You know the moment when you step from a “retreat” space of powerful, personal focus back to the “real world” of responsibility? In that transition space between self-expansion and re-entry into what you hope will be the new normal what happens?
This transition can be invigorating and/or excruciating.
Re-entry can propel us forward at light-speed or seem to evaporate our good work before our very eyes.
The sweet spot of transformation is right in between.
The ongoing quest for self-awareness requires a dynamic balance of tenacity and letting go.
Intense transformational experiences like spiritual pilgrimage, facing a serious illness, a toxic relationship, addiction, loss, job shift, and even a straight-up-summer-vacation can all create a heightened and expanded sense of reality.
When we access that clear center of ourselves we can feel connected and empowered in ways that can seem difficult to sustain when we are back in the real world of responsibility and “same old, same old” routines.
For years I’ve sought out extreme transformational experience and I’ve experimented with re-entry, and the experience I’m currently calling Re-Dis-Integration.
We can re-integrate the lessons that brought bliss on that adventure as well as the tough knocks and hard truths that come along with deepened self-awareness.
We have the opportunity to dis-integrate the tired, old patterns of being that we learned no longer serve us as we faced our fears and emerged, energized and clear.
We can harness the new energy, focus and weave it into our new way of moving through our new-normal life.
This year, post-pilgrimage, I was blessed to take 5 days for myself to let go of the pieces of me I’d determined were no longer needed, and often slowing me down in my progress toward important goals. There was also time for assimilation of discovered pieces of possibility that lived within me and were going unnoticed.
It was quiet and cacophonous. Messy and containing. Mildly destructive and absolutely glorious!
I’m still processing, and it feels good.
I wish that level of Re-Dis-Integration for us all.
Re-Dis-Integration is nearly as important as the transformational experience itself.
Sure, the base experience never leaves you, but consciously recalibrating your life to the new exponentially increases the return on the investment of transformation.
Whether you are re-covering, re-turning, re-integrating, here are some helpful tools that will serve you in keeping what you’ve found promotes the way you want to be in the world, and allows you to consciously and truly let go of what you feel is holding you back.
Create a self-promoting routine: Set aside time to be with yourself and the new discoveries. Journal, draw, sing, integrate. Take a bath. A walk. Make a cup of tea before bed and sit quietly. Even if the time is 5 minutes a day, make that time to connect to your experience. You won’t be disappointed!
Be kind and generous with yourself: Often times we throw ourselves headlong back into responsibility. Maybe we even feel guilty for taking the time for ourself. We can yank ourselves around emotionally which affects our ability to hold that power we gained. I challenge you to be kind to yourself. Imagine this new version of you is one of those adorable kittens on a YouTube video. Be gentle and loving. It is worth it.
Stay connected: Keep in contact with the community you found in the transformational experience. They know you in a way that no others do. You share common experience. They can help bring you back to center when you feel like you are losing connection. At the same time, reach out to folks who receive you back at home. They may not understand what has happened, but you’ll all be better at integrating if you are communicating. Be kind, be real.
Keep it light: Instead of getting lost in the weeds, use this time, post transformational experience to enjoy living. The lessons will keep tumbling in. Being gentle instead of trying to force the re-dis-integration will feel more organizing and whole. Wait a while before you make huge changes. (I’ve lived this one, really… wait before you make big changes) Rest and recollect.
Body technology: Alternate nostril breathing
This simple breath practice is perfect for settling the nervous system which can feel out-of-whack when we shift patterns and integrate new experience. I’ve been practicing it every day for several months now. It builds my ability to remain connected to my calm center.
If you aren’t up for adding a daily practice, try it next time you feel you are reacting from a place of unfounded fear.
Here’s the link just in case the hyper-link doesn’t work or entice you sufficiently.
I’d love to hear what happens!
The mind/body/spirit relationship is altered in transformational experience. Recalibration requires time, and commitment to the vision, the future, the person you see you best self becoming.
I’m infinitely grateful for the time and space given to me by you, my friends and my family. This time has been priceless. I return stronger and more clear because of it. Thank you again.
How do you reintegrate the good stuff and disintegrate the crappy, old patterns that don’t serve you when you return home from deep work on your self?
We’ll all be better for sharing our collective wisdom.
Join our Realizing Connection community here and learn more about connecting to what matters and releasing the garbage that weighs you down.