Integration: The Path to Becoming Whole
There are many practices that can cultivate our skillfulness in becoming whole and many pathways that support our practices. One pathway that I truly believe in is the OHI Program because it gives each person the basic knowledge and tools to integrate the body, mind and spirit; and by doing such, we achieve optimum health, which results in transformation into whole beings.
Another pathway where I’ve seen folks have great success is with the OHI Missionary Program, which presents a deeper, more intensive journey because it provides the opportunity for OHI Program Graduates to work and serve together while living in community. OHI Missionaries are challenged with maintaining the balance between providing service to others while maintaining focus on his or her own healing. When these two goals come into conflict and resistance rears its head, this is when we need to pay attention because this is where the work is. The resistance is here to teach us something that we’ve not yet acknowledged or learned to accept, appreciate or integrate. Integrating does not mean that we blindly accept, rather it means that we take the time to examine our situation, apply discernment and hold ourselves accountable – as we unfold, grow and blossom into fuller beings.
As we are restored to wholeness, we become integrated on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We are also more accepting of others and ourselves. We are better able to be with pleasant and unpleasant situations, which results in us being more responsive and less reactive. We hold life in high positive regard, which means we take less for granted and are more appreciative. We better accept where we are in life and we might even go so far as to welcome life’s “opportunities for growth” – which are often paired with struggle and resistance but also come with a deep inner-knowing that this too shall pass and once it does, we will have stronger faith, will and character. Restoring to wholeness prompts us to put aside our self-centeredness and live a more conscious life that is in harmony with ourselves, one another, Nature and our Creator. When we feel more at one with all in Creation, we feel calmer, clearer, more balanced and trusting. Our hearts are more open, and we feel more deeply connected – more complete. And by golly, who wouldn’t want that?
While overseeing the Missionary Program, I’ve witnessed oppositional roommates become best friends; shy folks find their voice and some not-so-shy folks become content with peace and quiet; people who were more self-centered become more selfless; and people who were more outwardly focused become more inwardly focused.
If I could only use two words to describe the end result of the OHI Program and OHI Missionary Program, I would say “becoming whole”. If I could only use one word, I would say, “healing”. And again I ask, “Who wouldn’t want that?”
Director of Community Development
Free Sacred Trinity Church