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 was feeling guilty this morning – the kind of guilt that makes you feel anxious and jittery.
You see, I’ve finally decided to arrange my work day in a schedule that works for me and it doesn’t fit into the usual nine to five mould. Instead I start in the early/mid-afternoon and go from there. This leaves my mornings free to do basically whatever the heck I want.
I’ve never been much of a morning person. When working in offices, I would invariably drag myself in closer to 9.30am than 8am. But I would also be the one choosing to work through to 6pm and beyond. My creativity also fires mostly in the evenings and it is usually when I do my best work.
I started my new schedule last week and so far, it has felt great! I’m more productive and more consistently in flow. It’s still early in the experiment but it feels so good, it can’t be wrong.
So why the guilt?
Well, this morning, I had the creeping sensation that I wasn’t doing enough. As I headed out for a walk to enjoy the beautiful sun and blue skies, the voice in my head muttered, “Everyone else is working right now, so why aren’t you? Maybe you’re really just lazy, a slack arse, someone who is hiding behind this new schedule and making excuses to not show up.”
Yeah, negative self-talk with all its subterfuge and nastiness was in full flight. I then embarked on a mental tussle with myself as self-doubt crowded into a very small space with guilt and anxiety. Needless to say, the first half of my walk wasn’t very relaxing.
But, as I sat in a nearby park for a meditative break, I remembered an important point:
I am free to live, work and create in whatever way I desire. Anything else is just a story I’ve been told about how I should be in the world. I can choose my own story.
With this reminder, my jitters disappeared. I will work this afternoon and no doubt, plow through everything I want to do and I will feel good while doing it. This is what works for me best, so I’m doing that because I am free to choose.
I have a fear that gnaws away at me sometimes. It’s the fear that once everything opens up again, nothing will really have changed. Or more specifically, people will choose to go back to the way things were and not make any fundamental changes at all.
I understand that many of us are saying, “I just want my life back. I just want my freedom back.” Lord knows, as a single extrovert who lives alone, I’d love the chance to date, have sex, go out with friends and physically touch another human being. I get it.
But I also understand this moment in time, with all its attending death, trauma and upheaval, is a chance for individuals to choose something different when the world opens again. It is not a call to simply return to the way things were – it is the opposite. It is a call to choose differently when you have the chance.
But will you choose differently?
I help people connect to their Soul’s Purpose and live a life that embodies their calling. I love what I do and when I see the transformation that is possible, I am honoured to do this work.
But even now, when the Universe has sent us a very clear message that life is short and you need to choose wisely, I can see people are still choosing to stay stuck and will no doubt, make the same choices when lockdown is over.
Many are chafing under the current restrictions yet refusing to use this time to reassess what is really important to them. I see others still hesitating to back themselves and continuing to turn their backs on a life that would provide them with more personal joy and satisfaction. I watch others continue to stay in relationships that are unhealthy and stifling.
This period had been incredibly difficult but if you don’t choose differently when it’s over, then you’re missing the opportunity of a lifetime. You will pass over the chance to step into something greater and far more fulfilling than you’ve had before. Now is not the time to chicken out and continue accepting that you can’t have what you really want. Now is the time to do the work on yourself, face your shadows, call on your personal courage and step forward.
The uncomfortable understandings that are bubbling up within you aren’t supposed to be shoved back into a box when all this is over. Instead they are here to show you where you are out of alignment with your purpose. They are showing you there is another way if only you will choose it.
Now is the time to leave behind those patterns and situations that no longer fit you and choose to reset your life – leave that relationship, do that course, apply for the job you really want, start your business on the side, invest in yourself, change your career, write that book and create the art you love.
Make a clear and definite decision right now to not go back to the old normal. Instead consciously choose to move into alignment with who you truly are and what will make you happy. Make the tough choices, back yourself and if you need support to traverse the road ahead, find someone like me to walk beside you and help you find your way.
Because the very worst thing you could do, is go back to a normal that was never what you wanted anyway.
If you’ve found this post then you’re someone who wants to create change in the world. You want to live differently to the way your parents and other people you know have lived. You have a vision or maybe just an inkling of doing things differently.
Have you ever shared your desire, your dream, your vision with someone you thought would have your back? Maybe you opened up just a little and trusted them.
You wanted their support and understanding but instead, all you heard was something like:
“Oh look that sounds a bit like a dream to me and not very realistic”
“I really think you need to be a bit more practical”
“I think that’s something you can do on the side. But for now you should finish your degree and get a really good job”
“We never had these opportunities when we were young and we wanted to make sure that you have them. So don’t waste them. Get a good job and get paid well. Forget all that other stuff because it’s not very realistic. Just go out and achieve, achieve, achieve.” (This may come from your parents if they didn’t have a lot of opportunities.)
When you get this type of negative or “realistic” feedback about what you want to create, it can be really hard to keep your focus and maintain your faith in your ability to make your dreams real.
