In my last post, we talked about what Inner Child healing is and where it comes from. (You can read more about that here.)
I’d like to share with you guys someone very special to me today…
Meet my Inner Child – that’s right, this special someone, is in fact, my own dang adorable self!
Here is little baby Grace, approximately 3 years of age… Who would have thought this tiny bundle of mischief would be running her own coaching practice as an adult?!
When I first started my own Inner Child work as part of my healing journey before bringing it into my coaching practice, I had a difficult time being kind to my child self.
What helped me to heal my internal dialogue with my Inner Child was carrying a picture of my child self and envisioning this part of myself when doing the work.
It’s far too easy to become detached from our Inner Child self when it is an intangible, amorphous idea, rather than a precious small child we can actually visualize and see.
If you’re like me and have a hard time initiating a healing process with a part of you that you cannot see, it may be worth it to carry around a physical or digital photo of your childhood self to assist on your journey.
This way, you know exactly who you are working together with during this healing experience.
So, how exactly do we start this process of healing the relationship with our Inner Child?
Here are four tried and true methods I’ve used in my coaching practice as well as along my own journey that can help you connect deeply with your Inner Child to cultivate healing of childhood wounds, and to allow the magic of your radiant, creative child self to shine through!
1. Inner Child Meditation
Visualize your child self and notice the age you are, the emotions you feel, the environment you are in. When any memories surface, dive into them if you feel safe to do so and practice observing your child self in the experience with loving kindness and compassion. Bring awareness to the dominant emotions of this child’s experience and any thought patterns that may arise.
Diving into this style of meditation can feel rather daunting if you’ve never done it before, especially for those of us with very painful childhood memories.
Enlisting the expertise of a coach, therapist, or other trusted practitioner can be incredibly beneficial, especially to create a safe container for working through traumatic experiences.
You can also use a guided meditation, there is a plethora available on YouTube and other platforms.
For those of us who may be more practiced in the art of Inner Child Work, you may want to accompany your child self as your current adult self throughout these meditations.
One of my favorite questions to ask clients during this process is “What does your child self need from you in this moment that they never received?” You can then create the opportunity to give that experience to your Inner Child during meditation to close out the experience.
2. Journaling Through The Voice Of Your Inner Child
Creating a regular practice of journaling through various emotional states through the voice of your child self is particularly beneficial for those of us who find it challenging to experience and regulate our emotions.
As children, we do not come into the human experience knowing how to regulate our own nervous systems, and thus we rely on our caregivers to teach us how to do so. Some parents do a better job of this than others based on what their own experiences and capabilities are.
You may want to settle into the journaling process by taking a few deep, belly breaths and allowing your Inner Child to come forth in your mind.
When we tap into this part of ourselves, we encourage our most vulnerable emotions to be revealed to us, particularly if we are accustomed to suppressing, rejecting, and denying our own emotions because this is what we learned.
We may even be doing this with so-called “positive” emotions such as joy, curiosity, and love.
Invite yourself to be uncensored in this process and let this process be a safe space for you to express freely. Allow yourself to fully feel whatever comes up for you, whether they are “negative” or “positive” emotions, and let the ink fly!
3. Reparenting Your Inner Child
While the reparenting process may sound rather obscure and abstract at first, it becomes second-nature with practice and patience. It does however require awareness of the internal experience of your Inner Child.
A helpful place to start is to bring gentle awareness to the internal world throughout the day.
What are you feeling? What thoughts are running through your mind? How are you speaking to yourself?
A client I worked with faced many challenges relating to the internal dialogue he had with himself. When his Inner Child would experience a less desirable “negative” emotion such as sadness or anger, both of which are valuable messengers from our bodies, his default reaction would be to criticize and invalidate his own emotions.
Because we internalize the voices we heard most as children, as adults we now recreate these voices and often inflict abuse upon ourselves.
Through the reparenting process, he was able to compassionately acknowledge and validate his emotions.
By changing the voice of his internal authority figure, he was able to heal the relationship between this part of himself and his Inner Child. This made it safer for him to experience his varying emotional states and gave him valuable information for how to move through the world.
Treat your Inner Child and meet their needs in the way you would have wanted when you were younger.
Speak to yourself with kindness, be patient with your process, create structure and discipline where necessary, and learn how to best care for yourself.
4. Create And Play As Your Inner Child
Make art, dance, sing, run around in nature, let yourself be wild and free!
As we journey through life as adults, so many of us lose the spark of vitality and wonder we all have as children. We actively suppress or dissociate from the creative, playful nature that is integral to the human incarnation.
Yet again, we perpetuate what we have been taught.
As children, we are often taught to grow up, to focus on the future, to stop being such a child. It becomes second nature for us to play this narrative on repeat in our minds like a broken record player.
Little do we know, most adults haven’t evolved beyond childhood emotional maturity, and yet, the beautiful parts of being a child are things we actively resist and reject!
Take some time to reflect on what you really loved doing as a child. Make a promise to yourself to create a regular practice of doing that thing as part of your self care and allow yourself to be fully immersed in it.
Inner Child Work isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, though that is certainly an integral part of the process. Sometimes it can be dark, and scary. Sometimes it can be disheartening and painful.
All of us on this human journey have experienced childhood trauma. This is a part of the current initiation process on Earth that shows us where our gifts truly lie.
It is all too easy to get stuck in despair and shadow, so we must actively choose to step out of the role of the victim and into a more empowered state.
The power to decide lies with you, and you alone.
If you’re going to choose to do the nitty gritty work, you may as well have some fun along the way, take a lesson from childhood and play!