You Are The Medicine

Experience leads to insights. Integration opens doors to understanding these insights and the process of attuning to and growing into new ways of being.

Psychedelics are growing in popularity and can be a profound portal into various states of consciousness, healing, and growth, offering impactful change for oneself and the world. Peak experiences of all kinds open perspective into beautiful realms of possibility, and connect one more deeply to oneself, the essence of love, a greater source of aliveness, and the true nature of who and what we are. Often these mystical journeys reveal deep insight and clarity, as well as catalyze transformation.

After such expansive experiences, how do you make sense of the unspeakable, unknowable, and unfathomable encounters that may have stripped away everything you thought you were? Returning to the “normal” world may be challenging or disorienting. Sometimes, it's difficult to understand visions and messages that surfaced or where to go next. Grounding realizations through integration can provide a pathway to meet these transcendent realms that exist within psychedelic and peak spiritual experiences.

Integration involves engaging in multi-dimensional and holistic practices to widen perspectives of self, life, and our understanding of experience. It is about coming into “right relationship” with the consciousness of plants (medicine), learning the language and energetic quality of the medicine you are engaging with and participating in deep listening to what the medicine is trying to say. These are all pathways of recalibration, change, and transformation for self, others, and the well-being of our world.

How do we engage with the alchemical process of shape-shifting and transforming from one way of being into to another? Integration offers space for reflection, which supports the digestion of experience into daily life in more meaningful and purposeful ways. Part of integration is an unfolding PROCESS of evolution; past-present-and future. It is the forever journey of “bringing the unconscious to conscious, the unseen to be seen, and the unreal to the real” as the ancient yogis say. Integration is connecting and weaving wisdom across time, generations, ancestors, karma, and consciousness. It is remembering our interconnectedness to all things and the knowledge that all we search for is already within.

Integration is a profound tool that can initiate both personal and collective healing and development. As psychiatrist and clinical researcher Emily Willow says, “The psychedelic state itself can spark an opportunity for powerful growth, but it doesn’t automatically translate to changes in behavior in our daily life. To see lasting change, we need to have the support of what we call integration. Integration is the process of taking insights or teachings from altered states and incorporating them into our lives in ways that benefit us and our communities. It’s the way we translate symbolic material into concrete actions for personal betterment and healing.”

It is an opportunity to awaken to the profound potential inside to become the person you want, live the life you envision, and embody the truth of who you are. This enables you, others, and the world to thrive. It is a gift to integrate at a place like the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health which offers space for this exploration and discovery within a supportive community. It is a field of learning, care, and curiosity that offers the chance to midwife one another into greater alignment with wisdom, knowing, and our depth of desire for a more beautiful world. Therefore, WE don't just take the medicine, WE learn to embody and BE the medicine because YOU are the medicine.

Jess Frey (she/her), E-RYT 1000, is a Kripalu Yoga educator, life coach, and artist known for her authenticity, motivation, and depth.

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