5 ways to reach your inner child
“Six-year-old me is so proud right now!” This is the thought I had as I drove the Warner Bros. golf cart through the lot while working for the TV show ‘Supernatural’. It was literally a dream come true. Have you ever felt that way, that the inner child within was so proud? Or disappointed? Your inner child can hold the key to many questions you may have about yourself.
A 2003 article written by Avshalom Caspi, et al. in the Journal of Personality found that traits as young as 3-years-old are linked to behavior at 26 years of age. That means the 6-year-old you may be closer to the real you then you might think.
So it may, in essence, be wise to look back and ask this version of yourself what they think of your life now. There is a large amount of wisdom to be found in the purest form of yourself. It can also be healing to go back and tell your inner child things you may have needed to hear when you were young.
In the movie, ‘The Kid’, the child version of Bruce Willis travels to the future and sees the life that he has built. Bruce Willis character is a wealthy and powerful man and owns a beautiful house and car. But, the kid says, “I'm forty, I'm not married, I don't fly jets, and I don't have a dog? I grow up to be a loser.” Your inner child knows better than anyone what you truly desire.
If your life is different than what you expected that is absolutely fine. It is ultimately the feeling and the pride of your identity that you want to meditate on. You may find more confidence and acceptance and love of self than you ever thought possible when you explore yourself through your own eyes as a child.
Here are 5 ways to engage that young version of yourself:
#1 Write a Letter
Sit down for 5 minutes and write a letter to your inner child.
What would you say to 6-year-old you if they showed up at your doorstep? Would you be so excited to show them your life? Would you be embarrassed? Would you apologize? Why?
Write a letter from your inner child to yourself. Maybe you really need to hear some wisdom from a pure hearted version of yourself.
What did you play as a child? Remember the games? The sports?
Find an after work soccer game to play. Dance around in your living room to the music you grew up to. Buy a coloring book (they make amazing grown up coloring books with intricate designs, it can be very peaceful and meditative.)
Then ask yourself if you allow yourself to be as free as you were as a child.
#3 Follow the Leader
Have a child of your own? Niece? Nephew? Friend with a kid? Ask to babysit and just follow them around in the park or play with them with their toys for an hour. Just do what they do. (And their parents will thank you for it.)
You will be amazed how quick it will come back to you -making sound effects of trucks crashing, or playing tea party, or running through the leaves in the park. It is the most natural thing in the world to play. See how getting back to those fun basics makes you feel.
What emotions does it bring up?Why?
Look through old pictures, shoeboxes, Mom’s Attic, or talk to a family member…
Look through the out of fashion clothes, the picture albums, and the saved dance shoes. What do you remember? What did the kid that wore these want out of life? What lessons did you learn from those memories? What stories do Mom and Grandma remember best about you?
#5 Draw, Paint, or Collage.
Draw your favorite spot as a child. Rip pictures out of a magazine and make a vision board of what your inner child would love to see…hang it in your bathroom or in your office where you can meditate on it regularly.
Taking care of your inner child may just be the best self care you can give yourself.
Make it Small