5 Steps to Awaken Your Inner Child
Remember life as a very young child? Free of inner worries, concerns, and stress. We looked to the world with an eye of adventure and discovery. Every animal or new aspect of the world that we saw made us ask, “What is that?” I don’t know about any of you, but I remember life between those wonderful ages of about 3 to 5 asking my parents the name to every animal, having an imaginary friend, sitting in the window patiently just to watch the birds, and watching my favorite Disney movies and creating my own stories.
We were content. We were happy. We were fulfilled with the simple things. What happened? Clearly the external pressures of the world caused many of us to gradually break farther away from this state of wonder — often that came in the form of a parent, a teacher, etc. that told us what was “right” or “wrong”. This, naturally, led to greater shame, self-doubts, and beliefs that we were told we should have that cause us to repress this part of ourselves.
The tragedy tragedy is not only that these things have taken away our blissful contentment and eye for discovery in everything in the world, but that with that it has also caused us to repress our inner creativity as well. It is through our creativity that we can create endless ideas and possibilities that can create not only create happiness and fulfillment within ourselves but with those around us.
So how can you find that inner child-like spirit within you once again? Here are 5 steps you can try:
1. Spend time really taking in the amazement of nature. Whether you live in a rural area or live in a more populated area, its beneficial for us to separate ourselves from the busy-ness and stress of cities and more populated areas. It is only through nature that we can find that sense of “peace” and inner contentment that can quite the mind. Stop and smell the roses (literally!). Go for a walk in a park. If you see an animal, allow yourself to look at this animal with that child-like “Aw” and amazement (as it was the first time that you had seen one) that such a unique creature exists in this world. Nature allows us to connect to the source that we are all naturally created from rather than what is made by man alone. Nature is filled with endless beauty — allow yourself to see it, smell it, and to fully take it in the beauty of it as much as you can in any way that you wish.
2. Look at the clouds and imagine what they are. On a sunny yet cloudy day, a great activity, that I know so many of us have done at one point or another as a kid, is to look at the clouds and imagine what it is you see in the clouds. I’ll even give you an example to start with this picture on the right. What do you see here? When I first looked at it I saw a dog.
3. Bring out the crayons. This may sound a little ridiculous and you may actually feel a bit immature doing this, but the tricks to awakening the inner child again is to do child-like activities. Coloring and drawing pictures are what children thrive to do because their little minds thrive to create and use their creativity. By bringing out the crayons (or any other art form or activity that you my prefer) you can then trigger those creative juices to start flowing within yourself again!
4. Watch a movie and re-create it with your own story. This is actually one of my favorite activities as a kid. As I got a little older I would actually write them down sometimes but at a young age they were mostly, of course, directed by stuffed animals and dolls. Though I’m not necessarily suggesting that everyone find some stuffed animals or dolls to play with, but rather the next time you watch a movie take those characters and make it your own. What would you have done different? What plot and story would have you liked to create with these characters? Write it down — and it doesn’t have to be a full book by any means but even just a basic outline to get your creative juices flowing. *Please note, this is also not a critique of the movie of itself (as adults do) because that involves judgement. Little kids are not judgmental in their initial nature. Why? Because their egos are not that heavily developed yet and the ego is run by the mind. By making judgments your only going to create inner resistance for yourself because it puts the mind (or ego) on over-drive. Instead, simply accept the movie as it is and proceed to create what you would’ve liked to see.
5. Listen to songs and watch movies or TV shows of your childhood. What else may very well trigger your inner child then by having some reminiscing over some of your own childhood favorite songs and movies? Bring out your favorite Disney movie, cartoon, and sing your favorite kids song. Enjoy it fully and free of any fear of being “too old for this”. The truth is that we’re never quite too old for it and allowing that part of us to flourish will help our inner child-like spirit to awaken again.
I will also add that if you have little children yourself, have them in your family, or work with them then I encourage you to embrace them and allow them to teach you. You can learn so much from them because they can remind you how we are truly meant to live… before we allowed ourselves to become consumed with demands and beliefs of the world.
Finally, I encourage you to not only consider the steps and ideas that I have gave but to do some inner self-reflection to see what could work for you. What activities did you enjoy as a child? What did you absolutely love? Each and every one of us have very unique souls so what works for one person does not guarantee that it will work for another. Only you can find the true answer and path for yourself. Others, such as myself, are only here to provide ideas and suggestions to get you started.