The Inner Child – An Introduction

By | Category: Inner Child

John Bradshaw brought the phrase Inner Child to the masses in the 80’s, and he has written several books on the subject.  One of them, Homecoming, is dry and somewhat academic (for me) in places, but still has a lot of good information.  Lucia Capacchione’s Recovery of Your Inner Child, written in 1991, has been the catalyst for my own work on the subject.  Far from dry, it is a fun and easy way to contact your Inner Child, by writing with your non-dominant hand as your child’s voice and the dominant hand as the Adult.  I found the key to make this really successful was to make “a date” with the child and then stick to it, thereby building up trust that you will do what you promised, contrary to what the child may have experienced in the past.

I had been doing this work for the over a year, hit and miss, and even with that got a lot of valuable information, even knowledge from a past life.  But it was not until I started keeping a journal and committed to doing at least 3 pages every morning, (about 1/2 hr.) and sticking to this almost without fail that I found the wealth of information and love the child has to offer.  What motivated me to do the journal pages was a good friend (thanks, Sheryl) who reminded me of the book An Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and I was finally ready to pick it up and start the 12 week program she has laid out for artists and creative people to get them motivated and unstuck.  This book is so wonderful, it is not for artists only, 90% of the things she recommends would benefit any person, creative or not.  As a matter of fact, she now has The Artist’s Way at Work, which I have not read, but I am sure there is a lot of great info there too.  The cornerstone of the program is doing the Morning Pages as described earlier, and Artist’s Dates.  These are things you do alone, but with your child in tow, outings or things at home (yes, a hot bath counts, as long as you include a rubber ducky).

The idea is to start to pay attention to your child within, listening and dialoging and playing.  It may not be easy to open up and hear through all the noise of the everyday hustle, but you will be rewarded immensely if you take the time to be still and pay attention.  The best routine for me has been to do the Morning Pages first in the morning, then meditation time, and then more writing if med time came up with more stuff.  I have also found it very helpful if I have a question or need more info, to ask for it before I go to sleep at night, and more often than not it shows up in my Morning Pages or meditation time the next day.

Some of the more surprising “finds” in this exploration has been finding a child in each of the Self-centers in the back of my head (purely my own observation, and should be taken as such).  I have experienced severe pain in these centers long before I knew they existed as such, and did not know how to take care of it, other than curling up, trying to “sleep it off”.  After I found the children there, I started a dialog while meditating, and then as I experienced the early onset of the familiar pain, I would start to talk to the child, finding the source of the stress, and lo and behold, the pain disappeared.

So how do you dialog with your little one?  How do you know when it is your child who is talking and not just your brain making it up?  For me it has been a willingness to listen, to write with my left hand in a painfully (for me!) slow way whatever came into my head, and it was always one phrase or one word that told me I was on the right track that my brain would never have come up with on it’s own in this connection, and I would go on with that word, and it always got me to a place of great knowledge and understanding.  And this from a woman who has next to no memories of childhood (no, I did not have any abuse from any adults that I can find, but my childhood was a hard one in the cold and poor reaches of northern Norway).  My parents were decent, hardworking people who worked all the time to put food on the table for a large family; you had no doubts that you were loved, but there was not much outward showing of affection, and you learned early to fend for yourself.  No wonder I found my way all the way to America by the tender age of 21 and thereby my “new” spiritual family many years later.  So delving into my childhood and talking to my child has been almost like a “born-again” experience.  After a while I found the connection so strong I did not need the struggles of the left hand (not fast enough once she got going!).  I could decipher her voice in my head, and it became much easier to dialog.  By now I “check in” with her quite often during the day to get her input, or just to giggle together for a moment.  She’s got a great lust for giggles and dreams and cuddles, and I am only too happy to oblige.

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