How to Reconnect with Your Inner Child

Written by Alison Ottaway

If I ask you how you live, what’s the first word or phrase that comes to your mind?

Busily? Distractedly? On auto-pilot? Timidly? With resignation? On a treadmill?

Do you have any children in your life? Have you noticed how they live?

I have two beautiful nieces, and they live experimentally, openly, with fascination, through imagination, with enthusiasm and wonder… and above all, joyfully.

Think about the children you come into contact with. Next time you’re around some, watch them as they laugh, sing, talk, play and explore. Do you live half as joyfully as they do… even on a good day?

Before you jump on me, I’m not suggesting that as “grown-ups” we can always live like children do. Things are different in the adult world. But since when did growing up mean losing that fascination, that curiosity, that joy? If it has for you, then there’s no question you’ll know about it. You’ll sense its lack. You’ll feel something’s missing.

Open the door to the joy that living as a child, in awe and wonder, with excitement and imagination brings through creativity.

1. What did you love to do when you were a child?

I used to color. I was great at it. I love aesthetics and also am really neat, so I was good at staying in between the lines! I won competitions. I remember this young, excited girl getting lost in her coloring book for days – I went through plenty of sets of felt tips!

2. When you’ve thought of something you know you used to love to do, find a way to bring it back into your life! I don’t care if you think it’s childish… do it!

Recently, I searched Amazon and found that they still publish my old love – geometric coloring books. I ordered one, and the last week or so I’ve been coloring. It has been an absolute revelation. The state of mind it transports me to is one of involvement, joy and pleasure. I feel totally connected to the world, myself and beauty.

This practice has let light, creation and joy into my life. I’m connecting with a part of me that can be filled with wonder, and ultimately, it’s creating a more beautiful life for me; one where I’m a little bit more like my nieces… in a good way!

If you ache to live more joyfully and want less of that distracted, auto-pilot, “grown-up” thing, find some time in your life to go back to the best bit about being a child – engage with something you used to love, and allow it to light your life.

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