connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
Inner Work—Awakening and Integrating
The two basic stages to inner work are Awakening and Integrating. Here are some encouragements for each:
1. Awakening Yourself
- Be curious—maintain your interest and attention, be open to finding out new things about you, be attentive, question and persevere in the task of inner discovery. Be prepared to be thorough and loving in your inner work.
- Be courageous and take risks—honestly confront what is going on with you, share when you want to hide from your truth, take the energy of fear, transform it and offer it in service to your heart. Be responsible for your own energy.
- Suspend judgment—awareness is non-judgmental, work hard to see ‘what is’, without evaluating yourself or what you see, and this will lead to inner clarity.
- Trust your inner wisdom and your personal process—one of the most valuable tools you have is the knowledge that you tend naturally towards inner health and balance. So, extremes of emotion and reaction are the inner pathway to your centre if you allow them and learn.
- Stay open—in all your energy centers, pelvis, belly, heart, mind and spirit. This enables real experience and your many lessons become clear to you.
- Rekindle your innocence—value your imagination and all the natural ways to creativity and healing that you left behind in childhood. Find the way back to yourself in the ways which find most natural: dancing, painting, poetry, music and rhythm, singing and play.
- Be light—cultivate lightness and humor. Learning to laugh at yourself is an essential tool which distances, familiarizes and re-enchants you with yourself.
- Follow your own process—never let anyone override your true sense of yourself. You are your own expert. In your true and deepest wisdom you know what is best for you always. Listen to your heart and find the courage to follow your own wise guidance.
- Take time and allow space—to let new knowledge settle inside you where it may grow into insight and understanding, and become a part of you and be of lasting value.
- Follow up—your inner work, your insights and new understanding and enable it to grow.
- Keep a journal—to organize the fruits of your awareness: key words, concepts, breakthroughs, insights; to recognize your personal work and encourage yourself and keep tabs on important inner material.
- Let what you are learning dream inside you—through meditation, sleeping, daydreaming, drawing with no thought, movement…and spend some time in silence.
- Bring negativity into consciousness—shine the light of awareness on the cynic, saboteur, doubter, despairing one, anger, victim etc.
- Start in small ways—never cause yourself to fail by setting too BIG a challenge.
Share this article
This article was published in Vibes, an alternative therapy magazine, in 1999 (revised 2009).