If you’re doing enough research on psychedelics you’ve probably come across the term integration.
Integrating the psychedelic experience can mean various things. It can be maintaining a connection to higher states of consciousness, practicing spirituality, self-reflection, fixing personal relationships, removing unhealthy attachments, finding balance, or handling stress better. Without integration, all your insights will be nothing more than a memory.
But how does one integrate their psychedelic experience into their daily life?
Here are 10 ways:
1) Take Action
Just as you should practice what you preach, you should practice what you’ve learned from the experience.
Some trips may arise a judgment call upon one’s actions or illustrate compassion where it is needed. For example, someone may come to understand the importance of reconnecting with their parent, treating their partner better, or developing a healthier self-esteem.
These are great realizations that shouldn’t be shoved aside. Sometimes taking action is harder than the psychedelic experience.
A personal trainer can show you all the exercises, routines, and tools to gain muscle in a training session, however, it is up to you to follow through on your routine to obtain results.
You don’t have to spend your free time at an ashram to do this. Meditating in small bursts (5 minutes) throughout the day can do wonders. You can even meditate by walking, yoga exercise, or before sleep as you lie in bed.
These moments can help reconnect to a heightened state of awareness and prevent an inflated ego. In the long term, I am sure you will notice its positive effects.
3) Reconnecting with Nature/Outdoor Activities
If there is anything we can learn from psychedelics it’s that mother earth is alive. We should pay better respect to our planet and spend a little bit of time each day in nature, even if it’s just five minutes with the one tree in your neighborhood, the rock in the desert, or under the shining sun in a overpopulated city.
Don’t ignore nature’s healing abilities. Nature is always here to remind us the beauty of simplicity.
4) Service to Others
Serving your fellow beings, or looking after one another, is a reward in itself. We are all one and it is only our ego that sees us as separate from anything in the universe. Of course each of us have our unique traits, but our unique abilities are a gift to serve others in some way.
There is no better way of reminding the self that we are all one merging from the same source, or consciousness, than by serving other beings as an extension of the self.
5) Enjoying Life’s Challenges
Our rewiring of the brain can often come into conflict with the cultural programming, especially with others (sometimes those close to us). While we may achieve inner peace, we will never be short of challenges from a crazy culture; nevertheless, challenges are opportunities for growth!
It is easier to find inner peace on a mountain with few people around. If you are able to channel peace in a noisy environment or under intense circumstances, then the possibilities are endless.
6) Keep a Dream Journal
Writing down your dreams can help you better remember them. Every night we must sleep and live in a different world. Take the opportunity to connect to the spiritual realm or inner psyche during your dream state (depending on what you believe in).
7) Talk to Other Psychonauts and Share Stories
Sharing one’s experiences is essential for integration. Luckily, the psychedelic, meditation, and spiritually awakened community are all growing in large numbers.
You don’t have to deal with your bizarre experiences or perceptual changes alone. We can get excellent advice from a caring, empathetic stranger on internet forums.
You can also see if there are Psychedelic Meet Ups around your area. It’s always good to hear different trip accounts and interpretations.
8) Be Creative
We are taught to consume more than to create. Whether it is drawing, writing, playing an instrument, singing, or dancing, creative activities keep our imaginations strong. Something many of us lose with age.
Like dreams, a creative activity maintains a connection to another land outside of the physical body. One may be surprised with what they could create or imagine.
This is also a great way to express one’s perception of the world if one cannot explain it. At the end of the day, you never know what may come of your work. It might be therapeutic, provide closure, or further insight into the unknown.
9) Shadow Work
Integrating the shadow self is a long and arduous process in itself. Some trips can lead you to confrontation with darkness within.
We all have flaws and a past. Do not think of yourself so innocent and pure in comparison to the rest of the world.
Work on your emotional triggers by finding where they stem from in your life. When you find the root of your anger, fear, insecurity, or hate, you take control instead of being controlled by it. Love that part of you that suffered (the inner child) and fell into negativity.
10) Don’t Jump into a Trip Before Fully Integrating
You’re going to want to do your best to enhance your life as a sober person as well and enjoy the trip of life, which psychedelics certainly promotes.
Remember even the biggest psychedelic spokesperson Terence McKenna was no match for the ruthlessness of the mushroom. According to his brother Dennis and many of his close companions, he hadn’t embarked on a big trip from 1988 until the ultimate trip took him in 2000.
And I don’t blame him. These journeys aren’t easy.
There are times when I am about to embark on another trip but I think ‘let me wait awhile’ since I am still integrating and receiving insights from my last experience. To each their own, but I like to take time to reflect upon previous experiences, work on what I need to do to form a better life or become a better person, then eventually it begins calling me.
You don’t have to hang up the phone when you get the message, but it isn’t necessary to converse weekly and have the same conversation. Spreading your trips far apart enough can help bring a completely unique experience and message.
Dennis McKenna says the experience is an on-going dialogue, however, I believe scientists view it in an entirely different lens. Your intentions or goals may differ.
Also, if you like to trip frequently, I’m guessing you’re not doing large enough doses.
Integration is a continuous process and, at times, we mess up here and there. We make mistakes and fall back into bad behavioral patterns. I believe these substances rewire the brain and allow a person to instinctually operate with great awareness and better habits, which is why psychedelics have a high rating cure for addiction. It’s just important to remember that the work doesn’t end when the trip does.
Life is a trip and we have to flow along with it.
Until next time…
Vaya con Dios