If you’re not familiar with the concept of your inner child, it’s your original or true self. It’s that self that is you before life happened. It’s you before you had to find ways to make it through some possible really tough times.
Often in therapy, when considering one’s inner child, it’s usually related to finding ways to help you resolve things from your past, during your childhood. But, why not get back to the positive parts of your childhood you found to resolve what’s ailing you now? Why not get back to simple things?
When I’m by myself, I listen to music on Pandora most of the day, except when the music that heals me comes from enjoying the relaxing sounds of the waves and the birds on our beautiful Gulf beaches. On Pandora, a commercial came on that mentioned your inner child. That made me think of all I’ve personally been getting back to, and how sharing what’s been working for me might be able to help somebody else.
Explore. When I was little, I wanted to be an archeologist. I loved exploring every little nook and cranny, most usually outside. I still remember one day in particular. There was a trail that started in the woods in back of our house, at the top of a hill that was our backyard. I always went off that beaten path.
In the middle of the woods, there was what seemed to have been a driveway. I followed that wide, grassy, uphill path—wide enough you would imagine it was made for a horse and carriage instead of a car. When I made it to the top, in the middle of that woods, was an open field of tall, dry grass the yellowed color of wheat. There had been a house there long ago! That was my secret find!
I felt the same way on a day when I went out to explore the ruins and brick streets of Egmont Key, and listened to a friend about their favorite place that I now call mine. Nothing has changed about what both decompresses and energizes me. What favorite places could you find?
Focus on the simple things. Walking on that same trail in the woods, I picked blackberries, wildflowers, and collected tadpoles out of the creek. Sometimes a childhood friend or two would join me, and we’d hunt for old, colored glass bottles. The woods had many stories to tell.
Today I have colored glass bottles I’ve collected. I have pressed flower pictures from my sweet grandmother that was an artist. There are also white sand dollars I’ve now collected, and strategically placed in many places in my home.
Did you like to draw when you were little? Maybe now you can find a hobby like painting furniture, picking beach flowers to bring a bit of the beach home with you, or maybe it’s just appreciating all the beauty around us in this area. What are some simple things that you used to like doing or collecting that brought you joy as a kid?
BE your inner child. I’ve been a self-proclaimed city girl so I can always find something to do. But, truth be told, when I am out in nature exploring, I am back in the country, in my positive inner child. It’s been wonderful the past four years! I’ve been soul searching, navigating my way through some tough times, and ultimately getting back to myself again.
Going back to the things I did growing up has been very healing. They are things and places that cannot be taken away. They are always there. You just have to choose to focus on finding them.
Travel. This past week, there was a documentary on about an archeologist hunting for Mayan ruins, and diving in amazing caves. Much of what I experienced with exploring was by the luck of ending up with parents that had the same love of exploring and traveling to find those places. The list of things we saw and did is almost endless. A sense of adventure, and interest in different cultures and places is ingrained in me.
Today, I travel solo for my birthday each year. I give myself the time to experience things on my own. I disconnect. My parents are the only ones to hear from me on the day of my birthday.
Are there things you used to do when you were little that you can get back to today? If there isn’t anything ingrained, what things do you dream of doing? Is there anything you maybe have forgotten about? What could you do that would help “heal” your troubles that life can bring? Good experiences can help to outweigh the bad ones, similar to the weight loss adage of calories in, calories out.
Don’t be afraid to get messy. I remember my hair in pig tails, riding my bike, playing in my tree fort, skinning my knees, and making mud pies. Moving to Florida, in my eyes, was a good move for me. I learned to put my hair up in a messy bun because it’s cooler that way, and throw on my gym clothes to do errands.
Like when I was little being active, I now sweat, a lot! I don’t mind the sweat that comes from being in the gym, or in a yoga class. I’ll then quickly change, put on sunscreen, and gyo to the beach. Being active and being out in nature makes me feel good. I grew up running around playing with friends, and riding my bike everywhere. Our minds and bodies are related.
Having embraced my positive inner child, and gotten back to living my authentic self, it lends to me having an attitude of hopefulness, inner happiness, and much peace. I do things, find new things, and am around people that add to my life. What needs do you have that aren’t being met? How could your inner child come out and help fulfill your existence?
If you’re seeking ways to, “get back to yourself”, I hope these ideas were useful for you, and sparked some ideas of your own. As always, if there are things you feel you could benefit from working on to live your best life possible, please reach out here. Also, always feel free to share this with someone else who could benefit.