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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inner Child - Free To Good Home...

Pic from here

So - I've been AWOL for a bit. I've been feeling a bit Eurgh! and definitely a bit Gah! and so I've been trying to flow gently through each day without needing my usual Cafe-Mocha-Vodka-Valium Latte. It's been fine and challenging in equal measure. The PND Fairy is getting a bit blase about all the mood enhancing, calming, balancing herbs I've been on, but I have at least been able to avoid the anti-depressants, which has pleased me muchly, even it makes things a bit hard sometimes.

I've been having a bit of counselling and it has mainly focused on a lot of inner child work. I am strangely resistant to it. I guess I feel that I left my childhood behind a long (looong) time ago and I don't particularly want to revisit it. I'm also not at all convinced that revisiting it and 'rescuing little Kat' is going to help my present situation all that much. Of course I don't know that for sure but it just feels a bit weird, even by my hippy dippy witchy-poo standards. So yes, bit unsure about this one. I've been instructed to 'play' with my inner child, both with and without Lily. That's an interesting instruction. Don't get me wrong - I'm totally the sort of parent who will willingly fling herself onto a jumpy castle the moment the attendant isn't paying attention. I will happily squeeze myself through squashy rollers at the indoor play centre and I climb ladders and whizz down slides with the best of them. The problem with all this 'playing' is that I have no idea how to do it 'with' my inner child. Little Kat has been suffering, one would suppose, from a lack of attention from me, just as Beanie sometimes does. I guess just as I detach from Beanie when emotional overwhelm threatens or when I simply need a 'time out', I have detached from the inner Kat too. But how do you then encourage the inner you to show up and 'have some fun dammit!' I'm not sure. I am sort of combining it with my Artists Date from the Artists Way by Julia Cameron. (This is a wonderful book on creative recovery. It asks some wonderful questions that really allow you to expand out of your narrow world view and re-enter the world of fun and of possibilities. I highly recommend it to anyone even a tiny bit creative and for people who want to grab fun by the balls again.) It seems logical to me that when I take my fun dates, I take the little Kat out for a spin too. I'm planning on going ice skating next week and I'm also planning a trip to Lake Mountain for some toboganning. I managed to score a padded suit for $5 from a charity shop. It's from the 1970's but then so am I so, you know...

Anyway, part of the counselling involved me taking myself off to see the wonderful Jane Hardwicke Collins, a wonderful shamanic midwife and wise woman, for a spot of Birth Trauma work. It was very interesting and I found it very helpful overall. Whilst I don't want to bang on about my childhood or my birth (which, as it resulted in an 'alive and well' status for both myself and my beanie-girl, i'm relatively happy with), it was good to have some time to sit with the disappointments and the grief that comes with any kind of trauma. It also helped me to see where I just have not been willing to take the necessary steps to get well. I know. Eek! It's behind you and it smells of burning flesh! Moi - not stepping up to the plate - surely not! Well, yes. Actually, I have rather been ignoring the totally sound advice regarding my appalling eating habits and have been continuing my total abstinence from any kind of exercise. I also have not meditated. Not once. So - when I say to myself (as I sometimes do) that I am trying very hard and not getting anywhere - its not strictly true. In fact, it's not true at all. I am not trying the three things that would have the most impact on my mood. Now, I am totally dedicated to getting better yet I have been unable, or unwilling, to get stuck in to the very things which everyone recommends for women (or men) suffering from PND. Why is that? Is it the same reason I have trouble connecting with my mini-me? And if so, what is all this resistance in aid of? What am I trying to protect myself from? Is it simply laziness and apathy?

My work with Jane really made me realise that I have to actually take control of this thing. To take the keys, open the door and walk through. If I am truly committed to being the best mum I can be, however uniquely that displays itself, then I need to stop moaning and get on with it. To that end, I have joined a gym (ARGH!). I know. It's a bit hideous but they have a creche and I know from experience that home exercise and Beanie don't mix. They also have a pool - and I like swimming. No doubt I will look like this...

Oh the deep, deep joy of sweating in a room full of other equally sweaty people. And I have mentioned before that exercise makes me angry haven't I?

I know that I also need to find exercise that I do enjoy doing. I have realised that I have censored myself around dance for instance. I LOVE dance. I cry at 'So You Think You Can Dance?' I am entirely moved by great dancers and there is a spiritual quality to movement that I cannot fully express, except to say that when I am in that zone, I am free and I am happy. However, I have not been allowing myself to dance. I realised that this was because I used to be very good at it. Medals and Examinations good. I had actual talent and everything. And now? Well, now I look like the Venus of Willendorf . And strangely this does not make me feel like dancing. It makes me feel heavy and tired and lumpish. Somewhere deep inside of me there is a tiny thought that has latched on like a slimy leech and it tells me that I cannot dance now because I have neither the body nor the talent that I once had. In my mind I may be graceful and light, but in the living room I am like a dancing Jabba The Hutt.

Still, I have to get over myself eventually. It is entirely ridiculous to censor myself in this way. I cannot do anything about the body I have created for myself until I start to enjoy the way it moves. Dance may well bring this comatose body back to life. So I will be attempting to shake my groove thang in the coming weeks.

