Integrating the Separated Self

The Power of Presence: Meditation

Focused Awareness through Mindfulness

The Power of Breathwork & Embodiment

"The point of power is always in the present moment." Louise Hay

Meditation lives within present awareness. In a meditative state, we promote flexibility in our brain by creating new neural pathways, meaning, through complete presence, we change our brain.

Through this practice, we literally outgrow outdated habits and develop new ways of living, all by training our brain to be strong and supple. This is the process of increasing neuroplasticity—developing new pathways in the brain—and this is the healing power of meditation.

👇🏽 Click on the video for a guided meditation, which is an introduction to mindful embodiment, conscious breathing, and training of the mind. It can also be used as a preparation for a longer meditation by simply staying in meditation through the closing of this video.

Integrating the Separated Self

When we develop new pathways in the brain, we heal the patterns that have been stored in us from the past by creating the potential for new. In a meditative state, we light up our entire brain, connecting the left and right brain while connecting ourselves—integrating all aspects of ourselves that we’ve been cut off from for different reasons:

Trauma. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Denial of unwanted parts of ourselves that parents, partners, friends, or media—society—deemed as unlikable or shameful because they told us this, with their actions, with or without their words.

Rejecting parts of ourselves ultimately means a rejection of ourselves in whole. This disconnects us from ourselves, and this is the most fundamental source of illness.

This segregation within ourselves is why we can feel unseen or unheard, even when we actually are because we aren’t expressing our whole selves. Consciously, or unconsciously, we don’t feel completely authentic.

It is because of this separation within ourselves that we can feel a void, deep loneliness, that needs to be filled with another person, work, status or prestige, or food, alcohol, smoking, and so on.

This separation from our whole selves leaves us deeply unsettled, and therefore, the integration of all aspects of ourselves—both desirable and undesirable—is the most fundamental aspect in our healing, our power, our freedom.

This is liberation: when we have nothing to hide from ourselves or from others, when we are aware and in love with the whole of ourselves, only then can we feel truly expressed and in service and in love with others and the world around us.

The Power of Present Awareness

But to do this, we have to bring all of the aspects of self into the light, and the most effective way to do this is through presence, awareness, and acceptance—not because we can’t change what is, but because we can’t change what is until we are aware of it, one, and know it, two. The knowing comes with acceptance.

This is where our power lies with our own health. This is where it lies within social health. This is how we can change ourselves. This is how we can change our world—by first becoming aware of and knowing what our world currently is, ugliness and all.

We can’t change something we ignore. We can’t consciously change that which we cannot see. We can’t intentionally change our unconscious mind until it becomes conscious.

Presence shines the light of awareness, and acceptance rests into this awareness, where we discover clarity, our wholeness, our soul, that illuminates and motivates any action required of us.

This is “meditation.”

Presence in this moment, here and now, is the most powerful medicine we have.

Focused Awareness through Mindfulness

Mindfulness is focused. When we’re guided by someone. When we focus on our breathing. When we’re counting. When we use tools to loosen our grip on our thoughts and daydreams. These tools prepare us and lead us into the meditative state.

If you just sit and “try to meditate,” what is your mind doing? Are thoughts running wild? But do some breathing first, or some yoga-asana, or go deeper into a body scan. Then rest into meditation. Feel the difference.

The point of yoga as the modern world knows it—the physical practice—is to prepare the body for meditation (savasana). Pranayama, and other breath practices, may offer as preparation for deeper meditation.

Anything can be done mindfully: taking a walk, playing a sport, writing or reading, in conversation, cooking, and eating. Anything. We do so by being completely immersed, with focused awareness, in each moment.

We often consciously begin to learn mindfulness in “meditation,” so when we’re seated or lying down. (Or in a walking meditation.) We do this mostly because it’s easier to begin this way.

We take advantage of the mindfulness practice to focus on our emotions, to become more emotionally integrated and intelligent. We may be mindful of our thoughts and relationship to them, in training to become the master of our minds.

We may be mindful of our breathing or being embodied, because they are potent preparations to ease us into a meditative state, and because embodiment, and breathwork, offer a long list of other health benefits.

The Power of Breathwork & Embodiment


Because mostly focuses on reducing the causes and symptoms of chronic stress, we want the breath to be gentle and easy. There are times for more activated breathing practices (to create acute stress in building resilience, which is for more experienced practitioners and can be harmful depending on various health complications) but for those of us with tense nervous systems, we need to begin by taking the pressure off of ourselves. Gentle, conscious breathing is an incredible tool for this!

👉🏼 Breathing with the diaphragm, or abdominal breathing, is safe for everyone, calms the nervous system, activates the immune system, and is a highly effective key to enter a meditative state.

👉🏼 Consciously slowing and smoothing the breath impacts the entire body by slowing down the heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and decreasing stress hormones as thoughts naturally become less distressing with this breathing.

👉🏼 Elongating exhales to twice the length of inhales stimulates the vagus nerve. This acts as an automatic brake on the sympathetic nervous system, which repairs stress-effects, such as reducing inflammation, strengthening brain-gut communication, and increasing positive emotions and social connection. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a systemic, and therefore, potent treatment for many health conditions that stem from chronic stress and trauma.


To be embodied means to consciously be in our body, to feel our body, to know our body from within. The simplest way out of a stress response, and to find our way out of chronic stress patterns, is to get into our bodies. This is also a powerful tool for healing trauma.

Our body is our unconscious mind. All memories and emotions are stored in our bodies! When we take our consciousness into our bodies, we make the unconscious conscious. We can then intentionally embrace ourselves in full awareness. This is the process of knowing our whole selves, to be able to listen to our body that already knows how to care for itself.

The meditation here is intentionally only ten minutes so time isn’t an issue—and beginning with shorter meditations is helpful for those with a history of trauma—and it isn’t too challenging when beginning to practice. Again, feel free to stay and enjoy a longer meditation as feels appropriate when using the video.

Let me know how it works for you, or if you have any questions, here or by keeping in touch in the Holistic Liberation Facebook group.

Holistic Liberation: Holistic Practices for Freedom From Stress Effects written on image of sun breaking through clouds over water

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