Chapter 2 part 1 – Where do we need to integrate?

What if we integrated in vast ways? Could integrating something small really help? What would happen? Could it be any worse than now? Well this book is a lot about those questions. 

The start of learning to integrate starts with some of these Big Questions. Integration is finding communal balance, blending in our ever changing world is a challenge for everyone (but being tested to the max these days with home quarantines). One day we look at the world and the next we wake it seems different. And sometimes the difference is vast. Integration “needs” typically follow areas where we see: a lack, a need, a better possible way. These creative thoughts you have about community are your opportunity for integration.

It’s in those vast times we can find the answers we seek.

Integration starts… with accepting yourself. 

“Wait, What? No, please don’t say it!”
I hear your cries! 🙂
“Not another self help book…”
Well, yes in a way this is. But you probably thought I was going that way from last weeks chapter. ?

The key aspect of accepting someone else’s view is being confident in your own views AND be open to those views evolving. 

You see, you can not integrate by being you, if you haven’t accepted yourself. If self judgement is your dominant nature, integrating into a new way will feel like nothing but struggling down a never ending road. However, that judgement can intentionally arise as intrigue, in an attempt to learn because you can only integrate if you learn first. To learn first you must be willing to have what thoughts you have, change. When we learn we become different we accept more, we bridge more, we strive more, we succeed more.

This is not to say, you integrate with self and everything will be peaches and cream. Nope, sorry gunna have to find a different book for that. No, what I’m saying is you’ll be able to take the integration in stride, just as though you added the step on your path with easement and grace. Not that there isn’t a challenge but the challenge when viewed as an opportunity to learn can feel like being in elementary school again. That’s okay because at that stage in the game, you are still learning and the time will come when the practice pays off. Note I mentioned you’ll need to practice just like those handwriting assignments in elementary school! ✍? You’ll also learn to accept the importance of recess, adults call it vacation but we really need daily vacations too; Having lunch with friends, will be the highlights of your week as an adult, Because somewhere you heard that asking questions would probably help someone else too who had the same questions. Some of the most fundamental teachings we received in school weren’t the mathematics, or the history class but the built in structure of self care needed for everyday productivity, that as adults we can forgot to make priority.

So, if where we need to integrate starts with ourselves then what’s the talk of these cultures/communities/”others” and such that we need to integrate with?

Most of segregation comes from the inability to integrate and find common ground. It has become acceptable to keep segregated as some attempt to say: “but we’re important, or we’re not being heard, or we aren’t being treated fairly, or but we aren’t like “them””. Knowingly or unknowingly we attempt integration by asking others to just conform to us, or know us without asking questions, or even get angry because someone does ask a question. The resistances comes from the threat or negative mindset of; “if I accept them for theirs, will that affect who and what I am?” That threat is our ego trying to convince us we too need to be isolated yet everyone should be like us. Both view points, whether you are asking or being asked for clarification of your world/bridge language, if your reaction is anger and projection then that’s your ego screaming out. Though in those screams there may be truth to what you say, until you can say it without venom, no one will understand your language. The sad part of this for any of us is that we don’t grow if all we are doing is spewing venom. We stay stagnant in the decision that we DON’T have anything in common. Some even attempt to call this stagnation, stability. If you think that this is you, that’s okay, you’re learning to observe those things in yourself. We all have these parts of us. Acknowledging its existence, is the first step. See it for what it is, and let it go. Then work on replacing it with open eyes, open ears, and an open heart.

Every person has a choice. A choice to look at the world and judge it, OR look at the world and change it! Some think this concept is too much, they could never make a big enough impact to do real change. But if every pebble thrown in a pond over years and years of people tossing pebbles. The pond will change its appearance, yes? The water will rise? The landscape will change? Will it not? But once you’ve noticed the change does it devalue the small pebbles vs. the big pebbles? Nope, just that “It’s” changed! This is the beauty of the whole evolution of our change.

The answer of where in our given communities can we induce more change. That’s all in your ideas, power, decision and passion. What has your passionate button pushed? That “fuel” of passion is what will sustain you through your new integration.

