A beautiful book – How to Do the Inner Work written by Susanne Madsen

I was so blessed early in 2023 when the author of How to Do the Inner Work, Susanne Madsen reached out and asked me if I would read the new book she was writing.

Her last book was The Power of Project Leadership, a beautiful resource for anyone in the project space.

How to Do the Inner Work, was very different.

Rich with amazing resources and stories, from the many lessons Susanne had learned.

Honestly I could not put this book down.

How to Do the Inner Work has now been published.

Each chapter has tools and exercises to help you to do the inner work.

I will share a few of my favourite thoughts with the hope you will pick up this beautiful book.

Take this book one page at a time.

One chapter at a time.

As it makes sense for you.

The Introduction

As I opened to this first page discovered this thought which I just loved as I have it on my fridge.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

This thought sets the tone for How to Do the Inner Work where Susanne shares more of her story and how she navigated her own journey of self-discovery and healing.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

Chapter 1 – Listening to Your Inner Wisdom

In this chapter Susanne shares the ways we can learn to listen to our inner wisdom.

We have it.

This takes time to connect with ourselves.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield


Quote by Susanne Madsen. PHotography by Sharon K. Summerfield

In this chapter Susanne Madsen reminds us of the ways that we may have an overdeveloped inner critic.

This is sadly an easy trap to fall into.

Love this thought on the importance of self care as an essential element in coming home to ourselves.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

In this chapter four different exercises are introduced:

  • Find Your Safe and Happy Place
  • Listen to Your Inner Wisdom
  • Appreciating Yourself
  • Feeling All of Your Strengths

Take your time with each of these exercises.

Chapter 2 – Restoring Your Energy Levels

It is so important we find those ways to look at our energy levels.

So many wonderful tools in this chapter to remind us to connect with ourselves, in ways that work for us, to connect with others.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

Great exercise on the way to Reduce Your Energy Drainers

How often are we ignore our needs?  This piece really struck a chord with me.

We need to understand why we taking care of everyone else before ourselves and then begin to make different choices.

Quote by Susanne Madsen; photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

Two wonderful additional exercises in this chapter:

  • Becoming Aware of Your Limiting Beliefs
  • Expressing our Boundaries to Others

Chapter 3 – Living by Your Core Values

Learning to live by our core values is key to invest in our wellbeing and to show up as our best and authentic selves.

Life’s difficulties help us to navigate forward in different ways that help us grow.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography Sharon K. Summerfield

We need to make time to celebrate our success, no matter how small.

Wonderful exercise Identify a Rejuvenating Activity

For each of us this will be different.

Our values help us to determine what is important and meaningful to us.

Really like how this conversation around values continues through this book.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. PHotography by Sharon K. Summerfield

Another wonderful exercise “What Makes Your Heart Sing”

This is a beautiful way to incorporate greater time for reflection.

Quote by Susanne Madsen, Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

The last three exercises in this chapter are:

  • Identify Your Higher Purpose
  • The Passion Circles
  • Identify Your Inner Resources

Chapter 4 – Using Your Breath to Come Home to Yourself

In this chapter we are introduced to Breathwork.  This is an incredibly powerful tool, to come home to ourselves.

The author introduces so many different tools and the different types of Breathwork you can incorporate anywhere.

A few of the exercises throughout this chapter are:

  • Embrace the Challenge of Sitting Still
  • Breathing to Decrease Your Stress

Chapter 5:  Using Meditation to Connect to the Peacefulness of Your Heart

This chapter is incredibly beautiful and shares the ease of being more mindful and discovering those ways to meditate.

It is important to note this is not encouraging a spiritual practice.

This is learning to quiet our mind and be present with ourselves.

This chapter includes these exercises:

  • Being in the Present Moment
  • Connecting to Your Heart

Really like how Susanne expands in this chapter on the Science of the Heart and Practicing Gratitude.

Quote by Susanne Madsen

This chapter closes with an Appreciation and Gratefulness Exercise

and a

Loving-Kindness Meditation.

These exercises are beautiful ways to connect to our hearts.

Chapter 6 – Befriending Your Challenging Thoughts and Emotions

This is an important chapter reminding us that we are not our thoughts.

Discovering the tools to observe what is happening in our body and mind, helps us not get drawn into the drama.

Three very powerful exercises are shared:

  • Working Through Challenging Emotions
  • Expressive Writing
  • Change Your Story

In this chapter we are introduced to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also know as tapping.

Another wonderful tool we can do anywhere, without any special tools or fancy meditation cushions.

Loved how Susanne reminds us to practice being okay with whatever is happening.

In this chapter she encourages us to imagine a circle of support around us and say these phrases to ourselves:

  • I feel safe.
  • I know I’m able to handle this
  • I will be here for you.
  • I love you no matter what.

This also may be an opportunity to return to the Kindness Meditation.

Quote by Susanne Madsen. Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

This is only a sampling of what is captured in How to Do the Inner Work.

The more we discover tools that help us connect with ourselves the more we can connect with others and not feel so alone.

I highly recommend reading How to Do the Inner Work.

Some great partner reads would be:

Be kind.

Be patient.

Be nourished in all you do.

Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

Photo of Sharon K. SummerfieldAt The Nourished Executive we help leaders invest in wellbeing, with a holistic lens, to prevent burnout.

Our founder, Sharon K. Summerfield, is a Wellbeing Coach, Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Growth Advisor, with a demonstrated success in nurturing healthy employees and high performing organizations.

We have a strong commitment to giving back, investing and supporting local community.


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