aka WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED TO ME?
Integration is the process that follows our psychedelic experience. Integration begins after the medicine has worn off and we go back to our “default” operations and perspectives. We lose the direct connection to our subconscious, the shadow retreats back into the dark, and we rebuild our walls. Our thinking brain, the frontal lobe, comes back online and we begin to make sense of the experience we just had.
This process is ongoing and open-ended, but generally the week after our journey is when the most potent and important information about ourselves can be brought into awareness and traced back to our childhoods. Once those unwanted, neglected, abandoned, judged parts of ourselves are in our awareness we can start to notice their appearances throughout our past and present lives. Over time we can identify them, connect with them and eventually bring them home, or integrate them to become whole. In this tender space after our psychedelic journey we have the choice to either dig in deep and observe ourselves from the very core, or we can shove everything back down, put the lit on, and go back to our old ways of doing things.
Use any of the questions below as a guide to inquire honestly into your experience. Do what feels right for you: journal, draw, talk, whatever your preferred way of taking notice.
What important themes came up for me during the journey? (Circling thoughts, images, memories, feelings, people, places, times in my life)
What judgements or criticisms came up about myself, my partner (or others in the group)?
Do those tie into my own wounds or parts of myself I feel ashamed of?
Are there any parts of myself that showed up that I’d rather not think about?
How did I act? (Was I fighting? Did I want to be close? Did I want to retreat? Did I have a hard time speaking or voicing my needs? Did I freeze or wanted to blame?)
What sensations have come up in my body? (Pain? Discomfort? Tightness? Pleasurable sensations? Twitches? Shaking?)
What feelings were present during my journey and after? (Bliss, fear, shame, anger, hurt?)
What core wounds arose? How can I trace them throughout my life?
Finally, share your insights with someone you trust. Hearing ourselves speak our truths out loud will add another layer of insight.