Ritual For Integration: Inviting All Sides of Self Into One
Download ritual HERE.
For: Anyone who has ever experienced their life as a before and after, anyone who feels they have different “sides”, for anyone who has experienced significant trauma, subsequent loss, and the process of regaining of Self, for anyone who feels there are parts of Self that exist in isolation. For: EVERYONE.
Rituals are old as time, no matter how modernly earnest or hokey they may seem to some. Rituals are a birthright within almost every culture – not only to mark rites of passage, occasions, or mortal births and deaths but also for mythological, metaphorical changes and phases of life. Your breakfast and coffee in the morning is a ritual. Reaching for your phone first thing in the a.m. is a ritual. Whatever you do when you awake, whatever you do regularly – those are rituals.
A few weeks ago, I confided in my therapist I could sense the acute need for integration within my mind, body, and spirit of who I was and who I’ve been becoming for years now. There have been distinct moments and experiences that have altered my fabric, that beckoned me inward to be acquainted with my true self in ways I never dreamed. The outside world might see a woman who walked away from a successful career and embarked on several passion projects and years of training and moving into a life of service. The outside world would have watched, hopefully empathetically, as my life fell into crisis – that of loved ones – and then fell into loss – again, that of loved ones. My knowledge of my life since birth became a book replaced with another, and many of my passions and personality markers began to shift. Yet, I am still me, with many of the same quirks and attributes. Through all of this stark pain and exposure to more Light than I’ve ever known, some things had to fall away. Some things were heightened, and lots of new came in. Most days, I accept how different almost everything within and exterior – visible – to me is. And how much I am still Micha through and through, just more awake to the layering of life and our interior worlds.
I told my therapist, “I must mourn and celebrate these shifts of Self simultaneously and move on, and I need to do so with a ritual. I need to make it special! I need to let go of any guilt of not being the same person, especially to the outside world, and I need to unite my halves. I can feel them fusing and desperate to fuse, but I’m also standing in the way a bit”. He jumped on this and asked that I think on my ritual and share what I had created, should I want to.
I created this ritual for myself, and I share with you in hopes that you can alter it to your special fabric of being. This is about body AND spirit, so it feels imperative to incorporate physical representations of the somatic shifts with change in this sacred ceremony.
- Write a separate letter to yourself from all your parts or parts of your life that are feeling disparate – in need of integration – yet lingering on different islands within you. For instance, there might be a strong part of you that is loving and another part that is closed off and fearful of love and openness. Talk to both parts and craft a letter – no length required – representing them and their authentic voices within you.
- Locate a quiet, special spot for your ritual to take place.
- Speak your letters aloud – the vibrations of our voice, one that no one else has, are vital declarations to the unconscious and the conscious…the bridge between the two.
- Along with your letters, perhaps bring any totems, crystals, or objects that bring deeper resonance for you and lay them with them.
- For my ceremony, I brought along some of my favorite crystals and pulled a card from my Animal Medicine deck. Not at all coincidentally did I pull the snake, which represents transmutation – shedding snake sin, alchemy, psychic energy, wholeness, and ascension.
- Because this is a “dance” between separate sides of Self, dance them into union. Dance can simply be a gesture, a movement, or a whole series. What does the feeling of letting go and becoming feel like in movements?
- Sit in silence in closing, slowly scanning your body with breath and awareness and then fall into stillness. How do you feel now? What bodily sensations appeared during the ceremony or in closing?
- As you complete this ritual, decide if you’d like to keep your letters and objects somewhere you can pass by them or tucked away as a reminder you can visit from time to time.
“A ritual should take you into a much broader, richer experience;
every time you go through a ritual you should contact that deepest,
divine part of yourself and open to something new”
—Marion Woodman, Conscious Femininity