“Our inner child is important because it connects us to our creativity, our emotional health and spontaneity, our playfulness and vitality. Do you remember how much energy you had as a child!”
Dear Integral Meditators,
If you enjoy this weeks article and are a parent, then do check out my Mindful Parenting – Practical Techniques for Bringing Awareness, Appreciation and Enjoyment to the Experience of Parenting coming up on Saturday 8th May.
An entirely new series of meditation sessions next week, Tues/Wednesday 4th/5th May –Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course
Details of all that’s on in May below the article!
In the spirit of our playful child,
Meditating on your child-self
The child self is one of a number of inner aspects of ourself that, if we meditate upon, we find ourselves connecting to in an experiential and enriching way. Other examples of this type of inner self, or sub-personality include the female self (if you are a male), the male self (if you are a woman), and the wise self, to name but a few.
Our inner child is important because in health it connects us to our creativity, our emotional health and spontaneity, our playfulness and vitality (remember how much energy you had as a child?!) Below I point out a few definitions and ways of beginning to relate to your inner child.
Definitions of your child self:
The child self is that part of us that is child-like in nature. You could say it has three aspects:
- That part of us that is simply child like in nature; playful, naive, creative, innocent, gullible, needs looking after and so on
- The historical child, that is the child within us whose character has been shaped and informed by our own literal historical upbringing; experience with parents, peers and other significant others, what happened to us in school, how we were treated and learned to gain approval and so on. The child within us now that is a product of our personal historical experience, and our response to that
- The spiritual child within us – that part of us that is ever young, ever new, ever creative, ever both innocent and wise, whose light helps us begin again each time we burn out.
A psychological definition:
“The child-self is the component of the psyche containing the “personality” of the child one once was, with that child’s range of values, emotions, needs and responses; not a generic child or universal archetype, but a specific, historical child, unique to an individual’s history and development.” – Nathaniel Branden, definition taken from the Six Pillars of Self Esteem, page 265ff.
Notable Quote: “I have never worked with a depressed personality whose child self did not feel hated (not merely ignored or rejected) by an older part.” – Nat Branden
Meditation pointers for the child-self:
Free association: Bring to mind the words ‘my child-self’. Holding it within your awareness allow your mind to start to free –associate feelings, images, memories, thoughts and desires around your child-self. At this stage the main thing is to focus on being curious as to what sort of memories, feelings and so on arise when you contemplate the idea of your child self; whether these feelings and memories are pleasant or unpleasant is secondary, the main thing is simply to see what comes up without editing any of the content.
Connecting to your child-self: Imagine yourself in a place that you knew and loved as a child. As you sit or stand in that place, imagine your child self comes to meet you there. Spend time with your child, talking, connecting and building trust. Starting questions for the interaction might include:
- What do you need from me to help feel happy and secure?
- Is there anything that you want to say to me or offer me at this time?
- What do you think about this (choose your domain) aspect of our life?
- How can we find more time for play in our life together?
Like outer children, your inner child needs parenting with an appropriate about of firmness and love. By connecting to your inner-child you can also become a better parental self, both toward your inner-child, and toward outer children!
Related article: Your shadow child
Article © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
Starts Tues/Wednesday 4th/5th May – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week courseOverview: This is a meditation series designed to give you the practical skills to:
- Heal and regenerate the energy of your physical body and internal organs
- Revitalise and transform your emotional vitality
- Work with the landscape of your local environment to effect a healing of the land
Saturday 8th May, 2-5pm – Mindful Parenting – Practical Techniques for Bringing Awareness, Appreciation and Enjoyment to the Experience of ParentingIn a sentence: Learn how you can enjoy your experience of parenting more, manage emotions more effectively, and become a better parent by using mindful awareness
- Are you a stressed out parent (or stressed about becoming one) and looking for ways to manage that stress more effectively?
- Would you like to improve your capacity to parent in a way that creates an improved experience of the parent-child relationship both for you and your kids?
- Would you like to be able to demonstrate calm and being present to your children in a way that will help them to become more calm and present themselves?
Saturday 15th May – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing Masterclass & Mini-retreatQi-gong is the science of working with the body’s energy field. Literally translated into English it means ‘energy work’, or ‘energy skill’. In this workshop Toby will be teaching the art of moving subtle energy and life force into and around our body using a series of simple and easy to apply techniques that will enable you to:
- Re-establish your body’s natural bio-rhythms
- Strengthen your immune system
- Balance the energy in your body and mind, leading to inner peace and wellbeing
Are you looking a coach who can help you to:
- Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
- Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
- Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
- Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:
Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)
Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (East Coast)
Starts Tues/Wednesday 4th/5th May – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course
Tuesday 25th & Weds 26th May – Wesak Full Moon Meditation
Integral Meditation Asia