Originally published 22 April 2019. Updated 31 October 2022 for accuracy and relevance.
What is integration work?
Integration work is a process of actively connecting your mind, heart, body, and spirit. It is something that I have personally felt, benefitted from and continue to investigate. Now I want to share this approach with others as a means of guiding them toward a more holistic way of being.
In this post, I share my story in the hope that it may inspire you to discover your way to greater integration. Find out more about connecting your mind and body in my latest book Body Talk: How to tap into your hidden superpower.
Spirituality finds us all because we are spiritual at our core
Late into a dark night, over ten years ago, I experienced one of the most profoundly vivid spiritual moments of my life. At the time I was struggling with depression.
One of the key chapters of my life was ending. My body was failing me and I felt lost, abandoned and alone.
In the midst of all the darkness, tears, and fear, an angel appeared on my bed. It was white, gentle and incredibly beautiful. It did not speak but with its presence and light, it reminded me that I was not alone in my distress.
I am not very religious but for many years I have called on the spirit of my beloved grandfather to look out for me. I would do this, especially during periods of stress and when I felt too weak to face the task of life.
In moments like these, I felt more like a small child, rather than a fully functional adult. Having my grandfather’s spirit to watch over me gave me comfort. I felt a tad guilty for making this demand on him. In my culture, the spirits of the departed are not meant to linger around. Then in 2018, my second visit to Brazil gave me a chance to finally say goodbye.
Many years ago, I made a deeply spiritual journey to Rio in Brazil to essentially kick-start my adult life adventure. And now I was returning to Brazil, San Pauls to close a long chapter of my life and begin another. It was during this trip that I encountered another spirit in the night.
Meeting one of my Spirit guides
One night I became conscious of a presence in my room. I was lying in bed semi-awake and felt my hand being held by another. It was a large, heavy hand of something invisible to my eyes yet completely real to my sense of touch.
My mind scanned old memories of what it felt like to hold my father’s hand as a little girl, and my grandfather’s. Yet the hand I was holding did not belong to either of these two men. It was a hand I did not recognize. And yet, as it grasped mine I felt comforted and safe. I have encountered spirits before and I believe they are an important channel of connection to other people, our ancestors and angels.
The next day, I was going to see a spirit worker and a friend. As soon as we began to work together and she began to connect to the spirit world, she came to embody a male figure. A small woman turned into a much larger figure with a deep voice and said was my ‘protector’.
Through her I was assured that my Spirit guide was always with me, watching over me and ensuring I was safe. She conveyed important wisdom he wanted me to know. What she said was true and personally relevant. It was after this experience that I finally stopped to call on my grandfather’s spirit. I felt I was now able to let him go. I had another. My trip to Brazil confirmed what I always knew to be true.
I was and remain to this day in the company of good spirits. They help guide me on my path of work as a healer and integration pioneer whose life and work lifts other minds, hearts, bodies and spirits.
The Spirit present in nature
I am not new to Spirit work. As a child growing up in a small town in Easter Poland called Ulanow, I would spend most of my free time in nearby forests and next to our two rivers or the sanctuary of an empty church.
I felt a special connection to solitude, nature, and something I could not name back then: Spirit. It was everywhere. It dwelled in the gentle silence of the winter snow covering the evergreen pines. The gentle shimmer and whisper of leaves and tree branches swaying in the breeze. It told stories of war, love, sacrifice, and lives lost during the Second World War.
These voices from beyond were especially loud on one edge of the forest full of unmarked Jewish graves if you slowed down to listen. I often cycled past it with my bike to woody swamps to collect spring flowers and listen to the trickle of freshwater stream purifying itself over the stones. I could easily get lost for hours on end in nature unafraid and blissfully unaware of my apparent solitude. Or, I’d sit in a quiet church listening to silence.
The Animal Spirits
I could hear the Spirit in the sounds of the owls and other birds in the treetops. The mystery was present in the beautiful, bushy tail of a fox or a red squirrel or a hedgehog you could come across while in search of mushrooms. The smell of earth and moss carried Spirit up to your nostrils. Tall green ferns with their magical spiral buds opened secret doorways to hidden mysteries.
I’d especially loved the energy of a forest clearing. Here trees would give space to an open plane of tall grass, wildflowers, and rows of red poppies. Sometimes you could spot a small baby deer arrested in fright behind a tree by my human presence or a hare attuning to my heartbeat.
The Spirit of the Big Apple
My family and I emigrated to the Big Apple of New York City and I felt the Spirit there too. It would make itself felt early in the morning as the city came to life. You could sense it in the late afternoons and at night driving over the bridges across the Hudson River. You could hear it in nightclubs and poetry nights and walking the streets in the rain. I found myself seeking it often.
