by Chris Sloane
I believe that we all have the potential to engage in two specific rhythms of growth, an inner and an outer, which we can experience throughout our lifetime. The greater the awareness that we can bring to these cycles, the greater the congruence between our inner and outer selves and the greater the fulfillment and satisfaction during our lives.
The inward cycle allows oneself the opportunity for an interior view of our subconscious and its accompanying unexamined beliefs. These beliefs which can be seeded when we are still in early childhood and carried unknowingly, are capable of derailing our health, happiness and the satisfaction which we seek.
These interior glimpses of ourselves can often feel challenging and unsettling, as our social conditioning has never prepared us for this type of introspection and the resulting “voice” of that socialization (ego) resists examination. The presence of a counselor or witness at this time creates the setting of mental and emotional safety that is necessary for this type of an exploration.
Upon our return from the interior landscape, we will be able to determine if old unexplored beliefs are truly acting in our best interest and take our newfound insights and understanding into the world to put them into daily practice. Essentially we take our new beliefs for a “spin around the block” and by doing so we test their mettle and efficacy in moving us toward our goals and visions. By releasing unhelpful beliefs and integrating more positive ones, we then create new experiences of life, which in turn, will provide more “grist for the mill” and fuel our next inward journey.
As we continue to process our experiences, we will find that our interior journey has done nothing to change the external conditions of society and people, but that our relationship with them has significantly changed. We find that there is now more space between the outer conditions of life and our inner response to them. The outer conditions no longer dictate our internal responses.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”