Everything, Everywhere, All At Once: Let Integration Bring You HomeAug 05, 2022
By Shiri Godasi
I finally got to watch the film everyone has been talking about everywhere. If you’re not sure which one, the title is at the bottom of this piece. I am also just reintegrating from a trip to my birth place, Israel. All I can muster right now is “What a trip” and “life imitates art”. For the record, Israel came first, in linear time.
This trip to Israel was not just any trip - it was 3+ weeks of sleeping in my childhood apartment, for the first time in 33 years, with the entire blood family constellation - parents, siblings, sister in law, and now grandkids, all under one roof. It was a special reunion that after a full year of isolation in Costa Rica I felt excited and very much yearned for. I deeply missed the sense of home, and was eager to provide my little girl/my daughter with that experience.
Our family has been through a lot over the years, the trauma runs deep through our soul-contract and discombobulated earthly dynamics. Some of these key players have gifted me years upon years of swirling in psychological complex vortexes. I’ve visited these places through numerous psychedelic and plant medicines. Like many of You, the amounts of personal “work” I’ve enlisted into to free mySelf and my family in multiple dimensions and realities can fill shelves of Self-Development books. I’ve flipped the pages on the many stories and myths that programmed us, many still enmeshed and throat-fed to this day. Us kids are all in our 40’s and we are still learning to be a family.
“If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family” - Ram Dass
For many families just the thought of sharing more than a good meal (think Thanksgiving weekend) is enough to have their therapist on standby. I associate with this group. Still, the opportunity to put my hard-earned integration work to the ultimate ‘real life’ test felt thrilling. In my mind’s eye through long-term integration my most sinister stories were acknowledged, shredded and rewritten. I’ve accomplished some significant achievements living away from the core family unit and was ready to share myself more vulnerably. Also, I was tempted to step into the past, if momentarily, to observe the long path that’s been made and (hopefully) learn just how much I have changed so to give myself a good pat on the back, maybe a standing ovation.
In the innocent yet zealous projections into the summer, something was forgotten: the fact that in the past year I have been existing, operating and creating from an entirely different dimension of space and time, in a tropical, peaceful piece of paradise that for most people remains a lifelong distant dream. Costa Rica was chosen carefully as an escape route once LA became too intense; we desperately sought a place free from the burden of big-city social constructs, where middlemen are eliminated and nature rules. A reality of rainforests and sea, it is wildly detached from commonday issues of urban living. Not without struggles, but with its own standards and in its own cadence.
Moving there, in leu of hard walls and military nations to model after - Costa Rica has no army - I found myself quickly disarming from decades of indoctrination. This warm and embracing land lovingly opened up her vast landscape and invited me to cut the BS, explore and discover, to reciprocate and integrate within her my own individual version of wilderness.
Really, it was too easy. Remove the pollution, politics, parking tickets and people strung out on 14 hour work days; replace them with unpaved roads, coconuts & sunsets, worries washed away by cascading ocean waves. It’s hard to stay stressed and mad when everything around you is Pura Vida. Stay there long enough and you can easily forget, there are other realities out there. You submit to the natural powers, in awe of the beauty. And perhaps some humility is lost.
Always Remember Your Pride
So I signed up for 3+ weeks of this mega reunion and confidently paraded into the lion’s den.
From there, there are fragments:
Tending to my 4 y/o daughter Myla 24/7, exploring the homeland, keeping her entertained, caring for all of her needs, exclusively and without help for the entire 3 weeks.
Playing with my girl in the same playground I visited as a little girl… Watching her walk the same streets… Talk about a trip.
My mother trying to be of help in all of the ways I could not accept, and unable to assist in all the ways I needed. Patterns of feeling unseen, unheard, unsafe, attacked.
Communication breakdowns, emotional standoffs, mental pressure, anxiety, dissociation. Jump-starting between archetypes and roles of a mother, a daughter, a little girl with pigtails. A sister, an aunt to my nieces.
Conversation with my dad casually revealing patterns of intergenerational trauma.
Got so incredibly physically ill, one night I was having a difficult time breathing. I was driven to urgent care and diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Spent time in bed dosed on antibiotics. Then payed it forward to my daughter and two elderly parents.
Two personal and devastating events occurred to our younger brother, in a single week.
The new dryer my parents just purchased broke down.
Got trapped twice in the worst traffic jams I have ever experienced, with a tired child in the backseat and an empty tank of fuel.
