We as adults minimize our inner child’s desires. We silence their voices and messages. As we grow older into adulthood the weight of worldly expectations and survival requirements diminish our inner child’s presence.
We soon forget that part of us is still very much alive and is still a very big part of who we are. We’re programmed and taught to ignore and abolish this very important aspect of ourselves. Through years of indoctrination and programming, we learn to suppress and forget our inner child.
With all the responsibilities and duties on our plate, we can become hardened, calloused, and insensitive to the very fragile, vulnerable and lighthearted parts of ourselves that live in our inner children. Many of us become addicted to seriousness, structure, and repetitive behaviors. We forget how it feels to be a child: the playful, imaginative, innocence, and softness that comes with our inner child. This aspect of ourselves, though largely ignored, wants to be acknowledged and allowed to be activated.
In this article, I’m going to give you some tips on embracing and healing your inner child.
It’s no secret that many of us have endured painful and traumatic childhoods. But even if your childhood was very happy and supported, we as adults most often times put our inner child to rest. Here are some helpful things you can do to activate and get in touch with your inner child, which can lead to healing old wounds that may have not been resolved or even acknowledged.
1. Visualization and Meditation
A very powerful tool that I use myself, is to find a quiet and sacred place that you feel safe in to revisit and visualize yourself as a small child. For me, this meant uncovering, acknowledging, and coming to terms with some very painful memories of being traumatized as a small child. I took myself back to those most vulnerable moments in time and felt how it felt for my inner child.
This will obviously be emotional and can be difficult to revisit, but the purpose of this is not to dwell in the pain but to acknowledge it and allow ourselves to feel through it, in order to move forward and begin to reassure and comfort your inner child. Give yourself the love and safety you needed as a child. Whatever trauma happened, you can visualize your adult self-clearing and re-writing new stories that involve joy and happiness. Let your inner child know that the adult in you is very capable and loving. Hold your inner child’s hand and coddle them.
This may sound silly and even ridiculous but it’s a very powerful tool for healing. The problem with past childhood traumas is these memories become trapped in our cellular memory, as the pain has most often not been acknowledged or completely felt.
By doing this exercise you can begin to release the trapped emotions by facing the painful parts that still exist and move through them with more ease and grace.
Acknowledgment is powerful medicine and when you combine that with love and gentleness, the combination transmutes dense energies that may be present. Once you are able to revisit and reassure yourself, you can then begin to re-write and re-program more pleasant outcomes and experiences. This doesn’t minimize the trauma that actually took place, but it allows you to empower that aspect of yourself to begin to heal and feel safe. Once you move into this stage you will notice yourself feeling clearer and happier overall.
This does not only apply to those with unpleasant or traumatic experiences as children, but this applies to those with happy and loving childhoods as well. By revisiting your inner child’s sweetest memories you will awaken and reactivate those parts of you that have been dormant.
2. Keep your sense of humor present
We take life and ourselves too seriously. Taking things personally or being too rigid steals our joy. Many people think that by being serious, focused, and structured will ensure some worldly success, but this is not true. We can tap into our inner child by keeping things lighthearted and finding humor in the small things. This is not to say that structure, discipline, and focus aren’t needed as well, but we can have these attributes and play them out with laughter and lightness behind them. Our inner child loves to explore, imagine, and try new things. When we stifle this part of ourselves we become tired, unsatisfied, and lack creation.
There’s a reason why the saying “laughter is the best medicine” remains true. When you see children at play there’s always laughter present. When you find yourself being super serious, remind yourself that life is what you make of it and that you can choose to let things roll off your shoulders and you can choose to release the stress we sometimes resign ourselves to as part of our adult life. By committing yourself to remain positive and finding a sense of humor in your day to day interactions, you will feel happier and more content with whatever comes your way. In fact the more you practice and choose lightness the more it becomes your nature.
3. Let your imagination run wild
This is another part of ourselves that as adults can become underused and lost. As children, we use our imaginations all of the time. The brain of a child, for the better part of the first 7 years of life, is in a theta state. This is imagination. This is when we create magical things. This is when we would lose ourselves in playful spaces. This part of ourselves is very important to keep active. This is how we co-create and bring into manifestation our dreams, intentions, and goals.
Allow yourself time and space to lose yourself in your imagination. No dream is too big or unrealistic. Allow yourself to see things in your mind’s eye that make your heart swell with happiness and allow the tears of joy to flow. Our thoughts are electric and our emotions are magnetizing. This is how you create the timelines you want to play out in your life. Don’t ever downplay or diminish your imagination, it is a very powerful tool.
4. Do things you did as a child
So many times we blanket our lives with adult responsibilities without expressing and participating in things we loved to do as children. We take on this belief that those days are over or we place physical limitations on things we used to do as children. We think it would be foolish, or we feel ashamed for doing the things we loved as kids. The truth is that the more we express ourselves in things that brought us so much joy as a child, we will find that they still bring us as much, or more, joy as adults.
For example, I love headstands, cartwheels, and handstands. I practice and do them all the time as a 47-year young woman! I will do them ‘til I am physically unable to! I love to color, I love to make arts and crafts, I love to watch children’s animated stories, I love to climb trees, I love to play dress-up, I love to dance. These things make my heart happy and allow me to tap into that youthful energy and expression. By doing these things I feel it keeps me feeling young, active, and lighthearted. I feel restored and peaceful.
Embrace the things that made you feel happiest as a kid and revisit your childhood favorites. Don’t worry about how you look or what others may think, just do it and your heart will come alive. Some things may be more difficult to do than when you were a kid but don’t let that stop you from practicing, playing and having fun with it.
5. Stay in touch and present with your inner child
Once you realize that your inner child is always with you and a very big part of your adult self, keep being present with it. Make it a habit to check in and honor that aspect of yourself regularly. Include, comfort, and engage your inner child. Move beyond your ego telling you it’s silly, childish and unimportant. This is only an ego-trap that keeps you small minded and taking yourself too seriously.
Encourage others and your partners to play with lighthearted experiences. By embracing your inner child it will entice those around you to join in the fun. It will deepen your connections with others. It will heal your heart, help you to stay in the present, increase your creativity, boost your immune system, release stress, alleviate depression and anxiety, keep you youthful at heart, elongate your life, and enhance your quality of life.
6. Practice living in flow
What exactly does this mean? There’s a natural order and universal flow taking place in every moment. As children our resilience, presence, and acceptance to what is happening in every moment is remarkable. We were more likely to allow what is. We as adults are always practicing control. We are always planning out our lives and leave little to no room for flow in our day to day lives. We become rigid and unwilling to change or welcome unexpected occurrences. The reality is that life is in a constant state of flow and change. The problem comes when we won’t allow ourselves fluidity. By being in flow you step into the higher stream of consciousness that is at work. This is when real-life magic happens and unfolds.
For example, you could have your day completely planned out with very specific details and tasks or events and intentions that you want to take place. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but if plans get interrupted or that universal flow has something else in order, knowing and discerning when to allow for other things to take place or move in a different direction is key. Being in flow is like being in the zone, things are magnificent. Don’t be afraid to leave room for magic and spirit orchestration to work in your life. Let go of expectations and have faith that things are playing out in divine order for your highest good. Even when things don’t quite seem like they are, trust that you are always being developed to become who you are meant to be.