As you may know, this past week, my first book, The Integrity Advantage, was released. It was a pinnacle moment filled with a smorgasbord of emotions. It quickly turned into a somewhat surreal experience watching this baby being birthed out into the world, seeing people holding the book in their hands, and knowing that they would soon be reading my words.
Many people have asked me why I committed to this concept of integrity as a way of life a few years ago. I was recently invited to write a guest blog addressing what motivated me to write this book and what I hoped the reader would get out of it. Since it was my own pain and chaos of living out of integrity that brought me to living and realizing the advantage of living an integrity-guided life, I thought I would share the blog here.
I couldn’t believe I was back there again! It had been years since I found myself doing laps around the kitchen compulsively looking for the next bit of comfort food to stuff in my mouth. It had been ten years since that desire to binge swept over me like a tsunami. Actually, it had been since my divorce ten years earlier that I had abstained from emotional overeating. I had thought those days were over. I had thought that my divorce was the cure for my unhappiness and the antidote to my binge behavior. I guess I had thought wrong!
Forcing myself to stop before the excess calories and self-loathing set in, I had to ask myself, “What is going on?”
The truth - my truth - popped up in minutes. My friend and mentor Debbie Ford had passed away from cancer months earlier. Debbie was a best-selling author and founder of The Ford Institute which teaches personal growth and transformation and offers life-changing workshops and programs. Debbie had left her business to me and a fellow Ford Institute staff member. It was an amazing honor as well as a daunting responsibility to step into the shoes of someone who was so loved and admired. Perfectionist that I am, I dove right into running the business and keeping the legacy of Debbie’s work alive. I was scared to death I would be rejected and embarrassed or that I would fail. I worked 24/7 trying to prove my worth to others, all along doubting it myself. The task at hand was not only stirring up lots of issues in terms of my confidence and self-worth but also in terms of my identity. Internally, I started grappling with a well of issues and emotions. Was I living someone else’s vision or my own? Was this something I wanted to do or felt obligated to do? Had I ever stopped and asked myself, “Is this right for me?” or did I just jump into doing what I thought was right and trying desperately to get it right?
As I looked around at my life, I could see that there were other instances where I was caught up trying to do the “right” thing or what I thought was expected of me, other places I had totally lost sight of what was right for me. Once again, just like in my marriage, I was stepping over my truth and sidelining my desires. And, as a result, my impulse to self-soothe or self-sabotage with food was taking over.
At that moment, a bell went off in my head.
It was not my divorce that had been the catalyst for me to stop emotional eating. It was being out of integrity that was the impetus for me to engage in self-sabotage.
In that moment, my first book, which I always thought would be titled “The Divorce Diet” morphed into “The Integrity Advantage.”
In that moment, somewhere between rummaging from the refrigerator to the cabinets, I realized the connection between integrity, self-worth, and self-sabotage.
Being out of integrity launches us into a downward spiral. It leads to feelings of shame and unworthiness which leads to self-sabotage and making choices not in our highest. These can generate greater feelings of being out of integrity and unworthiness, leading to more self-sabotage, and the spiral continues straight into a dark abyss. Yet, the moment you declare “Enough is enough!” and focus on who you want to be in that moment, the downward spiral becomes a shooting star. Just like being out of integrity breeds more of the same, so does being in integrity. It builds on itself. The internal integrity alignment monitor that we all have guides us to make high-level choices which fuel our feelings of worthiness and our desire to make high-level choices.
I also realized that there was actually a blessing in my binges since anytime I had the impulse to binge, it was actually my integrity alignment monitor telling me that something was off…that somewhere in my life I was stepping over my truth, compromising myself, playing it safe or small, or accepting the unacceptable. It was a signal that I needed to find out what was eating me so I wouldn’t eat over the issue!
Before, the word integrity had always felt like something that some people had and others did not. It was something that people needed to do to get into integrity. But now I know that integrity is inside each of us. It is not something that we have to do but who we are. And most importantly it is not a destination, but a way of life!
Once you commit to integrity as way of life, everything becomes clearer and easier. You feel worthy of having and being more and you will allow yourself to create more passionately, play more joyously, love more open-heartedly, and live more abundantly.
My hope is that the reader will see themselves in this book and it will make them laugh, think, and open up to new possibilities. I want them to see that there is another way. Suffering, struggle, and self-sabotage are optional. Life can be easy and there is such a thing as self-love. After years of trying to fix and change myself on the outside, I have realized that transformation happens when we learn to love and honor what is in the inside. Learning to always take that U-turn back to myself and live in harmony with my integrity alignment monitor has given me a life I love. It has always been my passion to share with others what was given to me - the gift of liberation. I hope this book inspires people to take back their power and free themselves of outdated beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve them so they can feel open and empowered to step into their truth, love their life and claim their magnificence. That is The Integrity Advantage!
Transformational Action Steps
Dwell in the concept of doing it right vs. what is right for you.
(1) Identify a situation or circumstance where you are or have been more focused on getting it right instead of really looking at whether it is right for you.
(2) Let yourself see the cost. What does it cost you?
(3) Identify the thought would you need to affirm or let go in order to take that U-turn back to yourself and live your truth.
(4) Get The Integrity Advantage to step into your truth, love your life, and claim your magnificence.
(5) Join The Integrity Movement and stay tuned for news about our first-ever 5-day INTEGRI-THON! We will be cleaning up and clearing out anything that no longer serves us and takes up space so we can make room for that which does.