Just as a ship’s hull requires integrity to be waterproof and strong against the powerful and ever-changing force of water, you need to have integrity in your life to be able to navigate the rigors of living it.
Here are some of the qualities and characteristics of integrity:
- The state of being whole and undivided
- Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values (aka, incorruptible)
- An unimpaired condition (aka, being of ‘sound’ mind, body or state)
- The quality or state of being complete
- Expressing clearly aligned focus between thoughts and words, words and actions, beliefs and behaviors.
When you have integrity, you are congruent in thought, word and behavior. And it’s what makes or breaks your success in life, even if that is all happening unconsciously.
You’ve already experienced the opposite of integrity (or lack of integrity) with people who have broken promises to you, or situations that turned out different from their marketing and promotions, or vendors who didn’t deliver as they said they would when you purchased from them.
A lack of integrity damages your credibility (with yourself and others), sets the stage for distrust going forward and feels repellant. When your life has a lack of integrity, multiply the negative consequences by a factor of 10 – because it will create 10 times the negativity for you when you create, allow or accept a lack of integrity in your life.
If someone makes an honest mistake, that’s a different issue. That can be handled with communication, an apology, a new plan. However, if there is a true lack of integrity based on attitude, previous history or greater circumstances, that is a different scenario entirely.
“The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior.”
~ M. Scott Peck
We are now in the Age of Aquarius, which is the astrological sign that connotes knowledge, revolution and synthesis (or coming together) of systems.
The stage for breakthroughs and self-realization is now set. Period.
Naturally, this applies to the integrity of your life. This means that:
Whatever you are tolerating (putting up with) can be no more, whether that’s relationships, lifestyle, occupation or environment.
Whatever changes need to be made for your optimal health and wellness are in motion whether you’re ready or not.
Anything that is out of alignment with integrity in your life will be revealed in order to be consciously addressed. Congruence between the inner and outer WILL be achieved.
What you focus your attention on is critical to what you are creating in your life and work like never before – you will manifest the deepest point of your focus.
Clarity of perception is undeniable. You will be able to see dynamics, distortions and discoveries without effort.
In other words, the Age of Aquarius is a revolution in consciousness. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your life experience. And it requires you to show up in integrity in every way.
To help acclimate to this new level of consciousness, here are three things you can do:
ONE: Be accountable to yourself.
- What projects have you put off?
- What projects need to be completed?
- What loose ends are plaguing you?
- What relationships require greater attention and integrity from you?
- What is unsaid for which you are the messenger?
- What are you tolerating in your life and work?
- What needs are you not meeting for yourself?
Now is the time for radical self-honesty. While it will shake up your world, it will make the shift easier because you’re confronting it rather than reacting to it.
TWO: Express your dreams.
If there is something you want to know, do, be or experience, now is the time to express it. If your life, including health, relationships, work, isn’t what you want it to be, what do you need to do differently?
This isn’t about anyone but you – identify and articulate your dreams to start taking action on living them.
THREE: Understand what you are here to do.
You are unique in the fabric of time and space; you are here to contribute something valuable. Chances are that having your own business allows you the space and freedom to do it (but that’s just me). ;+)
The truth is that your unique purpose is probably already expressing somewhere in your world even if you aren’t an entrepreneur(yet).
In any case, get clarity on what you are here to do and teach in the biggest sense in order to do it consciously.
Fair warning: if you do not step into your life with total integrity and make your distinct contribution, whatever that is, there will be a tsunami wave that will sweep through your life to release what you haven’t yet addressed. And that’s a lot more traumatic than doing it on your own proactively.
If you feel like every time you turn around that there’s something else that requires a new level of attention, that’s because there is – life is speeding up. It may feel like you’re being squished in the Tectonic plates of your life.
In the moment, that can be a bit overwhelming but, in the end, doing the work now to align all the aspects of your life with integrity will make things flow easier and with greater intentional result for you in the long run.
Many people assume they know how to take care of their body because they’ve been living in it a long time. However, most of what we were taught even a generation ago is no longer considered ‘best practices’ for healthy, vital living.
Not only have nutritional standards been upgraded, but so have the paradigms around exercise, rest and meditation. Beyond that, each body is now considered unique in terms of what it needs – from minerals to hormones, blood type to metabolism, your body is its own ecosystem. And it’s up to you to figure out what makes it run best.
The human body is designed to live for something like 200+ years but our life choices wear it out early. With proper care and feeding, you can live happier physically for a longer time now.
What does integrity with your body look like? Having consistent routines for everything from brushing and flossing your teeth to visiting the dentist, from eating every 3 hours to resting when you’re tired and sleeping for at least 6 hours a night gives your body the structural, nutritional and active habits that keep you lean and your energy clean.
Be honest and consider where you are out of integrity with your relationship with your body. Then don’t beat yourself up! Simply commit to new behaviors that honor your body as the vehicle that gets you through life every day.
The Bigger Message of being aware of the degree of integrity in your life can change everything for you. Once you recognize that nothing is too small to be consciously aligned with the best version of yourself, you cannot just toss off a glib comment or procrastinate on a commitment.
