Daily InspirationThe challenge for all of us is to stay openhearted in the face of another's closed heart. We want to close our heart to protect against the pain of loneliness and helplessness, but when we close our heart we end up feeling alone and empty. Today, challenge yourself to embrace the core feelings of loneliness and helplessness over others rather than abandon yourself. By Dr. Margaret Paul
Inner Bonding as a PracticeBy Nancy Swisher
December 31, 2006
Inner Bonding Facilitator Nancy Swisher offers us deep insight into the power of the practice of Inner Bonding - the practice of learning to love yourself and share your love with others.
Let's look at the root and definition of the word 'practice', since I am a believer of words. The root of the word 'practice' means 'concerning action'. Inner Bonding is filled with action every step of the way, even though some of the actions are invisible, like the act of choosing your intent.
The definition of 'practice' is 'to do something repeatedly in order to acquire proficiency.' The very fact that Inner Bonding can BE practiced in order to gain mastery indicates the depth of its structure. Just as yoga, or sports, or the arts can be practiced in order to deepen learning towards mastery, so can Inner Bonding be practiced, leading towards mastery.
But mastery of what? Of six steps? Not exactly. The six steps are only a structure to guide you towards learning how to love yourself more completely, then to share your love and gifts with the world. So the practice of Inner Bonding is about learning how to love. Learning how to be the love that you are in your soul, then manifesting from that core place inside.
Why is the practice of loving oneself difficult, you may ask? The practice of bringing Love inside becomes challenging when the wounded child/adult is activated and you are stuck in pain and fear. "This is bullshit!" your wounded child/adult might yell, as you begin the six-steps. "New Age crap!"
When this happens - when fear and pain feel dominant - how do you practice Inner Bonding in such a difficult moment as this? A client of mine recently said, "I don't know how to bring Love in to my angry child. She hates me and God and I just agree with her. The pain is overwhelming."
It is in the difficult moments that a practice takes shape. With anything you are wanting to master, whether in the arts or sports, what appears to be a failure is actually a step towards mastery when your focus and intent is set on Being rather than Doing. With Inner Bonding, even in those moments when your fear seems dominant and unshakable, if your intent is to learn how to love the Being that you are, rather than to Do it right, then your practice is taking shape.
I have found it helpful over years of my own practice to experiment with making each step of Inner Bonding real for myself. Attending Intensives and/or getting one-on-one support is, I think, essential for learning the process. But ultimately, we are alone with our practice, day to day, in the moments of our life. We hone our practice of Inner Bonding during these moments. Below are some of the ways I remember to enter my own practice of Inner Bonding. I have played with the word Practice and come up with an aspect of Inner Bonding for each letter in the word as a way to represent the varied and creative ways to explore your Inner Bonding practice.
- P is for Prayer for a connection to Spirit when you feel lost. (I sing my prayers!)
- R is Reaching out when you need support. (Find an IB buddy!)
- A is for the Anger Process, which opens your heart! (A is also for action! Action action Loving action!)
- C is for your Child, who awaits your words of love and understanding!(Make your child real through photos)
- T is for detecting the Thoughts, which create your feelings.
- I is for Intention, the key only you can turn inside you from protection to learning.
- C is for the Crying! Yes, it's loving to let your child cry.
- E is for remembering the Eternal soul you are!
I invite you to think of Inner Bonding as a practice, whose possibilities are endless, for it's the practice of learning to love.Whenever you do not love yourself, move into the practice, in whatever way you can.
Nancy Swisher is a Certified Inner Bonding Facilitator with a private practice in western Massachusetts and on the phone. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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