You have done the hard-physical part, you went to the jungle, fought the mosquitos, spent nights in the dark drinking a foul taste of plant tea, purged your “thoughts” out of your being and now you are finally back in the comfort of your own home contemplating on the insights you have gained. Well, the most important and crucial step on your spiritual healing journey starts now and that is integration. Even more important than the actual plant medicine ceremonies you had. Your commitment to yourself and your personal journey is shown in your integration process. This is where you start to ask yourself questions like Am I really ready to let go of old behaviors? How do I start a healthy new discipline? Is my environment supporting my healing journey? Do I have the courage to accept the dark side of myself and learn how to embrace it? And so on..
During integration, you are compelled to look into the multidimensional “mirror“ and face all those parts of yourself that you don’t like anymore and “see” how they are clinging to your present reality. In this process, you are being “asked” by your higher self to feel more instead of overanalyzing, to connect and slow down, to be more present, to surrender and fully align with your truth and highest good. And trust that the integration process may continue to unfold over several months, making space for deeper healing and profound insights to come into maturity. Maybe the most important element in integration is to have a lot of patience and compassion for ourselves and our process. Following a ceremony it's common to feel increased joy, motivation, gratitude, and purpose; however, maintaining these states when returning to your day-to-day life is not easy and below are a few tools that you can use for your integration process.
Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality, it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness. Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude – Waking up grateful for the present moment is a beautiful way to maintain your vibration higher. Bringing your hands in prayer close to your heart as soon as you wake up is already a simple, beautiful form of expressing an authentic “thank you” for waking up and for the new day that has arisen. Being grateful can make us feel lighter, more joyful, and more present. Can also improve our mental strength, enhance empathy and awareness, help us be more optimistic, and “surf” easier in all difficult circumstances.
Mindfulness – Mindfulness helps you practice being fully present without allowing your mind to pull you again into its constant web of thoughts and scenarios. Mindfulness is the essence of awareness, where true growth is taking place.
Spiritual Practice – Whether that is meditation, a form of yoga, breath-work, or any other spiritual practice, cultivating a self-care discipline will help you tremendously, especially for keeping your focus more on your growth and well-being rather than on the mind. For example, a daily meditation practice will help you decrease stress or depression while improving focus and emotional intelligence, in other words, increase your awareness. You take your attention muscle to “gym”. If stress or emotional turmoil is surfacing, you can use techniques to “clean and ground” yourself like cleansing salts bath, writing a letter, breath-work, smudging, or even creating your own cleansing/releasing ritual with crystals or your favorite charms.
Nutrition – Is well known that there is a powerful link between mind, body, and spirit. After a plant medicine experience, keeping the healthy post dieta is required for the amount of time indicated during your retreat. Healthy eating means listening to your body’s signals and eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. Studies have proven that our emotional states or moods have a direct link with our gut’s health. Rest assured that Mother Nature is providing everything that we need in various forms whether that is plant-based, vegan, or vegetarian. This change will help you restore the balance in your body, increase self-esteem levels, optimism, and general well-being, simply making you feel fantastic!
Sharing circles & like-minded beings - Surround yourself with like-minded beings, look for communities that are "seeking" what you are "seeking", and that practice what you would like to cultivate. However, refrain from sharing immediately your story or plant medicine experience even with your loved ones, as your healing journey is your journey. We all perceive a certain reality and have individual journeys in this life, is recommended that even though I know it might feel exciting to share your experience with everybody, to be extremely cautious about who you tell your story. People who are not on the same path as you, may have a tough time grasping what you are going through and immediately project/judge their perceptions on you, spreading a negative energetic influence that you would want to avoid in your process. Is better to keep your sharing circle small and with truly trusted beings who are more open-minded and receptive.
Nature ah Nature!! – So much to say about why nature is beneficial for one’s life and well-being. Feels like a pure mindful, recharging meditation just simply walking barefoot in a forest or on a beach. During your plant medicine experience, you have probably felt the strong connection we as beings have with nature around us. A breath of fresh air, the sun tingling your cheeks, the smell of grass, and the stillness of it all, pure healing. Spend more time in nature.
Creativity – Tapping into your creativity and flowing with what you feel and enjoy doing is also an important step of your integration. Creativity allows you to express freely, to expand, to transform, to focus .. dancing, painting, singing, crafting whatever your passion is let it out to flourish. You can even journal your thoughts, feelings, and insights. Writing not only helps you remember but also helps you process your emotions and plant medicine experience.
Solitude – Integrating all the lessons and insights you have received during your ceremonies, takes time, patience, and a lot of “me” time. The solitude and deep inner work are what growth is all about anyway and all the answers are inside of us not outside. Cultivating solitary skills can help you become emotionally stronger. Studies have shown that people who take time to be alone tend to be happier living a more balanced life. In moments of solitude, you can truly do shadow work too, reflecting on those unexamined parts of the self that tend to surface as impulsive negative habits or thoughts patterns also called traumas. And in this work, your discipline and honesty are required to truly make the necessary changes in your life that will unveil your inner light - your Higher Self.
Knowledge - Stay curious and do your part of the research on each question arising in your mind. There is so much information out there on the topic of plant medicine and consciousness waiting for you to dive into it. Keep your mind receptive and open to the unknown and spend more time nourishing your knowledge.
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular. - C.G. Jung
What you should not forget is that in you resides a lot of power that simply you are not aware of it yet. Cultivating a healthy discipline in your day-to-day life and properly integrating your plant medicine experience will help you not only heal and transcend the clinging past but also live a joyful, aligned, abundant, and balanced life. As you move into higher vibrations, you through your energy and vibration, through your example, you will manifest that into the collective consciousness and people around you will feel it, and shift from it too, without you making any effort. You are doing a great job, remain true to yourself and fall in love with your Higher Self.