“Inner child work”. The words seem to fill so many people with dread – which has everything to do with our perception of what this little person is about and very little to do with the reality of inner child work itself. Or at least not the way we do it in Waterflow Therapy.
As I sat down to write this blog post, I asked my husband what the words “inner child work” made him feel. “Uggh”, was his response – with body language to match – his hands pushing the air between us away. He couldn’t have been clearer. For him, ”inner child” means the past – he said – and he has no interest in exploring the past.
But, from where I’m standing – a healer who specialises in inner child work in my Waterflow Therapy groups – this perception is part of the problem.
I have just come from a fantastically fun and playful Waterflow Therapy group, where we invited our “inner children” into the space with us in order to teach us to have fun and to play again. We began a process of reconnecting to them, and, as we did so, we remembered how much fun this little person was able to create for herself with the simplest of tools, and we were able to experience this all over again as adults. We started to let things flow a bit more – in the space of an hour we let go of our critical inner voices, we let go of attachment to our work as we allowed water and paint to flow in harmony with the movement of our bodies… And we allowed our child selves to show us how much fun we could still have when we allowed them back into our lives.
Of course, sometimes our inner children hold pain – and the idea of going back to that place might feel like the last thing you need. But this work – the work of Waterflow Therapy – teaches us that it is possible to connect to the child self in ways that are fun, joyful and life-enhancing. In fact, often, it is that very playfulness and the space to express ourselves freely, creatively and in our own way that is all “she” (or we) really needs to feel more whole, more fulfilled and happier – she is always a part of who we are.
Our child selves hold so much wisdom – they are the artists within. And by this, I don’t necessarily mean “artist” as in painter – I mean artist as in the inner creator – the creator of our lives. In order to live well, we must become the artists of our own lives. We must learn to playfully create our own meanings that feel good for us, we must become the architects of the structures that hold our lives together, and we must “paint the pictures” that we want to wake up to each morning.
It is our inner child who can teach us best about all of this. Not only does she know all about playing and creating freely, but she usually has very clear ideas about what she likes and needs – the things that maybe we still want, but have allowed ourselves to forget about.
So this work is absolutely not about the past – except where we need to let of pain in a painless way. Rather, it is absolutely about forging new, peaceful and joyful connections with the child self who is, I believe, potentially our best guide when it comes to creating the happiest-possible and most fulfilling present.
For more information on Waterflow Therapy groups, please contact me at email@example.com