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The Importance of Integration



EVER HEARD THE TERMS "SPIRITUAL BYPASS" OR "INTEGRATION?"

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Spiritual bypass can happen with any modality if the person receiving it doesn’t understand how to integrate what they learn or how to get support for integration. Acknowledging what we're working on is just the first step. Integration is asking the self, “How will I bring this new insight into my everyday life?” and then doing so on multiple levels - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and in the will.


Sadly, when many work with plant medicines, and essentially any other modality that gives them benefit, they aren’t shown the importance of integration. They may never have been acquainted with the concept and have come to whatever modality because of hearing of its miraculous ability to heal or shift. I consider it a practitioner’s responsibility to educate their clients on the topic of integration and encourage them to find integration support after working with them. We can process essentially any practice or experience through a lens of integration if we learn that it’s even a thing and know how to find support. Let's break it down.

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SPIRITUAL BYPASS

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In a nutshell, spiritual bypass is when someone recognizes things aren’t working in their life and they take up a spiritual practice for relief of the difficult symptoms, but get stuck there. For example, we may have friends or acquaintances tell us, “yoga (or Buddhism, or plant medicines, or Biofeild Tuning, or any modality out there) changed my life.” We may be called to try one of these methods so we too can change our lives. Often times it certainly IS beneficial to try these new things. Getting into a new practice is a great first step, there may be a number of benefits from the new practice and it might look like a big change on the outside, but often times, the inner work is left undone. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially without an awareness of what it means to integrate. The danger here is when someone ends up in a place where their spiritual practice becomes their new identity, and they go no further.


Plant medicines and other practices can help us get a glimpse of one or many root causes for our difficulties, but then we need to see how we'll use that insight to make the changes we want to make - to INTEGRATE this new insight into our daily lives. A one-dimensional approach can be a way to avoid facing, feeling and moving through deep wounding - it becomes a bypass. And it can happen without even realizing it.

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INTEGRATION

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Integration is ongoing, but probably the most important part. Here's what helped me better understand integration. Several years back I was studying core energetics while also experiencing various indigenous visionary plant medicines. I was fortunate to be able to process and embody my plant experiences through my Core Energetics training and practice. It was incredibly valuable in helping me to bring my new insights into my life in a really practical way... to make changes in my perspectives and behaviors, in the action I took or chose not to take. Back then, I didn't even know of the word "Integration" or the phrase "spiritual bypass." However, I was noticing a number of people who were working with plant medicines who kept going back into plant medicine ceremony over and over, as though the ceremony in and of itself was the work. Not only did it become a bit of a crutch and obsession for some, but they were doing them so frequently, without giving themselves time to sit with what they'd learned. Ultimately not much was changing. I wished people could see how helpful it was to have the space I had to process and integrate my plant medicine experiences.


A couple years later I learned the term "spiritual bypass" from Gabor Mate’s writings and discussions, and I realized that was what I was seeing in those folks who weren't progressing. I realized that I’d been given the opportunity to "integrate" even though I hadn’t realized that was what I could call it at the time.


Flash forward to now, as a practitioner working with the superconscious in Breakthrough Sessions, kambo, biofield tuning and magentic pair therapy, I’m seeing something wonderful and fascinating. Each one of these various practices allows a doorway to integration for the others - if you learn how to process for integration. Thera are many other practices for integration as well - things like journaling, nature time, meditation and lots of exploration into perspective and belief. I have tons of fun working with people in these ways and they really enjoy it. Integration is a process, a practice and a habit I teach my clients.

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WHAT'S IT LIKE TO INTEGRATE?

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A great time for integration is when a spiritual practice such as yoga or plant medicines, etc., bring memories and uncomfortable emotions to the surface and we spend time processing those things with an open heart, then ask, “how will I bring this new insight into my everyday life?” When we commit to bringing the insight into our life and making an adjustment to our way of being in the world, we integrate the work we’ve done in our spiritual practice.

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HEALING ON MULTIPLE LEVELS

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In integration, we bring our insights from our spiritual practices into greater dimensions of healing. In order for complete healing to occur, we want to address the root cause on at least five different levels - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and in the will. I might even add energetically or within our "biofield" (the energetic torroidal shape surrounding our body). If we face those deep wounds and those root causes on all these levels and dimensions, we gain a powerful opportunity to release our old subconscious programming and re-create our lives anew.


While sometimes we may achieve a big release in plant medicine work, there are also times when we are continuing to release over time. This is where integration plays a very important role. If we come in and facilitate further release, we can activate vastly greater potential in how our spiritual work can benefit our lives. Just remember, facing the root causes of pain and trauma can feel scary or intimidating, but it's totally doable. It may be helpful to do a heart-based personal check in to see if you're getting the most out of your spiritual work or if there are still pieces that need support and attention to integrate.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T INTEGRATE?

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The downside of not integrating the information and insights we get in our plant medicine and other journeys, is that the benefits may not last as long as they could if there had been integration. Feeling detoxed and clean with a new perspective can make a difference until time has past and things build up again or we don't replace old behaviors with new ones. If we aren't clearing blockages and making changes that address all the levels - mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and in the will - symptoms and patterns tend to resurface either the same or in one of the other areas. Integration is the difference between muti-dimensional or holistic healing vs. the one-dimensional or symptomatic healing that goes back to where it was over time. I continue to find drastically better results for myself and my clients, that are more lasting, when we work on things multi-dimensionally through integration.

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IN SUMMARY

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So there are three important parts here: 1 - Starting a new spiritual practice. Awesome! 2 - Processing the personal material we find there. This can sometimes be the scary part that is easy to bypass. It’s helpful to have a coach or therapist for this when the material is a deep wound. You have courage - You can do this! 3 - Integrate the new findings (lost parts of ourselves that we recovered, insights into our deep wounds, letting go of things that no longer serve, bringing in the things we dream of, etc.) into our daily lives.


Integration makes shadow work less scary and easier to move through. We see and feel the results that empower us, turning the shadow into a safe place to enter, and much less of a dark mystery.


If you’d like to explore this more, head to HeartCoreglobal.com, send Stacey an email, or book a free 30-minute Strategy Session! Stacey can help make this a doable, comfortable, gentle process. Sometimes it’s actually a lot of fun. You might be surprised! 💗👍🏽

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IN GRATITUDE AND WELLNESS - STACEY


Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash