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Art by Shelley Klammer
Shelley Klammer : The 30 Day Inner Child Challenge

« The Search for Unconditional Love

The 30 Day Inner Child Challenge

By Shelley Klammer

Inner child drawings are a profound way to access aspects of the emotionally arrested childhood and teenage parts of your psyche that you may not normally pay attention to. All of us have many inner children that became hurt and that separated away from our conscious awareness. If they remain unconscious, they can affect our emotional and physical well-being.

Doing this process 30 times or more can help you see where you are feeling emotionally stuck. And under all of these psychical inner child structures are feelings that the inner child is trying to change, feel better about, or reconcile.

Inner child drawings are typically done with your non-dominant hand. Buy yourself a box of kid's crayons and a special sketchbook. Artist Heather Williams, author of Drawing as a Sacred Activity has an excellent exercise to help access your inner child that I will share with you. It takes 30 days of daily drawing either in the morning or the evening.

Daily Inner Child Exercise

  1. Relax and breathe with your paper and crayons in front of you.
  2. Close your eyes and see or feel a child near you. Notice the color or her/his hair, notice the height, posture and clothing. Open your heart and feel yourself accepting this child exactly as she/he is, even if the child is angry sad or frightened.
  3. Ask the child to play a game with you. The adult in you will ask the child 3 questions. What is your name? What are you feeling right now? What can I do to help you feel really good?
  4. Let the child draw a picture of for you and answer the questions using crayons and your non-dominant hand.
  5. Thank the child for sharing with you.

Note: I often change this exercise as I find it a profound way to get to know renegade, shadow, inner child parts that made decisions for me a long time ago, that I might not be conscious of. Sometimes we have well-meaning but less mature parts of our minds running the show that are not making the best decisions for our current adult, mature needs. I ask my inner child parts these questions:

What is your name?

How old are you?

What is your purpose?

Keep asking for the purpose that your inner child has for you until the purpose becomes positive. For example, your inner child may say, I want you to be sick." Ask your inner child, "Why do you want me to be sick?" Every part of our inner child has a positive intention, even if it is to make you ill so that you will get the attention that you need. •

Next: Integrating Emotional Pain »

© Shelley Klammer, 2012. All rights reserved.

Shelley KlammerShelley Klammer is a Registered Professional Counselor and an Expressive Art Facilitator. More »

7/8/12