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Ep #23: Emotional Childhood

If you’ve spent any time around kids, you’re probably familiar with their general fear of being in trouble, getting yelled at, etcetera. Think of a kid sneaking some dessert before dinnertime – they’ll claim that they didn’t, even with crumbs all over their faces. In response to their fears, they don’t take responsibility for their words or actions. And although most of us grow out of the majority of our childhood behaviors as we become adults, there are some patterns that stick with us anyway – and affect many facets of our adult lives. 

Building on last week’s episode about your inner child, this week we’re talking about emotional childhood. Many adults don’t realize that fears and hurts from childhood are affecting their behavior, relationships, and ability to care for themselves. It’s important to take care of our inner child and make them feel heard, loved, and protected – but it’s also important to act like the adults that we are and take responsibility for our adults selves and our inner child, too.

In this week’s episode, we’re diving into the concept of emotional childhood and why so many adults are still driven by the impulses, fears, and desires of their inner child. We’ll talk about how adults take responsibility for their choices, feelings, and actions, and explore the ways emotional childhood can show up in our lives. I’ll also share some tips for bringing awareness to this pattern when it happens, and tell you about some experiences I’ve had when I’ve unwittingly allowed my inner child to take the wheel. 

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What You’ll Learn:

  • Why children don’t take responsibility for the things they say and do.
  • How our parents’ emotional childhood can affect us as we’re growing up.
  • How adults deal with their emotions and behaviors differently than children do.
  • Why understanding emotional childhood and our mental health is an essential first step for addressing any physical health issue.
  • How to bring awareness to moments where you slip into emotional childhood and some steps for embracing the process of emotionally maturing.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

As children, we have limited capacity to control our emotions, and even less ability to take ownership over our behavior because we’re kiddos, and developmentally, we just aren’t there yet. As physical adults, we can easily slip back into an emotionally childlike state where our inner child is calling the shots, keeping us from owning or taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions, which keeps us from living in an emotionally mature adult way in which we understand that only we control our thoughts and feelings, that we call the shots in our adult lives.

This is when we find ourselves having temper tantrums, lousy boundaries, raising our voices, acting irrationally or out of scale to the moment, when we get defensive or easily offended, when everything is a problem other than us, when everyone else has done us wrong. This is living in a state of emotional childhood, and it’s a curable state, alright. Intrigued? Keep listening, my love.

You’re listening to Feminist Wellness, the only podcast that combines functional medicine, life coaching, and feminism to teach smart women how to reclaim their power and restore their health! Here’s your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, Herbalist and Life Coach, Victoria Albina.

Hello, hello, my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. I am loving how late it’s bright out, the warm air in the evenings once the heat has burned off a bit, how everyone is out and about, there’s tons of people in the park, hanging out. I love my rooftop garden. Our tomatoes are out of control. We’ve got tons of peppers, blackberries.

My herbs are, like, loving this weather. Tulsi’s doing great, yarrow’s doing great. I’ve got some vervain babies that are, like, really starting to show how magical their lives will be. It’s just so great and I love summer.

I love having people over for barbecues and parties and, you know, I love Leo season the best – even all the mercury retrograde, even with all the, like, whoa, everything of eclipse season. I’m making the Leo best of it. Plus, my mane looks amazing with all this humidity. It’s like curl central over here. You know I’m obsessed with it.

So, moving on from talking about my hair, which, you know, this Leo does not want to do, last week we talked about the concept of the inner child and we talked about how important awareness is to connecting in with our own inner child and inner children, because there’s usually not just the one four-year-old within us and how vital and just plain lovely it is to give that little you inside you some love, some caring, some attention.

Hopefully, you took some time to do your homework since last week’s show and we’re able to raise your awareness of those times when your inner child comes out to play, hijacking your thoughts and feelings and sending you on a one-way trip to Temper Tantrum Town or Self-Pityville of Blamington. I think Blamington’s like a suburb of Chicago. Yeah, I think that’s right.

Anyway, so I’d love to hear from you about what you learned when you paid attention to your inner child. How is that little one running the show in your life? How is she showing up and asking for your love, your support, your anger, your disappointment? What does it feel like in your body to have your inner child come into your mind?

If you haven’t gotten a chance to do last week’s homework, we’ll actually be expanding on it a bit today. So remember, when we seek to make change in this family, we use the process of the three As; awareness, acceptance, and action. So don’t go jumping to action on me here.

Like, don’t start trying to squash your inner child without first understanding how that person, those people, are showing up for an in your life. That’s super important, my love. And if you’d like some worksheets all about it, you can hop on over to my website, victoriaalbina.com. I have a free ebook. It’s free. I love free things. And I made it with so much love and it was just a blast to make it, to think about y’all downloading it and filling out those worksheets to learn about the awareness, acceptance, action plan for changing our thoughts.

