Emotional Honesty Energy Boosters Live Happy Inspiration Relationships

Cruel Yule – when Christmas kicks your ass

Not too soon to start talking Christmas Lunch is it, my lovelies? My tree is already up so I reckon it’s fair game.

It’s got political over the years has Christmas Lunch. Who is hosting. Where. What’s to be eaten. Arrival times. Gift expectations. Who is doing the washing up. How soon is it impolite to leave. And I was going to write about that – but then I thought…y’know…you are smart people…you can figure that out. There will be a million bits of advice on how to delegate and bring a plate and whatnot.

Let’s talk about something else that probably won’t be covered: loss at Christmas.

Christmas is generally the most joyful time of year, but for someone going through a hard time it’s hands down the bleakest.

There is something unbelievably emotionally polarising about the festive season. There is nothing like being expected to be happy and jolly to focus the mind on what has been lost.

It is a cruel truth at Yule that for each person bemoaning how many presents they have to buy or wrap, someone else would dearly love to have that special someone to buy for. And, for everyone that loves it – from tinsel to turkey – there is someone who simply can’t wait for it to be over.

Family circumstances change all the time. Death, separation, divorce, estrangement, addiction, depression, emigration. When a season is all about family this can be hard. When you are used to being in the bosom of a family and then find you are suddenly but effectively childless and family-less after drop-off on Christmas Eve, it can be utterly discombobulating, post-divorce. When you are used to Dad cooking his special festive BBQ and he is suddenly not there your whole world is rocked to its core.

If you are in a good place this Christmas then all power to you! Squeeze every ounce of joy from it! But also, take just moment’s pause from the prep. Look up. Listen up. Is there anyone who might benefit from joining you? Someone feeling lonely, displaced, unwelcome? Or is there anyone in your circle you want to check in with and check they are doing okay?

If the thought of Christmas is incredibly confronting for your personal circumstances right now, I’m sorry and I see you. Please don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you. Just because they haven’t offered or haven’t asked you how you are doing does not, repeat NOT, mean they don’t care. Ask for what you need. And, please, accept that hand when it is offered. You are neither a bother or a burden and you are welcome.

We are just at the point now that those who are secretly panicking on the inside about getting through Christmas will really be feeling it, so this week make it your mission to spread a little Christmas cheer ahead of time.

“A rising tide lifts all boats” said J. F. K. The natural joyfulness of the season can lift those who need it most if we all share a little love today.


If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202

Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Relationships

Relative Harmony #1 (of 2)

(AKA How Not to Murder your Family This Xmas!)

There is a tremendous quote from American spiritual teacher Ram Dass that I thought would be particularly pertinent as we hurtle towards the festive season:  If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family”. Nothing, bar nothing in this world (with the possible exception of the current incumbent of The White House) pushes everyone’s buttons so thoroughly and consistently as family, however much we love them. Here are my top tips so you can spend Christmas kicking back with a cold one on the beach not hiding in the walk-in wardrobe from your extended whanau drinking gin through a straw.

  1. You can change the dynamic

If the way things usually roll out drives you crazy, you don’t have to accept the status quo: shocking news I know, but true. It only takes one person to change in a dynamic for all sorts of subtle shifts to occur. If you are sick of the sniping and bitching, the next time your brother comes to you to moan about the way your sister is organising the beach cricket, don’t get into it: ask him to address it with your sister directly. If you are sick of being the one that does all the buying of the food, email round a list of bring a plate responsibilities ten days before. I’m not saying people will like it, but I am saying you can shift the dynamic by making deliberate shifts yourself.

  1. The only thing you “have to do” is breathe. Everything else is a choice.

Christmas is not only the time of good tidings towards all men, but can also be an absolute obligation fest filled with “have to’s” and “should’s” of varying shapes and sizes. Nothing creates overwhelm and burn-out like an obligation fest: so if the pressure is rising, I’d like for you to step deliberately back into your personal power and remember that the only thing you HAVE to do is breathe, everything (truly, everything!) else is a choice.

Driving on the roads at the same time that everyone else is, is a choice.

Doing 19 different side dishes because everyone must have their favourite because it’s Christmas is a choice.

Choosing to write a Christmas card to everyone you have ever met since you were at school as you don’t want to be rude is a choice.

