Remember my sharing recently about the process of creating from the inside out? I called it Making neighbours, not cakes. Creating something (in this case new neighbours upstairs) where there are no step-by-step directions possible, but the outcomes are too important to wait and see what happens, or just be left to chance.

Well, they’ve moved in, and the whole family is wonderful! It’s been powerful to see and feel the fulfillment of our intention. They love the space as much as we do, communication between us has been easy and respectful, and all of our lives feel richer as a result of having them here.

AND, for me there’s been a completely unanticipated gift. This one through their delightful two year old daughter Bri.

The gift of 2 year old Bri …
In realizing I wanted to share all this with you, I was looking for a way of showing you Bri, without the exposure of an actual photo. The idea of playful co-creation came to me, so I checked with her Mom, and yesterday morning I went upstairs with my flip-chart paper. As she lay on the floor, I traced Bri’s body. She was excited to do this, and I left her with some extra pages to play with. I happily came back downstairs and used my markers to colour in the details. It can’t possibly capture her energy, but it gives you an idea – and it was fun to do!

Living below them, with hardwood floors between us means the aliveness of her energy is palpable. I suppose she does walk sometimes, but mostly she runs wherever she’s going, and I find myself listening to hear her little footsteps running down the hallway – thump, thump, thump, thump, thump! Hearing them not only makes me smile, it connects me with the energy of my own inner two year old!

My sense is she runs (at least in part!) because she’s so connected with her desires, and once she feels the impulse, she follows it. She doesn’t have the second guessing I, and many of us, experience where we talk ourselves out of doing what it would take to get to what we want or where we want to go. While at 64, I’m thankful for the capacity to discern and make wise choices, I’m loving the stronger, more direct connection with my desires I’m feeling.
Then there’s her non-stop chatter! Though at 2 she has a limited vocabulary of ‘real’ words, this doesn’t stop her from being verbal. Bri communicates in full sentences, with clear intonation, using her ‘made up’ words – along with plenty of hand gestures and facial expressions. And she doesn’t give up if you don’t understand the first time! I love watching her and using my very practiced ‘Mumma ears’ to interpret what she’s saying. And, I’ve found her communicating what’s important to her directly and passionately, in the clearest way she can, inspiring. Without the non-stop part, I’ve a re-newed commitment to practice Bri’s direct, passionate clear way of communicating both in my speaking and writing!

… she’s given me more connection with my own inner 2 year old!

Like any 2 year old, Bri is very in-the-moment and has ready access to her emotions. Once while they were in the process of moving in, she’d been here for a while, enjoying running around exploring the new space. When it was time to get the next load of stuff, her Daddy was trying to put her into her car seat. Bri responded with loud wailing and tears … as if her heart was broken. It took a few tries for him to reassure her they were coming right back, but once she got it, the tears instantly stopped.

In being around Bri, I’ve noticed a heightened connection with and awareness of the feelings of my own inner younger parts. As I attend to those parts, I love the combination of this transparency of feelings, and the capacity of my adult Self to deeply witness, and (mostly appropriately!) express them. I’ve also felt the way doing this has often allowed me to move through an upset in surprising ways.

A few nights ago, as I was going to bed I was feeling upset and judgemental about the behaviour of someone I’m close to. The words I heard in my head were “They’re a horrible person!” That language was a cue to my adult Self there was a younger upset part of me needing my attention. I let them know I truly understood their upset, that they were right, this person hadn’t acted lovingly. I also reassured them that the actions of this person didn’t mean they were in danger. While the other person had acted out of their upset, this wasn’t who they were at their core, and I could keep them safe. Moments later, after feeling that unmistakable inner sigh of relief, I heard some more words in my head – ones that made me smile. They were words of a song we’d sing when I was a child “Count your blessings, name them one by one …”. And starting with an appreciation of this inner shift, as I drifted off to sleep I did just that.

We so often think of personal growth as work. As you look around your life …

Where might you find spaces of playful co-creation –
lightness with no sacrifice of substance?

… might you discover gifts of aliveness in surprising places?

And what might it look like to nurture the parts of you that are intimately connected with your desires, committed to communicating what’s important, and with more ready access to your emotions?

I’m excited to continue to discover and share more about this as I practice it. Want to join me? Do be in touch!

Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!