Now that I've gotten your attention...what the heck is an "inner child" and how does Britney Spears have ANYTHING to do with that?
Well surprisingly, A LOT actually. Especially my inner child.
But let's start off with defining what an "inner child" is before we get to the Britney connection! (That way, we can all better understand ourselves — inner child included and feel safe to express what our inner child LOVES, wants and needs too!)
So what is an "inner child"???
First off, we all have "an inner child' inside of us. That part of us that is still in there, that remembers what happened when we were a child, how we felt, what we learned, what we loved, what we didn't love. And unless we have REALLY made friends with those parts of ourselves, there is a big chance those experiences, lessons, feelings and "ways of being/coping" come out to play a lot in our adult selves, day in and day out.
For example, your inner child might have felt shy, scared to speak up and has a memory of being bullied when you shared what was true for YOU or when you were fully you and in your light! Maybe there was a moment where you felt TRULY free/truly yourself and someone either a) didn't "get" you, understand you or laughed at you.
Your inner child might remember this and not feel safe to fully be you today. You might shrink every time you expand and show up as the real you, scared that no one will love and accept you.
OR your inner child may have grown up in a really beautiful home and yet there was a lot of fighting on the inside. Maybe your inner child gets scared when conflict arises, either goes into "fight" or flight" and can't always find your words. Maybe you shut down. Maybe you look "beautiful and calm" on the outside yet there are lot of FEELINGS, fear and fighting happening inside of you.
Like that last example...our inner children could have had a hard childhood, where there was trauma, where there was hurt or a lot of pain.
Those people may have what is referred to as "a wounded inner child". Or memories stored in their subconscious that often get in the way in their adult life when trying to make choices from the wise and present part of you that "knows" that part of your life is over and you are not there anymore. (But the nervous system needs to get the message too AND that's where the MAGIC and re-learning needs to happen to shift from a wounded to a deeply nurtured and lovingly parented inner child.)
The thing is the inner child wants to resolve those times, those feelings, those memories to fully embody who YOU are now...while carrying those magical beautiful memories and wonderful parts of being a child too.
What we want to carry forward with our "inner child" within is the MAGIC, the PLAYFUL joyful part of us that also remains within. Those parts that reminds us of what it feels like to be truly alive, truly in love with the present moment.... "simply by being".
This definition of "inner child" resonates more with that. Inner child: an individual's childlike aspect and all that you learned as a child.
Back to Britney:
So...what does Britney Spears have to do with the concept of an inner child??
First off, when I was a child — I listened to A LOT of Britney Spears. So just singing a song, dancing along or remembering those fun times brings out my playful, fun-filled joyful side of the inner child. This is the part we want to NURTURE and enjoy! (Just like a child loves to do, let's let that part of YOU come out to PLAY!!!)
And then there is another part. The wounds. The coping mechanisms. The "OOPS I did it again" moments. That is where my inner child is triggered (yet again) and where finding a new way, a way that involves the play, the laughter, the gentleness helps us through.
Let's take that song for instance: "Oops I did it again". When you make a mistake:
How do you respond?
How did your parents respond? Was it criticism, shame, or blame...like you SHOULD have known better or done better!?!? (key word: "should"!!)
Do you notice you respond in a similar way or have you done a lot of re-parenting to support your inner child in a more forgiving, compassionate and lovingly supportive way?
Could you use a reminder that your mistakes are also learning and that YOU indeed DO NOT ever need to be perfect and even amidst your biggest mistakes, are SO worthy of love just as you are. In case you needed it, this is the reminder. You are doing GREAT and your mistakes taught you SOOOOO much so let's let our inner child really hear that so we don't put so much pressure on no longer "Oops I did it again"ing.
Press play and really hear this one:
This song is the one our inner child needs the most (and may GO TO the most: heeeeelloooo "fight or flight"). Because it helps us learn what our inner child really wants and needs. Especially in the moments where we may be tempted to respond in the same ways our inner child did.
Listen to the lyrics:
"Sometimes I run, sometimes I hide. Sometimes I'm scared of you....but all I really want is to hold you tight, treat you right. Be with you daaaay and niiiiight. Baby all I need is time."
When you get triggered, how are you FEELING? (Are you scared, do you want to run/hide, do you need some space and some time?)
Most importantly what do you NEED?
Do you want someone to just move slow, hold you tight, give you a big hug, let you know all of you is welcome: even these BIG FEELINGS?
My recommendation for you and your inner child this week is to find the best way of "asking for your needs" to be met throughout the week so you can express what you need in the moments your inner child may, too, want to "run or hide" or when "fight of flight" gets activated. When you may indeed want to RUN or hide some part of yourself. (Let's #stayandplay instead!)
Fill in the blanks:
"Sometimes I run, sometimes I hide. Sometimes I'm scared of you....but all I really want is: ______________________________" (example: you to let me know it's okay for me to be imperfect, you to just sit with me and witness my feelings, you to hold me and hug me, you to give me space and talk when I feel ready.)
If you and your inner child know you want to be supported to re-parent these responses, rewire your brain/fears/trauma, if on the inside you are like another Britney song, "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" and are ready to be the healthy happy adult you are with a playful childlike spirit — head on over and fill in your application and let's see if we are a "good fit" to work together!
. I'd love to get to know YOU and your inner child too.
Remember all parts of you, feelings, and dreams are welcome and you get to be the person you CHOOSE to be. 💖