One of my favorite weekend activities is attending Sunday service at the Center for Spiritual Living Eugene. Reverend Linda never disappoints with a message that is spot on.
The first service of the year was no exception. Reverend Linda gave a great talk about how you can tell what a person values in one of two ways; look at their bank account and look at their calendar.
How often do we talk about how important something is and yet, when we pull back the covers we see that our words don’t match our actions nor where we make financial commitments?
A quick look at our bank account and calendar reveal a lot. Where did we put our time and money?
Often, we say we want something or are committed to something, but when we evaluate what we have done, the truth is not the same as our words.
Memory Serves Me Well
As the talk continued, I scanned my memories of the previous 12 months to determine if what I said and what I did matched.
There was much in alignment. Specifically, to do with my commitment to running on a regular basis which included participating in multiple races throughout the year.
Over the past year, I put hundreds of hours into training in between the races I participated in. The average investment for each race is between $25 – $50. Add to that the gear that makes the sport safer and more enjoyable, and I know I stayed with the process.
Add to that, my frequent visits to the gym and it was obvious to me how congruent my words and actions have been.
I smiled as I thought about how far I’ve come with the sport and my health.
Where Was I Out of Alignment?
As Reverend Linda continued, I thought about other areas I claimed to be important and yet, a closer look revealed to me that perhaps I was playing lip service to my priorities.
One is my spiritual development. Sure, I frequently meditate, journal and pray. I attend Sunday Service and yet, often, rather than attend classes at the Center I know I would enjoy and benefit from, I find excuses for not leaving my home in the evening which is when most of the classes take place.
As I think about the year to come, I realize that if I want to go deeper into my spiritual development there are things I can do that will enhance my connection with Source. These things will require time and financial commitments.
Now it’s up to make to take the initiative to do what I know will give me a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment.
It’s not that I don’t have a sense of purpose and it’s not that I don’t feel fulfilled, but I know it can improve. To get the most out of life, it’s up to me to put appropriate effort into what I do.
As we move into the New Year, my commitment to running and participating in races is more important than ever. Not just for what it does for my state of mind, but also my physical health.
Something huge that changed for me a few weeks ago is giving up meat. I blogged about the reasons why. Check it out.
In searching for meat alternatives, I found a product that is rated very high. On a recent trip to the grocery store I bought a few packs of the Morning Star Crumbles. They are a great alternative to beef for spaghetti, tacos or anything where ground beef is called for.
There are plenty of choices for someone who is meat free. Again, it’s up to me to make the choices that are in alignment with what I say is important.
Saying we are committed to something and putting our time and money into what we are committed to can be two very different scenarios.
Are you in Alignment?
What is it you say you’re committed to? If you were to evaluate your calendar and bank account, what truth would be revealed?
Would you be in alignment or would your words be different than reality?
Whatever the answer, it’s never too late to take the necessary steps to live in alignment and congruency.
If you look at my bank account and calendar over the last nine months, you’ll see that my greatest investment has been in my health: overcoming injuries, becoming stronger and more resilient, developing healthier eating habits, etc. Attracting Brittany Cushman (my personal trainer) into my life has made all this possible and the process is ongoing. I went from training with her once a week, to twice a week, to three times a week for the last six months, added her nutrition coaching, then her life coaching, and finally, her fascial stretching therapy, i.e., the whole package. I have become stronger and leaner in a relatively short period of time because of Brittany’s careful and compassionate coaching and because I continue to make the time and financial commitment in what I value the most, my health.
I see your dedication every time I am at the gym. If everyone worked as hard as you do it would be amazing. Thanks for your comments.
So grateful for the ripple effects my message had… so many more people will open to the lesson. Bless you for all you do!
You definitely impact so many.
Thanks for asking the hard questions, Kathleen! Sure, on the surface it is easy to reflect and check off “Yes – I am in alignment for this,” and “Oops! Nope – not in alignment on that.”
For me the hard part is to look deep inside and reflect WHY! Why am I not in alignment? Is this something I really want, or do I think it is the right thing to want? Another good question for me is, “Is this MY WANT, or am I doing it for someone else?”
My greatest disconnect is (Here we go… this is like Taxi Cab Confessionals now!) saying that I go to the gym to get healthy. The best way to describe my gym would be to say it is ‘Crossfit-esque’ and a lot more demanding. Am I stronger? Absolutely! Am I doing things I thought I could never do? Yes!
But am I doing it to be healthy? Honestly, I have to say NO. This is easily confirmed by the non-healthy food and diet choices I make.
Reflecting on this and other items will take more quiet time for me. In the meantime… thanks for sharing and helping to open my eyes!
Love the transparency Paul. It’s all about, “To thine own self be true.” And only we know what our level of truth is.
Very thought-provoking! I find both congruence and discord in my finances with regards to my health, alternating between taking care of myself and then having fast food/junk food binges. Another is wanting to get out of debt–paying it down, then charging something else. My subconscious has not been letting me rock the boat too much! I’m exploring other areas where I’ve let my personal power go on my blog, using decluttering as a method of looking inward.
The thing that I always loved about what I learned early on from the teachings of Tony Robbins is this; “We make decisions based on one of two things; either we are moving away from pain or toward pleasure.” Only we know what our level of tolerance is. Thanks for sharing Sarah.
My bank account is nearly empty, and the only thing on my calendar (barring my surgery last September) is work.
I do value keeping a roof over our head and food in my boys tummys.
Often, what we find most important has nothing to do with anything but family. When I was my mother’s caretaker, my time was spent driving to and from my mother’s home, spending time by her bedside and my money was used for travel cost and other such things that at that time were definitely my priority.
Thanks for sharing Nona.
I believe that there is nothing more important than taking an inventory of ourselves. Whether it’s done monthly, weekly, or daily.
We need to aspire to align ourselves with our truths. If I don’t regularly do a personal check-up, how will I know whether I’m doing well or not? Is there something I should be proud of that I’m not acknowledging? Do I owe someone an apology for what I have done or perhaps failed to do? How can I change my behavior to become a better person than I was?
We all have miles to go because none of us are perfect. But to strive for progress is a great reward.