I believe fairies – recover your inner child for a creative life
Hello Creative QB’s,
Phew! right now Creative Queen Bees is going through a period of growth. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying. I’m not feeling as sure-footed as usual and noticing lots of memories and dreams and fairies are downloading in my peripheral vision.
4 min read with a story.
I’m writing this blog post and eating a bag of lolly snakes as if sugar is going to fix it! …and double also, it’s St Patricks Day. Dear old St Pat who drove the snakes out of Ireland, so it’s only fitting that my poison of choice today is lolly snakes.
And speaking of Ireland, the Gaelic land of fairies, I am going on the record to say, I believe in fairies.
When I was about five or six years old, we lived on a hill, not far from where I live now. In the paddock in front of our house was a mossy, volcanic rock ledge where my siblings and I would play, it was a land of make-believe and adventure.
While skipping one day, I jumped on a big rock and it wriggled loose under my feet. Curiously, I jumped off and gave it a nudge, just to see if it would move. In my childhood imagination, I had found a secret portal, the entryway to the underworld of fairies.
I believed fairies were real, as tiny, helpful, magical creatures they came out at night, inhabited my dreams, and brought light to the darkness. I was always afraid of the dark, so the fairies were they to protect me. When I stumbled upon the entryway to their world, I was fantastically mystified. I couldn’t believe my luck!
My discovery led to days of excavation around that rock. I was determined to open the gates to the fairy kingdom and be meet with welcome enchantment.
I convinced my two younger siblings that the fairies would meet them also if they helped me dig. With our bare little hands, we dug, together. The more we dug, the more that rock revealed how deep it was encased into the earth. For those few days, moving dirt and stones became our entire world. We talked together about the fairies, we imagined what it would be like when we found them, what we would say to them, what it would look like down there, what riches, fame and superpowers we would have for bringing the fairies above the earth. We could do nothing else but work, dream and talk about the exciting and important task we had.
When our parents quizzed us at the dinner table one night about what we were up to on that rock ledge, we rightfully told them – “we have found the doorway to fairyland, so we have to move the rock to open it”.
My parents agreed, we must open it and the next day, dad came with a shovel and pick to help us with the final shove.
We could barely contain our spinning imaginations. My stomach churned in delightful anticipation and the world spun a little of its axis. (I often feel like this in my grown-up life, a bit like right now, amidst all the growth in my business).
We had Dad, digging under the rock, and mum standing aside with our baby sister on her hip. Not once did they say, fairies are not real. Now all these years later and me a parent, I could imagine the glances between them both while their kids focused, crouched down peering under the rock with excited little faces.
We squealed in delight when Dad cracked the seal, we held our breath and I remember in that moment of seconds, a mixed bag of thoughts, feelings, visions tumbled from my mind. I was not only holding hope for my dream of discovering fairies at the bottom of our garden, but I was also holding the dream for my siblings. In me, my siblings had an unwavering belief that fairies were real. We were three adventurers and alone were about to discover real fairies for the first time. We were so far down the track of our new truth there was no re-tracing our steps.
As the rock rolled back from the earth so did my expectant misadventure to reveal nothing more than a pit of limestone sand, a few scurrying ants, and a lonesome wriggling worm.
I don’t remember what happened then, for the deafening shock, the loud crash of shattering dreams spiraling out in front of me is blanked from my memory. Perhaps my parents said something comforting, I don’t recall, I was truly shocked to find no magical, secret portal.
Thinking back now, it was what I did next that gives me insight into the creative adult I am now.
What I did was insist we roll the rock back into place, immediately, so the fairies could live and didn’t need to hide from us. I didn’t want to break the magic by lifting the doorway, I knew we had broken the magic of innocence. Covering over the hole, I covered over my immense disappointment, I made up a new story to protect me from the truth and shame of disappointment, for myself and my younger siblings.
As we walked away, the three of us chatted about why the fairies did not want to be found and made an unspoken pact that made it all OK. I recall saying, it’s ok, the fairies still live, we were just looking under the wrong rock.
If I was a psychologist, I am sure I would have a hypothesis of inner child awareness and experience from that day, but all I have is how the memory of all that happened plays out subconsciously in my life, both in positive and challenging ways.
I tend to put all my efforts, imagination, hopes, and dreams into something I deeply believe in and optimistically pursue it hard, even if it is not based on reality or research. It does not always serve me well and I feel acute heartbreak and disappointment when the metaphoric rocks in my life are rolled back to reveal empty pits, with it the realisation I am always looking under the wrong rock.
On the other hand, being creative is still about believing in the magic of imagination rather than about having creative skills.
Having other people believe in your vision, champion your ideas, and take the magical ride with you, despite the risk, is what makes incredible, creative things happen in your world. Believing in the magic is what creativity is made from and your inner child is a source of learning and experiences that inform how you create in your adult life.
Just as I was attempting to surface the fairies as a young child through make-believe and imagination, you can still surface your inner child and heal the past experiences that block, stop and scare you from your creativity.
Inner child healing is essential for a happy, healthy, and creative life. It is not all woo-woo and dancing around stones. (although it does help to unashamedly believe in fairies).
When you are thinking, being, or wanting to be creative and you feel anger, abandonment, rejection, insecurity, vulnerability, guilt or shame, anxiety or disappointment show up, you know there is some digging to do with your inner child.
That’s when you pull out the pick and shovel, you find your rock and you start digging for fairies, ie you take a step back into your childhood for clues, memories, and experiences. This the first essential step in making friends with the joy, playfulness, wonderment, and adventure of your creativity.
Now, I’ve eaten a full bag of lolly snakes, my business growth is still spinning me a bit off keel, but I have a secret little mantra, borrowed from favourite childhood movie, Peter Pan… I do believe in fairies, I do, I do.
>> I have over 100 ways to reach out to your inner child and heal your past art scars in my book, ‘Daily Acts Of Creativity.
>> You can also go deep into the whimsy, joy, and delight of your inner child at one of my VIP (very important painter) Art Picnics.
Image credit – Paige Cody, Unsplash
Hello, I am Amanda O’Bryan, a designer, artist, founder of Creative Queen Bees and author of the book ‘Daily Acts Of Creativity‘. I have a passion for injecting creativity and positivity into life, business and at home.
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