In the dusky, cool, silent cathedrals and churches of the city and the public parks. In second-hand shops and unrenovated pubs imbued with history. You could feel it riding the underground. Spirit was everywhere. I would recognize it in the laughter of children from city playgrounds and in the warmth of the way many old New Yorkers greeted each other in local delis and on the street corners.
I felt it deeply in my bones and in the hearts of my fellow men and women riding the subways. And in these moments my heart was filled with a profound sense of peace, order, and gladness.
This feeling and way of being was how I began to discover the distinct presence of mind, heart, body, and spirit. However, these four elements do not always connect. And this fascinates me.
One of life’s key goals is integration
Our mind, heart, body and spirit are not always together. Some people feel Spirit, while others seek it by any means possible. Many are too busy and some are not very interested. I was somehow blessed that I found it and connecting to it was easy.
This intelligence and a way of being are what I now call an integrated self and an interconnected consciousness. When I say integrated self I mean a way of being where the mind is calm, the heart is deeply glad and at peace, the body feels safe and able to recharge and the spirit is alive.
Interconnected consciousness exists at an energetic level. It is a point where there seems to be no boundary between what is me and what is someone else. Where all things are one.
Many people today seek a higher purpose as a way to locate inspiration, meaning or direction. They seem to seek a reason to live whilst also fearing death. What I often find is that internally they are disconnected or not aligned.
Learning about the nervous system was a magical doorway into a whole new world of possibility
As a neuroscientist, I now know that feeling integrated is what the nervous system is designed to wire into. Such a state of being is naturally recharging and wholesome. When we are integrated we are able to be creative, we feel grounded, strong and empowered.
Within internal unity dwells wholeness which brings with it strength. When mind, heart, body, and spirit scatter there is little in the center of our being. Instead, each part fights its own battles engaged in a different agenda leaving us divided and substantially weakened.
At a collective level lack of integration in one individual has the power to scatter others as well. It breaks harmony and balance. It occupies places where it is not meant to be doing what it is not meant to do. However, trauma, difficult life events, and stress can make each of us disconnected inside.
Integration work I pioneer
After years of training and connecting the dots across neuroscience, education, positive psychology, existential philosophy and spiritual and trauma-recovery work, today I pioneer the work of Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit integration. I help individuals and groups heal internal conflicts that divide and scatter them within. I read and stay connected to leading practitioners across different traditions and ways of working to help me stay at the leading edge of my work.
I am constantly humbled and awed by the work. Its power to transform people’s lives and heal long-standing traumas is breathtaking. As is the way people recover energy and renewed light, hope and faith in living. I have benefited from it in my personal life and I bring it to others as a coach-therapist and healer.
Integration work is a garden I tender with love and curiosity
I have been doing this sort of integration work for many years. Yet I still often feel I have barely scratched the surface.
This is why I keep on learning, experimenting and growing my knowledge and expertise. With each year, the work yields new fruit in the form of new tools, insights, and activities that I collect and share with an ever-growing number of my fellow men and women.
Thank you for being here and reading this.
Irrespective of race, gender, age, origin or religion I find that the integration I teach resonates deeply with all people. They can see it at work in their lives and the world.
Against all challenges and in all the moments of triumphs, my foundation and the best medicine is integration.
Integration helps me collect myself – where I actually am in mind, heart, body, and spirit. It helps me return to my center where I can respond to things instead of reacting to what’s happening around me and within me.
It helps me face my shame, my anger, my resentments, and my fears as much as it helps me rise up to my highest aspirations, dreams, and longings. It reminds me that I am as whole as I choose to be.
- I am reminded that my core nature is as a Spirit.
- I am having a human experience in my physical body. It is my responsibility to take care of this body and love it.
- My mind is here to assist me.
- My heart is here to help me pilot my life path.
- Each moment is a new discovery as each moment is a fresh new arrangement of these four elements in me.
- Each moment my relationships and the world around me reflect back my level of integration.
When we integrate – we create with our whole being
We co-create together: Mind, Heart, Body, and Spirit. And, we co-create with other minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits as well. In the process, we flow and triumph.
Integration work has helped me find my internal spiritual center, relax and flow better with what is.
I want you to know that the same is possible for you. We don’t need to escape life to find it. It is possible to find bliss and happiness that can be felt in every cell of your body.
You don’t need to run away from life to a mystical retreat in the high mountains of Tibet, the hot deserts of North Africa or the rain forests of Latin America. These experiences and many others are wonderful adventures. But if you’re seeking peace, love, and healing they already dwell within you.
Benefit from guided Heart and Mind integration work
I would love to show you how to tap into them.
There are many ways we can work together – live group work, retreats, digital courses, masterclasses or one-to-one work. You can find out more about these offerings on my Events, Shop and Coaching page. The best way to make contact is via my website and you can also connect with me via LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.