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How to Take Action to Be and Live Your Authentic Self

Mar 25, 2008
Being in integrity is a way of life: to consciously choose presence, purpose and wholeness in everything we do. At Spiritual Integrity we provide spiritual life coaching. We support individuals to reclaim their innate mental, emotional, and physical integrity, in order to connect fully with their unique purpose in the world. Our intent is to shine brightly and dissolve limitations and agreements that keep us from expressing our brightest light.

Spiritual integrity is a path to wholeness. When we live from our spiritual integrity we follow through on our commitments without stress, confusion, or fear. We are constantly inspired and energized to respond to change with eyes wide open. We are clear about who we are and where we are going. Our actions are in alignment with our heart. Each day is a playful co-creation with the divine.

Spiritual integrity is a remembering, a weaving of our scattered parts into a solid whole. We step back into our spiritual integrity when our thoughts, actions, and emotions stem from our essence, rather than our strategies and old patterns. On this journey, at times we may feel confusion, wondering, "How do I know who/what is the real me? What is my integrity?" And other times we have a clear sense that something in our life does not match who we really are.

This article includes a concrete process for moving towards your authentic self or integrity, for those times when you know something in your life is out and needs to change.

When You Know What is in Your Integrity

If there is a place you know you are not in your integrity but you are afraid or finding it difficult to act, write it down. For example, "I know that my fear of money is not serving me; staying in a minimum wage job is not right for me, but I don't see how to change it."

You do not have to change it all at once. The act of putting the issue on paper will help you align to a new way of being. Brainstorm ways to support yourself in taking a step towards your integrity. Do not overwhelm yourself by thinking about what could happen or not happen. Stay in the present and look for little steps to take.


Francis knows he is not in integrity with his relationship with his childhood friend, Bob. Every time they get together he ends up gossiping, drinking too much, and falling into an old pattern of care taking and leaking energy. These activities have moved from a fun way to release tension to a big drain when he spends time with Bob. There are many different ways he could approach his journey back to integrity. Here are some approaches one may typically try:

o Stop returning phone calls from Bob.
o Tell Bob he is busy whenever Bob calls.
o Tell Bob his wife does not want them to get together anymore, because it stimulates Francis's drinking.
o Keep seeing Bob but feel terrible and start resenting him.

Francis knows that he needs to change his relationship with Bob, but if he does not shift the relationship from a place of integrity, he will create conflict inside of himself. These first options come from avoidance rather than heartfelt honesty. When we want to step into our authenticity it is important that we learn the skills to do so honestly and clearly. This takes practice, so be gentle on yourself if you struggle with it. You are learning new skills. A huge thread for many of us is the pattern of trying to avoid things and make them okay rather than work with them directly.

Here are some more truthful options Francis could pursue:

o Francis could call Bob and say, "I need to take a break from seeing you for awhile. I've realized that my old patterns start showing up when we are together, and I need some time to sort it out."

o Francis could look at the bigger picture of his life and see what areas he is currently working to transform. Then he could see if he could use his relationship with Bob to accomplish this. For example he could practice not gossiping or not drinking when he is with Bob. He could say, "Bob, I really value your friendship, and can we try something different in how we relate?"

o Francis may decide he really does not want to engage with Bob any longer. It may be in his integrity to simply stop all communication with him. He could call and share with Bob his decision to cease their communication.

For yourself, be creative. There are many options. Taking new steps to communicate directly may be uncomfortable, but it is much more helpful on your journey to integrity if you consciously choose discomfort and growth, rather than unconsciously slip into old patterns that cause you to not trust yourself. Learning to trust yourself means that you clearly communicate with yourself and follow through on your commitments.

Avoid Self Sabotage

We can sabotage ourselves by deciding something is not completely in our integrity and we should change it, when in fact it is a vital step towards getting into our integrity. A common example of this is around work. Just because you are doing work you are not completely passionate about does not mean you are not in your integrity. Yes, we all want to move towards being completely in alignment in our work. And there may be several gradual steps we need to take to get there.

If your material foundation is shaky and you have had a hard time supporting yourself in the world, finding a job that creates stability is in your integrity. This may be an important first step to aligning your work with your heart. Remember you are aiming to unweave your old belief structure, and this takes ongoing, incremental action. Look at the big picture and how your work is serving you at this time when feeling into what is in your integrity. Do not make hasty decisions, and do not procrastinate. Find the right actions for your next step.

The context of where you are in your life is more important than what you are actually doing in some cases. Do not focus on what looks like it is in integrity to others. Feel into what is actually true for you right now, not where you would like to be or where you think you should be.

At all times, keep the big picture in mind. Dig deeper for the foundational truth for yourself. And keep reflecting on what next step you need to take to move towards integrity in this precious moment.


1. Write down where you are out of integrity with others, and any places your judge/inner critic may be saying you are not in your integrity.

2. Brainstorm new actions you can take. Practice clear, authentic communication with yourself and others, weeding out the lies of your judge/inner critic.

3. Take small steps. Pick one action to take at a time, do that action, and then evaluate what is your next step. Moving slowly, consciously, and steadily will support you in your transformation the best.
About the Author
Heather Ash Amara weaves powerful practices of shamanic traditions to help people reach their potential. She apprenticed and taught extensively with Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. She wrote Four Elements of Change and Toltec Tarot. She co-authored Spiritual Integrity and runs Spiritual Integrity Coaching with Raven Smith. Get more tools for living your integrity.
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