The first step in creative recovery is to begin with an unravelling. Just as how a seed has to shed it's casing to grow, we need to take off our armour and our limiting beliefs before we step further into ourselves. This may feel like a falling apart, but that always comes as a precursor to growth.
Let's start this course by first establishing, what do I mean by inner child?
Our artist selves and our child selves are one in the same. A good artist is open, malleable, vulnerable, and curious, just as we are as children. As children, we did what we loved, just for the joy of it. We spent many hours in play (play: defined as time spent without purpose), and we were led by our guts, our joys and our curiosities.
As we grow, we start to build a suit of armour (often disguised as practicality, maturity, 'shoulds' and 'have to's'). As we try to successfully move through the world, it's easy to lose sight of our magic, wonderment, and malleability. However, those happen to be all the magic ingredients for maintaining our creative desires and confidence.
Some things our inner child holds:
1) The arrogance of belonging. We did things for the heck of it, 'cause we wanted to. No one had to give permission to build a sand city, review other sand box players and see if we had a place in the sand box creation world before we felt we could start seriously kickin' around some sand. We had a sandbox, an afternoon, and a vision. Boom.
2) Strong gut feelings. We saw a key chain with our name on it and NEEDED it. Our gut knew what it wanted and didn't want. We expressed it because we hadn't yet learned how to keep it stifled. By expressing it often, we kept a strong connection between our gut, our mind and our actions.
3) Joy in the journey. Hours flew by when we were deep in the throws of an activity we loved. We'd wake up craving to get to the activity, and go to bed dreaming about doing it the next day. We played, we experimented, and did things for the joy of it.
4) We knew we didn't know everything. We were open, ready to learn. We knew we could take something away from everyone we met because we assumed they knew something we didn't, and were willing to submit to our state of constant growth.
5) We were inherently creative. We could put up a tent in the living room and believe we were in the wilderness. We could make a box a rocket ship. We built imaginary worlds around ourselves and fuelled our creative inklings by playing them out in 50% utter seriousness and 50% joyful playfulness. We worked the muscle, and were able to access our creativity at the drop of a hat because we didn't have to dust it off first.
By connecting back to our inner child, we open the channels to our creative self, and give permission to the joy-seeking, intuitive parts of ourselves.
Let's work through the work sheet, slowly and thoughtfully, with the intention of reintroducing yourself to your inner child. These exercises are something to return to over and over again. We'll feel the cues that we've detached from our inner child - loss of direction, feeling like we're not passionate about anything anymore, or increasingly smaller margins of joy and play in our lives. It's these things that get put to the back-burner, but they're the very things that cultivate growth, satisfaction and purpose in our lives.