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Words like “Integrative”& “Integral” are popping up all over the place.

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Nutrition

Integral Yoga

What does “Integrative” really mean, anyway?  I’ve been reflecting on this lately as I witness my own healing and the healing of others.  The message I get is “it’s time to Integrate!”  We no longer have to separate business life from spiritual life, money from service.  It’s all part of the same thing.

Now is the time to integrate the things we know, the different parts of our life, all of our ideas .. into ONE.

Loosely speaking, “Integrative” means bringing together “parts” to make a “whole.”  At times we tend to compartmentalize our life:  “VP” at work, “Father” at home, “Coach” at school.   Western medicine vs Eastern medicine.  Power yoga vs Yin Yoga.  By picking one or the other, making one more important than the other, we divide our energy.  We get stuck on “this” or “that”, “good” or “bad.”  What is the opposite of integration?  Disintegration.  Breaking apart, making separate.. fragmentation.

As you become “Integrated” you are no longer attached to “certain” ways or “specific” roles.   Your energy is no longer attached to conditions.  You are interested in the whole and combining various aspects to serve the whole.   You are open to being your whole-self & relating to the whole, within all contexts.  For example, being the same person at Church as you are at work.  No longer would you see washing the dishes as more or less important than paying your bills, or your friend as more or less important than another human being.

You would no longer fragment parts of your being and change the way you are to operate within certain contexts.   You would maintain your center and equanimity amongst all aspects.  Simply put, you would be yourself all the time.

Cheri Huber, a zen nun, says it all in one sentence:  “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.”

I love what Albert Einstein has to say:

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

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