But there are things you can do to make sure their stories and negative feedback doesn’t take you off track and stop you from living your purpose.
Understand their response is about THEIR STORY NOT YOURS.
We all tell ourselves stories about what is possible and what is not. These are based on our experiences, beliefs and interactions with others.
But if you share your desire or dream with someone and their story negatively influences their response, you potentially enter a danger zone. If you are not feeling really grounded and centred in yourself, you will take their story on as your truth. This is dangerous for you because it’s not the truth. It is just a story they believe and they are projecting it onto you.
It’s possible their dreams were squashed when they were young and they lost hope that they could do anything different. This led them to conform and do what their parents, community and friends wanted them to do. So your idea to do something that bucks the system will confront their beliefs and the story they’ve been telling themselves about what their life can, could or should be.
I’m not trying to invalidate their perspectives because those experiences will be real for them. But that’s their story, NOT YOURS. You’re here to create your own story.
Yes, you need to be able to support yourself financially, look after and be responsible for yourself. But that doesn’t mean you have to live the same kind of life that other people think you should live.
ALL OR NOTHING THINKING can stop you before you start
Sometimes we also have all or nothing thinking and this stops us from moving forward. You will be worrying that if you make the wrong decision now, you might screw everything up. This leaves you feeling indecisive and sometimes you avoid making any decisions at all.
But whatever you’re doing when you’re aged 20, 22, 25, 27, etcetera, YOU WON’T BE DOING THOSE THINGS IN ANOTHER 10 YEARS. Nothing stays the same for that long so you’re better off taking a chance in this moment, doing what feels right for you and moving forward. Otherwise you will be waiting for the perfect time and a guaranteed outcome (neither of these exist!!).
One particular decision is rarely going to make or break your entire life. Waiting for other people to “get it”, and understand and support your decisions is also wasting time.
If other people don’t agree with your life choices, that is not your problem.
Yes, we all want people to like us. But you cannot put yourself into a box to help other people feel more comfortable with their life choices. That’s not your job.
What other people think of you is none of your business. You need to focus on what you think of you!
Focus on what you feel is the next right step for you and trust yourself. When you do that, you are moving forward with your life purpose and life path. You will meet other people along the way who will get what you are trying to do. They will understand what you’re trying to create and will support you. But there will be others who will test your faith in yourself.
You need to make the best decision for you right now and understand that not everyone is going to agree with you, and that’s okay. Sure, sit back and question yourself a little but then ask yourself “Okay, what feels like the right thing for me?” then follow that and know it’s all going to work out. It probably won’t look like you think it will – life never works out the way we think it should. But it’s going to work out beautifully and in the best possible way for you.
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It’s for people who are ready to get serious, develop epic self-trust and harness their intuition so they can get out there and create change in the world.
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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?
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Have you ever noticed how the things you want to get away from, will keep following you? No matter how many times you swear, “I’m never going to be in this situation again!” you will somehow find yourself back there for another round. It could be your new partner sucks you into a dysfunctional relationship (just like the last one!) or you get a new job and the work never really feels fulfilling (just like the last one!).
Often these patterns will jump across various parts of our lives. You have a boss who bullies you and a family member and a boyfriend who does the same? What a coincidence.
But the truth is, it’s not a coincidence. Unfortunately. And when you realise that you are the common denominator in all these repeating situations, you also have to face another crushing truth – you need to change something in you to break the repeating patterns in your life.
In my case, does that mean I deserved to be disrespected by men repeatedly in the past? Um, no.
Does that mean I deserved to have bosses who bullied me overtly and covertly? No.
But it sure as heck meant that I needed to do something differently to stop it from happening again.
As you become more self-aware and self-accountable, these types of realisations are difficult to avoid along with the understanding that, despite all the red flags, we still rush headlong into the very situations we want to avoid – until we change something in us.
In my case, I dealt with a repeating pattern by learning how to set healthy boundaries and then maintain them. I won’t say it was easy (actually it was kind of scary for me) but once I did it a few times the pattern stopped.
I still have other patterns to deal with (we all do) but once you can identify them, develop an effective strategy to do something differently, then implement it consistently, the pattern stops being an issue.
I confess this all sounds fine and very practical but it is also incredibly annoying because I can’t play the victim for long periods of time anymore. After all, you can’t be a victim if you played a role in putting yourself there in the first place.
As you grow in self-awareness you have to deal with your ‘stuff’ and it’s not always fun or comfortable. But it’s the trade-off we make if we want to evolve and, in my case, break a pattern of bullies and dysfunctional relationships.
If you’re ready to break free from the patterns that have been holding you back for too long, check out my Nights for Spiritual Beginners – six powerful nights over six weeks to help you kick your indecision and self-doubt to the kerb, connect to your intuitive power and insight, and step forward confidently so you can live your Soul’s Mission. Email me to find out more>>