Inner Work 101 is a series of in-depth blog posts I’m working on to de-mystify the inner workings of inner work. I’m tired of seeing brilliant creative people stumble around and settle for less than they really want because they don’t know how to navigate the path of their own potential and this is what I’m doing to help change that. Find all the Inner Work 101 posts right here.
Most people focus on trying to change what’s happening outside of them… they focus less on changing and more on getting their dream house or dream job or dream spouse or whatever.
That’s not that the kind of change I’m talking about here.
What I want to talk about is change that starts, and happens, inside of you. And then it ripples out to effect your outer life.
So instead of grasping at the things you want and never quite feeling like you deserve them even when you get them, or having to work your ass off to keep them, you evolve into a person who can easily create and hold what you want in your world.
This is how to change your life in ways that bring you more joy and help you live in a way that feels true.
I talk about dreams a lot but it’s never about the outer thing! It’s always about this sense of creating a life that feels true to you.
Growing into who you really are.
So we’ll start there. With who you really are: Creative Genius.
This is you as infinite love, infinite wisdom, infinite delight, infinite creativity, and infinite power.
This is your inner self and your infinite gifts and your infinite inner resources.
The key word here is infinite. This is where everything is possible for you.
This is your inner self.
This is who you are but you probably don’t live here…
If you’re a human, this is where you live: Your Conscious Self.
Your personality, your body, your behaviours, your thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
These are the stories you live.
These are not necessarily all true, but they feel true and you live as though they are true, and this limits the infinite possibilities that live at the core of who you are.
This is your outer self.
So why are your inner self and outer self separate?
If you have infinite power and all that other stuff… where is it?
Well, it’s hidden under a layer of crap, like this:
This layer of crap is your fears, doubts, inner critics, limiting beliefs, sad stories you picked up along the way.
While your inner core is infinite and powerful and radiant… when it shines through this layer of crap it becomes distorted. This is how you get cut off from your gifts.
And then you buy into a much smaller story about who you really are and what life really is what is actually possible for you.
I drew it like this to simplify it so you can see the relationships between these different aspects of you.
The truth is much more complex as you are a multi-dimensional being.
This is why sometimes you can feel so full of possibilities and so sure of yourself, and then other times you feel defeated and scared.
You, your actual being, is infinite. But you, your conscious self, can only be focused in one place at a time. And wherever you are focused is activated and magnified so it becomes what feels most true to you in that moment.
What feels true isn’t necessarily true.
When you’re stuck in that layer of crap your feelings are real and valid and deserve being tended to. But that doesn’t mean that the stories your feelings are telling you are true. Like – this will never work, no one cares, it’s impossible.
The beings that live in your layer of crap are wise, in a way. I mean they’re good at spinning stories that feel both compelling and true. Their aim is to keep you there, believing the story.
Until you question those stories, nothing can ever really change.
I mean you can have more money but still feel stressed out about money. You can get married but still feel alone inside. You can be selling your art all around the world and feel not good enough.
Often getting what you want on the outside without questioning your stories only makes life more uncomfortable.
But it’s so hard to question your stories because they feel like your truth. You live inside them.
It’s really very Matrix-like.
So much so that only people who already understand what I’m talking about are going to understand what I’m saying here.
You have to have the experience of noticing that you’re living in an un-true story before you really see any of this. But once you’ve had it happen once you can extrapolate and start to look at where this is happening in other parts of your life. That’s when you activate your inner power to change anything you want to change.
This is so complex and hard to navigate.
Dreams make it easier.
Your dreams are true. They come from your core.
(Of course some dreams are pure ego but if you start to work on them in the ways I teach you’ll wind up more deeply connected to your core self and your dreams will shift accordingly. So there is never a “wrong dream” to follow.)
Your dreams come from your core and are a part of your genius. Your dreams are how you express your genius.
Traveling around the world in a sailboat, opening up a knitting cafe, showing your art, building your own home… these are ways of showing up in the world as your actual, true, core self.
So the way out of living in a story that is not true is to trust that your dream is true.
This is why I say that your dream is a lighthouse calling you home. It’s how your soul guides you along your path.
So, bringing a dream to life – aka creating change – is about this journey of wholeness. Of moving closer to the core of who you really are, and clearing up the distortions of the un-true stories that your inner critics have been spinning.
Of course there will also be work to be done in the outer world… you do not meditate your way to a dream come true.
But when the inner work is effectively done, the outer work becomes very clear and possible. You just take one step at a time towards your dream. When the outer work starts to feel exhausting and frustrating and confusing that means it’s time to focus on inner work.
This applies to ALL dreams, and to ALL types of change you can create in your life.
So how do you actually do this?
So all you have to do is dig into the layer of crap that has accumulated between you (where you live) and you (who you really are).
Then you find you magic..
Then you can access your infinite resources to do whatever you want…
Are you starting to see the problem?
Digging into the layer of crap means facing the layer of crap. This is exactly what no one wants to do. We prefer to face away from the crap.
But facing away from the crap means facing away from your power and creativity and wisdom and ALL OF YOUR GIFTS.
So your first step is to face towards the crap, grab a shovel, and start digging.
This little nested drawing I’m using is actually multi-dimensional because you are multi-dimensional.
So in some parts of your life you are more in touch with your true amazing self.
And in other parts of your life the layer of muck is just too big and your inner light gets all distorted.
Like maybe you are gorgeously and powerfully expressing your creative genius through your art but you cower and hide when it comes to doing the work of making a living from it.
Or maybe you’re a fantastic leader when it comes to coaching your son’s soccer team but at work you’re kind of a doormat and don’t know how to speak up to your bully of a boss.
You are multi-dimensional. There is so much to discover about how your inner genius and your limiting patterns interact.
Really! Take this into your journal and explore it.
In the first example I mentioned above about the artist who can’t sell their art (since I get a LOT of questions about this!) it’s not that it’s harder to sell art than it is to make art.
It’s just that you are living in a story that makes it harder for you.
Your beliefs have you all tangled on the inside so even though you’re doing everything you can to sell your art in the outer world – you mostly wind up going in circles and not really getting anywhere. Your light is distorted.
So you have to change those inner beliefs before you’re going to be able to act in effective ways in the outer world.
You have to dig into that layer of crap and create some new, clear pathways for your genius to shine through.
You have to write a new story for your life.
It’s not your fault that you have those limiting beliefs (accumulating the layer of crap just happens naturally and in ways that are mostly out of our control) but it is your responsibility to change them.
This is how inner work creates outer change.
As you uncover and transform your limiting beliefs you’ll start to see things differently in the outer world. You’ll have access to more of your infinite sources of courage and energy and creativity and genius.
So then you’ll start to act differently.
And those actions will lead you towards what you want.
Every time you do even a little bit of this work you open up a new pathway that allows your inner core to shine out into your outer world, well you let more of your inner genius radiate out.
Inner genius has power to it. As it lights up the pathway it actually will melt some of the crap at the edges of the path, so over time your pathways will grow larger and more and more of your inner genius will shine out.
The distortions will shrink and your light will shine more brightly and your life will start to be more true to who you really are.
It’s not easy work but it’s the worthwhile work.
And over time small changes can add up together to create miracles because your inner genius is capable of, literally, anything.
So it all comes down to what direction you choose to face in.
Facing outward keeps you rooted in your current state – inside whatever sad stories and limiting beliefs you happen to be carrying.
Facing inward is much more uncomfortable at first (because it’s easy to not know just how awful that layer of crap is when you’re busy ignoring it) but if you stay with it, it leads to everything you want.
This is why hard times are always an opportunity for change.
When you’re upset about something it’s actually an opportunity to get more clarity on the un-true stories you’re living in because the story is magnified for you in that moment.
So if you follow the thought that has you upset it will lead you to a story you’re telling yourself. Once you see the story you can change it.
For Creative Dream Circle members: the Un-Sticking Station and Module 4 of the Creative Dream Incubator e-Course will help you find and change the story. Any time things are hard go to the Un-Sticking Station!