Walking the Path of Integrity

Walking the Path of Integrity

Embodying the 3 parts of integrity – and where we may fall short.

There is a thread you follow. It goes among things that change, but it doesn't change – William Stafford

What does it mean to be a person of integrity?

For many of us, integrity sits fairly high on the list of values we would claim to espouse. Especially in the emerging conscious business community, we pride ourselves in being upstanding community and organizational leaders who stand for truth, for values alignment, for social and environmental justice –and for walking our talk.

Yet even in the midst of our outward declaration and the sincere actions we take in its service, it’s possible (even probable) that we miss the mark. As a result of our ingrained habits, unhealed traumas, founded or unfounded fears and unhelpful beliefs, we may find ourselves to be quite literally at odds with ourselves in moments when it really counts.

Here are three kinds of integrity that tend to get lost when we are operating under pressure, in life and at work:
  • My Word is My Bond – Quite simply, when you say you will do something… do you do it? And if you can’t, do you renegotiate in a way that takes care of and dignifies all stakeholders? While many of us work hard to fulfill on some types, sizes or domains of promises, it’s not uncommon to that we simultaneously let others go. This sets the stage for tolerating “tradeoffs” that eventually take a toll on our reputations and the quality of our work.
  • Being True to Myself ­– Whereas the first aspect is about integrity between you and another, we may also be out of integrity with ourselves. Are you telling the truth about who you are really –In your workplace? In your marriage? In your community? And if not, is it leading to compromises that pull you farther and farther away from truly knowing yourself? When we lose integrity with ourselves, it can be more difficult to recognize ways we’re out of integrity with others, and it’s more difficult to get our real needs met.
  • Coherency in Body, Mind & Spirit – This third aspect refers to integrity between the parts of your own embodiment, such that your presence comes across as integrous. Perhaps you smile when you’re sad, or please others when you’re actually enraged. Perhaps you move through the world with a rigid gate in a rigid body, but your soul itself feels light and free. Often, we fragment our own integrity between parts as a strategy to cope with past or present-day traumas. It serves a function, but it also takes a toll on our nervous system to maintain.
In over twenty years of walking an intentional path of self-reflection, I've found that the work is never truly done.

Indeed 2023 and 2024 have been “recalibration years” for both me personally, and for Guts & Grace as a business. They have asked me to take a deeper look at my actions, my loyalties and the promises I make.

I don’t think this is a coincidence.

Astrologically, we have moved as a collective through several monumental transitions (and events e.g. the recent solar eclipse) that may indicate a shift in paradigm and a speeding up of our human consciousness.

Environmentally, we have experienced an increase in the type of natural disasters across the globe that threaten the resources we rely on to sustain human life, and we are becoming more aware of the delicate balance within which we exist with mother Earth.

And politically, we have witnessed the escalation of global conflict that has been boiling for decades. And in the US, we are approaching what may prove to be a significant turning point in the history of our country, this election year.

On my own continued journey of self-discovery (framed by my commitment to personal and professional integrity) I’ve felt “called out” lately. Not by anyone in particular (though it has come to me via teachers and/or clients at times), but by a felt-sense of mis-alignment that seems to insist on being faced vs ignored.

  • In the summer of 2023, I discovered ways that –in the business I run which is based on trust, honesty and commitment – I have made unconscious mis-steps along the way that amount to a lack of integrity in being able to keep my word, both to team members and to clients. I have seen the ways that an unchecked habit of unconsciously following the rules of shadow-capitalism have negatively informed some of my moves toward growth as a business owner.
  • This winter in 2024, I uncovered a thread in my personal life in which I was disconnected from a deeper truth that would enable me to set boundaries and take a stand for the type of intimacy I most desire. I am continuing to explore the gender-nonconforming parts of my psyche while also coming into a deeper integrity with my desire to co-create a more committed partnership and family.
  • And along the way, I’ve been called to take a closer look at the ways in which my physical and emotional presence still sometimes betray me. I am examining the way my humility can be a mis-match for the skill and competence I embody in particular domains. And I am working toward right-relationship between my “CEO” and “spiritual guide” selves, as an entrepreneur who runs a program that serves professional women but is also a kind of mystery school.
And so, I am doing the work to come back into integrity.

While it can feel upsetting or even shameful to “catch ourselves in the act” of being out of integrity, the most important thing we can do is be grateful for the adjustment (however it comes) and take a nextstep.

Thus, if you resonate with this post, I invite you to into practice.

But where to start?  

What step to choose as a starting point depends upon the nature of the mis-alignment. It might be an apology. A change of protocol. Or the re-design of an alliance with a person, place or organization. It might look like taking a few days off with a journal and a bottle of wine (or a green juice, or a cup of cacao) to reflect on your recent trajectory and get to know yourself again. Or it might look like buckling down and doing some hard work that you’ve been avoiding.

However it looks, I can say that while it may not be easy, it will eventually open the door to a sense of relief. As we come back into integrity, we set down the burden we’ve been carrying (consciously or unconsciously) to maintain a mis-aligned status quo.

Helping our clients re-calibrate toward personal and professional integrity is a core focus of the Guts & Grace approach.

And while I’m 100% human and still walking my own path of growth in this domain, we’ve helped hundreds of women quickly and concisely define the precise next steps they need to take in order to re-align.

Come back here for more practical tools and personal stories about how to meet yourself in the moment with compassion, commitment and integrity during this important time.

I look forward to keeping in touch!

PS – if you want more support, we can help:

  • Apply for a Free Discovery Call to get personalized 1:1 coaching support to re-calibrate and develop a 3-partpersonal/professional growth plan.
  • Take the Four Keys Quiz for free to uncover your biggest growth area this year.
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