It’s Transformational Thursday, y’all and I’m giving you a behind the scenes look at the integration process (and the messy middle) of motherhood as well as some tools to use if you’re going through an integration of your own.
Integration is the process in which we allow a big life event/change to shift us, grow us, evolve us, and expand us into new perspectives and beliefs, values and priorities.
As I look back over my life, some of the biggest integrations have happened through major losses, ending toxic patterns, and big additions (hello motherhood! AND marriage!).
And from what I know from these big life shifts is that integration can be a long process. It can take years to fully understand the wisdom or integrate the lessons a life event has given us and to some extent, I think we’re always integrating something because we continue to have new life experiences. And if we’re openminded and openhearted, we’re always allowing our life events to expand our world view, move toward more compassion and understanding, and looking inward to evaluate what this means for us, who we are, and how we think about ourselves.
For me, motherhood has offered one of the biggest invitations to truly re-evaluate my beliefs on womanhood and parenting, especially in regards to what I’ve been taught to believe about what it means to be both a woman and a mother.
In this episode, I talk about diving into the messy middle of unraveling some of these beliefs as they intersect with spirituality, sexuality, and creativity.
Specifically, one of the things I’m exploring is how spirituality informs my beliefs of motherhood and marriage, how spirituality informs my creativity and beliefs around sexuality and how all of these intersect to provide us freedom to express ourselves, live in integrity with our values, and find fulfillment and that elusive balance so many of us aspire to achieve.
Some of the tools I’d like to offer you if you’re going through an integration are these:
1. Give yourself space for the dust to settle.
Integration means that we unzip ourselves, reevaluate our current belief system, allow our life experiences to re-inform these beliefs, reorganize the way we perceive the world and ourselves, and then re-zip allowing this newness to inform our actions moving forward.
Integration is not a process that can be forced. It can take years to integrate major life events. As I share on this episode, it took me a good solid 3 years to integrate the death of my best friend and 3 years after that to integrate all the spiritual lessons it offered me.
Integration can feel messy and uncomfortable because it will often challenge the way you’ve viewed the world, which may come toe to toe with how you’ve been living your life and certain judgments you’ve had. If approached with compassion and curiosity, integration can be a powerful time to expand your world view and offer yourself deeper permission to come home to an even truer version of yourself.
2. Give yourself permission to change directions, change your mind, and change your beliefs.
It’s easy for us to assume how we’re going to be during a big life change – becoming a spouse, becoming a parent, running a business, etc. But it’s often not until we’re in the thick of it that we have a deeper perspective of what’s going to truly work for us and feel the best.
Give yourself permission to allow your experience to change your mind about things. The more freedom we can give ourselves to evolve our perspective, the more freedom we allow ourselves to flow with what is no longer living by absolutes or hard-cut rules.
3. Love yourself enough not to know all the answers.
OMG, this is a lesson I’ve been learning all my life. Whenever we’re going through an integration process, it can be a humbling experience. It can dramatically shift our perspective and we may find ourselves eating our words. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s been to simply stay open and curious about the process of integration knowing that things are shifting and not needing to know how these will impact my future decisions.
Not needing to know all the answers allows us to be more open to the guidance that's available to usClick To Tweet paying attention to the signs from God/the Universe. It also allows us to release the pressure for having “the plan”, which is usually just a way for us to decrease our anxiety and offers us the fallacy of control.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned (and I’m a planner) is that you can have all the plans in the world, but that won’t mean things will go according to plan. Having a loose idea of preferences and dreams with action steps to work toward them is better. It gives you the space for life to do what life does, which is bring you new and unexpected events that will likely shift your plan anyway. Going with the flow has helped so much in needing to control and predict. So if you get caught up on needing to know what the future holds, this one will likely hold some challenge for you.
Go where the resistance is
4. Practice patience and presence.
Integration is not an overnight process. We can't rush wisdom.Click To Tweet Take your time being in the moment instead of trying to rush ahead. The present moment not only holds your answers to how life is shifting and evolving you, but it also holds your key to joy.
For me, patience and presence are my antitheses to the guilt that’s coming up for me right now.
Tune into the episode to learn more about all these steps and how to implement them as you integrate.
I’ll see you on Motivational Monday in just a few days. Until then, have a beautiful, soulful, loving weekend <3