Most people turn to inner work after a painful life situation or accumulated frustration with their lack of progress in a certain area.
In our culture, it is normal to be taught to care more about what others think and feel than what you yourself think and feel. You become more attuned to outer validation, but this makes you out of touch with yourself. Doing inner work enables you to shift from an external locus of evaluation to an internal one. Focusing on your own locus of evaluation makes life much more straightforward and allows you to self actualise without unnecessary distraction.
Each human has a unique perspective and experience, so it is necessary to compassionately progress at your own pace. Your inner guidance is automatically compassionate and progressive so you don’t need to worry about being selfish by following your instincts.
Inner guidance comes in the form of feelings, intuition, sensations, desires, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, skills, ideas, preferences.
We reside in fleeting or persistent mental states and each state comes with a complete set of beliefs, feelings and blindspots. You may have complete clarity about something in one state and utter confusion about the same thing in another. Each of us is divine at our core and the infinite mental states we pass through allow us to perceive our divinity to a small or large degree. Understanding that we are not our mental state and shouldn’t identify with it is a key element of individuation.
For some people attuning to their inner guidance is second nature, but for others, it can feel like an alien process. The shift from outer direction to inner direction is key when doing ‘inner work’. Not only do you have to learn what the inner signs mean, but you also have to trust and act on them without feeling fearful, guilty or ashamed. If you were punished for authentic expression as a child, it is very likely you will become triggered when following your own impulses. What should be a straightforward process has been hijacked by faulty programming. Much understanding, compassion and persistence must be applied to navigate one’s inner guidance successfully.
Our assumptions are the creative power of our life. There is a direct correlation between what we assume and what we experience. Often we don’t realise this until we get sick of being stuck and unable to self actualise. We create a negative loop which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We see more and more evidence our assumptions are accurate and so it goes on. We feel powerless and assume we are at the mercy of the outer world, but this is a delusion. If you believe getting a good job is difficult then the universe will make sure it is difficult for you to get a good job.
The intelligence that manages the universe doesn’t understand human morals and delivers what you believe or think about. If you are thinking negative thoughts and having negative experiences it may appear the universe is against you, but the universe is merely out-picturing your state of being. This is why you must change internally before you can see positive changes in your outer world. We can’t appreciate the good things in life without the bad, so learning to love the contrast is paramount. I like to think of this process as living life from the inside out rather than the outside in. Understanding the way the universe operates is a key piece of learning.
Our assumptions can be fluid and need not be merely a continuation of the past. We have to become aware of them in order to change though and this requires self-awareness.
Each of us has an innate desire to become our best selves. If we didn’t have this we would feel completely content all the time and not hanker after a better body, more money, more freedom, more quality time, more holidays, more love, more fulfilment and a bigger house etc. We are very aware of the gap between who we currently are and who we want to be and it is our responsibility to close this gap as much as possible. It is not possible to completely close the gap because we are always expanding and desiring new things. A large and persistent gap is painful and frustrating as you will well know. Somebody else may look down on you for your particular desire, but know they would feel exactly the same in your position.
The ideal mindset is being grateful and happy where you are whilst reaching for more. Once a desire has been met we move onto new desires. Humans are designed to satiate their desires, so never feel bad about wanting the things you want. Think of desires as gifts from the universe. Desires stem from our mental state and range from simple to complex.
Self-awareness is all about becoming aware of and continuously monitoring our inner thoughts, patterns, fixations, motivations, feelings, desires and perceptions. Do you know what your unhelpful beliefs, patterns and assumptions are and where they came from? Changing a belief is as simple as repeatedly thinking improved thoughts, although this can seem challenging. It helps to think of the process as easy because that way the universe will assist in sending you helpful thoughts.
As an adult it is 100% our responsibility to take care of ourselves in all areas of life. The more we require support from the outside the more likely we are to feel somehow inadequate and ill at ease. Everybody has internal access to all the resources they will ever need, but awareness of this varies due to mental states. Shifting states can appear difficult but occur very rapidly. Hope is never lost. Stay in your own energy and don’t focus overly on things outside the self.
Because imagination and thought create reality, blaming others makes about as much sense as blaming a piece of art you created for not being good enough.
The way other people appear to you is merely a reflection of your inner beliefs and assumptions because the world is a mirror, designed to provide 360-degree feedback. If you don’t love or value yourself it is difficult to imagine others can either, because you are experiencing life through the lens of not good enough. As other people are rooted in you, they animate your beliefs with startling precision. Never waste your time thinking negatively about yourself, others or situations. Stay on a healthy mental diet. Use positive affirmations until aligned and pleasing thoughts just occur naturally. This can take time and needs to be patiently invoked every time you slip back. If you overturn just a few more negative thoughts each day, eventually you will tip the scales and your default state will be one of contentment and happiness.
Processing feelings is a simple process but if you have never learned to process your feelings naturally you may fear your feelings and turn to addictive behaviours to distract yourself from the panic of having feelings. Our feelings form an integral part of our guidance system and let us know if we are perceiving a situation accurately or not. Anything that feels bad is incorrect and anything that feels good is correct. Our feelings stem from our thoughts and beliefs and are only ever about us. Repressing and stuffing emotions is never a good idea. Let your feelings flow, even if that involves crying or releasing anger.
Once the tension has been released get back on track with thinking positively and think nothing more of it. Sometimes human’s need to let go and higher self will always show you the negative thoughts that need to be addressed and released. As all external situations are created internally beforehand via our thoughts and assumptions, the decision to ignore unpleasant experiences is all that’s required at the moment. This is the best way to stop the problem from snowballing and negative thoughts re-creating.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
I have to say I find this statement so reassuring. Choose a handful of interpretations about a situation and see which ones feels best. This really highlights how unimportant circumstances and events actually are. It highlights how a different perspective completely shifts the essence of a situation from relevant to irrelevant. An even better option is to fleetingly discern and apply no lasting judgment to a situation at all because everything is temporary. Often our assumptions seem so powerful, we take them as gospel. Try imagining the situation from the perspective of someone who is self-validating and knows all external situations are fine if you evaluate them as such.
Managing your thoughts is by far and away the most important aspect of life because it affects your perception, ability to function and be happy and fulfilled. It affects your motivation to eat well, exercise, take care of your body, seek fulfilment and pleasure and how you experience the outer world.
Be Your Own Best Friend
You have to be your own number one fan, you have to put yourself on the pedestal. Believe people are lucky to know you, love you and work with you. Every time you notice yourself seeking validation on the outside, let it go and remind yourself of your divinity. Confidently re-frame every situation with your preferred outcome and enjoy your creative power. Your state of being ‘animates’ the outer world from moment to moment. Speak lovingly to yourself at all times and you will feel wonderful. Enjoy time alone completely immersed in your interests to feel connected to self.
You are a Warrior
Doing inner work is challenging and that’s why most people don’t do it. They settle for staying stuck. You have to let go of your identity as a relatively powerless human to embrace your higher self. The journey appears treacherous and can be exhausting at times, but it is worth it every time you overcome something you couldn’t do before. No matter how futile it may seem, just keep going.
PERSIST until you succeed, knowing you can’t fail.