It’s funny where inspiration comes from. Here I am having committed to an 8 week boot camp with a program called Bright Line Eating, which is about healing addictions to flour and sugar and creating a healthy, thin and free lifestyle and I find myself diving into new depths of understanding how integrity works or doesn’t work in my life.
A part of the Bright Line Eating program is weighing and measuring food, which initially I strongly resisted. The guidelines are to write what you are going to eat the night before, and then to meticulously stick to what you wrote down. Yeah, yeah, I’ve done all that before.
Integrity With Myself
But…it turns out that the need to write down and stick to what I wrote, has far-reaching implications, over and above the food aspect. There is the need to set up an automated system that removes food choices in the moment since an addict’s brain functions are compromised, which makes normal choices almost impossible.
AND there is the integrity component. When I say I am going to do something and then don’t follow through – then I am out of integrity with myself. Repeating this behavior over and over creates neural pathways in the brain that say I can’t be counted on, and eventually, something in me gives up, gives me up as hopeless and a failure. Not just in the area of food and overeating, but through many other areas of my life also.
This is integrity as it applies to me, not to others. It seems to be easier to do what I say I will with regard to others. But to myself, my intentions are often a snake, slithering away into the darkness of the ego.
Those endless To Do lists that never get completed. Those projects that started off with such a fire of inspiration that never see the light of day because I don’t follow through on the regular commitments necessary to get them off the ground. Mind/ego is so ruthlessly cunning that I am off track before I am even aware that I am.
Doing What I Say I Will
I love the feeling of warmth and confidence that flows through my being at the end of a day when I look at my food journal and know I have adhered to every item I had intended. In the end it isn’t about the actual food plan so much – though there are powerful underlying reasons for that plan – rather it is about my ability to count on myself to do what I say I will. With regard to food – that has been a lifelong battle for me.
I find this understanding of integrity spilling out into other areas of my life. I now put on my daily To Do list only that which I truly believe I am capable of completing. And in order to be in integrity with myself, I will put extra effort into the completion of each task. There is something that drags at my inner being if I don’t, that pushes me that extra little bit to stay in integrity.
Who is Making These Decisions?
I am learning too, to be more careful about that to which I am committing myself; is it realistic, is it in harmony with the essence ‘I Am’? To load up a To Do list for the day with impossible-to-complete tasks, can be a ruse by ego to undermine the sense of well-being that comes from integrity.
There is further discovery too at the end of the day looking at completed or not completed tasks. It may be that I have underestimated my time and/or resources. So I can ask myself, “Who made this decision?”. Did it come from a place of connection with Presence or did it come from mind with its ‘have tos’ ‘shoulds/shouldn’ts’ or any other of the myriad of brain tracks it runs along. When I take the time to learn, I am still in integrity.
Don Miguel Ruiz may say it best in his book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book), the first agreement being “Be impeccable with your word”. I have always loved this work, but it took Bright Line Eating coming into my life, to reach a deeper appreciation for those 5 words.
Maintaining a Clear Channel
“How you do one thing is how you do everything”. I don’t know who said those words, but I love the truth in them. And I love how they apply to creating dreams from the heart. Presence not only needs a clear channel to flow through, Presence needs the commitment of integrity.
To maintain that clear channel we need to be consistently alert to the need to clear out old mental concepts and ways of thinking that constrict and limit, and old emotional responses of guilt, anger, fear, judgement, competition etc. It also consists of detoxifying the body of old accumulations of poor eating choices and other aspects of good health so we can maintain a clean, healthy physical channel of expression for the Divine.
Another clearing technique I have recently undertaken is one of releasing – giving or throwing away/recycling – 27 items a day for 9 days. It is a Feng shui ritual that I heard from Marci Shimoff in a talk about making room for love in your life. I decided to do it with a friend. We committed to text each other daily once we had disposed of our 27 items. My energy is definitely lighter. I open my cupboards and closets and there is space. Space is where Presence exists. Nova Wightman has a blog here with more details on the technique.
The commitment of integrity takes practice. The rewards are stunning.
BTW: if you struggle with overeating and overweight – I highly recommend Bright Line Eating. Check it out. https://brightlineeating.com/