Integration follows any experience that makes an
impact on your life.
Integration is about trust and patience. It’s also about balance, harmony and accepting all facets of oneself.
When we sit in healing ceremonies, especially paired with ancestral or psychedelic medicines, the results and outcomes may require some work, time, patience, and support to continue forward. Integration is how we process that experience and incorporate it into our daily life and processes moving forward.
Integration also is how we weave the learning of the past into our now without attachment.
Integration means different things to people as the results to each of our intentions is unique.
This blog gives you some take aways to understand integration as a process and how it can be made unique and efficient for your own self.
Sitting in an integration session with your practitioner or someone equipped to hold space is often a key ingredient in the healing recipe. It gives you set time and a safe space and it keeps you accountable to your healing while connecting with others.
Integration means feeling confident that although you may not totally understand or have all the pieces of the puzzle that you trust in the process and have tools and resources to navigate through the time ahead.
Following a medicine ceremony or retreat the work we do may continue on within us over the following 3-4 weeks or complete moon cycle. Medicines continue to settle where they are most able to best work. This time can be challenging. It may cut cords letting old fall away. It may shine a light on what is new or coming. It may also reveal deeper healing that is laying below our surface needing continual support along the way.
Sometimes integration includes healing a physical issue or condition following the main ceremony/session. Our bodies often are so stressed and living within fight or flight that when we sit in ceremony our nervous system relaxes enough for things to start to flow and shift. Our openness followed by often a jolt into too much too fast can lead to things flaring up. That flare up shines a light on where things need to be attended to. Sometimes we have issues with lymphatic, endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems. When we break down following a ceremony it shines a light on where we have been working and where we may still be working through what’s left from the previous experience. Personally I have witnessed myself morph and change through my physical body and its response to medicine and healing at the cellular level. In the beginning of my healing journey I was very clogged with all sorts of energy I was carrying and unaware of. I was also constantly gobbling up energy around me to be the energetic people pleaser who eased the tension and diverted conflict by diffusing the situation. Before the medicine path I would often leave social engagements dissociated, and physically sick either by purging, or with a migraine and body aches, shivers, fever, or dizziness. So I knew when I began walking this path that I was already at my limit of what my body could hold when I began. My intentions were to enable and support the purge with love. I would purge and open so much that the days following ceremonies my immune system and nervous system would begin a whole “shutdown” and “restart” This would mean things could get a little stuck or inflamed here or there but I began able to trust and follow the steps of integrative medicine and the modalities I needed to completely support, listen and integrate. It isn’t instant for me but more after the ceremony during integration where I experience balance align the body with the mind and spirit. I became able to identify what my body was asking for in these shut downs which allowed me to feed myself intuitively and give myself what I needed. Through that I learned how to best intermittent fast for myself, and also how to re-feed when I enter various levels of integration following transformation journeys. Now as I have emptied by body of the excess energy and learned how to properly set boundaries while releasing residuals, I don’t experience the flare ups but I know that they are meant to show up when the body needs to be heard.
Common post ceremony healing symptoms for me PERSONALLY include muscle cramps, slow moving lymph, menstrual cycle reset, flare up of GERD, tiredness, sensitive skin, tender gums, and acne breakouts on the chin and neck in the parotid glands. (Like the toad) I’m aware that it is my body pushing through old stagnant fluids or toxins and that my body knows how to get it where it needs to be. HOWEVER, I DON’T JUST STANDBY. I take action with my go to's.
You need to be proactive not reactive and continue to feed your body as if it’s still working hard.
Here are my own personal post ceremony integration modalities
MASSAGE & LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
SOUNDS AND FREQUENCY
RED LIGHT THERAPY
TEMAZCAL, STEAM OR SAUNA
YONI EGG OR GARLIC CLEANSE
DANCE AND STRETCH
INTENTIONAL PLANT DIETA, SUPPORTIVE SUPPLEMENTS
Truly, I recommend connecting with your naturopathic dr, wellness practitioner or someone in your community who’s versed to help provide you these modalities and supportive care for if and when these things may pop up.
If you are working on one aspect of your duality it’s also possible for things to show up on one side of the body and not the other. Pay attention and listen to your body and what it’s trying to say.
Following journeys some people experience cravings for things their body needs. Others experience a change in tastes and often step away taking in substances which used to be a staple in their life. It’s common for people to cut back drinking alcohol following psilocybin journeys for example. So being prepared to be open minded and able to flow with your tastes and desires during the integration period is helpful.
The Four Pillars Of Spiritual And Religious Integration
Many individuals who experience different shifts in consciousness, perceptions, emotional releases, through powerful psychedelic or energetic experiences begin to shift their openness to exploring spiritual and religious territories. It’s common for people who have no beliefs in anything specific or don’t identify as spiritual to come out of these experiences with new intrigue.