So, choose well.

The reality is, you have a finite amount of time, energy and attention: make powerful choices about where those finite resources get spent. “I have to” is disempowered, “I choose to” or “I choose not to”; that’s owning your right to decide where your most precious resources go. There is no apology required for using discernment and saying no. Reaching Christmas Eve a frazzled mess serves no one!

Your Christmas: your choices, so no guilt needed for opting out of excessive obligations.

Choose decisively and well.

One of the best Christmas gifts on offer to those you love is being energised and present and full of mojo and sparkle!

To celebrate the 3rd birthday of my Life Coaching Academy ~Wellbeing Warriors~

– and to thank you for reading my posts this year and for all the amazing emails

and messages you have sent me – 

I have a special present for you all.

I have one scholarship to my online life coaching programme ~Wellbeing Warriors~

to gift to you lovely readers this festive season!

To enter, just hop over to and take 30 seconds

to enter to be in to win a year of your best wellbeing with support from me!

One lucky winner will be drawn on the 21st December 2018 and advised by email.

Emotional Honesty Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Are you more disciplined than you think?

Last week a chance meeting with another self-development devotee led to a fascinating question of, “What is discipline?” Initially, it was a conversation around exercise and fitness, but of course, it’s a much, much bigger part of life than that.

Discipline sounds hard and harsh, but actually, it’s about choice. That we always have a choice. In some situations, the choice might be between two or three pretty unpalatable options, but a choice nonetheless. Discipline is choosing when there is a choice to be made, even when that decision is a hard one.

Discipline is to KEEP CHOOSING in favour of that outcome or destination even in the face of opposition.

Discipline is gathering our reserves to overcome obstacles when it’s so much easier to quit. Discipline is choosing in favour of our values – living them – not just stating them, but making a choice of integrity in the moment (which is, let’s face it, when it counts). Discipline is choosing what we want most over what we fancy right now.

What does she fancy right now? Netflix and pizza on the couch. What does she want most? To fit into her skinnies and zip them all the way up – so that means choosing less of the pizza or having a run first.  What does he say his values are? Fidelity and family. So, that means choosing to walk away from the flirty colleague in the bar at midnight, however flattering and ego stroking it might feel in that moment. She’s the boss, so it’s steeling herself to make an unpopular but right choice to restructure and follow it through with conviction however tough it may be.

Discipline is self-governance in action.

It’s choosing to do the thing you don’t fancy right now (pounding the pavement in the rain / making the zillionth lunchbox / answering tedious emails) in order to serve a higher, longer-term purpose (finishing the marathon / keeping the children well-nourished / holding a job and making money to live on).

We all have moments where we take the route of least resistance. Have the second helping even though we are totally replete. Skip the workout because we can’t be arsed. Give someone good feedback when it really wasn’t a job well done because we wanted to avoid feeling anxious with a hard conversation. Not walking away when we know we should have. Not stepping up or speaking up when we know in our gut it was the right thing to do.

That’s human nature and none of us is perfect.

I think many of us think we are undisciplined – but actually, we are far more disciplined than we think. I generally see that people are lacking discipline in only one or two areas of life, but in the rest, they operate with a steely determination come what may. Channelling the same discipline of showing up to work or for our children into showing up for our body at the gym is actually a process of applying something we already know how to do, just in a different area of life.

When we practice discipline we can put ourselves in line for a far greater emotional payout down the line. When you look at some of your greatest achievements and proudest moments, you will see that most of them were built on a strong bedrock of discipline.

Discipline is more than a decision.

It’s a life practice, an ongoing series of choices. Discipline comes from discipulus, the Latin word for pupil, which infers that it’s a part of a process of learning. And so it is. When we know better we can choose better. And keep choosing better.

Essentially, discipline boils down to this: The choice between what feels good now or what will feel truly great later.

Dream and Goals Emotional Honesty High Energy Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love the Skin You're In Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Relationships Self Care and Self Love

Change The Game

This picture meme I came across at random is everything I believe.

Physical wellbeing is *obviously* really important.

But it is often given far higher importance than our emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Change The Game

The interesting thing is that when we attend to our mental, emotional and spiritual health (with smart, easy to apply coaching tools) we start to feel comfortable in our own skin in a way we may never have done: and that becomes the foundation for almost effortless physical health choices.