Now, I am from LA. We Angelenos know sitting in traffic. This was apocalypse style, by god’s grace we physically survived.
A general and ongoing sensation of being violated by Israel’s notorious pizazz: the brutal heat and smog, incessant construction and excessive noise levels, clouds of perfume and cigarette smoke, mega shopping centers flashing consumerist culture... Mixed with euphoria of the novelty and abundance of cutting edge technology, sky-high urban development, art exhibits, culinary genius, and of course - people of all types. My people. A disorganized melting-pot culture like no other, the one that has shaped me. A feast for the eyes, a schizophrenic and tantalizing chaos that is so unique to this place, my home land. You can take a girl out of Israel, but you can’t take Israel out of the girl.
The suffocation - a tiny piece of long and loaded history, a holy land that’s also cursed, so diverse and divisive, exploited and abused, the earth is CHARGED with millennia of battles, aggressively occupied without consent. A constant sense of competition with millions of people over minimal resources, a congestion. The nervous system was on constant alert, on fight mode. I finally beat the pneumonia, it was still so hard to breathe.
There was utter, perpetual and constant chaos. In the home and outside of it, everything, everywhere, all the time. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Nowhere to take a grounding breath, to connect, to rest a minute.
What Reality Is This?
And with my perceived inability to remain centered in the madness, I knew that this was all a manifestation of my internal reality. And that I CAN choose to stop the chaos at any moment. But the reality I faced was that I was too triggered by the trauma, beaten down and defeated. My new story had no space in the existing family constellation, no room of its own - only the one that hosted me in my youth on a twin bed. And I couldn’t muster the strength to insist on leaving the family home and getting my own space, suitable to accommodate the grown person I am now. I became a walking shadow of myself, minimized, lost my health and my voice. Reviving myself through excessive shopping and eating, counting days to the end of the trip, for this reality to return to being a distant dream.
It was a Self-abandonment of the highest order; I have been through this lesson before, but never in this magnitude.
And as if that was not enough, there was no escape from the traps of my own mind. I began beating myself with anger and shame, towering over and looking downward at my soul scraps laying at rock bottom, at disbelief of my behaviors and reactions, the internal loathing flaming my gut.
How have You, a person of this stature with all of your supposed spiritual awareness, education, experience, managed to disintegrate in this way?
How have You become so weak, so easily lending yourself to the same story? And for the life of god, why are You not rising above the BS?
The self berating may have been the most brutal part. The villain, the victim, the author and reader - like a house of mirrors, everywhere I looked, it was all me.
There was an abundance of great times too. Visiting tons of attractions with Myla. Cuddle parties with my nieces that used to be tiny babies and are now teenagers, getting to know them for who they are as young adults. Long nightly walks in the summer breeze through my youth’s hood. Nonstop indulgence in some of the best food in the world with coffee bars second only to Italy. A live rock concert in King Herod’s ancient ruins celebrating 25 years of sisterhood with my bestie. A visionary hummus spread exploring psychedelic-infused culture with a dear brother. Museums, fountains, plays, parks galore. So fun.
Curiously there was also an ancient and burning desire to create, especially music. I wrote 6 poems and songs and an article on this tour, auspicious considering how packed the minutes were. I also managed to get some work done, lead a playshop, even get my hair done. It was all rich.
But back to the feeling of defeat. As you see, I had my ass whipped and handed to me on this trip.
How did I freefall into the trap of becoming that little girl, with boatloads of childhood trauma *that I was positive was resolved* smeared in my face like humble pie? How have I given away my power to external circumstance? Why was I allowing the complete suffocation of my life force? I’ve gotta know all the things.
The truth is it was a surreal reality. Not just in terms of revisiting the past with a mini-me in tow. Indeed, I was finally “home”. This was the house where I grew up, the same kitchen where my mom and I had baked our first cake. The same elementary school right out the balcony, same little neighborhood market and road where I roller-skated for days on end. The same people, same mother tongue language, same scents, same land.
But this wasn’t the cozy home I was waiting to melt into - this was the darkest ally of my existence, inhabited with the ghosts of past floating through thick stench of toxic Self-betrayal. A place from which I caught the echoes of my inner chambers wishing death upon my perpetrators, upon myself. Forget jumpstarting to paradise, just make it stop.
