Posted in Throwback Thursday

Schedule a play-date with your inner child

When I was young I could do backbends. I could stand on my hands. I could fall down, bounce back up and keep running. I could move a couch without wetting my pants.

It’s all too easy to come up with things I used to be able to but now can’t. Lately I’ve been trying to remember things I used to do and still can, but for some reason stopped. One day instead of hopping up on the bed to put on my socks, I sat on the floor like I did when I was a kid. The simple act created a small shift in attitude. What else can I still do?

  • Go outside barefootpexels-photo-634279.jpeg
  • Drink hot chocolate
  • Make clover necklaces
  • Watch tv with a blanket and a pillow on the floor
  • Squirt Hershey’s Syrup in my mouth
  • Picnic on a blanket
  • Color with crayons
  • Pick dandelions and put them in a vase
  • Stare up at the stars
  • Lay on my back and imagine shapes in the clouds
  • Make snow angels

Children have a way of keeping us young at heart. They encourage us to play and leave our cares behind. Playing with children allows us permission to indulge. But hey! When you were a kid, all you wanted to do is grow up so you could do whatever you want whenever you want. So if you want to act like a kid all by yourself, you get to do that.

What did you used to do that you still can if you wanted to? Go for it. I double dog dare you.

Your inner child is waiting.

Peace . . .

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Posted in Well-being

There Is a Voice That Does Not Use Words

Quitting the diet scene wouldn’t be so hard if it weren’t so terrifying. It’s not just knowing what, when and how much TO eat. Four decades of intense diet mentality had proven to me that I couldn’t trust myself to STOP. Clearly, I couldn’t be left to my own devices without raiding the refrigerator or finding myself inexplicably in the nearest drive-thru.

Realizing I had a trust issue with myself sent me into a tail-spin. I pride myself in being trust worthy. It’s my brand. It’s who I am. If I say I’m going to do a thing, I do it. I’m reliable. You can count on me. Yet here I was saying that I couldn’t even count on me.

So I realize it gets a little weird because I talk about myself as if there are two of me. If you can keep all the Game of Thrones characters straight, this ought to be a breeze.

I decided I would have to actively work to rebuild the trust I’d lost with myself. I, being my best friend, was not going to allow this mistrust to ruin the relationship I’d thought we . . . er, uh . . . I shared. With myself. Try to keep up.

As you can imagine, healing trust issues takes time. It takes demonstrating consistent reliability to show that you can be trusted. It takes communication, which requires listening; lots of listening. And so I began the arduous task of listening to my body’s cues. Was I hungry? How hungry? Was I satisfied? Full? Overly full?

I didn’t hear anything. Nothing at all. I’d spent so many years letting diets talk over my own inner voice, telling it what I wanted it to say, that it had stopped speaking. I was afraid the voice had died. That I had killed it, and it would never speak again.

I listened harder. I mediated, and when I did I cried.

One day, I followed the tears to a corner of my heart where a child version of myself hid, alone and all but forgotten. I coaxed her out where the air was fresh, the sun shone, and bees buzzed. We were alone in a woods, and I let her lead me to the tiny things she found interesting. In silence, we found a connection; a trust in one another. She understood I would listen if she spoke, but that it was okay if she didn’t. Together we walked into the light and I awoke from my thoughts.

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Now, I know this all sounds a little woo-woo. But it was one of the many corners I’ve turned on this journey, and the thing about corners is that you never know what’s around them. This path I walk is big enough for the both of us, me and myself. Sometimes this inner voice speaks loudly, and the voice is wise and strong. And sometimes she speaks softly until I slow down enough to sit quietly and hear.

She still resides in my heart, but it’s a lovelier place. The inner child is doing some redecorating in there. It’s sunnier with flowers and colors — lots of colors that make me smile.

And I am no longer afraid to trust myself. Surely, I will make poor decisions that affect how I feel, but I trust myself to listen and learn. The pendulum will swing. Life has a way of balancing itself. How can I possibly be different?

Peace . . .

10 Ways to be a Good Role Model for your Inner Child

Loving Your Inner Child

Are You Living a Life of Balance or Control

The View From Here

Posted in Lore

The Expectations of My Inner Child, or lack thereof

sc001a13aeIt’s that time of year again when I look at where I’ve come and where I’m headed.  When I think of the tumbling towhead of my youth, it seems impossible that I am the same person.  I sometimes think of her and wonder if I’ve become the person she had hoped I would.

The girl I was held high hopes for humanity.  She rescued injured birds from the middle of roads, and abandoned kittens, despite her severe allergy to cats.  She believed that everyone possessed a beauty and a kindness if you looked hard enough.  She appalled an unjust world that would deliver babies into poverty while others flaunted wealth.  She believed in the abundance of love, peace, and food, if only the obstacles could be removed.

She was no saint, and neither am I.  She had plenty of lesser values and unlearned lessons.  She had fears, and pride, and selfishness that all abide in the adult she became.  And as I look, I realize how much I am still her — for better or for worse. Bark

If she had known where we would be today, I’m not sure if she would have chosen a shorter path or ambled along the one I’ve taken.  Yet, this is the place in which we find ourselves, my little inner child and me, and we are quite happy.

