We are deeply conditioned to “fit in” and give up what we truly need and want. Many of us learn to compromise, hide our true desires and live a life that is less than what we dreamed for ourselves. We tell ourselves that we’ll get back to our dreams when we make enough money, when we’re older or when our life’s circumstances seem more supportive of our dreams… only to find that the timing is never right, the money is never enough and our lives keep rolling forward without us tending to our dreams.
What if you were able to not only achieve every goal you set your mind to, you were able to obliterate them and achieve success in a fraction of the time you expect? What if you were able to live your very best life? Be the very best version of yourself? And how might your life change if you realised that all of this isn’t really that hard? You really can achieve all of your goals in a fraction of the time and live the life of your dreams. It all comes down to one thing: Personal Integrity. Are you being true to you?
Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs, and behaviour. When our behaviour is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match up, we have integrity. Merriam Webster says that “integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge”. So, integrity is the stuff of superheroes and famous legends and leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks and Gandhi, and for good reason. Personal Integrity is one of the most character-defining attributes a person can have.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t
compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
Every Master Was First a Disaster
When we tell ourselves we are going to do something, no matter how big or small, and we follow through and do it – we are in integrity. This means, personal integrity is the key to achieving the life we want to live. Being in integrity is the capacity to be in alignment with what you believe, your values, your word, or anything else that you stand for or believe in your heart is true. In essence, when we are in integrity we are in alignment. The paradox about integrity is that, in order to learn about integrity, we must first learn about being out of integrity.
Integrity is tied to our self-worth. When we value ourselves (and others), we create with integrity. If we experience a breach in integrity, it has the potential to disrupt our sense of self-worth. Integrity creates sustainable choices, actions and energy. When we value ourselves, we make conscious, sustainable decisions that keep us healthy and vital in all areas of our lives. Integrity is not a static state. As we grow and evolve, we have to constantly calibrate our integrity. Our physical needs, the kinds of resources that we want, our identity and our energy change.
You cannot live in integrity if you struggle with your self-worth and your sense of personal value – or the value of others. We get out of integrity when we try to prove our value or when we feel lacking in any way. Our low sense of value creates a cascade of choices that are unsustainable and leave us depleted. In response to this depletion we hoard, deny, hold back and fail to give leadership or to share what we have with the world. We create from a place of “not enough-ness” and build our personal empire on a weak foundation. Weak foundations lead to ‘Tower Moments’.
If we struggle with our own self-worth, the Universal Law of Cause and Effect comes into play and we are at risk for experiencing “karmic” blowback for not living in alignment with our integrity. Not valuing ourselves causes us to make bad choices that can ultimately take their toll on our health, resources, our authentic expression, our moral integrity and our energy.
is experienced when our bodies are healthy and vital.
is when we use our material resources in a sustainable way.
is experienced when we feel that we can fully manifest the value of our authentic identity and we don’t compromise who we are for the sake of money or anything else.
is the courage to do the right thing and to make sure that our actions are honest and aligned with higher principles and values.
is experienced when we consistently and deliberately rest and take care of ourselves so that we have the energy to engage with life in a sustainable way.
We cannot create sustainable collective initiatives and share what we have in a sustainable way, if we ourselves are not sustainable on a personal level. If you are struggling with managing your own energy because you are burned out and experiencing depleted resources, or if you are struggling with being out of integrity in some area of your life, you cannot make sustainable choices.
“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.”
The Real Reason for Burnout
Burnout is the biggest symptom of a lack of self-love. When your life experiences cause you to lose connection with your sense of value, and with the unique gifts that only you can bring to the table, it causes a trauma response in your body and depletes, not only the body, but your spiritual and emotional vitality.
The body responds to the denial of the Truth of Who You Are just like it does to a major traumatic event. When we lose connection with our value, our bodies go into protective mode, elevating cortisol levels and putting us in a state of a low-grade chronic “fight or flight” response. The hard truth is that most of us have, in some way, perceived ourselves as being judged, criticised or told that we can’t do with our life what we dream of doing. This causes us to lose connection with the precious wonder of our dreams.
The cost of losing connection with our value and our right place in the world is colossal. People who are burned out have elevated cortisol and are more reactive and less creative. When your body is in constant survival mode, it physiologically shuts down the more creative parts of your brain. You don’t need those parts of your brain when you’re fighting for your life!
“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”
How it Feels
When you’re out of alignment with what you know deep in your heart to be true and real for you, you experience this as a feeling or a sense of being disconnected from the whole. For example:
Out of Integrity with You
Something feels off or just isn’t right. There’s an inner sense that something is out of alignment, and you experience emotional discomfort, anger, grief, sadness or feelings of helplessness. This can lead to having trouble sleeping at night, or simply being able to fully concentrate or focus on what’s in front of you.
