Everyone knows their inner child – that special creature deep inside ourselves who needs love and attention, and time to play. She is your creator, your love. Sometimes we hear more directly and frequently from an inner problem child – that imp who won’t do the tasks you so neatly inscribed on your to-do list, or the slug who stays in bed past several snooze alarms. Who is the hellion who recently ate so many chocolate chip cookies, is what I wanna know. That’s your inner problem child, and like most children, they love you, and don’t mean any harm. They want you to love them back and pay attention.
When I sign my books: Motherhood to Otherhood I typically write, “Mother yourself, for a change.”
I’ve written that on hundreds of title pages of readers’ books, and I’ve always like the double entendre. Yes, if we changed our habit and gave ourselves even 1% of the understanding and mothering we give to our kids, other people’s kids, and sometimes to many adults in our lives, we’d see a big change in ourselves.
That’s what the problem child wants – mothering. Understanding. Lately, I feel like a problem child when I see this question come up on FB:
“What happens when I’ve done all the organizing and planning and listing that I should, but when it comes down to it I don’t want to do the work?”
People offer all sorts of solutions like: set an alarm and work for one hour, so you don’t get overwhelmed, use willpower, and more. That resistance you feel is what we think of as a problem, but it’s actually an inner problem child, hoping to get your attention. What you need to do is look, listen and ask your problem child some questions. This can be hard to do as you stare anxiously at the very long to-do list, or read a watch or a calendar. Your problem child has all day. So if you want progress, spend some time with him or her and ask:
- Who is this little rebel?
- Does it have a name?
- When does it show up?
- What does it try to prevent me from doing?
- It loves me and wants my love. What job is it trying to do for me?
- How can I help it do that job? Can I help without conflicting with my own, bigger intentions?
Many of our pesky little inner kids are working hard to “help” us in disruptive ways – trying to keep us safe, or trying to make sure we’re perfect, fit in, or are having fun and taking care of ourselves. Once you see their motives, it’s hard to stay mad at them, and easy to see why a show of willpower won’t make them go away. They’ll just try harder. If you don’t notice them smearing peanut butter on the rug, what option do you leave them? They’re going to have to play in the car till it rolls into your garage door, accidentally.
I have two offerings coming up for people interested in Deliberate Creativity as a way to delightfully solve any of your life’s challenges. I would love to have you part of these small group coaching events.
Big Vision, Small Wins – 2 Wednesdays, April 2/9th, 7:00-8:30p ET
- Call #1 /BIG VISION
- Gain Clarity on your vision, and the challenges between you and success.
- Call #2/Small Wins
- Ideate your tasks, strengthen your ideas into solutions. And make a plan with plenty of small wins to keep you happy, clear and on track.
Lightning in a Bottle – San Diego, CA Sunday, March 16th, 2-6pm
- Post Martha Beck Summit Workshop, get your ideas and intentions bottled before they evaporate. Capture the magic, the lightning of the summit, and bring it home.