To be in congruence is to be “in agreement or in harmony,” and this state of being can be applied anywhere and in any situation. It starts with awareness of what your values are, and noticing if you are living in line with what you believe. Your values are those bottom line non-negotiable conditions for your life. So, that means that you can check it out in relationship to your career, your relationships, your personal habits, your spiritual life, your relationship with the political climate and the world.
How are you responding or reacting to these important areas of your life?
Here are three areas to consider how you are showing up – in congruence with your values, or not:
How are you engaged in your work?
This question is relevant whether you are part of an organization; an entrepreneur (including a “solo-preneur”); someone who is focusing full time on your family or on your scholastic achievements (family and school are your work at the time). If you are waiting on “them” to perform or behave or respond the way you want “them” to, then you are likely blaming situations on people and giving away your real power to be part of any solution or collaboration which creates a positive outcome. If you have not already made a list of those non-negotiables that are part of your authenticity and integrity, I suggest you do it now; and if you have made a list, then check it out and see what needs attention.
How are you engaged in your own well-being?
And, this includes overall health (diet, exercise, rest, personal habits, including spiritual connection – and this can be different things to different people, and is not necessarily religious affiliation). A clue to knowing if something is out of whack is how you feel physically, emotionally, mentally and deep inside (spiritually). If there is an unsettling feeling or discontentment, there is something you can explore and address to see if it is in alignment with your integrity.
I know habits are not easy to break and starting new habits takes time and practice, but it absolutely can be done with awareness, intention and commitment. And, if necessary for the situation, forgiveness. I can tell you that when exploration, questioning and shifting to new beliefs and behaviors happens, something clicks and it is transformative. You have to be aware of the stories you tell yourself about others and about yourself – an important step to writing a new story.
How do you engage in politics?
We are in a major political shift. Even if you say I don’t get into politics, whatever is happening in the political climate is getting into your world, your family’s, your community’s, your work environment, and those you do not even know, many of whom do not have the privilege to not be concerned about the political landscape and what happens with rights, liberties and equality. I sometimes hear the response that “if someone works hard, then there should not be an issue.” It would be great if that were truly the case – the idea of merit, but it is an imbalanced and unequal system in many respects and thus, there is a “myth of meritocracy.” Try the same exploration of whether you are living congruently with what you believe on the value of all human beings. Many of you who know me, know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes.
He said, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
For me, responding to the changing political state of our country and our world, begins with the question of whether I am living congruently with MLK’s statement.
My hope for all of us is to examine deeply how we respond to life, to the status quo and the changes; and to identify what influences our beliefs and what behaviors and disciplines we have in place or want to establish that help us live in integrity, authenticity and in harmony.