Integrity. It’s a powerful word, bestowed upon those deemed to have demonstrated moral values and standards in tune with society’s mores and frequently linked to heroic gestures and acts of bravery. What often goes unnoticed are the small integrity-building actions of everyday life which, left unchecked, can disconnect body and mind and affect wellbeing.
Derived from the Latin word integer, meaning whole or complete, integrity is a tool that does exactly what it says. When personal integrity is ignored, the line of communication between actions and intuition is muffled.
Conversely, practising integrity on a daily basis will strengthen those lines, facilitating a direct dialogue within the self. This open dialogue is the key to connecting to deep desires and unleashing the strength required to move towards them.
A person perceived to have integrity is deemed trustworthy. But they also tend to possess strong self-trust. Without this, the ability to follow the body’s important soft cues would be non-existent. When these are ignored, they can transform into an ache in the belly, anxiety, sleeplessness and even physical pain. When integrity is intact, it’s possible to build the necessary self-trust to listen immediately to soft cues and act in ways perfectly aligned with a desired path.
How to nurture your integrity
There are many ways to discover and explore integrity. Here are a few of them. Choose the ones that work for you and spend as much time on each one as suits your needs. They can be amended or followed exactly – this is your journey of discovery…
Practise light awareness
Be inquisitive. Throughout the day, take note of your interactions. This is a time of learning. There’s no need to change your habits. Instead, view them with a light presence. You may choose to take mental notes or jot down your findings in the evening. Do what you feel will inspire your understanding best.
Recognise your feelings
Connect with your body. Take time to notice how each action makes you feel. Does your stomach turn or your jaw clench? Is the result of one action different from the others? How long do these feelings remain? Store these discoveries in your memory bank. They will become soft cues for future encounters.
Challenge one at a time
Keep it simple. When you have a grasp of how certain actions make you feel, choose one that you would like to change. The others will remain mentally present, but try to keep this choice at the forefront of your thoughts. One suggestion is to write positive reminders for yourself. For example, if your choice is to try to gossip less, write a note on your bathroom mirror or mobile lock screen that reads: ‘I will speak highly of others today.’ This can help to remind you to speak positively – or to say nothing. When you feel you have a solid grasp on this particular action, you can move on to any others you feel need addressing.
Take an inventory
Congratulate yourself. Questioning your actions in this way takes courage and strength. Allow yourself the time you need to recognise – and celebrate – your accomplishments.
Words: Kate Schuyler
This article was originally published in Issue 14 – Embrace the Positive