When on medicine we often experience internal questioning. Like who are we? Why are we here? Who else is “out there”? What’s the meaning of this life? What is the meaning of our death? Healing experiences with medicines will often set the stage for you to sit with your inner self and receive answers to your questions about Mother Nature, connection, purpose of being, and the origin of everything. As you come back into reality and integrate there are new ways of weaving in our old and new concepts of spirituality, and or religious systems.
The time of discovery first follows your arrival back into your own life.
Allow yourself to be rested, and well fed in emotional, physical,
sacred, and sexual ways.
This is the time to follow with open curiosity and seek out learning or knowledge from the and messages or themes and see where that leads. Often through opening or further exploring your Akashic record you will continue to gain clues through researching cultures, traditions, eras, energies, science, relationships, cycles of nature, art, music, travel, and relationships.
Examples of exploration may include:
Shamanism & natural medicines
Reiki & Energy Healing
Indigenous & Ancient Cultures
Meeting a mentor or peer
Joining a group
Anything that brings about curiosity and makes you wonder….
Where will this take me?
How can I learn more?
What can this help me with?
How do I move forward?
& more personal themes
Look for answers to your questions as much as you are committing to. Trust that even if this direction doesn’t lead anywhere really rewarding in the moment that things often take time to reveal themselves. While this may feel like a distraction or sometimes a journey down a dead end road, the learning from the experience will bring you to beneficial knowledge that leads to wisdom and healing. It doesn’t have to make sense eventually.
Things blossom out of poking your fingers in the dirt.
People who have an existing spiritual or religious practice often experience a deeper level of commitment. The focus may be on renewing what they once practiced or deepening the path that they are already on. This pillar of integration is most common amongst spiritual people and can take many different forms. Commitment can also be made in the form of discovery as well. Both pillars of integration depend on one another. When one discovers it often leads to more commitment which leads to more learning and discovery so they are symbiotic in some ways.
Personally when I feel a deeper connection or need to learn something, I get a new “scribbler” notebook to write in. I make a title page of what I want the theme, topic, or intention to be.
By setting a physical space with pen and paper it sets a practice and intention.
When I am immersing myself in learning it can be in a physical or virtual community that I feel called or am already connected to. My hands on medicine work has all been OG in person and not in my native language. It’s being 100% present on all levels. My intuitive, akashic, channeling and energy further learning has been virtual. I personally like this way of keeping the balance because it allows me to also play off of two worlds. If I’m returning back from a pilgrimage, vision quest, or a deep level of service I like to use the commitment of my beliefs by discovering more while I rest and integrate. It becomes a creative time and expression and recreating inspired crafts, art, music, and movement.
Using online connections and technology to recreate hands on experiences as art is an alignment in duality.
I usually don’t share those expressions until another phase of integration. It’s a time to keep things close to the vest. It’s a phase where things are also still gestating and making progress in development. It’s not a type of integration that is rapid. It evolves and shifts.
Commitment can also be a reminder to get back on the path. To focus on realignment and presence. Self discipline itself is a spiritual practice of its own which helps us grow, mature, and harness gifts. It’s also about walking the path and just taking it as it comes without excuses. It’s being there and doing one’s best each step of the way.
It can also be a discipline of self love and self care. Devotion to oneself can be one of the hardest things for some to practice and commit to. For those who are always giving to others and are depleted inside the mirror of ourselves and our vulnerability can be the scariest thing. So simply being able to sit and be comfy with what we experience takes commitment.
Means living within the realm, discipline, balance and flow of your commitments and discoveries. Being consistent in your spiritual practice may now bring a much deeper level of embodiment. Embodying the experience means truly integrating the experience in each single second and interaction. Each second is a gift of life, are you aware and seeing things that way? Do you treat others without judgement and with compassion? Do you love yourself ? How does that love compare to the love you share for others?
When we still have more space to inject more gratitude, openness, more truth and presence that action is embodiment.
This pillar of integration comes with time and patience. It may also exist while you received lessons from one journey and are overlapping lessons from another in a more raw stage of integration. Embodying our experiences also allow us to learn how to hold space for others and the weight of their healing.
Some people during embodying this energy receive the call to devote more parts of their life to weaving together more lessons from these experiences. Becoming a Breathwork, sound healing, or somatic practitioner may come from a personal embodiment intention but become a career or a service to provide as needed.
4. Refining Rituals
Exploring these questions is not always an easy process.
Spirituality consists of personal beliefs, which are not always the same ones held by those around you. Our peers can confront us with intense, to the point, confusing confrontations. The topics around the nature of reality, and how to best approach life and the theory of everything existing exactly to a specific story or timeline might be triggering.
In order to process all of the parts of your experience you need to be the most in tune and connected to your body as possible. Grounding yourself through the stage of ritual and routine is the final pillar of spiritual integration.
Grounding in any level of spiritual work is the key to ensuring the intentions are pure and connected to earth with presence.
Being prepared for the embodiment part of integration is an organic and logical part of the discovery, commitment, and embodiment. The fundamentals you create in these phases will prepare your shift into the deeper consistency for prayer, meditation, movement, and healthy habits and considering which aspects of life to let go.
