integrity matters

One of the things I have learned about my life is 1. answers do come to the questions I ask of the universe and 2. sometimes I need to do something physical to get out of my head in order to hear-feel really-my answer. And so, on this fine May day, I took myself, my ipod with mp3s that I have been meaning to listen to-omg is that one truly from 2007?!-to rake up oak leaves buried in the grass over winter. Good focused physical exercise that would allow me to engage my conscious mind so that other minds could speak to me.

The question awaiting an answer was how to craft a business that delivers my passion for women’s impact -our grace, grit, and gratitude-while being….. a woman, a mother, a friend, and a daughter, an artist…. As my peeps know, I am all about the “how” in deciphering the world, for in the “how” is the integrity, something our world is learning the need for these days. I first learned the importance of integrity-the congruence between the “what “and the “how”-while volunteering for a series of non-profits in my early 20’s. It was in these years of working with people committed to bettering the world and yet, so often angry at those perceived as not caring the same, that I learned of the importance of integrity in my life… ….that going to war for peace does not create peace.

I learned integrity’s wisdom while learning to parent, for while children may not come with a written instruction manual, they do come with their own directions. And when we are willing to acknowledge the difference between their needs and our history, make our parenting choices accordingly, we honor the sacred trust of being the child’s first god/dess and teacher, growing up both the child and the parent in the process. Another wisdom learned through integrity….life is mutual, set up to teach and benefit all involved.

Raking and listening to my ipod, I heard Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, talk of the four principles that guide him, number 4 being “everything matters” or as I say, the small builds the big. As women, we know this well…the many small acts needed to grow a human being from a baby into maturity, the many small acts that transform a building into a cozy home, or the many small acts over time which actualize our faith and trust in each other. Another JaiKaur life truism…we grow wisdom, a quality different from knowledge, through the experiences that the street life of daily living graces us with.

And so, through the repetitive act of raking, it came to me, my answer so soft and yet so certain in it’s knowing…my business needed to embrace the same integrity that had served so well my parenting, my crafting of a house into a home, my work as an architect and mediator. Simply, I needed to pay attention to the needs voiced by my business, listen well to the unspoken but clearly said within me, and surrender my impatience to trusting the divine’s way. And in surrendering more to receiving and releasing more my need to control, my business could become more than I could have figured out through my knowledge, control, and will alone.

Question asked, answer received….thank you grace!