I don’t know about you, but when my inner child is pouting, anything creative grinds to a stop.
Why, you ask, would your inner child pout?
Mostly because I have not given her mud pies, some time to make believe and gotten out of the way so that the magic happens.
Always when I am focused on goal, goal, goal – living in my left brain with it’s linear way of seeing the world.
Always when I have stopped believing in my self, my own power to make things happen and a purpose to the process that is my life.
Always when I have not taken the requisite time to fill back up – when I am depleted and haven’t paid attention to the fact that for some reason I am running on empty.
Which is to confess (horrors!) that at the moment my inner child is pouting.
I know that as someone whose stated purpose is to make a space for others to discover their Hell YES!! life, this could be business suicide. But you know what? If I don’t get lost in the swamp every now and then, how am I going to be able to empathize with those who are in the swamp or the woods or off the map?
So, believe it or not, I welcome this phase (the mushy, in the cocoon, somewhere between caterpillar and butterfly phase when all is green muck and not a lot makes any sense to the caterpillar) as a training ground. It makes me a wounded healer – one who has experienced the pain and confusion – and finds a way out. Then, I remember that I am not a butterfly - I am a snake, shedding it’s skin, again and again and again.
The way out is through to the shiney skin.
The way through is inside to the place where I remember that I have done this before.
That’s where the mud pies come in. If I can shoe horn myself into my studio (the place I love being the best and the place I avoid the most when things aren’t working), get
my hands into the mud (clay), healing happens.
Unfortunately it isn’t always that easy. Inner Child can be VERY stubborn.
So I offer crayons, lined paper and a scribble to color in.
Or an afternoon in the garden (as long as it doesn’t feel like work).
Or design some earrings for a class – hey: it’s work, I know. But it also requires some creativity to make earrings that are simple, teach the necessary skills set, and look great.
If that doesn’t work (and it often doesn’t), then it’s time to make believe. I step into the role that all is well and things are going swimmingly (and I do NOT mention that swimmingly means through swamp muck that is sucking at my ankles so that I can barely keep my head above water. NO! ). How am I doing? GREAT! What’s next? ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES (including quick sand, but shush – we won’t talk about that).
Find some humor in it somewhere, because there is always humor – if you can get to the point where you can laugh at yourself, your inner child will perk up. She loves laughter, and make believe, and, in my case, mud pies – the messier the better.
Before you know it, and I swear I never notice the change over, swimmingly is in a calm swimming pool, or a blue lake and I AM great and there ARE endless possibilities and mud pies and scribbles are again a daily practice. That’s the magic – if I could explain it to you step by step, it wouldn’t be magic, now, would it? But let me try anyways.
- Stop. Not one more nasty comment to yourself about how you have so much/should suck it up and do the work/don’t have what it takes. When you talk to yourself you will say only nice things. Pretend (make believe) that you are your best friend and she needs a little hand holding right now. Hold her (your) hand.
- Be quiet. Not one more To Do item and no productive procrastination (for me that looks like cleaning the refrigerator or scrubbing the floor – anything but what’s on my list). Send your mind hamster out to play. and be quiet – the easiest way to do this is to pay attention to your breathing: breathe in deeply and breathe out long.
- Turn inside to see where you have denied yourself some needed nourishment: journaling, coffee with a friend, a class, or not asked for help when you need(ed) it.
- Forgive yourself for your perfect imperfection.
- Accept that you may indeed be in the middle of shedding your skin and can’t see clearly. Remind yourself that is okay. Treat yourself to the idea of glistening new skin that you, too, will be able to see, once this is all over.
- Return to your daily practice – the one that has gotten left behind, or the one you have yet to develop. It is your grounding. Be grateful that you have it or are going to take time to develop it. Now.
- Play with your version of mud pies and crayons.
- Choose your role and play it.
- See you on the other side!
What is your version of mud pies, crayons and make believe? What magic have you experienced in the past? What would you like to share to help others on their way? Would love to hear from you!