Get Congruent with Who You Claim to Be! - Christine Kane

I like Sigg bottles.

They’re not plastic. They don’t leech bad things into the water they contain. They come in pretty colors.  I take one with me on every hike, to every work-out – and in my car on errands.

But one day, early this year, I was in my new offices preparing for a day of coaching, and I looked at that Sigg bottle on my desk.  It didn’t feel right.

The word that came to mind was “Congruent.”

While the Sigg was congruent with my working out and my hiking, it wasn’t congruent with a successful entrepreneur who mentors other successful entrepreneurs.  Instead, that Sigg bottle made it seem like a part of me was halfway out the office.  Or worse, too rushed to give myself the gift of something more elegant.

That evening, I picked out a beautiful glass pitcher and a single clear glass.  And now, each day, I begin the day with a full pitcher of water, accompanied by some sliced lemons.   There’s even a beautiful stone tile on which the water pitcher sits.

It’s one tiny element. But it makes a huge difference.  On full coaching days, I stay even more centered and focused on each client, partly because I have taken the time to give myself the elegance I needed while sitting at my desk.

This is not a lesson in getting your own glass pitcher of water. It’s a lesson in honoring yourself enough to look at even the smallest elements in your life to see whether they are congruent with who you are, and more importantly, who you are becoming.  Your surroundings are like the soil in which the seed is planted. They can support your expansion, or keep you tied to old habits and patterns.

A few examples:

•  If you’re a web designer or you sit at your desk all day long, do you have a high-quality chair that supports your back?

• Do you have the highest quality equipment/technology for the work you do so that you can give your energy to the work and not the glitches?

•  Do you schedule hair, massage and health appointments for the whole year so that you aren’t forced to react and cram something into your schedule in a moment of panic?

•  If you travel, do you have the best gear and luggage, along with pre-packed toiletries and cosmetic cases so you are not rushing the day before each trip? (I needed this one long ago!)

These are a few examples, but hopefully they will get you started as you find your own congruence in your life and your work to support you in living your best life and becoming the authentic success you were born to be!

33 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Marjorie Warkentin

    I resonate with this desire to be congruent. When I lead a workshop I set up a table at the front of the room with flowers, a singing bowl and a woven basket from Africa with intricate, earthy designs and colours. Bringing beauty and artistry into the space creates an energy that grounds me and the participants. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • Dan Springer

    Thanks for a great post Christine!

    I have pondered many times the concept, and importance of, congruence. Certainly a key piece in the puzzle of happiness is living our lives in harmony with our beliefs, and the more congruent our actions are in relation to our beliefs, the happier I believe we’ll be (assuming of course that our beliefs are of the positive and uplifting sort). Like a beautiful voice singing in harmony with a perfectly tuned instrument – the result is often magical.

    Dan

  • Sandy Lee

    Thanks Christine + to all who are sharing. All of these words are congruent with the new path I am creating. I find courage in myself to move forward each day, which leads me to places like this. I am happy to meet all of you, who also are lovingly brave.

    Live, Love, Laugh

  • Kerrie

    Oh so true! And thanks for the inspiration Christine! I now have a beautiful little peony in a vase from Laura Ashley on my desk. It took me a lunch-hour to decide, but then I remembered this blog-post, and remembered that this little pretty thing also supports me being my best and lifts my vibe every time I see it. 🙂 Thank you.

  • Lisa Wilder

    I love this, Christine. It’s so true…and so easy to get lost in the minutiae of our lives and to overlook those simple and seemingly “little” details. It’s those very details that when tended to, make all the difference.

  • Drew

    This idea seems to play into the concept of aligning your energies, whether they be creative or inspirational, with your physical energies. Its like putting out an image of yourself, representing yourself, in a particular way a good deal of time before you ever grow into that person – and it IS inspiring. Why wait to be the person you want to be, to live the way you want? No excuses 🙂 plus, trying to live with two personalities is trying. Show up with everything you have to give

    Thanks for your post!
    Drew

  • Linda Kick

    I love how you turn everyday happenings into wisdom lessons. The very idea of doing something to make you feel happy so you can do your work better…what a concept! I absolutely agree. We do deserve the BEST life we can live.

  • Ana Melikian

    I love this principle of being congruent! I try to ask myself often “Are you walking your talk?”
    It’s funny that one of your examples is ” If …you sit at your desk all day long, do you have a high-quality chair?” because last week I just decided to join in the Just Stand Org (http://juststand.org/). I’m rising my computer and keyboard and I will start to work standing up! For now I’m in the trasition face of setting in an exercise ball and I’m already more energized. Can wait for my new computer satnd to arrive to join the uprising, and uplevel my work space 😉

  • Janice Campbell

    I love this post, Christine. Over the past year I’ve had my entire office wrapped in custom bookshelves and cabinets, to which I’ve gradually added things that have meaning for me. It’s been a long and difficult year, but the act of aligning my surroundings with who I am, coupled with taking time for things that really matter, have kept me focused.

