This is a list of books to support reparenting the inner child. As a creative, I tend to walk a spiral path in my healing. These books reflect that. They approach inner child healing from varied angles and entry points. If you’re a fellow creative, you might appreciate approaching your inner child from these creative angles as well.
Inner child work is deeply sacred to me. Ever since I started art journaling with the moon, my art took on a whimsical child-like quality. At first I was ashamed of this. I judged my art as not being refined enough. I didn’t feel like my art was good enough but it is the art that wanted to come out of me. It didn’t want to be refined and polished. It wanted to be messy and colorful and playful and honest.
I realized my inner child had a lot of healing to do and she was doing it through my art. I still judge myself and wish I could move on to create polished pieces of art but I’m not ready yet. I’m still in the playing phase and I know I have to honor my process and stay here as long as my body and my spirit need me to (even if it’s already been eight years).
That’s what moving from my center feels like. I’m not fully in control. I listen. I honor where my energy wants to go even when my ego wants something different because I know in the end this twisted, curvy spiral path to healing ultimately creates a much richer and more fulfilling journey.
On the new moon, I decided to deepen this journey by working with the phases of the moon and my art journal to reparent my inner child. Every time the moon changes phase, I create a new page in my journal to address a different developmental period in my inner child’s experience. If you receive my Creative Moon Cycle Guide, then on the new moon you received my prompts, tips and suggestions for reparenting your inner child during this moon cycle right alongside me.
This list of books will help you take care of yourself when the inner child wounds or trauma you’ve buried surface through your moon art or they’ll help you dig a little deeper and understand how your experiences as a child are still affecting you today.
Understanding Your Inner Child
Inner child work feels a little like connecting with my spirit guides and angels. It requires me to look inward and trust my intuition. I actually found connecting to my spirit guides and angels easier than connecting with my inner child but understanding the stages of growth and development and the needs that my inner child had at each stage bridged the gap between my adult self and my inner child. “The Inner Child Workbook” by Cathryn L. Taylor outlines those stages clearly and I also appreciate her love of ritual and imagery to heal the inner child.
I picked up Nadine Burke Harris’ book after listening to her on Dax Shephard’s podcast. I love her passion and expertise in revealing how deeply our bodies are affected by the difficult experiences we lived through in our childhood. Abuse, neglect, divorce, parental addiction or mental illness deeply affect us as children and we carry those effects in our bodies. Her mission to prevent lifelong illness by helping us understand how adverse childhood experiences change our bodies is inspring and important.
Understanding the Mother-Child Relationship
During the time period I was growing up, mothers were typically the primary caregivers so, for me, understanding the mother-child relationship was important and helpful. As children we looked to our primary caregivers to help us meet our emotional needs. Boys and girls who were not nurtured as well as they needed struggle in their adult lives. Jasmin Lee Cori’s book explores this in a way I found clear and simple while Bethany Webster’s work is helpful in taking it further while teaching how to heal the mother wound.
Mother-daughter relationships face unique issues from the generations of oppression women have endured. Understanding how sexist beliefs and cultural stereotypes harm the mother-daughter relationship was extremely enlightening for me and Rosjke Hasseldine’s book is one of the books I refer to the most. The mother-daughter mapping exercise is AMAZING and so insightful. I highly recommend going through her step-by-step process.
Healing the Inner Child by Connecting to the body
I find connecting with my body to be one of the most effective methods of healing my inner child. The more deeply attuned I am with my body, the more I heal the trauma I experienced as a child and the more I understand just how much I stored in my body over the years. Bessel Vand Der Kolk’s book shows how trauma reshapes both the body and the brain. It helped me understand why the MAP Method has been so effective for me. Rewiring my brain is truly reshaping my body.
“My Body, My Home” is one of my favorite types of books. It is filled with drawings and meanderings. It’s a creative journey to rewriting the stories of your body and it’s as fun to look at as it is to read. Oh how my creative heart appreciates images as she heals!
Accessing Subconscious Memories to Heal the Inner Child
One of the challenges of working with my inner child was that I do not have a lot of memories from my childhood. I learned this isn’t unusual when you’ve experienced trauma at a young age. Because my trauma response was triggered every day and I lived with chronic stress and anxiety, I was often disassociating from my body and my experience. It’s difficult for your brain to store memories when you’re in a disassociated state.
The subconscious mind, however, remembers it all and can access it all for me but working with my subconscious mind requires letting go and trusting what surfaces, even when it doesn’t make logical sense. It also requires interpreting my own personal language of symbols and emotions.
Susanne Fincher’s book is helpful for this. She outlines an intuitive step-by-step process for working with mandalas that is simple but extremely effective. It’s something I’ve used hundreds of times over the years to peer into my subconscious mind and decode its hidden messages about my childhood and how it still affects me.
Working Through Childhood Trauma
I’ll admit, I purchased “10 Mindful Minutes” because I was shocked to learn Goldie Hawn was an international children’s advocate. I knew her from “First Wives Club” and “Overboard” but I had no idea she helped bring the MindUP program to public schools to teach children mindfulness. I appreciated the way the exercises outlined in the book were created for parents to teach their children. My son was already an adult but my inner child loved the simplicity of moving out of a trauma response in this way.
Working with your inner child can pull up past trauma and trigger your trauma response. In “Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve”, Stanley Rosenberg provides some practical exercises to calm that body. I found them so effective I created a Moon Mapping session around some of them.
Helping My Inner Child Grow Up with the Skills She Was Missing
“The Women’s Wheel of Life” helped me see my life cycle from a more mature perspective. It helped me understand the skills my inner child was missing. In order to grow into the wise, powerful woman I would like to be, I know I have to help my inner child develop the skills she needs to grow from child to woman to mother to matriarch to priestess and beyond.
I hope this list of books helps you deepen the inner child healing we’re doing this moon cycle.
If you want to deepen your inner child work even further, check out the Moon Mapping Special Collection. This collection of recordings works with the MAP Method to neutralize memories and beliefs from your childhood that are stored in your body.