There are so many ways to journey into spirit and reconnect. And when the world gets too serious, inner child work is a wonderful and accessible tool for reconnection and playfulness. The inner child is alive in a space that is untouched by time, and while it may require healing, is also carefree and ready for fun.
A child’s arch-nemesis is boredom, something most adults would happily welcome. In a child's world, life is play, joy is cultivated, and in every moment there is an opportunity for endless possibilities. Children live in the subconscious where things haven’t quite formed yet. Their highly creative space is a magical journey waiting to be explored. Mother Earth is a giant playground. Fairies are real. Imaginary friends aren’t imaginary at all. The purpose of a child is simply to exist and be, free from the need to be doing, and it remains the birthright of every adult to reclaim, by re-establishing a connection to their inner child.
There is a familiarity between shamanism and inner child work. Just as a shamanic journey visits other realms, and employs techniques like soul retrieval to pick up lost pieces and reconnect them, so too is the process for inner child work. The trance state of shamanism is very similair to the trance state of hypnotherapy, and well, children live in trance all the time. Anything that creates a creative, safe, and connected mindset is creating the space to journey beyond the here and now.
Listening to a guided meditation, going into hypnosis or meditative state, deep relaxation, or low-level drumming helps the busy “monkey-mind” get out of the way. And lucky for us, we live in the information age where access to those tools to help journeying is free and widely-accessible. The rest of it is intention. Asking for a guide to assist on the journey can be really helpful, too. Once the conscious mind is relaxed and settled, or pre-occupied, invite the creative mind to recall a happy memory of childhood. Feeling joy inside the body takes the experience from the ethereal and begins to activate the expression through-out the body.
The inner child is always waiting to be acknowledged, just like any child. They need attention and love. They need someone to hear them and give them a voice. They need comfort, and someone to play with. And there’s no better someone than an adult in the form of their future self. Once their needs are met, and someone has kissed their boo-boos the inner child can heal anything instantly, having profound effects on the present self. Children have an amazing capacity to accept things and heal faster than any adult, because their mind is not made up about anything. They don’t live in their ego, and their identity is not yet formed, so change can happen rapidly. This type of acknowledgement moves a stuck inner-child who feels forgotten and abandoned out of the shadow-self and into the light. It is in the light that they can experience play and joy, bridging those same emotions into the present self. Healing and reclaiming abandoned parts of the self will shift what manifests in life into a more positive outcome. It changes the stories we tell ourselves.
The happiest memories and experiences of childhood are just a spirit journey away from the present. In this busy world of doing, being playful is a powerful and amazingly simply tool to shift worry and stress, into reminding us of what really counts. Painting a picture, playing an instrument, kicking a ball, and climbing a tree exist on a frequency where stress can not. Especially when those activities are serving the intention of fun. Because where there is fun, ego is not. And again, the constant adult energy of doing and accomplishing take a back seat to the art of being and feeling.
We’ve all come to realize that children are wise beyond their years, and that applies to the inner child as well. And when we establish a solid relationship with our inner child, we are both adult and child, fully present, and their wisdom and joy is ours too. Abandon the to-do list, build a tree fort with the fairies, and see what kind of magic can be created!