Learning How to Watch Over Our Inner Child
I believe our joy lives in our creativity. and I believe our creativity lives in our inner child. So if you want to relax, have fun, and enjoy life, learn to take care of your inner child. You will know immediately when your inner child feels discomfort. When you feel a tensing up of your emotions, you are experiencing your body telling you to beware. Instead of charging forward, learn to take a step or two backward emotionally while you get a better assessment of the situation.
1. From Donna Flagg: “Ego: The Evil Twin to Our Beloved Inner Child”:
“There has long been plenty of discussion about ego on one hand, and the inner child on the other. Rarely though, if at all, do we ever look at the sibling rivalry between the two. By that I mean, there is a Yin Yang relationship connecting the ego with inner child, if you consider for a moment that the former is born to defend and protect the latter. From there, emotional health is a matter of how well the two negotiate their path of coexistence.”
“We know at its base that ego is a defense mechanism – there to spare us pain, save us from embarrassment and jump into action upon the mere whiff of emotional discomfort. All this to guard the helpless child within from reliving the wounds that made ego start exercising its might in the first place. It is a noble effort indeed, and useful in childhood as well, but not at a certain point in life when its determination to defend is against a phantom that no longer exists.”
2. From Ellen Besso: “Creating a Heart Centered Life—Our Post PTSD Identity”:
Here are some specific ways we can connect with our heart center on a regular basis:
¨ We can access our inner selves by listening to our body. The body never lies – I can’t overemphasize this.
¨ Sitting quietly, (or walking if that suits better), simply pay attention to your breath, noting what parts of the body feel relaxed, which ones are uncomfortable or emotional, noticing, then brushing away the myriad thoughts that spring up, (imagine a tiny broom in your head to brush with). Doing this with no further agenda holds us in good stead.
Note: Placing one hand over the heart can help us get in touch.
¨ Ground yourself and your energy if you’re feeling floaty by walking on grass, stomping your feet, digging in the dirt, walking in the water at the edge of the ocean or lake or lying on the ground under a tree, (kids know this is good; it’s also part of Ayurvedic medicine).
¨ Notice your posture when sitting or standing. I’m paying more and more attention to this, fine-tuning if you will. I’ve found that when I’m trying to get something done or get somewhere, I tend to tilt my body forward; I also sag and hunch my shoulders slightly, folding in on myself, closing my heart area rather than opening it.
¨ Check-ins: Every 30 to 60 minutes, ask yourself how you’re doing and what you need. It may be a simple physical requirement, like a glass of water or a snack, a stretch, a few moments of fresh air during your break, a brief support call to a friend or counselor, 10 minutes flat on the floor, (this completely recycles your energy system). You’ll know what you need if you practice this regularly and pay attention to the answers.
¨ Whatever feeds us will heal us and make us happy. Perhaps it’s playing with a small child, thus allowing ourselves to be a kid too in a small way; it could be mindfully walking in nature, where each sense is activated when we focus on the sights, sounds, smells, even tastes; they all have a richness to them and this keeps us in the present moment.
3. From Grace: “Tug of War—With Myself”:
Yesterday I had a tug of war with my inner child who refused to go into work. The adult in me refused to find something fun to do. At an impasse I sat paralyzed. I kept thinking if I catch up on my work I can get some relief from the stress I am feel right now. In my heart I knew this was not going to happen when the kid in me digs in no work that will be done.
So I sat there for a couple of hours refusing to work and refusing to have fun. I finally broke the stalemate between me and me and went to the movies.
I got in my car and just drove straight to the movies without any idea what was showing. Arriving a 1PM I had three choices Twilight, Hugo 3D and Anonymous. I opted for Hugo I figured it would be a little less stimulating than the others.
It is not really a kids movie. It was visually very interesting and the characters were likable for sure. It was a little slow and very quiet I couldn’t imagine kids sitting through the whole thing. Even one couple in our theater just started having a conversation. I didn’t care the kid in me was just happy I wasn’t working.
It is probably progress to see that I really need a break right now. In the past it was easy to get lost in my work. It was all that I knew and didn’t have much experience with joy or fun. I am working to find some balance now.