During my forest bathing experience the other day, we were asked to spend ten minutes with a dear one, whether human, four-legged or no legged.
I chose to call close my inner child. I am 8 years old and standing in summer clothes against the backdrop of my back yard, open fields and mountains beyond. I thought of her need to belong and her fears and confusion. If I had the opportunity to say something to her, what would it be?
To my little girl:
I’m with you now in the silence and I want to tell you some things that I wish I heard when I was a little girl.
I see my fingers and my toes, my hair, my face, my mouth and my nose. My ears my eyes, shoulders, feet, legs, arms that hold me complete.
I have a heart beating inside with lungs that breathe, organs that work, all together in peace.
I learned to poop and pee, to make room for more so that when I eat, it feeds the core of my being.
I am complete.
But there’s more to me than I can see for I am made of energy
Like the wind and the warm sun. I am energy. It is all around me and in me and I can feel it with my sensitivity.
I can feel my happy and sad times. I feel anger and hurt, and sometimes my sensitivity can feel more than what’s inside of me.
I feel someone else’s happy, someone else’s sad, someone else’s anger and someone else’s mad. I feel energy that confuses me because sometimes I don’t know what belongs to me.
So as I see you, I am reminded, I was confused a lot not knowing who I am feeling and who I’m not.
So I want to say to my little girl, there’s more to me than I can see, and it’s all good, and invite it all to be part of me, that I am not just my skin and bones and eyes and nose and head and toes.
I am energy that I can hear, I can feel and sometimes I can see, and it’s all okay because it makes up the beautiful me.
If only I heard these words back then to help me understand, I wonder how life would be different. I hear them now.
Twenty-four hours later, while talking to my daughter, she put my 8-year-old granddaughter on the phone. She wanted to share a moment her mother named déjà vu.
My granddaughter’s dream the night before held visions of her family at a breakfast restaurant. She was at a table with her family, talking to her mom. That morning she ate at the breakfast restaurant and while talking to her mom, remembered her dream. She shared it with her mom. My daughter listened and believed, named it déjà vu and encouraged her to share her experience with me, her Nona.
Healing goes full circle some times. A yearning from the past unfolds into sharing and validating and affirming in the future. We live in generational circles. We suffer and struggle and ache for change. Life seems unfair and yet when time stands still, pain from the past heals generations in the future, and I believe healing occurs for everyone.
I am grateful.
"Oh life! Thank you for your beauty. Thank you for reminding me how lucky we are to be part of something so big." - Tyler Knott Gregson
The reading/your writing must be published. It is so core to our human healing experience.
Thanks for bringing the inner child into the circle today!
Thank you. I am not a grandmother. I have sons. I’ve been blessed doing spiritual work for the past 13 years. I look back on my parenting and ways I could have been better. I would have liked to have been better for my sons. It didn’t occur to me that grandchildren could come in the future. I was holding it together and made intentional choices to not be the parent my mother was, but it was by sheer will. It wasn’t integrated into me like it is now. All of those times are just going to come out because they are part of me. They will flow out when I am blessed with grandchildren or am with other children. Having that life experience with my mother, having to thwart her voice and unable to find my true voice when I was parenting my sons. Thank you for the opportunity to process this as I am speaking. Thank you.
Thank you. I think that was one of the more profound readings you have done in this year of profound readings. This is definitely one of your more remarkable ones. My life changed when I started doing inner child work in great seriousness. It’s the only way to get at those core beliefs that hold us back. Your reading today held the essence of what it is to overcome a core belief by not just admonishing the wounded inner child but to absolutely love and support her so that we can live our lives vibrantly with beauty and grace. Thank you for sharing what you experienced this weekend.
What came up for me was, when my father passed away last year, I did an inner child meditation with Leah Guy for the first time. It helped me grieve for my father. It was so emotional and I was sobbing so loud, my spouse had to come and check up on me. Since then, I’ve done it many times. We often talk about having our toolbelt, and doing the inner child meditation is in my toolbelt to help me. I think it is so powerful. Thank you for sharing your reading today.
Thank you so much. What a beautiful reading. You started with the external things and then you went to the internal with feelings and sensations. I was touched that you chose your inner child to do the forest bathing with. I’ve done inner child work too. I’ve been feeling left out at work. The answer for me is to get in touch with my inner child. Things I’ve done is to speak up for her and her truth and feelings, things you talked about, instead of ignoring her and saying ‘buck up and move on.’ That’s the little girl I have to take care of. That was just beautiful. Thank you. I appreciate it. Somewhere in that little girl’s belief system is feeling left out of the family dysfunction.
Thank you. Thank you everyone who has shared. What came to me was “I was born in a storm.” I’ve been visiting with my father and I sat with him. We were looking at a picture of me where I was absent, you could see it in my face. He held such compassion. I didn’t ask for it. I was surprised he saw me in that picture. And there was a moment where he embraced me and held me and said how he wished he could go back to that little girl and hold her and tell her that she is loved. I was just sitting here thinking have I taken that in yet? Do I need to do an inner child visualization to see if she heard him? What occurred to me was I was born in a storm. And the father that I had was in his own stuff, and that’s not all of who he is and that’s not all who he will be or was in the beginning. But I came into his life at a time when he was in a storm. If I can believe that and that the storm passes, and if I can just allow those winds to blow through me, I can have the concept of forest bathing. That I can let it go and have compassion for me, the little girl, and my father. Thank you for that reading. It was very profound for me.
I don’t think I’ve ever held that visit with my inner child to the extent that I need to. I so want to forgive my parents for not knowing me. They saw my external physical self and my behavior. I grew up very much alone. It’s easy to feel sad that they did not acknowledge or think about their effect on me. They didn’t have any tools in their toolbox in terms of knowing how to love me. They did say it. I know I’ve spent a lot of time getting to a place of forgiving them. I have looked at them in their childhoods, and neither of them had role models or anyone taking the time to figure out who they were inside. I forgive them that. That has helped me to know they didn’t know how to parent. They didn’t have models. They were just trying to survive, work hard, work us hard as children. Our inner worlds were just missing to them. It does help to realize they never stopped to think about me. Once in a while they’d ask what’s going on. I think part of parenting is helping children express what they are feeling. If I had felt comfortable, I could have spoken. They’d ask me why are you being so complicated and quiet. That doesn’t elicit someone to share.
It’s why I continue to say to my inner child with gentle kindness that she did the best she could in the storm she was in.
One of the things that I experienced was seeing my mother with my babies. I got a glimpse of how she was with me as an infant, when both of us were on the same level. I worked hard at trying to be a better parent than my mother. I am delighted because I can see my daughter being a better parent than me. I can see the potential of my granddaughters being a better parent than their mother. I am only one. I am one in a succession of mothers to come. A generational circle. A healing. You can’t do what you don’t know.
And whether one has children or not, it’s how we treat the people around us, because there are the same facets of love and caring that come with that.
What I’m trying to do is not be judgmental of myself or my parents. When I was on a town school committee, I pushed for a curriculum on parenting because it’s the biggest job we have and the one we had no training for. I’d like to be philosophical about it. Our parents didn’t have tools. We didn’t really have tools til later. In my 40s is when I started learning about personal development. I used to define myself by being not my father with my kids. I was very much hands off for fear of doing what my parents did to me. It’s been with my grandchildren that I can be authentic and be really loving and caring. I do think we go in circles. We have to think about doing the best we can with the tools available at that time.
Thank you. You are so honest with your growth work. I did things differently than what I grew up in. Now that I am older and have more intuition and awareness, I wish I could have listened better. Some things I’ve gone through I had no control over. It sounds like I’m not the only one who wishes they could have parented their kids differently. I remember a time when I was about six. I was standing in the backyard and I had pneumonia. I was staring at the woods and feeling lonely and sad. I remember the neighbor next door telling me that my mother never walked me to the school bus. I didn’t remember that. I had an older brother who was abusive to me. I think about that today. The other mothers were at the bus with their kids. My mother was home. I remember riding on the school bus. I was sensitive to sounds and smells, it was so chaotic for me. I sucked my thumb on the bus. It shows how sad and alone I was feeling. I was soothing myself, in front of all those kids.
As people share words, they aren’t just words coming out of our mouths. There is energy coming out from inside ourselves, and I believe no matter what we are saying, there is healing happening. The words transmute something that’s been kept inside. It’s amazing to feel the energy as words are expressed. As Matt Kahn says, “If you feel it, you heal it; if you hear it you clear it.”
The first reaction I had was when you were moved by your granddaughter’s déjà vu dream and how your daughter handled it. How precious that was knowing your own history. My heart and gut so felt that depth. I thank you for that. In my own parenting, when my daughter was in her teens, I gave her a wider berth than what my mother gave me. I felt my mother was infringing on my privacy. I gave my daughter the freedom of privacy and yet, in hindsight, I see that she would rather have had a relationship with me. Now, we have a beautiful relationship. I am proud of how she calls me and stays in touch. I am grateful that at all ages we are all evolving. Thank you.
We know what this group holds for us. Thank you for saying it doesn’t matter the words we say. That there is healing just by saying something.
My goal today is to stay steady with my vulnerability. Often times when I share vulnerably, I catapult myself into fear and reaction. With mindfulness, I have shared my vulnerability and when I start feeling fear again, I’m going to put my hand on my heart and remember ease, compassion and love to pull me into my center and ground myself. I encourage each of you to remember it is a simple act to place your hand on your heart and call in comfort. We all have that ability. Have a blessed day.