What is The Internal Work?
The Internal Work is a paradigm that we built based on an exploration of ourselves. An exploration that lasted many years and is still ongoing work but we are now at a point where we have a taste of what the groundwork needs to be for anyone else that is interested in exploring this path. We each, individually, started with our own feeling that something was wrong with us or that something about us needed to be fixed. This feeling drove us to explore a plethora of ideas, paradigms, and customs that exist in the "healing world". Many of these ideas and concepts helped but along the way we came to the realization that emotions were discussed superficially but not completely engaged. We also recognized that we, ourselves, had biases against emotions. For example, we believed emotions were irrational and that it was best to ignore them. But we started to ask questions. Why do we have emotions? Can emotions serve us rather than us feeling like a victim to them? So we dug deeper into them. In this exploration we found ourselves exploring our bodies, belief systems, and subconscious along the way. Being raised in the West means we started with a western psychological influence to how we perceived emotions but as adults we each individually took interest in other paradigms which enabled us to be open to perceiving emotions in a different light. We feel that we found a large cavern full of gold with our new understandings and we want to share the roadmap on how to get there. However, we cannot take you there ourselves or simply describe our understandings. You have to be willing to take yourself there and KNOW it for yourself. Hence, the name The Internal Work.
When we started to create groundwork for a new perspective we realized we had to create stakes in the ground that individuals could lean on while they explore which is how the idea of *defining emotions* came about. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before going on this particular journey:
Believing that what we feel is scary or bad will keep us from experiencing the feeling that we've actually had on our bodies for a very long time. We are so good at being in denial. Sometimes the denial is due to a belief, sometimes it is due to a sort of survival mechanism, or even a belief that not feeling will keep us "safe". At The Internal Work we see feelings as benevolent. Meaning that the feeling is just there to inform us. The feelings are not there to hinder us, scare us, or deter us. But having a belief blocking us from feeling it will keep us from leveling up to a new understanding.
It's important to feel our emotion even if it is uncomfortable (especially if it is uncomfortable!) so that we gain knowledge about our internal world. In The Internal Work we believe it is important to get comfortable in the discomfort of our emotions. Most of the discomfort comes from our judgment that it is "bad" or "uncomfortable". We are not saying you need to enjoy the discomfort but rather be unfazed by it. The first step is to recognize that what you're experiencing is just a feeling.
It's important to be the "eye of the storm" or in this case the "I" in the storm. One of the reasons we avoid our emotions is because we don't like being overwhelmed them. So we must build and strengthen our sense of "I" inside of these "storms". We must recognize that we can be in the midst of our emotions while at the same time have a part of us observe them. This takes time, practice, and compassion for yourself but it is well worth creating a strong core within yourself.
Your emotional reaction is based off of your history. Though someone may trigger you, they are only a catalyst for what you feel. They are not the source of that emotion. You do not feel something because of someone else. Rather, you feel it because of your history. It is like you are stepping back in time. The original feeling of this emotion has been on our bodies for a very long time. The story may change but the feeling and interpretation has not. So we need to become in-tuned to what we feel so that we can stop avoiding what we feel.
Your subconscious will block you from feeling certain things because you programmed yourself a long time ago to avoid these feelings and emotions. This is a tricky one to see at first because these blocks have become habitual or even completely inconspicuous as it is so ingrained into our lives that we don't even question why we may do something. It may come in the form of a sudden feeling of tiredness when a moment ago you were wide awake, feeling irritated, distracting yourself, jumping to a new subject... it has many forms and some of them can be extremely toxic. Becoming conscious of your distracting habits will be a tool you'll want to sharpen. Your subconscious is not blocking you because it has a higher conscious than you or that it is in charge, instead, it is because you programmed your subconscious at a very young age that this emotion is bad and you don't want feel it. It is a survival mechanism of sorts.
Now the reason we start with defining emotions is so that it gives you something to hook onto and explore. This exploration will take a holistic approach as you will have to dig into aspects of your mind, your body, and your spirit. (In this case, spirit will be translated as your "will" or "action" instead of the more known idea of "ghost".) Our end goal to all of this is to help you become more conscious. We see that most people are unconsciously flailing in their emotions and trapped in stories unable to make conscious choices for their lives. They make unconscious choices out of fear. We want to be an aid to those that are willing to try a new path and who want to imagine and create a new way to experience their lives.