I’m glad she held so few expectations.  It allowed me to stop and contemplate a bug along the way, or touch the bark of a tree.  Had she held me fast to some appointed destination, I’d have taken such a wider, paved road and missed the little things along the way.

The future is a mystery — like trying to depict a figure in the shadows.  But the little towhead I take with me suggests I hold no expectations for the crone I’ll someday be.  Together we will mosey down our untrod trail looking for the tiniest of creatures to share our time.  And someday I can say I found my way to an older age, and I’ll be so much richer for it.

bumble

Happy birthday to me, and of course,

Peace . . .

Posted in Lore

10 Ways to be a Good Role Model for your Inner Child

Inner Child
Inner Child (Photo credit: CapturedbyKC)

Every child needs a good role model.  Young people are so impressionable and idealistic, aren’t they?  If you are a parent, you are likely careful with whom your child spends time.  You want someone who will make good choices, be honest, trustworthy, kind.

We are all role models, whether we want to or not.  We play a role and we model that for the world to see.  As a caretaker for your Inner Child, you are on duty 24/7.  Choose your actions wisely.

  1. Listen.  Get to know your Inner Child.  If you have said “SHHhhhh!” often enough, you may need to give him time to speak up.  He will be leery, and may have to remember what it was he wanted to say.  You cannot move on to any of the other items until you succeed with this first one.
  2. Inspire.  What is it that your Inner Child would like to be or do?  Choose actions that elicit that passion.  Seek out knowledge about an interest.  Give back to others.  Try something new.
  3. Be trustworthy.  If you tell your Inner Child you will do something, keep your word.  If you don’t think you can, be honest.  Don’t make promises you aren’t able or don’t intend  to keep.  Follow through with those you do.
  4. Apologize.  Only deities are perfect.  Admit mistakes.  Learn from them.  Promise to do better.  Your Inner Child will learn to forgive.
  5. Have integrity.  Your Inner Child will respect and admire your actions when they align with your values.  If you speak gratitude, and take people for granted, your Inner Child will suffer.  When you speak words of love, and show actions of hatred, your Inner Child is watching.
  6. Respect.  Treat your Inner Child the way you would want to be treated.  Be good, gentle and kind.  Show respect and gratitude toward others.  Respect the world, and the world will become your mirror.
  7. Give.  Children admire those who give freely and selflessly of time, money and essentials.  It is important for our Inner Child to feel there are gifts that come to those who need them.  He will look up to you as someone who fulfills those needs.
  8. Be strong.  Choose your fights wisely, then show your Inner Child how fiercely you engage.  Overcome obstacles.  Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.  Rise from the flames.  Reinvent yourself.
  9. Have confidence.  Be someone of whom your Inner Child would be proud.  Then be proud of whom you have become.
  10. Play.  Go out for ice cream.  Play on the swing set.  Lay in the grass.  Feel the sun on your skin.  Pick a dandelion bouquet.  Notice a bug.  Picnic in the front yard.  Take your feet off the pedals and coast.
inner child
inner child (Photo credit: Dave_B_)

What was your favorite playtime when you were a child?  Could you do that now?  If not, how could you change it for your grown-up self?

Peace . . .

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Posted in Lore

Loving Your Inner Child

Parenting is a tough job.  It is the most important job you will ever do.  Blah, blah, blah — you’ve heard it all before.  But has anyone ever mentioned your neglected child?  You have scorned this little one until she is embarrassed, hurt and lacks self-confidence.  She feels unlovable and unaccomplished.  You have wished her to act, look like and be more like someone else.  You have made her cry.

She is, of course, your inner child.  Take a moment to step outside of yourself for just a few moments.  Imagine you are the parent of this child.  You may never have been a parent, or maybe you hope to be one someday.  Imagine you are the parent you would be if you were one.

sc001a13aeNow imagine yourself, the parent, speaking to this child in the voice you have used silently with yourself.  Picture the child as your younger self.  “Oh my God!  You look horrible in that!”  “I swear I am going to just cut this hair off!”  “I can’t believe you are so stupid!”  “What made you think you could do that?”  “I can’t believe you thought you could talk to that person.”  Whatever you have said silently to yourself, imagine saying that out loud to this child.

What do you see on your inner child’s face?  What does it make her want to do?  How does it make you, as the parent feel?  Do you feel abusive?  How do you feel toward each other?

Now imagine a different scenario.  What would you say to a real child?  “We can find something better for you to wear.”  “I know your hair can be frustrating, but there are people who would kill for that color!”  “I know you will learn from this mistake.”  “Try again.”  “Sweetie, that person just doesn’t appreciate who you are.”

sc001a6003Now how does the child look?  Is she wiping away her tears?  Can you give her a mental hug?  She needs and deserves one.  As the parent do you feel more loving and kind?  As you begin to parent your inner child you may see her wings grow strong.  Be as loving and kind to her as you have been or would be to your own children.  Be gentle and encouraging.  Never speak ill of her.  Defend her always.

Lovingly bring these two out into the world — the nurturing parent and the child, healing from past neglect.  You may find you give more into it and possibly retrieve more as well.

Photos are of me and my mom (1963-1964).