health

What is Integration?

At the start of 2017 I officially launched a complete integration program, and started harm-reduction consulting as additional services of my life coaching practice. Traditionally, I’m serving clients engaged in, and/or post, psychedelic therapy. However, upon developing the integration program, I've found that the needs of this service actually stretch beyond the revival of the psychedelic and spiritual revolutions.

In my work, I define the service of integration as helping people integrate an awareness of two or more ‘systems’, for lack of a better term, into one. These systems can be likened to an individual connecting with different truths; ideas; beliefs; ideologies that cause an unsettling. Being aware of each system causes the individual to question one, or the other, or all systems, in order to seek a truer understanding of themselves and/or the world around them.

A further personal conflict arises when an individual believes that they must commit to just one system, therefore first, integration helps us acknowledge and accept that each system coexist. Then, the process guides them on utilizing the positive aspects of each and develop from the negative aspects of each to reduce harm and difficulty in life. Thus, successfully integrating the alternative system(s) into the primary one; helping you develop a new equilibrium if you will.

For example, say you spend most of your life believing that if you go to school, study hard and get a really good education, that you’ll secure a good job with lots of benefits. A job that will provide you with a lot of money, give your life purpose and meaning, and allow you to live happy and fulfilled. Let’s call this your primary system, the one you've spent most of your life investing in.

Then, let’s say you meet someone who proves to you that there is an alternative way to achieve happiness and fulfillment, a way that doesn’t rely on money perhaps. They have now presented you with another system, and your belief in their system now causes you to question your primary one. So, you find yourself feeling unsettled because you have a belief in two systems that are causing you personal conflict, because you’re unsure of the direction moving forward:

  • Do you dismiss your primary system? To which you’ve already invested most of your life into.
  • Do you dismiss the alternative system? Which you also believe in and is personally desirable.
  • Which system is better for you? As they both seem to offer personal benefits.
  • Which direction should you take? As each system causes distrust and uncertainty upon the other.
  • What if that person is wrong or was misguided?
  • What if you’re wrong and have been misguided?
  • How do you decide?

It’s like these systems are people who have both positive and negative influences on you, and integration is the process of evaluation and reflection to establish who is most beneficial to you, and when. Like who you can turn to for motivation when you need it most, and who can help you maintain your responsibilities, and who will inspire confidence, and so on. Integration enables you to give each system purpose, and by doing so it works to reduce a lot of inner conflict.

I like to refer to integration as finding a healthy balance, or middle, by merging very distinct life experiences into a mindful one. After all, it’s our experiences and beliefs that shape and navigate our identities, and we shouldn't dismiss parts of who we are just because it doesn't fit with a certain life model. Perhaps, you could consider my integration service as helping you develop your very own life model to live by. A safe process that allows you to accept and explore each system openly, to understand and utilize them, and encourages you to be your best self, and to live your best life.

Our minds are designed to think openly and without restriction, and when we shape our lives to the minds design, we realize our human potential.

If you wish to learn more about my integration services, please email: info@vancitylifecoach.com. To learn more about the role of psychedelic in the treatment of mental health, check out the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, (MAPS).

Disclaimer: Please note that VanCity Life Coach Inc. does not condone the use of illicit drugs. It is recommended that drug use, of any kind, be under the observation/recommendation of a licensed professional, and in accordance with the law.

The Key to Maintaining Health and Happiness

Post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Awareness

Sometimes we find ourselves in a state of lasting bliss when all aspects of our lives, have reached a level of fulfillment we’re satisfied with. Although we may not be exactly where we want to be in life, health and happiness will seem to flow easily and we’ll begin feeling assertive and aligned with our aspirations.

When we arrive at these blissful moments in life, we’re prone to complacency and avoidance because moving forward may involve risk, which could disrupt this new equilibrium. Therefore it’s crucial to develop a healthy awareness of self, others and the world around us, in order to continue our pursuits to that dream life we’ve always envisioned.

