· You vowed to speak up at work, and then sit silent in the meeting yet again.
· You convinced yourself that this time you were going to stick to your diet, only to find the number on the scale inching up again.
· You knew in your gut that he was not the one, yet you willfully ignored the warning signs only to find the text messages and pictures from other women all over his phone.
· You committed to making a change, and then found yourself sliding back into the same behavior you’d been so desperate to avoid.
Even though we can sometimes undo something the has been done, or fix it in the outer world, the imprint it leaves on our psyche cannot be undone. It’s like a nail and a piece of wood. If you hammer a nail into wood, you can pull the nail out, but the holes will always leave an imprint. We all have holes in our soul that represent the many ways we have betrayed, lied to, or disparaged ourselves – all the ways we have stepped over our truth and diminished our self-trust. And the problem is, when we can’t trust ourselves, we don’t listen to ourselves. We can’t heed the very guidance that our soul is trying to provide. We are cut off from the very essence of our being and end up living a life that feels wrong, inauthentic and disconnected. We then look to other people for validation, affirmation, answers and even to tell us what is right for us. In our efforts to be good and make it look good, we lose touch what feels good and is truly good for us.
Every time we bite our tongue, or ignore our truth, we swallow our integrity and whittle away at our sense of self.
This is why, if we are lucky, (Yes! I said lucky) we will get to a point of finally being fed up with being fed up. When cheating on ourselves, selling ourselves out, and playing small, safe, or settling, no longer works because we can longer endure sabotaging our happiness, or that gnawing feeling inside us that knows we are destined for something more.
The first step in living in alignment your integrity is getting to that point where you say, “Enough is enough!”
Enough is enough! is a declaration of deserving. It is an affirmation that you feel worthy of having and living your best life and are ready to claim all of who you are and live in alignment with your deepest truths and grandest desires…which, is your integrity.
To then actually walk the path of integrity you must learn to trust that you are the one with all of your answers. Instead of looking to the external world for your truth, you need to make a U-turn back to yourself, learn to go inward, and discover the voice that has been there all along. I call this the process of self-referral. It is a way of continually looking to yourself instead of the outer world for approval, answers, and guidance. Self-referral brings you back to you and empowers you. Deepak Chopra said, “Self-referral is an internal way of being that is not dependent on external circumstances.” You clear away the voices of society, friends, and family and determine what you like, what you care about, and what your priorities are in this lifetime. This allows you to access your authentic point of reference.
The good news is, when it comes to the process of self-referral, as Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz,
“You’ve always had the power.”
Inside of each of us is most amazing internal guidance system. I call it our Integrity Alignment Monitor (the I AM). Your I AM is installed at birth and comes with a lifetime guarantee! It is specifically designed to help you tap into your truth and find your way back to what is right and good for you.
In an era when we are all obsessed with selfies and self-monitoring—measuring every step we take, our sleeping patterns, the calories we consume or burn, the places we visit, and how much money we spend—our Integrity Alignment Monitor is truly the ultimate gadget because it connects us with ourselves. It supports us in knowing when something is “off.” It warns us when we don’t feel comfortable in someone’s presence. It alerts us to behaviors, choices, thoughts, and actions that are not in alignment with our integrity, and it guides us in making the choices and decisions that are in our best interest.
Most of us have an inkling that this monitor is inside us, but the thought of having to continually check in with our I AM or be guided by it may feel daunting, as if we must strive to become a paragon of perfection or that it might be too hard. Living from this place of I AM actually makes life easier. It is so much easier to live in alignment with and be authentic about who you are than to be a chameleon trying to please others. It’s easier to make choices that are congruent with your truth and desires than it is to step over yourself, create some sort of implosion, and then have to clean up the mess you made, run damage control, take care of the drama, put out the fires, and start over at square one in order to get back on track.
Not only does your Integrity Alignment Monitor make life easier but it is also easy to use. Simply tune in, ask, and listen. Your I AM helps you connect with your gut feelings, your inner voice that tells you what’s right for you and what’s not.
Let’s face it. Many of us have become exhausted living from a place of outer referral, running around always thinking “Who or what do they want me to be?” The Integrity Alignment Monitor is the ultimate selfie device since it doesn’t only help you see yourself; it helps you be yourself. And being who we are is the greatest gift we can give others, and especially ourselves!
By Kelley Kosow