The language of ‘the inner’ is as rich as it is diverse. We all talk about our inner experience in wildly different ways, and giving voice to it is more easeful for some than others. But this does not mean our inner world is any or more or less rich. For some of us, it’s much easier to express our inner experience through our body, for others through art, music or physical activity. Some of us naturally tend towards a language of emotions and feelings, others visceral sensations in the body or intellectual thought through the mind. For others the realm of the imaginal is most available. And the more we are able to open to each of these gateways to our inner experience, the more balanced, whole, rich and transformative our life becomes.
This difference in how we experience and express our inner worlds can create confusion, fear and a sense of separation between us all. We can feel like we do not belong in places which define themselves as being about inner work or which express it in different ways to us.
We can doubt the existence or legitimacy of our own inner experience or simply come to the conclusion that inner work is not for us, if we are around people who define inner work in ways that do not resonate with our own experience.
This is a serious loss for our inner experience is the key to meaningful connection with others and to experiencing our inter-connectivity as an earth community. And it is this connection and relationship that holds the key to the deep transformation our world is longing for through us.
When we are in healthy relationship with our-self, others and the other-than-human world we have more riches than money could ever buy. When we feel full up in our relationships with others and with our own creativity and sense of purpose, we connect with a sense of inner abundance that makes us immune to the consumer culture that is eroding the web of life our collective future rests on.
Our inner world is unique to us. And a life-affirming world needs all of us in our unique and diverse glory. What’s more, our unique inner world is our one and only route to experiencing and making sense of the world around us. Life happens through us - our inner experience is how we think, feel, sense, imagine, intuit and make sense and meaning of what happens in our day to day lives. And it is how we relate with our inner experience that shapes how we come into relationship with others and our wider earth community.
This is how we co-create a more life-affirming paradigm grounded in a self-aware power-with model of relating. A regenerative culture that honours and respects our inherent inter-dependency, and the extent to which our future as a species rests on this truth.
We have created a table in an attempt to map the range of ways that we can access our ‘inner world’ within, between and around us. We hope that this will support a bridging of our inner worlds and a sense that our unique inner experience is very much a vital part of the rich and diverse territory of the inner dimension of life.
|Gateway||Ways of experiencing||Approaches|
|Emotions||joy, love, anger, grief||mindfulness, psychology, psychotherapy, nonviolent communication, embodied presence.|
|Body||touch, movement, health, voice||dance, yoga, tai chi, chi gung, bodywork, voice work, alternative health modalities, sex, sport|
|Imagination||fantasy, deep imagery, day dreaming||imaginal journeying, cultural expression|
|Intuition||archetypes, dreams||Jungian psychology, psychosynthesis, spirit medicine, creative process|
|Intellect||analysis, reflection, curiosity||research, psychology, philosophy, debate|
|Gateway||Ways of experiencing||Approaches|
|Divine||Soul, imaginal, abundance||Religions, Animas|
|Land/nature||nature connection, gardening, farming, ancestors, animals||Permaculture, Shamanism, Herbalism|
|Ancestors||collective unconscious, traditions, lineage||Shamanism, religions|
|Energy||Chakras, spirit work, angel work||Kundalini meditation, energy healing, spiritwork, Kirlian photography|
|Creativity||art, music, song, making anything||any creative practice|
|Silence||Spaciousness||Buddhism, meditation, contemplative practice, mindfulness, Quaker practice, prayer|
|Relationship||trust, communication, shared practice, sex||Nonviolent communication. Psychotherapies, tantra|
|Trance||dance, surrender, ecstatic practices||Kirtan, latihan, shamanism|
|Ritual||sacredness, connection, care, repetition, calling in||any form of ritual|
|Sound||Singing, music, drumming|