I’ve been thinking about integrity – the line we each have within us that we don’t want to cross. It’s a line that marks who we are; our honourability in a world that often feels increasingly dishonourable.
There will be times for all of us when we will be tempted to breach our line of integrity. Some of us will do so – we will cross the line, feel the discord within ourselves and quickly reverse our path. Others will cross the line and keep going because they feel it is too difficult to turn back.
It is your ability to understand where your integrity line is, and adhere to it, that is a sign of your courage and fortitude. Sticking to this line is difficult in a world where you’re told you must conform, you must keep the peace and you must keep other people happy.
When you cross your integrity line to appease others, you are compromising yourself and often the well-being of others. We only have to scan the global horizon right now to see how a lack of integrity by some, is compromising the health of many and leading to the death of others. Terrible things happen while good people do nothing.
Integrity doesn’t mean taking the easy or most expedient path. It doesn’t mean acting from a place of fear or anger. It means having character, being honest about your own actions and motivations, and then acting in accordance with what you know in your gut is right.
Integrity. I can’t help but think we need more of it. What do you think?
I sat in a café today fighting back tears yet staring determinedly at my computer screen. Part of me wanted to run away while the other part thought, no, I have to do this.
I’d begun pulling my poetry collection together and as I began revisiting each piece, one by one, all the emotions they held rose up again within me.
A year a two ago, I found myself working on the same floor as a specialist I had first met in my 20s. As a man with a curious and active mind, who remembered me from way back then, he was keen to read my book as soon as I mentioned it. I still remember the look on his face afterwards. He looked at me intently and said, “It must have been very difficult to write a lot that.”
I nodded and said, “Yes. Yes it was.”
When you’re a memoirist and you write from real life, your life, it’s extraordinarily difficult to hide from yourself and the experiences of your past. You must look at yourself, study where you have been, unpick the threads of your life, then somehow sew them back together.
It’s not an easy journey to undertake. It’s often emotionally challenging. When you write about yourself, you cannot hide from yourself. This is why I frequently use journaling activities with my mentoring clients – what better way to uncover your true desires than to pick up a pen and begin recording your brutal self-honesty in writing.
Just like my first book, my poetry collection is autobiographical and traverses my relationship landscape with all its pain, heartbreaks and disappointments. There is a little humour in there too and this time, I also begin exploring the complicating influence of being psychic.
I’ve found that being highly intuitive can work for and against me in romantic relationships. Yes, it may provide an extra level of insight about the person you are interested in but on the other hand, when your emotions are involved, your ability to easily to discern between your intuition and what your heart would like to happen can fly out the window. Factors like soul contracts and past life connections (or past life hangovers as I call them) can also mess with your head, a lot.
I am not one of those women who can put her emotions in a box. In truth, writing my first book was very much like my own personal version of therapy. It was only through writing about my experiences, editing it then revisiting it again, that I was able to finally clear a lot of debris from my psyche. With the birthing of that book I was able to step back and see where I had learned the lessons I needed to learn, and then let the rest go.
I find that my poetry is far more raw than my prose. It always knows what it wants to be when it arrives. It has a clear intention and energy of its own. Once written I can only change a word here or tweak a phrase there. Further self-indulgent editing inevitably destroys the life of the piece leaving it a bedraggled and shallow version of its former self. So I leave most of the words as they arrive.
The memories in my poetry are vivid. They are unavoidable and, judging by my emotional response today, I still have a lot to process about their contents. Two hours was about all I could manage today before I needed a break. But I am going to persevere. There are other books waiting to be finished and released.
Interestingly the themes of relationships, love, and energetic connections are increasingly showing themselves in my work. I guess my Muse is determined that I learn the lessons that are being delivered to me and I continue to be her reluctant yet committed pupil.
I’ve worked in a few high-pressure projects over the years where it was imperative that you do your job well and you put in all the hours you need to get it done. I can’t say they were always enjoyable roles but I certainly learned a lot about myself and other people in the process. And for that I am profoundly grateful because I have grown exponentially as a result.
In those kinds of environments, people who are energetically sensitive and empathic (yes, you can definitely count me in this group) but unaware of how they respond to energy can often experience ill effects but be unaware of the true cause. This can lead to even more heightened stress, emotional responses, tears, anger and dysfunctional teams in already challenging workplaces.
Energetically sensitive people frequently feel the emotions of others keenly and when they couple that with the challenge of managing their own stress levels (and sometimes, perfectionist people-pleasing tendencies), it can become very messy indeed. After all, if you know the people around you are in pain and you’re in pain too, how can you find a way through?
