I was coaching last night and drew a diagram illustrating how my client was going to define where she wants to go, become aware of where she is today and describe the opportunities and obstacles that stood in between her and her desired future.
I started sketching out the process on the back of an old piece of paper and said, “I’m not an artist, so bear with me.”
As the words tumbled out of my mouth I felt my stomach clench and my breath catch. A small, quiet, feminine voice deep inside of me said, “That’s not true! I’m in here, don’t forget about me!”
At the same time my mind screamed, “Don’t model negative self-talk and limiting beliefs to your client!” So I backpedaled with something like “Well actually, that’s not true, I shouldn’t have said that about myself.”
I’m not sure how this moment impacted my client. she probably doesn’t even remember it, and the session went on to focus on the issue pressing on her heart that day.
As children we spend time creating, imagining, playing and dreaming. Somewhere along the way, for most of us, joy-filled creative abandon dissipates. We not only forget we’re capable of creativity, we tell ourselves we’re bad at it. Our inner-child is shushed and shamed into silence, quarantined off and rarely nurtured.
I sat down at my computer today in preparation for my next coaching client and was struck with this moment. Almost instantly my eyes filled with tears as I realized the voice I heard last night, was a beautiful, innocent little girl. And the voice was mine.
Why have I shut myself out, shamed myself into silence, told myself that I’m not good? Is it serving me to keep her quiet? Do I love her?
I believe our inner child stays with us into adulthood and can act as one of the purest reminders of who we are and that we are worthy. She can only serve as that reminder however, if we give her a voice and treat her with loving-kindness.
I go forth from this encounter resolute to find opportunities to cherish this sweet girl in my soul as I would my daughter. Mindful of the opportunity to include her in daily gratitude, connect with her when I meditate, and nurture her need to create and play.
This is the journey I’m on…and I think the best is yet to come.