Loving The Little One Inside
Inner child practice for mental health awareness month + May offerings & updates
Content warning: General mention of abuse without any details or descriptions.
So many of us experienced loss, abuse or trauma as children that we did not have the opportunity to fully digest or recover from. In order to cope, suffering parts become repressed while other parts become over-extended. Under normal circumstances, it’s easy to forget that we were ever so young and vulnerable. But when circumstances trigger our past traumas, the unfelt pain and rage of the inner child reemerges to alert us that more love is needed in dark places.
Without intentional support to heal our relationship to our inner child, we can become confused, depressed or insecure when we don’t understand our unconscious feelings and reactions. And without access to all parts of ourselves, it’s impossible to know what we truly need, or who we are outside of our prescribed social roles.
Though necessary, the idea of communicating with the inner child can bring up intense feelings of fear - fear that we’ll be overtaken by the powerful emotions we felt forced to suppress in childhood. There was a reason that things got buried, and we may not feel fully ready to meet those experiences.
At the same time, the inner child can evoke the irrepressible sense of play and freedom that we lost in the process of adulthood. Contacting this playful energy can be deeply healing and comforting, even while it brings the grief of its loss. Some of us may not be able to remember a sense of play in childhood, and this can feel hopeless.
The truth is that our inner children embody all of it. In order to carry the pain burdens, the child learned to hide, but this does not change the true nature of the child. The spirit of the child is authentic expression, not rigidity or repression. The reward for releasing our little ones of their unfair burdens is eventually remembering our inherent freedom, vitality, curiosity, loving and playful natures that have been within us all along.
If you have ever wondered how to contact your own inner child, one powerful method is through writing, specifically letter writing. When we practice speaking with care and tenderness towards our inner child, we get to parent ourselves in a way that we may have never received before. With practice and time, this process can lead to a sense of wholeness in our identities, deeper self-compassion and greater overall self-regulation as we digest past traumas and increase our capacity to be present with all of ourselves.
Keep reading for a few prompts to start a healing dialogue with your inner child/ren. For paid subscribers, I invite you to read one of my letters that I return to again and again. I hope it inspires you to hold your little one with an abundance of tenderness, humility and care.
Always remember to practice gently - there is no rush in healing. Every baby step counts.
Upcoming events, offerings & invitations
Educators, Fall 2023!
I am so excited to teach Critical Embodied Wellness for Educators alongside Dr. Stephanie Cariaga through the Dominguez Hills College of Continuing Education. See the flyers below for course details! Hear us talk about the course on IG live!
You can find applications here. Applications are due May 31, 2023, participants will be notified of acceptance by June 2023, and registration will be due on July 15, 2023.
Resources / Recommendations
I recently found this adorable video of a baby sleeping that I have been playing as a grounding exercise in my workshops. I invite you to listen to sweet baby Hayden and notice what happens in your mindbodyspirit!
Prompts for speaking with and reflecting on your inner child:
If you notice that this practice is particularly activating, take a pause and allow your body to indicate whether or not it is safe to continue. Listen to your body :)
If you could say anything to your younger self, what would it be?
If you could do anything for your younger self, what would it be?
Imagine your current self from the point of view of your inner child. How does it feel to see yourself this way? What would they say to you now?
Would you like to hear more of my thoughts on healing and justice? Check out my new podcast feature with Decolonize to Thrive:
Subscribe for the full list of prompts and read my letter to my inner child for inspiration.
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