PART 2: DOING THE ‘INNER WORK’
In my last post I talked about the importance of working on the inner environment, in order for us to experience optimum health – physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually.
Today, I am going to take the conversation a little deeper, as we talk about what the inner work actually looks like.
First let us establish a few foundational pieces:
- Thoughts and feelings (emotions) have a chemical effect within the body.
- Thoughts and feelings have an electromagnetic effect within the body and its field.
- Past traumatic experiences, if not resolved, can have effects in the present.
- Hoping our past doesn’t impact our present, generally doesn’t work.
- Neuroscientists suggest that we are only consciously aware of our thoughts, feelings and even behaviours, about 2-8% of the time. When we are not fully present in the moment, we go into our unconscious autopilot ‘programs’. To understand this deeper check out – The Successful Mind.
- Essentially non-physical things (emotions) can have physical effects on the body.
- Physical interventions (medication, surgery, radiation, and even exercise & nutrition) don’t necessarily heal the root cause of emotional or physical symptoms.
A good book on the impact of our past, unresolved stuff, on our mental and physical health is called The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D..
Caveat: If you have had a significant traumatic event in your past, like emotional, physical or sexual child abuse, which you have not worked on before, find a high quality therapist to work with. They don’t have to be a Doctor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist; as there are amazing therapists, councellors, and healing practitioners who have experience and expertise working with those specific cases.
The Inner Works basics
Essentially doing the ‘inner work’ is not necessarily fun, easy, comfortable or even tangible. Which means that most people, who care about their health, are usually pretty good at making lifestyle changes to improve their health. Like exercising, eating better, and getting better quality sleep.
BUT when it comes to going DEEPER, most people either don’t know where to start, don’t know how to start, or avoid it because they think it might open a can of worms, and cause parts of their life to unravel.
And unfortunately, sometimes in the short-term, things in your life can unravel as your personal identity is challenged. When your inner beliefs or values are challenged or change, your whole world-view can change around you, which can be pretty disruptive.
So WHY go down the rabbit hole?!?!
Let me share a few reasons and see if any resonate for you.
To experience more peace, calm and joy in your life.
To create true alignment of your self with your values, beliefs, and your (divine) purpose.
To experience a greater sense of ‘lightness’ in your body and mind.
To enhance your clarity of what is most fulfilling and meaningful in your life (for you).
To harmonize past traumatic memories and experiences, so they don’t lessen your present experience.
To improve your health and vitality.
To fully recognise and express your potential.
To become a more awesome human being, doing more awesome stuff, and making the world a more awesome place.
Because purely physical treatments are unlikely to resolve stuff like: feeling directionless or lost; being unsure about why you are on planet Earth; repeating mistakes; entering into, or staying in, disempowering relationships; being overly risk-adverse; finding it hard to relax; finding it hard to ‘do nothing’; second-guessing your decisions; experiencing inner conflict; experiencing high levels of reactivity; responding in ways which are disproportionate to the current circumstances; etc..
I believe we can all benefit from doing the inner work.
And this might be bad news for some (and why they avoid this work), but to do the true inner work we need to be 100% HONEST with ourselves and take a higher level of RESPONSIBILITY than we might be comfortable with. Plus we need to LEAN INTO discomfort. We need to ‘feel to heal‘.
This work isn’t really easy or comfortable, but it comes with unimaginable benefits that FAR outweigh the discomfort factor.
Doing the Inner Work
I have tried to simplify it into 4 primary parts:
- Becoming fully aware of yourself in the present moment and feeling what you feel.
- Recognizing that what you are feeling or experiencing, may not be the result of an external physical factor, but may have internal origins.
- Being the observer and curiously looking through a detached lens of consciousness into the mind and body to better understand what might actually be going on.
- Choosing a technique to harmonize the feeling or experience (or choose to work with a therapist / practitioner / coach / professional).
The most useful (and basic) Inner Work process
I have not met anyone in 14-years of coaching, who does not have Limiting (or disempowering) beliefs. We all have them. That is, 100% of us. We all carry beliefs, consciously or unconsciously, which do not serve us. They might be plain wrong, partially wrong, out-dated, and are essentially causing us to show up with a fraction of our potential and energy.
Given we all have limiting beliefs and programs – which don’t serve us – this is the ideal place to start doing the inner work.
Here is how it works (and you can find more specifics in The Successful Mind).
- You notice an area in your life which is not in harmony, or causes you pain, or is just a pain in your butt.
- You put on your CURIOSITY lens of perception.
- You ask yourself: “What story am I telling myself, which is causing me to have this painful experience?”
- When you get a sense of the story or belief you are buying into, ask yourself: “Is this belief, 100% true?”
- If it is not 100% true, then use an appropriate technique to do the inner work of getting back to harmony.
When it comes to inner work techniques, here are some of my favourites:
- Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping)
- The Emotion Code
- NLP Belief Switch Techniques
- The LifeLine Technique (best with a therapist)
- The Code to Joy
- Inner Child Work
The whole purpose of this post, and why I do what I do, is to try and convince you of one thing:
Without doing the inner emotional work (and just sticking to physical interventions), you are unlikely to fully express your potential, and get to feel the joy, bliss, love, peace, harmony, and oneness that is available to us all.
I was inspired to write this post as someone I know is great with doing the outer work (exercising, nutrition, supplements, etc.) but has not made a commitment to do the inner work, and I can see them not getting the results which are possible. Plus they don’t really effect change at a deeper level or outer level.
As Dr Joe Dispenza says: “When we change our personality, we change our personal reality.“
When we change who we are, how we think, and how we show up, we get a whole new set of results in our inner and outer worlds.
So when would now be a great time to start doing the inner work?
On that note, have a super fabulous day and all the very best.
PS: For a deeper conversations, check out my weekly Podcasts here.