One important change I've made over the last few years is to no longer participate in activities or associate with people that I don't feel good about.
Part of this is being too ill to waste my time and just not having the patience to deal with things or people that take extra negative energy.
Another part though, is having my life fall off a cliff and through the process of clawing my way back I discovered some self-respect and what is truly important to me.
Growing up, I was very much a people pleaser. I did what I thought would make others happy and had no boundaries whatsoever. That led to a lot of unhappiness and abuse in various forms. I did accomplish some cool things, but in the end, I didn't find any personal satisfaction or have a sense of purpose.
I think it's very important to align your activities with your own internal compass as well as that of the universe. Maybe that sounds completely woowoo to you, but I've found it to be a good guide.
It's easy for us to find examples of times where something doesn't align for us personally. Someone asks you to do something and for whatever reason it doesn't feel good to you. It could be something as simple as a food you don't like, to something more complex like choosing a university or a person physically forcing themselves on you.
There is also universal alignment. Maybe you feel very personally aligned with something, but for some reason nothing will "go your way" and it feels like the world is against you. It doesn't matter how prepared you are or whether you have the best intentions, the universe puts up roadblocks every step of the way.
Most of us ignore this universal alignment. We want to bulldoze our way through life and bend the world to our will. Sometimes it might work out, but it's never efficient and often not enjoyable.
I've come to believe that the friction points the universe throws in our way can be very important messages. This is the universe telling you "hey, maybe now isn't the best time".
Perhaps there is something about this decision that needs to be reassessed? Is there a better way or maybe a more optimal time to pursue this specific goal? In my case it's often been a lesson I need to learn first.
One personal example is this past year, 2020. At the start of the year it was my goal to focus on community and social growth. In my mind that would center around physically going out into my community and building relationships in face-to-face.
Clearly, we can all see that 2020 was a terrible year for a mission like that. I could have been upset and fought against the universe, but I chose to listen to the message I was being told.
There were other things I needed to learn and focus on before taking that step. Being stuck at home all year provided an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and growth and allowed me to firm up my life foundations such as finances and health.
Being more self-aware and having better finances and health will allow me to be so much more effective and self-confident when the world opens back up and I can begin to build relationships with others. I think the universe helped to redirect me towards a focus that I really needed in preparation for my larger goals.
If you pay attention to when there seems to be extra friction in your path, you can more efficiently use your energy for things that you and the universe are aligned on. These situations usually appear suddenly, often involving serendipity, playfulness and a certain degree of ease.
I like to keep my focus on healthy growth-focused habits and leave the big life decisions open to some degree of flexibility. I know that consistently sleeping well, working out, writing and meditating everyday will lead me in the direction of positive growth and provide a ton of surface area for serendipity and luck to strike. I realize the details are not within my control but I'm very open to opportunities that present themselves and signs from the universe that it's time to head in a specific direction.
It's incredibly freeing to give up control of outcomes and to simply focus on the process. I practice gratitude and try to highly attune myself to abundance and opportunities for growth.
So what do you think? Would you rather force your way through life and waste energy and time for an outcome which isn't meant to be? Or is it better to be flexible and give yourself the chance to pursue paths that bring joy and feel so easy they take nearly no effort at all?
I know what my choice is.