As we receive another year, many are speaking of resolutions, goals, and visions. Perhaps you are feeling a number things that are calling to be created this year. In essence every vision has the potential for manifestation, or we wouldn’t be able to see the vision. What is your vision? Do you feel enthusiastic at the thought of its realization? Does it seem overwhelming to even think of creating it?
Each year during my practice in the Holy Nights, which I spoke of in my last article, one virtue seems to stand out more than others. While the Holy Nights are not complete yet, I feel a very strong indication that the virtue of integrity/balance will be most significant for me this year. “Integrity/Balance Becomes Progress” is the phrase that I contemplate, and through these nights, I’ve been feeling a very strong sense that progress is what is needed this year.
Interestingly, this sense of a need for progress is not only for myself, but for the world. My coachees are working to make progress in their lives, be it personal or business. New organizations, foundations, and movements are popping up everywhere with the goal toward conscious progress in the world, be it for improvements in education, health and wellness, relationships, economic well-being, social accountability, etc. These times are filled with the impulse for evolutionary progress as we see our old systems and methods crumbling around us. We are being asked to create new ways in many domains of life that are sustainable, and honor the Earth and Her people.
So, how do we make this progress that is being called for? What is at the root of this progress? How do we help the Earth and Humanity to evolve toward a more beautiful future we know is possible? This is where integrity and balance come in. Integrity is defined by Webster as “the quality or state of being complete or undivided.” Balance is defined as “physical equilibrium; mental and emotional steadiness.” A dear friend offered the perfect picture for this idea that integrity/balance becomes progress in the image of riding a bicycle. When one learns to ride a bike, it is the state of balance that is the most difficult to master, and yet the most critical for allowing one to move forward.
I am using the words balance and integrity interchangeably, as I feel that for human beings to have balance within, a state of inner equilibrium, they must be “complete or undivided.” What does it mean to be complete or undivided? I see this state of integrity as one in which we are authentic, letting go of all that we think we should be, in favor of becoming who we truly are. Integrity is walking our talk, experiencing a coherence in our thoughts, feelings and actions, and allowing that full, undivided self to shine forth and be seen.
The virtues work is largely about finding this integrity within, reconciling the tug of war we often experience pulling us from side to side. As we work to have integrity, we must also have flexibility to guide us toward progress. The person riding the bicycle cannot do so with stiff legs or arms and still find balance. Both integrity/balance and flexibility are needed to move forward. Yet, with too much integrity, we might become rigid. This can show up as workaholism, doing more than is needed in a situation, or focusing so much on progress that we forget to have fun! With too much flexibility we might do nothing but play, making no progress at all, or perhaps we might never commit to or follow through on doing anything due to our constant willingness to bend.
This time of year is a time to review what has been in the past, and consider what wants to emerge in the future. Some jump in and start a new venture without considering what is needed for conscious progress. Some get so intimidated that they become paralyzed by the idea of making progress. Rarely do we tend to think of making progress by first looking at where we are in or out of integrity with ourselves. Perhaps this is exactly what is required to make progress truly conscious.
Before jumping into this New Year full of ideas, visions and goals, and making resolves to manifest them, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- What areas of my life feel out of balance or incomplete?
- Is the imbalance physical, emotional, mental or spiritual?
- What/who in my life is receiving too much of my attention or needing more of it?
- Do what I think & feel about my idea/vision reconcile with what I can do to create it?
- What practices can I undertake to bring more integrity to my sense of being?
- With my newfound integrity, in what way am I able to more easily realize my vision?
As you come to find a sense of inner completeness, you will also find an inner strength and confidence that will allow you to create and manifest your visions for your life. In doing this, you gradually become a light of inspiration for others to do the same. Trust that you are here to make a difference, and that the power that inspired you with your visions will also give you the power to manifest them. You need only be who you came here to be.
In order for us to make progress, we often must move beyond what is “normal” or “conventional.” This is never easy, and usually comes with discomfort. It requires a certain heretical stance in the world. Each of us is here with a unique gift to offer, one that no one else can give in the way that we can. By default, to be our true, unique self IS heretical. No one else will do it the same. The world is crying for these many gifts to be shared and visions to be realized. I hope these ideas inspire you to connect with your inner heretic…your true, complete, undivided self…and share your gifts with all of us! Many blessings and a bright future for this year and always!