A line drawing of Martha on a purple background.

I recently had the chance to speak with the incredible Tim Ferriss for an episode of “The Tim Ferriss Show”and our conversation was so absorbing it lasted two and a half hours! 

Tim is a highly creative and unusual thinker who’s been well known for ages for his book The 4-Hour Work Week

We talked about my upcoming book, Beyond Anxiety, and also discussed The Way of Integrity as Tim wanted to know more about my “Integrity Cleanse” and how to do one.

Living in integrity means expressing and doing what’s true for you in all situations. Departing from your truth in any way, no matter how small, splits you into two people: what I call the “truth knower” and the “lie actor.” This is duplicity, which is the enemy of joy.

Many of you know that my own Integrity Cleanse came about when I was searching for a way to end the extreme physical and emotional suffering I’d endured for years. I’d tried all sorts of methods and treatments, but nothing had worked.

As I told Tim, “The one thing I knew is that when I heard the statement, ‘The truth will set you free,’ it brought me a sense of joy and peace.” 

I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do or what the truth was for me, but I decided to not tell any lies for a whole year and just see what happened.

What happened was the complete loss of my life as I knew it—my university job, my family relationships, my marriage, and the religion I was raised in. But what remained—clearly illuminated for me to follow—was the path of joy.

If you’d like to try the easy (what Tim called the “white belt”) version of my Integrity Cleanse, here’s how to do it:

Start with a smaller time period, let’s say three days a week. You don’t have to say everything you believe or think out loud, but you do have to be aware when you’re saying something that you don’t believe. Write the truth down in a notebook or app. 

For example, if someone says to you, “Come to our party!” and you answer, “Oh how fun!” when you would rather stick needles under your fingernails than go to that (or any other) party—just write the truth down in your little notebook for yourself. 

After three days, what you’ve written in the notebook will begin to show you your path to truth.

Extend this exercise to a month or more, and you can start speaking and acting your truth—no lying ever. People may get offended, but that means you’re on the right track. Or as Byron Katie says, “That’s when the fun begins!”

Also remember:

You don’t have to say much.
If it’s true, if it’s useful, and if it’s kind, then say it.
Few things are all three.

For suggestions on how to say no with kindness—but without making excuses—you can listen to the full podcast episode with Tim Ferriss here.

When you discover, speak, and act on your truth, you may lose people and situations that weren’t right for you, but you will open your life up to complete freedom and joy. 

I hope you enjoy listening to my conversation with Tim as much as I enjoyed having it!