Matthew 18:1-3 (NIV) “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…”
The above quote is from a passage where Jesus is teaching his disciples the way to finding the Kingdom of God within. He refers to this “Kingdom of God” many times through out his teachings.
This place of innocence and wonderment is buried deep inside most of us. It may have never had the chance to come out and play, feel safe and just be the “child”.
Life is a challenging journey at times.
We are so heavily influenced and conditioned. We lose touch with that innocent place deep within as we begin to take on the influences of our environment, the people in it and shape our belief systems through our growing and developing years.
Seldom are we given the opportunity to be free in the madness of play, like a child happily swinging away, flying down the slide, spinning on the merry go round or running from one place to the other. Do you remember those days?
In my counseling work, I hear from so many people about the traumas they have suffered in their childhood. When there is a crisis, trauma and depression there is also the chance of closing down the innocent one that lives deep within that is seeking acceptance and love.
Many people choose to close down and hide away this innocent and vulnerable part. We grow callous from life’s experience and the state of wonder no longer exists within our being. The sweet innocence of being open to something new and vulnerable, is overcome and hidden by the ego’s mind and emotional body’s need to be seen and heard or the fear that comes from not being accepted or understood.
Life does this to us, sometimes.
Through the practice of connecting with this innocent, child-like part of who we are, we are given an opportunity to adjust life’s tempo. A frequency takes over and changes the way we breathe, think, feel in our body and greet the next moment. It changes everything radically.
When we take time through out the day to quiet, find our center and connect with our inner child, we gradually awaken our mind to that subtle voice that is speaking.
One of the most effective ways to calm, center and to find that “Kingdom of God Within” is to entertain a private, personal playtime that is free of others judgments, free of comparison and free of competition or the tendency to copy the other.
Taking time out to be a child again is fabulous for assisting in calming the body and quieting the mind.
Worry and stress are left outside the door. Interruptions are not allowed so that you don’t have to manage pressure or the influence of another. It’s a break in time that allows the mind to quiet, the emotions to still and the innocent part of you to come forward and just be.
Our innocent, playful creative inner child actually shows us who we really are without the conditioning and influences of others and the annoying, endless mental tapes that our mind has a tendency to play over and over. Our inner child actually doesn’t even like mental tapes so it will take the mind in a different direction, naturally. That is what is so wonderful about being a child.
Our Spirit speaks to us through our playful creativity. Poetry, paintings, music, sketches, crafts, and writing are a few of the many ways that we can let go and sink into being a child again. Without the judgment and censoring of the mind and with the freedom to create whatever comes up, just like a child, this is where we find our Kingdom within.
In your private play space create an altar that contains those symbols, tools, toys and items that best represent your process of connecting with your inner child. A kaleidescope is a wonderful way to wake up to the day. Keep one close to the bed and handy for those moments when you need a reminder to be like a child again.
Coloring books and crayons, an easel with a canvas and a set of paints, fabric pieces for a quilt, a playful army set or a model car or airplane, even a train set are great examples of how you can create a play space just for you.
Painting or drawing is a fabulous tool for connecting. By staying free and innocent in your creative process, you can allow the canvas to speak to you and draw your personal symbols forward. Through those symbols you begin creating your magical language of communication.
You may even want to consider playtime clothing. You can make your own celebration dress created out of your favorite fabrics and colors. You can choose your own costume for playing the different roles and archetypes that you resonate with, or fanciful, fun, playful attire that easily takes you into that place where your inner child likes to play.
The important thing is to not judge or be critical with what you create in your playtime. Give your inner child the freedom to express who it is at the core of its being. Celebrate when you do something beautiful or fun. If you make a mistake or you make something you are not pleased with, learn to laugh and giggle with your child as you discuss and come to understanding of what was just expressed and where you would like to go next in your process.
You may even want to give your inner child a name. Find out what your innocent child inside would like to be called and give it the attention and nurturing that it is desperately wanting to share and experience with you.
Everybody needs a little bit of “God Therapy” once in awhile.