The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self - book cover
  • Publisher : The Open Field
  • Published : 13 Apr 2021
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN-10 : 1984881485
  • ISBN-13 : 9781984881489
  • Language : English

The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self



"A roadmap on the journey to truth and authenticity… [The Way of Integrity] is filled with aha moments and practical exercises that can guide us as we seek enlightenment." –Oprah Winfrey

Bestselling author, life coach, and sociologist Martha Beck explains why "integrity"-needed now more than ever in these tumultuous times-is the key to a meaningful and joyful life

As Martha Beck says in her book, "Integrity is the cure for psychological suffering. Period."

In The Way of Integrity, Beck presents a four-stage process that anyone can use to find integrity, and with it, a sense of purpose, emotional healing, and a life free of mental suffering. Much of what plagues us-people pleasing, staying in stale relationships, negative habits-all point to what happens when we are out of touch with what truly makes us feel whole.

Inspired by The Divine Comedy, Beck uses Dante's classic hero's journey as a framework to break down the process of attaining personal integrity into small, manageable steps. She shows how to read our internal signals that lead us towards our true path, and to recognize what we actually yearn for versus what our culture sells us.

With techniques tested on hundreds of her clients, Beck brings her expertise as a social scientist, life coach and human being to help readers to uncover what integrity looks like in their own lives. She takes us on a spiritual adventure that not only will change the direction of our lives, but also bring us to a place of genuine happiness.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Way of Integrity:

"Martha Beck is always full of insights. This book didn't disappoint! Beck identifies the ways culture works against integrity and touches on Dante's Inferno, includes quizzes, and rethinks suffering."
-Good Morning America

"The Way of Integrity is about the redemptive power of discovering, speaking and living the truth about who you are. . . . The book vibrates with magic, intelligence, and love. It brims with humor, spirituality, fascinating science, and even Dante's Divine Comedy. This radiant book will not only change your life, but perhaps even save it."
-Elizabeth Gilbert, #1New York Timesbestselling author ofEat, Pray, Love

"Martha Beck's genius is that her writing is equal parts comforting and challenging. A teacher, a mother, a sage, she holds our hand as she leads us back home to ourselves."
-Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed and founder of Together Rising

"This is a book I will read over and over again. The journey within is a pilgrimage that can help to heal the soul and make a world whole."
-Bishop Michael Curry

"In an age of nonstop pressure to conform we often lose connection to truth and meaning. But Martha Beck has written this masterpiece, initiating a new path forward, one of integrity, showing us how to embrace our authentic self for unlimited freedom."
-Shannon Kaiser, international bestselling author ofThe Self-Love Experiment

"The Way of Integrity is the perfect guide for anyone who wants greater happiness and clarity of purpose. As always, Martha Beck's writing is beautiful and perceptive, and the insights and exercises she shares in these pages may take you somewhere unexpected, but will certainly lead you to a better place."
-Marci Shimoff, #1

Readers Top Reviews

Kindle smmacAnne
Easy to read & entertaining but will challenge you to reassess how you are. Love her books & this is an updated message with lots of new stuff in it, including her journey, Will be buying to pass onto others interested in being true to yourself, and how to overcome the obstacles.
Having read Finding Your North Star and Finding Your Way in a Wild New World,I was very disappointed to find that this latest book Integrity is the very same material in a different format. This time,she uses Dante’s model of the circles of hell and entry into heaven to pin her stages of change on to but it is a re-run of her previous work.
Yueqing YuKathlee
This book is amazing at first 6 chapters, and then it becomes more and more disturbing after the author adds a lot political issues (race/gender) as examples. As a nonwhite immigrant, I can hardly relate to those examples. (It seems like attacking America and whites is a popular trend now, it’s okay but not necessary in a book about Psychology. I try to seek some useful tips from the book to push myself to think more positively. I’m a very pessimistic person and always feel anxious and nervous, and I’m pretty sure these are caused not only by the cultural norms. But the author seems like to conclude all our mental suffering is originated from our culture. I cannot agree with this. Also, this book does not has bibliography.
GinaYueqing YuKat
I rather feel as if I've been handed the exact key I need to make a LEAP in my personal growth and spiritual awakening. This book is not a repeat of Martha's others, so if you've read all her other books, you still definitely want to get this one. It's revealing, funny, magical, and so insightful as to leave you gobsmacked. Yet what Martha teaches here isn't convoluted -- rather, it's elegant simplicity, the best kind of personal development book, an easy and intriguing read. There is clarity here that makes so much sense, even as it surprises you. The last chapter in particular made me swoon-- Sheer. Poetic. Wonder. I'll be adding it to my shelf of books that I read over and again. Thank you for this powerful gift, Dr. Beck. It's truly special and feels like such a capstone to your life's work, though no doubt you'll wow me again in the future :)

