You’ll probably hear me say many times that inner work can be a confusing and daunting process. Not to put you off, but just to be real. And you have to get real to heal
It is like ambling through a vast labyrinth, with its dead ends and winding pathways that can easily lead you round in circles. Plus all the weird, wonderful and sometimes disturbing things that you encounter.
We have no choice but to work our way through this labyrinth, and although we can’t just strap on a jetpack and rocket our way to the centre, there are plenty of ways to keep you headed in the right direction!
Here are 10 such ways that have personally helped me navigate my own labyrinth. And trust me, in there I’d be hopeless without some sort of sat-nav!
This list is by no means exclusive and is in no particular order and I pray it helps to inspire your own guidance system.
1. Accept yourself and what you find
When we’re digging within ours
elves we can find some nasty stuff from time to time. It is our job to accept what it is and realise that it is not who we actually are, just something we’ve been holding on to. You’ll be able to let it go easier if you can avoid judgment and accept yourself.
2. Develop Mindfulness
You can do all the exercises in the world to reflect and better understand your thoughts and feelings but without mindfulness it is just far too easy for frequent negative thoughts to creep into your mind and take over. Especially as these negative thoughts are likely going to be roused during your reflections, like a spider when you poke it’s web. Mindfulness helps to build awareness and objectivity of those spiders, without getting caught in the web.
3. Get Creative!
This is integral to what we do at Inner Quirk and what we are hoping to achieve. In my own inner work, which has led me to address some deep darkness and despair, I’ve been able to bring some colour to it with creativity. A creative approach can make the whole thing feel much more approachable, engaging and even enjoyable. For me, a combination of being creative while self reflecting is extra beneficial and adds in a whole other positive dynamic to the process.
4. See it as an undoing rather than adding or changing
What if you were actually beautiful and sublime and dare I say it, perfect, underneath all the guck you’ve accumulated through life’s pains and challenges?
You probably at lea
st have a vague inkling it’s there. Rather than seeing the need to add anything to yourself, see it as an uncovering of the awesomeness that already exists within you.
5. Keep forgiveness as a main intention
For me, one of the main goals of inner work is to come to a place of forgiveness- for myself, for situations and for those that have wronged or hurt me. We can dredge up some pretty raw wounds when doing inner work, and it can bring up fresh feelings of anger toward our wound-givers, no matter how far in the past. Forgiveness is so powerful, and to forgive does not mean to enable someone’s hurtful behaviour or to be passive. It is an empowering act where you choose to not let something have power over you anymore. Forgiveness is one of the best ways to clear
away your guck!
6. Be Patient
I definitely still need to be reminded of this! Inner work is a lifelong commitment. So buckle up and don’t expect a Drive-Thru! There’s no quick fixes, and your psyche probably isn’t going to agree with your expectations and deadlines. Be patient with yourself, and the process. You’re going to stumble many times over the same issue. It’s frustrating as hell I know! But getting annoyed and impatient will only delay your progress.
7. Avoid victim mentality
You are not a victim. You are a survivor. I like this way of thinking. As someone who lost his parents through a murder-suicide it can be easy for me to fall into a victim mentality, if I’m not careful. Feeling like a victim takes away your power, and through inner work we seek to re-establish and express our power, in positive ways. Life can be hard and we can go through some pretty horrendous things. But hey, here we are, we made it through. That surely counts for something, even if you feel like you didn’t handle things very well. You are not a victim. You are a survivor. Keep that in mind when addressing issues that make you feel victimised.
8. Be grateful to yourself
You’re taking responsibility for your wellbeing. That is awesome! You may find yourself judging yourself for all your flaw
s and issues that you may be finding within yourself but the very fact that you’re addressing those flaws and issues makes you one courageous cookie! You’re actively working to make positive change in yourself and the world. I’m grateful to you, you should be too!
9. Find what works for you
Find your inner quirk! Whatever y
ou may be good at or passionate about, these can be used as tools to help you address your personal issues. Think of it like a marriage of opposites- Your very best with your very worst. It is through this philosophy that we create bespoke activities, which you can find out more about here. But whatever you do, tailor your inner work to what works for you, and don’t be afraid to be your own guru!
10. Share your journey with at least one trusted person
Although deeply personal, we don’t have to go through inner work completely alone. Being able to talk about our experiences and insights not only helps to get it out of our heads but also to process everything. Sometimes just having someone to listen is all we need, and getting positive feedback and encouragement is super valuable for keeping us motivated and faithful.
I hope these tips provide help and guidance for your explorations of your own labyrinths. I know it can feel overwhelming and even mind boggling at times, but keep going, you’ve probably covered more ground than you think!