The 6 Steps
The 6 Steps of Inner Bonding
Practicing the Six Steps of Inner Bonding leads you along the spiritual path of healing the shame and self-abandonment of the ego/wounded self, and creates a profound connection with your personal source of spiritual guidance.
The energy that was drained by disconnection and fear now returns to you, allowing you to live life more fully, experience a fulfilling relationship with yourself and others, and learn to manage the challenges of life in a healthy and sustainable manner.
A brief overview of the Six Steps:
Step 1: Willingness to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings
In Step 1, you move into the present moment and focus within, tuning into your feelings and emotions. You make the choice to be mindful of all your feelings, including your painful feelings, rather than protect against them with substance and process addictions. You make a conscious decision that you WANT to take responsibility for your feelings, which means that you want responsibility for learning how you are causing your own anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and shame with your own thoughts and actions, and that you want responsibility for learning how to nurture the painful feelings of life - the loneliness, heartbreak and grief that are so challenging.
This begins the process of opening you up to receive the positive energy that enlivens and sustains you.
Step 2: Move into the Intent to Learn
In Step 2, you focus in your heart and invite the compassionate presence of your higher self into your heart.
Now you're ready to focus on "intent" - your deepest desire, your primary motivation. There are only two possible intents you can have in any given moment:
- The intent to protect yourself from pain
- The intent to learn about loving yourself
When you are in the intent to learn you are a loving Adult. When you are in the intent to protect and avoid, you are operating from your shame-based ego wounded self.
This commitment to your intention to learn fully opens you up and allows you to connect with your feelings and your higher self.
Step 3: Dialogue with Your Wounded self and Core Self
With kindness, gentleness and compassion toward yourself, you discover the thoughts/false beliefs from your wounded self that may be causing your shame, fear and pain, and you learn how to release anger and pain in appropriate ways. You uncover false beliefs that were created in the past and have led to the self-abandonment that is causing your current pain and shame. You explore what may be happening with a person or event that is causing the core painful feelings of loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, helplessness, or grief. You explore your core Self - your essence, your inner child, which is your feeling self - and discover what brings you joy.
Only when the unconscious false beliefs that have limited you for so long are understood and identified, can they be replaced by new and healthier truths that will nurture and heal you.
In Step 3, you ask yourself questions, such as, "What am I trying to control?" "What am I avoiding feeling with my protective, controlling behavior?"
Step 4: Dialogue with Your Higher Guidance
In Step 4, you ask your spiritual guidance (whatever that is for you): "What is the truth about the thoughts/false beliefs I may have uncovered in Step 3?" And, "What is the loving behavior toward my Inner Child in this situation? What is in my highest good? What is kind to myself?" You open and allow the answers to come through you in words, pictures or feelings. The answers may not come immediately, but if you have a sincere desire to learn, they will come.
By staying open to learning, you experience that you are never alone. This is where fears fall away and you begin to receive all the love and wisdom you need to take loving action for yourself and with others.
Step 5: Take Loving Action
Step 5 is about telling yourself the truth and taking the loving action based on the information that came through from your guidance in Step 4.
You have opened to your pain, moved into learning, started a dialogue with your wounded self and core self, and tapped into your spiritual guidance. In step 5 you take the ‘loving action' that, over time, heals the shame, anxiety and depression that have been the result of your self-abandonment.
Step 6: Evaluate Your Action
Once you take the loving action, you check in to see if your pain, anger and shame are getting healed. If not, you go back through the steps until you discover the truth and actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.
Turning this daily practice into a way of life is what will protect you from going back into the behaviors and patterns from the past. Much like attending to - say - a child's feelings, you learn to keep a loving relationship with yourself throughout your life, no matter the challenges that come at you. This loving relationship with yourself and your guidance fills you and empowers you to handle life's challenges with strength and equanimity.
Daily InspirationWhat is more important to you in this moment - loving yourself and sharing your love with others, or trying to have control over not getting hurt - feeling safe from being rejected, smothered, taken advantage of, and from failure or loss? Today, make love your highest priority and notice how happy you feel! By Dr. Margaret Paul
"During the workshop, I was able to recognize that my relationship with myself, i.e. the ways I take care of myself, were patterned after the way my father took care of himself and interacted with me. I'm now able to make a different choice to honor and care for and cherish the relationship with my self as primary."
Tom Pemberton -
"I feel exhilarated by the openings I've experienced for my process. Especially a balance of positive empowering tools for my wounded self while I'm giving my inner child more loving attention. i.e. 'new job'; embracing, learning & dialog to core self, enhancing how to grow with loving adult guidance enhanced action."Kripalu Workshop, Lenox, MA, 10/09
'As a 15 year old going to this Workshop with my Mom, I was obviously skeptical about whether it would be a huge waste of time or not. But after meeting some of the people and getting to know them, I realized that my age changed nothing. I was treated the same way. And I guess that made me open enough to get what I needed out of the experience. I feel so much more mentally prepared to take things on and I never thought I'd have that.' Rowe, MA Workshop, 5.12
"I found the workshop to be incredibly helpful. Though I'd read Inner Bonding, am a member of the website, and had a phone session with Margaret, I learned so much at the workshop. I found the small group and visualizations to be very useful. The demonstrations were extraordinarily valuable. And my fear of feeling too vulnerable and overwhelmed didn't happen - it was a safe environment." Rowe Weekend Workshop 5/06
"Amazing! I really feel it combines cognitive behavioral therapy with spirituality in such a way that is more healing and meaningful than just changing one's thoughts. What brought it home to me is really visualizing my wounded child as an actual child and asking myself, 'Would I really speak to a child that way?'" L.A. Workshop, 1/08
"This is a very high quality workshop. I have learned more in one weekend about how to live a loving, joyous and wonderful life than I learned in my 52 years prior. The tools and process are practical, make so much sense and will be so valuable in my life." Kripalu, 9.17