Bring It Home
Once we finally boarded that departing flight I vividly felt my soul return to my body. I can’t describe it other than it felt as if I was abruptly unplugged and extracted from an alternate dimension in the metaverse and was finally catching my breath. I was conscious again, beginning to question what had just happened. Where was I? What within me wanted to call in this bizarre experience, to visit this reality? When all I wanted was to feel at home again.
Such a small expectation.
At that moment I realized that the root of the suffering was an attachment for my little girl to feel that sense of home.
And the subjective interpretation of that sense of home was based on outdated stories; maybe it was a reality that existed once, somewhere, and is no longer.
But if psychedelics have taught me anything, it’s to question and challenge every form and construct, to forgo the stories, particularly those on the physical plane. Also, to tap into the vibration, the e-motion/energy in motion. The feeling.
The notion of “home” is not defined by the geography of birth, the walls that hosted our bodies as children, nor the blood-family characters. These are all sociocultural narratives, material reiterations to the metaphysical feeling of belonging. Of feeling like you are connected, a part of a tribe, of a greater whole, a natural assimilation with the environment. To set aside the loneliness epidemic, the greatest dis-ease of our lifetime, and return to the connection with the great mothership, with Source, with All.
It’s a resonance with hOMe, with internal peace.
The sobering truth was that my attempt to reintegrate within the Earthly narratives which I have come to falsely own as true, was naive at best. I confused those narratives as the mothership. I was also holding on to a fantasy reality when the world is rapidly changing, people change. What is known as a default reality one day, what is “real”, may no longer be so tomorrow. As the ground keeps getting swept from beneath our feet through global or individual events the challenge at hand is to learn to jumpstart between realities and navigate different terrains. We can no longer afford to hold on to what was in the past, nor expect for things to go back to “normal”.
Integration Is Where I AM
As for me, I am no longer that little girl. I am a grown woman. And the visions I have anchored and continue to work towards anchoring on the physical plane have long outgrown that tiny childhood apartment and cramped, chaotic land.
Trying to hold on to the past, to breathe life into it, literally took my breath away and made me physically sick. And this enlightened, limitless visionary spirit that is full presence everywhere all at once is learning to dance with their unenlightened, ADHD’ed limited mortal existence, with its presenting conditions in the now, without getting ahead of itself. A delicate journey of humility while embodying the joy of what is.
So deeply attuned to the what is in the now, so honoring of it, there is no reliance on any external reality. Through every jumpstart, every reality, presence is. Thriving is. I AM.
So I honor what is now.
I honor that for my creative force to take full manifestation it requires a wealth of space and support from resources that are on par with the mission.
I honor that for my type of energy to thrive and reciprocate, being surrounded by kindness, patience and calmness is not an entitlement - it’s a requirement.
I honor that my deepest wisdom is freely expressed when nestled in the stillness and wild nature of Costa Rica.
I honor that the best version of myself is what I wish to be in the world. And I am committed to coexisting only with the external circumstances that can support this version.
So many needs, conditions. Am I truly free as I want to believe?
Perhaps one day I will be strong, powerful and enlightened “enough” to not need to rely on exterior decor in order to feel safe and be fully in love with myself, be the light everywhere, at all times.
But psychedelic integration is not about enlightenment in what may be perceived as its conventional sense (whatever it is). It’s about continuous attunement to everything, everywhere, all at once; and the relationship of the Self - the spark of Source and fragment of god that is represented in the individual and that we get a glimpse of in psychedelic states - with that chaotic human environment. It’s an awareness and consideration of all presenting conditions on all planes, then making a free+empowered choice and taking the mundane action that would turn that spark, that flash of illumination, into abiding light.
And that judgment-free zone, that acceptance of the messiness of who I am as I am and holding what is, is where I can relax into just enough for it to feel like home.
PS - I highly recommend watching the film Everything, Everywhere, All At Once. Then to watch it again.
Shiri Godasi (She/Her) is a teacher, visionary creatrix, depth poet and mother. She is best known for her pioneering methods in the field of psychedelic integration and community bridging, including founding 5 psychedelic harm reduction organizations. She is passionate about creating a decolonized, psychedelic-positive counterculture and empowering others to step into radical authenticity/radical action to co-create a just world. Her professional certification program The Psyched Soul PlaySkool of Integration & Soulpreneurship trains people to become creative system disruptors through expert psychedelic support and heart-centered leadership. Her approach draws from transpersonal psychology, New-Earth sacred commerce, Eastern philosophy and multidisciplinary arts, fusing ancient wisdom with modern practices for a ‘Psyched’ lifestyle.
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