There’s No Denying You Have An Inner Child, But Are You Paying Attention To Them?
Alyssa Patmos 0:04
This is Make It Mentionable. I’m Alyssa Patmos and this is the show about being human in a world that encourages us to be robots. I invite you to join me as we journey through the mess, the magic and the mania in between. Because what we can talk about, we can manage this honest conversation extravaganza includes free flowing conversations and high doses of vulnerability to remind you that you aren’t alone. No topic is off limits, and episodes are designed to leave you smarter, aka more self aware than when you came. I am so glad you’re here.
Keep Reading To Discover My Simple And Highly Effective Practice To Heal Your Inner Child
Alyssa Patmos 0:50
Hello, hello. We all have an inner child, whether or not we pay attention to our inner child is an entirely different story.
This is episode 47 of the Make It Mentionable show, and this week, I have a very simple and highly effective practice for you to start healing your inner child.
Alyssa Patmos 1:10
So it should come as no surprise that life is unpredictable.
And as a result, it’s filled with dysfunctional patterns that we adopt, to cope and to stay alive. Things like people pleasing, trying to be perfect abandoning our own needs, so that we’re convenient for someone else, pushing others away and thinking we can do everything on our own. Not letting people get close to us.
These are just some of the strategies that we adopt as humans to protect us. And there’s no end to how we’ve adopted patterns and stories to protect ourselves.
My Top Tip To Stop Feeling Like You’re A Child All Over Again When You Get Triggered
Part of our evolution is unwinding the wounds of our past, recognizing dysfunctional patterns, healing and choosing new ones.
And if you’re like, ‘Okay, Alyssa, But how the hell do I do that?’ you’re in the right place.
I’ve got a tip for you this week that is designed to aid in your personal growth journey.
And it’s not only simple, it’s highly effective, ready for any budget.
It’s this, keep a picture of you as a child nearby, I keep mine on my desk, I used to have it as a wallpaper on my phone. Here’s why.
We all have inner children. There are the pieces of ourselves associated with our childhood, there are parts of ourselves we carry forward.
And often their hurts, their pain, their suffering and wounds can serve as the foundation of what triggers us now in life, it’s the part of us that still feels like and reacts like a kid.
Look Out For These Signs That Your Inner Child Needs Something (This Is SO Important)
So think about a time recently when you had an outsized reaction and responded like a kid.
Working with your inner child will help.
When we acknowledge parts of ourselves, instead of just ignoring them or resisting them or pushing them away. we deepen our self awareness, and we can see situations more clearly.
So maybe as a kid, you remember feeling misunderstood often. And so now anytime you feel misunderstood, you shut down.
Or maybe your opinions were dismissed like that saying “kids are to be seen, not heard”. And so now you rarely voice them.
Or maybe you were really, really happy one time and it was inconvenient for someone that you were so happy or being loud. And so someone shushed you. And now, when you’re really excited, and all you want to do is like jump up and down, or flash of full-teeth smile, you find yourself biting your cheek.
If you weren’t allowed to express anger, or some other big emotion, you might have learned to keep it bottled up, which shuts you off from your authentic human emotional expression.
These things that are a big deal to us as kids, and now it impacts our lives now as well.
But it’s a huge deal and where kids as well and serve as opportunities for healing.
Many people notice many people when I work with parts, which is a key part of what I do with people in group programs and in one on one programs.
Many people are disconnected from their inner children and an inner child is just one part of ourselves.
But for the purpose of this, it’s one that we can work with fairly easily. So many people are disconnected from their inner children because they never pay attention to them.
More Happiness And More Possibility: What You Get When You Pay Attention To Your Inner Child
Alyssa Patmos 4:53
The good news is when we start paying attention, they and we as a result begin to heal, when we do pay attention, we can experience more happiness, more possibility.
And we can start to see more perspective that wasn’t accessible to us beforehand.
And when we start to pay attention, we begin to learn what needs weren’t met, but needs to be had that weren’t completely met.
And then we can begin the process of re-parenting ourselves and meeting those needs ourselves.
As an added bonus, we stop putting those needs on everyone else around us.
And if there’s a specific need that we can’t meet on our own, we can better ask someone we trust around us to help us support or to give us support in meeting that need.
So one of the simplest ways to start working with your inner child on your own is to put a picture of you as a child nearby.
Presenting: How One Tiny Photo On My Desk Is Changing My Life (And It’ll Change Yours, Too)
Right now, I have a picture of me as an infant on my desk.
And like I said, I used to have a picture of me at seven is this picture where I was in a teacup at Disney worlds, and getting ready to spin it.
And I was in a bright green shirt. Yeah, I had a picture of me at seven as the wallpaper on my phone. When I when I first switched to me as an infant, and put it on my desk a few weeks ago, I struggled at first, I felt disconnected from baby I was seeing in front of me, I didn’t recognize it as myself, it felt like a totally different human, the only thing that felt familiar was the giant mop of hair on her head.
So I then had a choice, I either keep doing the exercise, or, or stop. But rather than taking it as a signal that the exercise is crazy or something, I took it as a signal that I needed to engage with her more, because I firmly, firmly believe in this process.
