Are you a man of integrity?

October 16, 2013

Integrity is something that holds high value in the world of men. In fact it is one of those things by which a man is weighed and measured when it comes to respectability.

The dictionary defines the word as:Man of integrity

  1. An undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting.
  2. Moral soundness

The word stems from the Latin word “integer” which means whole or complete. So, are you a man of integrity?

Here are some characteristics the fall into the category of integrity:

  1. A sense of wholeness, feeling complete just as you are. This means that contrary to Tom Cruise’s words in Jerry Maguire, you don’t need anyone else to complete you, make you feel successful, morally sound, loved, happy or content. You only need to tap into that part of you that knows you are a complete, successful, wise and lovable human being.
  2. A desire to be totally honest with others and more importantly, with yourself. It’s common for people to go into denial about the things they don’t like about themselves, convincing themselves that someone else is to blame. Owning your weaknesses can be the very way you can turn them into strengths. Be honest with yourself in everything, but do it without malice.
  3. A belief or value system that allows responsibility and accountability for words and actions. Being accountable keeps you honest and respectable. Passing accountability off on someone else when things go awry does not come from a place of integrity.
  4. An ability to tap into your inner wisdom that leads you in a direction that is fueled by kindness, fairness and respect. (And yes, even love) A wise man is always impeccable with his word and his actions. When inner wisdom is the driving force behind words and actions, the outcome is always good.
  5. The self-reflection that allows for change when it is necessary to create a peaceful, respectful environment. If you’re feeling angry about something, take some time to reflect on what is charging that anger. Is there fear, guilt or shame? Use honesty to get to the core issue so that you can change it and face whatever the conflict is from a heart-centered perspective.
  6. The use of Power rather than Force to precipitate changes for the better. Power comes from the knowledge that you are doing the kind and loving thing for everyone involved. Force is charged with anger, control and selfishness. It’s important to know the difference between the two. Even in your business life – especially in your business life.

Being a man of integrity means coming from a deeper place than the mind. The mind is ruled by the ego and the ego has no base in truth, in fact it bases its whole existence on creating stories that instigate suffering. But the inner wisdom that comes from who you really are and from living a heart-centered life is where integrity lives.

Breaking down of a marriage - Poor communicationThe other day while catching up with a friend, I listened while she told me of her recent breakup. It was inspiring to hear her perspective, one that came on the other side of the pain that the separation had caused. As I listened intently to her account of this most recent journey I was awestruck by her ability to see, in hindsight (and even a little while she was still feeling the emotional upheaval) what a gift it was that the universe had sent her when her long-time partner told her he wanted to leave the relationship.

It reminded me of the only time I ever had to end a relationship. It was the passage of time and the realization of the many lessons that the experience carried for me that helped me to heal, to let go and to move through the grief and the pain that I felt, even though it was my choice to end it. Even still one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to tell someone I loved that I needed to leave the relationship.

I remember the look of hurt on his face when I explained that we were growing apart, moving in different directions. I cried when I explained that I was changing, evolving and my journey was taking me on a new and different path, away from him.

And although I had tried to make the relationship work, throughout my period of self-realization one of the things I recognized was that the relationship just wasn’t working anymore. We had become two very different people.

In past generations the idea of separation or divorce was one of those subjects that was spoken of in hushed tones. It was not as common as it is today and people who did divorce carried with them a sense of shame or failure because they couldn’t seem to keep the family together. There was a lot of judgment put on people who, for whatever reasons, felt it necessary to divorce, separate or move on.

But times have changed. The world is a different place than it was 40 or 50 years ago. Women are far more independent both emotionally and financially. Whether that makes it easier to walk away from a relationship or not, I don’t know. But what I do know is that breakups happen – a lot. You’re constantly shifting, changing, growing and not always at the same rate or in the same direction as your partner. It’s a fact of life, sometimes a painful one, but there it is before you and you know you have to leave.

Sometimes the wiser, more responsible choice is to end a relationship. It’s not about anyone doing anything wrong. There is no blame to be laid – there doesn’t have to be. And it doesn’t have to be ugly, no matter how much it hurts. There’s so much to let go of in a breakup – your history together, ideas of the traditional family and what it means to you, the hopes and dreams of growing old together, the home you’ve created with each other and the raising of your children as a united parental unit.

These are all great reasons to stay together IF you are in alignment and the relationship is a loving, respectful, honoring one, but if it’s not, then trying to stay together for any of these same reasons would be inauthentic, dishonoring and unfair to the highest good of both you and your partner.

If each person in the partnership takes care of their own emotions, who they are and what their desires for a beloved relationship are, they can acknowledge the truth oCouple in conflictf the situation, and perhaps can even support each other through the transition to some degree. It would certainly be a loving example for any children of the relationship.

Whether you are the one initiating the breakup or your partner is the catalyst of the changes, it’s never easy to go through. You have a choice as to how you want to see the whole experience. You can choose to be the victim and see that this is happening TO you or you can look at is as an opportunity to learn, grow and explore the person you are outside of a relationship. And that can be a pretty exciting possibility once the initial emotional upheaval is over.

