Fragmentation to Integration
“Everyone experiences fragmentation. But not everyone knows how to re-integrate and heal.”
Dr. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa
In the midst of treatment for cancer, I looked in the mirror and felt shocked at how changed I was on the outside. “This is me?” I had no hair, no eyebrows, pain and fatigue. Deep lines had appeared out of nowhere and there were dark circles under my eyes. I hadn’t spent much time in front of the mirror before, barely wearing makeup and not interested in the latest fashions. But now I did and I could see my soul.
When trauma occurs, you feel fragmented. Feelings get pushed aside in favor of survival. Parts of your experience are forgotten, the changes in your body create unfamiliar and unwelcome sensations. Your identity shifts as well as your sense of who you are.
As uncomfortable as it is, this fragmentation is a normal response to a traumatic, life threatening experience. The problem is that you don’t always get to re-integrate and integration is vital to healing.
In order to integrate, you have to acknowledge all aspects of your experience – changes in your body, relationships, undesirable memories, big feelings, and find ways to integrate them. When you’re integrated, you no longer feel numb, and have access to your emotions. You are more in charge of how you act and react and you can talk about your experience in a coherent way.
What creates a feeling of integration when you’re fragmented?
- Feeling truly seen, heard and witnessed by another person is one way. And personal reflection through meditation invites your inner witness. When you include others, they are your witness. When you are meditating and/or being the observer of your own experience, you are your own witness.
- Movement that gets your circulation moving, balances your energy and the hemispheres of the brain is another way. Yoga practice can also balance and integrate the functions of the brain stem (which controls survival) and the frontal lobe (which manages emotions and executive functioning).
Here’s a simple practice to acknowledge the many parts of your body and your Self:
In my upcoming workshop, we’ll explore the concept of fragmentation vs. integration and how integration helps you center and heal.
Registration now open for the workshop on February 27 and I hope you’ll join me.
Open to all! Cancer survivors, oncology professionals, mental health professionals, yoga teachers-anyone who is interested in experiencing the Kundalini Yoga approach to integration and healing.