MysticMag chats with Gregg Westwood, M.A. – a daring spiritual explorer and healer committed to guiding individuals in unlocking their authentic soul expression. With a background spanning dance, acting, massage therapy, and somatic psychotherapy, he values the body’s wisdom and the healing potency of creative expression. Gregg’s Depth Integration practice merges ancient traditions with contemporary healing methods, emphasizing intuitive journeys through breath, body, and holistic wellness. As a best-selling author, he hosts summits and leads workshops worldwide, focusing on conscious embodiment and trauma healing, aiming to foster self-compassion, creativity, and purposeful living. With Gregg, discover deeper realms of being for a profoundly enriched life experience.
How did your personal journey and experiences lead you to develop Depth Integration as a holistic approach to healing and wellness? Could you share pivotal moments that shaped your understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection?
After college, my journey led me to New York City to pursue acting and dance, marking the beginning of my spiritual exploration. It was there that I delved into meditation, encountered my first spirit guide, and had transformative experiences like my initial therapy session, time in a float tank, and introduction to breathwork. While managing a restaurant at Lincoln Center, I found a talent for massage, leading me to Heartwood Institute in Northern California after a referral from my massage therapists. Transitioning from the city to rural Northern California, I immersed myself in learning how to release physical and emotional blocks, first through massage, later expanding into breathwork and the Hendricks method of transpersonal body therapy. Through Native American ceremonies like sweat lodges and teepee rituals, I discovered profound love, relaxation, and compassion, realizing that my essence lay beyond thoughts and fears, in a field of compassion, love, forgiveness, and joy. These ceremonies taught me the art of commitment—to stay with the process, especially in challenging moments, guiding me to hold space for others in their healing journey and empowering them to discover their inner healer.
Indigenous ceremonies, particularly the sweat lodge, taught me the importance of persevering through difficulties until healing occurs. It’s about staying committed to others in their healing journey, holding space for their inner healer to emerge. Talk therapy might manage life, but depth integration delves deeper beyond managing with breath and meditation. It explores wounds, limiting beliefs, and unexpressed emotions for genuine healing.
My time in California was life altering and I was blessed with other pivotal moments that shaped my path as a young man. Experiencing Stansilav Grof’s Holotropic breathwork in NYC and my studies of Tibetan Buddhism and Somatic Psychology during my Masters degree program at Naropa University in Colorado showed me new perspectives that enriched my understanding of the body-mind-spiritual connection. More recently, trips to Ecuador reconnected me to indigenous practices, especially with plant medicine. I’ll focus on one significant moment: when my father passed away, intense physical experiences occurred, feeling almost controlled. Acupuncture helped, but it was an otherworldly ordeal. Seeking a medical intuitive and a practice called Kambo, it became apparent there was a generational darkness affecting me.
This lineage’s influence on my life revealed the importance of ancestral healing, a concept I hadn’t embraced before. It’s about recognizing how our lineage experiences reside within us. This realization laid the foundation for depth integration—a practice forged from releasing the “who do you think you are” energy and embracing a holistic approach to healing. It’s about creating a space where individuals connect with their inner healers, follow their hearts, and uncover their truths.
I made a bold move to leave a heart-crushing job about a year and a half ago to return to this healing practice. Depth Integration stems from a blend of my experiences, aiming to empower others to embrace their authentic selves and chart their paths with courage and clarity. This approach supports individuals in reconnecting with their genuine selves, away from societal influences or negative energies.
Depth Integration emphasizes the integration of ancient practices with modern healing techniques. How do these practices support individuals in reconnecting with their authentic selves and navigating life’s challenges from a place of authenticity?