Awareness is an extension of mindfulness and it teaches us to pay attention to how we impact our own lives. Whether or not we’ve reached a stage of fulfillment, our choices have dictated this destiny that’s currently being played out. Awareness helps us upkeep involvement and control over life; paying attention could be the difference in feeling like life is falling apart, and feeling like life's falling into place.

Awareness begins with honesty. The first step is to focus on emotion, because it’s the emotions we feel that highlight the truth. When we hurt ourselves physically, we’re often very quick to notice the imbalance and work to resolve the pain as effectively as possible. However, how many of us can honestly say we do the same with our own state of mind.

As a relationship and life coach, I come across many broken souls living life irritated and insecure as a result of avoidance and complacency. On the other hand, I have clients that feel great within themselves but struggle to pursue new opportunities, in fear of losing something deemed safe and secure. The next stage of awareness, after uncovering present emotion, is to look back on the journey up until this point in time.

Many of us may not realize it, but our pasts hold many of the answers we seek to find about ourselves and our lives. How did I end up here? Why do I put up with this? How can I move forward? Why am I…? However poignant the question, the answer could be lurking within a previous moment in time. Investigating the past will help develop an awareness of motivation, uncover the triggers to motivation and we’ll learn how to avoid or promote certain behaviours.

If you’re looking to maintain health and happiness in your life, or if you’re looking to secure it, assess your current level of awareness and you may just realise where your life is headed. Today choose to take control, choose to eliminate fear and choose to overcome the insecurity you live with; Pay attention to how you contribute to your own misery and bliss, and you’ll become aware that you own your life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Things We Tend To Neglect When Pursuing Our Goals

Neglect Sometimes when we’re focused on attaining success, crucial parts of our lives get neglected. We also justify the things we neglect, by telling ourselves that we’ll place priority on them once we have achieved what we have set out to achieve. One thing I’ve learnt, is that if we don’t make these things a priority in our lives today, we’ll soon realize the burden of our actions.

Here’s 5 things that we must maintain in our lives to ensure that we attain success in a healthy and fulfilling manner.

  1. Health and Wellness

Health and wellness is the single most important thing in our lives. We must ensure that we make time for ourselves and that we look after our bodies. After all, we can attain all the success in the world, but it’ll mean nothing if we’re not healthy enough to enjoy it. The more success we build the more indestructible we feel, but that illusion will wear off the moment our bodies are overwhelmed and overrun by neglect.

I’m currently trialing an all organic diet and already I feel more energetic and awake. I also used to schedule exercise around my work, now I’ve shifted my schedule to work around my yogic goals.

  1. Home/Work Space

Whatever stage of success we’re at, our spaces are a reflection of our journey. The cleaner and organised our personal spaces are, the more productive we’re going to be. We’ll want to work in these spaces and spend less time wanting to get away or escape.

I once spent an entire day printing pictures and putting them up in frames around my house. At first I felt like I was wasting a day, but now my space serves a motivational gallery of things I’m grateful for and the aspirations I hold.

  1. People

Family, friends and partners are our immediate support network, they encourage us and support us when we need it. It’s easy to forget how much influence these people have on our success, without them we wouldn't have anyone to share success with.

One of my most popular posts to date is on success and loneliness, it has climbed the search engine ranks and continues to get more hits day by day. Nurture your relationships and make time for them, don’t end up successful and isolated.

  1. Social and Recreational activities

Make time to have fun and socialize with others. Social and recreational activities lift our spirits and help us relieve stress. They are a crucial component towards maintaining a positive mindset.

When I’m writing I have to be alone, but I must balance all this alone time by connecting with others. Making time to have fun and gathering with others keeps our identities engaged and our lives fulfilled. You’ve heard of the saying ‘work hard, play hard’ to me it connotes balance. Don’t let all your hard work end up in vain because you've made no time to enjoy life.

  1. Emotions

The most fulfilled people I’ve come across tend to be the most expressive.

Our emotions are our guide towards fulfillment. If we fall into a habit of focusing on our success and repressing our emotions, we can be led astray from where we actually want to be in life. When we deal with an emotion, we spend time evaluating and reflecting, it’s a process that helps keep us aligned with our aspirations.

