Alignment over the Holidays

Dec 13, 2016

Holiday Alignment |

I’ve long talked about alignment as a practice, not a permanent state of being.  Although I’m generally conscious to use the phraseology “coming into more alignment” or “feeling aligned more often,” sometimes (often due to the overall yucky-ness of feelings of misalignment!), we seek a Fix for our misalignment.  To be aligned.  Period.  End of discussion.

But sorry.

It doesn’t totally work that way.

It helps to see this impermanent practice of alignment more as permission.  Permission to fuck up alignment every so often, to get totally out of whack on occasion.  To have to put a little elbow grease into your own authenticity and integrity.

After all, if it weren’t for our times of misalignment, how would we know what alignment looks and feels like?  How would we know how good it feels if not for our ability to compare the wrenching overall yucky-ness of misalignment?

The holidays are a time when a lot of us shift out of alignment.  They are a time of great intensity, both positive and negative, and they cause us to do misalign-y type things like


eating too much

feuding with family

drinking too much

spending money on *stuff* no one needs or wants

did I say eating too much?

not sleeping enough

(the list goes on)

To be sure, we all recover from it, sometime in January when we’re back to the regular routine.

And to be sure, there is a certain normalization in our culture of these feelings of misalignment during the holidays:  there is great permission given from the world around us to let loose and indulge this time of year.

But I also see the holidays as a time that is ripe for a bit of experimentation in alignment.  Because here’s the thing: most of the women I know experience wildly intense seasons of their lives on a regular basis.  You know, September when school goes back in, (June when school gets out), summer vacations, New Years resolutions (this list goes on, too).  And often, during those wildly intense seasons, all attempts at finding alignment go out the window and it’s

survival mode


until that intensity has lifted a little.

But what would it take to find even just little snippets of alignment in all the crazy-ness of the holiday season?  What could you do to honour your authentic self these holidays?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!