Becoming Whole.

 

I recently moved and in the subsequent unpacking, I began to wonder when I get to just be. No work, no planning, no analysis or reflection.

 

Sitting in the middle of my living room, I’m surrounded by boxes. Each one contains bits and pieces from a specific time in my life: photos from high school, books from my masters program, deflated birth balls from my time as a doula. In the unpacking, I get to revisit each part, discard what no longer fits, organize the things that go together, mentally note what new things I may need to bring in. When I’m finished, I sit back and admire this new space I’ve created, built from all of my past experiences.

 

Integration is the same – and just as necessary (we can’t live among boxes forever!). It’s not just a single moment in life; it’s a state of deep appreciation for what we’ve accomplished, learned, and experienced. It’s a mini celebration. It’s a time to gather all of what we’ve learned (maybe from a big, life-changing event or a self-explored place we hadn’t been before) and make it part of our new constitution (who we are as a person). Integration is a resting place before we ascend to the next dimension. Of course, we can’t stay in this resting phase forever; but, while we are, we get a moment to breathe. To exhale. Life will continue and we will once again be called to do the work, leveling up each time to a better version of ourselves.

 “Life’s a journey, not a destination”

 

We all so badly just want to “arrive”. Be healed. Be happy. Be better. Be successful. With the age of the internet and social media, the call to do self-work is always a click away and we are presented with a million (quick) ways to get it done.

 

I’m all about self-growth, healing wounds and expansion in all forms; but I want to shine light on the need for more pause. We need to integrate all of the lessons and wisdom we’ve gained from doing the work so we can grow into all of our potential. Essentially, it allows us to “glow up”.

  How do you know you’re in an integration phase?

 

When we have done some major emotional work and the time has come to see how it has settled into the mind, body, and spirit, it takes shape as a mindfulness bath. Mindfulness is happening inherently, if we are intending it or not. Simply put, mindfulness means you are being intentional. You will find yourself noticing the changes you’ve made. It’s self-observation in its purest form. Not with any judgment, just acknowledgement. You will start recognizing the internal shifts that are happening and how you are showing up differently in the world.

 

 How do we notice the difference?

Physically, our body may begin responding to a stimulus differently. In the past, you may have reacted with an upset stomach, rage (heat), elevated heart rate, fatigue, teary eyes, etc. Now, the reaction is less intense – it may not be completely gone, but it is improving. We notice the shift. We can feel the nervous system moving at a different pace. We may even feel appreciation or gratitude. It’s a deep knowing that we are moving in the right direction.

Often, light-heartedness or stillness is felt. Tapping into your intuition (we all have this gift!) feels much stronger.You are in a state of flow and when you go through difficult things, you listen. The spirit/energy you give off is noticed by others. They feel it too. You have changed and it’s noticeable.

 

Where is the mind when we come across something that once triggered us?

Take note of the differences. Are we letting it pass through like a bird that soars? We see it, acknowledge it, and yet it doesn’t consume our every thought. The start of more clarity feels good and can also be a little unnerving. Integration can make us question just how bad our thoughts were prior to this moment. As we look out over the plateau of the mind, we see that we have more power than we could have imagined over this area of life. We may feel more peace and we may feel some guilt or shame. There is room for both/and when we are integrating. Allow yourself to feel and experience everything.

It is not to say that we don’t have setbacks or cannot experience many integration phases surrounding the same topic or emotional wound. I see it more like a video game where you ascend levels and begin to level up with more awareness and tools.

Some of this processing is in the depths of our cells. We might not see the full results until another similar situation presents itself. Suddenly, we are showing up differently because we took the time to build something new.

 

Integration is a balanced state of resting and processing. Appreciate yourself for noticing all of the work you’ve done and how far you’ve come. No need to rush.

 

Notice, Rest, Integrate.

 

Love, Maggie Meet The Tribe

 

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella