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, think about softness - the softness of your smile, of your kindness and caring, of the tenderness of your touch. There is such power in softness. Today, discern the difference between softness and weakness. Weakness is allowing others to run over you and control you. Softness is the result of a powerful loving Adult standing in your truth and being unafraid to express your love. By Dr. Margaret Paul
"I was able to become more connected to myself and learned very helpful tools to start to take care of myself. I have been feeling very lost and abandoned during this past year & now realize that I had abandoned myself (just an observation, not a criticism)! I am very excited about bringing this all into my everyday life along with the Core Energetic training I am doing."
"I came into this weekend scared of having to expose myself. I feared expressing my feelings of shame and guilt and embarrassment. I most especially was afraid to cry in front of others. I felt like I'd rather die than to be so vulnerable amongst strangers. But, after having participated this weekend I feel some of that fear has diminished and I now know that it's okay to cry without embarrassment or shame. I feel safe." LA Workshop 9/10/01
"[The workshop] really opened my eyes and my heart to compassion...around my addiction to shame. Helped me see the need to accept my helplessness over others. Margaret was excellent - outsides match insides - can see the work of the six steps in her life."
"This workshop has been magical and synchronous. I made connections with people which was exactly what my loving adult needed to do for my inner child. I also stepped in to vulnerbility and out of the wounded voile by getting up and speaking in to a microphone sharing my experience. You are both (all three) amazing and I am forever grateful for this precious oppurtunity." 1440 Multiversity Workshop, Santa Cruz, CA 4.18
“I feel the Inner Bonding course coupled with Attracting Your Beloved are a powerful combination that I have benefited from tremendously. Given relationships are one of the greatest struggles in life, the Attracting Your Beloved course really takes the IB home by zeroing in on the relationship blocks and patterns. This is a great course and thank you very much for offering it. Attracting Your Beloved helped me to see how judgmental and passive aggressive I behaved in past relationships. IB has helped me not to abandon myself as I used to do. Together these helped me raise my frequency and I truly attracted a high quality person and may have found my beloved. I would not have done this without the work I did with you. Asking you questions in the forum was extremely helpful. The thing I find most surprising is that an online course can be so effective. Your daily presence through the videos and forum, coupled with the coaching calls made me feel you are present with us. This has been more effective than in-person sessions with therapists. I commend your approach! I have recommended you to family and friends. I will forever be grateful for the healing I experienced through your work. “
"It was an incredible experience. It was far better than I could imagine. I can't believe the depth of feelings I accessed in two days. The combination of lecture and 6-Step session was very rich. Adding the group and pain sharing made it a great method for learning through the four strategies. Margaret was excellent: a top rank presenter, a good facilitator and wonderfully kind human being. She was generous with giving information and with sharing meaningful examples from her own life." L.A. Weekend Workshop, 11/04
Kathy I. Norman, Ph.D