TOOLS, RESOURCES, AND CONTENT
TO HELP YOU DO YOUR WORK
AND LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE
LIVING IN ALIGNMENT AND INTEGRITY
As usual, let’s kick off with a recap of our last post where I challenged you to put some SAS in place. I hope you downloaded the free pdf to help guide you through the process and started using it in ways that are helping you have more awareness about why you do what you do. Without awareness, you cannot walk in alignment with your core values which means you can’t live in integrity. And that is what we are tackling here today.
Sometimes a book comes along that turns your world upside down…or maybe it turns it right side up. A decade or so ago I was leading a group of women through the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. When I say this book flattened me I am not exaggerating. And it is a book the women in this group still refer to today. Heaven knows at the time of reading it I was a poster child for women with horrible boundaries. I came from a pot of disfunction and trauma and research has shown how deeply this can mess with a person’s ability to set healthy boundaries. One of my favorite parts of the book is when it explains that most people build walls to keep themselves from being hurt by others. The problem with that is you become a prisoner over time and that serves no one. Boundaries, however, are fences with gates that let people in and out. That really resonated with me because I am fairly certain I had to come out of the womb with my hands up to protect myself and over time I became a master of building walls. Throughout the course of the book, I learned what healthy boundaries looked like, how to establish them, and – best of all – how people who have benefitted from your unhealthy boundaries will act when you set healthy ones. Bless, I am not even kidding about this one.
I was having a – let’s be nice and call it a conversation – with a family member and put my new boundaries into place which shifted the normal cadence of battles on its axis. It felt like watching the words in the book come to life before my eyes. This person had no idea how to react because I had interrupted the regular pattern. I stopped reacting in the normal ways because they didn’t align with who I was and how I wanted to walk through life and this person had no idea how to respond.
WHAT ARE ALIGNMENT AND INTEGRITY
We have talked before about how women are handed a sack of “shoulds” from birth. We plot out a life rooted in the expectations of others and don’t take the time to chase our own passions. Sometimes we don’t ever discover what we were created to do so our gifts lay unopened. For many women, there is a long line of people who depend on us to keep all the plates spinning. One day we wake up and feel like something is missing…like there is this intangible something lacking from our lives. This isn’t okay, Lovies. You shouldn’t waste your one beautiful life doing things that don’t align with who you are and what you value.
Have you ever been in a car where the wheels are out of alignment? Sure, you can hop in the car and drive to wherever you need to go, but it is going to pull left or right and is sure to give you a bumpier ride than normal! Over time it can create some serious problems. It is the same way with us. When we are out of alignment, we can get up and go about our lives, but we feel pulled in different directions. Some of us may know where it is we want to go but because of being yanked around getting there is certainly not a straight or smooth path.
As we start coming awake in our own stories and become aware of the places where those shoulds don’t match who we are, we can get to work on giving our lives an alignment.
Y’all know how I love to ask Google to define things so we are always working from the same understanding. When I did some digging on the word alignment I found this:
The noun alignment refers to the correct positioning of something. If you check the alignment of your feet when running, you’re checking to make sure they’re not pointing to either side, but going straight ahead. Alignment has to do with adjusting something so it’s in the right place. Another said that alignment is when our thoughts, life choices, and direction all honor our core values. Alignment is when we listen to our intuition and move through the world embodying our true selves. A super simple definition I found was that alignment is function and action with ease. For those who are Jesus girls, you may define it as when our spirits, souls, and bodies work together in peace and harmony.
As for integrity, the amazing Brene Brown gets my vote on the best definition as she says in her book Rising Strong that “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
For me, I say integrity is when your energy, time, and resources are in alignment with your active core values and the woman you are becoming. Integrity makes us trustworthy because our words line up with our actions. No one is having to guess which version of us they may encounter. You are the same person with the same values in private, at work, with friends, and, yes, even on social media. It’s about doing what is aligned with your active core values even when no one is watching. It is about having a moral compass that guides how you move through life and I would even say it is rooted in you being and living completely whole. Now, not for one second does this imply that if you live in integrity you are some kind of perfect magical unicorn that never makes a mistake, forgets something important, hurts someone’s feelings or loses their mind when stuck in traffic. Living in integrity doesn’t negate your humanity. If only it were that easy…wouldn’t be nice to have a one-and-done tablet you could take that would make you this magical unicorn? That isn’t even possible since we all have a different set of active core values based on our beliefs, hopes, and dreams. Plus in my opinion, it is the time and energy we put into doing our work that refines us and develops our character. Now, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of how to find the alignment we need so we become women of integrity.
STEPS TO LIVING ALIGNED
Step one is to go back to my third blog post and define your Active Core Values. Download the free mini-course and take the time to work through it. Seriously, it won’t take long so fix yourself a cozy drink and pop on your favorite music and enjoy the process.
Once you have defined your core values, it is time for you to add a bit of SAS to your life. The SAS I am talking about here is the Self Awareness System I shared in my last blog post. This is about waking up to our own story and starting to ask ourselves some questions in an effort to gain awareness of the choices we are making with our time, energy, and resources. When you have that sorted, you can take a look at your daily schedule and your calendar to see where you need to move some things around. In some ways, this is where the proverbial rubber meets the road because you are going to find there are tasks on your to-do list that are not aligned with the woman you want to be or the life you want to live.
Because I am here to make things simple for you, this third step is the final step in this process. Here is where we will create a system for evaluating every task, event, or request that comes our way. You want to ensure it aligns with your values and moves you toward the woman you are becoming. Now, before you start telling yourself the lie that you don’t have time for this, take a deep breath. Like any new rhythm or system, it takes a few times to move it from something you have to think about to something that you do automatically, and with such speed, it might not make it into your consciousness.
I always try to create a download for you to use to help you with the process so today is no different. Scroll to the bottom and you will find the download I created for you this week to walk you through the steps to tune up your calendar and to-do list.
We develop our awareness so that our eyes can see what we need to see. Then we can make adjustments to ensure we are in alignment with our active core values and the women we are becoming. Over time we will naturally develop integrity that is an anchor in the storms of life. As Brene Brown said it won’t be fast, fun, or easy and it will take courage. But the work far exceeds the cost we will pay if we stay stuck in these old, broken-down patterns that keep us small.
You don’t have to be a woman ruled by expectations and responsibilities to the point that who you are and what you want gets lost. Grab the free download in the show notes below. Do this work and you will be a woman who gets to live a life that matches the desires of your heart so that all you do daily moves you step by little step closer to your dreams. Now THAT is what I call living!
Until next week, remember, I am Coach Tammy and I am in it WITH you, always. Talk to you soon, Lovie!
ALIGNMENT TOOL FREEBIE
Today we put together the pieces because awareness plus alignment equals integrity. We will use our active core values, self-awareness system and a set of questions to ensure what we do aligns with what we say matters. Use this tool to guide the choices you make and the tasks you add to your calendar and watch your life begin to reflect what matters most to you.