Mar. 15th, 2011

midwestbuddha: (symbol)
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
-- The Buddha

We often forget that justice and honesty are natural to us from birth. Young children display these qualities in abundance—it’s only through conditioning that we develop wrong attitudes.

Your inner child—or, as it’s referred to by some, your basic self--is the unconscious gut instinct you were born with. It’s also the place where creativity arises and memory resides. It’s what signals through your body that something emotional needs to be addressed in your life. Do you have regular headaches or other body pain? Are you often sick or excessively tired? Do you feel withdrawn or as though you sabotage your own efforts? What is your inner child telling you about how you’re not being honest or fair to yourself? Or where is it alerting you that others are treating you unfairly and you’re not doing anything about it?

Of course, there are situations in life that—temporarily—we are helpless to do anything about: a sick relative that needs a major part of time we hardly have to give, the process of a bad divorce that must be gone through to become safe and whole again. What should one do in those instances?

Think of your conscious mind—the part of you that practices logic to get through your day—as a parent to your inner child. How would you comfort a child that is crying because it’s angry or sad or afraid or hurt? You wouldn’t ignore or suppress it! Can you visualize holding that child and speaking softly and lovingly to them in your mind? This might be especially needed if you were hardly treated this way yourself in childhood.

The practice of meditation is a one way to give attention to this often neglected part of ourselves. I discovered a wonderful meditation on this subject written by Dr. Rob Kiltz:

You can start by finding a photo of yourself as a child that you can look at for a few moments. School photos often work well to help you connect with this part of you. Sit in a relaxed position, close your eyes, and start taking deep breaths. Set the intention that you are going to connect with your inner child. Wait for an image of yourself as a child to appear in your mind’s eye. See your grown-up self hugging your inner child. Listen to what your inner child has to say. Perhaps your inner child wants to give you the answer to a question that you’ve been mulling over. After all, you never needed to look outside yourself when you were a child to know how you felt or what was true for you. You always knew the answers. There also may be an ache from a childhood wound that you can now heal by talking to your inner child and offering them the wisdom and perspective that comes with maturity. Or maybe you’ve merely forgotten how to see the world with childlike wonder and hope, and your inner child would like you to remember how. Tell your inner child that you love them and will keep them safe. Embrace your inner child and tell them that you are always there for them. Allow your inner child to always be there for you.

Other methods to address emotional issues that are difficult to find and release include hypnosis, subconscious programming in the form of recordings played while you sleep. Or it might be as simple as just allowing yourself time to play or perform other activities you enjoyed when young—such as reading, playing with color, or being out in nature. Think of what activities a child between the ages of four and seven would enjoy.

The rewards of attending to and caring for your inner child include greater strength, confidence, joy, playfulness, emotional safety and understanding—both of yourself and for others. You’ll also be amazed at how creative and pain free you can feel!

I’d love to hear how this and other methods work for you—comment here or e-mail me at


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June 2012

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