Defining your rituals may include:
-When and how your practice your spirituality
-Is it alone or with a group
-Daily routines and rituals ( morning, meals, bedtime)
-Creating a set space to study
With grounding rituals in place, you can stay more centered, composed, confident, and capable as you tackle some of the big questions or directions in your life.
Integration is personal!
Spirituality and healing your emotional self is
NOT straight forward.
Healing isn’t linear and doesn’t follow the same path for everyone so as long as we are focusing on these pillars and asking questions to the support network around us, we will be able to succeed.
It can be challenging or even triggering to be around those who aren’t interested and or even scared by the experience you had and sharing it with others can truly be overwhelming. What you felt was beautifully complicated and liberating can seem or sound like a terrible fearful panic attack for others. How we express what we experienced may not be within the realm of receiving for some in our life so we need to be prepared to know our audience and share what we know there is space to be held for in return and possibly focus time and energy with a peer or someone offering integration sessions who is completely clear and able to receive your process head on.
Movement, yoga, somatic healing, exercise and resistance training all support integration. As the body pushes toxins out it allows the body to receive nourishment.
Working with a practitioner who specializes in nervous system, lymphatic, reproductive, and skin and digestive systems are all very beneficial.
Following a large journey I personally like to physically integrate in the following ways.
Temazcal - sweat lodge
Acupuncture & Craniosacral Massage
Movement & Massage & Lympathic Drainage
Physical slow and low impact movement
Hydrating with proper salt/ electrolytes
Eating digestive choices that support movement, absorption and are free of chemicals/ preservatives
Make love or self touch
Yoni Egg & womb cleanse
How you move and treat your body is dependent on what calls to you. But here are some examples of my own personal experiences.
Journaling can be the easiest place to start when we look at ways to practice our mental healing and growth.
The first set of journaling prompts I like to encourage people to sit with following medicine are these. It doesn’t matter which go first…. Use your intuition.
Free-Flowing Prompt & Go
Set the timer for 15-20 minutes
Write down the heading:
After this experience, I realize__________________.
Allow yourself to just write whatever comes from this prompt. It can begin with single words if you need and flow as it is meant to
Here is another set of journaling questions you can work with as well.
The core lesson/learning I take from this are:
If a loved one had this experience, the advice I would give them when moving forward is:
3 direct actions I am going to take this month following this experience to honor my integration are:
The best version of myself would want me to know that:
An unexpected moment I had during my session was:
There are several things I wish to stop doing/do less of. These include:
___________ is someone I can ask for support with my process, because:
This session reminded me that I value ____________, and because:
If I had to represent my last experience as an object with shape, color, and texture, it would be a______________because…
example: A silky, purple scarf. A spiky, camouflaged, eye.
You can repeat these journal prompts as you need. But they are meant to just get you started. Further journal work is also encouraged with guidance from a booked integration session.
Sitting and feeling some of the emotions that we did in the ceremony work takes its toll on us by draining us physically. So it’s important to maintain balance and boundaries with our emotional healing.
Examples of emotional healing may include working with a counsellor or coach. But remember this is still work and accountability, it’s not your shoulder to cry on for everything
nor the place to bring everything out at once. Release and feeling still need to flow but these sessions can bring balance.
Meditation is key in this realm as it brings the capacity for us to sit and stay able to be present. It’s the mainstay of this process and the more we practice or follow the more we will learn about how to keep going along the way.
Reiki and energetic healing is another way to heal our emotional and spiritual self by allowing release, openness and ability for the mind to work with the heart. Sound healing is another important key in this spiritual integration of feelings. Vibration and frequency lubricate channels and allow us to ground and feel safe in the easiest natural way.
How you sit with your emotions is up to you, but the most important thing to consider or how you are prepared to make the space during integration to feel through it all.
We can also say there is spiritually an element to our wellness not mentioned here in implementation. That's because spirituality is woven through each of these three elements as well as it's a deeply personal and unique experience. It's implemented by simply being present and living with trust, patience, and love.
Integration looks and feels differently for everyone. Each journey or healing session also has its own experience or lesson.
Healing isn’t linear and not everything happens in a logical way.
Emotionally making progress means undoing many past behaviors and that is a process that takes time and patience. Having a psychedelic/ or ancestral healing journey will change your life and how it does is up to you and the willingness to welcome your integration.
There are many levels of integration that fall within the four main pillars of integration which are discovery, commitment, embodiment, and refinement. These pillars have their purpose and space which also feed off of one another with overlapping learning.
Lessons that come from directly from healing experiences are beautiful, but the learning that comes during integration is profound in a different and unique way.
If you are experiencing challenges in your integration I recommend setting up a personalized session where other modalities can be woven in to better deal with your personal areas needing attention and setting goals moving forward.
Sessions can be remotely held or in person and range in price and offering depending on the time spent, and if it is one time experience versus a series of sessions.
Reach out if you feel called to work integration themes together.
Shine Bright, and know you are loved,