Integration means the linking together of differentiated parts. So says Dr. Daniel Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, and author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.
Integration is the foundation of mental, emotional, and relational health.
So how does it work?
To differentiate means to become distinct, an identifiable one among many.
To link together means to connect in a meaningful way.
When these differentiated parts come together, the result is a new entity that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Here's an example: if we summon a group of instrumentalists, some strings, some percussionists, some woodwinds, and some brass, we have a collection of differentiated parts. If we ask them to play, we get sound. Chaotic, perhaps, interesting enough, I suppose. But when these instrumentalists are linked together in a meaningful way, with the addition of a set of notations on paper and a conductor to direct the meaning, something very different emerges.
And depending on the differentiation of the players (their individual skill level), and the quality of the connection (the piece of music to be played) the result is an experience that transcends the earthly bonds of sound, performers, and audience. Music, as it was meant to be.
A similar integration can happen in us. In fact, the self is a collection of parts: memories, experiences, roles, relationships, thoughts, emotions, talents, and dreams.
When our parts are not well differentiated, we feel shut down, restricted, incomplete.
When our parts are not connected in a meaningful way, we feel pulled in several directions, scattered, chaotic.
We need a way to discover the essential parts of ourselves. And, we need a way to bring the parts together in harmony, so that we can manifest the music our souls were meant to create.
This is the magic of the Integrate Retreat.
Together we identify some parts we’ve been missing. Together we honor them, invite them to play, bring them into harmony with the rest.
As we do this together we experience others on the same exhilarating journey. In this way the retreat becomes its own integrated entity of kindred souls, making a new kind of music together.
Phyllis Mathis appreciates the virtues of being deliciously wicked and serenely joyful. Her presence grants permission for all the best parts of you to come out--even the parts you thought best remained hidden. She has extensive training in psychology and spirituality and is a certified ontological coach, but none of that is as transformative as her laughter or the way she channels Aretha Franklin's soul.