What is Inner Game?
I just saw this quotation on the internet:
We turn away from primal perfection, our completeness, our unity with the world…
… we create an illusion that we need something exterior to ourselves for our completion…
… this dependency on what is exterior is what makes a man’s ego.
This is the essence of understanding inner game.
So where does your happiness come from? If it comes from controlling anything or anyone outside of yourself, then it is fragile indeed. If happiness comes from needing a particular outcome with a particular person, it will be thrashed against the rocks at the ocean shore until there is nothing left of it.
“The light of strength is constant, sure as love, forever glad to give itself away, because it cannot give but to itself. No one can ask in vain to share its sight, and none who enters its abode can leave without a miracle before his eyes, and strength and light abiding in his heart.” – ACIM
Practical Inner Game — the Feelings Barometer
In an ever-shifting world, how do we keep our inner game rock solid? The best way I have found is paying attention to my feelings, literally moment to moment.
Say I’m in a conversation with a man. Even if it’s a fairly heated conversation, I will stay in the conversation as long as I’m feeling good about it. Which means we are both making a sincere effort to connect.
But if I feel my energy drop, a sensation that for me is usually somewhere in my gut or solar plexus, or occasionally as happened yesterday in a conversation with a man, he is being rough enough that I get tears in my eyes, I pay attention to those feelings. Then I check in with myself and let intuition guide what I’m going to do.
What I will NOT do, ever again, is stay in a situation that feels bad to me. I realize now that my feeling good is literally the ONLY thing that really matters. If I feel good, people around me will feel good, so it’s truly the greatest gift that I can give to the world.
How to Navigate Bad-Feeling Situations: The Willingness to Communicate or Let Go
In non-violent communication parlance, a drop in my energy level (with feelings such as fear, sadness, anger, frustration, etc.) generally means that some need of mine is not being met. In a conversation with a man, the needs not getting met tend to be for respect, care, consideration, mutuality, communication, and so forth.
In concrete terms, perhaps a man has begun criticizing or shaming me for something in the past (which is over and done with, and which I am obviously powerless to change). Perhaps he is trying to make me “work” for his attention and affection. Perhaps he is putting responsibility for things on me instead of taking responsibility for his part in things. Those are the sort of things that may trigger a drop in my energy level.
What many people do in these situations, and once upon a time I did it in spades, is try to “fix” the situation, i.e., by compensating in some way in an effort to get the other person’s approval back. Indeed, some pickup artists rely on that human reflex to get what they want from women.
That’s not my way. Not anymore. What matters to me now is maintaining my own internal state of happiness. Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others! ;-)
So I’ve replaced the old model (supplicate, fight, or flee) with new options, and which option I choose is based almost entirely on moment-to-moment intuition:
1. Communicate in a non-violent way in an attempt to get both of our needs met, or
2. Step back from what doesn’t feel good and restore happiness internally.
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
If you liked this article, you will LOVE Erika's EFT tapping video products and coaching ... Get Started Now: