Living with Integrity

What does the word Integrity mean to you?  More importantly, what does integrity feel like? 


I looked up a definition.  One of them read "Integrity: the state of being whole and undivided". 


But, what does that feel like?  In yoga we practice certain meditation, breathing and movement techniques which encourage our body and mind to calm and stabilize.  This feeling is like being in a state of integration.  When I practice integrity in my life, I have clarity, contentment and make conscious choices.  I feel grounded, happy and energetic, like I am in the flow of life.  I have confidence and a feeling of abundance.  Integrity allows me to acknowledge my innate value, without some external measurement.


A practice of integrity is a daily self-study that will last a lifetime.  I've heard the word used mostly in the context of religion or professional ethics, but more recently I'm learning what it is to be integrated with my entire life, not just segments.  So, while practicing the feeling of integration, it's really apparent how much of my life I have been dis-integrated.


For me, dis-integration means that I am a Self divided, part conscious and part unconscious, human and spirit, in a tug-of-war.  When I am dis-integrated I feel anxious, unsettled, fearful and my choices become old, unconscious habits.  Most predominantly, dis-integration triggers a feeling of scarcity: I am not enough, I am not doing enough, I don't have enough. 


Recently, I have spoken with many of my women friends, who are feeling this sense of dis-integration within themselves.  The common theme is "I am not enough".  Why can't we women acknowledge our innate value, without having to keep achieving and proving ourselves worthy?  One part relates to the false societal conditioning, that women are inferior and not as valuable.  In our country, women are expected to be creators and caretakers, while also working and earning a living, only to be shorted because the glass ceiling still exists…(seriously?!?).  This can be really sad and discouraging.  But, why do we have to continue to play this game and measure ourselves against the outmoded status quo?  What if we created a new game, a new belief system, a new system of measuring worth and value?  This is our species greatest advantage: we have the ability to make up realities, believe them, and then other people start believing in them.  Before we know it, change has happened and all we did was make a different, conscious choice.


Let's make up a new reality for ourselves.  Start by shining a light on this self-talk of scarcity.  Every timeyou hear that voice or feel that feeling of dis-integration, be with it, feel through it, write about it, knowing that it will not be eliminated.  It is a gentle reminder, a part of our feminine ancestry, and it is here to teach us how to practice making conscious choices, choices that are from a place of feeling whole and undivided.  When we accept this feeling of dis-integration as a part of our life's teaching, we may feel a softening of its affect on our emotions and our unconscious choices.


I am here to tell you, no matter what the voices in your head say, YOU ARE PERFECT.  There is only one of you, so let the world see you, hear you, feel you and be impacted by you.  If more women start waking up to this fact, we might just change the playing field and take over the world.  A world run by women?  What a beautiful new reality.  Let's start creating.


With Love and Light,


Jeanne Marie