“Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set. During these brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.” ~ RUMI
Recently, I’ve been asking myself “What does it mean to live an honest life?” and why is it so important?
Does it mean telling the truth, no matter what? Am I obliged to tell the truth? And, what is the truth? My version of life is certainly different than yours, so whose version is correct?
All of these questions left me spinning in my head and slightly nauseated. Bah humbug! It was enough to make me feel like the Grinch!
So I did what I normally do when I get stuck in my head, I got quiet, real quiet, until I could feel and hear the beating of my heart. Listening deeply into the stillness and silence, I brought the word “honest” into my awareness. Without analyzing it, I immersed myself in the resonance of the word.
I watched. I waited. From the stillness and silence emerged a quiet, grounded authenticity, an unapologetic wholeness – without pretense, without need. It was as if I was gazing into a mirror and seeing my soul reflected back to me. This then, is my experience of honesty, of Truth, and it has been my quest – to live this wholeness, this honesty, in every aspect of my life.
Living an honest life is not, “just a good idea,” or a principle to live by, nor is it a simple man-made moral judgment. Beyond analysis, beyond ego, beyond ideas of right or wrong, living an honest life is a powerful foundation for all our relationships with life. Without it, we wind up feeling out of sorts, disgruntled, on edge.
Wondering what would it be like to fully engage and embody the resonance of honesty in all my interactions, I did what any (ab)normal person would do, I decided to teach a class on the topic. Of course, not wanting to walk this tight rope alone, I invited my good friend LeAnne Kamber to join me in this adventure.
When you want to teach a class on a topic it’s important to take it for a test drive. So we asked ourselves, “On a scale of 1-10, (10 being totally honest), how honest are we?” Our answers started out pretty high (Hey, we’ve got this!) but as we sat with honesty and explored different life situations, we discovered that perhaps weren’t as “honest” as we thought.
Where were we holding back? Where did we not want to express our authentic being? Where did we hide our truth, our pain, our passion, our realness, and with whom? Investigating honesty from the premise that all life is relationship, we found that depending on the context, (money, love, life, relationships, etc.); our score on the honesty scale rose or fell. Hmm… not so easy.
Digging a little deeper, we discovered fear impacting our willingness to share our vulnerable, honest wholeness. Fear of truly putting ourselves out there, being seen and heard, of the reaction we might get if we shared our unvarnished truth with someone.
Our program didn’t attract too many people – only four to be precise – in part, we believe because most people think they’re already living an honest life. Think again. Despite low enrollment, we felt the subject matter was important, so we held the class anyway. Over the length of the twelve-week course, we were amazed by the changes we saw in people!
When we, and our students, started to bring themselves into alignment with our authenticity, our lives changed – internally and externally. New realities formed to mirror back what was happening inside as each participant became more honest, more real. We began to take actions from our spirit and became accountable to something far greater than we could have imagined.
It was tough, messy work. I don’t doubt that the students will tell you that there were times they wanted to quit. They also had to learn to not only explore their honesty, but to express it from a place of love and respect verses fear. Too often, I find that when I'm fearful my communication comes out sounding jagged and judging . This is not how I want to give voice to my authenticity.
Despite the difficulties, our students persisted and according to their follow-up emails and conversations, the benefits of their dedication to living an honest life continue to unfold to this day. How cool it that?!
Please note that we are not saying you should be honest. What we discovered is that when honesty is perceived as a way of respecting ourselves, in any given situation, then it allows us to be more real, more authentic in all our relationships – without fear of shame or judgment. This allows our internal "Grinch" to dissolve and opens our lives to new possibilities.
If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of living an honest life, in changing how you walk in relationship to health, wealth, love, career, vocation, Spirit and more, check out the beginning steps below.
You may also want to investigate the programs and events on our website. Everything we offer is geared to inspire heart-centered living. We do this by helping people engage and apply the power of honesty, awareness, intuition, energetic resonance and personal leadership in order to create more inspired, loving and prosperous lives – for themselves, their families and communities.
If this is what you seek, read on…
Foundations for Living an Honest Life
Honesty: With curiosity and compassion, ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how honest am I? Notice the response. Then ask, how honest am I with my spouse or partner, how honest am I at work, how honest am I about politics, about my addictions, my faults? Be gentle with yourself. Fear can be a powerful stimulant but it is a poor taskmaster.
Desire: It all starts with desire. Is there some area of your life in which you’re longing for a better relationship? This includes your relationship with material items as well as living beings. For example, how is your relationship with money, your car, home, land, body, studies and your neighbors?
Investigation: When you find what is calling for your attention, ask yourself, what is it you want or need. Ask yourself what are you willing to give. Relationships are not one-sided. Ask yourself:
"How am I being in this relationship?” “What is the overall nature of the relationship?” “Is it conflicted, absent, oppositional, blaming, loving, something else?” If you blame the relationship on someone or something else, then you are giving a part of your power away. Relationships, with people or objects, require your presence.
Intention: Set a clear intention for how you want to be in relationship. For example, I want a more active relationship with money and wealth. That will require dedication and commitment on my part. “I intend to be fully engaged and present in my relationship with money, wealth and prosperity.” When I live from this intention, I can already feel the prosperity in my life and experience a deep sense of humble gratitude for all that I have been given.
Compassion: Committing to an honest life, one where you are dedicated to respecting your voice, your authenticity, is not for the faint of heart. Fear, shame and guilt are strong resonances to face and a little compassion for your own process goes a long way toward healing the wounds that bind us to old patterns.
Commitment: Our commitment to authentic living is best served by a moment-by-moment commitment. Life will bring you challenges; if you remember that being authentic and living an honest life is about respecting yourself, it’s easier to keep that commitment.
Support: Sometimes it helps to have a lending hand on this journey. If we've lived a long time hiding our truth in the shadows, then it may take some practice and skill building to bring forth clear, honest expression. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. We’re all in this together – no matter what level of honesty you are living.
Don’t put it off: There’s a lot at stake here. How honest you are will impact your entire life. When we are not living an honest life, much of it is lived from the resonance of fear. When we respect ourselves by giving voice to our truth, we are living from the resonance of love – then, let’s see what happens.