Dear Awesome Woman,
Have you ever met your inner child? I bet you have, but you may not have called her such or recognized her by that name.
She is the one that pops up least expected when you get a phone call from a nice person asking a favor and want to scream NO!
She is the one who shouts “but I don’t want to wait!” when you’re on the long line at the grocery store.
She is the one who wants time for herself when the responsibilities of adult life are feeling overwhelming.
She is your inner child. She gets mad and resentful because of all the a‘dult stuff and responsibilities that are thrusted on her ALL THE TIME! She’s the one who just wants to play and create and lay around daydreaming about chasing fireflies and dragonflies. She wants what she wants when she wants it.
What do we do with her? She can be quite embarrassing and immature when we are trying to be a calm, nice adult so most of us just stuff her down and try not to listen to her.
But I have found that the best thing to do with my inner child is to let her vent, rant and rage … in my imagination or on paper. An imagination or paper that no one else needs to see.
And I also let her out and play sometimes – we collage together, we garden together and we even do arts and crafts together – the not -so- perfect kind.
My adult self is soooo happy now that her inner child is not stuffed down. I have better health, my spirit is uplifted and I feel more joy.
The famous back specialist, Dr. John Sarno, was among the first to teach about the health benefits of recognizing our inner emotional world, which includes this ranting, raving inner child. On his Mindbody Prescription CD, he emphasizes that emotions we repress lead to abnormal activity in the autonomic nervous system which leads to reduced blood flow to certain parts of the body. This results in mild oxygen deprivation and pain in the affected body part. This could be muscle pain, nerve pain, tendon pain etc. In other words, the mind has a technique for keeping things status quo in our world and that is by distracting us with fatigue, headaches, body pain etc. rather than have us recognize ‘uncomfortable’ emotions. When we choose to allow ourselves to feel all our emotions, including the frustration of our inner child, then there is no reason for the autonomic nervous system to reduce oxygen flow, therefore less physical distress in the body.
So, how do we do this? How do we let our inner child rave and rant and play without it hijacking our adult life, ruining relationships and being irresponsible.
Just grab a paper and draw a line down the middle of it. On the right hand side of the paper, write down ‘hello inner child, how are you feeling today?” On the left side of the paper, write down whatever comes to mind – let any complaint, whine, annoyance or demand come out. If you’re not used to asking this question of your inner child, she may be shy or she may feel quite loud and grumpy. That’s ok. Just keep writing. You may be surprised what she has to say, but just know that there is no action that needs to be taken, just listening is what’s necessary for healing. Rip up the paper when you feel complete with this exercise. Your inner child has been heard and suppressed emotions have been acknowledged. You may be surprised how good this feel and you may also hear some very cool intuitive wisdom come through as well.
If you don’t have paper on you and you feel that roar of the inner child, just use your imagination. Here’s an example:
The other day, I was happily sitting in my car, listening to a very interesting Jewish mysticism CD as I waited behind a car on the bank teller line. After about 5 minutes, I noticed that my attention had shifted from the CD to thoughts like “what’s taking so long? Why didn’t I just go in the bank? I have things to do, places to go – I don’t want to wait here!” My chest felt tight, my jaw clenched. I tried to tell myself “relax, calm down, all is well, just enjoy the CD.” These affirmations’ did not make me feel better. In fact, they annoyed me.
I realized that my inner child must have taken ‘possession’ of my body and adult talk was not going to work. So, I turned off the CD and put my attention on the physical sensations I was feeling in my body. My awareness went to the tightness in my jaw and the constriction in my chest. I just rested my focus there for a few seconds.
Since I didn’t have paper with me, I imagined my inner child running in circles ranting and raving about having to wait on line. In my mind, I just let her run and run. After a few seconds of that, I noticed that my chest felt calmer, my jaw less tense. I took a deep breath and felt renewed.
Just then, the person ahead of me finished with their transaction and drove away. I pulled up to the teller and greeted her question of ‘how are you?’ with complete calm and peace of mind, ‘just fine.’
So, when a person asks you a favor and your inner child yells ‘no!’ , give yourself permission to tell the person ‘I’ll get back to you.” Take a few minutes when you hang up the phone, take out some paper and listen to what your inner child has to say. Notice in your body any physical sensations that come up. Take a deep breath when you’re done and listen for some wisdom. You may call the person later and say ‘yes’ because you have the time, ability etc. Or you may say ‘no’ because in checking in with a part of yourself you realized that you already have too much on your plate. But guaranteed, you’ll be clearer with your response and healthier within yourself by allowing your inner child to have its say.
Also, allow some play time for your inner child. Sit outside for 15 minutes and admire the grass. Do some collaging and paste on paper your favorite pictures. This ‘play’ time lets your body and mind rest and results in a healthier you.
Meet, listen and play with your inner child. Even the doctor orders this prescription. How can you resist?
As a Somatic Healer and Clarity Coach, I guide women in aligning with their physical, emotional and intuitive wisdom, empowering them with clarity, vibrancy and peace-of-mind in their relationships, career and health. Curious? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link for your complimentary Clarity call. Looking forward!