A theme keeps popping up over and over again As I have been working with clients through these transformative times. What I keep hearing them say is that they are exhausted from perpetually filing obligations to people that they don't really feel they want to do. Yet, because they said they would do them, they feel they must. They feel this is directly connected to their integrity as they define it which is doing something that you said you were going to do, being someone others can rely on, and fulfilling your obligations to others.
This has led me to examine what ‘integrity’ really means as it has been aligned with the energies of a dissolving patriarchal world order that no longer looks the way it did even a month ago. The dictionary defines integrity as, “A quality of having strong moral principles, moral uprightness.” Yet, let's dive into this. These are the morals of a system which is based in hierarchy, not equality. Hierarchy by its nature is based on one kind of thing being supreme over another. This is becoming clear as the white supremacist order of our country is becoming grossly exposed. The ‘morals’ that we have learned since the inception of the USA have been of a white male superior ruling order that is based in rationality (thinking consciousness) and whiteness being at the top of that tier. So whatever morals that we are upholding within that system are attuned to that rhythm.
Inside of this system there is absolutely no room for following one's inner guidance or ‘intuition’. Intuition is defined as being taught from within, yet our world as we have seen it today has been built solely using the thinking/rational mind which is devoid of valuing the inner intuitive, emotional, and spiritual realm. It is solely based on the material, which has led humans to believe they have absolute omnipotence over the natural world. The only acceptable kind of ‘teaching from within’ inside of this system has been through religion, another institution that has given us rules of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. This system is another mechanism that perpetuates duality as well as the suppression of the feminine.
The kind of spirituality I'm talking about here does not belong to any religion or organized human system. No, what I am talking about here is the wild part of you that is connected to the unseen and mysterious energy of this universe. No matter how suppressed or domesticated this force is, it can never be fully erased. This force is our own true wild and raw roots that are tapped into something much more powerful than the four walls society deems ‘acceptable’. This wild force lives inside each and every one of us and is guiding us every day of our lives. We feel it and know it as young children- before our rational faculties of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are in full force. It's the powerful energy that animates all the glorious beauty of this earth and universe, and all the mysterious parts we as humans still cannot fully fathom about it.
This is not something that is talked about widely enough, and my hope is that we can begin to shift this dialogue because this is a fundamental part of how our consciousness on this planet will begin to change, moving way from a hierarchical model of a white male ruling elite and beginning to embrace the feminine, paradox, and non-duality. This is an energy which espouses a system of collaboration over domination. If it were to take a shape it would be a circle, with no one and no thing having power over another. Currently we have been living in a triangle structure with one thing, person, and energy at the top. This perpetuates supremacy in all its forms.
Because our intuition is not linear, it doesn't make ‘sense’. It is connected to something higher that we cannot rationally understand or explain. Some call this force God, some call it the Universe, I like to call it the Divine, or Spirit. Yet beginning to acknowledge this force as something real in your life and owning it as something real that is beyond any rules of religion allows us to reclaim and redefine the energy of integrity and what it truly means to us.
What that looks like for the many people that come into my office is that they are living lives that they themselves don't feel internally aligned with. They do out of ‘duty’ and not out of any real satisfaction or emotional connection. And this is precisely in line with what we have been taught since birth. We are taught that you base your life decisions on what others around you are doing, what “society” deems acceptable (a society that is led by a white male ruling elite), and you do whatever you must to to fit in. As a creative myself, I have faced this dilemma over and over in my life, and it has led to a deep split between what I feel and know in my heart is right and what others feel comfortable with me doing, i.e getting the acceptance and approval of your peers, parents, and teachers.
I want to discuss this split between our rational mind and our intuitive center as a means of living a life in your integrity. Because we have never been taught in this culture that our intuition (that inner feeling that you have about something that cannot be defended or argued against rationality) is worth anything, we have been trained since day one (unless your parents honored your own internal autonomous spiritual guidance and saw it as holy) that following our joy and what really set our soul on fire or simply ‘felt right’ was something that was given to only those ‘who could afford it’. The majority of us that have to ‘pay the bills’ have to settle for something much more menial, boring, and soul-crushing simply to make money to live. Or we were taught that money is what will bring the ultimate happiness, so it should be pursued at all costs. Because so many of us have been domesticated and trained since birth to ignore this deeper sense of ourselves-that intuitive, feminine piece that guides and pushes us towards our highest destiny, calling, and ultimate fulfillment- we live lives inside of our own special kind of cage. And what it has ultimately done, is split our minds away from our bodies.
