Our inner child is the voice within that truly wants to be seen, heard loved, and felt. All of our inner child selves have experienced the duality of deep pain and immense love. We all have trauma to work through from our childhood and the inner child is our guide to doing so. When we connect, communicate with and nurture the child within, we bring healing to issues we deal with in our adult life.
If you’re unsure what issues in your adult life are rooted in inner child work, look at harmful patterns that keep occurring in your life now, as an adult. One of the biggest patterns I faced was addiction to romantic relationships. Starting from as young as 13, I was constantly seeking validation in the form of romantic partners. This went on until my mid twenties and is still a pattern I choose to be conscious of since it was such a hurdle in my self esteem and development. I would date awful guy after awful guy (ok maybe they weren’t awful, just not right for me and a reflection about how I truly felt about myself.) After dating online for a year in Portland, there were some not so great ones though. Anyway, I would ignore red flags and mistreatment due to just wanting the attention and love.
Eventually, I hit a pretty low, low in my dating life around age 25 and decided to start really looking at why I felt so thirsty for love. I started working with a traditional therapist, then eventually a spiritual healer. One of my healers led me to connecting with my inner child and it all started to make sense. Even though I was aware that my childhood definitely contributed to my deep desire for receiving love, until I heard it from Little April, it didn’t totally click. Through talk therapy, journeying and meditation, I was able to see and hear how deeply impacted I was by traumas in my youth.
Hearing from my inner child about how lonely, hurt and insecure she was and how much she wanted to find love, I started empathizing with her and seeing the root of these patterns. Through communicating with little me, I began honoring my truest needs, not the surface level ones I thought I needed like a boyfriend. I needed nurturing, care, empathy, friendship. So sweet younger April + I started down a healing journey which eventually led me to more security in my relationships, healing many patterns I had around love.
We explored our other desires besides men, we played, we tried new things and we just spent time together. As a result of this journey we took, I joined a dance team, manifested my soul’s life calling, met my amazing partner, found friends I adore, and connected to my creative side through poetry. So it’s safe to say a ton of incredible parts of my life were introduced to me through my inner child. To this day, I still connect with her because these patterns don’t ever just go away, they are elements of ourselves we continue to nurture and tend too. Like any other relationship, what we put in, we will get out. Little April is a lifelong guide and friend to me, whom I cherish deeply.
Here are the ways I connect + heal with her.
3 Ways to Heal Your Inner Child
1. Visualizations + Meditations
Meditation can help us get out of our overthinking analytical left brain and into our imaginative right brain to be able to clearly connect with our inner child. You can download my inner child meditation here or simply imagine yourself as a child while meditating and ask that inner little one questions: how are you doing? How can I help you? What are you needing from me as an adult today? Just sit in this space with the little version of you and see, hear, feel, honor, them.
2. Let them play!
Play is healing because it helps you remember your true, joyful desires beyond the hurts that have happened in your life. If you experienced childhood trauma, you likely didn’t get to play a ton without worrying about your basic needs being met. But you can play now.
My favorite way to do this is plan inner child dates. These can be sweet, simple and even free! Ultimately your inner child will guide you into what they want to do but here are a few examples:
Paint or color
Listen to songs from your childhood and dance it out. Helloooo Nelly Furtado + Britney Spears. If you were born in the early 90’s like me, this playlist is great. Or better yet, make your own playlist with your favorites on it!
Go outside and stare at the clouds like you did as a kid. Notice the shapes, textures, colors.
Make your favorite childhood food and have a picnic. Mac and cheese pleasseeeeee:)
Play your favorite board game from childhood
Watch your favorite childhood movies. Mine were Aladdin and The Little Mermaid!
Go to a park and play on the swings or playground
Visit a museum(if your inner child likes them) My inner nerd loves museums.
Do some arts and crafts. Bust out that glitter!
Read a book you loved as a kid
Go to the store and check out the toy section. If you feel called, buy something!
Make hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and do a puzzle
Recreate photos of yourself from childhood
Build a blanket fort or tree fort!
Go for a walk in the woods and soak up the magic
Hula hoop, jump rope, dance around
Invite a friend who is willing to honor their inner child with you and have a day of play together, sharing about your inner child selves!
Create a vision or Pinterest board with all the things that remind you of little you or is pleasing to them. Check out my inner child vision board here. Little April has so much fun adding to this board and just playing with the content in it! Often I will come look at my inner child Pinterest board to get inspired for my dates with her.
Create an Inner Child Altar. An altar is a space where you come to connect intentionally. In the case of the inner child altar, it is a place to honor, nourish and connect with little you. This can be as small or big as you want it to be! For me, it’s a small corner of my room on a pillow that inner April loves. Fill this space with things that are pleasing to the little one within. Maybe it’s a picture you painted or colored, a stuffed animal from your childhood, textures that you happy, or photos of yourself as a child. Whatever you choose, let it bring your little one within joy! Come to the altar as often as you would like, connecting with them, asking for guidance or just pouring into them.
3. Give Yourself What You Needed As a Child
Ask yourself: What did I need as a child that I did not receive? How can I provide that to my inner child now?
There was a lot I didn’t receive as a child so I decided to start with a couple of things first and work from there. What feels most important for you to give your inner child right now?
For example, as a child I didn’t receive healthy meals and nobody really cooked for me. So now, I commit to cooking my inner child a healthy meal once per day. I think about her when I eat that meal and send her nutrients, thinking back to the days I didn’t have that as a kid. This is just one example of many but your intuition will guide you in what to focus on providing for your inner child.
You got this. Your inner being is ready to connect with you! I would love to hear how this journey with little you goes and how it improves your life now.
If you feel called to have deeper guidance on this journey, feel free to book a session with me or join my online community where we dive deep into this sacred work!
April + Little April