Short Excerpt Teaser


Lost in the Woods

Like many compelling adventure stories, The Divine Comedy begins in the middle. "Midway through the journey of our life," says Dante, "I found myself in a dark forest, for the right way was lost." He doesn't mention how he got to the woods, what he was doing when he wandered off track, or how far he's gone. All this information is-literally-foggy. The only thing Dante really knows is that he's alone, adrift, and confused.

The experience of noticing we're on the wrong path, in what feels like the wrong life, comes to almost all of us at some point. A few years into a job, a relationship, or a living situation, we may suddenly realize that everything seems . . . off. Like Dante, we're a bit dim about exactly what's wrong, or how we got here. But in an empty moment when we've finally gotten the kids off to school, or we look up from our desks at the office and notice everyone else has gone home, or we've just had another ghastly fight with the person we thought we'd love forever, we stare into space and think, "What am I doing? What is this place? How did I get here? It wasn't supposed to be this way!"

This is often how people are feeling when they consult me. I've sat through countless first sessions with clients who are so baffled by their own dissatisfaction they can barely find words to describe it. They stammer, "I wish I knew my purpose," or "People say 'Follow your passion,' but I have no idea what mine is," or "I thought working hard and providing for my family was the right thing, but I feel so empty." A few of these people are clinically depressed or physically sick. But mostly, they're just lost.

The most common reason we end up feeling this way is by doing what we're "supposed to." We learn from our culture how a good person is supposed to behave, and we behave that way. Then we expect the promised rewards: happiness, health, prosperity, true love, solid self-esteem. But the equation fails to balance. Even after doing everything we can to be good, we don't feel good. Confused, we figure we're somehow not doing enough, or not doing it the right way. But the harder we work at finding the path to well-being, the less well we feel.

I've worked with many people who were so far gone in the dark wood they didn't remember anything else. By the time they came to me, their disorientation had become extreme. There was Jim, the physician who grew more and more repulsed by the thought of touching people until he finally had to close his practice. Or Evelyn, the magazine editor who, though a ravenous bookworm at home, gradually lost the energy to track simple paragraphs at work. Fran, a devoted mother of four, began forgetting so many of her children's playdates and school events that the whole family lived like a herd of spooked horses, nervous and jittery. None of these people was mentally ill, just far gone in a hazy wilderness.

I recognize this murky terrain. Know it well, in fact. I've been to the dark wood of error so many times I should have set up a hot dog stand somewhere in there. From childhood, my one overarching life directive was Do whatever it takes to win approval. Raised in a devout Mormon family, I obeyed every rule of my religion and worked hard at school. Then I went off to Harvard, which was about as far from my childhood culture as I could get without moving to Pluto. I managed by letting everyone I encountered assume that I agreed with them, passing for a devout Mormon at home and a rational atheist at school.

This strategy worked perfectly (approval everywhere!) except that after a while I couldn't move. Physically, I mean. At the ripe old age of eighteen, I developed mysterious, excruciating soft-tissue pain all over my body. I couldn't focus mentally. I started binge eating. I felt out of control and broken and borderline suicidal. I had to take a year off school, the better to focus on my complete physical and emotional deterioration. Oh, I was quite the little ray of sunshine.

Looking back at that experience and the stories of so many clients, I feel enormous gratitude for all our confusion, and despair. Those feelings meant that our internal guidance systems were working perfectly, signaling "WRONG WAY!" as clearly as they could. With nothing but the best of intentions, we'd lost the way of integrity. Suffering arose from our bodies and hearts as a result-and riveted our attention on fixing the problem.

Dark wood of error syndrome

There have probably been times when you, too, have departed from your own true path. At fir...