Inner work is the foundation of healing, transformation and awakening. Without it we are simply bypassing our inner turmoil, and looking externally for a quick fix.
When you commit to inner work, you are turning pain into power. You begin a path of healing, evolving, finding true joy and purpose, reclaiming fragmented parts of yourself, and begin living in a state of more harmony and freedom.
What is the work?
Inner work is the process of diving deep into our conscious, subconscious and unconscious realms. It is the slow unravelling of our conditioning, beliefs, memories, wounds, shadows, shedding light and bringing to the surface that which we are often afraid to face.
This work connects us deeply to our true essence, heals us from the inside out, allows for deep self exploration and self understanding and ultimately leads to spiritual transformation.
When undertaking this work we begin to shift our perspectives, act from a place of trust and love instead of fear, overcome addictions, and feel whole and worthy within ourselves.
Why do many of us fear this work, give up, or never even start?
As psychologist Carl Jung once wrote:
People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.
Inner work is by no means pretty. It’s not all affirmations and having baths, although these are complimentary in their own way.
Inner work is messy, non linear, chaotic, dark, deep and confronting. It is vomit, blood, sweat and tears.
It is being torn down and crashing to your knees, only to get back up and shine your light and power on yet another layer of pain that needs healing and release.
It is the powerful cycle of life & death, letting die what is required inside of you to make way for new life to enter. And it never stops, this work is a lifelong process of being dedicated to walking home to ourselves.
So understandably, people often resist this work. Feeling comfort in the tangible, the concrete, the ‘way things should be’. Often pointing the finger at others instead of turning inward and asking what's this reflecting inside of me?
And there is no judgement if this is you, or someone you know. Each soul evolves at their own divine time, and perhaps it's not in this lifetime to move into higher states of consciousness and being.
But if it is, and you feel a deep pull towards healing and growing, just know that your pain will be transformed into such beauty. You will breathe life and vitality into your existence, replacing emptiness with inner power and soullessness with an inner fire that propels you forward to living aligned and authentic versions of yourself.
Signs you may need to do the work:
You feel lost
You have hit ‘rock bottom’
You often think there has to be more to life
You keep repeating the same pattern
Relationships are difficult for you
You have low self worth and self love
Feeling disconnected from those around you
You struggle with motivation
You are constantly plagued with self critical thoughts
Suffering with chronic illness
You have intense emotions such as anger that you can’t release effectively
The wrong people are being attracted into your life
You struggle to be alone with yourself and your thoughts
You don’t trust yourself or others
Anxiety plagues you often
Three inner work pathways to try:
First and foremost - self love!
I always ensure my clients have a strong self love and self care practice before undertaking any of the heavier processes. We need a sense of being able to trust and hold ourselves when the waves come crashing down, so beginning small achievable self love practices is a MUST.
Finding what works for you is important, and committing to following through on these small promises to yourself each day. Whether that's taking time each day to look in the mirror and practice loving kindness to your physical body, journaling your thoughts at the end of the day, nourishing your body with movement or giving yourself a slow and loving massage.
2. Inner child integration and reparenting
This involves connecting to the young, often scared and confused, versions of ourselves and gifting our loving presence to him or her.
Reconnecting and reparenting ourselves to heal our childhood wounds, fear and beliefs. Allowing our adult selves to reconnect with this aspect of ourselves, and to integrate this part into our current consciousness.
Purging the pain of our childhoods is a worthy process to allow our childlike spirit to be expressed, reconnect our creativity and spontaneity, and relish in the joy this delicate part of ourselves can bring.
Perhaps you start this process by speaking to your inner child when you feel triggered (I love you, I see you, you are safe), looking at pictures of yourself as a child or recreating hobbies and interests you loved as a child.
To delve deeper into this work you can also do a guided inner child journey, where you visualise and reintegrate yourself with this aspect of you. I do this with my clients often, usually releasing a trauma or memory and supporting their inner child through this experience with different healing techniques.
3. Shadow work
This is a deep process of shining light and accepting all that we suppress of ourselves.
Exploring your inner demons, the ‘ugly’ parts that you wish no one to see. The parts you push down to rot and pretend they don’t exist.
You also have a golden shadow. Aspects of yourself that you have denied that are actually beneficial to your being, for fear of being judged or not good enough.
Before doing this work is it a MUST that you have self love practices and have cultivated love for yourself. This work is heavy and easy to get lost in if you don’t have practices to bring you back to your centre.
I also recommend starting this work with a practitioner who is experienced in guiding you through this process. Someone who you trust to hold space for you, whether this be a counsellor, healer or anyone that is experienced and resonates with you and your journey. Practitioners who integrate teachings in and out of the healing space are invaluable - teaching and guiding you to become your own healer.
I can’t emphasise how important it was on my own journey to have people guiding and healing me through the process of inner work. I still see my own healers often and am deeply grateful for the space they hold for me.
If you feel the call, you are ready to move into higher states of being, to truly know yourself and begin the process of coming home to you - then I say YOU CAN DO IT!
Commit to yourself, carve time to heal, hold space to feel and process, and seek guidance if you feel lost.