In every moment of every day we are making choices. We are choosing things. We choose our thoughts and our actions. Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. We choose where we go and what we do. We choose who we spend our time with and how we spend our time. We decide, then act, we notice how this feels, and the process repeats itself over and over again.
The hundreds of tiny choices that we make in every day influence every aspect of our lives, they mold us, shape us, and carve out our life’s path. If you think about it, that fact that we have the option of choice gives us, as human beings, an immense amount of power and influence in the course of our lives. Choice is where we find empowerment and direction in a world that can often times feel overwhelming and confusing.
What happens, though, when we feel like we don’t make good choices? Or we find that we are incapable of choosing correctly? Or what if we fall into patterns of continuously making choices that make us feel mad or sad or anxious? How can we take back our power when it feels like we’ve lost our innate ability of conscious choice? What does it mean when we choose against the alignment of our own soul? And suffer greatly because of it?
In short, it means that we are living out of integrity.
Not too long ago I considered myself a bad decision maker. I felt that I just couldn’t make choices no matter what the circumstance, and whenever I did actually make decisions, they felt forced, uncomfortable and usually brought me to situations that didn’t make me feel good. I relied on external cues and societal pressures to decide who I was and what I wanted, rather than turning inwards, and so, I was consistently unhappy. For that long period of time I thought that this was just a personality defect, this was how I would always live my life, there was just something wrong with my ability to discern, decide, and consciously choose.
Of course, now I know that it’s simply not true. I was just so far out of touch with myself and my desires that choices and decisions were actually impossible. I wasn’t living with integrity. How could I? I didn’t even know what I cared about and how to honor that.
Now that many years have passed and I’ve done extensive soul searching work, I find that I’ve unearthed a solid sense of self, that I can rely on to know how to decide. There’s a knowingness of who I am and what I want, and the impact that I wish to have on the world.
There’s an alignment with my soul that allows me to choose with ease and find comfort in knowing that I am honoring that alignment.
This is how I life with integrity now.
The knowledge of who I am in addition to what I want and what I value gives me clues on how to make decisions that support my life’s mission. And it all feels good. And when I’ve somehow misstepped, I feel it. I know it. And I course correct.
Living with integrity is the honoring of your soul’s deepest desires, and making choices that are in alignment with it.
It’s a re-prioritization of your life. It’s taking back your power of choice to bring you back to a place of calm, peace, and ease. Living with integrity is a constant state of connection with self and aligned action so that we can fully live out our soul’s purpose. And we can all live this way, when we choose to do so.
I know how hard it can feel when we are out of integrity, or are lost and confused. If you’re looking to find your way back to an empowered and confident state of choice and ease, I’m here to help! Below are three simple ways to return to a place of integrity.
- Find out who you are and what you value. Get into a space of deep knowing of self. Ask yourself the important questions and be honest with you. One of my biggest realizations of self has been grasping that I deeply value feeling good in my body. So I’ve taken inventory of what does and doesn’t feel good, and I make conscious choices to be in alignment with what is good for me. That’s one simple example in my life that keeps me in alignment. Find out what comes up for you and own that knowledge of yourself.
- Take conscious actions. Often times we can have all the information about ourselves that we need, and continuously choose the opposite, going against our desires and our values. It’s one of the most effective forms of self-sabotage, and it leads us feeling low and defeated. Remember your power of choice and know that if there’s something in your life that isn’t sitting well, you have the ability to change it. Align your actions with your deepest desires.
- Surround yourself with people who can lovingly hold you accountable. I rely on the coaches, mentors, and loved ones in my life to snap me back to reality when perhaps I’ve been choosing wrongly. Like I said at the beginning of the blog, sometimes our decisions can be so unconscious and habitual that we don’t even recognize what we’ve created until we’re far down the rabbit hole. That’s when a loving support system is crucial to remind us of what we already know and lovingly nudge us back to that empowered place of integrity and choice. Find and choose that support system that will help you in the moments of need, and subsequently, be that support for the people in your life.
I would love to hear how you all choose to live with integrity in your lives. Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org