Creating a solid inner foundation is at the core of being able to sustain a sturdy foundation in any area of life – physical, material, relational, spiritual, etc. How do you create and sustain a solid inner foundation?
The key is to consistently create time and space to go within. You must focus within your heart and get to work discovering and repairing the cracks, splits, areas of breakage and any deteriorating conditions inside of you. It’s like Kintsugi – the Japanese art of golden repair.
Kintsugi involves repairing pottery by joining the broken pieces and filling the cracks with gold or other precious metals and sometimes jewels. The idea is that breakage and repair are a part of the unique history and character of a piece, rather than something to hide. When we do our inner work, we take the broken parts of us and make them precious. It is important and sacred work.
I have personally struggled to find the sweet spot of balance between focusing on inner work and addressing outer demands. I’ve spent decades figuring out how to juggle personal healing and growth work (which at times can take a lot of energy and attention) with the myriad outer demands that go along with modern life.
My fragile, wounded human ego can be so dang fear motivated at times – trying to do, do, do all these survival and success promoting tasks and actions. At the bottom, it always comes back to needing to feel safe, to feel in control when a part of me feels shaken, pushed off balance or cracked and broken in some area of my life. I’ll try to do all these things to “fix” it. But really, what I need is to stop doing and go within to tend my state of being.
Even though I know how essential inner work is to my well-being, I can still, at times, struggle to make enough time for it. I can sometimes go into a dilemma around letting go of plans, goals, activities and tasks that keep my life in order, so I can make room for inner kintsugi, inner repair. It takes faith, trust, and patience to let go of clear (and noisy) life demands to go into the sometimes murky and not always comfortable inner world where fears, blocks, buried emotions and hang-ups lie in wait for some healing magic and transformation.
To truly be in balance, we need to balance ourselves from the inside out, which means attending to the inner cracks, breakages, and places of imbalance. While it’s not always “fun” it doesn’t have to be difficult or straining. And the benefits of doing inner healing work include gaining more clarity, more peace and more ease. It’s well worth the effort to carve out time and space for inner work. When we bring the golden touch of healing to our inner cracks, they transform into gifts of great value.
While life logistics have to be handled, they don’t always have to be center stage. They don’t always have to come first. Sometimes those necessary life tasks can be pushed into the margins temporarily. Sometimes we need a reprieve, a chance to catch our breath, get in touch with Self, and gain a broader, clearer perspective.
Here’s some things I’ve found helpful. Try them out and see if they help you find your own sweet spot of balance between inner repair and outer demands.
Take time every day to slow down and quiet yourself. Do restorative activities like meditation, yoga, coloring mandalas, or opening an inner dialogue through journaling – whatever helps you get in touch with you.
Tips for doing inner work:
- Make Time – Schedule regular time to be alone, without any outside distractions. Turn off all devices. Make a date weekly or even daily for unplugged, undisturbed alone time. Try to give yourself an hour, but even 10 mins is better than nothing.
Or better yet, try scheduling 15-30 mins daily and an hour or more once a week. Let your people know you’re not available at these set times and stick to it. Honor your own commitment to inner work.
- Gather Tools – Have tools for inner work on hand like paper, pens, journals, art materials, a yoga mat, essential oils, crystals, smudging tools, divination tools, nature – the options are broad. Follow your intuition and gut instinct on what tools would be fun and helpful for you.
- Mix It Up – Sometimes new approaches bring new perspectives and insights. Commit to experiment every week with a different way to get in touch with your inner voice through free writing, free drawing, moving, meditating, being alone in nature, etc. When you find something that works well for you keep it available or find a way to make it accessible.
- Get Support – At times we all encounter areas of inner cracks and broken places that can be too difficult, or too scary to approach alone. We all need to feel the security of knowing we have support at our backs. We all need to have our pain and suffering, as well as our strength and courage witnessed and mirrored back to us.
Sometimes, we’re fortunate to have trusted friends with whom we can share our deepest selves. If this is the case for you, be grateful, and also mindful about how much a friend can hold on your behalf. (Visit my Facebook page for a wonderful link to an article about holding space for others.) In many cases, it can be wise to call in the help of a therapist, counselor, healer, or to seek the support of a healing-focused group or circle. Remember, you do not have to go it alone!
Bottom line, inner repair is possible if you’re willing to commit to allocating time and resources to it. Now’s the perfect time to expand your self-care practices and make even more space in your life for your favorite self-balancing and self-discovery practices and tools. It’s an investment that will yield immeasurable rewards that will ripple into all areas of your life.
When we get clear in balanced within, you’re better equipped to bring your gifts and your soul’s service more fully into the world. And our world needs you in all your strength and brilliance now, more than ever!
Mixed Media Artwork by Debra Goldman. See more of her work at http://www.debragoldmanstudio.com/