Inner Resource - a meditation focus

Do you have Inner Resource you use to stay calm when you’re emotionally triggered, or have more stress than you’d like going on?

I learned of the Inner Resource in my iRest Yoga Nidra meditation training however it’s also known in psychology as places within ourselves to draw strength. The Cambridge dictionary explains ‘to have inner resources: to have the ability to help yourself manage or achieve something’. So it’s a psychological resource you develop within, to support you in life.

The Inner Resource we develop in iRest refers to finding a place of calm & ease within, and the felt sense of that in your body, that you can use when you need it, in daily life. 

To start to establish your inner resource (and it could be more than 1); bring to mind an image, or memory, real or imagined, that you associate with feeling calm, peaceful and completely okay, just as you are. This image, or memory, often initially comes from your mind; and then as you continue to imagine it you bring more details in, and the senses along too. You notice what is around you, what you are wearing, are you sitting, standing or lying down,  the surface beneath you and its texture. Are you inside, or outdoors; how does the air feel on your skin, what do you hear, smell, taste, and what else do you see?

As you evoke the senses you then begin to notice the felt sense in your body that this image brings with it. Notice sensations in the torso, the rhythm and speed of your breath, how your posture is - perhaps you notice muscles aren’t as tense… and notice the contrast between how your muscles were before and now. Notice what this feels like. Perhaps there’s a sense of expansion or openness? Perhaps? Your inner resource experience is unique to you. There are no right and wrong. If you’re not used to taking note of how your body is feeling it can take some practice and time to tune in. This is definitely worth it as it’s a significant part of us feeling alive, to be connected with the sensations in our body.

Developing your inner resource, this peaceful place you can go to, in your mind’s eye and in a felt sense in your body, is a tool to shift out of stress, out of overwhelm, out of whatever adverse emotions that has arisen, and remind yourself, ‘I’m okay’ in this moment’. 

Your inner resource is a resilience tool, helping you to bounce back in the various times of adversity, small and large. Resilience Is sprouted in work places as a key skill for employees in the ever-changing corporate world. Cultivating and using your inner resource is one way of being resilient. Others include maintaining perspective (refer to the catastrophe scale for help with this), and developing a positive outlook which can be achieved through training the brain to scan for good, by practicing gratitude.

 Your inner resource is your inner sanctuary, your place to come home to, at any time, even just for a few moments, to settle, to allow your nervous system to shift out of a stress response and into a relaxed response. This happens when the physiological changes in your body change from tension to relaxation, simply by using your mind and your body to shift how your body is reacting, from stress, to ease.

 Practice little and often, consciously and then it will come to you naturally, when you need it. 

I’d love to hear what your inner resource is, or what you use to calm yourself from stress and overwhelm?

One of my inner resource images is of me lying in my back yard, on a sunny day. In my body I feel completely relaxed and this felt sense is like an expansion and softness in my upper torso, a strong sense of being supported by the earth, and my neck and head have none of the usual tension that I’m prone to carry around. It feels great! I now bring to mind this image and the felt senses that come with it to shift my emotional response from stress to ease.

Along with weekly meditation sessions, for which this was our focus, we offer a 5 week Learn to Meditate course (formerly Introduction to Meditation) and individual coaching in mindfulness, meditation, and wellness at Corporate workplaces and by phone. Our weekly yoga classes and meditation sessions are in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs of Parkdale, Mentone & Mordialloc.