Inner child meditations are one of the most emotive practices, because they bring us into contact with the parts of us that hurt from our childhood. I’ve encountered about four different types of inner child meditations, some including Reiki, some guided meditations, and some automatic writing exercises. This blog combines what I found to be the most powerful parts of each practice into one streamlined meditation.
A few words about inner child work first, though! All of the meditations work similarly, by causing you to channel the deep feelings you harbor from your childhood, which can allow you to process buried emotions and past patterns that no longer serve you in your adult life. Some people can have an intense experience with this meditation, specifically those with childhood trauma and/or neglect. Yet, if you have suffered through any of these, this is also an incredibly healing meditation—probably one of the most powerful you can do.
It’s possible the meditation isn’t right for you at the moment. In this case, there’s an easier to handle meditation here, where you can instead visualize your past and surrender it to the Source. The result is similar, but overwhelming emotions will be avoided. For some of us, deeply tapping into our childhood will be necessary and easy to handle right now, but for some of us it might be too much. Again, these cautions are in place primarily for individuals who may have repressed childhood memories. It’s possible for memories to arise during this meditation, so making sure you are in a place where exposing yourself to childhood memories is a must. For the majority of people, this is perfectly healthy and will simply bring up natural emotion, but for others it could be triggering or upsetting. You know yourself and you can discern if and when this meditation will best serve you.
Even without childhood trauma, this meditation can be emotional and uproot a lot of buried feelings. Think about a moment in your childhood that still sticks with you…maybe it was when you were scolded for a mistake you made, a mean thing someone said to you, or when you spent a day alone on the playground. Although not necessarily traumatic, these happenings were impactful and most likely have stuck with you into your older teens and adult life, in overt or subliminal ways.
You’ll want to have a support system in place for after this meditation. The practice won’t necessarily require it, since it certainly won’t cause any toxic pain, but you’ll probably want self-care after to relax and decompress. Make a plan to take a bath, journal, call a close friend, or do a couple of these self-love acts. Read through this meditation and find out what you feel resonates best with you, and how you feel it will impact you. Ultimately, you are focusing on healing while doing this meditation, so healing will come. It’s just important to recognize that healing sometimes hurts and aches, just like when our bodies heal from an illness.
This blog’s meditation allows you to travel back and reaffirm your childhood emotions, acting as a guide and caregiver to your inner child. You will, essentially, parent your younger self in the ways your parents didn’t, or in the times you were in need of extra support as a child. We all carry toxic ancestral patterns with us, passed on from our parents, who had patterns imposed on them by their parents. The root of mindfulness is releasing these patterns and spiritually working through the painful cracks in our childhood is a potent way of doing this.
Inner Child Meditation
- Formulate how you want to do this meditation, since there are several options for beginning this. The ones I’ve found beneficial is either to start by setting the intention of allowing whatever piece of your childhood to come forwards to do so, or by intending to access a certain year of your childhood. You can begin at your birth year and chronologically move upwards, or you can simply ask for specific moments to arise intuitively and out of sequence.
- Protect this practice by adding the intention of only information that is in your “best and highest interest” to arise. Stating this will ensure that only what you can handle will come up and it will likewise remind you that this practice is for healing. What the Universe knows is best for you will arise.
- Enter into this meditation through some deep breathing or another short relaxation technique that you know will bring yourself into a meditative state. Begin to release stress and anxieties, as well as your expectations about a particular scene arising. You may simply feel emotions, or you may have vivid flashbacks to childhood memories—each time you do this meditation will be different.
- Visualize yourself in a space filled with soothing light, coming straight from the Universe and basking your meditation in love and comfort. This light completely surrounds you, protecting your whole being and inner child self.
- In this light, you start to see a small figure emerge, sitting across from you on an illuminated ground. As this individual becomes clearer, you recognize them as your young child self. They may appear slightly different than you literally looked as a child, especially if you have recognize a different gender than what was assigned at birth or other major identity. Whatever you see, know that it is the right experience for you.
