Integrating what you learn is a challenging and important part of any new experience. Having returned from my third trip to Ghana, I am still processing and wanting to honor my insights and new awareness.
It’s interesting traveling to Ghana – it is like stepping into another world. Their customs and traditions are different, their beliefs are different, and their day-to-day life is much harder than ours. Yet they live with great love and integrity. Coming from a place of relative privilege, I have been honored by what I’ve experienced and the acceptance I’ve received from people I now call friends.
My clinical work has been influenced by what I have witnessed, having attended dozens of their drumming and dance ceremonies that honor their beliefs. Here’s how I work on integrating what I’ve discovered and learned.
NOTICE WHAT CATCHES YOUR ATTENTION
Travel for me is like being a cultural anthropologist – I like to notice everything that is different and examine its impact. From this perspective, I usually find what I think is better and helpful, what would be useful to me and those I serve. Without a doubt, the focal point of these trips has been on the spiritual aspects of the lives of rural Ghanaians in the Volta region and how they integrate it into everything they do.
Whether you travel or attend trainings or do something new, try noticing what is new and interesting. There is a reason it’s capturing your attention. There is something for you to learn. Get curious and discover what it is.
WHY’S IT IMPORTANT – HOW DOES IT CHANGE YOU
I am always humbled, humbled by how hard they work, their generosity of spirit and how they live by simple clear principles. I’m impressed by their acceptance of all spiritual beliefs, with the mindset that the gods (as they call ascended masters and spiritual guides) choose you. It’s a relationship – one you nurture and use regularly. All matters are taken to their gods for consultation. This has had a profound impact on my meditation practice, as I do this now too and it’s strengthened my teaching and clinical work significantly. Attend one of my workshops to hear more – I can talk for days on this.
To do this yourself, find the most important and salient point of change in your experience. Sit with it afterwards and consider the crucial message of your experience and let it sink in. I’ve been back several weeks and I’m just beginning to get into the full weight of what’s valuable.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO INTEGRATE IT
Like anything new, if you don’t integrate it into what you do regularly, it won’t have lasting impact. What’s been most important for me, is integrating their spiritual rituals into my mediation practice and workshops. They are the keepers of the Hermetic Principles which guide my work. The idea “As Above, So Below” (The Law of Correspondence) is literal and I now I more fully understand it’s truth. It’s like getting an infusion to be there.
What are some ways your experiences can be integrated? We have learned to cook Ghanaian dishes, like Jollof rice and tilapia and have some of their art objects and cloth in our house. But more importantly is how your experiences change you from the inside out. For me, it has been a spiritual journey. For Lee, it has influenced the music he writes.
When you travel, go to a workshop, or do something new, figure out how to integrate what you have learned. Notice what catches your attention and determine what it means. Ask yourself why it is important and how it can change you and finally take responsibility to integrate it into your life. Make the most of your experiences – it’s all important!
Have you had experiences you’d like to explore and understand? My Transformational Coaching, Therapy and workshops can help you integrate them in a meaningful way. Go to www.spectrumtranformation.com for more information and use my Free Consultation link to reach me. I’d love to hear from you