Living With Integrity

I am embarrassed to admit that I have utterly failed at establishing a regular writing practice. While I have good reasons, like giving most of my energy daily to holding a dear friend in grief and transition the past four weeks, I have failed to align my actions with my words. Which is why this post is about integrity. I need to find my way to integrity in regards to writing; which I say – in my heart and with my lips – is really important to me for a multitude of reasons. Yet I am letting resistance and lack of discipline win.

On the other hand, I am a finalist in a position with the Department of Integrity at Oregon Health and Science University. I feel a lot of potential in this particular position and it’s rather incredible how it lines up with my pursuit of integrity in my personal and professional lives. Despite occasionally feeling fearful about survival and my dependence on the Mamas, I have maintained my integrity in my search for work, only pursuing non-profit and education positions that align with my core values. I am grateful that my family supports my integrity in this way. No one has pressured me to broaden my search just so we have more money coming in or can get into a house sooner.

A focus of my evolution in recent years has been moving towards living with complete integrity; agreement between my words, my actions and my values in all areas of my life. If I claim to be eco-conscious, then I need to make my choices based on that value rather than convenience. If I claim to prioritize meaning over money and doing good over ambition, then I need to find work that reflects those values rather than going where the money or prestige is. If I claim to love myself, then I need to make choices that keep me from emotional harm rather than carelessly put me in the midst of it.

In my professional life, integrity became the theme of my last position. Integrity was one of the core values of the company. As the Operations and HR manager for a behavioral health clinic, it was my job to maintain our division’s integrity with our funders, our corporate office, our families, and our team members. It was also my job to enforce integrity, in that I had to coach and sometimes discipline when team members were not following the policies and/or procedures they were responsible for. I strove to do so with kindness and a generous spirit, while at the same time treating everyone equally in enforcement of the rules.  This is why working for a Department of Integrity seems perfect for me at this point in my professional evolution. I imagine my conscious pursuit of integrity would be an asset to their work.

Now I need to find a sustained writing practice that brings me in alignment with my integrity around writing. I know writing improves my emotional health, exercises my brain, and feeds my soul. I know that I am being called to write, to share my/our story, and to deepen the concept of a Radical Mystic. Though I haven’t been writing, I have been struck with epiphanies and inspirations regarding both the book and community building. Though it’s been mostly internal, there has been significant forward movement, including identifying the specific message that takes my memoir from personal to universal.

I am doing my best to trust the process and uproot the fears that feed the impulse to resist. I’ll continue to work toward establishing a disciplined writing practice, but I’m letting go of the idea of posting a certain number of posts in a certain amount of time. While that strategy seems to work for others, it did not work for me. What’s new? A lifetime pattern, one that I mostly appreciate, is that I have to find my own way of doing everything. The Rebel archetype is strong in me. And I can only find my way to integrity by being true to myself.

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