This week on Small Talk, we added a bit more balance to our lives by sitting down with the voice of alignment, Aaron Alexander.
A manual therapist, movement coach, host of the align podcast, and Author of ‘The Align Method,’ we dove deep into what being aligned truly looks and feels like.
Oftentimes in our lives, we seek stability when our current circumstances are unstable and comfort when our environments are uncomfortable.
“I think the reason that anyone would strive for balance is if they inherently feel imbalanced. And I think that I’m still in the process of finding that balance. Ultimately, I think I always will be.”
Aarons early life was quite different from the one he leads today. Never truly feeling at home in his environment or himself, he compensated for the feeling of wholeness by pushing the physical boundaries of his body.
“I don’t think I ever really learned the tools at a young age or felt safe to express myself emotionally. So, I think I was kind of bottled up in that way.”
When we bottle up our emotions and insecurities, moving from a place that’s inauthentic to our true selves, we can end up harming ourselves and others in the process.
“Feeling insecure in my body, I got into bodybuilding, and I ended up throwing my body into a state of stress and strain. I think when someone feels insecure in their body, it stems from more than sole physicality. It’s a symptom or a symbol of something that lies deeper.”
Through acceptance and understanding towards himself, Aaron took a step back from his stressed and strained lifestyle and began to seek what balance truly meant to him.
“I think that today, I’m more active in an ongoing process of acceptance towards what is, and not in a continual state of chasing carrots and promising myself self-love when I arrive at a certain point, but instead being with that point now and allowing life to develop from there.”
When we accept and love ourselves throughout the whole process of our journeys, not only when we get to our desired destinations, we create a healthy relationship with ourselves, building an inner and unshakeable bond.
“I think it all comes back to that initial acceptance of self.”
1: the act of aligning or state of being aligned
“Alignment goes beyond just your spinal alignment or your hip orientation. I find it very interesting how the way we move in our bodies and the world is an indication of how we feel towards a situation and towards ourselves.”
Our postural patterns, mannerisms, and facial expressions are each a form of communication. Our identity structures and how we perceive ourselves are wrapped up in how we move. This means that communication as we know it is much more than simply words and languages.
“That’s the way we’re actually communicating, through our body language.”
A soothing tone and calm composure bring peaceful awareness into our external communications and our communication with ourselves.
“We can soothe ourselves, or we can sike ourselves out depending upon our level of self-awareness towards the limbic system.”
We are continually tuning our own nervous system. Meaning, if we can take a step back and take a deep breath, our emotions (internal world) would be as in control as our presence (external world).
“You’re the conductor of your own life. You hold the baton that orchestrates your world through your interactions with others.”
The secret in conducting our orchestras of life lies in the tone of voice, the pacing of language, postural patterns, facial expressions, and overall self-awareness.
“Being able to tap into that sense of awareness, we can witness and modify our expressions in any given situation. Maybe I’ll lower my tone if I’m feeling stressed out, relax my shoulders when experiencing anxiety, or even open a window to let the full spectrum of light in.”
We control how we interact with the world. In becoming present and aware, we create a beautiful space to breathe between ourselves and stressful situations.
“Ultimately, you do have control. You have control as much as you choose.”
Being in control may look like opening a window and taking a deep breath. What seems small, oftentimes, holds great transformational potential.
Giving and Receiving:
You can ultimately only sustainably give as much as you are willing to receive. As mentioned in our interview with Cassie Cameron, we must fill our own cups first to fill others' cups.
“We can give out all of these kernels of love, but if we’re not able to receive, the gesture will be limited to the degree that we, ourselves, can accept.”
What has recently surfaced in Aaron’s life is self-examination.
Asking himself if he can fully accept and love himself in whatever situation he’s in, as much as he’s projecting said love and positivity into the world around him.
“I made a post the other day on Instagram about a bottle floating in the ocean, being tossed about. If your bottle cap is open, you're no longer in control of how much is given or received."
Commonly, we encounter situations that ask a lot from us. Yet, giving more of ourselves than we truly can will, without a doubt, leave us feeling emptier and more depleted than before.
“Having the tools and the know-how on how to navigate the ocean without being too closed off or too available, I think, is really quite valuable.”
Navigating the waters of our worlds looks different for everyone.
Deciding how much or how little we let in and give out can be a difficult decision, but with the help of Aaron’s tips and tools on self-awareness, we can more easily steer ourselves through even the waviest of waters.
“You choose your channels, and whatever channel you’re in, that’s your choice. So, being able to recognize that whatever situation you’re in, your personal experience towards it lies in your perception.”
As mentioned in our interview with Roger Gabriel, ‘all of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.’ When we begin to look for opportunities in every situation, we find new and exciting ways to learn and grow.
We asked Aaron Alexander what he knows 100% to be true, his answer,
“Ultimately, whatever you believe to be true, is your truth. And when you begin to believe in something else and let go of what you once knew to be true, you find a new truth, which becomes your own.”
At TrooMe, we believe that alignment starts from within. When we begin to align our internal worlds, our external worlds can’t help but follow close behind.
May we follow in Aaron Alexander’s footsteps, leaving what no longer serves us and stepping into what balances and energizes us. And whenever we feel off-balance, get back to the source, get back to ourselves.