Meet the Muses: Integrity

In this installment of Meet the Muses, I’m going to introduce you to Integrity.

Integrity is all, they are whole. They reflect consistency, patterns, and connections. Integrity inspires alignment and resonance, they provoke our awareness and attunement. Integrity reflects nuance and context. They continually move toward balance and harmony with resilient energy. 

In the next installment of Meet the Muses, I’ll introduce you to Wisdom.

Meet the Muses

I first heard the word muse when I was completely enchanted by the movie Xanadu as a five-year-old. In the movie, Olivia Newton John portrays a muse who inspires a painter to complete a record album cover. Aside from the great music (i.e. Magic by Olivia Newton John and I’m Alive by Electric Light Orchestra) and roller skating, there was something more to the movie for me–I felt intrigued by the idea of a muse, or a source of inspiration.

In Greek mythology, there are nine muses–the daughters of Mnemosine and Zeus who are goddesses of the arts and science and often portrayed as voluptuous women with exposed breasts and alluring smiles. When I created this blog, it was not to suggest that I was a muse in this vein. Rather, I wanted to play with the idea that we can inspire each other, and also be inspired by the non-human world. The intent of this blog is to be a source of inspiration which sparks many more ideas from you.

And so I’ve given some thought to what inspires me, and it seems fitting that I should explain that to you in depth as the basis for further conversation at the Activist’s Muse. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be describing each of the eight muses that I have identified as an important source of inspiration to me.

  • October 4, 2021 – Optimism
  • October 18, 2021 – Joy
  • November 11, 2021 – Transformation
  • November 15, 2021 – Integrity
  • November 29, 2021 – Wisdom
  • December 13, 2021 – Community
  • December 27, 2021 – Creativity
  • January 10, 2022 – Meaning

These words are what some people might call values. They are that, but so much more to me. A value is something that is pre-defined that we feel obliged to follow because of our faith, the law, or our moral compass. A muse is, instead, an open-ended source of inspiration and enrichment. I’ll explain who each of the muses are, how they inspire me, and how I tune into them in the weeks that follow.

From Self-Sacrifice to Self-Transcendence

I have committed the soft suicide of self-denial for much of my life. I have been intentionally moving along the path from self-sacrifice to self-transcendence. Self-sacrifice is a dichotomous zero-sum game; according to this belief, what I lose or forfeit the world gains. Self-transcendence includes the self as part of a greater whole. I am choosing to live my life in a way that is spiritually and materially sustainable and life affirming in every way. I am acting with integrity out of love rather than with disunion out of guilt. If we all cooperatively are what we truly desire based on differentiation rather than competition, the whole will benefit overall. What would it take to live in complete, consistent self- and other-affirming integrity?

From Contingency to Consistency

Too often, I find myself making decisions based on conditions. This includes waiting for a “when” to happen before taking action and wondering what “if” something goes wrong. When I become aware of this, I recognize that living in this way negatively distorts the sense of wonder and possibility in my life. It also leads to limited expression of my needs. Rather than making decisions based on conditions, I think it is more effective to consistently integrate my truest, deepest desires into my every thought and action. By doing so, I am living in alignment with my life purpose rather than reacting with fear.