Updated: Oct 19
People and situations come into our lives to teach us about what we need to know in order to grow; they are meant to bring us closer to a sense of wholeness. Whether positive or negative (or some of both), experiences lead us to a new understanding of ourselves; our strengths, our gifts, and our weaknesses or wounding that have created patterns that we will keep repeating if we don't take the time to digest and receive them.
We must all integrate our lessons, discoveries, insights and spiritual experiences sooner or later. These realizations will amount to nothing or have to be repeated if we don’t integrate what we have learned.
"To integrate a mental state is to successfully ‘absorb’ it's meaning, you can now move on to other matters without suffering the energy drain that comes from ‘unfinished business".
Psychotherapist Robert A. Johnson
In this sense, integration helps us to mentally “complete” our discoveries so that they’re no longer a source of fixation. This is yet another benefit of integration: it clears space in our minds, allowing new, and deeper discoveries to emerge.
Making Space For Digestion
Integration often demands that we remove, let go of, and purge that which is no longer aligned with our needs. By actively making space, we allow ourselves to live more purposefully and soulfully. Mind you, clutter is not just physical – it is also emotional, mental, and even metaphysical. Examples of clutter can include:
Commitments that are unnecessary and/or time-consuming
Relationships or connections that are misaligned or unhealthy
Habits that are destructive or pointless
Interests or philosophies that no longer support our growth/well-being
Physical objects or possessions that are not needed anymore
Making space is an act of commitment to our discovery/realization, allowing it to root deeper in our lives and integrate it more fully.
Digesting Via The Third Chakra
The third chakra is located in the solar plexus region. In addition to correlating with the body's physical site of digestion, it is also the place where we digest our life experiences, sifting through the good, bad, painful, joyful, traumatic and even the spiritual events of our lives. It is here that we are able to transform these experiences into the learning necessary for us to grow in consciousness and move forward on the path of our personal evolution.
Our soul energy is in our third chakra, housed specifically in the liver and embodied in the life force therein. The liver, is also known as the "Seat of the Soul". In Traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for all other organs and for moving Qi (energy) throughout the body . It also stores blood and other essential bodily fluids, and it helps cleanse the blood, especially while we sleep. So, in essence, the liver is one of our most powerful organs; It’s also one of our most powerful detoxification organs.
Unfortunately, however, in modern society, we are eating inflammatory foods, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to an exorbitant amount of toxins—internal and external toxins—and our livers can become deeply affected.
So cleaning up our liver and achieving a balance of power in the third chakra is essential for us to work through personal issues, achieve growth, and settle into the next stage of our personal evolution.
(Some of this information and suggested ways to heal and balance the chakra's are offered beautifully in the book Opening The Senses Of The Soul, by Samantha Orthlieb)
Digestion Requires Movement
Physical integration is the process of integrating your lessons through the body, not just the mind. Examples of physical integration can include movement and stillness practices, intentional rest/recovery, time in nature, or specific actions based on the lessons or healing you have received.
Body movement is supportive to ground and anchor the energetic into the physical. It is also beneficial to move emotional energy as we work through our processes.
Sharing Yoga with others has proven to be a necessary and effective way to balance and integrate the Shamanic and Healing experiences that I both guide others through and receive myself.
Personally, I find music inspirational for movement and integration. Seek out songs that support your goals, remind you of who you are, or who you are becoming. Then let the body move intuitively to both release and embody your lessons through song.
It does not matter one bit what it looks like. It's what it feels like. That might mean you are rolling around on the floor or dancing like nobody's watching.
Breathing It All Through
A gentle Alternate Nostril breathing practice has a direct effect on the mind and nervous system and help clear stagnation in the subtle body from unprocessed emotions and thoughts. It equalized the flow of breath through the right and left energy channels, calms the emotions, balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain and can help to ease stress or anxiety.
With just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, you can restore balance and ease in the mind and body. Sometimes when we feel frazzled or find ourselves doing too many things at once, it’s because energetically, we are out of alignment. This breath is great for restoring that necessary balance.
The beauty of integration and making and effort to live your lessons, is that you will receive confirmation that you are making the right steps forward. Just keep making the right next step and trust you will be thrown more crumbs to follow. You will continue to be amazed how each step you take ripples out in rightness for all those it affects.
Ultimately, the energy we live in is the energy we attract.
Feel free to comment on more ways to integrate and digest life's experiences.