Why did you write this book, Sarah? I ask myself this question daily, and surprisingly I get a different answer most days. But lately, the answer comes with a different type of clarity.
I wrote Inside: A Guide to the Resources Within because I felt the most basic foundation of creating healthy habits was calling out to be looked at. Everyone yearns to get unstuck and change habits that no longer serve them, but in order to do that, you have to get truthful about what hangs you up and be prepared to meet those challenges head-on.
Getting real with who you are is the tough part, and something I understand intimately. In my early life, I tried to implement change many times and couldn’t. It was not for lack of wanting that it didn’t happen; it was something quite different. I would make a decision to make changes, adopt practices that would support those changes, and then find myself overwhelmed. This overwhelm would manifest in all sorts of ways.
Sometimes it would appear in the form of a headache, other times it would be a flood of feelings from my past that I wasn’t yet prepared to look at. I had no idea what stream of emotions would show up. This made me feel unsafe, and without someone to guide me, I felt like I was free-falling into unknown territory. This left me feeling vulnerable, and hesitant about taking the next steps, so I’d stop.
What I came to realize was that in order to take the next steps on my healing path, I needed to build a container strong enough to hold what shows up. I thought I could do this work on my own, but because of the depth of loss I had experienced, what I needed was a teacher, mentor, guide, someone who could act as the observer as I moved ahead with these practices. I desperately wanted to heal, but I intuitively knew I needed a professional to support my journey. So I took the next steps and made the investment in me. I found a therapist and a spiritual teacher to help me, and with their guidance created an unshakable foundation for healing.
Breaking old habits means looking at your resistances and challenges. That’s where all the information is. But when a part of you is revealed that brings shame, disappointment, and embarrassment, how do you stay with it, own it, and bring enough awareness to it so you can ultimately heal through it?
Self-care guides you inside. It opens your experience to all parts of who you are.
Cultivating consistency and compassion for yourself will give you the ability to stay with it, and that is what it takes.
Inside illuminates this compassionate path of healing. It guides you inside with support for where you are when you first open it. It accepts you as you are in this precious moment and encourages you to understand that all the stepping stones (as dysfunctional as they may feel to you) to where you are right now have had tremendous value.
Now is the time to cultivate the compassionate observer in yourself and take precious care of your life through self-care. Meet whatever challenges appear with neutrality, courage, and faith. This is the secret sauce for long-time success on a healing journey.