I have a friend who asked about some random details about a childhood memory…she has this beautiful way of sparking the most vivid forgotten memories… I found it completely delightful and it is now a memory I will carry again like a treasure. In case you’re wondering it’s a memory of hiking in a pasture & climbing the highest of trees to enjoy a picnic of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And not just any jelly but grandma’s jelly. And not just with anybody but with my brother, Mitchell.
I think a lot of time is focused on the bad and what tragic things may have happened in our childhood that scarred us. If you’re not familiar with “shadow work” look it up. I do think we have to acknowledge and understand some of the demons from our past. Hell I’ve even named a few of mind now. For example when Bromhilda shows her head (she’s got a filthy mouth and fills my head with belittling words full of doubt) I take her to the bathroom and have a chat. I look at myself in the mirror and say three nice things to myself. I take some big deep breaths and repeat the three nice things over and over again until I feel more at ease. Laugh if you want but in reality naming some of my bad habits/traits has helped given me power over them, if that makes any sense. So pull some of the skeletons out of the closet and name them. Keep in mind most those “demons” were created to help you cope or survive something. Those traits, qualities, issues assisted you to be who and where you are today. So don’t banish them learn from them.
I say all this because the journal prompts I’d like to give you today might trigger some childhood trauma. If it does that’s okay sit with it…but that’s not what this exercise is about. We forget about the fun and innocence we did all possess even if it be only for a little while. As a child something brought you pure joy & delight; maybe it was a butterscotch lifesaver your Uncle always had in his pocket for you or the fun you had with the neighborhood kids as you played ball in the street. Although it may be triggering for some I challenge you to explore some of the happy times you had in your youth.
I ask you to find out what use to bring you so much joy when life was more simple? What made you laugh until your cheeks hurt? Who did you enjoy spending time with and what did you do? Where were some of your favorite childhood places to go? What where some of your favorite foods and why? What was your favorite time of year as a kid? What about your favorite school dance or game? Did you happen to have a favorite vacation or go away to camp?
I challenge you to recreate some of that youthful energy. Revisit some people, places, or things that put a genuine smile on your face and enjoy them all over again. I do hope this exercise brings you some joy and maybe even some answers…for in the innocence of children lies many truths. What could your younger self possibly be trying to teach you now?
Oh and when I say journal prompts it doesn’t mean you have to get out your old school diary and write for an hour or two. It can also just be a place for your mind to wonder as you drift off to sleep, or fun way to recall some fun memories with a sibling, or a new place to visit when you meditate.
I also wanna thank my beautiful SEA STAR Rachel for sparking the most vivid and joyful of memories. Thank you for being with me in this lifetime and so many others. XO