According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word integrity is:
1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.
3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
A while back I was in conversation with my business strategist, Kimi Morton (@kimim) about the concept of integrity. She shared a very interesting point of view that although many strive to be in integrity, the true reality is that we may be for a moment, but the instant we are challenged (which promotes growth and evolution), we move out of integrity.
I had to sit with this for a while, because over the past decade a call to be in full integrity has been the focus for many. The question I pose to you, is how do you know when you are in integrity or out of integrity? And honestly, does it really matter?
What I do know and hold to be true for myself, is that I strive to be consciously aware, and be in full integrity with my mind and body. I’ve come to know what feels right and what doesn’t, and I’ve become acutely aware of times I have to make a decision that doesn’t fully align with my truth. It takes more energy and effort, and over time I have learned to just say “no.”
This has been a long road for me, since my survival strategy growing up was to bend and mold myself to family members, friends, associates, and teachers. Instead of choosing to be selfish, I was selfless to the point of putting my family’s needs and wants before my own. In order to deal with my potential disappointments, I learned to detach myself from feeling which allowed me to accept what was happening and I fooled myself for many years thinking that this had no impact on me. Boy was I wrong! I truly believed that I was like Teflon, and hurtful or disappointing events didn’t stick. However, little barbs stuck, and over time they became little resentments that built up into untimely explosions! Oi vey!
Over the past 5-6 years, I have been making a conscious effort to connect with my feelings and emotions. I must say that sometimes it really sucks to feel the hurt, disappointment, anger, and sadness that comes up by being present with my feelings, but I am also able to feel joy, happiness, and love more deeply as well.
Besides dealing with COVID for the past two years, many have not had the opportunity to deal with past or current mental/emotional discomforts, and have found themselves having to feel. This is one reason why mental illness and other physical ailments are on the rise. Below is a body-emotion strategy I learned that helps to process out emotions and bring more ease into your being.
Emotion Body Connecting Strategy
First make sure you are comfortable, either sitting or lying on your back, then place your hands somewhere on your body and start focusing on your breaths in and out at that spot.
Allow yourself to feel any tensions, aches, or ease in your body. Once you feel settled, pick an emotion such as anger or fear and observe what you feel in your body – shortness of breath, tightness in a specific part in your body, heat, body discomfort, or all the above.
What you might start to experience is your mind creating all these thoughts and memories to justify the emotion you are feeling. At this point do your very best to push those thoughts out and just stay with what you are feeling in your body. The trickiest part of this process is to stay with what you are feeling in your body and not focus on the thoughts that are being created. If you stay connected with your body, within 7-10 minutes you will feel your body relax and the charge of the emotion you were feeling will dissipate. This almost seems too easy, but in reality, by staying present in the NOW with your body and feeling the emotion, you are able to free up the energy, “e” into “motion.”
The one thing that I have observed and learned over the years is that your body integrity is always maintained. Your body does its very best to keep you balanced and constantly sends feedback signals so you can make appropriate choices to keep you vital and healthy. It is your mind that requires the retraining to pay heed to the warning signals of your body.
If you are tired, turning to energy drinks or coffee to perk yourself up may not be a wise thing if you do it 2-3 times a day to function. The more time you spend connecting with the subtle nuances of your body, the more your body doesn’t have to create bigger health crises such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. The power and choice is yours alone; connect with your body to insure mind-body integrity and experience mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness in your life during challenging and uncertain times.