Your emotions are the rawest form of honesty, so listen to them they’ll guide you where you need to go. Process your emotions as and when they arise so you don’t end up building a life you’re not fulfilled by.

It's easy to forget the significance of these things in our lives and if we don't start making these things a priority now, we'll end up losing touch with them later.

VanCity

Lost Connections and the Importance of Staying Connected.

ConnectionI have a lot to be grateful for, and I'm lucky that I can to turn to what I'm grateful for, when I need prioritize life, as the best possible reason for living.

Today, reflecting on a few dark patches in my past, my thoughts led me to all my lost connections. Connections to people; the people in my life that used to bring joy and wonder to it. My connections to hobbies and interests like volunteering and my fascination with spirituality; bringing me fulfillment and escape. I was also reminded of a darker time when I lost my connection with my dream, when I had lost sight of all ambition and goal, looking for an easy way out.

I was taken aback by the memory of a time when life became numb. I remembered a time when the future looked bleak and I had lost all connection to my identity. I had forgotten how these connections were keeping my spirit alive and how important it was to stay connected and how humbling it can be.

I randomly had a long talk with an ex-girlfriend of mine a few days ago, she reminded me of the silly things I used to say about taking the world by storm with my work and however many times people doubted it, I didn't. I forgot how good we worked as friends, before the turmoil of our break-up and now, although I still can't trust her actions, I can trust the expectations she had of me. I guess it sums up why maintaining connections is important, she reminded me of a more innocent and naive time in my life and I'm glad for that. I gained a boost of confidence as it proved how far I had come on my journey.

I guess my message to you is simple although often overlooked. As you journey onward to success, remember to keep your treasured connections active. They'll pose as reminders of who you are, because the more we learn and the more we grow, we make new connections and we tend not to notice the ones we lose.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Become More Confident: The Confidence and Curiosity Cycle

Image

Curiosity boosting confidence – the most enriched people I've come across show signs of being able to boost confidence by delving into curiosity. Confidence grows as you continue to understand who you are and what you want, therefore when curiosity is explored you learn that much more about yourself, what you like and don’t like, if you are good at something or not – curiosity opens areas of your own person you never thought or believed existed. The scary part is you need to have the guts to plunge into it first, which is how confidence allows you to be more curious.

Achieve a result: When you finally dive into exploring curiosity, the biggest challenge is seeing it through; people fall at the first hurdle and it tends to negatively impact their confidence. So even though you may have just begun to explore, you need to push yourself until you achieve some sort of result in order for you to gain confidence. Otherwise, you may end up letting yourself down, leading to self doubt – which is how curiosity can negatively impact confidence.

 Confidence allowing us to be curious - Think about when you embarked on something new for the first time: like a job/new business, an extreme sport, even travelling on your own for the first time. Certain triggers led you there, the fears and anxieties often spark your curiosity, maybe it sparked an interest, maybe you saw someone else’s courage or maybe, you know what it will do to your own self-esteem if you ventured into curious territory. These triggers open up your mind, you want to learn and know more so you build confidence by gaining a level of understanding first – often leading to research and assessment. Others, on the other hand, can jump right in based on what they may already know or have experienced. Either way, you go through these steps in order to ease the pressure of the pursuit. As they say – knowledge is power and with this confidence you’re more likely to take a chance.

Take action: When you build your confidence to a level of allowing yourself to be curious - be curious and discover. I’ve noticed I can only build confidence when I pair it with action. You’ll notice that when you bump into people who only appear to be confident, it’s because they cannot pair action/evidence to what they appear to know.

The drawback and gain: When the cycle is fully deployed and you didn't gain the results you had expected, you can still leave with the peace of mind of knowing you had explored unknown/unfamiliar territory. Relishing in the fact you gained some sort of knowledge and understanding something you may never have understood before - be it about yourself or anything else. Although you may struggle to repeat the cycle again so soon, you will do so with more caution and preparation. Going through the whole cycle with a positive outcome, you will only become more curious and more confident or vice versa, and as you repeat the process over and over you will gain knowledge and understanding of whom you are which can only work wonders for your own self-esteem.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach