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.
This is the main thing people ask me about, which makes sense because it’s the main that that holds people back from going after their dreams.
And the answer is always the last thing that anyone wants to hear: the only way out is through.
When you avoid feeling the terror of your fear or the pain of your self-doubt then you avoid moving through it.
Which means you avoid moving forward. You avoid your dream.
Most of the time, people are looking for a way AROUND it, not through it.
So they’re asking: how do I stop feeling afraid? How do I avoid my self-doubt?
But the only way to get there is to be with the pain.
On why you have to deal with your shit before you can have your dream:
People hit a point on the path to their dream where they feel fear or pain or doubt and they think something is wrong. That they made a mistake or this doesn’t really work or something because it’s all supposed to feel good, right?
It’s supposed to feel exactly how it feels.
And when you ignore/avoid/stuff your feelings you hold them where they are. You freeze them inside you and you keep freezing them inside you until they turn to stone.
Those stones turn into walls that force you to live inside their boundaries.
Living inside their boundaries keeps you from having to feel the feeling you don’t want to feel – because you’re numb to it.
But living inside their boundaries also keeps you from expanding your creativity and potential. It keeps you from hearing your inner wisdom. It keeps you from your dreams.
It keeps you numb and stuck.
Most of the time, you’re doing this in totally unconscious ways.
I know I spent many years convinced that it wasn’t me.
I didn’t have my dream because it’s hard out there and people don’t support artists the way they should and I didn’t have enough money or time and that I was doing the best I could it just wasn’t possible for me to have what I really wanted.
As long as I was in those excuses of course there was no way for me to create the path that led to the life I wanted to be living, the one I live now.
I was working with a client who has been through a lot of shit in her life.
As we started working together to build a path that led to a more optimistic, expansive, creative and joyful way of living, we started to clear the shit that was in the way – the old wounds full of pain and grief and hurt.
First, I asked her to sit with her pain. To write about it and make art about it and just sit quietly with it.
This was to help to untangle the energy patterns that kept her from facing all of these hard feelings, so that we could re-wire those energy patterns to aim her towards her goal.
Of course we’d all rather skip this part but this is the first step, being with the pain.
So I asked her to sit with the pain and really tend to it as best she could. And you know what happened? She kept discovering new layers and levels of pain.
It was awful.
It’s like little trap doors kept opening up and leading to new rooms of hurt feelings and grief and sadness and broken dreams.
But my intuition has never been wrong when it comes to this kind of work and my intuition kept urging me to keep urging her to stay the path. And so she went deeper and deeper into her grief and pain.
And you know what?
It took time, but as she kept doing her best to tend to the pain she started to heal.
The ground softened beneath her.
The sun started to shine. Dimly at first and then brighter later.
She got really good at tending to her pain.
Not obliterating it or avoiding it or throwing it someone else or making sure she never feels it again. Tending to it. Taking care of it without letting it take over.
And over the course of this process her inner landscape shifted.
The ground is softer the sun shines brighter and possibilities abound.
When pain comes in it doesn’t take over. There is space for pain. There is space for love. There is space for creativity and magic.
Possibilities bloom. There is space for dreams now that wasn’t there before.
Not to be a downer or anything but you’ll probably never stop experiencing fear, self-doubt or uncertainty.
That’s not the goal of inner work.
The goal is to stop letting that stuff stop you from being who you want to be and doing what you want to do.
To get better at allowing your actual feelings and being with your actual experience.
This allows you to inhabit your inner world more deeply.
When this happens you’re also connected to all the good stuff in there: your inner gifts and intuition and power. The stuff that brings dreams to life.
Feeling like it would take a miracle? You’re in luck :)
Project Miracle is for people who believe in the magic of their dreams and are ready for something to change.
It’s a 30 day Choose-Your-Own-Adventure creative support groups for making change happen.