What is Inner Work?
Tap into the wisdom of your inner experience.
About the Exercises
What is Inner Work?
Inner Work is a technique for following one’s process or the flow of one’s experience.
Inner work has been practiced in various forms by indigenous people around the world perhaps for millenia. Carl Jung developed a kind of inner work he called active imagination. The Red Book is a compilation of writings and drawings from inner work processes that Jung completed between 1915 and 1930, a particularly difficult period in his early professional life, where he used inner work to wrestle with questions and experiences that were troubling him. In the 1980s, Arnold Mindell and early process workers expanded on Jung’s active imagination techniques adding the use of other channels including movement, sound, proprioception and relationship.
Inner Work is a process of noticing, articulating and following perceptions – these are skills and sensitivities that improve with practice. The inner work exercises on DeepWell give you a chance to practice your inner work skills and expand your awareness and sensitivity to inner experience.
Some aspects of inner work may come easily to you while others may seem more elusive. Take time with your learning and practice. Use curiosity and beginner’s mind to stay open to what you experience. Trust your perception and the flow of your experience to help you find surprisingly meaningful attitudes, wisdom, messages hidden at times in unexpected places!
Learn more in our Getting Started Series here.
What is an Inner Work Exercise?
An Inner Work Exercise is a guided process of self-exploration that relies upon noticing, articulating, and following your experience to solve problems, find a new point of view, work on relationship conflicts and/or make decisions. The audio-recorded Inner Work exercises here were developed by process-oriented awareness facilitators for Deep Well and are based on concepts and ideas from Process-oriented Psychology also known as Processwork.
Why Inner Work?
Many of us who are interested in self-inquiry, growth, and learning — whether emotional, psychological, relational, social, or spiritual – have studied and practiced various ways of expanding or deepening our awareness. Inner Work is a technique that can help develop awareness and enhance your capacities to relate, connect and be with experiences and others that puzzle, trouble, disturb or bother you.
Inner Work can help you unpack, deepen and relate in new and often powerful ways. Inner Work supports you to address or approach questions, concerns and issues with greater awareness and resources. Inner relationships – between different beliefs, feelings and points of view – are enriched and enlivened when you develop your awareness. Outer relationships – at home, at work and in your communities – also grow and transform when you develop your awareness.
Is Inner Work a Kind of Meditation?
Inner Work is a bit different from meditation. While there are many definitions, meditation often refers to a practice or exercise meant to clear and focus the mind bringing a tranquil or calm state mind. Inner Work is a process of using awareness to deepen understanding of yourself, your relationships and connections. It is also a way to access important states, attitudes, qualities and points of view and to apply them to specific problems or everyday situations in your life. This is one way of thinking about the distinction between meditation and Inner Work. There are many others. Some may see this differently and have other ways of understanding meditation and Inner Work.
Develop awareness, deepen connections and gain insights to help you grapple with life’s problems. Surprise yourself.
Inner Work Exercise
Listen and Explore
Explore our archive of audio exercises, each about 10 minutes in length. This series of audio recordings can help you if you are new to inner work or want to explore a particular aspect of inner work.
Meet our Inner Work Exercise contributors.
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Listen to Mini Works
Mini Works are short audio-recorded inner work exercises – no more than 2-3 minutes in duration. Led by Cindy Trawinski, PsyD, MAPW, these brief exercises are a quick way to bring wisdom to ease into your day.