Kindling #8: Are you living third level integrity?


When were you last using a garden hose?

You know I was using garden hose in the weekend watering our garden and it’s pretty big with fruit trees and flowers and the greenhouse so the garden hose is probably 15 meters long.

As I drag this garden hose around suddenly the water stops flowing, there’s a kink, you know, a sharp bend that restricts the flow of water and I’d have to trace back the length of the garden hose to find where the kink is and straighten it out and then the water keeps flowing again and I can get back to the peaceful task of watering the garden.

And this made me think of flow in life, you probably experienced the state of flow, when you’re in the zone, you lose track of space and time and the outside world just falls to the sides and then suddenly there’s kink, the flow stops.

It’s pretty hard to get back into flow and most of us don’t live in flow often enough to begin with because we’re busy chasing things that we think other people expect of us, and you know, that the state the flow it’s essentially about integrity.

But integrity is one of those words are being thrown around a lot and few people stop to think what it actually means and how it applies to their own life so I thought I’d offer my take on integrity.

I think there are three levels of integrity and you mature through the stages, the first level is what I call integrity to what’s outside and that’s the first level that we learn as kids, it’s about being honest, about keeping your promises.

Then as you mature there’s a second level integrity, which most of us have to learn over a long process and that’s the integrity to what’s inside, basically doing what’s right even when nobody’s looking and acting on your values.

Level one and level two are all about transaction, it’s about doing.

And then there’s a third level of integrity and I call that integrity to what is, and that may sound a bit woo-woo and out there for you but bear with me in this one, the way I see it is, that you are insignificant, what I mean by that is the world can manage without you, just like Earth has managed without mankind.

I think a fascinating way of illustrating that is if you compress the time of earth into 12 hours Homo Sapiens entered the scene two seconds before midnight, the earth was doing just fine before mankind and it’ll hopefully do fine, maybe even better, after mankind.

At the same time as the world can manage without you, you can also choose to be a significant beyond comprehension, and I think that significance, meaning, comes from acting on your heart’s desires.

I think that all of us wants to live a life of service where we share our gifts in a spirit of inclusivity and sustainability but out of fear we hold back, out of fear maybe we put up walls, we add layers to our mask, and out of fear we live much smaller than we could be.

If the first two levels of integrity are about doing, the third level of integrity is about being, about being true to your heart’s desire, about living closer to your heart.

So my question to you is: To what degree are you in third level integrity?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so let me know in the comments.

Kindlings are my way of keeping myself accountable for breathing the fire that’s in my soul and I hope to inspire others to do the same in the process.

The word kindling means a small and dry, easily flammable material to help a fire get going. Once the kindling is burning, it can ignite the larger pieces of wood in your fire.

That’s is what aspire to do – Help you start your fire so you experience the warmth of your soul and feel inspired to keep feeding the fire that’s in your soul. 

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