We’re busy setting up our new website — it’ll need some time to launch, but I’ll let you know when it’s ready.
In the meantime, I’ll review the last two steps we’ve done, starting withStep 4.
Step 4 is about turning inward, creating a healthy mind, and doing inner work.
The main question of the evening is: What am I avoiding? What kind of work needs to be done to create right relationships? How much are we dwelling in our past? This is a lot about shadow work. It’s about acknowledging the parts of ourselves that we deny or hide. Bringing them to the light and in doing so, taking its power away. (more about shadow here)
This step is also about letting go of expectations and focusing on self. Are we living with integrity? Am I saying and doing what I mean? Am I who I present myself as? Some find it easier to be honest with other people than oneself… How do we learn to be authentic? Can we sit in our own anger/suffering (heavy emotions in general) – Can we show this side to our loved ones instead of being happy (or pretending to be happy all the time)?
How do we learn how to “be” instead of “do”?
There’s a meditation that was shared with the group: On the inhale, say “I am” and on the exhale focus on peace. Repeat this. Over and over again
It seems that all self work – that focuses on being instead of doing – is a spiritual practice. Or requires one.
Inner work changes who we are at a subtle level. By looking inward and becoming more aware of who we are at our core, we are transformed. Looking at our personal traumas or qualities is difficult and painful – but on the other side of the pain is liberation. A weightlessness. We carry less baggage – we lose the weight that we tote around with us. And we stop bringing past pain and trauma into current situations. This is a huge step for personal resiliency!
Instead of reacting to something, ask yourself, “why is ____ upsetting me?” (This is an entrance into shadow work)
What is my role in all of this? What is my role in the current situation?
When we turn our gaze inwards, it transforms our grief (I’d argue other difficult emotions). And maybe the grief doesn’t go away, but it’s different. We carry it with us differently.
It takes a warrior spirit to dig in. This work, the work of self, can be dirty, disgusting even. It takes grit. It takes integrity. (One cannot have integrity without grit!)
What are some obstacles to doing inner work?
Reluctance to be uncomfortable
–Figuring out the source of the discomfort
–It’s easier to turn off or distract ourselves
It’s Hard Work
–It requires work and energy to make a deliberate effort to pay attention
Pride, Vulnerability, Fear
–Who have I been?
–What does it take to change habits?
Question: Is self care different than inner work? The perks of inner work are huge (we’ve mentioned some already). This type of work allows us to be human together. It goes beyond the self, despite seeming individualistic. Self work opens us up to others. “Let’s be human together instead of being human alone”
And gazing inward is confusing and murky. We don’t get easy answers when we do this type of work. It’s like being blind and feeling your way through. Can we trust our feelings along the way? We cannot predict the outcome of any action we take – This means there’s always room for a bit of optimism.
It seems that with all of the resistance we’re seeing to the new administration and politics, maybe our culture is doing some inner work.
— Are we become more self-reflective?
— Folks showing up to greet refugees at the airport is an example of inner work which leads to being more welcoming and accepting.
Question: Is self work a generational thing? Did many of our parents or grandparents lack the tools to delve deep?
Seems as if grandparents or older folks are concerned a lot of “doing”
Parents are interested in the inner lives of their children
Current folks raising kids try to talk to their kids about doing inner work.
Is this a cultural trend that we’re seeing?
Some ending comments about doing inner work —
What does it mean to be ok? Ultimately, we’ll all die. We cannot do everything, we cannot be everything. We must choose wisely where to put our energy. What is worth our time? What is worth working on?
That’s a wrap up for Step 4. Step 5 is coming soon.
Thank you to everyone who participated and who is interested in this program. Thank you to Alli for hosting and to Kinde for leading.
With Gratitude and Love,