The River of Integration – Discovering Flow and Harmony Between the Chaos and Rigidity

What is the River of Integration?

The River of Integration is a metaphor coined by Daniel Siegel in his book Mindsight. It is used to describe a human being that is thriving, healthy and well. When the river (and human being) is integrated, healthy and flowing, it is –

  • Flexible,
  • Adaptive,
  • Coherent,
  • Energised, and
  • Stable.

On either side of the river are two banks. The banks are –

  • Chaos – where things feel out of control, unpredictable and unstable, and
  • Rigidity – where you try to control everything and everyone around you.


A picture of the River of Integration would look like –


Unfolding Moment By Moment

The River of Integration is the living of life as it unfolds moment by moment. There will be areas of life and situations where it is easier to live in the river and other parts that will be more challenging and difficult, where you may be more rigid or move towards chaos. This is where the practising of self-awareness, mindfulness, self-compassion and others skills come in. By monitoring your self, you can start to identify when you are getting too close to either river bank and adjust your course as you choose!


Over to You…

Was this metaphor useful for you and could it be added to your toolkit for living whole-heartedly? When could you see yourself using it? Feel free to share any insights below in the comments section.


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards your freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Siegel, D. (2009). Mindsight – The New Science of Personal Transformation. NSW, Australia: Scribe Publications.

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