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 InspirationWe are all given free will. What does this mean? It does not mean that we can control others and the outcome of things. It means that we are free to choose our intention each moment. It means that if we choose the intention to avoid/control, we freely choose to behave in unloving ways to ourselves and others. It means if we choose the intention to learn about love, even in the face of fear, we freely choose to be loving to ourselves and others. Free will gives us the ability to choose our intention. By Dr. Margaret Paul
"Fulfilling and rewarding experience. I feel empowered to work on Inner
Bonding with myself. Inner Bonding process is very simple and very hard at the same
time. I know it will be a big commitment and I feel very ready for that. It
helped me to see that I am not only responsible for myself, but to the entire
universe by Inner Bonding with myself." Rowe, MA, 4/04
"I intuitively knew this was the workshop for me. It more than met my expectations. I've never heard a facilitator take the words right out of my mouth and realize that she had gone through the exact same reactions, feelings, experiences in her relationships and not only her but all or almost all of us here at the workshop. Thank you Dr. Margaret for creating the open, safe space. I love your directness! 'Thank you.'" Art of Living, 5.18
"Learning about acting with intent. I think the frequent check-in with my inner child is so valuable. We used to play a lot together - less over the years, so it is time to re-engage. Sometime what I say is taken as an offense. I realize I have to check in with my inner child- am I saying this to be hip, cool? Or to be loving and sharing?" Kripalu, 9.17
"The course was an eye opener that you have to take care of yourself first. I have been trying to be controlling and manipulating too much and working out of the wounded self. The goal is to start taking care of the inner child which in turn should help you. - Excellent job!" Kripalu 9.18
"I'm taking home new critical pieces of my life pie. I was validated for what I've already healed and was given tools that are invaluable for continuing the ride! I leave energized yet peaceful. [Margaret is a] 10+ - totally passionate about life and her work which is a thrill to witness and to experience - it's catchy! Margaret is at the top of my list for skilled facilitation." Rowe, MA Workshop, April, 2000
'Prior to this weekend workshop, I had read a few books, worked through the website, listened to Podcasts. Having the live sessions, WITH OTHERS LEARNING AND ASKING QUESTIONS, made it all solidify. Very happy with my decision to invest in this weekend.' Kripalu Workshop, 9.12