4 ways to turn up your joy
Many moons ago, when I was a little girl, we’d go away for weekends to our cute cottage in the The Lake District. It's a beautiful national park, with fields stretching for miles, farmyards with lambs, cows, sheep, horses, and wild moorlands. I remember feeling full of life and joy as we walked past the gurgling streams, jumped over the gates, ran down the hills and breathed in the fresh, clean air. I was in my element, high on life and over-excited! Then one day, I decided I was too grown-up to go. I wanted to stay home instead (in the crowded, smoggy city) and hang around on street corners drinking cider and smoking marlboro lights. That same day, I closed down a very important part of myself - my childlike curiosity, my imagination, my wonderment and my lust for life. Being a grown- up seemed much more important.
I began to worry about being cool enough, caring what people thought, and I stopped having fun. Life became all serious and mature, as I moulded into the stereotype I longed to be. That’s what happens as you grow up isn't it?
What you don't realise at the time is, when you mould into this aloof adult, you suppress your “uniqueness”. You forget that magical, childlike imagination. That excitement and endless energy. It's all a very distant memory, locked away deep inside.
Then one day, you realise how boring and empty you feel. You don't play, life looks grey, monotonous and boring. You've lost your passions, spark and lust for life. You've forgotten what lights you up. You wonder why. You question yourself. If you're lucky, you might hear a whisper from the past from that little girl you used to be. "I'm here" she's saying, "come and find me, come and play"!
We all have this part within. YES, she’s been ignored and pushed to the side too many times. YES, her needs don’t count in this busy, egotistical world. YES, she’s been forbidden to be involved in your life (except when you’re drunk and silly).
AND yet, she waits. For you to remember. To connect. To invite her out to play.
Life’s too short to lead such a bleak existence: it’s time to wake up your inner child, set her free and bring her back to play!
Here's a meditation to create more joy - check it out here
And here’s 4 x other ways to turn up the joy:
1. Go You! Put yourself in the shoes of a child. Every day, you're learning new things, facing fears and challenging situations. You deserve to reward yourself at the end of each day, don’t you think? Take a couple of minutes to recognise how well you’re doing, and tell yourself how amazing you are (you can do it in the mirror if you feel like it). Celebrate you, often.
2. Speak her language. Buy some coloured pens, and big pages of paper. All you need is this simple intention (a thought): I want to speak to my inner child. Don’t overthink this, your inner child is dying to connect. Close your eyes, breathe into your body, and imagine connecting to you as a child (you can always look for an old photo if it helps!). Let loose and start drawing or doodling. Have fun and do what comes naturally to you, no-one is looking!
3. Feeling your child’s feelings. What really excited you as a child? Ice cream from the Mr Whippy van? Travelling on an airplane? Staying with your Nana? Spend time tuning back into these memories, and evoke the feelings you felt during these times. Allow the feelings to fill up your entire body and stay with the feelings of pure joy and happiness. Create these feelings again, and stay with them.
4. Buy your favourite toy. Mine's a cuddly toy tiger - yours might be a soft animal. Go to a toy shop and buy one. You’re not too old! And it’s great to re-ignite that inner child in you. My tiger lives in my bedroom and sometimes sleeps between my fiancé and me!
The concept of the inner child might feel a bit weird/foreign to you, even uncomfortable. That’s completely normal. Trust me when I say that connecting to this part, is one of the most powerful things you can do. It can really change everything. Actually, even Freud acknowledged the importance of our childhood and its' massive impact on who we are as adults… so just be open to the possibility - you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Psst… If you’d like to learn more about your inner child, check this out:
Sending you lots of love, always xxx