It is important to understand how to manage your sensitivity in these environments so you can buffer out the energetic turbulence of others and keep yourself in balance. If you are consumed by their stuff you won’t be able to deal with your own or, in the end, provide any useful assistance. I understand this is often easier said than done and I am not suggesting you need to become some cold-hearted robot. But if you’re going to do more than just survive in these environments and you want to be there because you feel it is part of your calling, then you will need to do things differently.
So, where do you start?
Begin to notice how you respond to the energy of the people around you. Does being around someone make you feel less or more stressed. Can you somehow know when they are upset or anxious or happy? Notice how that feels in your body and in your emotional state.
As you do this, you will be raising your awareness and becoming more conscious of how energy works for you. Keep in mind, that other people aren’t responsible for your response to their energy, you are simply picking it up because that is one of your gifts.
When you are sensitive in this way, other people’s energy can wreak havoc on your internal state of being. So how can you manage that?
One of the most useful and simple techniques I have learned (and now teach to my clients) is as follows. If you find yourself feeling overcome by emotions that don’t feel quite right, ask yourself, “Is this mine or someone else’s?” Trust the answer that comes up for you intuitively. Don’t question it, just accept it. And if the answer is, “It’s someone else’s” then simply acknowledge that and say to yourself, “Okay, I’m letting that go and releasing it”. You don’t need to know who it belongs to or why it exists. Just let it go.
This simple practice will help you begin to understand and manage your own energy more effectively and in healthier ways for you.
Of course, there is much more complexity to this topic. Energetic sensitivity is a multi-layered gift that shows up in a multitude of ways. But this practice is a great first step towards helping you to harness your gift so you can live the fullest expression of you and not become a burned out mess in tough work environments.
Is it really that easy to use our intuition every day? My answer is HECK YEAH! Using out intuition enables us to live more in alignment with our values, more connected to the things we truly desire and more able to live our Soul’s Mission. Here are my 9 EASY STEPS to help you live intuitively for a day by growing your awareness, presence and connection.
STEP 1: When you wake up in the morning (before those thoughts begin scurrying through your mind about what you ‘should’ do that day) ask yourself, “What do I need to do for myself today?” then go and do that thing. Remember, it won’t be about obligations or meeting someone else’s needs. Instead it will be about you know you intuitively need to do for you.
STEP 2: When you eat throughout the day ask yourself, “How does this food make me feel?” “Does it make me feel nourished and light?” If so, keep eating it. But if it makes you feel heavy and gluggy (yes, I did just use that word LOL!!) then choose something else to eat. By doing so you will be listening intuitively to your body and what it needs.
STEP 3: Notice how you feel when you interact with people throughout the day. Do you feel energised or drained afterwards? Intuitively tune into how their energy makes you feel.
STEP 4: How do you feel when you are in certain places e.g. on the train, the bus, the supermarket, your office, a meeting room? How does your energy respond to the environment you are in.
STEP 5: When you get an intuitive lead, follow it. An intuitive lead is when something catches your eye and for a moment you think, “That might be cool/interesting/something fun to do…” then your mind usually steps in and tells you why it’s not practical, you’re too busy, people will think you’re weird, etc. Instead of listening to your mind, follow your intuitive lead and see where it takes you. It could be the start of something amazing!
STEP 6: Connect to the earth. Find time to stand on the grass in your bare feet and just focus on your breathing for a few minutes. If you can’t go outside for some reason, then simply close your eyes and visualise yourself doing it. When we connect to the earth in this way we improve our ability to be present and able to connect into our inner voice.
STEP 7: Turn off technology 2 hours before bedtime. Our iPhones and other devices are incredibly valuable but they take our energy and focus outside ourselves and this makes it more difficult to tune into and hear our intuitive voice. Take a break from technology and do something you enjoy that brings you back into this moment.
STEP 8: Meditate. Many people resist meditation because they think they can’t do it right. But at its core, meditation is simply about being present and breathing. When we practise this regularly, we help to shut out the noise that prevents us from tuning into our inner voice.
STEP 9: Journaling is an amazing way to clear out the debris from our minds and get clear about how we really feel and what we really want (separate from everyone else’s expectations). Spend 15 minutes writing about how you felt throughout your Day of Living Intuitively. Did anything surprise you? Did you learn something new?
>>>If you’re ready to clear out the obstacles that have been holding you back, kick your indecision to the kerb and harness your intuitive power so you can live your Soul’s Mission, check out Nights for Spiritual Beginners. EARLY BIRD OFFER CLOSES 11.59PM (AEST) 30 JANUARY 2019. Spaces are limited so don’t miss out on your chance to transform your life, empower yourself, make a difference and begin creating the changes your Soul is longing to make.<<<
Pic: Renee Lavin Photography