Inner child work has become a bit of a buzz phrase recently, but what does it really mean? A great friend of mine, Shannon Sweeney, joined us for this week's Weekly Zen session to dive a bit deeper into what inner child work is, her journey with it, and practical ways to get started on your own journey of connecting with your inner child.
Shannon explained that inner child work is essentially the uncovering of trauma (perceived or not), patterns, learned opinions, and impactful experiences from our childhoods. She talked about how understanding where the root of something we are struggling comes from is the first step in allowing it to be cleared from our lives. As children, we are not capable of distinguishing between reality and what our parents, teachers, friends, or siblings, etc. told us. As adults, we can take those memories and first cognitions of feeling unworthy, shameful, guilty, etc. and really look into where those feelings originated. Once you have those preliminary details, you can then uncover that perhaps the adult who told you something about yourself that led to difficulty down the road was not in the right state of mind themselves to handle parenting or whatever other role they may have played in your life. Taking that information and alchemizing it into your own growth and forgiveness of self and those who have hurt you is the magic of inner child work. Shannon talked about methods that she follows to clear past wounding and offered hopping on a call with anyone who is interested in going deeper into inner child work with her. Shannon's Instagram account is @shansweeney_ , if you'd like to get in contact with her!
I have also had my own journey with inner child work and I have found that feeding my inner child as much as possible helps me immensely. In my inner child guided meditation that we got into later in the Weekly Zen session I led us through a visualization where we all see our child selves, along with our mother and father child selves. We shrink down each of these versions of ourselves and parents and place them in our hearts during the meditation. Some of the most difficult part of this work for me has been the forgiveness aspect of this work, but I know that when I forgive others I am freeing myself from a life of bitterness, judgment, and stagnancy - all things that effect me immensely more than anyone that I am not forgiving. Allowing your inner child to flourish opens up the door for a greater sense of fulfillment and restored lightness of being. Doing things that make you feel creative, curious, carefree and that make you laugh are all great ways of letting your inner child shine.
We all remember what life felt like before all the responsibility, anxiety and doubt came into our lives. You can allow yourself to return to that life! Allow yourself to be innocent, trusting, open and to see the good in all things, opens your heart up. For many people, as life has progressed, so has the building of walls around their heart. Each time we experience deceit, loss, rejection, grief, or pain, our unconscious response is to protect ourselves from experiencing such things again, but you cannot invite anything - good or bad - into your heart if it is closed off to all things.
We also began our Weekly Zen session with a Vinyasa yoga flow! I am planning to offer online yoga classes in the near future. If you are interested in joining my yoga classes, please reach out to me either here or on any of my social media platforms. My yoga classes will be one hour long and cost $10 each. They will be a mixture of Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga styles of yoga, and I will most likely be doing themed classes that focus on either strengthening or stretching different areas of the body or practicing a spiritual technique through intention setting.
The final Weekly Zen session is this coming week on Tuesday July 14th at 7:00 pm CST/ 8:00 pm EST. I will be discussing the Basics of Chakras, Balancing the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine and performing a vibrational therapy sound bath. I cannot believe that there is just one session left...when I began this nearly six weeks ago, I did not know if anyone would even show up for these sessions. I'd like to thank each of you who have come to them from the bottom of my heart, your support means more to me than you could ever possibly understand. I truly believe on a baseline level that as human beings we are all so unique and full of talents that are just waiting to be discovered. The way we discover those talents is by being given the gift of presence from others in our lives. When others give to us of their energy, belief, and support, we feel seen, validated, and want to continue being our genuine self. You all have given me that gift. I am beyond grateful for that.