“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
― Hugh MacLeod
The inner child in us is that child-like part of us that represents our capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness.
As we grow older, we enter a world where we are told to be ruthless in competition and pursue success relentlessly. Sooner or later, we are burdened with soul sucking responsibilities whether we like it or not.
And so in order, to grow up and embrace the traits drummed into us, we start to look at childlike traits in a negative way and start associating them with negative attributions like selfishness, impatience, immaturity, throwing tantrums etc.
But in doing so, we lose out on the vital and wonderful parts of being a child, that part of us that had a sense of wonder, fearlessness, playfulness, innocence, and trust. As a child, we believed in fairytales, magic, pixie dust, and so much more but we let the harshness of reality and growing up stamp out that part of us and we let our inner child die.
But the inner child in you is what lies at the core of our existence; it’s our soul, the quiet voice inside us that guides us even in the darkest of times. It is where our creativity, our passion and our calling in life stimulate from.
It enables us to see the good in others, because as a child you don’t possess the trait of judging someone. More often than not, the best part of us emerges from our inner child, so we let the kid in us die; we lose out on the very essence of our soul.
Maybe it’s time to track our way back to our childhood and our home and reconnect with our inner child. Here are a few ways to get there.
1. Make a play date with yourself: Take some quiet time out for yourself, grab a book and pen and figure out what are the activities you enjoyed as a kid.
Maybe, you loved coloring as a kid, grab a stack of adult coloring books (they just happen to be all the rage, now!) and get going.
There are other activities you could pick up like riding a bicycle, swimming, dancing or grab some popcorn and grab your old, favorite Disney movie!
2. Rekindle your sense of wonder: Pay attention to the world around you. Step out and observe. Marvel at the colors of the sky at sunset; rejoice with the waves of the sea, let your hair fly in the wind!
3. Try Something New: As kids, we were never afraid to try something new but the fear of failure has crippled that for us as adults. Ask yourself, what is it that you have been meaning to do but have been hesitant to try? It could be a salsa class or something as basic as trying a few baking recipes or starting a journal.
4. Explore: Get out there, watch a movie from a different genre, read a book, take a road trip or start with simple walks but go with your gut and explore the things around you.
I am aware that these techniques won’t take away all the stress and sadness from your life, but hopefully, eventually it will help you discover a part of you that’s been missing and live a fuller, brighter life.
How did you reconnect with your inner child? Let me know in the comments section.