Out of Integrity with Others
Your friends, family, or business partner will complain, confront you, or call you out for being out of integrity. You’ll feel disconnected from them, maybe even avoid them. When you do connect, you avoid at all costs speaking about the event or situation that is causing the disturbance, mostly to avoid feeling guilty or ashamed.
Out of Integrity with the Universe
You feel stuck – as if what you want in the external world is not happening at all, or it’s taking too long to manifest. You feel disconnected from the natural rhythm of life and feel as if you’re swimming against the current. As a result, you feel lonely and empty.
“Your own Self-Realisation is the greatest service you can render the world.”
The Great Awakening
2020 brought great chaos and confusion, but the shock is wearing off and we’re beginning to understand that we are in a massive cycle of rebirth. We are not returning to the old ways. We are not who we used to be. We are having time to grieve along the way and we all know the grieving process can feel unpredictable, emotional, and draining. We will need to factor in ways to process, integrate, and allow for self-compassion – and compassion for others – as we strengthen our endurance, access our sustainability, and cultivate perseverance.
We are consciously and deliberately crafting a new personal and collective narrative. This new narrative inspires us and calls us out of the void we’ve been drifting in. We cannot afford to descend into the luxury of victimhood, blame, old patterns, or responses. This is powerful, transformative energy inviting us to find gratitude in the moment, to receive the lessons we’ve been given with grace, and to keep moving forward.
Developing Personal Integrity is essential to becoming a stable, clear and trustworthy person that aligns their decisions in life with their chosen personal values. It is the milestone of building a strong character guided by your chosen personal values. Integrity means you are firmly centred in purpose and guided through life by your own core self. We compromise our integrity whenever we let others make poor decisions for us, or when we betray a trust, betray our personal values, or betray that which we know is the truth for ourselves. When we compromise our Integrity, we allow a back door vulnerability for dark force manipulation that often descends even more darkness and chaos into the situation where we made the compromise.
“You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone.”
A World Taking Action
It’s time to face the painful consequences of our past actions and repay old debts, in order to stabilise our society and to rebuild with harmony. This is a powerful time of karmic alignment that calls for deep introspection and transparency. We must heal the trauma of the past to be able to realign with integrity and justice for all, so we may move forward with grace, clarity, and equality. On a global scale we are transforming our economy and reconciling our relationship with power and money. With a brand-new metric of value, we no longer measure value on the material plane, but instead the currency of our new economy is discovering how we can amplify our well-being and use it to increase the quality of life and well-being for others.
We can no longer afford to see ourselves as separate from others. Collectively, we are building a global and eco-centric economy. To take the first vital steps in laying the foundation of a more equitable and sustainable world, we must humbly admit where we are out of integrity. In 2021, we begin to build a world filled with collaborative and co-creative possibility. Everything begins with self-responsibility. From a place of wholeness, we can enter into agreements without hidden agendas or the need to prove our value.
“Put simply, integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions
based on values rather than personal gain.”
— Suzanne Cunningham
5 Simple Ways to Maintain Integrity
In any one moment, you have a choice. Do you wish to continue down the same path and relive similar scenarios or make different choices, cultivate new habits and create different experience?
1. Do the Work
If you’ve arrived at a place where you know you need to radically improve yourself. If your flakiness is causing other people pain (and you are in pain as a result) then you have a great opportunity to get leverage on yourself. This means using the mind’s unconscious but powerful system of motivation that causes us to move away from emotional or physical pain. By not dodging the pain of your failure, and instead allowing yourself to feel it fully, you can associate that pain with the behaviour you wish to change. This is you re-writing the script and programming your subconscious mind to find a better way. Resolve to improve.
2. Feel into Your Heart Space
Rather than look at things as wrong/right, good/bad, black/white, ask yourself if the action you’re about to take aligns with your integrity. Is your heart expanding or contracting? Do you feel lighter or heavier? Your body will always tell you if you simply stop for a moment to listen. You might need to stop certain actions (e.g., speaking impulsively or sugarcoating your responses). And you might need to improve on others: if fear holds you back from acting with integrity, build your personal courage. Apologise faster and simpler. Concentrate on containing the damage you may have caused rather than justifying yourself.
3. Stop Overpromising
If you lack integrity, one of your defining characteristics is overpromising and under-delivering. You simply have to stop doing this or no one will ever trust you. Take note of when you make promises that are hard to keep and ask yourself why you need to please people all the time? Practice saying “NO“ to things you know you will have difficulty completing. This isn’t about setting boundaries with other people so much as it is about setting boundaries with yourself.
4. Examine How You React in Knee-jerk Situations
Do you commit to things in the moment and then wonder why you did it later? It’s time to take a look at that, as well as how you make longer-term commitments (e.g., attending events, completing projects, etc.). Use this introspection to become more self-aware, more self-regulated and to improve your self-esteem.
