How we identify ourselves
- Internal reflections (i.e., our expectations, intentions, attitudes, mindsets, imagination, beliefs, opinions, stories we tell ourselves, thoughts, hopes and dreams)
- Health, wellbeing (i.e., emotional, mental, physical)
- Personal growth
- Relationships with others
- Relationship with ourselves
- Relationship with time and space
- How we express ourselves
- Level of accountability and ownership of our lives
- How we organize ourselves
- Methods of communication
- Physical and virtual environments
- How we spend our time
- Natural ways we flow throughout the day and night
There are many steps to creating an aligned life, but for starters, let’s take inventory of our Wild Yeses and our Wild Nos.
STEP ONE to build an Aligned Life: Contemplate aspects of your life that already are WILD YESES.
Wild Yeses elicit strong and positive emotions revealing something about our individual and unique core essences. We most likely feel 100% ourselves with these aspects of our lives. Wild yeses are keepers. They can be as basic as a perfect cup of coffee or as grand as making a dream come true that you have held since childhood.
A few of my current wild yeses include my new bed, my office in Marin County (love the design and location), and the way my life purpose and vocation dovetail.
Our wild yeses reveal important truths about who we are. If I look at the three items in this list for example, I know I appreciate clean lines, enjoy beautiful spaces that allow me to move naturally in my flow, and expect to have a vision for my life that is meaningful, innovative and of service to others. These wild yeses also point to my deeper core values: the poetry of beauty, having a purpose, and freedom to be myself.
STEP TWO to build an Aligned Life: Gain awareness of aspects in your life that are current WILD NOs.
Wild Nos are areas in our lives that generally create pain, numbness, darkness or emotional/physically suffering without any form of personal growth, service to others or benefit to the environment. Wild Nos in a person’s life could include abusive relationships, thoughts that keep us stuck, or situations that do not make us feel proud of ourselves. Wild Nos will generally ask us to betray or abandon ourselves. Wild Nos are sometimes difficult to look at, since they oftentimes require that people make large shifts they aren’t always emotionally or energetically ready to tackle. Extract them we must, though, when the time is right if we want to live our best lives.
Be courageous when identifying your Wild Nos. Current Wild Nos in my life include automatic credit card expenses I do not need but haven’t taken time to cancel, distractions in my day that keep me from doing what is most essential, and old beliefs I must change in order to manifest my most aligned future life.
- Contemplate the Wild Yeses and Wild Nos in your life. In a journal, create a column for each. Intuitively brainstorm for 5 minutes on each column to come up with your Wild Nos and Wild Yeses in this moment of your life. Wild Yeses may include components of your life now or your highest hopes for your future. Be honest with yourself and do not edit. Try to keep think about the Wild Nos currently in your life, as opposed to universal Wild Nos for humanity.
- Review both columns to determine patterns in your lists that reveal your core values or other information about yourself.
Building an aligned life is a courageous act. It is also an act of self awareness and self respect. It involves bringing in the attributes we consider personal wild yeses, and it involves limiting or exiting aspects of our lives that are self designated wild nos. In future posts, I’ll share how building an authentically aligned life also creates more avenues for serving others.