Take a break from inner work
If you’re like me then you’re taking your inner work and personal development seriously… may I say too seriously sometimes. Saying that, part of my growth journey, was to also learn to slow down on all the internal work/chatter and NOT feel guilty about it.
In this article, you will find ways to navigate the tumultuous tribulations of inner work and the guilt we build around it.
Doing inner work is not for the faint hearted
I get it.. once you start it’s pretty hard to stop.. going down the rabbit hole of knowledge, insightful podcasts, journalling, life changing books, shadow work, transcendental meditation experiences, A-ha moment, etc…
There is so much beauty and light around all that self knowledge.
But here’s the thing, we have not been taught how to do these things, we had to learn how to surf the self development waves on our own.
– Or else, you’ve been pretty lucky to have extremely aware and conscious parents –
So naturally, at least for me, when getting into a field that I enjoy, I fully get into it. I might get obsessed with it. Especially when it’s something that makes me feel good. Why would you want to stop or take a break? The issue is, after a while, it might feel like doing homework and you might get overwhelmed, or burned out. Even more so when you keep adding practices to your daily routine, you end living in an inner work bubble.
Still unsure ?
Look at it this way, this constant re-assessment of our thoughts, actions and core beliefs are being challenged by life, triggers, loss, etc.. It can be damaging over time.
We feel and are made to believe that working on ourselves (consistently) will be the key to soul liberation and healing, so we continue on this path.
In that sense, social media is not always helpful. A lot of info are being thrown at us daily and can lead to feeling like we have no other choice but to work on Self. By comparing ourselves with others online, it can also make us feel like we are not doing enough.
“Oh let me take part in this meditation retreat, or take this ancestral medicinal herb”… a lot of noise.
Why do you need to take a break from inner work
‘Just BE, Just BREATHE‘
My mantra for the past 2 years has been the simple but efficient : JUST BREATHE, JUST BE.
And as corny as it might sound, I have never connected so deeply with any other mantra but this one. We are all different but I truly believe that my ancestors have led the path for me to REST. For me to BE. For me to be one with Source.
Inner work = Hard work
Inner work comes with a lot of unraveling, unlearning, dark revelations about yourself, shadow, triggers to navigate through… and this can cause you anxiety or an overall feeling of defeat.
Remember, your mind and soul are connected to your body. If your mind is constantly operating on a low vibrational state, your body will experience these thoughts on a cellular level. Doing shadow work is great but you might want to slow down from time to time.
I love the analogy used by many that watering a plant everyday will eventually kill it, as opposed to letting it rest, will help it grow. Same for us, overloading ourselves with inspirational content (as positive as it might be) is not always beneficial.
How do you take a break from inner work ?
I invite you to take a conscious break to stop.. stop for a day, for a week. Whatever feels comfortable..and ease off on all that noise.
No you don’t need to meditate today. Do you even know why you meditate ?
Practice just BEING at peace with yourself. This version of yourself, right here, right now.
- Watch some comfort TV show, something light, something goofy. Switch your brain off
- Sleep longer (if you can)
- Go on an adventure
- Be playful, activate your inner child and let loose
- Read books which help you escape
Releasing guilt around not being productive
Do you ever catch yourself feeling silly or unproductive when watching reality tv shows ?
I know I used to. I no longer guilt trip myself about it.
If, in this instant, I feel like doing that, then that means I probably needed it. I like to compare this to a food craving. Satisfy it now before it starts invading your thoughts.
It is a reward after all, not your everyday routine, so release any guilt you encounter.
Every piece of content you consume does not need to be related to self development ALL THE TIME.
So this is my challenge to you : If during this inner-work-break time you find yourself thinking ‘I’m not learning anything, or doing anything productive from [fill the blank]’ then YOU BETTER DO IT ANYWAY 😅
A great way to release the guilt is to reframe your thinking :
Instead of saying : ‘ I should be more productive and should not watch this TV show’ or ‘I should meditate for 30 minutes today’
Say : ‘I get to enjoy a moment of relaxation and I feel great about it’ or ‘my way of meditation today is to read my romance book’.
It might feel useless at first, but trust me the more you reframe your thoughts the more you’ll stop creating resistance in your life. And this works for pretty much everything, from the way you talk about your body, to your job.
Here are a few affirmations for you to rewire your brain :
I let go of perfectionism and release the need to control my actions
I create a bubble of self-compassion around me
Everything I do, is for my highest good
Today I abandon resistance, guilt, and limiting beliefs
Remember : Do things that make you feel good. Not things that you think you should do to reach ‘spiritual enlightenment’.
‘The Power of Now’
One thing that stands in the way of releasing guilt, is thinking too far ahead.
What can I do to reach this goal ?
How can I achieve x, y and z state of being ?
Living in the present moment is key.
You might already be aware of the amazing Eckhart Tolle and his best seller book ‘The power of now’. But if you aren’t I highly recommend you checking it out. It will give you an insight on how we can absorb a spiritual practice in our daily life with every relation and activity we do.
Getting back into it after a break
Now that you have taken a well needed break from inner work. You might start to feel lighter and more energized. You might also want to dive even deeper into your spiritual practice.
Well friends, I will give you 2 words : BABY STEPS.
You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a lot all at once.
Start small and take it step by step. It can be a 5-minute meditation in the morning instead of 30 minutes, or journaling once a week instead of every day. Whatever works for you, without taking away the inner stillness and presence you have achieved over the past days/weeks.
I would love to know whether this has resonated with you ? What are the ways in which you take breaks from inner work ? Do you allow yourself to take some time away from your spiritual practice ? How does that make you feel ?
Share it with the collective in the comments section BELOW.
Marieme, The Healing Collective.