Integrating all aspects of YOU
While I was doing my coaching course, we were advised to focus on finding and developing our own niche as coaches. My thought process kept bringing me back to the term “integration” – a concept that has often featured in my life, in a number of ways.
I was first introduced to “integration” when, as an Occupational Therapy student in the nineties, we learnt about how better results are achieved when the two sides of our bodies and brains work together. Much more so, than when we rely on only one side. Integration can be defined as the process of combining two or more things in an effective way so that they form a unified whole that is more than merely the sum of its parts. Disintegration then is the loss of effectiveness, cohesion, strength – a process of fragmenting or falling apart. We experience disintegration when we feel overwhelmed by external and internal stressors and challenges, when our parts are not working together smoothly.
When we experience stressful circumstances, we often struggle with strong emotions like anger, pain, anxiety and fear. It feels like they are taking over our lives, and often we try to avoid dealing with them for as long as possible. However, suppressing them often results in an uncontrolled pressure-cooker effect: the pot boils over or even explodes, often when it is most inconvenient.
There is an alternative. By integrating those strong emotions into our lives, learning what lessons we can from them, and harnessing the motivation and energy they give us we can implement real change in our circumstances or grow in our ability to deal with them. This journey will feel uncomfortable at times, but the reward of reaching the destination – a more unified, integrated, cohesive personality and way of living – is well worth it. It involves owning all aspects of our identity – emotional, psychological, relational, spiritual, cultural and social. While it is certainly our OWN identity, it is often useful to have someone to talk to and walk alongside us, as we work to unify all elements that comprise the ‘complete me’.
I believe that we come up with our best ideas when we are listened to well. We also understand the complexities of our own situations far better than anyone else does. The desire to accompany others on a journey to integration motivated my decision to build my niche here: to offer the opportunity to be actively listened to; to encourage the development of great ideas; to discover your own agency in solving the challenges you face; to move towards greater self awareness and integration.
As a Personal Integration Coach, I am committed to partnering with individuals on a journey towards greater cohesion. This may involve developing self-awareness, increasing emotional intelligence, looking after our mental health, improving social skills, deepening relationships, connecting to our communities, juggling different roles, setting boundaries, managing stress, rooting our practice in our faith, developing practical routines and growing in resilience and perseverance.
I will partner with you in discovering how you have been placed in your context with specific skills, passions and experiences that can help you meet your challenges and move you towards personal flourishing and the flourishing of others around you. Integration coaching can take place on a one-to-one basis or, if you feel comfortable doing so, in a group session, where there is the opportunity to support and be supported by others going through similar challenges.
If integration is something on your radar, let’s explore how we can approach this important journey together.