If you’re reading this, then you’re probably a person who is interested in becoming more aligned with your truth and progressing on your spiritual path. The specifics of how that may look will differ from person to person, but there will always be shared fundamental themes among us all. When we are working towards spiritual development, we’re always learning new things - new practices and teachings that will push us forward and bring us to new insights. Ultimately, we’re trying to make lasting changes within ourselves and direct our lives forward in a particular, more aligned way. So, how do we actually make these changes stick? How can we implement these new ideas into our everyday lives? It can sometimes be challenging to feel truly comfortable and aligned with a new concept. This is where the practice of reflection comes in, and not simply reflection, but a practice of reflective integration.
We can all probably relate to memorizing facts in school, just to take a test and then immediately forget the entire subject matter afterwards. In order to really learn the information, more work needs to be done to really integrate it within our consciousness. We are all different - how I learn information is different than you; how you are going to work with that information in your life is different than me. We all operate at different levels, patterns, and speeds, all vibrating at different frequencies. So when we want to welcome a change into our lives, we have to make some adjustments, to both the change and ourselves, in order for them to fit together. A simple concept (i.e. meditating everyday) is not going to show up in the same way for each person. Which is why it’s important to figure out exactly how it needs to look for us. We are purposeful co-creators, remember? We are allowed to feel and decide how we want to work with everything that comes into our lives. That means taking the space to slow down and open up to the newness we are inviting in, and spend the necessary time needed in order to fit it into who we are.
It’s one thing to conceptually understand something, but it’s completely different to become a person that embodies that thing fully. That’s integrity; not just talking the talk, but walking the walk fully aligned in our truth everyday. We all want to be authentic in the person we are becoming. In order to maintain that authenticity, sometimes we need to step back for a minute, to reflect and examine our lives, and make sure we are still aligned with our purpose. Life happens, we always seem to be pushing forward and things are always coming at us. That’s a part of being human, and it can lead to becoming cluttered, both physically and energetically. So when we feel overwhelmed and stuck, or like we’re moving forward but we’ve lost sight of the direction and what we really want, then it’s probably time for some reflective integration.
This reflective integration is the last email in our opening gateways series (don’t worry, we are still going to continue to do more each month!) When starting our new Ebb & Flow Newsletter series, we wanted to begin with five concepts that are really at the core of what we do here at IMM: cultivating a grounded awareness, upholding emotional enlightenment, remaining mindful everyday, stepping into our role in purposeful co-creation, and practicing reflective integration. These five themes are what we want to share with people through all of our products and services. Because it doesn’t matter what route we take within your spiritual growth, these are universal themes that can be applied to anything. And as long as we’re taking the time to integrate new teachings into our space, then we can truly embody the change and new growth we desire.
We hope you enjoy working through our Resurgence Gateways PDF. Take this time of the Fall Equinox, as we descend into the time of year where the night becomes longer than day, when we are allowed to slow down and sit in with ourselves in reflection. Take this time to look back at how your life has unfolded so far, and how you want to integrate the lessons you learned moving forward.
Megan: It’s easy to talk about reflective integration conceptually, and even fully believe in it’s power to transform. And sometimes all it takes is a simple evening alone, relaxing in the bath, doing some good journaling to figure out some answers and feeling much better the next morning. But sometimes, and in my personal experience I’d say most of the time, it’s not always that easy. Considering it’s such a deeply personal practice, it’s usually not a simple, textbook self-care type of process. Reflective integration requires stepping into that vulnerable space with ourselves - looking back at the decisions we’ve made, what path we’re walking, how we’ve handled certain situations, and all of our mistakes - and then being brutally honest in determining the lessons from those things.
Lyz: We all know that life likes to throw us curveballs and give us challenges that in the long run we understand will make us stronger. But, that doesn’t change the fact that it sucks. In the face of hardship, we are met with decisions. Choices on how to proceed forward through the obstacle. As most adults do, I try to pick the choice of responsibility but how does that choice align with my authenticity?
M: Reflective integration can be a dark, messy and emotional roller coaster, I can speak first hand to that. Sometimes it requires a serious falling apart and breaking down, muddling through all the crap that I brought into my space in order to access my authenticity. Sometimes reflective integration is a long process, with no clear end in sight, where I feel confused, overwhelmed, and not sure what to make of the information I’m receiving. Sometimes I need to be extremely hard on myself and take responsibility in how I move forward.
L: Often due to my responsibilities (to my household, to myself, and family), I have to make choices that aren’t “perfect” but necessary to alleviate the hardship I am facing. And as I move forward with that decision, there are times when I forget why I made that choice in the first place. I question and doubt my motives and the purpose of that choice. It is easy to become stuck in this place of regret and uncertainty. I question my authenticity and whether I made the “right” choice that will lead me to my highest potential.
M: I have found that the deeper the integrations are trying to go within us, the bigger the change that is being asked of us, the more time the process is going to take and the harder it’s going to be. Sometimes all we can do is to keep pushing through the challenges and have faith that eventually it will make sense in the end (because it always does).
L: And that right there, leads directly into the space of reflective integration...the space to reflect on the choices I make and the reasons I chose that option. For me, reflective integration is about remembering to look back every once in awhile. Not to get stuck in the past, but to see how far I have come and remember, remember why I am here in this part of my journey. Reflective Integration is not easy. It takes an objective look at where you are at and why you are there. It may be the hardest medicine to explore.