Those diets that stop, start, stop, start: you just start to eat healthy ongoing because you want to.

It stops being hard, and becomes the obvious choice.

That excessive habit wagon you have fallen in and off time and time again? You don’t need another 30-Day miracle boot camp promising you the world or a gym membership that lapses and you feel guilty about; you need to attend to your boundaries, learn why you worry about stuff and exactly how to stop it, and generally expand your level of self-awareness and trust: and, guess what…you’ll exercise regularly because you want to, because it’s just what you do. No fuss. No struggle.

That crazy lack of rest and downtime, running on empty and lack of balance? Do the deep work and watch that fall into place. Start honouring your mind and body with appropriate self-care without force or guilt.

If you are O.V.E.R. doing the same thing, listening to the same old promises, falling on and off the same ole wagon with the same ole excuses…

Do. Something. Different.

Learn how to take care of your wellbeing – emotional, mental and spiritual – and watch your physical wellbeing fall into place.

Do. Something. Different. For. You.

Something that the woman you want to be in 2019 will thank you for.

You want change?

You want to look different?

Feel different?

Change. The. Game.

Join 700 smart women in my life coaching Academy, and do wellbeing differently.

We have been doing it differently in there for 3 years now.

We have a formula that changes the game because it changes YOU.

If you are ready for real change; then I’m ready for you.

Join up right now, you won’t regret it!



Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Lean Harder Into Joy

We never know what is around the corner in life. We can think we do. We can have a plan. A whole, shiny future containing x, y and z. An all but certainty mapped right out in our mind’s eye. We can feel completely sure that that’s how it’s all going to unfold. We can sit back and luxuriate, confident about how it’s all going to look. That house. That partner. That job. Those children, or travels or experiences that will make up our lives. They are never really in doubt.

But life, being life, can throw a cosmic spanner into the works when we least expect it.

Good cosmic spanners. A promotion overseas. A surprise pregnancy. A kismet filled meeting with someone new. A welcome but unexpected pile of sparkly fairy dust blowing its way into our life.

Bad cosmic spanners. People die. Emigrate. Betray. Abandon. Redundancies happen. Jobs change. Industries change. Houses break. Health crisis happen. Shit happens. A tornado of shite can unexpectedly blow through your life laying waste to the most well-laid plans, leaving nothing but dust in its wake.

Plans do change. Even really good plans can change.

And we can’t know when a cosmic spanner is about to hit. All we can do is know that we have the resources within us to handle it when it does. It may not feel like we do, but we do. We can dig deeper than we ever thought was possible when the tornado does hit landfall. We are more resilient than we know or than we may want to be. That strength is there. We can call on it if we really have to. We can batten down the hatches and bail, bail, bail for our lives when we need to and the Force 9 intensity storm touches down. If we are lucky, we will have some good friends who will stand shoulder to shoulder with us and match our efforts bucket for bucket.

And so, in the meantime, what should we do? Bad stuff can happen. We are not maybe as secure as we think we are. However, we should absolutely not worry about cosmic spanners, good or bad. They will come regardless. And we need to trust we have the strength to overcome if and when they do. Instead, we should take our focus to the nuts and bolts of everyday life. The tiny stuff. I cannot help but feel that the happiest way forward is to lean hard into joy. Lean much, much harder into the moments of joy and comfort accessible in every ordinary day that passes.

We do not, and indeed cannot, protect ourselves from future grief or loss by waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anticipating or worrying about whether that thing will happen or not does not stop it happening. Fearing loss does nothing to prevent future pain, it just sucks a little more joy out of today.

Happiness is comprised of the small moments of joy linked together day to day.

The moments that seem insignificant are actually truly more significant than the big win. The very fabric of our joy is woven from small everyday moments of fairy dust. The spontaneous and shared smile. The easy park. The light through the trees. The effortless fit of familiar hand in hand. We need to lean harder into these seemingly inconsequential moments of everyday joy.

Relish every bit of pleasure. Notice it. Amplify it. Take less for granted. Lean hard. Much, much harder into the joy that is already around us. We cannot know what is around the corner so let’s make today everything it can be.

Let’s make the ordinary more special.

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside!