The reality is that if you are lacking integrity in one part of your life, it’s also showing up in at least one other area of your life. That means if you are late to meet a friend for drinks, you’re likely late for other appointments too – and maybe even work. If you are breaking promises to others, you’re definitely breaking promises to yourself. And that does not set you up for success on any level.
When you decide to pay attention to how you’re showing up in your life, you give yourself the gift of strength. Integrity is what strengthens all the aspects of your life, bringing them together as mirror aspects of their source – you.
The other aspect of integrity we need to address here is honesty. That is, do you speak your truth? Are you scrupulous about your standards of conduct so that people can rely on you and they know it? Do you keep your word when you give it?
Having the courage to be honest with yourself and others gives you a greater capacity to have profound connections with others. People know when you’re holding out, have expectations, are projecting your stuff and aren’t showing up in your full potential and, naturally, in such cases, it’s hard to trust you. However, when you are honest and demonstrate integrity in every area of your life, you naturally attract people’s trust as the foundation for cultivating great relationships.
Your environment is a reflection of your inner world. That is, what’s ‘out there’ is ‘in here’ and vice-versa. So if you look around at your environment and it doesn’t match who you think you are, it’s time to shake things up a bit.
The environment around you should be clean, functional, attractive and comfortable for you. It should be a mirror of your interests, hobbies, personality and lifestyle. If it isn’t, either you’ve outgrown your environment or one of you needs an upgrade. ;+)
When it comes to evaluating the integrity of your space, begin with the biggest concept and work your way down to the specific as follows:
- Are you living in the right geographical area?
- Are you living in the right type of house or structure?
- Is the exterior of your home attractive and welcoming for you?
- Is the interior layout of your home conducive to the flow of your life?
- Is the décor attractive? Does the style suit you?
- Within each room, do you like the feeling and functionality of the furnishings in the room?
- Is there anything you would change about your furnishings, furniture or artwork?
- Do you have clutter in any room? And, if yes, can you take care of it in less than an hour? (If yes, get it scheduled on your calendar and get it done!)
- Is there anything that needs to be repaired or replaced? If yes, make that a priority.
When you are in integrity with your environment, and your environment is integrity with supporting your best life, you will notice that shifts happen. The reason for that is because your environment is your outer body – as you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Your life needs a physical container to allow you to restore yourself so you can go out and make your contribution in the world. Make sure it’s the best container you can create right now – then watch for synchronicities that show you that your desires are being manifested.
When you choose to invest your productivity must be congruent with what you care about as well as your unique talents and strengths. Why? Because if you are doing something you don’t care about or that you aren’t strong in, you are doing it only for the money – and that’s not enough to truly motivate you to show up fully. It’s also not the way to know that you’re making a meaningful difference in the world.
Your work needs to be in integrity with who you are, what you’re good and where you want to make a bigger difference. When you commit to being in integrity through your work, your position and/or job will take on a fresh flavor for greater performance and personal fulfillment.
If you are not contributing to something greater than you while using your natural talents, you are stunting yourself. If you are not in the right career, handling the right kinds of responsibilities for the right employer, it will cause you stress and, more than likely, problems at work.
If you are in the right place doing the right things with the right employer situation, the next question becomes are you showing up fully in integrity with what you know you can do? If you are holding back, find yourself complaining or looking for a new job or career option, you are out of integrity in your career.
When you get into integrity with your career, you are naturally motivated to add to your skills set, go further on a project and like to take on new responsibilities because you know that you are making a significant difference. Let now be the time that you assess the degree of integrity between your professional life and your personal desires and talents and, if there is a gap, acknowledge it and start closing it.
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ~ Herophilus
When you are incongruent, or out of integrity, in any part of your life, your body will experience dis-ease (either in terms of stress or through illness). It is a foundational energy loss because, as you sense you are making choices that don’t support your best and highest self, it becomes an energetic drag. In turn, that creates an unnecessary waste of mental energy.
If you think of a large backpack full of the things you are lacking integrity with sitting heavily on your back throughout your day, you can imagine the relief of removing that backpack and the energy that would return for other things in your life. When you have integrity with your personal goals and choices, you create the conditions for optimal life force energy through your health.
Being out of integrity leads to stress and stress is the #1 cause of most illness today. You know what you need to do to take care of your health. If you’re not doing it, it’s time to get honest and consider the greater pay-off you’re having from not taking care of yourself. Clearly there is something that is preventing you from honoring yourself, which causes fundamental stress, which takes a toll on your health. Once you identify that root cause for your behavior, you give yourself new options for better health.
In case you are experiencing a lack of optimal health right now, there is a Bigger Message for you in that experience. It’s inviting you to look beyond the symptoms to see what’s really going on and make some changes in your life. Your health is the barometer of how you’re handling stress, how effectively you’re restoring your energy and the sum total of all the little energy drains that can happen over the course of daily living. Pay attention to get into integrity so you can enjoy more vital health every day.
Your relationships are a match to the energy that you are putting out. When you are in integrity, congruent with your beliefs and values, speaking your truth and showing up fully to participate in a relationship by taking ownership of your own emotional wellness, your relationships are more engaging and fulfilling.
