Some people seek to find themselves by going to a guru or by seeing a therapist; I have tried both. Others look for themselves through reading or traveling. There are a myriad ways and plenty of experts to help you get or stay in touch with yourself.
Playing with children is also very therapeutic; you get right down on the floor with them and ‘just do it,’ as Nike says. At the age of 103, my yoga teacher was still doing just that. I too, stay in touch with my inner little girl this way. That way you don’t lose yourself. And, the good news is, if you already have, it’s never too late to find yourself again.
My girlfriend, Mary Carol, artist and comedienne, contacts her inner child by writing with her left hand. She is highly creative, and uses this tool to fully engage in the discovery and imagination that are stored in our feelings. Sometimes those feelings are not a part of our conscious awareness. Writing with her left hand, she says, is a safe tool to let those thoughts and emotions come to the surface. She gains inspiration and answers that way.
I remember reading a series of books to my children many years ago, about the ‘I’ that lives within each of us, the big ‘I’ and the little ‘I’ that tell us when we are good or bad. It sounded a bit like a conscience, which I routinely prayed my children would develop.
Regularly, they were trying to kill one another. At one point, I was so desperate, I handed a baseball bat to each of them, with instructions to go out on the deck and beat each other to death. Sick of the fighting, I was prepared to live only with the victor.
Fortunately, they refused that option. They really loved one another; it was my attention they craved. That was during pre-teen years for Tammy and Kirk, and Erik was still a baby.
I digress. My point is that the inner child does not judge, is not intolerant, and is not concerned with what is proper or improper; he or she is about freedom and imperfection. I think that everyone has enough rules and regulations in their lives already. Enough “have to’s” and “must do’s.” We can all use a strong dose of silliness, every day.
I went to a fun workshop once, where we were told to create a mirth kit. I can’t remember what in the world I put in mine. I do remember that I had to contact my own little girl just to be able to come up with any imaginative ideas.
I decided to interview my own inner child again today. Her name is JoJo. I asked, “JoJo, what do you like to do best?” This was her reply: “I like to misbehave at boring meetings and parties, like sticking a spoon on my nose or making faces at snobs. I also have sudden urges to dance wildly to African music. Sometimes I just want to take all my clothes off and dance in the rain. I would like to walk barefoot on pretty lawns and steal a few flowers now and then. I would also like to be truthful and always say what is real and right. That’s about all I can think of right now.”
There is a real possibility JoJo just may have done all of those things. She has proven to be the salvation of my life. Because of her, I will never be alone in my sorrow, and she reminds me it won’t last forever. My inner child is a brat and deserves to have fun, to laugh, and to play.
So do we all. Put a little silliness in your life.
And that’s all I have to say about that.