Integrity, Kindness and Being You

Integrity can be defined as "the quality to be whole and complete." I often feel that this is the effort we put into our yoga practice when we come back to the mat again and again: showing up fully, noticing our repetitive patterns, understanding our weaknesses and strengths, the beauty of release or the difficulty of letting go. All of it is part of a quest for truth, wholeness and meaning.

As we step into the world, it can sometimes be challenging to stay true to ourselves while being flexible in our interactions with others. One of my recurrent practices is to sit and reflect on my values, ethical beliefs and expectations so that I know where I stand, where I am happy to compromise and where I would lose the Truth of myself if I did.

None of the reflection work is useful if we don't actually take action.

What often gets in the way of being ourselves and stepping fully into integrity has to do with our relation to others: fear of being invalidated or rejected, fear of hurting someone's feelings, wanting to be liked and seen a certain way, maintaining an identity or status etc. I was talking with a client recently about the difference between being nice and being kind. We often conflate the two, but the energy of each is quite different.

Being nice is being out of integrity: it can involve people pleasing, self worth issues, or even co-dependency. It is anything but the truth of Love.

Being kind is a completely different thing: it is being in integrity with the way we feel, being loving and also saying the thing that needs said regardless of how it will be received, setting clean and clear boundaries with people about what is okay and what isn't. Being kind and in integrity with yourself means you get the right to be angry, disappointed, hurt, uninterested. It means being you, unadulterated, unapologetic.