How to re-engage with your inner work after time away

How to re-engage with your inner work after time away

When you're going through a really difficult time, bringing attention to your inner work may feel totally unavailable. You may find that you're lacking the capacity and any energy whatsoever to engage.

In that situation, it's common to feel shame or guilt around your feelings about the situation or because you're not engaging with your inner work, but that just compounds the painful feeling that's already existing from the original hard situation. And it can make it even harder to come back to your inner practice when you do have more energy.

We recently discussed this situation in the Inner Voice Led Mastery community, and it was clear that once again (as frickin' always), the answer is allowing. And if the top layer you're feeling is shame or guilt, what you allow is the shame or guilt.

What isn't helpful is to feel wrong for having guilt or to attempt to repress it.

So whatever the reason, when you do go through some time away from your inner connection, it becomes natural to use old patterns to just get through life as you used to, before you engaged more with your spiritual path. And when you want to reconnect with spirit, it can seem a lot harder, because there's a sense that you need to switch back to the new path, and changing paths is a lot harder than simply continuing on a path you're already on.

So the question becomes, how do you come back from this? When the life difficulty is somewhat resolved or processed, how do you re-engage with your inner life? This was the question raised in this week's community call, and while I didn't have an immediate answer, I later took some time to consider what I did the last time this happened in my life, which, coincidentally, was just last week.

What happened in my life that led to the time away, and the process of coming back:

A couple weeks ago, I had a series of very deep sessions that centered on the felt need to review the client work (1 on 1 and group calls) and unpacking why there was a reticence to do so, as it appeared that there was an underlying reason beyond the complexity of figuring out a system to review them. In an extremely powerful culminating session that Thursday, I got to the depths and came to both the answer and the ability to move beyond it. (And it was that more than fear of failure, there was a fear of success. There was tenaciously holding space for a 20+ year vision, but as that vision had begun to come into expression, as occurred during the client calls, the vision itself had to be let go of to make way for the reality that's already occurring).

It was also around an emerging dynamic with a family member I'm close to. It was becoming became clear that he wasn’t that interested in what’s most meaningful to me — he seemed to value my empathetic listening skills to help him navigate his external situations and relationships, but not care as much about my core work of opening a pathway to return to Source.

On Friday, there was a conversation with this family member, and what was perceived was talked about openly and honestly.

Though this open dialogue was needed, it resulted on Saturday in a feeling of heartbreak, and no real will to carry on.

I did hold a semi-surface session that day to try to process some of the feelings around the situation, but then I got sick the next day and Monday, and I did nothing but watch Harry Potter movies, in an attempt to somewhat re-motivate myself. Tuesday I needed to catch up, and Wednesday I got really engaged with organizing, but I didn’t go to inner voice.

So by the time I tried to re-engage on Thursday, it had been 5 days, which for me is a long time between sessions.

The first session back, I couldn’t get anywhere. I tried to go to a few different questions, but there was no apparent energy to get too far. I was able to go to a surface-level question about how to handle an aspect of business and receive a little drip of wisdom through. But most of the session was about how I didn't want to be there.

After 16 minutes of attempting to get somewhere, I just gave up. But I’d started.

The next day, I came back for another short session, and it felt like I needed to re-affirm the path, because my mind was starting to doubt whether any of this even matters. So though I didn't go too deep, I did receive the reassurance I needed on the human level, and the reminder of why I'm here doing this.

I took another break over the weekend, as I often have been not having weekend sessions due to my daughter being home, and I don’t have my own space to do deep sessions when she’s home.

So when I came back on Monday for a session, it again felt foreign. It was clear there was built-up resistance to dropping in, as it had now been 1.5 weeks since a really deep session, and I had gone through so much in the interim.

But the Monday session ended up lasting 43 minutes, and it went pretty deep, and clarity was starting to open up that's inviting beyond the current stuck point.

And today's session (writing this on Wednesday) felt right back at my usual depth, with lots of fascinating exploration happening and wisdom coming and a sense of steadiness within.

What I learned that can help to re-engage:

  • Start short and simple.
    • Just starting even if you don't get anywhere much or stay long is already re-opening the path.
  • Start back from where you are now, not where you were before the break.
    • This means that if where you are is feeling reticent to be here, that's what you address in your session or meditation or journal. You don't need to push past the current resistance to try to get somewhere else.
  • Reaffirm the path.
    • If you need a loving reminder of why you're doing this, ask for it. It's okay to need reassurance about what you're doing here connecting with your spirit, and it's ok to ask for it as many times as you need.
  • When curiosity begins to emerge again, follow that spark.
    • If there’s anywhere that feels like there’s even a nudge of curiosity or interest, that could be a place to start exploring again. This may come when you've allowed enough around the initial resistance and received the reassurance you need.
  • State your choice.
    • Once you've allowed enough around the reticence and you're not forcing yourself to move beyond where you're ready, it can help a lot to state your choice, and to firmly choose to come back in.
    • In my re-engagement process, my choice was much more wishy-washy last week. I wasn't ready to demand deep engagement, and it would have felt unkind to myself. But by Monday of this week, I was ready to reconvene my practice, but I still felt the resistance. And that was when it seemed relevant and needed to choose beyond the resistance, stay with the session, and allow the wisdom to come despite not really feeling like it.

What are some ways you've used to re-engage your spiritual path after time away?


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