    I guess I started at the opposite end, though– I’ve had my perfect drinking cup since 2002 when I fell in love with a perfectly simple 20 oz. pewter goblet in a small town in Germany. It fits my hand, holds great memories, looks ever better with age, and keeps my water tasting fresh. It’s a small thing, but it has daily comfort and value for me. The road to congruence is long– sometimes it seems that the end keeps moving–but the pursuit is well worth it.

  • Katy Tafoya

    I actually just had a conversation about this very topic with a friend this week. In our case we were discussing how often times the message that we put out there as the face of our businesses or our brand, often gets distorted by our actions. I never really thought to take it in the way of how the simple things we do often don’t measure up to our words or our messages. Thanks for giving me something to think about Christine.

    • Christine Kane

      I always love your added thoughts Katy! Thanks!

    • Clara

      “…the simple things we do often don’t measure up to our words or our messages.” Hmm, making me very thoughtful.

  • Charlotte Rains Dixon

    I’ve been thinking about this lately, because I’ve been spending so much time on my business that I’ve neglected my house. There’s clutter everywhere (which I should know better than to let pile up, seeing as how I went through Uplevel Your Life last year) and a few dust bunnies, too. What keeps going through my mind is “how you do one thing is how you do everything,” and so I’ve dedicated this weekend to making my home more congruent with the rest of my life. And I’m going to follow that pre-packed toiletries tip. I’m always running around the day before a trip, pulling them together.

    • Christine Kane

      Charlotte – So happy to know that Uplevel Your Life is still teaching you! 🙂 When I am stuck in any way with my biz or my creativity, I often look around my home environment to see where I am incongruent. It’s a great tool. (And you’ll ALWAYS be working at this because upleveling is a constant!)

  • Clara

    Hi Christine, So fun to read this, because I did something similar yesterday. I kept my hair dryer and curling iron in a small plastic basket I got at a dollar store a couple years ago, which fits very nicely in my closet. The basket was fine and did the job, but recently I noticed that the plastic had cracked through on one side. I thought about just leaving it, no big deal, it just lives in my closet anyway. But, in fact, it did matter. I didn’t want to use a cracked basket. I happen to work in a store that sells handmade, fair-trade items, and I knew we had a woven basket that would be perfect. So I bought it when I was at work yesterday. Turns out the hair dryer and curling iron fit better in that one than the old one. I thanked the old basket for its service, and tossed it away. And I felt really good for having taken the time to to align with the idea that I surround myself with beautiful, functional things. This post was like an affirmation–thanks!

    • Katy Tafoya

      Clara, I love how you thanked the basket for its service before tossing it. You weren’t kidding when you said you’ve been living with a lot more intent these past couple weeks! You rock girl!

  • Stefanie

    “Your surroundings are like the soil in which the seed is planted.” That struck a chord with me. I guess I didn’t think about how your surroundings can actually be a block to your intention or goal. Thanks Christine.

  • Kimberly Englot

    I love this blog post, Christine. It’s something I remind myself and my clients…
    “Are you worth it? It is in integrity with what you say you want? What are you settling for and how is it holding you back.”

    Of course it’s the constant checking in of HOW I’m showing up and if I’m being congruent, too. Let’s just say I do the best I can!
    Thanks for this reminder.
    xo
    Kim

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Kimberly! My very first coach used to really push me on this one when it came to how I treated myself when I was on tour. As I became more congruent with the diva I wanted to be 🙂 — I got better and better performance contracts! So glad to know you are helping others learn this lesson!

  • Lena

    Great post once again Christine. This rings so true for me and is definitely something I need to act on NOW! bless you for ‘reminding’ me 🙂

  • Lydia Puhak

    Congruence = ahhhhhh…

  • Sue Alexander | Inspired Type

    I love this idea to surround yourself with who you are becoming. That’s simply brilliant, and I’m now motivated to look at my workspace with new eyes. I want the things around my desk to embody my inspiring future, empower my creativity, and nourish a healthy sense of self-love. Thank you! :~)

    Sue

    • Jennifer

      I agree with you Sue. When you have encouraging things around you, especially on your desk where you can see them daily, you will easily to transform into your “higher self”.

      I used to work in an office with no windows. Now I’m at a desk that gets plenty of sunlight because of floor-to-ceiling windows. I like being connected to nature and not closed off in a closet! This one simple shift has increased my productivity.

      • Stefanie

        Amazing how much of a difference that makes,right Jennifer?

      • Gail

        I so agree with having windows in your office. It makes a world of difference. I too am surrounded by windows in my work space. Now I think I need to get some orchids, like Christine, cause I to love them!

    • Christine Kane

      Sue – you can apply this to pretty much EVERYTHING! Even how you spend your time! Keep me posted!

  • Tess Giles Marshall

    What you’ve said here is so important, and is to do with both truth and being kind to ourselves. The late great and very witty Mr Quentin Crisp, touched on this matter of congruence when he said that personal style should come from the inside out, instead of ‘putting on’ the style as most people think. He said that having style is being yourself, but on purpose.

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Tess — My word of the year (chosen mid-year in 2010) was congruence – and still is. I love the lessons of it. (Thanks for the reference to Q.C. I’ll check him out!)