Depth integration practices serve as a path to reconnect with your body and rediscover your authentic self. Ancient somatic and spiritual practices draw you inward, fostering a deeper somatic awareness through meditation, unveiling areas of tension, pain, wounds, or misalignment within. Our bodies pulsate with life force, seeking balance and health, yet the mind and ego often strive to dictate life’s course, often stemming from limiting beliefs and unexpressed emotions, obstructing this natural flow. Breath and sacred healing work as amplifiers, allowing expression and release; resisting them exacerbates their presence. These liberations induce shifts in both physical and spiritual realms, unveiling the expansiveness of your authentic essence. Embracing this authenticity fuels shifts in consciousness, guiding us toward healthier choices and actions that support holistic well-being. In challenging times, reconnecting with our breath, slowing down, and embracing compassion aids in navigating life’s complexities, reminding us to remain connected to our heart’s truth.
Your approach focuses on the transformative power of practices like mindful breathing, meditation, and somatic awareness. How do these practices contribute to reducing stress, enhancing creativity, and cultivating a deeper sense of well-being?
Stepping away from the pace of our culture may seem contrary, yet slowing down stands as the initial stride toward alleviating stress and nurturing a profound sense of well-being. Through practices like meditation, conscious breathing, and movement, we find relaxation, and for me, this relaxation is fundamental for well-being. These approaches carve out space within our bodies and minds, offering a buffer against the weight of our wounds and challenges, relegating them to a secondary position. Within this expansive space, creativity blossoms effortlessly, linking us to the universal field we all share. Surrendering to life’s flow, we merge with our true essence—a creative force ceaselessly coursing through us. When we step aside and grant this force unobstructed passage, it channels our distinct gifts and talents in ways beyond our mental grasp. This connection delves into our innermost self, reveling in the joy of creation devoid of ego.
Could you elaborate on the role of inquiry and shamanic work in your healing process? How do these elements facilitate personal growth and spiritual exploration for individuals seeking transformation?
Inquiry serves as a pathway to forging a deeper, more empathetic bond with our bodies and internal emotional landscape. By engaging with our body parts and inner child, we delve into our experiences, seeking what they need to feel safe enough to express and release. Embracing all our encounters becomes pivotal; without self-compassion, healing remains elusive. The allure of indigenous and shamanic practices lies in their interconnectedness with everything—the earth, plants, nonphysical spirits, and elements, each bearing ancient wisdom that draws us away from our minds and into our hearts. These energies guide us, with the divine masculine offering support and courage to make new choices, while the divine feminine encourages surrender to spirit. This surrender, a courageous act, opens pathways for personal growth and spiritual exploration, nurturing our connection to our personal truth and fostering transformation. Living from the heart becomes the essence of our journey, aligning us with the wisdom of the earth and the greater purpose that transcends individual growth. Surrender, in essence, becomes a vibrant embrace of what is, leading us to discover our role within the broader cosmic purpose.
In your experience, how does Depth Integration empower individuals to access their unique purpose and contribute to the world authentically?
As divine souls on a sacred journey, we arrive radiating light, yet societal influences and authority figures can dim or attempt to extinguish this inner radiance. Paradoxically, these wounds often become the entry points for our unique purpose. Each of us possesses distinct gifts and qualities meant to be shared, a journey that constitutes our life’s purpose. Indigenous cultures, honoring every seat in their ceremonial circle, have long supported this individual expression for collective well-being. Personally drawn to this wisdom, I’ve embarked on three journeys to Ecuador to explore the ancient sacred medicines of San Pedro and Ayahuasca. These expansive experiences open pathways to a profound spaciousness. From this surrender to innate wisdom, authentic creativity emerges as we allow the universal life force to guide our expressions. Embracing expanded states of consciousness can be challenging to integrate into daily life, despite their immense creative potential for positive change. Somatic practices—breath, movement, voice, and mindfulness—equip us to embody these states, making the extraordinary ordinary. Through compassion and forgiveness, we serve others, stepping beyond comfort zones toward lasting change, contributing to the evolution of our species.
Gregg has been featured in two books: Dare to Dream and Sacred Medicine and is currently writing a new book.
If you would like to find out more about Gregg Westwood M.A., please visit https://depthintegration.com