Posts in Personal Growth
What Does Integrity Mean?

I was sitting in my second weekend of yoga teacher training and the facilitators handed out an article for us all to read. The topic of the article was integrity and honestly a little confusing. I thought to myself, “Sure, I know the word but…” We read the article through a few times by ourselves and then with small groups. We read and discussed the article until it started to click.

integrity

The facilitators went on to set the foundation of integrity in our training. They let us know that if they say something, it’s going to happen. That if they’ve decided something shall be, then it will. They won’t be late, cancel, or flake on us. They will uphold their commitment to the group. It was refreshing. So simple and honest, serious and comforting, all at the same time.

The follow through. The commitment. The dedication. I started feeling heavy… guilty. Memories of me flaking on my friends and making up excuses if I didn’t “want to do ____” came flooding in. I felt overwhelmed. Have I lived my entire life without integrity? I honestly wasn’t sure. White lies are so easy… and blurry.

I wanted to take the article to everyone in my life and shout, “Say what you mean, do what you say! I’m starting right now and you should to!” (Don’t worry I didn’t, but I really wanted to - haha).

I brought the topic up to Chandler to see what he thought of this whole integrity thing (this was still very early in our relationship so I felt a little silly to admit that I’d never really thought about integrity until now). But he just looked at me and simply said, “I think of it this way: What you say, what you think, and what you do are all in alignment.”

What!? YES! That one really clicked! I liked it. Easier to understand and navigate when you’re not sure.

I then wrote in my journal some time after “mind-mouth alignment” or something like that. Meaning, are your thoughts and words matching up? Are you really speaking your truth and following through? Or are you saying one thing and thinking another?

I think a nice example is:

“Hey you wanna hang out Thursday!”

“Yes!”

*Thursday rolls around and you actually just want to stay home and do nothing.

You immediately start to formulate and dig for excuses as to why today is now not a good day. You land on something that seems just honest enough to work. But it’s stressful and what if you’re found out. What if your friend thinks your an ass for bailing. The internal dialogue goes on and on.*

Instead…. You can simply say, “You know what, I’m honestly not feeling up to it tonight. Can we reschedule?” How the other person takes that is their own business - not yours.

Truth. Honesty. Simplicity.

It’s so not easy saying No or letting someone know you’ve changed your mind, but you’re allowed to.

Also, there’s a kicker… having an awareness of how often you do this. If you constantly make plans and then politely cancel last minute there might be something there for you to think about… to examine.

There’s a balancing act of thoughts, words & action. Integrity (or lack of) impacts your relationships with other people, and with yourself.

An example from the Self perspective:

I’ve been thinking about handstand for…. Years? Like I really want to effortlessly do handstands wherever I am. Only… I don’t practice much. No one really knows this because I don’t talk about it. I just think about it A  LOT.

I’m missing the biggest piece of the puzzle: Action.

I know the missing piece and I still barely act to do anything about it. So… I have to ask myself, “Do I even really care about handstanding everywhere? Or is it just something I feel like I should be able to do because others can?” That’s a toughy. And I’m still not sure.

I do know I want freedom to move in my body. To play and not be scared of falling or looking like an amatuer. So why don’t I practice more? I’m not sure but I think maybe I’ll start and let you all know.

On the flipside, I could just beat myself up forever because I can’t handstand (because I don’t practice). And I could resent others forever because they can and it’s not fair. Yes this is crazy, but also an option.

SO I have a choice to make, in every moment of my life, with a few simple questions.

  • What do I think about X
  • How do I talk about X
  • What do I actually do about X

Take this into a different scenario: not-so-great relationships. It seems to be the most glarying place where integrity is lacking. Someone isn’t happy so they internalize. They constantly look at the other person as the problem. And, they never do anything to make a change (for better or worse). They just stew in their minds, or bitch to their friends, and wonder why they are miserable. It’s interesting. I’ve been there before.

In my mind, you pretty much just stay stuck until you start looking. You won’t always like what you see, but you will see something. And then you must do something.

I didn’t like the realization that I’d been “flaky” before. I felt like I’d lacked integrity for 20 something years. I felt really taken aback by it all. But once I sat down and starting thinking about all of the places I was out of alignment, things started to shift. I could no longer ignore (or mindlessly block out) things that mattered. Things that need my voice and my opinion. Now I constantly look at my life and ask if things are in alignment (they won’t stay in alignment forever - nothing is fixed). So take a deep breath, examine, write, think, and decide what tol do next to get closer to alignment... integrity.

Some questions to think about:

Integrity with Self

How might I be lacking integrity (with myself)?

Ex: “I’ll do it tomorrow…” “I’ll start Monday…” But you put IT off for days/weeks/months”

 

Specifically, what do I think A LOT about, but never do anything about?

 

Ex: Ah-hem… me + handstand. This one can be pretty obvious. Just take a look at your habits+thoughts and what you want oh-so badly.

 

What do I tell myself that I know isn’t true (or know isn’t as important as doing the damn thing)?

 

Ex: “I’ll look stupid” “I won’t be able to…”

 

Am I doing things that don’t match up with those constant thoughts?

 

Ex: “I want to get in shape” <-> I flop on the couch every night and watch Netflix for a few hours instead.

 

Now consider how the above might be having an impact on the important people in your life...

 

Where might I (or someone else) be lacking integrity in an important relationship? (You find yourself making excuses, saying you’ll do something but don’t and it affects that person OR viceversa someone in your life is doing something like that and it’s affecting you)

 

What am I struggling to communicate to partner/best friend/parent? And why?