High Energy Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Make A Joy List

By way of a pub quiz, a seriously startling fact has just come to my attention. It appears that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the movie, came out in 1986. Nineteen. Eighty. Freaking. Six!  Whaaaaat? Feel free to take a moment to mop your fevered brow and wonder where on earth the last 30 years just went. How can that be? Anyone?  Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?

It makes the immortal quote from Ferris himself even more poignant, Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Well, we don’t want that. We want to pack it with as many joyful and happy moments as possible. So, I thought a Joy List could be in order today.

We want our lives to be defined by as much light, love, laughter, and joy as possible. The more of that we have the more resilience we have to weather the inevitable squally patches we will all encounter. The thing is, when we are head down, bum up, absorbed in busy-ness and getting things done, actively seeing joy can be something we defer to later. Let’s not shall we? Let’s take a moment today to stop and look around at what brings us joy so we can deliberately sprinkle more of that stuff everywhere.

Make your own Joy List right here:

3 places that make me happy:

How much time do you spend there? How regular is it? Can you find a way to increase that? What do you need to do to make that happen? Or, if it’s somewhere far afield – like Mexico, say – can you bring a bit of a feel good Mexico vibe to you? Taco night. Hang that Mexican rug on the wall that you promised you would when you bought it in that dusty market. Get some special tequila. Can you bring the essence of that joyful place to you?

3 people who bring me joy and uplift me when I spend time with them:

Note: it might not be the people you feel you “should” be putting down there. That’s okay. It’s your Joy List, no one has to see it but you. How much time do you spend with the people who spark joy for you? If it’s your cousin but you only see each other once every few months, it’s time to up the priority. Maybe you can FaceTime more or maybe it’s a great excuse to organise a girls’ trip to Melbourne. Subtly realign the way you spend your time to get more of the people who lift you up.

3 times I laughed out loud in the last week:

Studies show kids laugh hundreds of times a day. Pure spontaneous joy. Adults – not so much. Half a dozen at best. Our lol score is pitiful. Who or what makes you laugh? Genuine joyful laughter? Make deliberate plans to tickle your funny bone more often.

3 activities that light me up

Where do you lose track of time? Get so absorbed that the minutes or hours fly by. Surfing? Knitting? Cooking? DIY-ing? Hiking? How much time do you actually spend doing that stuff? As a percentage of your week or month? What can you gently let go of in order to allow a little more joy time in?

We all have the same 10,080 minutes in a week. The same 8,769 hours in a year. We can’t change that. What we spend them on, where we spend them, and who with – we can. Cramming as much joy into each seems like a good plan to me. Life does indeed move pretty fast. Look around once in a while, don’t miss it.


If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 
Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 


Love Your Work Reduce Stress

2 Killer Questions To Beat Back To Work Blues!

Happy Monday, people! For many of you today is The First Day Back At Work, and might be accompanied with that sinking feeling known as the Back To Work Blues, traditional in these parts late January each year. Well fear not good people, I have a top technique for you to get back into the swing of things.

There are two questions I recommend you ask yourself on Day 1 when you have the benefit of full energy and perspective having stepped back from the coal face for several weeks. When we are stuck on the hamster wheel of doing, doing, doing it can be hard to get the bigger picture we need to see what’s truly working for us and what’s not.  When we are stressed and in the thick of it we tend to get caught up in the detail and just add more and more things to the To Do list. On Day 1 of a fresh new working year, whilst you have the benefit of a fresh and elevated perspective about what’s important it’s a great time to consider these two questions:


What’s one thing I am going to START doing in 2018?


What’s one thing I am going to STOP doing in 2018?


Deceptively simple questions. Rather than creating an exhaustive and overwhelming To Do list of goals, resolutions and projects that makes your heart sink just looking at it, try making a simple commitment on Day 1 to just one thing to START doing, and one thing to STOP doing that will refocus your energy on what you can control and kick your year off with focus.

So – you might want to START leaving on time on Tuesdays, or start filing emails as they come in rather than letting your inbox get out of control, or have one day a week that is designated meeting free so you can get bigger project work done. You might want to START making a regular lunch date with a mentor, or START fresh with a difficult client relationship or START speaking up for yourself more confidently.