5. Avoid People who Lack Integrity – Like the Plague!
Do not do business with them. Do not associate with them. Do not make excuses for them. Get as far away from them as possible or you will be guilty by association. People pay attention to those you have chosen to associate with, and they will inevitably judge your character based on the character of your friends and associates. You really are only as good as the company you keep.
“Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—YOU.”
Let's Get it Right
We must approach this coming year with the question: How can I best serve the world? Once we reclaim the value and gifts that only we can give the world, we can see our irreplaceable role in the cosmic plan, and we can then commit to serving the world at our highest level. This place of service is also the place where we experience our deepest joy. This is the natural response to doing the inner work. We are playing the long game.
It will take tremendous courage this year to look at the dismantling and trust that, once we take things apart, there will be something better to build in its place. We must be willing to collaborate, explore, and experiment. We will be taking giant leaps of faith! Our blessings are amplified when we are willing to transform our old stories into a narrative that is worthy of who we truly are. Have faith that that forces larger than us are at play. Faith stabilises everything. Faith gives us the power to face potential emotional volatility and to trust that we can slice through the intensity. Faith brings harmony to situations that feel unstable, while we keep the “big picture” in mind. We must endure, even if we are in unfamiliar territory, questioning our definition of momentum and progress. Trust that there is a bigger story unfolding.
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks,
breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
– Mary Lou Cook
The Creative Revolution
We are on the cusp of a Creative Revolution that will, in time, be compared to the Scientific Revolution. We are on the edge of building the world we’ve been dreaming of since we were children. Innocence and joy are the key elements of our creative power. It is from the playfulness of possibility thinking that the leading edge of a revolution (and our evolution in consciousness) will be advanced forward. We must act from this place of playfulness, believing – knowing – that evolution in consciousness will advance all of humanity forward.
We are creating the templates for our future right now. Science continues to deepen our understanding of the mechanics of our creative capacities. Our thoughts trigger the manifestation of specific neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters create an emotional response. Our emotions influence a powerful electromagnetic field in our heart which in turn draws into our lives experiences that match the frequencies of our heart. Once you learn to harness this process consciously, it becomes a predictable formula that you can follow again and again and again.
“The only difference between someone who accomplishes grandiose visions for their life and someone who dies with their dreams still within them is the revelation of self-worth and self-love that allowed them to continually move forward and expand into their evolution.”
When we feel aligned with our Authentic Selves, we can access a more expansive brain state that makes us more creative. We’re able to more easily find ground-breaking solutions to problems. Without this kind of creativity, we never would have gone to the Moon, had computers or electricity. A world facing issues of sustainability, equitability and other global challenges, needs healthy, creative people to access the elegant solutions humanity requires to move forward. Being out of integrity (misaligned with your Authentic Self) isn’t just painful, it robs the world of your brilliance and genius.
It also creates all kinds of hidden agendas in the way you navigate the world. It’s hard to see Truth when the choices you make are rooted in an underlying need to prove your worth and lovability. When we feel like we have to prove ourselves, we can’t hear our inner guidance and the inner alignment with the next right step for the fulfillment of our life purpose. When you are out of integrity, the true story of your life becomes a story that is never written and all of the potential of that story dies with you.
“If you don’t consciously choose trust and love in each moment, your subconscious policies will choose for you, and they usually choose fear.”
Make Conscious Choices Today
We are at a crucial crossroads at this time on the planet. The work of evolving our world is not a fight or a battle. This work will be accomplished by a growing wave of people who are living true to Who They Really Are. The energy of being aligned with our Authentic Selves is sustainable and, ultimately, incredibly brilliant and creative in an enduring way. We cannot create sustainable change in the world if we ourselves are not sustainable. When we value ourselves and live true to Who We Are, we become creators, not consumers.
As we continue to collectively explore our power and the role of leadership, people everywhere are waking up to no longer tolerate and settle for what doesn’t serve us or the greater good. We are taking responsibility and accountability for the fantasies we’ve been holding and exploring how we can better take care of each other. In order to be ready to act with power, we must be prepared. Our energy needs to be sustainable and high. We need to be clear about the focus and purpose of our power. We need to realise the difference between power and force and to not devolve to force if the timing is wrong. We need to be willing to use our power for the greater good, with great responsibility and accountability.
People who see the world through the lens of their own value, see value in the world and, consequently, also see the value of others. We realise how precious each and every living being on the planet is and how worthy our world is of protection and nurturing. The future of the world literally depends on you loving and valuing yourself. You may not realise it but healing the wounds that keep you from seeing how precious you truly are is the most important thing you can do to heal the world. If you’re looking out at the world and you feel powerless to make a change, look within yourself for the seeds of transformation. Falling in love with yourself is the most revolutionary thing you can do to make the world a better place!
“Unless today is well lived, tomorrow is not important.”