So it continues to be an interesting journey. It comes in waves and is undone in layers. I feel as if I am in a labyrinth, slowly working my way to the centre of myself. I am becoming increasingly more aware of the areas where I feel I lack something and find myself trying to simply let go. Allowing the stuck places to unwind a little and tell me what they are all about. It's not easy, or particularly pleasant. And then there's all the Inner Child stuff to deal with. But I guess I will continue to unravel slowly and eventually there will be nothing left but me. The authentic self butt nekked for all to see. Perhaps it will be beautiful. Perhaps it IS all beautiful and my struggles with it are merely my distorted perceptions of the what is. We all come from the Divine Mystery and so really, we are a piece of that, no matter how mangled we allow that piece to become. Perfectly imperfect - myself entirely. Now that's a state I can aspire to. A place I'd be happy to stay.

So tune in next time folks for the latest episode of 'Where'd I Put My Mind? I know I left it around here somewhere...'

P.S. Rather than some dirty, snot nosed little whinger in ragged clothes - I'm rather hoping that my inner child looks more like this!


tantra flower said...

"Perhaps it IS all beautiful and my struggles with it are merely my distorted perceptions of the what is."

That is often the case. I wish you well on your journey. It's not easy, I know, I've been working diligently for almost four years and am still not quite there yet. It sounds like you are willing to explore and embrace new possibilities so that is something wonderful that you have going for you.

Peace to you. Namaste

P.S. I love So You Think You Can Dance too. I always cry when a dancing performance moves me.

Griffin said...

"We all come from the Divine Mystery"

Or in my case, was cast out for cheating and also doing er, THAT WICKED THING!!! of which must never be spoken... or done again thankyouverymuch!!

I remember your posting about dancing naked like a wild thang in the lounge and how much you enjoyed it. So er, why are you censoring yourself, eh? Medals are not the only metal-reward-thingy.

Who cares wot you look like when you're dancing naked in the lounge... it's only when you do that in public you get arrested... ahem, not that I have ever tried, he said quickly!!! If you likes it then do it lots. Shake your moneymaker!

Jenell said...

This journey of life has led me through all sorts of labyrinths, too. Addictive-type stuff, from cigarettes to anger. I don't smoke anymore, because I woke up one morning and realized that I wanted to live. It's not that I wanted to die before, but I'm not sure that I really wanted to live. That's what it boils down to for me. And then the question arises, "How do you want to live?"

I so honor your journey and your honesty here. I say just dance! (Oh, I should take my own advice) Do you know of Gabrielle Roth? I'm as spastic in my dance as in discipline, but every now and then I like to thrash around my livingroom. :D

Body love is so warped in our culture. It makes me want to scream! The Venus of Willendorf was a symbol of vitality/fertility. You gotta love this! (I should take my advice here, too) ;)

Lotsa love on your journey!

Ruth said...

Thanks for the humour :) :)
Yep, totally with you on scrambling out of the rubble, have also re-discovered art as the way. All conducive to re-birthing ourselves I suppose, re-birthing a new inner child even?? Finding a focus to open up our world, something to engage with. I have briefly looked at the artist's way and I suspect there are similarities between it and the learning connexion...www.tlc.ac.nz, or at least in outcome...finding your passion and creating your life into a work of art. Happiness being the by-product.

Mon said...

Yes, the fact you didn't want to revisit it tells you it needs revisiting.

I hope you find and nurture your inner child. It's such a powerful healing.

And oh yeah, I am moved by dancing, lurve those dancing films.

...dance luscious one, dance...

Anonymous said...

what a timely post, i just wrote about my inner child today.

here's a book that i found very helpful regarding inner child work:


i think the main idea, is that getting in touch with your core self is another way of looking at healing your inner child. moving past whatever destructive lessons we learned as children that stifles us, makes us false, afraid, living hidden in defense mechanisms and control, etc. but being in touch with our inner child, or core self, means being spontaneous, being able to have fun, be silly, not be self-consious or false. but to be genuine, immediate, present, open, and trusting.

if you're able to dance around and laugh and play on toys, i say it sounds like you're already well on your way to being in touch with that core part of yourself.

my partner and i joke (sort of) that in parenting our daughter we're getting to have our childhoods too for the first time, the way it should have been, right alongside her. things like blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk, singing songs, we realize we need to get to do this stuff as much as she does! :)

i wish you all the best in your work. it sounds wonderful~~

docwitch said...

Oh you must dance m'love! It's definitely in you, and this is perhaps one of the keys to this music within you, and needing to express this. Dance just dance! I can see how crucial a part of your nature this is, and I totally get that.

And btw, as someone who has massaged your (near) naked body, I can attest to the fact that you do not look like Jabba the Hutt, nor even the Venus of W - booty-licious though she is. And you have far more grace than you give yourself credit for.

I'm actually really happy for you at this moment. I mean, I'm sorry that you've been feeling blah, but it sound as though you are doing some great work, and see exactly what kind of work you need to do.

Hurrah for the swimming too...and even though you know just how much I despise gyms, I shall be cheering you on with this one - it sounds like a wise choice when you consider the beanie factor. And you get to be all dolphin-like in the pool : )


Stacy (mama-om) said...

oh my... another synchronicity... I have recently been doing some therapy, too... it is hakomi therapy, a mindfulness-based therapy that gets at deep patterns or beliefs set in childhood. After the first session, I thought, "Oh my! How did I get finagled into working with my inner child!? I don't need that."


Yes, as Mon said, the fact that there is resistance probably means it is the place to yield...

And, I just wrote a post about DANCING, because that was what one part (one childhood part) of me told me it wanted to do. :)

Honoring your journey...


Anonymous said...

hi awakened heart~

i'm just writing today to let you know that on another blog i follow, this woman wrote a really great post about inner child work and i thought you might be interested :)


hope you are well!

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