You might want to STOP getting sucked into complaining conversations with Bob from Accounts or STOP repeatedly submitting your expenses late, or STOP bitching about the inventory system because it doesn’t actually change anything. You might want to STOP buying stuff from the vending machine or STOP being taken advantage of by a certain person who does not reciprocate.  Or STOP habitually apologising when you haven’t done anything wrong.

Look at where your energy goes.

Who and what GIVES you energy and enthusiasm, and who and what DEPLETES it? There is a well-known quote that is variously attributed to Tony Robbins, Henry Ford and others that says

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

So if you want a little more from 2018, and are ready for more… maybe more fun, more responsibility, more growth…then you need to change something up. It really can be as simple as stopping something that after time for reflection doesn’t serve you (even though you may have habitually been carrying it out for years, decades even) and starting a life or work affirming attitude or behaviour that will have positive ripple effects through the year, starting something that you have no idea what the outcome or effects will be. But starting anyway.

So, if it’s your Day 1 today. Welcome back! Commit to something to start, and something to stop in 2018 and get set for a great year.

And for those of you who still have a week or more to go…enjoy… and have a cold one for the rest of us!

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Why you don’t need a ‘New You’

“Happy New Year! Happy New You!”

How many headlines will you see screaming that this month? Too many to count, I suspect.

I am going to be really subversive here (I know, I’m such a rebel) and kick off the first column of the New Year with a directly contradictory premise: You don’t need a “New You”.

The “You” you are is absolutely perfect in your imperfection. Anyone who tells you you are broken in some way is undermining your personal sovereignty. Especially anyone who tells you you are broken in order to sell something. You are not broken! You are whole and complete. Life and self-improvement is a PROCESS. A process means it’s ongoing. It doesn’t end until you do. It is never complete. Life is always in a state of beautiful incompletion.

We are all works in progress. For the whole of our lives. It is never “done”. It can never be done! We will be learning and growing into an ever-expanded version of our best self, our whole life. It’s a glorious process of growth. It’s about expansion and about improvement and inspiration. It’s about reaching a little higher, being a little braver, asking for a little more. It’s not about fixing something that’s broken.  You are not broken and anyone who tells you you are is lying. Don’t believe them.

A New Year is simply a convenient time to dust off the cobwebs and assess where we are at with our life’s project. Our work in progress. It’s just a milestone in the journey. A reminder to pause and reflect.

So, this year I am offering you some different kinds of New Year resolutions. Ones that delight you rather than punish you. Goals that draw you forward effortlessly in the energy of growth rather than beating you up in the energy of “not quite good enough”. Principles that lift you up, rather than tear you down for not being smart, thin, fun, rich enough – or whatever.

Because you, you dear reader, are enough. Make your resolutions something that make your soul sing, not fill you with an increasing creeping feeling of dread. Resolve toward what makes you grow, not what you want to fix.

  • Resolve to laugh more in 2019.
  • Resolve to love more in 2019.
  • Resolve to smell the roses more in 2019.
  • Resolve to connect more in 2019.
  • Resolve to speak kindly to yourself, with love and compassion, in 2019.
  • Resolve to strive for progress not for perfection in 2019.
  • Resolve to honour your body and soul in 2019.
  • Resolve never to stop growing, learning and expanding in 2019.
  • Resolve to be all that you can be, the happiest version of yourself in 2019.

That’s what I wish for you. You are not broken. You never were. Embrace the glorious mess of all that you are and the beauty this year is going to unfold at your feet.

Happy New Year!

High Energy Happiness Live Happy Inspiration

What “I’m So Busy” really teaches us

Busy Busy Busy.

A quick word on busyness this morning. It’s a great topic, because – well, we are all super busy, right? Life is a veritable whirlwind these days. Which can be a good thing. Can be a bad thing. There is much that has been written on this topic in recent years since we all got so hyper-connected.

Here’s the really good thing about being busy. It’s like shining a spotlight on your true priorities. Not what you say your priorities are. What they really are. It’s like shining a spotlight on your goals and plans and wishes and wants. Not what you say that they are. What they really are.

Where our time goes consistently is a reflection of our true priorities.

When that friend or family member “would have loved to catch up, but life’s been so busy” – that’s not a reflection on how busy their life is – it’s a reflection of how important your spot is in their diary.

When you miss boot camp for the 4th time in a row – that’s a reflection that the thing you are doing instead – working late; looking after the kids; watching Netflix – that that’s is more important to you right now than your fitness.

When you are too busy to help out or to socialise in the lunchroom because you are checking Facebook for the 11th time that day – that’s not a judgement – it’s just a direct reflection that your virtual relationships are more important than your real life relationships that day.

If you are staying late because you have to get to inbox zero rather than organising date night, it’s a reflection that reducing anxiety around work tasks is more important than creating fun and connection with your partner.

When you drag yourself out of bed in the dark to train for that triathlon it’s a reflection that your body and completing that event is more important than a lie in.

When you turn down the party to work on your novel it shows your true priority is to be a published author.

When you skip Friday wines to take the kids to laser quest your true priorities are laid bare.

The thing about how busy life is these days is that we are confronted with an almost endless conveyor belt of choices for us to make over our time. We are constantly choosing whether we realise it or not. Every choice adds up to a pattern – when we look at our pattern of choices – that’s when our true priorities are revealed.  We are what we consistently do, not what we say we want to do or would like to do.

Busyness is not the enemy. It’s an amazing opportunity to assess your true priorities without judgement. This is not, repeat not, an opportunity for you to beat yourself (and everyone around you) up! It’s a chance to reflect on the real balance of your time and priorities. It’s an opening of awareness to reflect on your relationships and the respective energy and priority that they are for both you and the other person.

Busyness forces choice. And choice reveals our true priorities.

Have a look, without judgement, at what you consistently choose to prioritise. Is it in line with what you really want and who you truly want to be?

Happy People Don't Do

What is your word worth?

Seems like an obvious one but it’s so easily missed in our fast-paced world where a “white” lie sent by text is enticingly easy, and “ghosting” is actually a thing. Our personal integrity and the standard to which we hold ourselves is a measure of our own personal brand value. I believe C. S. Lewis summed it up best with:

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”.

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one would know you did the wrong thing. Making the brave choice even when there is an easier opt-out to be gotten away with. Being in integrity means being in alignment with your core values even when no one but you knows the choice you are about to make.

When we are acting from integrity, it means it’s much easier to accept the consequences of our decisions. When we do “the right thing” with honour, even if others do not approve or understand, we sleep well knowing we did what was in alignment with our own sense of rightness.

Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the great classic “The Four Agreements,” details the trait of integrity as the number one agreement with self for personal freedom: “Be Impeccable With Your Word
. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love”.

Because here’s the thing. You cannot buy true integrity with money (reputation possibly, but not true integrity). And you cannot exchange it for money. And you can’t buy it back when it’s gone, however much you want to. (There are some notable falls from grace who would love that option I am sure. Think Lance Armstrong, Bill Cosby and Tiger Woods.) Our integrity is of supreme value to us, but it costs nothing. It is very hard to recover it once it has been lost, so it’s important that we treasure and tend to it.

The good news is you don’t need money or power or status to develop, cultivate and cherish your integrity. A life of integrity is a path open to everyone regardless of life situation. In fact, I think we are all pretty much naturally programmed to choose the path of integrity by default, which is why when we go against that it feels so off. I believe that integrity is our natural inclination; it’s more about choosing to deliberately veer off the path into dishonesty, or not.

I also like the alternate definition of integrity. As well as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” it is also “the state of being whole and undivided”. Which can be used to describe the state of, say, a building post-earthquake “retaining its integrity” meaning it has come though structurally sound. That definition of being “whole and undivided” also speaks to our soul, in that if there is a decision that is making us feel divided and at odds with ourselves, that it’s likely we are considering compromising our integrity in some way. That feeling of internal division is a great spot check on our personal Integrity-o-meter.

When we live in integrity, we are naturally happier. We don’t have to think which version of the story we are relating to which person. We don’t have that mild cloud of anxiety about “being found out” dogging our days. We sleep better. We don’t have a heart attack when the phone rings, or we bump into THAT person. Knowing what our word is worth is an altogether happier way to be in the world.

We live more lightly when we are in integrity with ourselves.

Doing the right thing even if no one is watching is integrity. Because someone IS watching. Someone whose opinion is of paramount importance and will last a lifetime. You.

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