Defining Integrity.

Defining Integrity.

May 07, 2019 1 Comment

For me, integrity is everything - it is integral to my relationship with Self and with others. If I’m not in integrity with myself, I can’t be in integrity with anyone or anything else. However, living in integrity is not always easy for me – it’s the ultimate journey.

I began this journey at an early age, as I felt challenged, stretched and pushed to my edges in regards to accepting myself. Much of this was related to my family of origin, which is in many ways why it’s the exact family I needed to be born into. Their challenging of who I am forced me to discover my authentic self and accept that self – the self that the people closest to me often told me needed to change. This felt incredibly isolating at times, but it was also a crash course in learning how to be in integrity with myself.

This dedication to being in integrity with who I truly am has greatly impacted my work – in both wonderful and challenging ways. Honoring what truly matters to me, saying no to what doesn’t feel in alignment, and speaking my truth no matter what, even if it creates pushback (and it often does), has been one of the most empowering experiences in my life and is what allowed me to create Living Wholly and move forward with Attune. And yet, this is part of a dynamic balancing act, as I don’t just want to be in integrity with myself, I also want to be in integrity with others.

This balancing act can be so tricky because, sometimes, an action that works best for me may make me fall out of integrity with another. Because of this, I’m often in a state of renegotiation, trying to find the middle ground. I still haven’t found a clear map to that elusive middle ground, but I’ve found that having a plan around integrity is crucial. And in so many ways, the base of that plan is simply being aware of integrity - being aware of how it feels when I’m in and out of it, how it feels when I’m nearing a decision that is guiding me towards integrity, and vice versa. I feel that as long as I stay aware, I can never veer too far off the path.

Part of this awareness is realizing that everything kind of falls apart when integrity isn’t part of the equation. When I’m breaking my word to people, when people are doing the same to me, when I’m saying yes to things that are really no's, and when I’m juggling so much I can’t possibly stay in integrity with all my commitments, work, health, relationships and life in general suffers. There’s no escaping the power of integrity. And as frustrating as that can be, it’s also such a gift, because without integrity we can’t be whole - we can’t truly feel good about living in our skin.

While we all take different paths to living a life of integrity, these are a few ways I stay on the path to my true North.

  • Resetting. Because I’m a chronic over-committer, I constantly have to reexamine my commitments and shuffle things around, or sometimes, hit the reset button and start over. Understandably, this can be hard for people around me. But if I don’t hit reset when I feel integrity slipping out of my grasp, I’m at risk of it unraveling. So, I’m still trying to figure out how to reset in a way that supports my needs, without making me seem like a flake to the people this reset might impact. And, I’m still trying to figure out how to reset without completely guilt-tripping myself. Cheers to being a work in progress!
  • Boundaries. Because of my fore-mentioned over-committing, I’m trying to get better at setting boundaries. For example, I know that I do not function well when I’m rushed and overwhelmed. (Does anyone?) So I’m toying around with giving myself permission to skip that yoga class when I’m exhausted and in need of sleep, or outsourcing a task that’s weighing me down, or making other choices that require I take off that Superwoman cape so many of us are trying to hold onto - often, to our own detriment. Life is so much lighter when I take off the cape.

  • Constant check-ins. It’s such a consistent practice to stay in integrity - and this often feels intense for me. Intense but necessary. I’ve found that I’m always checking my integrity and making sure I’m taking ownership for myself. Before every word I speak, action I take, or even thought that I accept, I try to run it through my integrity filter. If I feel that something I’m doing isn’t in integrity, I’ll often cycle through questions such as, “Where am I not doing my work so I can be in integrity? How am I not taking accountability? Is this choice in integrity? Am I doing what I said I would do?” So integrity is always in my face, and I kind of love that (most of the time.)
  • Tuning into the physical feedback. Recently, I had a health opportunity come up for the second time. Initially, it was frustrating and a little scary. But when I reexamined the situation I realized it was an invitation to tune into and trust the messages my body was trying to give me. In this case, I felt like the message was that I wasn’t in integrity with my health – I was doing too much – I wasn’t attuned with the level of self-care I required. Our bodies are often the best indicators of when we’re in, or out of, integrity.

  • Pausing before I make a decision. I’ve made profound progress on my path of integrity by pausing before I say yes, select a meal, send an email, or move forward with any of the thousands of activities that make up life. Before I started doing this I would say yes to obligations that weren’t in alignment with my integrity, in an effort to people please – I would later resent many of these obligations. So now, the pause is crucial and gives me space to see the best path forward, return to myself and listen to what’s in integrity for me. The activities we choose end up being our lives, so this commitment to pausing is helping me craft the life I want to lead.
  • Easy does it. The path to integrity is powerful, but I’ve learned that I must be gentle with myself as I walk it. When I find that I’m beating myself up about falling out of integrity I use the affirmation “easy does it.” We all want to stay committed to being in integrity with our work, our health, our families, and on and on… but easy does it. When I feel like I can’t keep up I have to remind myself of that. I’m such a believer in “one step at a time,” because that’s where the real work is, in each small step. It all builds on itself.

I truly believe that we all came here to heal, evolve and uplift, and an essential part of fulfilling this calling is getting into greater integrity with all aspects of our lives. There’s so much liberation in integrity, and when we tap into that freedom all corners of our lives blossom in extraordinary ways. I’m dedicated to seeking greater peace every day of my life.

This dedication to living a life of integrity is a driving force behind our new #timetoattune campaign, as it’s all about how our minds, bodies and souls call us forward to be in integrity.To support us in this endeavor, many of the Attune speakers will be releasing videos about what calls them to shift their lifestyle - to wake up, to attune, to be in integrity. I would also like to invite you to share pieces of your journey of integrity and attunement, as it might just spark a profound shift is another’s journey. Let’s walk this path together.

with great love + integrity,

1 Response

maria guiza
maria guiza

August 21, 2019

Thanks for sharing. What you have written has very much to do with the path I have started and the efforts to keep my self on track. That integrity that does not go well with the needs of the people closest to me … you put it so well, your thoughts helps me realize the importance of an easy does it attitude. I appreciate your input.

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