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 InspirationToday, consciously choose to be non-reactive in situations that normally push your buttons. Choose to remain silent rather than argue your point. Choose to listen rather than interrupt. Choose to accept rather than judge. Choose to tell your truth rather than be invisible. Choose to care about another rather than resist being controlled. Choose to learn rather than protect when your buttons are pushed. By Dr. Margaret Paul
'I found it to be a valid approach to breaking down the beliefs, resistance that prevents me from owning my feelings and controlling or taking responsibility for my own actions. Though it seemed a lot to absorb in one weekend, it definitely gave me the resources to practice and learn more. I left feeling much more in control and with a sense of relief about some difficult personal situations.' Inner Bonding Weekend Workshop, Rowe, MA, 4/10
"The Inner Bonding Workshop has helped me to see myself more clearly. I've made a commitment to take care of my little girl and I'm looking forward to attending a 5-Day Intensive as soon as possible. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to connect with themselves and others."
'Being here has been very Self-affirming. I feel as though I have taken action on what it means to love myself by being here. I am saying to my Inner Child - you matter, you're important, I love you and I am committed to taking care of you. I feel more responsible for myself and my feelings. I feel more capable of standing up for myself, and I feel empowered to let go of my addiction to approval from others.' Los Angeles Workshop, 1/09
"I walked in after learning about IB on Kripalu's website just two weeks before. I am in the second year of the end of my marriage which has involved much conflict on both sides emanating from the wounded self. I now clearly see this and look forward to practicing IB as a way to improve the relationship as we co-parent our 6 year old." Kripalu, 9.17
"My experience here was excellent. I received so much more information than I would have expected in 2 days. I now feel that I have the basic tools to know how to take care of myself. All I need to do now is practice the principles in my daily life. I look forward to attending a 5-Day Intensive!" L.A. Weekend Workshop, 11/04
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