As a girl who’s taught children in the performing arts, brought children’s favorite fairytale characters to life as a profession, and still builds blanket-pillow forts, I like to think I have a lot of experience in connecting with my inner child.
Let’s get something straight, I’m still learning to overcome the hardness the world pushes on me. Not allow the rampant negativity to make me anxious, self-conscious…depressed.
But if this is an area of your life you hope to expand, if you’re reflecting on who you were and who you are and wondering what happened, I might be able to help by sharing what I’ve noticed through personal experience and what we’re often missing out on as adults.
Here are my thoughts on reviving your child spirit to live your best life.
Connect with Your Child Spirit Through Heart Before Head
One of the most amazing qualities children possess is an abundant capacity for emotion. There is so much to feel because there is so much that has never been felt before!
Let me share with you a perfect real life example of what I mean.
As a professional princess…
I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of overwhelmed children. In a wig and ballgown, I became a child’s favorite dream next to flying through cotton candy skies. They usually reacted one of three ways:
- Smile, squeal and hug (unknowingly getting mud and/or paint on the gown)
- Burst into tears, otherwise frozen* until carried away
- Hide behind the nearest guardian, in spite of showing no previous signs of shyness
Okay, I’m not saying to weep every time you see a flower. I’m also not saying you shouldn’t… It’s completely possible to open up without letting our emotions overrule us. That being said, I don’t believe we can control our emotions, but we can choose how/where to direct them. As with anything, it’s a matter of knowing what is best for your person.
Those children I mentioned earlier did not understand what it meant to put up an emotional wall. They accepted all of that emotion and you know what? It was overwhelming at first, but it allowed them to better understand themselves, expand their emotional stratosphere, open a window to a higher form of love and excitement they were previously incapable of comprehending and grow stronger.
How do we use our emotions productively?
I encourage you to open yourself up to your feelings as the intelligent, mature individual that you know you are. Recognize their presence and revel in that joy – or possibly pain – in your own unique way. Through that threshold is where personal growth lies. Again, we can’t control our emotions. They are there for a reason so try to figure out what that reason is.
Too often we think we may appear weak or that people may laugh at us. But more often it is true that exposing ourselves is an invitation to find our truth. (I personally believe that to know thyself is the first rule of power.)
Also, leading with our heart before our head allows us to use compassion as our guide. Some call it naivety but it is compassion that finds the good in people beyond the circumstances and allows us to forgive, to release negative weight that, while we are strong – too strong sometimes – we are not meant to carry.
My challenge for you (and myself) is to use this emotional intelligence alongside the awareness we’ve learned in our adult life to embrace our child spirits.
If you are interested in practicing more self-love and enjoy yoga, definitely check out my post on both of those things here.
Connect With Your Child Spirit Through Exploration: Curiosity + Courage
How wonderful is it that as a child we explored everything. We were always full of curiosity and practically nothing held us back. But like a double edged sword, moving toward our adult life, our curiosity maybe showed us something we didn’t like or got us in trouble. So we saw curiosity as harmful, perhaps rejected it. Maybe we became complacent.
Curiosity can be another path to truth. It can start as interest and flourish into passion. In other words, it’s super important. But when we open this door to possibility, aren’t we opening it to badness along with goodness? My challenge for you and myself here is to have courage.
The newfound wisdom of growing up means there are more tools at our disposal than ever before. We have never been more prepared than we are right now. Let’s set aside fear and seek the beauty in this world.
Another thought on conquering fear…
I admire the story behind the name of Zohra Ihsan’s blog. The title You’re Already Invited comes from a quote from Keri Smith’s How To Be An Explorer of the World and serves as a reminder that the world is waiting for us, we just have to show up.
I like this philosophy because it shifts the perspective of our involvement with our environment and what lies beyond (i.e. outside of our comfort zone). Isn’t this exactly how we saw the world when we were kids – a playground? We’re already invited to all of the wonderful opportunities the world has to offer. Be curious. Have courage. Show up.
Connect With Your Child Spirit Through Imagination + Creativity
Unless creative thinking is your job, you may not use these skills often enough. After all, it’s not mandatory and it doesn’t pay the bills (again, unless artistry is part of your occupation). Why should this matter? Because thinking differently, freely, on your terms, for no reason in particular brings so much happiness into our lives.
Actual ‘happy’ hormones are released into the body every time we use our imagination + creativity. Yes, this is why something like creating a flatlay for Instagram or putting together a new outfit or cooking a new dish can feel so good.
Most children don’t have to pay bills, so their biggest job is to imagine and create freely. It is a skill they know well. Which is probably why they’re almost always smiling.
When is the last time you:
- Cracked open a coloring book?
- Designed a collage or vision board?
- Paired the blue one with the pink instead of the grey? (Or whatever your own version may be.)
- Tried an idea off of Pinterest, discovered something new and uploaded your own Pin?
- Written a short story?
- Added a new ingredient to a favorite recipe? Made a healthy alternative?
- Noticed familiar shapes in the clouds?
To name a few. Sky’s the limit here. [Ba-dum-tss]
Fun, Free and Fabulous
Perhaps the most endearing part of childhood is the care-freeness of it all, the happy-go-lucky silliness.
So lastly, I encourage you to join me in trying to embody this attitude into our adult lives, in spite of our self-conscious telling us otherwise.
D on’t do anything that may draw attention. I believe if we focus on the former qualities, this will naturally follow suit.
How do you connect with your inner child and how does this benefit your adult life?
*Let it go, let it go…
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