Talking To Your Inner Child, Creative Visualization, And Learning To Dance Through Life!


Hi folks!

I reread this, as a result of the apparent interest it elicited, which I observed using Webmaster Tools, and decided to redistribute. It occurred to me that to be an athlete, or exercise for better health [spot the keyword and ‘Hi! Bots’], you have to face yourself. Get ready for some ‘psychobabble,’ though I take it seriously myself.

About 30 years ago I went through a major personal crisis, which finally opened my eyes to the concept of ‘growing up.’ I’ve been working on that ever since. After several years of internal work, I came to the conclusion that my life was out of balance. All thought and no sense of feeling! This, it would appear, could have been a consequence of the English stiff upper lip approach to life and raising children in post-war Britain.

Trevor (left;, my talented and very different younger brother whom I admire, though he doesn't know it I suspect, and the author, who spent their early years playing on bombsites in Bristol, England - backdrop shows the source of these bombsites during World War II

Certain novels by Melvyn Bragg beautifully portray the influence of this epoch on the challenges and thus the emotional state (and the teeth!) of young parents and their children during this difficult period of English history.

Insightful writing

If you want to understand a subject, including yourself, explore its history. Whatever the cause, my conscious life was and still is, generally, all about thinking, for which I have a fair talent. Emotions and feelings are another matter entirely? My maxims for living include “it is never too late to learn,” and “never give up.” Recently, Tara, my friend, massage therapist, Gyrotonic instructor, and race supporter (see image below)

From left to right: Nick, Tara, the author, and Deb, after I finished the Lake Ironman 2010

presented me with a magnet for my fridge upon which was written ‘Dance First, Think Later.’ For me it is think most of the time, and dance never!

Then Deb gave me a gift of a Continuum lesson as a birthday present in order to encourage me to learn to dance. This technique is designed to awaken feelings and body flow or tissue dynamics in response to external stimuli, such as music. These are characteristics that I clearly need to explore if I am to finally enjoy dancing. When I dance I go through the motions, but I always become bored as I have no idea what it is that these people around me are feeling. Clearly something good, which I do not experience! I know that I desire to enjoy dancing because I cried both times I watched the movie ‘Shall We Dance,’ and as an Englishman I am not prone to tears! In my defense, I want to say that there is nothing wrong with crying, even if you are an English (now American) male! But can I be trusted, if you shouldn’t “give a sword to a man who can’t dance?

So once again I am tackling the dance problem, but from an emotional direction. I’ll let you know how it goes. I suspect that dancing could improve my body awareness, and thus my swimming, biking, running and enjoyment of inter-personal relationships. During my second Continuum session with Rebecca, where we make lots of strange noises, it was decided that I should consult my Chez Ollie and carry out some creative visualization as part of my homework. I have used both of these tools to great effect in the past when attempting to solve difficult relationship issues, where other people’s incomprehensible feelings were involved. I also like to use Tarot cards when seeking insight into life’s challenges, but that is another story. Such facets of my life surprise people, as I am perceived as a no-nonsense, logical, left-brain scientist kind of person. Let’s face it, none of us really knows what is going on in this Universe, so every experience is worthy of open-minded exploration, even ‘my inner child.’

It makes sense to engage your inner-child when addressing psychological or emotional conundrums. We encounter a wide range of experiences throughout our life, from fetus to deathbed, and like things you put on the Internet they never really go away. They lie more or less dormant as mind or body memories, sitting there, waiting to influence how you feel, think, and respond to external conditions. This occurs whether you are conscious of this influence or not! They become, in a way, part of your philosophy. As Chez Ollie, you have a philosophy whether you like it or not, and whether it is conscious or not. So why not try to be aware of your philosophy and where it comes from, and be prepared to change it for the better if you can. Part of this philosophy will come from your childhood experiences, and here is one that dogged me for years until I read and acted upon the ideas in a wonderfully helpful little book by Shakti Gawain:

A book that helped me a lot!

This is how my memory of these events are recalled by me, today:

1953, Bristol, England

When I was ten years old I was pathologically shy and my family of origin, comprising Mom and five kids, moved house. Consequently I had to attend a new school with large class sizes (50+) where I knew no one. In the middle of one unusually hot summer’s day after I had been at this school for a few months, my class, which had a roughly even mixture of boys and girls, was lined up in the playground in rows for gym, with each of us standing about ten feet apart. Unfortunately I really needed to go to the bathroom (number two), but I was too shy to ask to be excused. And then I did it anyway and there it was on the ground (I was wearing shorts, and boys of my age in England at that time hated to wear underpants!). Crap! Literally! The bizarre response to this event by the school staff was to call an ambulance and send me home wrapped in a blanket, while the whole school watched the excitement. This experience was so traumatic for my young psyche that is hard to describe how I felt at the time. For the next 40 years if I thought about what had occurred in 1953 in that playground, my heart would race, my face would redden, my hands would sweat, and I would feel really, really bad. Severe feelings of shame and humiliation!

