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It was a somewhat unusual week of ups and downs, of great calm and turbulence in the inner world for me. It began particularly well in that I used the Monday holiday to read a new book from cover to cover – something I hadn’t done on a long, long time. It felt really good to get back to ‘deep reading’, and prompted me to make a summer reading list of spiritual biographies. That was the high-point of the week, and I was only the first day in.

The next couple of days was where the outer world started seeping in, and it turned into a bit of a flood by Thursday morning. The morning meditation practice was unable to restore calm and stillness, because the mind was highly perturbed and the usual heart-focusing techniques weren’t working. Something was surely out of alignment. I looked in my ‘toolbox’ to see – what was I to do next to reset my alignment?

The first step to realignment was to return to the weekly walk in the reservation, which I did Thursday evening after work. The forest immersion worked really well to do an inner reset, as the familiar trails, the waters of the river and lagoon, the clear blue skies — all submerged me in their warm embrace. The exclamation point was the blue heron that I observed sitting in perfect stillness across the river, for the entire final ten minutes of my walk. Typically, a heron will take off as soon as it sees humans, but today was different. The realignment was going well.

Friday morning meditation was a bit of a test of how well the realignment was going. Things were better, but not quite fully restored yet. It wasn’t till late Friday evening, after seeing my daughter again after a week, overlapping with a long dinner meeting with a very good friend’s mother, Carol, whom we hadn’t seen in almost three years, that the realignment felt almost complete. It must have been Carol’s beautiful, pure, in the moment, loving energy, deep hugs, and childhood stories of living and growing up in the small town of Longport on the Atlantic shore, that helped clear away a large part of the dust of the week.

As I write this post, I find myself asking some questions. How do we know that we are in alignment, and out of alignment in our inner world? What are the happenings in our outer world that shift us out of inner alignment? How often do we lose alignment, and how quickly is it restored? What tools do we have for restoration, and how well do they really work?

I was tested this week in a way that was perhaps not so unique to me. Hence, I shared my experiences with you. The alignment testing helped me identify some weaknesses in my spiritual practices. One result of the week’s testing is that I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, adjust and develop greater awareness on the journey towards answering — Who am I? What am I truly aligned to, and why?

Kumud

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter chat with the #SpiritChat community, Sunday June 26 at 9amET / 1pmGMT / 630pm India. I will bring some alignment gauges in the form of questions, and a pot of tea. You bring the cookies! Namaste – AjmaniK

The hydrangeas finally bloom in the garden… helping to restore alignment!