health and wellness

Build Your Integrity Muscle

According to Ayurveda the #1 cause of disease is lack of integrity - NOT doing what we know we should and continuously doing things against our better judgement. This lack of integrity is not only make us physically and mentally imbalanced, but it's holding us back from living a more meaningful and fulfilled life.

Let's look at the definition of integrity:

In·teg·ri·ty
inˈteɡrədē/
noun
1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
"he is known to be a man of integrity"
synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

2. the state of being whole and undivided.
"upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty"
synonyms: unity, unification, coherence, cohesion, togetherness, solidarity

I love that - "the state of being whole and undivided". This is YOGA. Yoga is the union and connection of all parts of ourselves - body, mind and spirit - into a unified whole. When every system is supporting the whole. 

Instead our mind is getting too much floor time, our body is being ignored and our spirit is being stifled. As a result we've lost touch with our intuition, our minds are running the show and our body is suffering. 

So what does a lack of integrity look like? 

When we say that our health is a priority yet we still eat foods that aren't good for us, don't move and exercise our bodies enough, don't get enough good quality sleep, etc. Or when we say we want something yet don't take the actions necessary to achieve it. Or when we notice that we're burnt out or stressed and we don't slow down and nurture our spirit. When we yell at our kids, we say yes when we don't really want to, when we're not completely honest with ourselves or each other and continue to repeat self-sabotaging behaviors... the list goes on.

It's not that we don't know what we should be doing... it's that we're not doing it!
So we feel guilty, disappointed and we beat ourselves up for yet again perpetuating old patterns that just become more and more deeply ingrained. We feel stuck and out of control and complain that life's hard and we're too busy to do what we really want. 

We all do it. 

Yet... I've found we can learn to default to self-care. We can create daily routines that enable us to consistently show up as the best version of ourselves every single day. Integrity, like any other virtue, is a muscle that can be strengthened. 

It's simply a matter of making a commitment, investing in ourselves, finding support and surrounding yourself with people who hold you to a higher standard than you hold yourself. When we do that, we're able to make any change we want. 

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