Breathing Exercise for Healing the Inner Child
This exercise is based on the well-proven reality that children blame themselves for traumatic events in their world over which they in fact have no control ~ they frequently go into therapy, for instance, because they think if they’d been more obedient their parents wouldn’t have divorced.
In all too many cases their self-blame is subtly or not-so-subtly fostered & encouraged, as well, by the adults with whom they are surrounded, increasing their psychic damage ~ which then persists in preventing happiness and fulfillment throughout life.
The exercise was presented to this poet ~ as indeed she subsequently did experience it ~ as a super-powerful tool for the cleansing of childhood traumas and liberation of trapped energies into the twin lights of success and love.
* * * *
Begin by finding a doll or stuffed animal representing “Little (your name)”. If you can’t find one, then simply imagine one.
Take “Little (your name)” with you to a place in which you are surrounded by soft surfaces.
Make sure you will not be disturbed ~ draw curtains, eliminate phone ringers, be prepared not to answer the doorbell.
Place a few tissues or paper napkins (out of their hard-edged box) somewhere within reach.
Now put “Little (your name)” on your lap. Play with it happily. Tell it its name, and that you’re glad it’s with you. Let it know it is welcome with you now. Place it lovingly nearby.
Next, fill your lungs completely with air. Remember, these stretch all the way from down near your waist to up near your neck. Breathe in until they are completely full.
Check both the bottoms and tops of your lungs to make sure they can hold no more air at all.
Pause to identify this sensation, so you can remember and recreate it.
Now form your mouth into a small “O” ~ very small, as if you were getting ready to blow across the top of a pop bottle.
Begin releasing the air in your lungs as slowly as you are able to do so.
Continue to release air at that same speed until your lungs feel empty.
When you think they are empty, continue to push out air.
Then, when you think they’re empty again, bend at the middle and start squeezing.
Check down by your waist at the bottoms and up by your neck at the tops of your lungs, to make sure they are now, at last, indeed absolutely empty.
(This will expel air molecules which have been hanging around in the bottoms of your lungs for a long, long time — holding energy.)
Now take in a deep breath at a comfortable rate of speed — but continue it longer than usual, until you can, you guessed it…
…feel that your lungs — deepest bottom to tippy top — are full to bustin’ with fresh, happy air from your present comfy location.
Form your mouth back into that little “O” again.
Breathe out as slowly as possible… … …
Pause and check your lungs carefully, bottom to top, between each reflex-speed inhalation and each sloooow, sloooow exhalation, to make sure there are no air pockets left unemptied.
Time will cease to be of much concern. Once your body gets the rhythms by reflex ~ other than your check of lungs, top and bottom ~ allow your thoughts to drift back a few moments, to when you were playing with “Little (your name)” on your lap just now, and how good that felt.
Keep breathing in pattern as you play with “Little (your name)” some more.
You two will start remembering things together.
You’ll find yourself back in a situation which perfectly crystalizes and represents many similar situations in “Little (your name)”‘s life ~ likely one containing anxiety or outright trauma.
In the situation, you experience yourself as both “Little (your name)” and, hovering over that child’s form, the rational, capable adult you’ve become (or you wouldn’t be doing this exercise yet, see?).
The situation plays itself out around you.
When things get particularly intense, time slows down, and you are free to experience and examine things about it which you were too overwhelmed to notice the first time around.
One thing you now clearly understand without any shred of doubt, and that is that no child ~ even if they’d committed a far worse blunder than one of which this child might stand accused ~ could possibly truly deserve to feel such a devastating lack of love.
Once you realize that you do now understand this — understand it so completely that it’s one of those certainties, like the existence of rainbows, which you can never again doubt — you can let yourself drift away from that meditative situation, back toward your quiet, peaceful, cushioned room.
Wipe your eyes, and blow your nose.
Take “Little (your name)” on your lap. Share a big, tight, reassuring hug.
Say to “Little (your name),” “Let me tell you something: It wasn’t your fault. It couldn’t have been.
“I’m sorry I thought it was your fault.
“I’m sorry I pushed you away from me, and believed bad things about you.
I’m sorry I let it go on for so long. We were both suffering, I see that now.
“I love you, and I’m proud and happy to be with you again, and to go places with you and have fun, as we used to.”
“Please forgive me, “Little (your name)”…
“… If you can bring yourself to do that, I’ll make you this promise: I won’t push you away again.
“You just tell me when you need to taste something sweet or run in the grass barefoot, and we’ll find a way to make it happen, okay?…
“Okay?… You okay now?… There ~ a little smile! … ”
Then you play together some more, taking breaks to give each other more big hugs and to smile into one another’s happy eyes again, for a long…
Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts