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, summon the courage to take the loving action in your own behalf. It is only when you risk taking the loving action that you will discover your joy. By Dr. Margaret Paul
"I feel that the workshop was very valuable, something I will continue for the rest of my life. I am planning on attending a 5 day Intensive." Kripalu Workshop, Lenox, MA, 10/09
Catherine M. Covington
"I now have a process for what had been a very haphazard and only partially successful means for understanding myself. Hopefully, this is just a beginning and the six steps will lead to action. Margaret: you are terrific, talented, insightful, with an excellent ability to turn a desperate group of people into an engaged, cohesive unit."
"I learned in a deep way that I'm powerless over other people's behavior and feelings, that I have subtle and complex issues of control and the only way to be free of the behaviors resulting from them is to take care of my own happiness and connect with a source higher than myself." Rowe, MA Workshop, April 2000
"Inestimable value. It provides the truth; the truth necessary for any healing work to be effective; the framework to ensure that whatever tools you work are applied with the right intent. Thank you for helping to birth this work and for continuing to offer your gift to others. Very nice work you're doing!"
"This was my first exposure to Dr. Margaret Paul's work. This process was very unique in getting in toucch with your inner child, wounded self, and higher being. I really enjoyed working with others n the group and having the opportunity to open up and dig deep into finding the nner child I've abandoned. I was able to really understand what Margaret was wanting us to do in the exercises and I appreciated Grace and Carla's kindness and willingness to stop and really make sure that we got it. This is an amazing tool I have already started to use and am looking forward to getting to know my inner child more and more! 1440 Multiversity Workshop, Santa Cruz, CA 4.18
I so much appreciated this experience. It became so clear to me that I have been looking externally for love and approval rather than internally. I look forward to not only meeting my [inner] child on a daily basis, but my spiritual guidance as well.