Updated: Sep 17
I’ve been feeling the need of doing non-dominant handwriting, but have been feeling blocked to do the work. I find other things to do. I procrastinate. I forget. The thought to do it comes back until finally I do it. I started with a drawing. A book I’m reading, The Loving Parent Guidebook suggests starting off drawing my inner children. I don’t even know who those selves are. Initially it sounds a little weird. With continued reading, I let go what it may sound like, be open and try it out. I wanted to return to psycho-somatic healing. I realized I was never rejected from my current insurance. It was another state benefit and I stopped the therapy I had heard was so healing. I tried reading, The Body Keeps the Score, but the research introductory put me to sleep at bedtime. I put my focus in the twelve step meetings and hoped that one day the pain I carried in my hips, neck and shoulders would just go away on its own. Never mind that I’ve felt it for years. It lessens and then without warning it comes back and I can barely bend my left knee. Legs are connected to hips and it’s my left hip that carries that anger, the hurt, the invisible pain. Pigeon pose in yoga helps but I can’t spend days there. I spend time there. I love it and hate it. Mostly I appreciate having it as a tool.
I drew pictures of the inner child, not caring what others will think when I read it. After all, others have written about recovery of the inner child; this isn’t new terminology. And I’ll include some of what came up with my inner children. Perhaps you wonder what does non-dominant hand work have to do with inner peace, painting and creative work? What does it have to do with anything? You can take a look at Dr. Lucia Capacchione’s Recovery of the Inner Child.” If you go to therapy, you can ask your psychologist about it. He or she may have exercises that go beyond cognitive therapy.
This is my experience; you can have your own...
I drew my inner children using my non-dominant hand. On one I wrote: “I just want to be liked,” still using the non-dominant hand, using the voice that came up. I drew another, and older version of the inner child, “I want to feel pretty inside.”
Inner child (non-dominant hand) pauses and then writes more: Sometimes the mean voices take over. The mean voice hurts me. And the mean voice wins. It shouldn’t be about winning or losing. We should work together. We’re a team. We need to love me. Wouldn’t the universe agree? The angels agree. At least I think so.
Adult Self, loving parent written with the right hand in pen: You’re right; all of these selves are a team. One inner child wants to be liked. Another inner child of the adult me wants to feel pretty inside. The mean voice, the critical parent wants to soothe and find loving words when (the adult me) I is scared or worried. Thank you for speaking up and sharing your drawings.
The inner child continues (written with non-dominant hand in purple pencil): I hate pretending to be fine when I’m not. I don’t want to be that person anymore. It makes me feel like a fake. I want to be known for the books I write, the stories I tell, the drawings I make and the love I have inside.
Adult Self, loving parent (dominant hand, writing with pen): You have every right to want to be your True Self. I don’t want to stop you from being you. What’s a safe way to express your feelings?
Inner child (non-dominant hand): Painting. Drawing. It turns out I draw okay. It turned out I could stop drinking for good. It turns out I can love myself.
Adult Self, Loving Parent: (dominant hand writing in pen): It’s a relief isn’t it? What else did you learn?
Inner child (non-dominant hand): Through my self-compassion, I can help others experience their own. I’m not my mean voice. That person isn’t real. That’s the Fake Self the self-help books talk about. I’m helping myself. I’m sharing.
Adult Self, Loving Parent: (dominant hand writing in pen): Yes, you are. You are showing yourself love. You are willing to do the work. You feel your fear. You let yourself be anxious and you let it go. And you do the non-dominant hand writing. I’m so proud of you. I need to tell you that more.
Inner child (non-dominant hand): Thank you for saying that. I don’t like hiding and being quiet. I makes me feel shut out. I have a voice, too. I have dreams. I want to go to New Mexico. I want to meet the artists. I want to see the beauty they see. I want to see the terrain. I want to see the beauty of this unexpected place. I want adventures.
Adult Self, Loving Parent: (dominant hand writing in pen): I hear you loud and clear. Wanting to travel to New Mexico is coming up more and more almost everyday. We need to take that journey, you and me.
Inner child (non-dominant hand): I feel like I’m opening up. Like one day I could cry again.
Adult Self, Loving Parent: (dominant hand writing in pen): Thank you for speaking up. I want to protect you just as you have for me. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. You’ve been brave, telling and guiding me in my decisions as I make my way through my adult world. Anything else you want to tell me?
Inner child (non-dominant hand): Act on thoughts when I want to do something. Paint some bridges in Pittsburgh. It’ll feel like painting in Rome. Talk to me. Let me feel listened to. Love me.
What about your inner children? Why not draw them? Let them speak up! What messages does your Critical Voice have? What would your Inner Child like to tell you? Why not try it today! No one has to see. Reflect on what the exercise did for you. How does it affect your creativity?
—© Amanda L. Mottorn, 2021. Author of Finding Moksha: One Woman’s Path in Uncertain Times and Artist at Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing.