As you move closer and closer to pure integrity, as the windowpane of your mind grows more and more transparent, you will begin to love everything, and it will be obvious to you that everything loves you back.

-Martha Beck (The Way of Integrity)

picture of Kristi Amdahl at the lagoons to accompany a blog post about integrity
“You are responsible for your own happiness,” she told me. So, I went to my happy place…

I’ve been on a roll lately when it comes to repurposing portions of my weekly newsletter into blog posts. I sometimes struggle to write just for the sake of writing, but I am committed to my small but engaged subscriber base. And so, when I write my weekly newsletter, I’m writing explicitly to Natasha or Diane or Ana or Sherry or Sally or many of the others who keep opening my emails, week after week after week.

Anyway, the theme of this week’s newsletter was “the way of integrity.” This blog post is a slightly tidied up version of what I shared with my subscribers.

Side note: If you like this post and would like to receive this kind of content via email, you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter here.

Trigger warning: mention of my attempted suicide.

Bliss (and suffering)

Do you ever experience the radiance of the morning’s first golden sunbeams with delight and awe?

Do you ever get mesmerized by a threesome of squirrels chasing each other up, down, and around a tree and find yourself grinning ear-to-ear?

Do you ever feel so much gratitude flood your being – seemingly for no reason – that you begin to cry?

Do you ever feel truly ecstatic just because you’re alive?

Do you ever experience a cosmic love for the entirety of creation…and a deep knowing that you are One with everything that ever was, is, and will be?

This is what I’ve been experiencing in bucket loads lately. And, it’s a helluva far cry from when I “came to” – strapped to a gurney with pads taped to my chest and tubes shoved down my throat, in my veins, and up my urethra – in the ER and then again later in the ICU on August 1, 1996 – several hours after I decided to down three bottles of sleeping pills.

So what changed?

While I could list all the things, doing so may not be of much service to you. But I can boil it down to one word: integrity.


Most definitions of integrity are based around honesty or morality, but I like to borrow from my mentor who defines integrity simply as being in harmony with ourselves.

When I’m in harmony with myself, I’m also honest with myself. When I downed those sleeping pills, I did so believing the lie I’d been telling myself that I was a worthless piece of shit unworthy of love and that the world would be better off without me. How I wish I could go back in time and love on my 20-year-old self! To let her know just how precious both she and her life are and how glorious life becomes when we stop believing our own lies.

The simple truth – according to many wise humans – is that we cause our own suffering when we create stories about our circumstances that are steeped in assumptions on how things should be different than they actually are.

Last week, I shared Byron Katie’s process known as “The Work” (here’s the blog post), which is one of the most powerful tools I know for quickly relieving the suffering caused by our thoughts, assumptions, and beliefs about our circumstances.

This week, I want to focus on the integrity piece and how living in integrity with your true nature will free you from the chains of suffering.


Living in integrity with who you truly are is readily achieved by responding to whatever’s presented to you in any given moment from a place of inner alignment. Luckily for you, there will be no shortage of opportunities to practice this!

For example, my partner and I were invited to a Super Bowl party. The host is a good friend of Bob’s, and she and her husband are huge sports fans. I knew it would be one of those well-planned, booze-heavy, and highly over-stimulating parties – the kind of party that would dysregulate my nervous system and mess with my sleep. 

So I declined to attend, without offering any kind of customary socially polite (but utterly BS) excuse for my absence.

Did I ruffle any feathers? Possibly. Am I okay with this? Absolutely. I am so over making excuses for living in alignment with my truth.

When we evaluate each individual action (especially the “small” ones like Super Bowl parties) through the lens of whether it’s aligned with who we truly are, and then respond from a place of integrity, our lives change. And the change is freaking powerful.

The cumulative effect of these “small” actions cannot be overstated.

For me, living “the way of integrity” began a few months after my suicide attempt, after my psychiatrist told me that I’d have to stay on the cocktail of meds he had me on for the rest of my life if I wanted to live at least a somewhat normal existence.

“You are responsible for your own happiness.”

I remember the exact moment that integrity came knocking – it was when I was in my car after leaving the clinic, and I heard a voice that came from seemingly nowhere say “You are responsible for your own happiness.”

These words felt far more true than my psychiatrist’s dismal prognosis. And with that directive, I slowly began living in integrity with my true nature, one small action at a time.

The bliss states I shared at the beginning of this post are the direct result of me prioritizing my integrity again and again and again. I’ve discovered that when I’m consistently living in alignment with my true nature, I radiate love without making any attempt whatsoever to do so – because love is my true nature – and this love just so happens to come back to me tenfold.

I’m not going to lie – sometimes it’s hard to follow the way of integrity, and there are often external consequences for doing so – but once you taste the sweet liberation that accompanies this path, turning back ceases to be an option.


Living in and responding to life’s challenges from a place of integrity with our true natures is at the heart of Wayfinding Coaching. So is learning how to read your body compass, access your inner guide, and interpret symbols, dreams, and synchronicities when you’re not sure what to do.

Wayfinding is great for “big” things like navigating midlife crises, actualizing your purpose, etc. It’s also great for “smaller” things like setting boundaries, saying “no” to Super Bowl parties, and navigating relationship challenges. I currently offer single sessions and 3-month containers. To learn more, click here.

That is all. But keep reading!

[Note: I subscribe to Martha Beck’s “Compass Points”, which is where the quote at the beginning of this post came from. If you find it inspiring, consider joining her list.]