- Take as much time as you need to acquaint yourself with your inner child. Perhaps say your name, or move to your child self’s side. Do your best to both feel and visualize the scene, recognizing that you are mirrored as a child before yourself.
- Here, begin to provide your child self with a lot of love. This may come as the visual of cuddling your younger self, telling little you affirming sentences, or otherwise providing support. Be the best parental figure you can be, and share all of this love towards your child. If you had a difficult childhood, there may be shame and resistance here: recognize that. Perhaps say to your little self, “I know you’re feeling scared and ashamed, but I want to let you know that I’m here for you like our parents weren’t.” If you can’t think of the perfect phrase, then simply say “I love you.”
- It’s possible that some emotion will arise here, simply at the provision of love towards your inner child. Remain as vulnerable as possible with these feelings, giving yourself permission to cry, curl up, or otherwise experience whatever you need to.
- If you want to deepen the meditation, though you may not need to, you can ask your child self to direct you to a memory that you will both watch together. This might be helpful if you know of specific instances that you want to heal with your inner child, like a situation where you were bullied. If you decide not to travel to memories (which is often a good thing if you are already experiencing a lot of emotion at the beginning of this meditation) simply stay with the emotions you are feeling and continue to send affection to your child self.
- When at a memory, if you chose this addition, watch it and empathize with your child self’s emotions. Be as fully present with the experience as you can be. After witnessing the memory, once again provide affection to your child self, focusing on affirming the validity of your inner child’s emotions. For instance, if your memory includes being called a hurtful name, you can say to your inner child, “They shouldn’t have said that, you deserve much better. You are a bright and beautiful individual.”
- From here, you can ask your child self to travel with you to a new memory, intuitively letting what is meant to arise come forth. Continue as little or as much as you wish to, making sure to really pay attention to the love and emotions along the way.
- If you did travel, now take the time to return back to the space of light where you were facing your inner child. You will both end this meditation with a recognition of your union and how your inner child is an integral part of you.
- Hold your inner child in an embrace as you slowly imagine yourself being one with your inner child. It may be beneficial to shift your posture to one of physically hugging yourself, recognizing that you are both adult and child. Slowly, allow yourself to drift from the light space and come back to your body.
- Close this practice by taking at least five minutes to rest, perhaps on your side in a comfortable fetal position. It’s a very consoling and healing position to lay in and is a healthy source of healing to end this practice. Grounding exercises by means of resting, especially if you did feel a lot of emotion, are crucial to this meditation.
It’s recommended that you journal about your practice after, since this will allow you to both decompress and process your feelings, as well as record your experience for future reference. At least taking a minute to write down a sentence that summarizes your experience or your current feelings is beneficial.
If you are working through this meditation chronologically, you’ll want to work through each year with this meditation until no more memories arise for that year. Each day of this meditation, return to the year you were last on and once again revisit it until the meditation only draws a blank—that is your sign to move onto the next year.
If you are intuitively allowing memories to arise, trust your intuition to guide when you have exhausted the use of this meditation. Usually, an in-depth practice like this, because of it’s intensely transformative powers, is something sustained for a minimum of a couple months. The more difficult the childhood, usually the longer your commitment to this practice will be. That being said, you can start and stop this practice, gently going with what you can and want to handle at the time.
If you tried this meditation a couple times and nothing arose, it’s most likely a sign of two things. One could be that you were distracted, stressed, and not in the right place to meditate. Revisit the basics of meditation, like deep breathing and stress-relaxation techniques, then try it again a few weeks later. For someone new to meditation, inner child healing may not be the first thing you want to dive into—it requires a steady foundation of mindfulness and self-care. The second possible reason your meditation was silent may be that you weren’t meant to experience anything; perhaps it isn’t in your best and highest interest at this time to pursue this meditation.
Through this practice, you can learn how to always treat your inner child with love, comfort, and acceptance. Even if you aren’t ready for this meditation in its fullness right now, just being aware of this delicate child self you harbor within your being will open the doors for much transformation.