1993, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

I find myself 50 years later as a successful scientist, having raised a family, but still suffering intense but private shame for this event, which occurred when I was a 10-year-old kid. It made no logical sense, but it did apparently make emotional sense. The experience was embedded in my psyche. It was part of who I was! I couldn’t speak to anyone about this. No one! It was too shameful. But then I encountered the concept of creative visualization, and I thought “great test case, let’s give it a try.” I carefully followed the instructions in the book, setting the mental scene for my hoped-for cure. I imagined my 10-year old self, sweating it out in the playground. I imagined my older self, the me of 1993, but placed back in England in 1953 near the school! My older self, in my imagination, then walked up to the school just before the ‘shameful event,’ entered the hot playground, apparently ignored by everyone, and located his distressed younger self. My older self then took my younger self by the hand to the bathroom, let him do his business in private, and then returned him to the playground. And then he just left the way he had come in! Problem solved! Magic! That was it! It took all of two to three minutes, but I was instantly cured of this inappropriate shame response. From then on I was able to see this event in perspective and I could talk about it. It was over! And now I am talking about it on the Internet because I want to let you know that you do not have to let your childhood pain run your life. But you do have to access your inner child if you want to really play. He/she can be one of your best friends in that regard, but I’ll talk about that another time.

So now I am off to talk to my inner child about dancing, and how he can help me to overcome my mental resistance to this enjoyment, with the help of Rebecca.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain.”

-k Your Medical Mind

[I want to thank my sister, Marian, for the great ‘dancing in the rain’ quote]



  1. I never really did science, I got a degree in economics and to me that is an art and not a science! Economist do not like it when I say that. They have their vanity I guess.

    My experiences took me in a different direction. Similar nurture on different nature seems to do that. I went in the direction of mistrust of what seemed to me as the arrogance of science. Yes it is a wonderful tool and I deeply admire James Clark Maxwell and keep his picture next to my poetry composition pc. He revealed electro magnetism so we might hear the music of the spheres.
    I made an ultra low frequency (ulf)receiver ( essentially a crystal set with very a very long coil) and listened to whistlers and other strange noises on the same frequency as sound but on the electromagnetic spectrum. Einstein said that without Maxwell he was nothing. Maxwell turned him towards physics.
    One day when listening on ulf I heard a long clear whistle. Then a starling just outside the window mimicked to sound. The starling then repeated the sound.
    I was wearing headphones with one ear and the other earpiece behind my ear. (A radio operators practice in the Royal Navy).
    It dawned on me the starling did not hear the sound as sound waves. This was either a freaky coincidence or this bird could “hear” ulf!!!
    It confirmed to me that this place where we live, this universe, is complex beyond imagining.
    So Maxwell guides me in art. His equations seem to me to have a flair about them that no econometrics can approach.

    Anyway, I experienced a death of a school friend in 1953 and this seems to have influenced my childhood. (I have an inner man not an inner child these days and wear him in public, but in private I am essentially a big kid).

    Similar nature, different nurture, even within parallel childhoods can produce opposite results. Neither however seems superior. Both lead to differing partial insights into some small corners of the infinite.

    Joe (1945-1953)

    Young Joe died of polio in 1953
    A little boy a lot of fun
    But he’s still here in me
    Joe came from Kingsdown
    We romped and used to lark
    Playing on the bombsites
    And running in the park
    He came to my birthday do in 1953
    And I had cried
    When he had died
    He couldn’t come play with me
    So I went to the bombsite
    And to our secret den
    And wished and wished
    That he’d come back
    But I only see him when
    I sleep and in my dreams
    He’s there with me again
    For fifty years we’ve played at night
    There in our secret den
    But I wake up each morning
    And daytime’s there again
    And I hate that dawning
    Of that sad fact on me
    That Joe died of polio in 1953

    © Trevor Morgan 2002

    • Hi Trevor,
      I really like your poem, which makes me I realize that I was barely aware of your childhood as I was struggling to deal with mine. More of a struggle than I realized, all covered up with doing stuff and living in my left brain safety net (tangled in?).
      Sorry about Joe, and apologies for not knowing or noticing.
      Poem caused lots of feelings. At least I am finally noticing them.
      Thanks for a great comment.

  2. We moved house in 1950.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.