So, my latest story comes to you (again) from the supermarket.
But before I tell you the story, I have to tell you some background.
In recent years, I have had the experience of one particular thing chasing me around: inner child work.
Now, I have to say, I used to be kind of cynical about anything to do with the inner child. I used to think it was super new age and couldn't see how it would really be beneficial. I was more interested in figuring things out and focussing on right now.
But it chased me around enough for me to surrender and do some work on getting back in touch with Little Hollie. Every coaching or therapy session would come back to comforting her, reassuring her, re-mothering her. Even the latest editing project I have been working on (Robert's book with Louise Hay) has involved revisiting the inner child.
So, anyway, I have been really talking to Little Hollie. Mainly on the way home from the school run, under the guise of a busy business woman with a handsfree kit hidden away. Little do they all know what I am really up to... Ha.
And so the supermarket. And the grumpy man. This is what I want to talk about.
I have this thing about when people get angry with me or think I've done something wrong or 'stupid' - I get really hurt and sensitive. Not in my mind - my awareness and understanding is really strong around this area - but in my body. My whole chest aches, I get shaky and it takes me a good twenty minutes (and sometimes a swig of Rescue Remedy) to coach myself back to my centre. (This is always a sign that we are not integrated around our wisdom and awareness.)
So, anyway, yesterday this man, who was totally grumpy, got annoyed with me for something trolley-related. I think I went too close to him or something, I'm not sure. But whatever I did, I broke one of his Supermarket Rules.
And something completely sweet happened. I had just been strengthening Little Hollie that morning and I was feeling very peaceful in my heart and I had the loveliest experience of just not feeling upset by him. I mean, really, I kind of chuckled. It was actually quite adorable that he was so upset.
And the second bit to this was that I felt SUCH ENORMOUS compassion for this man as well as myself. And it then just kind of spread out like a huge spider's web over the whole supermarket. I felt the most enormous whoosh of compassion for everybody, everywhere, in this human experience. And I felt a blessing powering its way through me and extending to everyone and everything. (Gotta love when this kind of thing happens in the avocado aisle.)
And all because I had strengthened myself to be solid enough to actually be a loving witness in that moment rather than take someone's grumpiness personally. It really does have to start with self-compassion.
Now this moment took about 10 seconds to happen. Not even that. So it could be mistaken for a small thing. But I know better than that - it was a Really Really Big Thing that happened.
So, look, I'm telling you this because I really think this whole inner child thing is the key to becoming whole, integrated, grown-up people who can handle things and marry our wisdom with our actual daily experiences. I think we need to be focussing on it A LOT more.
If you want to make a really simple first step with this, here's how to start: Find a picture of yourself, put it up somewhere you can see it easily every morning. Chat to yourself. Reflect on what you needed to hear as a child and might not have done. Give to yourself what you still think you need. Parent yourself. Don't wait for others to do it for you. Feel any feelings that come up. Go with it. And just keep doing it every day even if you only manage to say good morning and maybe welcome to the Little You. And remember that this is a powerful but subtle process. You won't necessarily understand it - just let go of that and actually do it.
If enough of us do this, we can seriously shift to a more loving world and also make this kind of inner work acceptable. Even my daughter has started talking to the little version of herself when she gets anxious because she knows I do it. I found her lazing around on her bed the other day and asked her what she was up to. 'Oh, just chatting to Little Bo,' she said. 'She's so cute.'
Let's blaze a trail of self-care and self-love so that our children and those around us can follow in our footsteps and treat themselves the way a loving mother would do. And so that we can hold them and love them with strength and solidity.