Theology of Inner Work
Inner work is about recovering what we have lost. At the end of Genesis 1, God looks at all God has made, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the humans themselves, everything in between and says it is "very good." This phrase, "very good" in Hebrew is tov me'od. In her book The Very Good Gospel, Lisa Sharon Harper shows us that this "goodness" is not about perfection but about connection. God does not call the birds or beasts or humans good because they are perfect individual creations, but because they are connected to one another and to the rest of creation. The world of Genesis 1 and 2 was a world of connection. Humanity experienced openness and oneness in their relationship with the earth, with one another, with God, and within. But in our suspicion of God we covered ourselves fig leaves of shame, which served to distort and sever relationship. Tov Me'od, goodness and connectedness was lost, and I believe we've been trying to recover it ever since. Like the resetting of broken bones, inner work is the painful yet healing process of reconnecting what has been broken.
Why Inner Work?
There is much hidden beneath the surface of our lives. When we disown "unacceptable" parts of ourselves, those parts do not go away, but rather wreak havoc on our lives and relationships. Doing our "inner work" is to identify and befriend what is beneath, hidden in our "shadow" so we can integrate and heal, but we need tools for this journey. Through Inner Work Community, you'll discover tools for handling emotions, boundaries, relational patterns, and distorted images of God.
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Inner Work Community exists to help individuals explore their inner landscape in order to cultivate greater awareness and healing in relationship to themselves, others, and God.
Liz Simmons, DMin
Teacher | Developer | Facilitator
Michael Simmons, MA
Spiritual Director | Writer | Facilitator
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We are passionate about helping people recover their true humanity, and begin rediscovering vitality in their relationships with God and others. Recovery begins when we allow ourselves to be seen as we are, not simply as we should be, but we cannot do this work alone. We need guides who can shepherd/sherpa us into liminal space, and equip us with language, tools, and new paradigms for ongoing excavative inner work and healing.
We offer spiritual direction for individuals and group facilitation and retreats for teams and staffs. These avenues create particular separation from external pressures, expectations, and distractions in order to focus on the current running beneath our lives and relationships. Check out our Spiritual Direction page and Group Facilitation page to learn more.
We also host the Inner Work Blog and the Profaned Ordained Podcast. We are both ordained elders in the Free Methodist Church and work at George Fox University and Portland Seminary. We call Newberg, Oregon home with our two youthful theologians, Bina and David.