In today’s world of breakneck technology, I’ve noticed that everyone is talking about
“integration:” How do you get your Facebook Page and Twitter account to work together? How can you sync up your iPhone with your computer address book? How can you share content for your email newsletter and your blog?
Yet every time I hear the word, I think of another use: the idea of “integration” for human behavior. Beyond technology, how do we integrate the things that really matter?
I asked Chris White, a pediatrician and the founder of Essential Parenting, to tell me more about integration when it comes to health and human behavior: As a student of Dr. Dan Siegel and the founder of a parenting model that combines Buddhism, attachment theory, and Interpersonal Neurobiology, he calls integration “the linkage of differentiated parts.” When these parts link together, he says, you become more adaptable, flexible, and harmonious.
“All systems must be integrated to function well,” White says. “Our very health and sense of well-being depend upon it.” He continues: “The body does not work well unless its different tissues and organs are communicating and working together. The same is true for the brain, the mind, a family, and a society.
We want to know: What does “integration” mean to you? What areas of your life feel integrated — and what areas need some work?