If you still are at a loss of where to start or how to integrate it into your life some of these ideas may help get those creative juices going. Don’t settle for this list, allow it time to strike an idea with you and how you live your life.

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Offer your technical skills to a local nonprofit
  • Be a Big Brother, Big Sister
  • Open a safe center for LGBT or the homeless or refugees
  • Write a Book about how you see the world — This current virus is a world changing event, and your experience is as unique as the number of individuals who contract it. Our history today was written by those who thought to write during historically difficult times.
  • Ask to speak about your experiences at local events — just getting your story and perspective out there can help people bridge with you.
  • Learn a new language spoken in your local area — or travel abroad to help a remote location.
  • Change your career to a focus on helping others
  • Try a new spiritual center / church / worship sanctuary — So many are opening their doors to online worship, this is a great opportunity to try a variety of different practices to find one that might work for you.
  • Volunteer for a teacher in your community — Parents, I know you now have much more understanding of the teachers of your children, when this is all over do you know what it would mean to your teacher to give just 2 hours a week to her classroom to help educate the next generation? HUGE!!
  • Go visit your elderly neighbor and bring a pot roast! — People who live alone are often forgotten when they don’t have family who live close. These are your living encyclopedia’s they have knowledge and experiences that would astound you. This can be the highlight of yours and that new friends week!
  • Organize up a park clean-up day in a underprivileged neighborhood — When I was out on my 6,000 mile road trip I would clean any park I landed at. It was my way of helping out. Kept gloves in the car just for the occasion. Ended up helping out at one parking lot, used for the park but privately owned, the garbage had been dumped all over so I pulled over, spent 10 min getting some exercise and putting it all back in the can and putting the lid back on. It’s the little things. Give yourselves credit for even the little things.
  • Volunteer with your political candidate or group
  • Open a clinic for low cost medical and dental and holistic services
  • Get donations for supplies for a local nonprofit you support
  • Try buying someone a coffee/lunch just because they look cold and may not have the money for a cup of warmth.

Now if you’ve gotten to the end of list and that little voice inside is saying, “yeah, I’ve tried that, I still need something different”…. Your answer, quite simply, is meditation. Spend the time listening to your “gut” more intentionally. You have the answers you seek you just have to be willing to let go, so you can hold your true passion. Meditation is one of the most beneficial, scientifically backed now for all you science heads, to reduce stress and find clarity within yourself. I’m not saying to start with an hour meditation in a pose on the floor. Take it simple, lay on your bed, or sit in your comfy chair. Choose a guided meditation with a focus on what you would like to know. There are so many options, for free even, on YouTube and Pinterest to name a couple. There are also many private networks that offer these with their membership. Maybe meditation in it’s traditional form is what’s turning you off… Okay, did you know that doing the dishes, taking a shower, coloring, knitting, walking, chanting, dancing, drumming (the list goes on and on) are all considered meditative practices? Even practices like Reiki, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, all are seen to have meditative qualities to help relieve stress and assist with connecting with your inner voice. Ultimately, find the avenue that allows for you to “hear” your gut more. 

We integrated in ways that make for a different yet broader bridge for us all. Bridge Languages are about expanding to integrate with another. Even if the change came with ease it was still change, it was still learning to integrate, and it was still a pebble in the pond.

Integrating into “new” helps to have an “on the job training” type of experience. If you are interested in getting involved in the homeless crisis in your area, find the people who work in the field, AND talk to homeless people. It’s amazing to me how many people will want to help a person/community but never talk to them. This is not integration all! That, is conformity. Requiring others to do it just like you do it is conformity! As I have learned over the years of being a corporate trainer, it never works to force someone to do it your way. Show them a way, sure. Then allow for their uniqueness to stand out in their work and as a result their uniqueness in life! I’ve found helping people find their uniqueness helps them become the best they can empowering them to do more.  Forcing people to live/work/play/ like you, rarely works. However, showing them a way and they spin it to their flavor, their flow… well that has success written all over it!

Join me again next week 4/26/2020 for Part 2 of Chapter 2

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