Last week I held 10 one to one EMBODIED inner child sessions with the women from my group program and one recurring theme was that so many of them told me:
I feel like a child trapped in an adult’s body.
This felt important to me to address with my community.
Key points I’m going to address in this:
⚡️The confusion that occurs in your present-day reality with an earlier, less capable version of yourself can lead you to act in childlike ways.
⚡️The unconscious nervous system reactions that cause us to freeze, dissociate and stay small.
⚡️ Giving one's inner child new data to help invalidate the unfavourable view you have of life and yourself.
We often feel like a child trapped inside an adult’s body when our multiple inner child parts are not fully integrated into our adult selves.
What happens is our basic sense of self hasn’t evolved into the actual adult we have grown to become. So our birthdate becomes further and further away, we start to show some wrinkles, the grey hairs start appearing but our nervous system and psyche continue to stay childlike.
I haven’t worked with a single client where we have not unearthed that when they are in confrontational situations when they are trying to navigate relationships when they are trying to have the confidence to put themselves out in the world they freeze back to an age and psyche of that of their child self.
If distressful situations were registered in your nervous system at a certain age in your childhood, it is very likely those distressful feelings go trapped and our psyche got imprinted with that feeling.
Let me give you some examples from my clients:
❤️ When expressing her emotions as a child, she would be screamed at and shut down by her father.
Her child’s nervous system registered, it’s not safe to express how I truly feel in front of men, to protect myself from danger I must be quiet, men are unsafe.
In adult life when desiring to express her true emotional states in front of men, she freezes, feel’s very unsafe in her body and fears she will be rejected and won’t belong in the relationship.
This is her, frozen in her child from unresolved trauma in her adult’s body.
❤️ As a child she was never encouraged to be creative, she got the messaging you must get a ‘’job’’ that provides a stable income.
Her child’s nervous system registers, my creativity is not valued in this world. I will not make money if I pursue my heart and soul led creative projects, my parents will not be proud of me, and I won’t belong to my family or origin. This feels like death to a child.
As an adult she repressed her creative side, she never felt whole and felt like a part of her had been lost.
As she started to realise how much of herself she ahd repressed she struggled to launch her creative projects into the world as she had very low self-worth. She never reached financial abundance through her creative projects because she carried the conditioning that creativity doesn’t equal financial success.
This again is unresolved trauma from her child self.
❤️ As a child, she was sexually abused and her child’s nervous system registered sex is for someone else pleasure, it was for someone else to take from her. To get me through the pain her child’s body dissociated as it didn’t feel safe to stay present.
Every time she goes to have sex in adulthood, she freezes, dissociates, doesn't enjoy sex and just goes through the motions replaying her traumatised child self.
If these trauma responses are not made aware of, released and rewired they take over our adult functioning and various different circumstances prompt us to mistakingly mistrust, feel unsafe, cause apprehension, have low self-worth and cause feelings of overwhelm among many other problems.
These childhood situations all-cause limiting beliefs and put huge limitations on the infinite possibilities we have as adults and cloud our ability to see ourselves as the competent, whole, resourceful, successful, joyful, peaceful adults we have become.
So when you can’t quite figure out why you keep being unable to get where your adult mind desires to be it’s usually due to that insecure, scared, fragmented child piece that still inhabits our nervous system functioning.
When confronted in adulthood with similar situations the nervous system jolts back to the out of date impression that should have been overruled had your mind, body and soul had the correct adult education.
When we experience ourselves at a core level as though we are still children it makes us indecisive, and helpless throws us into procrastination and often stops our efforts to go get what we actually want.
What happens is emotional balance, emotional maturity goes out of the window and we confuse ourselves with a less capable self.
I see quite often with clients they often run away from accepting an adult responsibility because it feels overwhelming or intimidating and they often look to another adult to rely on and sometimes their children to fulfil those unmet needs.
As Harville Hendrix describes we often pick partners who represent our parent’s traits to try to get our unfilled childhood needs to be met through them.
Now if you are not resonating with all this it can be because these behaviours, these beliefs can live at a very deep unconscious level for most of our lives.
We are living in privileged times where social media is abundant with information for us to peruse and as spiritual seekers, we are extremely privileged. Our parents, and grandparents’ generation however often live out their lives with no awareness and no tools of how to heal.(Another topic of discussion is bridging compassion instead of anger and resentment to those unaware.
💖 The medicine we need to heal to claim our ridiculously awesome, capable, whole adult selves….Let’s go! 💖
Whatever insecurities, self-doubt, or lack of so-called success in what we desire has little to do with our present-day adult existence.
2. I have many clients who have previously spent years in therapy doing a lot of inner child work but have never journeyed back through deep breathwork sessions incorporated with dialogue to reveal the root cause, root beliefs and root emotions that are trapped from certain ages. Breathwork takes away the cortical control, and the front thinking brain and allows you to work with the primal brain (the sensations in the body) to uncover the source.
3. Experimental dialogue with the inner child is key.
Encouraging your adult self to recognise the child piece within you and start having a 2-way conversation letting your little one finally be heard, seen and feel safe enough to express to the adult creates a self-observation and separation of the 2 selves within you.
4. Rewiring a sense of safety, love and belonging within your inner child so when you find yourself in challenging situations your inner child no longer kicks up a fuss or goes into freeze because they have the correct emotional ecology they need to allow your adult self to have their expression.
5. Creating a new present-day truth with the inner child - rewiring the beliefs and doing the work to re-wire the nervous system with the new mature frequencies.
6. Creating boundaries with your inner child - Bringing awareness to when your reactions are from the child piece and letting your inner child know its no longer their job to make your decisions, it’s our adult self now that has this responsibility,
7. Let the child play like a child should without your child having to take on adult responsibilities. Have days when you engage in joyful, fearless play.
8. Uncovering the empowered adult self who inherently knows what decisions to make and actions to take. The part that knows how worthy they are of success and love and all the yummy things in life. Building this muscle is KEY if there is no new pathway your nervous system reverts back to the known child self.
During my 1:1 inner child sessions I take clients back to embodying their inner child at the age the trauma/beliefs got lodged in their system and allow that child to complete the stress cycle and fully release the emotions they were not able to back then.
THIS HAS TREMENDOUS RESULTS.
We then give that little person what they needed in those moments that they didn’t receive to rewire the child’s experience into one of safety, love and belonging (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).
Over time with the correct guided practice, the child part sees that the adult part of them knows how to look after themselves now giving the child this new data to help invalidate the unfavourable view they had of life and themselves.
When we make the decision to enrol in this kind of work on ourselves it lets us mature into the fully integrated adults all of us came here to be.
This is the place we are able to live out our greatest desires, have the most impact on the world and where we feel whole and free.
I’m actually on annual leave this week, usually, i have a theme for my time off, this week its inner child play, I’m learning to surf, eating icecream, fishing with the kids on the beach, stroking buffalos and rolling through the hills of Lombok, Indonesia shouting weeeeeeeeeeee but felt called to take some time to write to you about this.
All my love,