I chased the little boy around the clothes line as he dragged the long purple ribbon behind him.
As he giggled with glee and twirled the ribbon like a rhythmic gymnast I joined in pure delight with him, finding myself in fits of laughter at just how much fun it was.
Life, when you have anxiety can be anything but fun at the best of times. It’s more like a cloak of darkness over the clothes line and you’ve run into the pole.
You’re too busy thinking about the to-do list 10 storeys tall…
And you’re probably got the conversation with your friend from yesterday on repeat. ‘Man I talked her ear off. I didn’t even listen to what she had to say, I just rambled my story,’ ‘Does she even like me anyways?’
You’re worried about taking time out to have fun because then you’re not productive…
Or you start working on decluttering one area of your house, then you see something in another room and before you know it you feel overwhelmed.
The bills need paying…
The dinner needs to be made…or bought…but either way it still takes some effort right?
Then you feel bad because you ate MacDonald’s when you declared that you were going to #cleaneat (by the way, newsflash, I hate that hashtag, so lammmme. Food isn’t clean or unclean. You aren’t dirty if you eat something that is allegedly ‘bad’ , nor are you better than someone because your diet is so ‘clean’ or as I long to call it devoid or tasty, tasty goodness but I digress).
What if these conversations that you have in your head could actually go somewhere?
What if you listened in to what they were saying?
Not believe every single word that was said, cause we know anxiety can be a bit nasty some times.
But to listen in and put your arms around the inner child that is within you.
I’ve been doing inner child work for a while now but I’ve just ramped up really checking in EVERY DAY.
Cause your inner conversations are the key to your true thoughts and feelings.
But here’s the thing. You need to learn how to listen in clearly so that you can get exactly what it is you want.
When you train your conscious awareness to listen to the specific inner conversations you are having you can also learn to resolve any inner conflicts that develop in your mind.
Let’s face it, we know with anxiety the battle is mainly working through the mind chatter that then gives off the physical symptoms of shaky hands, fast speech and brain fog. When you learn how to listen in you can parent the inner child more effectively.
In a nutshell, your inner child is the combination of your mother’s and father’s personality (or significant other carers in your life). By the age of 7 you have unconsciously taken on and absorbed their ideas, viewpoints and mannerisms. These form one side of the internal conversation and that is the inner parent. The inner child is how you judged a set of opinions and attitudes to your parents and the world around you. You made decisions based on what you experienced and recorded these in your mind.
The inner parent and inner child are both within you and are waiting to be heard.
So how do you lean in and figure out how to soothe the inner child, the one who gets triggered when anxiety comes your way?
Start by asking some questions out loud like the following:
Inner child, how are you doing today?
Inner child, who is your favourite singer or musical group?
Inner child, tell me about something you did today that you enjoyed?
Inner child is there anything else you would like to tell me before the session ends?
Then make sure you listen in. Once you get the response you say back:
You’re feeling that….
When you start doing this process it’s easy to think ‘this is stupid’ or go ‘that makes no sense.’ Seriously though, it’s what your soul is craving.
Here are some of my answers over the past few days:
Question: Inner child are you feeling comfortable today?
Response: You’re feeling sad because I never listen to you. Yes, this makes me cry. You’re feeling that I just tried to skip the question to not go deeper. You’re always rushing questions. You’re feeling that, you wish I would stop long enough to listen.
P.S This actually made me cry. To know that my inner child did not feel listened to made me rethink how I do things.
She also says funny stuff like:
Question: Inner child, who is your favourite singer or musical group?
Response: You’re feeling like you don’t know. Now you’re feeling like Bon Jovi is your favourite artist.
What did I do with this info? I chose to play Bon Jovi before writing this blog post and it lit me up on the inside. I remember thinking this is soooo weird. I had a cassette tape of his back in year 7 but hadn’t really listened to him much over the years. Listening to him brought back so much spunk. You see our inner child knows.
How can you apply this into your every day life?
I started by giving my 2 year old some T.V time cause you know #notaperfectparent, so I could do the inner child work quietly. It’s recommended to do 30 min max for a session because otherwise your inner child can get too excited and can lead to skipping days.
I then, head off to my room with my journal and start asking questions out aloud.
I then honour the answers given (played Bon Jovi and had a bath this morning instead of a shower).
Finally, I thank the inner child. I tell her how grateful I am for her and how much fun (or choose another word to sum up the session) I had. I remind her that tomorrow we’ll do it again and see what turns up for us.
And you know what?
I feel soooo much more peaceful.
When anxiety starts to rear its ugly head where does it take you back to?
For me, it takes me back to my 8 year old self who was in trouble for leaving a hair brush at my friend’s house. I remember I was so scared to knock on her door one early morning to retrieve it.
When your anxiety starts to rear up, what age is the inner child who is showing up? How is she feeling?
Start listening in, and by honouring one of her wants and needs today you too can feel like life is more fun.
I mean ‘it’s my life after all’ and ‘perhaps we’re really living on a prayer after all?’ (thanks Bon Jovi)
Are you listening in?
You’ve got this.
If you’d like to learn more about your inner child so that you can stop the fast talk and over thinking then head to my NEW work with me packages. Check the out HERE. If you loved the post please share using the buttons below.