 

 

How might I tactfully address an issue without placing blame or starting an argument?

 

When we start to notice our own stuff, we start to notice everyone else’s too. It’s a little overwhelming, and dangerous territory to start telling others, “HEY YOU LACK INTEGRITY YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” No one wants to be attacked or be told their bad/wrong.

 

 

Try on this fill in the blank and see if it’s helpful for navigating these new waters:

 

I feel _________ when ________ and what I need is __________. Try to remove blaming the other person and simply state what’s going on.

 

Ex: I feel anxious when the dishes pile up in the sink. What I need is for them to be put in the dishwasher instead.

 

INSTEAD of: I feel anxious when you leave your dirty dishes in the sink and I really need to you clean up after yourself! <- this one might not sound as tactful as you’d like.  

 

Let me know what you come up with. And remember, this is a lifelong awareness practice. Not something you fix and move on from.

 

 

So much love,

 

H

What does integrity mean
Finding Deeper Connection & Trying New Things

The other day my girlfriends and I were planning a little weekend getaway trip for this spring. We were texting about cabin amenities and what we all preferred to feel comfortable for a weekend. But you see, there are 7 of us, which makes for a wide range of preferences. This conversation went on for a while, got a little heated with frustration, and then we finally settled on a spot that made us all happy.

(BTW - the weekend together was a wild success)

red river gorge Hailey heishman martins fork

But what this did was spark the thought in my head about yoga. Everyone has their way of camping (or in this instance “cabining”) and it’s kind of their only way of seeing it. The same can be true of yoga.

If you’ve only ever camped in an R.V. on a campsite with a toilet and electricity, then that’s what you know camping to be.

If you’ve only ever been to a hot yoga class, then that’s your limited experience. However, it’s not the only way. There’s tent camping and off the grid camping and hundreds of different types of yoga.

Basically, this made me think of the “Count me out, I’d never do it any other way” type of mentality with anything.

When I do Whole30 people gasp and say, “I’d NEVER be able to stop eating cheese!!!” Like,it’s literally life or death.

 

You all - it’s not.

Camping.

Yoga.

Eating.

 

There are SO many different ways to experience life.

Why limit everything you do to how you’ve always done it?

 

This year (and you know, moving forward forever), I've committed to doing some things differently. Getting out of my comfort zone and shifting my perspective to experience more of life.

I've updated my weekly yoga class here in Louisville. Where I was teaching an average pseudo power vinyasa class I am now teaching a "Self Exploration through Yoga and Writing" class. Something that feels so right in my heart. I got tired of doing it the same way. Like everyone else. So I decided I'd teach a class that's I'd love to take, and so it is.

I've picked up this book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. Like, since high school. It's a Bible Devotional and something I've clearly been avoiding. I'll talk more about this later, but for now, I'd like to share that I am opening my heart up big and wide to my Christian upbringing and seeing what unfolds.

I'm writing a book. Like, I'm no longer saying "I'm writing a book", but I'm actually writing the damn thing. It's scary and incredible and I'm on fire about it.

And then there's the whole "I quit my job". In case you missed it - I did. I left my 9-5 advertising agency career to be my own boss, choose my own clients, write my book, teach what I want, and contribute to the world in a big way.

I've been over here switching things up and I want to share it all with you.

Moving forward I will be sending weekly emails. You'll see them come through on Thursdays. I won't be spamming you or just popping into your inbox with a new product. I'm here. I'm working on some badass stuff. I want to share this fire with you so that you can do the same.

If you dig it, join the list here:

If you don't want weekly emails, do feel free to unsubscribe at any time. I don't mind.

If you want to talk, email me at hailey@haileyheishman.com and type away. I'm a human over here who also craves connection.

Oh yeah, and if you have friends who would like this type of stuff too - invite them to join.

 

So much love,

H

 

 

 

Create Connection Hailey Heishman
The Importance of Environment

Over the course of four seasons, we get to watch plants come to life and then slowly fall back into the earth in the midwest. The transformation is humbling and a beautiful reminder that nothing stays the same forever.

This past year or so has really been the first time in my adult life that I’ve seen this process in a full year. I know that sounds funny, but I’m serious. Once I decided to leave my job and I started to pay more attention to life and stopped letting it go by unnoticed.

Watching the trees and flowers in Louisville change has changed me, really. But when I was in Los Angeles a few days ago I couldn’t stop noticing how alive all of the plants are there.

Massive succulents.

Hailey heishman los ángeles succulent
venice beach tocaya succulent

Palm trees and pines growing together.

I couldn’t stop touching them and oh’ing and ah’ing at their beauty. I saw another way of living there that was equally as beautiful.

My point? Different environments yield different results. (And, I don't believe there's one perfect set up)

When I sat at a desk every day with a computer screen in my face, emails taking up brain space, and stressed to the max about “the next thing due” I couldn’t see the bigger picture...the beauty that life is. I was caught up in the game.

When I left? Life suddenly began coming to life.

For me, I needed a different environment. Something that allowed me to come alive. Since leaving the environment that wasn’t working, I feel like the succulents in LA. BIG, luscious, breathtaking.

 

You can’t thrive in an environment that isn’t nourishing you. The right environment will allow you to thrive. Period.

 

If your environment drains you, sucks the life out of you, doesn’t feed you… simply change it and see how it feels. Place yourself in the sunny, LA mindset and let yourself thrive. Seriously.

 

Start discovering how to thrive with this free workbook.

 

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