Are you living in alignment with your integrity? Think about what you value and are you willing to stand up to for your values? Are you willing to make changes to your life to stay in integrity? What even is integrity and why is it important?

In order to live a life connected with our true self, our soul, first we need to know what we value. Once we are crystal clear on what we value we need to remove judgement and attachment and then, fully embrace and live these values. Values are defined as the fundamental beliefs that govern our lives personally, culturally, and professionally. Sometimes (often, in my case), what others value do not align with what I value and that is ok. Letting go of attachment that our beliefs are the only right beliefs is super challenging and the stuff that wars are fought over.

Integrity stems from the Latin word ‘integer’ which means whole and complete. Integrity requires an inner sense of ‘wholeness’ and consistency of character. When you are in integrity, people visibly see it through your actions, words, decisions, and outcomes. When you are ‘whole’ and consistent, there is only one you. In my marriage to an unnamed doctor, my greatest struggle was living out of integrity. Bit by bit I lost myself in that relationship. There were very many expectations of how to place my silverware onto my plate and how to place the cell phone into his hand, but feelings and humanity were secondary. Betrayal, demands, and meanness were the norm. Money, anger, and moodiness prevailed over simple kindness and understanding. A marriage counselor once asked me to set my values aside, which were actually healthy boundaries, looking back. So I did, but I was attached, hurt, and angry, as well as confused. That was the beginning of the end of our marriage, it was when I departed from a life of integrity to make someone else happy. I became a very unsuccessful people-pleaser. My friends were not really friends, my step family resented the f**k out of me, and as hard as I tried to be a good doctor’s wife, the more I lost my self in the process.

When I awoke, I reconnected to my core and connected to spirit. I found, for me, as hard as I tried to connect, organized religion holds too many judgements. Even within Judaism one sect judges does not tolerate another. If we are to be humans that live by values and in integrity, how are we doing so by holding so tightly to our beliefs that they turn into judgements? How are we doing so by leading with anger? I met and was “related” through marriage to people who viewed themselves as morally above me. Is that even ethical? Is that integrity? This is deep stuff. For me, living in integrity means living in alignment with my soul and that I am one and at peace with the people I spend time with and the things I spend time doing.

This holiday season, me, a self-proclaimed BuJew, bought a Christmas tree with my cute boyfriend, Jared. My first tree in 12 years! I enjoyed every minute of the time spent at the tree farm to the hours we spent decorating it. I felt more in alignment and at peace and filled with joy than I did putting on the zillions of fancy holiday meals at my former home for my many fake friends at that time. I was lost. Now I’m me. I embrace all religions as a child of the vast and mysterious universe. I am working at judging no one and at living in peace and in alignment. I am working at detaching from my strong opinions as right. I am working at creating space and responding rather than reacting… I am very far from perfect but when I die, as we all do, I will know that while it has been a difficult journey, I have found my soul and live in alignment with my values and I do what I do with animals and humans to live a life of beauty and abundance in alignment with integrity. If you are struggling to find alignment and abundance, my life’s work, is coaching and supporting others through these obstacles.

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