However, when you are out of integrity in your relationships (including the one you have with yourself), you set the stage for misunderstandings, miscommunications and missed opportunities. Ironically, this is the time when you can most grow from your relationships because these are your disguised invitations for growth.
Over time, your relationships will change; in fact, they must, in order to keep up with your evolution. If you find that you have ‘unfinished business’ with a relationship or past occurrence with another person, it keeps you out of integrity and that will affect other areas of your life.
It is vital that you feel supported by your relationships, whether with family, a significant other, a best friend, social circle, colleagues, vendors… anyone in your world as some relationship with you by definition (they are in your world). You can see how you are showing up by observing who is entering your world and how your relationships are changing.
People who have poor boundaries often struggle in relationships. This is actually a symptom of poor integrity with self because boundaries are not honored by others – they are taught to others by how we treat ourselves. When you honor your boundaries, so can others. When you don’t know how to honor your boundaries, most people find it easier to sacrifice the relationship than grow themselves with integrity and ‘own’ their part in the relationship dynamic.
In short, consider your relationships and ask yourself how you feel about each one. Notice if you feel good more often than not after seeing that person, if you are participating fully in the relationship or if you are holding back in some way. Notice what fulfills you and what doesn’t, then take action to see that your needs get met. That may occur through clear communication and making a request, or it may be through attracting a new relationship. Whatever the relationship, come from a place of integrity to allow each of you to show up in your full capacity – the key to the most rewarding kind of relationship regardless of the type.
When your life is in integrity with your values, beliefs, thoughts and behaviors, you have more energy. Your desire to create something new increases and, without the stress of managing incongruence, you feel lighter so you have the energy to do it. With expansive space in your energy field, your creativity begins to express itself in new ways.
Creativity is not limited to the arts (painting, music, etc.). Creativity is in how you see the world, the way you approach solving problems, the perspective you have on your relationships as you see with fresh eyes. Life is more spontaneous and you enjoy new freedom in every way – including your creativity.
Interestingly enough, the best creativity happens when you assign integrity to it. For example, if you wanted to create (write) a new book, the best way to make that happen is to give yourself deadlines. Why? Because if you don’t, you’ll never have a sense of urgency to actually do it!
So creativity will benefit by having integrity in how you approach it and the parameters you use to create an actual outcome. And you may decide to not have an outcome – instead, you may decide that you’re going to play for one afternoon and see what happens. That’s what a major technology company does – they give their engineering team 24 hours every quarter to work on their own projects and see what happens (which is why we now have Post Its, I do believe…). (The glue for Post Its was originally a failed batch of glue meant for aerospace and the formula sat for about five years until someone started playing with it and, seven years after that, Post Its were born.)
At any rate, being in integrity leads to greater creativity and giving your creativity a structure of some sort creates the space for something new to emerge. (Kinda makes you want to go create something now, doesn’t it?) ;+)
Webster’s Definition of Congruence: “Congruence is the quality or state of agreeing or coinciding, state achieved by coming together, the state of agreement.”
When you are living in integrity with who you are here to be and the unique purpose you are to fulfill, your life has meaning and generates a deep sense of contentment within.
Every decision you make defines you and makes you who you are – including how on track you are with your individual life purpose.
Life purpose is not found in a job or from something someone else says you are to do. Instead, it is what pulls you forward naturally – the thing that may seem too easy because you are usually doing it in some form consistently throughout your life.
“It is not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
Being aligned with your life purpose is one of the ultimate hallmarks of success because it will give you energy, melt obstacles and create opportunities without effort.
Conversely, when you are not in integrity with your true life purpose, your work feels like, well, work! You are not as interested as you could be, get side-tracked by challenges and distractions, and do not go the extra mile in how you show up for projects.
In this case, the best thing you can do is take some time to consider how you feel when you know you are aligned with something (usually that means happy, light and optimistic). When you have that feeling in mind, think about your life and the times you’ve felt that feeling – especially when working. That will give you a new approach to find clues about how your life purpose has expressed itself in the past so you can find new ways to express it going forward.
All in all, this is a good time to get into integrity with yourself on all levels of your existence. Know that when you do, you might make some people unhappy. That’s because they know you as they do and your shift will force them to shift too in order to stay in relationship with you. If they are meant to be in your life going forward, that will happen with your mutual intention. (And if not, you will need to choose between releasing them or staying smaller than you were designed to be in this lifetime.)
And that’s the Bigger Message about Integrity…
About The Author
Lynn Scheurell is a visionary pioneer and spiritual teacher in the area of conscious personal development. She is a leading proponent that life’s challenges are the ultimate tool for accelerated clarity and are invitations for growth in disguise. Internationally known for her empowering and inclusive approach to one’s conscious expansion, Lynn teaches people fully engaged in actualizing their potential how to identify, align and express their true nature in every situation and circumstance. As she is ‘bi-lingual’ in speaking the language of spirit AND the language of human dynamics, she is able to translate and facilitate self-growth into a faster, easier evolution. Changing the world starts by understanding your motivations, inspirations and purpose; in other words, changing the world starts within you. www.TheBiggerMessage.com