Do you feel like you’ve heard it all, done it all, read it all, could probably teach it all, and are still stuck? If you answered “Yes” – don’t despair….The concept of Tri-Alignment could be just what you are looking for: The missing link that pulls everything together. Let me be honest – this is not something I invented – far from it. In fact, it’s a very, very old model for life and living – I’ve merely adapted it to take it from the philosophical to the practical realm.
As some of you may know, I used the SOFTLY method (see my previous posts) to help me navigate devastating loss, and eventually reconnect with the joy of living. The tools anchor me, allow me to center myself: they are truly life-changing. I have been using the method for more than 15 years, for large and small matters, since I first created it to help me cope with a challenging life. Then, tragedy struck – I lost my son… For quite some time, I was inconsolable. But eventually, all those years of practicing the method stood by me, and helped me deal with this great loss too. I was grateful to have this resource to help me rebuild a life I thought could never be rebuilt. Over the years, this method has helped me navigate the aftermath of divorce, job loss, loss of home, and tragedy – I knew it to be a very valuable resource I can rely on to help me get through the bad times and maximize the good times.
Sometimes, when you’re least expecting it, life gives you a gift. A few months ago, I participated in a writing workshop in Jerusalem, where the facilitator explained a model to improve both writing and editing skills. While I listened, I knew this was something that had significance far beyond the realm of writing. It was ironic, because the model they presented was the Indian Trimurti model of creator, preserver and destroyer – a model I was very familiar with from having grown up in India. After the workshop, it kept brewing in my mind – and then it all came together. I experienced an Aha! moment – when you know your understanding of life has been deepened. This would make the SOFTLY tools (or any other tools for that matter) exponentially more powerful and much easier to use.
Reality is made up of a combination of all three aspects of the Trimurti: creation, preservation and destruction. Everything in life is in a state of constant flux and the more we are able to align with the greater reality of life – the more effectively and joyfully can we can live. Ultimately, true joy is only possible to the extent we are aligned with this greater reality – which is why I call the model Tri-Alignment.
Aldous Huxley — “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored”
We ignore reality at our peril. And yet, often we resist reality, are afraid of facing it, and do anything we can do distract ourselves from it – but at what price? Right now, an important relationship may slowly be eroding away. Right now, we may be taking our good health for granted, rather than working to maintain it. Right now, a huge opportunity may be around the corner, but we miss out because we failed to read the signs.
In my next blog post, I will make available a free PDF explaining Tri-Alignment in greater depth. In the meantime, here is a takeaway you can use right now:
When you identify any discomfort in your body (when there is no immediate threat to you) rather than ignoring or suppressing it, try to focus on it. This discomfort is actually a gift, inviting us to look at reality with more attention, because we are out of sync with it – we are not Tri-Aligned. Our current situation, like every other, is a combination of all three facets of reality, and our discomfort is a signal that there is an aspect of reality (or several aspects) that we are resisting.
We may eventually have to ask ourselves difficult questions: What has been lost, what is falling apart, what do we still have, what opportunities lie within the situation, what can we create? This is a process that requires an investment of time. We need to go through the process with focus. But right now, at this moment of discomfort, of avoidance and resistance, we can still make a healing choice. Most likely, our habitual reaction at moments like this will be to escape into overthinking, or emotional drama, or busyness, to tension, contraction and shallow breathing. Try not to get caught up in the story you are telling yourself about something, which lies at the root of that “separation” (the “S” of SOFTLY).
Instead take a moment to be aware of what is happening in your body. Sit comfortably and relax the tension in your body as much as possible. Breathe fully and become aware of yourself. Now, start breathing to the 4-7-8 rhythm. This is a well-tested breathing technique to calm anxiety and relieve stress. Dr. Andrew Weil states that it is the single best anti-anxiety method he has found. Here is how you do it: Place the tip of your tongue at the roof of your mouth, right behind your top teeth. Breathe in through the nose for 4 counts, expanding your diaphragm. Hold the breath for 7 counts. Open the mouth slightly and exhale to the count of 8, drawing in the diaphragm. Do this for 4 cycles. After that, continue breathing calmly and naturally. Notice your surroundings. You are HERE – NOW. Be grateful for the present moment. Extend love and compassion toward yourself and your struggles. Expand your awareness outward. You are part of a far greater reality than you see and experience right now. Finally, extend your compassion to all the others who are struggling with similar problems throughout the world.
If you feel ready, you can now take an action step. Is the best thing to do in the situation clear? A lack of clarity indicates the need to explore the Tri-Alignment model more thoroughly – working with the Tri-Alignment model will clarify your desired direction, and your path. [Note: when you are “separated,” never take any action to “solve the problem.” As Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.” Instead, your main focus at these times should be to get Tri-Aligned!
If you want further information about Tri-Alignment, please contact me at: email@example.com
My book "Community of Ones" explores the many existential, emotional, intellectual and spiritual questions and dilemmas that arise in the wake of the loss of a loved one.