Inner child work is when we take a look at ourselves from a very young age. We see what we are wearing and what we look like. We ask the little version of ourselves what they might want or need. I recently did some inner child work with a client and she told her little child that she would always protect her and she even agreed to paint with her inner child over the course of a week. The work she did painting was beautiful, and the inner work she did was marvelous. When we connect with the young version of ourselves it is a very vulnerable and powerful exercise. To give you an example I will connect with my inner child right now using the activity of journaling. I am a firm believer in practicing what I preach. If I tell clients to use a tool then I better be using the tool regularly in my own life. Otherwise I’m just blowing smoke and I feel that I am hypocritical. To do the exercise I use the initials BA for Big Amy and LA for Little Amy.
BA: Hi little amy how are you? Is there anything you need?
LA: you ask too many questions.
BA: haha that’s true, it’s my job to do that.
LA: You’re always asking other people questions and I never get a chance to talk about how I am doing except once a week with Wendi.
BA: Wow it sounds like you are feeling ignored and that you’d like me to ask you how you’re feeling more often and give you some more space to share.
LA: Yeah. And how come you’re always worrying. I don’t want to worry any more.
BA: What about worrying bothers you?
LA: It takes too much time.
BA: that’s true. Is there something you’d rather do instead?
LA: I want to roller skate, you got those skates but are just letting them sit there.
BA: Do you want to roller skate tomorrow?
LA: Right now.
BA: right now?
LA: Yes. I want you to stop writing your stupid blog and let me go outside and try out the fancy new skates. I hate you for making me wait so long.
BA: Wow I didn’t know you felt that way. It sounds like you’re really mad at me for not letting you play outside enough.
LA: Well I’m not really really mad I’m just bugged by you and your big girl work. It’s not as important as you think you know. And you’re always letting other people have fun but what about me?
BA: I am so sorry I have been neglecting you. I guess it’s good that I was writing this blog entry about inner child work so that I could practice connecting with you.
LA: Blah blah blah can we go outside now?
BA: How about when I am done writing this I will take you around the block for a twenty minute roller skate.
LA: That sounds great! When can we go?
BA: In a few minutes.
LA: Yay!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you.
I have to tell you I had no idea what little Amy was going to say when I started talking with her. That’s the point though. The desires and needs of our inner child lay beneath the surface and can only be accessed by paying attention to them. I suggest checking in with your inner child once a day to see if you can deepen your relationship with yourself. Every single person has an inner child and they often feel neglected. It is interesting that a lot of the time when we connect with our inner child we also connect with parts of ourselves that we have forgotten about. Our inner child reminds us of the hobbies that we used to love to do, weren’t allowed to do or always want to do. I definitely recommend reading the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if you need a little more help getting going. She has even more exercises in her book such as having your eighty year old self write a letter to you as you are right now. Sometimes all we need to do is change our perspective! An example of me writing from my eighty year old self looks like this.
You look really beautiful as a 29 year old. Any imperfections you think you have, just wait until you’re 80, then you’ll really be a wrinkly old fart. Don’t waste your precious time my dear young woman. You don’t need to worry about keeping up with the Jones’ or accomplishing everything you think you need to accomplish. Everything in life, including every stage of life will work out just fine. Be nice to your husband and keep the spark fresh by using your creative minds together. Keep close to your friends and family because you’ll need them even more as you get older. While life doesn’t get easier, you’ll learn how to appreciate the small moments of each day. Try to do five things nice for yourself today and watch, God will pour blessings on you.
Your very, very old self.
I challenge you to do these two exercises!