image courtesy of Brandon Towne on Flickr
Yet it’s so huge, and sometimes scary, that we can have a hard time tapping into that font of cosmic kindness.
Over the past few months we’ve been exploring the mysterious power of radical kindness. We started with self-acceptance and have explored kindness in the realms of family, emotions, world events, and our planet. Now we’ve come full circle, back to where kindness meets cosmic consciousness, with the help of your inner child.
Stick with me here. I know, the very phrase “inner child” might conjure up bad flashbacks of 1990s New Age mumbo-jumbo. You might be afraid I’ll ask you to think back to some unpleasant incident from your childhood, or send you to a past-life regression.
But that’s not where this tale is going, I promise (and my apologies if you’re actually into New Age practices – I enjoy several of them myself).
I first encountered the idea of the connection between the inner child self and the cosmos in the writings of Starhawk, a Pagan priestess from San Francisco. She learned it from the Feri (or Faery) tradition, which posits that there are three parts to the human psyche.
The conscious mind, the part we are most familiar with, is known as Talking Self. This is the left-brain, analytical part of us, which uses words, numbers, and abstract concepts. Our inner child, or Younger Self, is the right-brain, intuitive, artistic consciousness. It communicates through imagery, symbols, dreams, and feelings. Since these two aspects of the psyche are so different, they have a hard time communicating directly with one another.
What then, is the third part of the psyche? It is known as Deep Self or God Self, and it is our essence, the Divine spark that is eternal, that will still exist after our physical death. It is our hotline to the entire cosmos. The Feri tradition maintains that Deep Self cannot be reached directly by Talking Self, but only through Younger Self, which is connected more strongly to divine energies through its love of mystical imagery, visions, and dreams.
As Starhawk writes in her book The Spiral Dance, “It is not the conscious mind, with its abstract concepts, that ever actually communicates with the Divine; it is the unconscious mind, the Younger Self that responds only to images, pictures, sensations, tangibles. To communicate with the Deep Self, the Goddess/God Within, we resort to symbols, to art, poetry, music, myth, and the actions of ritual that translate abstract concepts into the language of the unconscious.”
What does this mean for you in terms of tapping into the flow of cosmic kindness?
Quite simply put, it means you should play more.
Younger Self loves to play and immerse itself in magic. This is the side of you that is drawn to Tarot cards, vision boards, vivid colors, and the beauty of nature. Playfulness is a key part of life, one that is often neglected as we move beyond childhood.
A wonderful woman who runs children’s activities at local festivals, and raises money to buy musical instruments for kids, puts it well. She told me how she goes to visit adult friends, and always looks around to see what she can play with. There might be one small box of crayons, but she’s looking around for the markers, paints, puppets, drums and shakers. “But where are all your toys?” she longs to ask. She looks at me, laughing, and confides, “No wonder I’m always hanging out with a bunch of kids!”
She’s very in tune with her Younger Self, and her love, connection, and kindness shine through in all her interactions.
Nurturing your child self aids your wholeness, as you become more connected with the Divine. This is an intrinsic part of spiritual growth. As you learn to love and accept yourself, your inner world opens up. When Talking Self isn’t quite so busy being mean and self-critical up there in your left hemisphere, Younger Self grows bolder and less timid.
You find yourself drawn to playfulness, laughter, and joy, just for its own sake.
As Mr. Miyagi quipped in the movie The Karate Kid way back when, “never trust spiritual leader who cannot dance.” All too often we get very serious about our spiritual growth, which can lead to dogma and rigidity. When you allow yourself to play, to dance, to touch the mysteries with a light heart, you become more in tune with cosmic kindness and love.
Your cup is filled, again and again. You have plenty of kindness to share. You’ve tapped into the mysterious power of radical kindness.
The circle is complete.
|Nikki Starcat Shields is a published author, Mom, Reiki healer, and licensed priestess.
Get your copy of her book “Cultivating Self-Love: Your Path to Wholeness” on Amazon.