See that picture down below? That’s me at the dermatologist’s office for my annual skin check-up. And yes, I’m wearing my bathrobe.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how strongly I feel about the power of the connection between our adult selves and our younger selves. It truly is a master key to living out loud. This relationship needs love, nurturing, and reassurance to stay strong and thrive.
Your inner child (who also happens to be your wise self in many ways) needs you to show her that you have her back; that you consider her important enough to get her needs met. The most effective and easy way to do this is to take care of her in small, everyday ways.
She doesn’t need a big ole parade or hours of pampering (though both would be kinda nice!). She needs consistency. If you show her she’s important, she’ll start to believe it, and then she’ll learn to trust you more and more. With that trust comes a willingness to step out of her comfort zone and take risks — both of which are necessary actions in Living Out Loud.
Circle back to me in my bathrobe at the doctor’s office. A friend recently posted on Facebook about her appointment and how she brought her robe with her to wear instead of a paper gown. It’s something her mother taught her years ago. In perfect universal timing, I saw her post the day before my dermatologist’s appointment and my little girl laughed with glee.
“Wow, I could bring my bathrobe to the doctor’s?” she thought. “That’d be nice.”
As soon as I recognized that reaction, the decision was made. My leopard-printed, comfy robe was coming with me.
I often feel vulnerable when I go to a medical appointment, even if it’s just a routine exam. I knew my little one would feel much better snuggled up in her robe, and consequently, I’d feel less on edge in the room. And guess what? It totally worked! Sure, the medical assistant looked at me like I was nuts, but I was totally relaxed when the doctor came in (who, by the way, giggled when she saw my get-up).
This was a powerful way to let my younger self know that I heard her and that she can count on me to act on her behalf. As a result, our relationship deepened that day.
Here are some more ideas to get you thinking about how you can show your little one that his or her needs matter:
- Bring your favorite tea bag (or sweetener or creamer) with you when you go out to eat to be sure it’s available. I’ll sometimes bring my favorite and just ask for a mug of hot water (I’m happy to pay the price for a tea since I’m in their establishment, but prefer my Vata tea, which very few places carry).
- Retreat to the bathroom for a bit or step outside if you find yourself overstimulated at a gathering of friends or family.
- Ask the movie theatre usher to lower or raise the temperature if it’s too cold or too hot.
- Let the massage therapist know if the pressure is too hard or too soft during your treatment.
- Ask to have the music lowered at a coffee shop.
- Select your preferred airplane seat in advance when booking a trip.
- Send your meal back if it’s not prepared how you’d like.
- Schedule in buffer time between appointments so you don’t get frazzled.
While some of these suggestions may seem silly and others terrifying, what’s important is that you find ways to show your little one that he or she is acknowledged. While it’s always a good idea to speak to yourself with loving kindness, remember, actions speak louder than words, so be sure to include those as well.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What do you do to take care of you and your inner child? How do you stay connected? Please join the conversation in the comments below.