The power of integration

After a ceremony, typically everyone gathers around in a circle to share the lessons learned from their experience. Rather than sharing the night in chronological order, it’s suggested to pick out the major themes and lessons learned from “the work” so they can be further realized and later reinforced with affirmative action. This allows you to not only reflect on the night in a positive light but it also allows everyone around you to benefit from the wisdom received from the sacrament. Collectively, we all grow richer from the blessings we were given.

When we open up and become vulnerable in speaking our truth it gives permission to the next person to do the same and, before you know it, everyone is hugging, laughing, crying, and rejoicing. The layers begin to shed and you quickly realize how much we all have in common - we begin to see our reflections in the mirror. Publicly sharing deeply intimate parts of our life isn’t easy but it’s part of the healing process. This is the power of integration and, in my honest and humble opinion, it’s a critical part of working with these alternative modalities.

When I got back from Peru after my first Ayahuasca retreat I had no one to talk to that would understand, to some level, what I went through. Not having anyone in my community to reach out to made me feel confused, misunderstood, and sometimes alienated. All I needed was someone who could actively listen, be open to sharing stories, and perhaps provide gentle (solicited) advice. Well, that’s what I’d like to offer to those seeking personal growth and transformation here at yourinnerspace - someone capable of listening.

Combining this exercise with a health-conscious diet, exercise, meditation, journaling, creative outlets, and continuing to treat ourselves with self-love helps us move forward with our “homework” as we continue walking our path.

Please note these integration circles are not a form of therapy, diagnosis, or treatment. It’s simply an act of active listening.

Vincent Fiore