As I sit to write this blog post, it is hard to find the words. I, like all of you, have been shaken by the course of events in the world over this past year and especially these past months and days. As Jimmy Kimmel said, "It feels like someone has opened up the door to Hell!" As we endure the extremes when it comes to divisiveness, disaster, devastation, and horrific acts of mass destruction, it has left people feeling saddened, anxious, afraid, helpless, and hopeless. I, like many of you, have prayed, tweeted condolences, sent thoughts of love, best wishes, and healing, and tried to be proactive in making donations and/or contacting our elected officials. And although these are all important, heartfelt gestures and do make a difference, they just do not feel like enough. They have not been enough in the past to make substantive change and more than likely they are not enough now. It just can't be that three days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, anchors on national news shows were already saying that "things are getting back to normal." Just because their co-anchors flew back home or they are no longer broadcasting whole shows from Las Vegas, we cannot accept what is going on in the world as the new normal...and if it is, who wants that?
Now, I understand that with tragedy we do all affirm that we need to love and live to the fullest and that we can't stay paralyzed, fixated on watching the news, and if we stop living our lives then the terrorists and evil wins. But the truth is, we have been here before. We have been shocked, stirred up, and deeply saddened by a horrific event and nothing has changed. Divisiveness, devastation, and death can no longer be the new normal. Something more needs to happen because If we keep doing what we have always done, we will keep getting what we have always gotten!
I believe that the Universe is always giving us feedback, always trying to wake us up and show us the areas of our lives or world that are out of integrity and need attention. A benevolent partner and teacher, at first the Universe tries to get our attention by giving us a gentle nudge. But if we continue to ignore the message, that gentle nudge becomes a tap on the shoulder, then a kick in the butt, and eventually a punch in the gut that has us double over in pain and leaves us unable to catch our breath.
There is no question in my mind that what is going on in the world is a huge collective wake-up call. No longer can we sit back thinking that we don't matter, don't have the power, or are too insignificant to impact change. No longer can we live in the illusion that other people, including our elected officials or those with more money or influence, will and can do it for us. Whether it be in our individual lives or as part of the collective, no longer can we minimize who we are, step over our truth, be frozen by fear, or be guided by the lie that loops around our brain trying to convince us that we are not enough - not smart, important, successful, courageous, strong, or just plain old not good enough - to truly make a difference.
When we silence our truth and diminish our significance, we sabotage our ability to make a difference in our own lives and in the world.
No one is coming to save us. We must do it for ourselves. We must do it together. And we must each take it on. Just like we saw in Las Vegas and with all of these natural disasters, it has been people helping people - one person doing it with and for the next - that can and will make a difference. A shift in consciousness can impact a moment, an individual, and the world.
It is time for a new level of personal and collective responsibility, a remembrance of and realignment with core values of honesty, unity, wholeness, compassion, kindness, authenticity, and love. Simply put, it is time for integrity!
Everything that is bubbling up in the world right now is a reflection of what is bubbling up in each of us and it must be healed in each of us so it can be healed in the world. I know a lot of people think they have no influence in changing the world, that it is an insurmountable feat or a lofty, unattainable goal that "spiritual" people talk about. But just like in coaching when we encourage clients to achieve their goals one action step at a time because the goal might feel overwhelming and the overwhelm becomes their excuse to quit, the same is true with the world. If we focus on the world, we can feel impotent. But if we focus on something we have control of - ourselves - and focus on what Gandhi said, "being the change we want to see in the world," things can change.
Instead of looking at what is going on in the world and having it shut us down, let's use it take back our power and fuel our personal transformation, trusting it will have a ripple effect in the world. Like the first responders and heroes in Las Vegas, we need to take on the chaos instead of running away from it. For as Gandhi also said, "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."
From the perspective of our work, these are all shadows coming to the surface. As you know, on an individual level, our shadow is made up of the parts of ourselves that we deny, detest, don't want to be, or just can't see in ourselves. As Debbie Ford, the ultimate expert in the shadow, wrote,
"Our shadow is the made up of the thoughts, emotions, and impulses we find too painful, embarrassing or distasteful to accept. So instead of dealing with them, we repress them – seal them away in some part of our psyche, so we don't have to feel the burden and shame they carry with them."
