My upcoming book Being True is a guide to reconnecting to your core while taking good care of your many different ‘parts’.

In thinking about the different ways leaders can apply the principles and practices I share in my new book Being True, I asked the question: What do leaders really want to feel less of at work right now?  The answer that emerged very clearly was: I want to feel less overwhelmed. 

And so, I have developed a new ‘bonus’ evidence-based practice that combines many different elements of my upcoming book.

This practice empowers you to rescue yourself in moments of overwhelm.
It will get from overwhelmed to OK in six simple steps.

Over the last few weeks, I have shared the first 3 steps:

Now, we’ll learn Step 4: Getting to know your overwhelmed part.

Contrary to popular belief, we are not singular in our psychology. Inside every person exists a unique and elaborate system of parts with a uniting core self. It’s possible to access your inner world and nurture healthy relationships with your different parts.

Step 4  is all about getting curious about the part of you that feels overwhelmed – with a genuine desire to understand them.

This next step will becomes easier and more enjoyable if you can open your mind to the possibility that your parts are like little beings that dwell inside you.

I love how Dr Richard Schwartz describes parts: ‘They’re little inner beings that are trying their best to keep you safe and to keep each other safe and to keep it together in there. They have full-range personalities: each of them has different desires, different ages, different opinions, different talents, and different resources. Instead of just being annoyances or afflictions (which they can be in their extreme roles) they are wonderful inner beings.’

This practice takes the form of a guided experience of self-inquiry. I recommend having a journal or something to capture notes as you practise.

To begin, get comfortable and come back to your senses. Simply rest your attention on one of your senses for three to five breaths.

What can you see, feel, taste, smell or hear?

The next step is to do a scan of your body with the intention of noticing any thoughts, emotions, sensations or impulses that are present for you. Just notice what’s there.

Now, see if you can locate your overwhelmed part. Perhaps you can locate a particular thought, emotion, sensation or impulse that seems to be calling out to you. Just allowing whatever is there be there.

Next, if you can, try to sense where this part is in your body. As you do that, just notice if there are any thoughts, words or images that come to you. Continue patiently and quietly observe what’s arising.

As you’re taking all of this in, see if you can also notice how you are feeling towards this overwhelmed part. Do you wish it would go away? Does it annoy or frustrate you? Do you resent it? Are you somehow afraid of it?

If you’re not feeling some level of openness or curiosity towards the overwhelmed part, it just means that there are other parts activated. If this is the case, try gently asking these parts of you to step back, and respectfully request a little space to get to know the overwhelmed  part a little better.

If you can sense openness and curiosity towards your overwhelmed part, you can begin to interact with it by asking some questions. Try not to predict the answers. Instead, rest your attention on the part of your body where you sense the part is located and wait. Don’t worry if you can’t hear any clear answers, just try to sense a response. Be still and quiet and wait to see if an answer arises – if not, that’s completely okay.

Ask the part if it is okay to ask a few questions.

If you sense it is open, then you can try asking some (or all) of the following questions:

  • What is your role or purpose?
  • How old are you?
  • What was happening in my life when you first started doing this?
  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What is your highest intention for me?
  • Is there anything else you want me to know?

To close the practice, extend your appreciation to all your parts, for the jobs they do and for doing their best to keep you safe and connected.

Finally, don’t forget to jot down anything you wish to remember and come back to.

Next week I will be sharing Step 5, which will help you to begin to take good care of the part of you that is overwhelmed. So, stay tuned!

I would genuinely love to hear about what you discover as you begin to play with this next step of the practice. You can reach me at

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection. This is done by constantly remembering that you are the one inside that notices the voice talking. That is the way out.
Michael A. Singer

As leaders today, we all experience moments when it all just feels like too much. Cassandra teaches a simple yet powerful practice to rescue ourselves in moments of overwhelm. It’s precise yet gentle. It works. That’s why I call Cassandra the ‘overwhelm whisperer’.
Kate Jarvis, Climate Finance Specialist

To download a free sample of Being True