What is inner work anyway, and how do you do it?
What makes a practice effective? How do you know if it’s actually working?
I’ve just created a new series of videos to help answer these questions 🙂
Rather than being a specific method, these videos are more about the fundamental key elements that help us uncover and resolve emotional pain, trauma and more.
In my experience, a solid technique will apply all of these principles. However, it is good to be aware of them. It is possible to use techniques in a way that actually bypass parts of the process, or as a way to avoid uncomfortable feelings rather than directly processing them.
I hope you enjoy this series. You can see these principles at work on this channel in my inner workout videos that focus on specific topics, as well as in my approach to EFT tapping in general.
Step one of the inner work fundamentals is bringing things from the unconscious into our conscious awareness. By definition, if we are not conscious of something, it’s a bit difficult to actually address it.
When we struggle to make a change in our life, even if we consciously wish to do so, it is almost always due to unconscious programming and protective mechanisms.
While this might sound really complex and sophisticated, in this video I show you how straightforward and practical the process can actually be. The power of our attention is so easily taken for granted, that we tend to not be aware of just what it is capable of.
Step two is cultivating safety, a very important and often overlooked aspect of doing inner or emotional work. It is important for us to feel safe with whatever we are doing, and interestingly, it is important to create a safe space within ourselves.
If our own sensations and emotions are judged as bad, wrong, something to be gotten rid of, then it is very difficult for them to come forward and be naturally processed.
It is also possible to be pushed too aggressively into memories, traumas or emotions that we are not yet at the capacity to process. We would never naturally do this but can be coerced by certain teachings or facilitators. This is very important to be aware of and avoid.
Step three focuses on feeling. The more we are able to actually feel what is happening within us, physically and emotionally, the more it can heal.
This is not about forcing ourselves to feel, which is naturally guarded against via step 2 – cultivating safety. It is about recognizing that we are often resisting what we feel in subtle ways, which makes total sense when things are uncomfortable. It does take practice and training to let ourselves feel that we have an impulse to avoid.
Even in techniques that focus on releasing, for them to be truly effective especially with deeper material, they start with some willingness to welcome the feelings up in the first place and moving through us.
Step four is supporting and processing, and the specifics of this are generally specific to whatever technique you are using.
Essentially, you’ll be using some tool to help the body and nervous system do what it is naturally able to do. The technique should be something that assists this process, helps you feel what you are feeling, helps you move more deeply within rather than become something to distract or escape in.
EFT tapping is one practical example, where you are tapping specific points that send calming signals to the nervous system while cognitively exposing your mind to an event that is triggering to you. It is not some magic tapping that makes everything heal and go away, it is just a tool that helps support a natural process. Understanding this can help avoid hocus-pocus claims about techniques, or giving your power away to techniques and teachers.
The final step is more of a way of checking that the previous steps are having an impact. Because many forms of inner work can actually end up being distraction, we want to have validating ways that our experience, our beliefs and ultimately our behaviors will actually be shifting on a fundamental level based on the work we are doing.
Of course not every single session you do is going to have a massive transformation, but we do want to have ways of knowing that it is in fact having a clear benefit.
I hope you found this series helpful!
If you did, you might enjoy my eBook “You’re Not a Repair Project” which you can get below.
This outlines more of my specific processes, and to help make sure this type of inner work does become an endless prospect of ‘fixing’ yourself.