We cannot heal that which we don't see or deny the existence of. Since the Universe is our partner, always supporting our evolution, it sends us messages and messengers to reflect back to us the parts of ourselves that we need to have a healing with so we can integrate them back and move closer to our birthright of wholeness.
Just as we have an individual shadow, there is a collective shadow as well. The things in the world that trigger us and create friction, frustration, and fear are actually an expression of what we have repressed. But the shadow will not be denied. And when it rises to the surface, it shines a light on that which is not working and needs to be healed.
Everything that is coming up in the world, whether it be racism, prejudice, supremacy, terrorism, corruption, fake news, fraud, falsities, or even first or second amendment issues, are all coming up to the surface because as a race, a human race, it is time to re-evaluate, re-examine, and, if deemed necessary, consciously replace these forces with something new. Otherwise, the past will be automatically carried forward and we will have more of the same.
It is up to each of us to step up and to step in and take on integrity. And we do that from the INside out, starting with self. We must heal ourselves and resolve our integrity issues so we can make decisions from wholeness instead of lack, our deepest truths instead of our greatest fear, and in the light of our grandest desires instead of the confines of our smallest thoughts.
That is what being in integrity and living an integrity-guided life is all about. Integrity is owning all of who you are and living in alignment with your deepest truths and grandest desires.
Together, we can do this! We can turn the tide on what is happening in the world and instead of being victim of it, we can do something about it. We can use it as a mirror to re-examine our own lives and inspire personal growth as well as the catalyst to fuel collective change.
That is why we are inviting you to join with us and be a part of our Integrity Movement. If you want to live in a world of like-minded people who are conscious, willing to look at themselves as individuals as well as part of a collective, and wanting to live in a world where there are systems, structures and ways of being and acting that are in harmony with the earth, serve the good of the whole, and are aligned with core values of love, respect, and wholeness, then take the #integritypledge.
This massive breakdown can be the prelude to a global breakthrough!
The Integrity Movement Manifesto
Be Pissed: We need to feel it so we can heal it. In history, it has been our intolerance of what is that has created the opening for something new. Let your intolerance for what is not working in the world be the fuel to ignite a new light of day.
Take It Personally: The Universe is always giving you feedback. It is always mirroring back to you the parts of yourself and your life that need healing. Be fascinated at where you are getting hooked in and let that act a treasure map, showing you where you need to take personal responsibility in terms of your emotional education and spiritual growth.
Define Your Principles: Never before have so many people been engaged and present to what is going on in the world. The global wake-up call is actually working. Let it awaken a new level of interest, involvement, and insight. We are being called to take a stand. Who do you want to be in the world? Who do you want to be as a partner, family member, co-worker, and as part of the collective? What do you believe in? And what is important to you in this lifetime?
Take Back Your Projections: We point fingers and project on to others that which we can't be with or judge in ourselves. Our projections aren't pretty. They are a choir of condemnation and criticism that we inflict on ourselves or others, causing conflict and chaos. Our words become weapons. To cultivate compassion and connection, we must learn to take back our projections.
Shift Your Perspective: Transformation is a shift in perception. To turn the tide on what is happening in the world, we must embrace that things are happening for us and not to us. We must embrace that this massive breakdown is the prelude to a global breakthrough. We must go from hater to creator!
Own Your Power: You can make a difference. Be the change you want to see in the world. Trust the ripple effect can and will happen.
Live in the Possibility: Things can and must be different. Let your grandest desires for yourself and the world motivate your choices and actions and be the gravitational force that pulls you and everyone else forward. Changing your life will change the trajectory of the world.
Transformational Action Steps
(1) Take the #integritypledge. Join the Integrity Movement and add your pin to the Integrity Movement Map.
(2) Visit the Integrity Movement Facebook group to share what motivated you to join the Integrity Movement.
(3) Come connect with me on my 'Integrity Igniter' Facebook Live on Wednesday October 11th at 10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern to dive deeper into this conversation.
(4) If you want a step-by-step guide to help you shed all of your outdated, self-sabotaging, and non-serving beliefs and behaviors so that you can step into greater levels of personal integrity, tap into the magic of manifestation, and be the person you want to be, get started by reading the first chapter of my book The Integrity Advantage. Learn more about the foundation of this Movement and being the change you want to see in the world.