This is part 3 of a 6-part series that looks at the main steps in inner work exercises, explains why each is important and provides some tips for increasing one’s skills with each step.

After selecting an everyday issue or concern to focus on, some inner work asks you to set that issue aside and focus on your experience in the present moment. Then, it asks you to find an ally or helper, to go to a place in nature, or to notice where your deepest sense of self is being experienced in your body. The simplest way to do this is to scan your experience, and become aware of a figure, sound, image, movement or sensation.  

This is the surprise!  Trust what is occurring.  Don’t think about it too much. It is OK to let something pop into your awareness. Trust there is something right about what you become first aware of.  This can require some practice but more than practice, it requires trust. 

As with other steps in inner work, being willing to go with your momentary experience is not only helpful, it is essential. Paradoxically, problem solving may be easier when you step away from your usual way of thinking. Allow yourself to embrace what you see or hear, the images or voices, feelings or movements that may spontaneously occur to you.

Here are some tips:

  1. Go with what comes first. Don’t overthink it. Inner work is not about making things make sense. It is about finding the meaning that you do not yet recognized.
  2. Take a chance on something that does not make sense to you ordinarily. Go with the unfamiliar or surprising, the less known or even something you don’t identify with. You may be surprised.