This split creates all kinds of toxic patterns, and what it ultimately does is lead to disease, if not of the body, of the soul. In the Tao, the Yin and the Yang (feminine and masculine) must be in balance in order to be whole. Yet the world we have created here in the US is one that is masculine dominant, with very little feminine energy- true feminine energy guiding our world. What I mean by this is not simply ‘women in power’ because what kind of power structure are they upholding? No, what I am talking about is the virtues of the feminine being prized, seen, and integrated into society as a whole. These are the virtues of emotion, six-sense/psychic/intuitive consciousness, the unconscious mind, our shadow, non-duality, rest, rejuvenation, paradox, nurturance, holding space for the mystery, dreams as a guiding principle, stillness, etc.
This is what an overly rational and masculinized culture and world has done to us, it has pushed us away from our deepest truth, so far away that we can't even identify it within ourselves. Yet, the biggest trespass within this imbalance is the deep feeling within the self that feels something is not right but never have been taught that that is important or worth valuing. This is when our soul's truth becomes so hidden from our conscious mind that we ourselves cannot locate it, and all it simply comes up as is a perpetual state of depression, anxiety, and numbness. We have lived in a society that has taught us that the way we feel about something doesn't matter, we have been taught to disregard and blind ourselves to our deepest feelings.
The thing about our intuition is that it is how the non-rational (the spirit world that works beyond any ideas we have of time and space) works through us. And this resides in our body. It is based on a feeling. In the current dissolving paradigm we have all but dismissed the feeling realm as ‘weak’, ‘irrational’, and ‘unreliable’. Yet it is those that feel the deepest pains of the world that are simultaneously connected to their intuition the strongest. This is the feminine that has been dismissed within us all. What I have found time and time again is that no one has ever helped these women and men make this connection, so this deep power that they hold has been gone unseen, even to themselves their whole lives.
And this is why we must begin to reframe this conversation of what integrity really means. The second definition of integrity in the dictionary is, “a state of being whole and undivided.” Now that the true energy of the feminine is emerging, we can begin to acknowledge that that part of ourselves that has been unseen, hidden, and under-accessed. This has led to a society deeply diseased as we see this with our current presidential administration just as we see it in our communities with rampant cancer, sickness, racism, and deep levels of institutionalized prejudice. What all of this is doing is simply dismissing ALL of life. It is making one kind of living thing GOOD and the other BAD. Beginning to integrate the virtues of the feminine, that living wild part of our souls that is connected to something greater and is unconsciously guiding us toward a deeper truth is beginning to allow our feeling body to guide us. THIS is what makes us whole, integrated, and IN OUR INTEGRITY.
A true integrity is living in accordance with our internal realm. It is acknowledging and honoring our feelings and beginning to shed light on our intuition- how we feel about certain situations, people, and things. Beginning to access our truth body is like accessing our inner compass that when trusted will lead us towards the deepest and truest expression of our soul. This is what integrity is, being in an integrated state of masculine and feminine, light and shadow, external and internal ALL having the same importance, all having the same value. The pathologies and sickness we see rampant in the USA with so many people on antidepressants and antipsychotics is because the feelers and seers of our world have been told to numb their truth so as to ‘fit in’. We have been told to "not be so sensitive" and "deal with it." Well the status quo is no longer, our world is getting thrown upside down, and now is the time for our deepest truth to emerge. It is time our intuition gets brought to the table and valued for its innate mysterious guidance and it's deep connection to something holy that we cannot ever rationally fathom.
Integrity: allowing oneself to be guided by one's inner truth. When one's actions in the material world match the internal emotional truth of one's soul. How's that for a new paradigm?