153: Tools For Developing Your Inner World


“The inner world is the most important world to generate success.”

This past year has been challenging for me, but I’ve learned more than ever how important it is to take care of myself.

Can you relate? Do you constantly feel stressed and burned out on your work? Maybe you’re out of alignment, and it’s time for a career change, or perhaps, you’re struggling more with personal relationships. Whatever the case, it’s essential that you take a step back from all the chaos and practice some self-care and inner work. 

Over the past year, I went through a lot of personal stuff, and I discovered some things that weren’t serving me anymore. I think we often portray the highlights of our lives on Instagram, but in reality, we’re actually going through a lot of stuff that we don’t want other people to see. Sometimes, we can get stuck in negative thought loops and severely limit our potential and creativity as a result. But when we realize that we actually do have agency over our minds, our bodies, and our spirituality, we can start manifesting abundance in our lives.

As I worked through this dark time, I found five tools to help me develop my inner world, and today on ONKEN RADIO (formerly NION Radio), I’m going to share them with you. If I’ve learned anything from all the top artists, performers, and entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed, it’s this: Your inner world determines your outer reality. 

So without further ado, let me give you these five tools to help you develop your inner world and become more creative as a result. 

#1: Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza

The first tool is a book — Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. This book completely rocked my world. I’ve read it three times, listened to it three times, and also taken his online course, which was a deeper explanation of the book. Needless to say, I’m definitely a fan. 

Dr. Dispenza’s work is all about the science behind energy and matter. You all know that I’m a huge science guy, and when investigating anything spiritual, I need the science to back it up. In Becoming Supernatural, Dr. Dispenza explains the science behind extraordinary events, such as healing from his broken back. 

After breaking his back in a triathlon accident, Dr. Dispenza was told he would probably never walk again. His doctors suggested that he take the surgery route and then spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Dr. Dispenza declined the surgery, saying that he wanted to heal his body with his mind, and if he succeeded, he would dedicate his life to researching that phenomenon and share his findings with the world.

That’s exactly what he’s doing now. As a former chiropractor, Dr. Dipensza basically visualized the reconstruction of his spine every day to promote self-healing, and now, he’s fully recovered. In his most recent book, Becoming Supernatural, Dr. Dispenza explains how you can heal your body with your mind, how your thoughts manifest the world around you, and how we operate in different frequencies. Emotions produce chemicals that can either toxify our bodies or heal them, so when we get clear on how to control our minds, we can control our bodies as a result. 

In addition to providing the scientific research backing his claims, Dr. Dispenza also offers different meditations to help you activate and shift your emotional frequencies to promote self-healing. This book has helped me out so much, and I hope to get him on the podcast sometime soon! Until then — definitely check out Becoming Supernatural and get ready to be blown away. 

#2. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle 

The second tool is also one of my favorite books — A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve read this one multiple times as well, and each time, I get something new from it. The book is essentially about how to separate yourself from your ego and gain self-awareness. 

The ego needs to feed on thoughts in order to survive, and when we keep feeding it negative thoughts, we become more attached to it. But when we can separate ourselves from our ego and be aware of who we truly are, we can eliminate suffering from our lives.

Eckhart and Dr. Dispenza both agree — all individual human suffering comes from either living in the future or living in the past. When you’re worrying about the future, you are creating your own suffering. You’re releasing toxins in your body, and they have an effect on your overall health. And when you’re constantly reliving past trauma, you’re doing the same thing.

A New Earth does a great job of explaining how to separate yourself from your ego and start living life in the present. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety or low vibrations, I definitely recommend giving this book a read (and so does Oprah — it’s her favorite book). 

#3. Breathwork 

The third tool is something that you can do right this second: breathwork. This tool — specifically holotropic breathwork — has been really helpful in my own personal journey of healing.

The term “holotropic breathwork” was originally coined by Stanislav Grof, one of the top psychedelic researchers. The word “holotropic” means “moving toward wholeness,” so “holotropic breathing” is breathing that focuses on rewiring your brain to achieve this wholeness. And don’t worry — there’s a ton of science backing this up.

Everyone has a default neural network in their brain — you’ll think certain thoughts over and over again, and eventually, those repeated thoughts create loops that are very hard to get out of. For example, someone who is depressed is stuck in a negative thought loop in their head and can’t seem to break out of it. The more they think about those negative thoughts, the stronger they get. 

Holotropic breathwork is a great way of detaching from that default network. It pulls you out of your head and allows you to create new neural pathways for positive thoughts. I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand by practicing a routine by Wim Hof — the Iceman. He’s developed a breathwork technique that helps you regulate your core temperature while also giving you a lot of other benefits. 

It’s two and a half minutes of circular breathing — through your stomach, your chest, and your mouth. Then you exhale, holding your breath for as long as you can. And sometimes, you can hold your breath for up to two to three minutes because your body has been pumped with so much oxygen. It’s one of the craziest and most blissful feelings. You do this routine for six rounds, and by the second or third round, you start to feel this transcendence. You can feel yourself rising above that default neural network. 

