Pure joy. Having my hand licked by a goat. I never thought I'd ever write those words together, but there you go, this world continues to astonish me.
The picture below was taken one cold Sunday morning in December. Looking back, it struck me just how happy I look. The whole morning, I giggled like a child and it was the most fun I'd had in a long time.
You see, life has been very 'adult' the last few weeks—tax returns, email marketing, paying bills, etc. This picture served as a reminder to me. A reminder that inside of this bearded life coach, and of course, inside of you, and everyone, lives an inner child who craves and lives for the good stuff: Love, Connection, Adventure, Fun, Creativity.
So today, I want to share 3 easy ways to care for your inner child and make yourself happier.
1. Speak Kindly of Yourself.
"I'm such an idiot." "Why can't I seem to do anything right?!" You're not perfect, there are times you're going to get things wrong and you know what? It's cool. What isn't cool is responding critically and saying out loud how you are an idiot.
There were times as a child you've been criticized despite your best efforts, perhaps by a parent or a teacher. That hurt. By verbally bashing yourself, you're reliving these painful times and inviting the feelings back. So please, forgive yourself quickly and completely. Smile, let go, life will go on.
2. Never Deny an Opportunity for Some Human Connection.
I used to holiday a lot in the South of France when I was growing up. One hot summer evening, when I was about 11-year old, an interesting thought hit me following an observation—why is it all the children, despite the language barriers, are integrating and becoming friends, whilst all the adults stick to themselves?
I concluded that children "get it." They listen to this part of them that longs for love and connection, knowing they can get this by making friends, plucking up the courage to approach a stranger, and asking to join their game.
This longing still exists inside of you.
Sit next to someone on a train journey, spark up a conversation over the book they are reading. Become curious. Say good morning to those you pass in the street. Denying ourselves the pleasure of human connection hurts.
3. Give Yourself Experiences Your Inner Child Would Love.
Following yesterday morning at the animal park, I've asked myself the question, "What other experiences would my inner-child love?" I always wanted to go-kart as a child, so I'll be making sure this happens in 2017.
Why not reconnect with a childhood passion of yours? Perhaps it was drawing, poetry, or swimming. Just because you're an adult, doesn't mean you can't gift yourself the childhood joys of doing what makes your heart sing.
What do you do to care for your inner child? Share your thoughts below!
Image credit: Cetin Cetintas