We get quirky reminders or examples about why inner work is important for us to do. Are you aware of your reminders? Do you heed them?

There are times when pressing the filter down in my French press coffeemaker doesn’t go the way it’s meant to. The filter sticks at the halfway point and won’t budge. I have to wait a while for it to move again. I tried several method adjustments, as some of you might; but the only method that always works is to have the thought of coffee, and only coffee, in mind as I press the filter down.

Instead of thinking about what needs to be done that day or with my life, or thinking about who or what I find annoying and why, I think “coffee.” I pull up a quick image montage of times and places where a cup of coffee was enjoyed. At the same time, I “see” the filter moving down just as it should, and I think the word “coffee.”

The dynamics at work here are steady action (not force) combined with my inner “eye” on the target (filter down means a good cup of coffee) and good feelings (produced by fond memories), which is the way to have what we desire (a feeling) more readily matched by the Universe through Law of Attraction.

Prior to figuring out that this works best (and feels best) to accomplish my intention, I’d have thoughts about how difficult it could sometimes be to simply make coffee. I’d think more about the difficulty of the process than I did about how my thoughts about anything other than what I was doing played a significant role in creating the experience and result. When I thought such thoughts, sure enough, the filter would stick—like this morning, when I thought, “I’m publishing this article today. Wouldn’t it be something if it got stuck?” And so it did. No surprise there.

I heard minister, Joyce Meyer, say something about faith practice that relates to how we often do inner work: that we do enough to keep out of Hell, but not enough for victory in our life. I add that sometimes we don’t do enough to keep out of hell or some version of it either, which is what or where negative thinking can, and often does, lead us into.

Maybe we don’t follow through with consistent practice of inner work because it feels like work, because it is (at least until it becomes a practice) that takes a level of committed effort or engagement. Or maybe we already feel overwhelmed with how much there is to do in our life. Or maybe we’re lazy about doing something different in order to get different results. The tangled part of this is that if we are more discontent than not, it’s because we don’t do the inner work, or do just enough to keep out of some version of hell, but not enough to experience victory, victory being feeling the way we desire to feel. Maybe if we call it inner practice instead of work, we might feel better about doing it. It’s funny how we sometimes need to trick ourselves into doing what needs to be done. But, hey, if it works, use it.

John Earle wrote in Waking Up: Learning What Your Life is Trying to Teach You: Our action is our contribution to the world, and it is how the world sees us. When our inner world is filled with fear, the actions we choose reflect this fear. We act in ways that are judgmental, scornful and intolerant. We are inflexible and opinionated. We feel discontent and agitated. The actions we take are often reflected back at us by others. Thus, when we are unloving, we find ourselves attracting unloving energy. This is why doing our inner work is so important, because it eventually manifests as action, and action changes our outer world by attracting its own reflection.

Our inner practice, whether deliberate and conscious or the opposite, attracts our own reflection. This is the part that many forget about or don’t realize. This is why every person or event that feels challenging is actually an opportunity to look within and see what we can learn about ourselves, which is another form of inner practice (it isn’t just about meditation or affirmations or prayer). More often than not, the ways we sabotage ourselves are subtle, so subtle that we need or require the mirrors others and life hold up for us, in order to really see ourselves.

Ernest Holmes wrote in The Science of Mind: “To rise above the contemplation of conditions is to enter that field of Causation which makes all things new in our experience. From this viewpoint there is no hard and no easy case to handle. All cases represent but different phases of human belief and one would yield to the Truth as quickly as another if we were sure of our spiritual position.” The way we can be sure of our spiritual position is through inner work and practice, which creates validation through experiences and/or deeper understanding.

We still seem, at least at times, to have the mindset that inner work is a luxury, something done in our spare time rather than the path we are to walk if we intend to connect with and live the power within us. We still tend to believe if we learn a method, that method should, could, or would eliminate the need to do the practice. This belief is a wall we bump or pound our heads against, going nowhere, but getting bruised. Eventually, consistent practice, as a means to integrate ways of thinking or acting, becomes our way of being.

Without understanding the importance of consistent practice, we fail to realize that when we focus on what we’re doing and focus on good feelings within us, we are more relaxed. We feel better. We accomplish better. We are in the moment, in flow. All of these are experiences we desire, but we more often than not practice what leads us in a different direction, inwardly and outwardly. Only through consistent better practice do we experience life and its moments, and ourselves, in a better way.

Consider your thoughts, especially your repetitious ones. Do they cause you to feel the way you wish to, both when you’re on the “mountaintop” and when you’re in the “valley”? It’s easy to feel the way we wish to when atop the mountain, but we really need this ability when in the valleys we sometimes find ourselves in. In fact, inner work acts like a bright candle that assists us out of the valleys or helps us avoid some of them. Consistent inner work: it’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com/guest-articles.html