"Put a picture of yourself as a child in view somewhere, to remind yourself to be playful."
Over the past year, I have taken some small-group coaching and instruction in Hypnotherapy. On a typical evening, our coach demonstrates a session with one of us as the client, while the other students observe. One of the things that I love about these sessions is the fluidity of the interview process. It starts out innocently enough with, "How are you?" and then the conversation takes on a life of its own.
That night was no different. My response included words like "lethargy" and "overwhelment," and then I was going deeper, deeper, deeper; down, down, down. The next thing I knew, I was communing with my younger self - recalling experiences from the ages of eight and eighteen. It was enlightening, transformative.
You see, the psyche wants to heal; given the opportunity, it will create circumstances with which to do so. That evening, the key to my healing was to remember the creativity and confidence I felt so strongly at those ages, and to create anchors with which I can call upon those qualities when I need them.
Caroline Myss is a contemporary author and speaker on human consciousness, spirituality, mysticism, energy medicine, and archetypes. In her book, Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential, Myss characterizes the Child archetype in its myriad forms: Abandoned Child, Wounded Child, Innocent Child, Magical Child, Divine Child, Eternal Child, Nature Child - you get the idea.
According to Myss, the Child archetype is the Guardian of Innocence. Exploring the Child archetype within you awakens a new relationship with life, a fresh beginning. Regardless of the Child aspect to which you most strongly relate, this archetypal pattern brings you into contact with the untapped resources connected to creative thought - the sensation that anything and everything is possible.
So, follow my example, ask your Inner Child what s/he needs in order to heal or feel nurtured or cared for, and indulge some of these inspirations.
Read a favorite childhood story, or watch the animated feature film (on my list: Alice in Wonderland, The Little Broomstick, Gay Purr-ee).
Take a leisurely walk on a beautiful day. Make a photo journal of your outing, or simply BE in each moment, enjoying the multitudinous sensory pleasures. Gather little treasures from the ground: a pretty leaf, a feather, a stick in an unusual shape, a stone. Make a wildflower crown with fall-blooming flowers like aster, bur marigold, and woodbine.
Try on different hats. Play dress up. Go all-out for this year's costume party (you might even win a prize for creativity if you go as your Spirit Guide).
Take a night hike at a local nature preserve during a full moon. Or stargaze during a new moon and identify your favorite constellations. Gather around a bonfire; lose yourself in the flames.
Start a new course of learning. Sign up for a craft or art class: paint, throw pots, make soaps or candles to use for decorations or gifts. Try out a new recipe featuring a favorite or unfamiliar ingredient. Take dancing lessons. Get lost in an unfamiliar town.
Best of all, attend an Inner Compass event - as I like to say, there's something for just about everyone!