And I have seen it work time and time again for myself and for others.
And so even though this one was slightly more uncomfortable than times, I’ve done it at different ages, I kept going.
And I started saying things to her to this picture, like “It’s a girl, I’m so excited to meet you. I can’t wait to see what you bring to the world. I love you. And I’m curious about you.”
And some of those things were really hard for me to say at first. But they’ve gotten easier as the weeks go on.
Saying things that would immediately reassure a kid that they’re valuable and entitled to their opinions, but that we so often forget to share with kids. Because we never experienced them ourselves.
The things that you say will be dependent on how you felt as as a kid.
So if you want a really simple way to change the conversation you’re having with yourself, go snag a picture of you as a kid and put it nearby.
And if you’re like, “But what picture do I choose? How do I know?” What you can do is take two minutes and just check in with yourself. Find a place where you’re comfortable. Seated. Imagine, close your eyes and imagine sitting in the most comfortable chair you can imagine. And then just imagine inviting a younger version of yourself into that room to come sit in your lap on that chair. And how old are they? How old do they look? What age do you appear to be?
I always like to thank my parts when they show up.
So thank them for showing up for you. And then grab a photo, grab a photo with you close to that age. And keep it close, whether it’s on your desk or on your nightstand.
Maybe it’s a magnet on your fridge if you’re in your kitchen a lot. And then the hardest part of this very simple exercises, mustering up the courage to talk to the photo to pay attention to this younger version of yourself.
Like I said, I’ve done this practice numerous times over the past five years.
Each time I do it again, a deeper sense of awareness and I end up feeling lighter as the weeks go on.
And this time I’m noticing that with every day, I feel more joy when I see the picture. I don’t feel detached. And I smile when I look down and I see her staring back at me.
More Joy And Fulfillment, Right This Way!
Alyssa Patmos 9:42
And because they have a, because I have paid attention to her, she’s now willing to risk communicating with me again and I can ask her what she needs.
And in the moments when we get triggered or we get flooded or we feel like there’s an overwhelming emotion we can check in and, and better ask, “Okay, what do I need right now? What am I feeling? And is it me? Is it these younger child, is there something that she needs, is something like a threat?” and then we can go about helping get those needs met.
There are many practical strategies and tips for taking more action in life and finding our purpose becoming more fulfilled.
Getting up at 5am, habit stacking, writing down goals, most of these have merit. But there’s also the deeply personal work of allowing yourself to turn inward and paying attention to parts of yourself that you shut down.
By doing this, you melt away the resistance. And it either becomes easier to adopt some of those other strategies.
Or you don’t have to follow all of those, and you figure out your own system that works for you. Because you know, you know, what needs, you have more clearly, you know, the reasons why stuff is getting in your way. And you can melt away resistance.
Most of our pain and suffering comes down to the stories that we tell ourselves and the stories that we tell others. But fortunately, we have the opportunity to take charge of this script, and write a new story.
5 Things To Start Telling Your Younger Self To Improve Your Life Now
So tell your younger self, what you always wanted to hear, tell your younger self, what you would love to hear right now. Tell your younger self, you’re curious about them, and you want to know how they see the world. Tell them that they’re safe, and that you’re here for them. Ask what he or she needs.
And watch what starts to happen.
When we connect with parts of ourselves, we can make decisions more clearly, we can ask for what we need without getting overwhelmed or angry.
We can say no and feel okay with it. We can experience more peace and joy, we can set boundaries easier. Our life improves.
So one of the simplest ways I know for you to start working with your inner child on your own is to keep a picture of you as a child nearby and start talking to it, paying attention to it.
And the photo just serves as a physical reminder, especially if it’s not something you’re used to doing it first, you don’t have to have a photo.
You can do this in your mind.
But I find that the photo and the physical nature of seeing, seeing you as a younger version, and speaking to it can be even more powerful than just going through this as a mental exercise.
So tell them, tell them all the things that you needed to hear, tell them that you’re safe. You’re here for them. They’re curious about them.
Ask what they need, check in what did you want to hear when you were little?
Then come join me over in the comments at AlyssaPatmos.com/Show This is episode 47. And I would love to hear how it goes for you.
How This One Habit Will Bring Deeper Healing And Joy Your Way
And if you want to go deeper into healing and exploring hidden parts of yourself, this is one of my absolute favorite things to help people with.
So reach out to me at AlyssaPatmos.com/Contact and we can figure out a way for you to explore more of these hidden pieces of yourself.
And if you want more fresh perspectives to help you pivot to more happiness, ease fulfillment joy, sign up for my newsletter The peel at AlyssaPatmos.com/ThePeel. I will catch you next week.
You’ve just finished listening to another episode of Make It Mentionable with me your host Alyssa Patmos. If you’re looking for more in between episodes, then sign up for The Peel. It’s my free newsletter that gives tips for how to navigate whatever life dishes and it’s also the place where I share the juiciest of stories. To check it out. Head on over to AlyssaPatmos.com/ThePeel. Thank you so much for tuning in. And I’ll see you next time
Transcribed by https://otter.ai