A psychedelic experience, whether stimulated by a drug or other possible cause, involves a profound change in consciousness of the person who had the experience. Some intensely profound and transformative experience occurred within the psyche of the individual thereby changing their view on reality in a profound way. Here’s how to integrate a psychedelic experience safely.
Heading back into an everyday routine isn’t always easy.
What Does Integration Mean?
Integration speaks to the highly personal and complex way in which one returns to his everyday life with this new found change in consciousness. Psychedelic integration speaks to how we re-adjust to reality after having our reality sensing machines altered in some way. There was an interruption in our regular scheduled programming and integration speaks to how we move forward with the changes made during the interruption. It’s important to talk about integrating psychedelic experiences into our day to day lives, because that is the ultimate point of having these psychedelic experiences in the first place; to have some profound change in consciousness in order to lead a different life than we’ve previously led through the integration of the experience.
The changes that take place during a psychedelic experience are often paradigm shifting. The changes are life changing. Perspective altering. We often pass the point of no return. It’s a once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it type deal. Our preferences often change. Our diets often change. What we find entertaining often changes, even our relationships often don’t survive. We find that we can’t relate anymore to the people in our lives; even the ones we love dearly. Our consciousness has shifted and so too must our day to day lives. Our lives are a reflection of our consciousness. These monumental changes can be a shock to our systems. We often need some time to process the update. If we’re not skillful and educated about how to integrate these experiences into our lives, the transition can look quite chaotic and spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even physically challenging. The unknown is usually associated with anxiety and stress and after a major psychedelic experience, all you’re faced with are unknowns. You’ve grown so much that you can’t relate to who you were and how you saw reality, but you haven’t quite adjusted to all the new downloads you received, so you feel stuck in a no man’s land wondering if you’re going insane.
Why Integration is so Important
If you’ve made such a big change and jumped right back into the thick of it right away, it’s likely that that will cause problems. With changes as profound as these, it’s best you slowly transition into them and give yourself time to readjust. Watch any sci-fi movie where a frozen man wakes up in the future lost and confused. He needs time to readjust. When you take long flights across the world and your biological clock gets messed up, you get jet lag and you need a couple dozen hours of sleep to reset your biological clock. Changes from a psychedelic experience are along the same lines but way more intense.
Integration looks different to everyone and it largely depends on the psychedelic experience had by the person and the intentions if any behind their journey. Some people embark on psychedelic journeys inadvertently, to heal from trauma and addiction, for spiritual awakening, to experience reality differently or for other reasons. There’s a great Ayahuasca Documentary about this here. The reasons and the nature of the experience have an impact on what integration may look like for each individual. Generally speaking to integrate a psychedelic experience it can look like a period of months to years (depending on the intensity of the change) of adjusting from the old way of living to the new way of living. In some cases, I would estimate that integration is a lifelong process, maybe with an ebb and flow characteristic.
How to Integrate a Psychedelic Experience
Let’s talk about some recommendations for the process of integration.
The first thing you might want to do on your integration journey is be intentional. The more conscious and goal directed you are about what needs to be integrated and how you want your new normal to look like, the easier it will be.
Time & space
You’ll want to give yourself some time and space to adjust. These changes are often big, perspective altering changes about your reality and yourself. You may begin to see situations more clearly than you did before. You may be traumatized by things you realize. It can be quite a shock to completely shift our perspective on reality in a short space of time. Just relax and give yourself time and space to readjust. You are a highly intelligent being, you’re built to naturally re-adjust. You just have to chill out and get on board with the process.
The Art of Surrender
As said above, you’re a very highly intelligent being, created by an even more highly intelligent being. Chill out and trust the plan. Just do what you are guided to do. If you’re guided to do it you’ll know because well you’ll feel guided to do it.
This is a great time to get your life on board with how you really want your life to be. Dig up all these old dreams, evaluate where you are now, discover new truths and new dreams. The point is, re-evaluate the hell out of your entire life. This is the perfect time to tweak or start over. This is where you can go deep down into your soul and your mind and make the necessary changes to transform your life to make sure it is either on track to being the ultimate life you want to live or that you’re already there – ps no matter where you are on this journey, bliss can be found everywhere so live now.
Shed the Skin
While re-evaluating and often without even evaluating anything at all, you’ll instinctively feel what needs to be removed from your life. You’ll feel what cannot move on with you into the next phase of your life and now’s the time to start shedding. Shedding in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It depends on how you look at it. We can shed the old that no longer serves us, thank it for its service and mourn the loss if needs be all at once. Emotions are a many layered and complicated thing; you never have too many you just need to know how to manage them effectively.
You’ll simultaneously be pulled to the new things that suit the new you and the new life you’re creating for yourself and that is simultaneously unfolding before you in a beautiful dance between two forces. You’ll feel uncomfortable; this comes with change but embrace it. To integrate a psychedelic experience use your intuition as a guide. As vague as that may sound it is intelligent advice as only you know what’s best for you.
Talk to people you trust
The journey is best done alone as it requires heavy reliance on the self to determine the needs of the self without weighted outside influence. As a part of a collective organism, it’s hard to separate our thoughts, beliefs and desires from that of the collective, hence self discovery is largely an isolated process. However, as social beings we must dance on an imaginary line between solitude and being social. Talking to people you can trust is a great way to make a healthy balance. Talking to people you can’t trust or who you’re not comfortable with may serve to be more stressful than peaceful, and during this process, you want to go where the peace flows.
Ask for Help
It’s likely going to be a tough and scary journey so don’t be disappointed if you can’t do it alone. That’s normal. Your world just rocked. Literally. The world turned upside down for you. Imagine waking up 100 years from now and all your friends and family are dead and you have to get used to this brand new life and brand new world and brand new people and you’re alone. All you really have is yourself. Yeah; you get it now it’s hard. Cut yourself some slack and get help if you need it.
Arguably one of the most important parts of the whole process is learning how to integrate a psychedelic experience. It’s the part that counts in the long run. It’s the part that allows you to enjoy the life that’s built as a result of the experiences that brought you to the point of integration. It can be a very chaotic and stressful time, but if we skill-fully employ spiritual, psychological and self care practices, with the willingness to apply the lessons we learnt, we can integrate and embody the experience safely.