Remember with me the childhood you. Pick any age you’d like to recall. Go back in time with me to the child who peeled the coverings off of your Crayons; the child who sold lemonade; the child who ran through tall green grass at high speeds. Remember with me the child who sang passionately out loud before they were told, “That is off key.” Remember the child who danced wildly before they were told to “sit still” or “calm down.” Visualize that child: what she/he looked like, how she/he felt, the haircut, the clothes, the energy, the spirit.
Childhood you woke up every day to play, to learn, to grow physically larger and stronger. But then we’re taught to care about how we appear to others, this big-bad-mean-unforgiving world.
I am curious what you care about.
I am curious if you’re in the job or field of work you truly feel called to be in.
I am curious whose opinions you care about.
I am curious why you unhesitatingly integrated them into your body, your identity.
Right now — right this second — practice with me caring less. Why? Here’s why:
To find your true inner self — who you were meant to be with your time on this earth — you’re going to have to remember who you were born as and then be truly unattached to how you’re currently appearing in this world. Imagination and creativity are required for your inner self to rise! Nothing is going to happen for you in a rule-following box because you don’t have access to your imagination.
First, become familiar with the boundaries and the form of your rule-following box. What does it look like? What does it feel like for you? How did it get there? Who were the players who built it for you? Why did they build it around you?
Our rule-following boxes are originally intentioned for good: don’t touch a hot stove or it will burn you; don’t walk to close to the edge or you may fall. But somewhere down the line, the rule-following box morphs into something else, and we find ourselves following rules or pressures and we’re not sure why. For example: be skinny or you’ll be seen as unhealthy and lazy; dress nicely or you’ll be seen as poor. We soak these things in so deeply, they touch our core and end up re-designing who we are without our true consent. We do it because we think we want it. We do it because we’re told it’s “a good opportunity.” We do it because, well, we have to do something, right? and if everyone is doing it and it seems to be working then… ok?
This is the moment you start to give up things without realizing it. You take the job that isn’t what you really want to be doing. You get into a life that doesn’t feel aligned with your true spirit. You stop painting outside of the lines or dancing wildly or singing off key. You push those things back to weekend hobbies or private shower time, not to be talked about or brought up or experienced in public because now you have a “brand” and people have seen the rule-following-box you: professional, together, safe because they know you now.
Take a look at that version of you. What does that version of you do? How does she/he behave? What does that version of you not do? What would that version of you never dream of doing?
Now, let’s add our imagination and creativity! Again, imagine that child version of you: What did she/he do? How did she/he behave? What did she/he dream about doing?
PAUSE: Did the grown-up you just roll your eyes and say, “But Sheena, everyone has to grow up. We can’t stay children forever. Life isn’t meant to be that way either!”
Right. I am not asking you to stay a child. One of the most beautiful, caterpillar-butterfly qualities of life is that we grow out of moments, stages of our life.
But the human spirit and your inner self and your intentioned way for being on this earth doesn’t change. You were born to BE and that was meant to be fluid but not designed to be controlled, boxed in or held back by big-bad-mean-unforgiving standards you didn’t even set. That’s about force. That’s about taking. That’s a form of stealing.
Finding your inner self will require you to remember who you were and then commit to daily action of creativity and imagination to awaken that person again. Once you’ve touched base with that person again, your inner voice — what you truly desire, the work you actually want to be doing, how you genuinely want to be spending your time on this earth — will start to become louder and more clear.
Suggestions for how to remember who you were:
Dance. Sing. Paint. Read poetry. Be out in nature for 30+ minutes a day. Meditate. Journal. Listen to music. Play music.
Be aware, your ego — your internal rule-following enforcer — will fight you. It will make you question what you’re doing, make you second guess yourself, and send invitations for you to do other things to distract you.
But you know if you’re ready to release all previous ways of being. You know if you’re ready to let go of who you think you are right now for who you are really meant to be. I invite you.
Sheena Jeffers is a Wellness Life Coach helping clients design balance, boundaries and flourish into their daily lives. Schedule a session with Sheena today and watch your life change!