Living from the Inside Out: A Primer

by Healmyvoice on July 8, 2014


By Monisha Mittal, A Heal My Voice Author and Board Member

There was a beautiful half moon gracing the skies outside the other night. We were on the Chesapeake Bay so my husband and I decided to take a walk. It was a special treat to slow down, listen to the summer crickets, the sound of children playing late into a summer’s night and take in that magic spill of white light on an otherwise darkened night.

I am conscious of undergoing a deep expansion. In fact, both my husband and I are experiencing expansion, where some of the opportunities that we have been working hard for are appearing. Expansion to me means that there is more of our selves authentically expressed in the real world; that we are finding members of our tribe, having the conversations we want to have and experiencing enriching relationships. Mine is different from his. I am recuperating from some form of burnout, overexerting myself in the workplace, learning some invaluable lesson. Its clear my soul is ready for me to outgrow some irksome habits that have constrained Her in too small a space. These habits are characterized by over-exertion, giving away my power, pleasing external expectations at the expense of my own. After repeating this pattern for at least the 12th time, I am releasing these habits and other fear-based long held beliefs.

Giving my soul a chance to spread her wings feels paramount and so I find myself wading deeper into the waters of living from the inside out.

I want to distill some of the choices that went into getting here. How do each of us create (or co-create) more space in the real-world for who we really are? The real question is: are we spending time on the activities and people we care about? Are we having the conversations we care to have? Getting to this precipice took a lot of repeated practice with the steps below:


  • Invest in yourself – It took me a long time to think of spending money on myself as an investment. Part of it had to do with my relationship to money, but part of it also had to do with my relationship to myself. There are wonderful coaches and healers and other worthy practitioners who are willing to provide you an invaluable service. I know some of us have issues about mixing money and spirituality. Now I say, everything is an exchange and money is the way to take responsibility for what you want and to honor those who are willing to provide that service. And if you need to start with Free right now, which I did for several years, there are wonderful FREE resources out there. But having a coach to work with where I could bring out my fears, hopes and desires and bring out my small voice in a safe place was a crucial first step for me. Time, in addition to money, is another way to invest in yourself.
  • Make small, incremental improvements in your relationship with yourself – One of the deepest truths I learned in the last 10 years is that when you make a change in how you relate to yourself–whether that means being kinder, more patient, being respectful, more tender, more encouraging…the list goes on…then magically, you begin attracting those type of experiences to your life. Being more generous with myself, means I experienced generosity from work situations, personal relationships or even strangers. This year I am working on changing how I relate to my work –from something filled with pressure for a false sense of achievement something that still produces excellence but is more fun and light. I have learned to take more breaks, structure in time for my nutrition and well being to pay attention to the types of tasks that give me energy, versus the ones I need to let go or ask someone else to do. With each small change, I treat my authentic self with more respect so She feels more free. She trusts me more, so wants to come out more. This is an essential part of making more room for Her in the outer world.
  • Pay attention to healing emotional wounds – Everything is connected and our feelings are a sacred gift. Like physical pain, our emotions (especially the ones that have a way of repeatedly coming up like the story line from Ground Hog’s Day) are asking for our loving attention. Find a professional, use Byron Katie’s the Work, and make it a constant habit. Knowing we have the power to transform our old wounds into sources of our deepest lessons is very empowering, even electrifying, and provides the proverbial ‘new lease on life’.
  • Be flexible – When we start paying attention to the emotional and energetic experience we are looking for, we start getting in tune with the different forms that this may show up. I would never have pursued my current job on my own since I didn’t resonate with the position description itself. The opportunity came to me and I said yes because I was ready for a change. It has turned out to be one of the more satisfying professional environments I’ve been in for more than 10 years and might also prove to be the springboard for my life’s true work. So, just remember, stay flexible because our notions of what’s right for us are typically very limited by our human experience. Be open to the larger gifts in a situation.
  • Spend time just being – The practice here is to enjoy time with your authentic Self, just connecting even if its just 1 minute a day. Like any relationship, your true Self will trust you more if She (or He) feels this is a relationship built on genuine respect and desire. That which you pay attention to grows!

This time, I am freely surrounding myself with professionals and friends who are supporting this transformation. I am nurturing my self and finding my energy returning. This time, I can see, part of the answer is to simply let my soul take up more breathing room (through my breath) and to trust myself to such a degree that I instinctively honor my Soul’s truths, no matter how inconvenient they may be for others or myself. I am, just a tad, scared of the Reality I am consciously calling forth and that might be careening my way. But I am also exhilarated at the freedom that I sense can be mine. Bottom line, the more space there in the real world for who I really am means an easier richer life living from this place.



Monisha currently lives in Fairfax, VA with her husband. She enjoys travelling, writing, gardening, cooking and the companionship of her friends, family and two young cats.  She also enjoys being a woman of letters: the proud co-founder and steering visionary for the first literary festival for South Asian writing in 2000, “Raising Voices” (now SALTAF) held in Washington D.C. and a contributor to the woman’s anthology, Inspired Voices: True Stories by Visionary Women.  Monisha also serves on the board for Heal My Voice with founder Andrea Hylen.

Monisha Mittal completed a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. With an early focus on community economic development, her experience includes grass-roots organizational development in North Philadelphia, micro-loan development in rural India, and serving as a Senior Community Investment Advisor at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Since then, she has received formal facilitation and coaching training from Interaction Associates, which has again been named one of the top 20 leadership training companies by Training Industry, Inc. as well as whole brain facilitation and applied creativity training from the visionary Michelle James at the Center for Creative EmergenceFor the last 15 years, Monisha has applied the principles of community organizing to develop a highly collaborative, cross-functional approach to problem solving in large organizations, one that identifies creative, high-quality solutions. Those solutions include strategic visions and plans, stronger teams, and more effective business processes. She has extensive experience working with federal agencies, as well as with non-profit and commercial organizations at senior management and executive levels.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassandra July 10, 2014 at 3:13 am


This post was just what I needed to read. Thank you for the reminder to invest in myself, to make time for the things that matter to me most and to let go of the things that are no longer serving and to connect with myself even if it’s just for one minute. I recognize I deserve to give myself these gifts of love.


Monisha Mittal July 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm

My pleasure Cassandra. Elated that you connected with these words so! Rinse, lather repeat, huhn?


Monisha July 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm

My pleasure, Cassandra! So elated you connected with these words so! Its rather a business of rinse, lather, repeat, huhn?


Kristen July 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm

I really resonated with the section where you talked about investing in yourself, even if you need to start with free. That’s where I’m at right now and I’m excited for the path I’m on to take me to a place where I have the financial freedom to support others that can help me grow even more. I’ve felt guilty about not being able to do that but have realized that the guilt doesn’t serve me. I am where I am, and that’s okay. I know where I’m headed and the journey to get there is the important part. Thank you for this beautiful message.


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