I was hiking with a girlfriend a few weeks ago and she and I got into a deep into a process where it was obvious that who was running the show was anyone other than the 30-something woman standing in front of me.
"Have you done any inner child work?"
I asked her, lovingly.
In that moment, I recalled an amazing process of communicating with my inner child. I remembered a pain from a past moment, specifically in a lover-relationship, where I felt super triggered. They had said just the right thing to me - "You did it wrong, again." And I could feel the four year-old version of me just cringe, and want to scream and cry and run away.
So here is the process, for you, and also for my dear hiking-buddy who I promised to send this to, rather than coach her on our hike. (I love you, IV!)
Most of the time I lead clients through this process, they are speaking it out-loud to me. For this version, get your favorite journal and writing utensil to work with your Inner Child.
1. Find the place in your body where the sensation is happening, the strongest. For me, when I felt triggered, I could feel a pain deep in my belly.
2. See if you can get really clear WHAT the sensation is - is it sharp, dull, hot, cold, moving, stagnant, fast, slow, medium... is it pulsating? Is it electric? Find at least 5 descriptive words for it. Sharp, deep, moving, slow, and hot were my words.
3. Next, take a deep breath into the sensation. Without making it move or trying to change it, just breathe into the sensation. In the best way you can, see if you can even WELCOME it, just a tiny bit. Welcome it for showing up. Welcome it for giving you feedback about something that is ready to be touched. Loved. Seen.
4. Breathing deeper into the sensation, allow yourself to hone into the most intense part of the most intense part of the sensation. The "bull's eye" of the sensation, if you will. Write down the exact sensations you are feeling at the center of the bull's eye.
5. As you take your next breath, allow yourself to pull this sensation about 2 feet in front of you. Welcome this experience as you take a look at what you are seeing, and what you are feeling, writing down your experience (what you see and feel) as you go along.
6. Ask the sensation, that is now outside of you, what age it is. It will usually be the first number that comes from your intuition. Once you have that age, say thank you, and write it down.
7. Now, it is time to write, deeply.
Write a letter AS this version of you, the 2 year old, 4 your old, or 6 year old, to yourself now. Allow ALL emotion, needs, wants and desires to pour forth.
8. When you finish the letter tell this little one, thank you.
9. Breathing, read the letter out-loud to yourself, as if you WERE this little one, reading it to your adult self.
10. When you are complete, say thank you to this little one for sharing.
11. Now as the adult, write a letter to this little one. Allow yourself to use language that this little one would understand. Comfort him/her as you would your own child. Speak tenderly, and acknowledge their innocence. When you are complete, read this letter out-loud to your little one.
12. Take a moment to breathe, and say thank you to your adult self, and your child self for showing up.
And that is one of the many processes that we use to communicate with the younger versions of ourselves. Try it out, and let us know how it works for you.
Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp
Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com). She and her clients get real about what is working (and not) in their careers and relationships. She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, stopping them and sabotaging their communication and relationships. Together they journey to discover personal power, soulful leadership and authentic communication. She works from the premise that life is not about one goal achieved after another, or one relationship onto the next, but an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact and deepest gifts.