This routine has helped me a ton, and I’ve even started creating my own guiding tracks with music, which I’ll share with you at some point. Remember — this takes practice, but if you stick with it, you’ll be able to do some deep inner work. 

#4. Meditation 

Meditation has been such a huge key in my journey over the last few years. I even interviewed my mediation teacher Emily Fletcher, the founder of Ziva Meditation, three times on this podcast to share the science and benefits of the art (Check out Episode 66, Episode 101, and Episode 142 to get more insight.)

There are tons of different ways you can meditate, but one of the most popular practices is mantra-based meditation. If you’re a super busy person, consider starting out with this type, as it only takes 20 minutes per day. Basically, you situate yourself in a relaxed, calm position and start repeating affirmations to yourself in your mind. 

This has been one of the biggest tools that I’ve used over the last three years to help me ground myself in the morning and get rid of stress and anxiety. We’re always accumulating stress on a daily basis just by adulting, so it’s really a tool that every single person can and should use. 

Emily just came out with a new book — Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance — that does a wonderful job explaining the science behind meditation and all the different meditation techniques. 

You can also check out Dr. Dispenza’s meditations on his websites or online courses. His whole mantra is that “where you put your focus, your energy goes.” So, when you’re aware of the energetic fields in your body, you can refocus energy towards what needs healing. 

More and more elite performers are becoming huge advocates for meditation — people are noticing that it really does affect your mental clarity and emotional health, and it’s a great way to check-in with yourself. It takes practice and discipline, but I firmly believe that it’s one of the most invaluable tools out there. 

#5. Psychedelics and Plant Medicines 

This is something that I’ve been getting into recently. My whole perspective on psychedelics shifted when I read Michael Pollan’s book How to Change Your Mind. If you don’t know who Michael Pollan is, he’s a huge scientific journalist who has written for the New York Times as well as many other magazines.

In this book, Michael comes at psychedelics from a very skeptical perspective and attempts to discover if psychedelics and plant medicines have any healing properties whatsoever. This book gave me the grounding to really understand how psychedelics work, their history, and their benefits — especially for people who suffer from PTSD, depression, and even addiction.

For this book, Michael interviewed 15 to 20 different facilitators for each different type of plant medicine — including DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote, LSD, and a few others. After the interview process, he asked a couple of the facilitators to walk him through the process of taking their drug. In the book, he shares his personal experience and how he experienced healing and a spiritual reality he never thought existed. 

Next, Michael explains all the new neuroscience behind how psychedelics affect your brain and how people have been healing PTSD and depression using psychedelics in a therapeutic context. But probably the biggest distinction I took from the book was the difference between drugs and plant medicines. I grew up believing that all drugs are bad, and this book really created a difference for me. 

When using these plant medicines, getting the correct dosage is extremely important. In his book, Michael Pollan really stresses the necessity of safety — i.e., being in a controlled environment and taking the correct dosage. I’ve done a couple journeys of psilocybin myself, and it’s been absolutely amazing. It’s one of those things where you try to explain it, but you can’t. It’s personally helped me work past limiting beliefs, and it’s enhanced my inner work experiences. 

Start Your Inner Journey Today

So there you have it, guys — the top five things that have helped me develop my inner world. I hope they’ll help you as well! 

Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained.

With that being said, I define Creative Alchemy as using the process of creativity to create a lens through which to perform alchemy. These principles not only apply to artists and creatives in their own creative processes, but to anyone who wants to create an extraordinary life in color for themselves. 

I’ve found that 80% of creating is alchemizing the thoughts, emotions, and other inner blocks that keep you from putting the pen to the paper. Navigating to the act of creation takes alchemical processes, and we can’t do these processes unless our inner mind is free to work. If we’re held up by ego, trauma, or worry, then we naturally won’t be able to work at our fullest potential. 

Remember — your inner world determines your outer world. If you haven’t already, consider investing time for self-care and inner-work. It will change your life.

I’d love to hear about any tools you have for developing your inner world! You can tag me on Instagram, @nickonken, and share a screenshot of this episode and your biggest takeaways or suggestions. I always love to hear what you all think. And if you love this podcast and want to support me, please leave a good review on Apple Podcasts and subscribe. Every review helps.

Thanks so much for reading. As always, go create your life by creating every moment. 

Nick Onken 

“We need to really dig deep to find the things that actually are meaningful in life, versus the things that we think everybody wants to see.”

You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!



Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • Why our inner world is the most important space to develop our own success [1:26]
  • Why getting wrapped up in your thoughts can hurt your self-image and inflate your ego [3:13]
  • How our emotions and actions create the world around us [3:41]
  • The ramifications of believing that we are our egos [6:40]
  • How you can use your breath to move towards wholeness in your life [8:34]
  • The benefits of different styles of meditation [11:42]
  • The science of psychedelics and how they can change your mind for the better []

Links Mentioned:

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