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 work around your emotions, boundaries, relational patterns,  distorted images of God. This is not an easy journey, but certainly a beautiful one. Will you join me?

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Michael Simmons

Spiritual Guide | Writer | Teacher

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Inner Work Community exists to help individuals explore their emotional, spiritual and psychological inner landscape in order to cultivate greater awareness and healing in relationship to themselves, others and the Divine.

I am passionate about helping people encounter their true humanity, and through their humanity, encounter God. I believe healing begins when we invite God to see us as we are, not as we think we should be. I love helping people in all phases of that journey.

I am a spiritual director, group facilitator, and writer. I am also an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church and a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. My partner, Liz, works at George Fox University and teaches at Portland Seminary.  We have two children, Bina (5) and David (2), and have made Newberg, Oregon our home.

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