If you allow yourself time to grieve and to feel the anger, hurt and shame that the separation brings you to, you can then be open to a whole new world of love, peace and joy. And you create the environment for attracting someone who is more in alignment with who you are.

My friend worked her way through all the emotions that her breakup brought up for her. She allowed herself the space and time to heal and understood the lesson that it brought her and came out on the other side stronger, wiser and more open to what the future may bring.

In the emptiness I felt at the end of the relationship I found myself, and in the space of that void I created a new life full of exciting new adventures and courage that I never knew I had.

Breaking up doesn’t have to take you to the depths of despair indefinitely. It can show you a new, bright world of possibility. And it can strengthen the most important relationship you will ever have – the one with yourself.

With love and kindness

Bettina

The Beloved Relationship

September 4, 2013

Beloved relationshipA Beloved Relationship is when you speak your partner’s name and the very sound of it, the feel of it on your tongue is gentle, loving, beautiful, honoring. It is the sweetness of a shared moment that only you and your partner understand. It is freedom, knowing, caring and joy. A natural flow of two hearts in one direction.

My husband often tells people that the most loving thing I ever said to him was, “I don’t need you.” When he shares this, I smile but he gets all sorts of different reactions from people.

Some nod their head in understanding and others are bewildered by it. One thing is for sure though – I really don’t need my husband and he doesn’t need me.

But…

We love each other unconditionally.

We give each other the space to feel and work through whatever we need to.

We create a safe place for each other to share our truth.

We don’t take things personally.

We don’t have secrets.

We share what is in our heart of hearts in the most loving of ways.

And when we fail at any of these things as we do from time to time, we forgive ourselves and are secure in the knowledge that each of us will understand and love the other anyway.

Go within. The Beloved relationship actually begins with within you. The most important thing we need to do is to be what we want to attract. So if you want a beloved relationship, one of unconditional love, of caring and respect and honor, then you must feel all of these things for yourself. And once you can feel it towards yourself, you will be nature treat others in kind.

Don’t blame. The Beloved relationship doesn’t mean you never get upset or angry or hurt. What it does mean is that you can take responsibility for those feelings and work through them without blaming the other person.

Vulnerability. It also means that you trust the other person enough, feel safe enough to express your vulnerability to them, knowing they will listen without judgment, criticismBeloved relationship or trying to fix it for you.

Compassion. It’s a big part of getting through conflict in a Beloved relationship. Compassion is being able to listen, understand, empathize and allow the other person to feel what they need to feel, say what they need to say and be who they need to be during times of stress, pain, loss, fear, anger and upset. It can exist in silence.

Self-love. It means that with total self-love you enter into the relationship knowing that you are worthy, beautiful, strong, wise and kind and that you don’t need the relationship to show you these things about yourself but the relationship can be the reflection of what you feel inside. (It is always a reflection of your inner world.)

Now doesn’t that take a lot of the pressure off of each individual in the relationship? Things flow, you can have fun and there are no conditions upon which you share your love. You both come to the table loving yourselves unconditionally and that love flows steadily back and forth between you in waves of joy, peace and passion.

It’s not about the things we give each other but the feelings we share. And we can only share what we feel inside us. So if what you’re sharing isn’t what you’d like, maybe it’s time to make a change from the inside and share what you really want on the outside.

With love and kindness

Bettina

For some men the idea of heart-centered living might seem like a foreign concept, one that suggests a softer, more feminine way of life.

But this way of living is not exclusive to women and is something that can prove to be quite beneficial to men, especially in relationships.

Now, if you’re thinking that it will take you away from everything that makes you a man, you couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact it will empower you as a man in ways you’ve never imagined, not to mention make you more attractive to the opposite sex.

So let’s talk about what heart-centered living for men looks like

  1. It means having the ability to feel empowered without disempowering (or overpowering others).
  2. Balance between your career and your family life becomes a higher priority than status.
  3. You become more aware of your gut instinct and understand its wisdom.
  4. Deeper meaning, integrity and honesty become more important than driving ambition.
  5. Caring for your family builds your relationships with them and is not merely a financial responsibility.
  6. You uncover a willingness to share your vulnerability with a trusted life-partner.
  7. The feeling of abundance replaces the chase for wealth, image, rank and success.
  8. Living in the present is a daily practice and worries about the future no longer fill your focus.
  9. The need to control disappears and allowing life to follow its natural course while learning to accept whatever comes your way when and if it happens.
  10. Heart-centered living is tapping in to the wisdom that leads you to what you’re passionate about, creating relationships that are more intimate, loving and peaceful in a life where you can create whatever you desire.

As the world continues to change to a more heart-centered mindset in their daily living, more and more men are looking for a way to keep up with the changing times and their impulse to find more meaning, one that suits who they are as they move through the different stages of their lives.

The wisdom of heart-centered living meets so many of their needs that it makes sense for them to look for ways to incorporate it into their lifestyle.

As I meet and work with men in teaching them how to share more of themselves in relationship and life, I am finding they are so ready for the change. And their partners are supporting them one hundred percent as it deepens relationships in amazing ways.

Heart-centered living is not about giving up your masculinity – it’s about finding a better way to express it in your day to day life.

With love and kindness

Bettina