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Navigating the Psychedelic Journey: Five Stages of Integration

Updated: Apr 25


Navigating the Psychedelic Journey

Five Stages of Integration


Integration is the most important part of any psychedelic journey, which is why it is essential to work with a trained guide and integration coach. Many people without proper after care and support can sit in the overwhelm of ‘what now’? They miss the intentional pause and go right back into their daily grind and never fully receive the gifts of the medicine.


Integration involves making sense of the insights, emotions, and revelations that arise during a psychedelic experience and applying them to one's daily life. This process can be broken down into several stages, each of which plays a vital role in harnessing the transformative power of psychedelics.


Below are five stages to integration, and while many of them overlap, the first and last stages are bookends to this process. These plant allies want to co-create with you, so integration is an active and present process. When you invest this time and energy, you will build a relationship and reap the healing and deep wisdom these plant allies are here to share.


  1. Movement - Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body!

As a Somatic based coach, I always take you back to your body. It’s natural to go to the mind to try and make sense of what you experienced in your journey, however, research suggests that psychedelics may enhance brain plasticity, allowing for new learning and adaptation to the changes you are desiring in your life. Focusing your energy on your body through gentle movement, meditation, breathwork, body work, baths, sitting and walking in nature and rest you give your brain's interconnected neural pathways space to embrace these new flexible neural pathways to ‘sink in’ and hold.


Your body is your living library. It holds and records every imprint and experience, so give yourself plenty of time to sit in the presence of your magnificent body. Lean in, listen and honor the deep wisdom of your body.


2. Emotional or Flow Stage - Allow All of it Without Judgement

Psychedelics can lead to intense and sometimes overwhelming emotional experiences, so you can encounter a wide range of emotions, including joy, love, fear, anxiety, sadness, and even a sense of unity or interconnectedness with the universe. It can also unearth past traumas or repressed emotions which can be challenging to sit with. On the other end of the spectrum, psychedelics may help you release pent-up emotions and gain insights into your emotional patterns which can be cathartic and lead to a sense of emotional relief and resolution.


This stage is about allowing the energy and charges from these emotions to flow through you. Practices such as journaling, free writing, anger burns can all be supportive in this stage. You can tap into the natural elements of our earth by burning your writings or releasing them into the wind, earth and water. The goal here is to allow things to flow. No judgment. No fixing. Just allowing all of it.


3. Spiritual Stage - Connect With Your Allies

For some, doing this work can feel isolating because perhaps you are not supported by family members or friends, so this is the time to reach out and connect with your allies. Having a sacred space to create an altar can help support you in this stage. Fill your altar with anything that is sacred to you. Plants, pictures, candles, crystals, flowers, written prayers, books or anything that connects you to your guides, ancestors, Source, animal totems or any other light being that guides and supports you in life.


If you don’t currently have a spiritual practice you can start with our beautiful Mother Earth. Ground into and move with her natural rhythm. Walk barefoot on her. Feel her sturdy and unwavering support. Smell all of her magic and taste and nourish your body with the gifts she so graciously gives.


4. Mental Stage - Now it’s Time to Connect the Dots!

If you’ve invested time and energy into the first three stages, this one should naturally flow into your awareness with such ease. Things will flow and unfold organically giving you peace and understanding of what you received and how you can incorporate these downloads of wisdom into your daily life. Your body is grounded, open and rested from the somatic practices in stage one. You’ve given your nervous system time to heal and regulate. You’ve created healthier, juicy neural pathways giving you the capacity and space to embody a new way of being.


My teacher says not having clarity after a journey is good news! It means you went deep! We live in a world of instant gratification which won’t fully serve you in this unique healing work. I promise you my friend, release the need to know and understand all of it right now and you will be gifted the deepest layers of wisdom that are available to you. So many miss out on this layer because they rush the process and push for an answer so they can put the check mark on their list! Give it time. Celebrate the confusion. Everything that is meant to come to you will in time, if you ALLOW it! (See Stage 2)


5. Embodiment Stage - Cha Cha Changes Begin Here!

This is the final stage of the integration process and it must be saved for the end. Now it’s time to put into practice what you learned. You are ready to EMBODY the new pattern, behavior, belief system, or the new way of being you desire!. What do you need to change in your life? What do you need to let go of to allow for more space and energy to focus on what brings you joy, peace, health, abundance, partnership or whatever it is you are calling in? Is there a relationship shift that needs to happen whether it be with another person, food, exercise, work or alcohol. Are there hard conversations that need to be had or healthy boundaries that need to be put in place?


Whatever you're reaching for, now is a great time to continue working 1:1 with a coach to help solidify integrating these new ways of being into your future. It’s your time to create a new vision for yourself and a plan to help you get there. Having support and accountability is proven to increase the successful outcome of your goals.


As a life and embodiment coach, my goal is to empower you. Through cutting edge coaching somatic tools and embodiment practices so you can learn to master the areas of your life that are holding you back from being your fullest and most authentic expression. It’s time! Your time!

If you feel called to continue to work with me, reach out and let’s keep going!


You got this soulful human,

xo,

Carma


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