I finished the first session of my meditation teacher training today and sent if off for marking. I have learned so much over the last two weeks or so as I completed the session, not only about myself, but also about meditation as a practice, its origins and how it came to the west.
One of the final exercises I did was a worksheet on meditation as part of holistic health. To do this worksheet I listened to a discussion by the head of the Australian Centre for Holistic Studies talk about how meditation affects us mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, and how our health in these area affects our meditation. During this talk, she mentioned the Inner Child and the Positive Adult, and I wanted to touch on this now.
Many of us will have heard of the Inner Child, but less will know about the Positive Adult. Those of us who have heard about the Positive Adult will probably know it as the opposite of the Inner Child, but this is a very simplistic way of seeing things. The Positive Adult exists alongside the Inner Child and is the calming, soothing presence we find within ourselves. The Positive Adult helps us feel safe, face our fears and remain calm, comforting our Inner Child and helping them grow. Often, however, we focus heavily on our Inner Child, letting them run away with our thoughts and, as things get too hard, the Inner Child struggles to cope. If we have not cultivated a relationship with the Positive Adult within ourselves, that Inner Child has no one to turn to and, like a real child in a frightening, frustrating situation, they will break down and, in turn, so will we.
Our Inner Child is a beautiful force, but we need to nurture our Positive Adult too, so that the Inner Child has someone to go to when they can't handle the world anymore. One way to connect with the Positive Adult is through meditation, this helps to quieten the rushing mind of the Inner Child and let them rest, while allowing the Positive Adult space to grow. When we meditate we are safe, we are comfortable and secure, all states from which the Positive Adult can act and the Inner Child needs to be able to experience. If we cultivate this relationship with both sides of our being, we are on our way to a healthy, holistic practice.