• Daniel K White

Stress and Alignment: Letting Go into the Flow

Updated: Apr 27

When I am aligned with my Self, i.e., the flow of energy that is my body and mind, then stress melts away. I am here. I am present. I am aware of the present moment: The breath rising and falling. The sounds coming from all around me. I am relaxed in my chair, trusting gravity. There is nothing to hold on to, nothing to fear, nothing that needs changing.

This trust comes from years of meditation and flow-based techniques of play. I know that I am rooted in a process that transcends the ever-changing present moment conditions. I am the awareness that perceives the waves of stimulation. This awareness is at peace. This awareness does not want anything because it is totally content being everything.

Yes, I am the I am. You are the I am. Namaste: The light in me bows to the light in you, recognizing that it is the same light. I am at home in the world. My world is safe: There is no one wanting to hurt me. There are no bombs going off. No one with guns shooting people here. Not everyone in the world is so lucky. But here, where there is no danger, I am at peace.

In the past, even in situations of safety, I was stuck in high alert. I would look anxiously around the café, feeling like a stranger in a strange land. Feeling like I didn't fit in. Feeling like everyone was better than me; more successful, more beautiful and happier and wealthier than me. I was searching for myself. I was not aligned with my true essence and so I was not at peace.

Practices of presence bring me into myself where I cannot be perturbed, at least not in the safe spaces of my very fortunate life. From presence, I observe and appreciate. When I criticize something "wrong", I do so from a lightness and gentleness of being (at least most of the time! Hopefully!).

These practices of presence, such as Zen sitting meditation, breathwork, movement, Qiqong, singing, drumming, toning, mantra, or mindful walking in the woods, bring me back into the ever-present flow of energy. When I am in the flow, I am at peace and happy. When I resist the flow or fixate on something, then I suffer.

Alignment is flow. Alignment is peace. Alignment is happiness. Just as Mother Nature has many moods expressed by her weather, the human soul is subject to anger, passion, joy, fatigue, dreaminess, ecstasy, confusion, and so on. Practices of alignment allow these states to come and go without undue drama, just as the weather passes without Mother Nature fussing at all.

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