The inside of my car has seen it all.
Laughing, high on life.
Crying, freaking out, wondering when my turn would finally come.
Angry, screaming, the top of my lungs, a safe place where nobody would judge me. And even if they were, I didn’t care because I’d never see them again.
And integration. Deep integration.
Something about moving, in the car, scenery flying by, clouds above, pedal to the metal, brings me so much peace.
I always have so many epiphanies while driving, and the other day was no different.
I’ve been doing a lot of integration.
The other day on Facebook, I wrote about the cycles we all go through. Breakdown, breakthrough, and then a process of integration.
A time when the freedom-flying feeling of a breakthrough mixes in with the existing self and an entirely new self emerges. A self with a little old and a little new, a little contained and a little expanded. The integration is a really important part of the process.
It’s almost like you forget the breakthrough ever came, and thankfully the breakdown becomes a distant memory, but the integration is where the magic actually happens. It’s like when you bake a cake in the oven.
The eggs have been broken open, everything mixed in a really raw way, and the baking is a process of integration. Where all the separate pieces become whole.
This is true on a smaller scale, week to week or even over a month. But it’s also true on a longer scale.
For me, this has been the process of healing emotionally from cancer.
At first, I broke open. Totally. Completely raw. I didn’t know if I’d ever get it together again. I lost my mind so deeply, everything I thought I knew fell away so rapidly and forcefully, that it was a very violent sort of ego death. It even felt like my soul died.
After destruction comes resurrection.
And cancer led directly to a spiritual awakening a few years ago. Actually, this awakening was created by the 40-day yoga practice and process of self-inquiry that became my program The Big Shift, but cancer was the breakdown that sent me searching.
A few years ago, there was a time when I literally thought I was enlightened. I felt so peaceful and full of ease and love and light. Sometimes it was like the barriers of my skin literally dissolved and I was just pure energy, mingled in with the life around me. And everything was infinity, even if just for a moment.
But over time, I became obsessed with building my business and went on a different kind of journey. In some ways, you could say I went backwards, but in truth, all parts of our journey have great meaning. And everything has purpose.
I know this because it led me here, right now, and this integration that happening in a very deep, deep way. I feel a sense of internal power I’ve never felt before.
And it’s because I’m integrating the darkest parts of me.
The expansion chapter, where I felt so full of love and light, was awesome. But it was missing an essential piece of me. The wild child. The rebel. It was missing my darkness.
I love my darkness. I love my raw edges. I love my sassy Jersey girl attitude.
Cancer humbled me so much that I lost that edge for a long time.
At first I felt brittle, then just weak, then full of love, but still very soft. And I loved myself then and felt happy. I didn’t even feel like something was missing, but it was.
It was an exciting time, a beautiful time, but nothing like this.
So back to my car. I’ve been feeling really peaceful and happy again. I’m taking better care of myself, but still, always, there’s a fleeting pain.
I’m very in tune with my inner emotional experience, and notice immediately when flashes of pain arise. And I feel them. Always processing them using my Feeling Awareness technique. (Download your sample audio below.) After you learn the technique, you can do it anywhere.
It’s really just a process of fully feeling and healing the emotion. And it’s important to keep your emotional house clean. It’s like sweeping the floors. Dirt builds up, painful emotions build up, and you have to continually process, clear and clean.
I use this technique all the time, but lately have been going deeper.
Really working with the pain that comes up, going into it, asking questions and ultimately using it to integrate deeper pieces of me.
Yesterday in the car, I was investigating a piece of me that I didn’t want to admit was there. It scared me and made me question who I am. But to enjoy the benefits of wholeness, we have to integrate all parts of ourselves.
So I went into the feeling. I asked why it was there, what lessons it had for me. And followed the chain of intuitive information that arose and realized that this feeling was only so scary because it was excommunicated from my psyche.
I need to integrate it, and integrated, it actually balanced me. It’s my edge, the part that stops me from being too nice. The part that keeps me feeling like I have to be sugary sweet or I’m a bad person.
It’s about honoring that I’m a kind person, but I’m not sugary sweet. I’m a powerful leader here to give an important message to the world, and not integrating my darkness was keeping me from owning that role that I’m here to play in the world.
True power comes from owning and integrating all the darkness. This is the basis of shadow work, honoring those parts we don’t like. The anger, the meanness, the critical and judgmental sides. These pieces of us contain power and by not honoring them, we dilute that power.
I think a lot of women, especially, are worried they’ll come across as bitchy or mean.
We exorcise these personality traits the back room, pretending they’re not there, where they sabotage us instead of protect us.
Once we allow them into our hearts, they no longer control us subconsciously, but act as a necessary balance to those softer, sweeter parts of us.
And maybe this was a breakthrough to be followed by more integration, but this is the process we go through our entire lives.
If you’re aware and consciously moving through the energy, it’s a constant cycle of breakdown, breakthrough and integration. Maybe the cycles even overlap. Who knows?
Maybe as time goes on, I will soften up again, but right now, at this moment, I’m really enjoying this newfound sense of power. I feel unstoppable.
That’s what happens when you own all parts of who you are.
Even those parts that you don’t like. Those are the parts that actually hold the greatest amount of power for you.
Did this resonate with you? Comment if it did. Also, click through and share it with someone who needs help loving all parts of themselves.
All the best,Suzanne
p.s. Do you want to learn more about this? How to use meditation and journaling to do deep inner work?
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Most meditation techniques focus on the breath. This brings you into your body