I think about my negative patterns all the time and I know what I should do. With all this time I’m spending thinking about it, why doesn’t it ever get better?!

Thinking about an inner action, for example, forgiving yourself, is different than actually doing it.

It can be hard to perceive the difference at first. External actions are so much simpler to distinguish from the thoughts about them. You can think about going to the grocery store, but you recognize it’s different than actually getting in the car, driving there, walking inside and picking up a carton of milk.

But with inner work, we tend to trick ourselves into believing we have done it when actually all that’s happened is just analytical thought.


image of a person with the head slumped with various thought bubbles over their head. One says "why am I this way?". One says "the problem" in red. One says "the problem" in blue. One says "wait, is any of this even helping me?"Credit: Hanna Rybak for original image. Text added by Rachel Alexandria

To see what I mean, try this example:  Think about hugging the child you used to be.

Now, VISUALIZE standing across from your inner child. Picture their specific age. Notice the look on their face. Ask them in your mind if they’d like a hug. If they say yes, feel the experience of wrapping your arms around them and bringing that small body close to yours. Notice how they respond, maybe with a sigh or by squeezing back.

See the difference?


How can you learn to tell whether you are thinking about inner work vs actually doing it?

There’s a few signs you can look for—

  1. Is the work you think you’re doing producing results, as in the negative pattern decreases in frequency or severity?
  2. Do you feel calmer, more grounded, and/or more clear afterwards?
  3. Do you have a sense of hitting a completion point where you feel “done”?

If the answer to all these questions is “No,” then you’re probably thinking or analyzing the problem instead of doing work on it.


image titled "thiking vs doing inner work checklist". With a YES column and a NO column, the three options as listed above in the email.


There are definitely times you need your analytical part of your brain to solve problems or make plans. But there are times you have to bring in the exploratory and feelings-focused part of your brain to do the actual work inside.

Making the inner work WORK for you is our goal in Soul School. It’s a 6-month group training program I offer for people looking to stop spinning with anxiety and overwhelm because they don’t know how to trust themselves.

Most self-help books and short programs are woefully incomplete because they don’t help you DO the work inside. Soul School gives you the time you need (which is longer than most people think) and the community to heal with, in addition to thorough training in the most practical and successful self-applied healing modalities.

To learn more about Soul School, click here.


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