Today, I want to continue on the theme of our inner children and I want to talk about how not healing our inner child wounds, not giving our inner child what they need, can lead us to act in ways that may not serve us as adults and how to turn the beat around on the thought habit that my teacher, Brooke Castillo, calls emotional childhood.

But first, for those who haven’t heard episode 22, Inner Child 101, which I recommend you go listen to that, or for those wanting a refresher – I mean, it’s been a whole week, right – our inner child is that part of us that stays with us from when we were kids. It informs everything we do, think, say, feel.

And when we want to change our thought habits to shift the way we feel in a given situation, it’s so important to recognize that it may not be adult you having a particular thought or feeling. It may well be your inner child coming out to try to protect you, to keep you safe from scary things like feeling feelings, speaking up in a meeting, leaving a relationship or job that doesn’t work for you, taking your supplements or following a therapeutic nutrition program like taking a break from gluten or dairy or sugar, alcohol, whatever.

Your inner child can also show up to remind you to rest, to nap, to play, to have fun. This isn’t all doom and gloom. Inner child work can help you to unravel and shift negative or challenging thought patterns and can also be the gateway to so much enjoyment. Healing doesn’t have to be so heavy. Accessing our inner child means inviting more kid-like fun into our lives, and that’s just lovely.

So today, we’re diving into this concept of emotional childhood, and next week, we’ll talk about the antidote, emotional adulthood. So, as children, we generally don’t take responsibility for the things we’ve done or said because we fear retribution, losing our caretaker’s love, being abandoned and left to die, you know, cold and alone on a mountainside.

Your lizard brain, that ancient part of your thinking parts, would never let you put yourself in that position; genius kiddo brains, so smart. And when I think about this protective mechanism in kids’ brains that says, “The adult thinks I messed up, don’t take responsibility. Quick, hide.” I think about how, in high school, I babysat for these two boys every day after school. Their names were Henry and Jack. And they were super adorable.

And I would often find the little guy, Henry, who is, like, four years old maybe, in the kitchen, sitting on the counter, or sometimes under the kitchen table, like I couldn’t see him if he was under the table. And he’d have his face covered in black crumbs, his hands all sticky with that white crème stuff, shoeprints on the counter.

And I’d be like, “Henry, my darling, have you gotten into the Oreos?” And his eyes would go all wide and his face would go, like, stark white and he would shake his head while crumbs would go flying like everywhere. Sweet little kitten mittens, he was just a baby and he was reacting as an emotional child because he was one. He was literally a child.

As kids, we all react like adorable little Henry. We react to being told that we did something wrong with a burst of sympathetic nervous system activity – fight, flight, freeze – that puts us in an emotionally protective place. And eventually, if we keep living in this kiddo mindset, our cortisol gets all over-activated and wonky, leaving us stressed out, anxious, scared, and eventually, depressed and anxious, and often with a bellyache to boot.

I talk in so much detail about the sympathetic nervous system in, okay, like 1000 episodes because I’m a woman obsessed; episode three about anxiety, episode seven, adrenal fatigue, episode 17 about the stress cycle, just to name a few. I’m so obsessed with how our psychology affects our physiology and vice versa, and the autonomic nervous system and vagus nerve are so key to this. So, when you’re done with this one, go listen to those shows and nerd out on that.

To sum all of that up, kids don’t take responsibility because it’s a scary thing, which feels pretty darn logical and smart to me. When as an adult you don’t take responsibility for how you feel, if you aren’t managing your thoughts and feelings, aren’t sitting in that watcher place that we talked about in episode two but rather are reactive, act out, or try to buffer against or otherwise not feel your feelings, which we talked about in episode 14, then you may find yourself in a state of emotional childhood.

And this is not something we do on purpose. It’s what happens when we don’t know another way to be. And most of us were parented by folks who didn’t realize that they themselves were in emotional childhood around all sorts of issues, who yelled when you spilled your milk or got a bad grade, who blamed or shamed you or others for what they were feeling; ala stop that whining, boys don’t cry, or you’re overacting, when you were like six, or eight, or 12 and you were upset about something they thought was small but felt big to you because you were small.

Parents who didn’t pause to reflect on their own internal state, their own thoughts, and the feelings those thoughts were creating for them, who said things to you like, “Lisa, you hurt your brother’s feelings. You need to apologize.” Thus teaching you that you were responsible for how another person feels, that they have the right to blame you for their reaction to you and that you have to mumble some unfelt words just to appease a social norm that reinforces this whole paradigm that we apologize for how someone else feels, without even recognizing how disempowering this whole framework is. And this happens because our parents too were likely raised by emotional children whose own inner child had gotten zero love, understanding, or care.

They likely had no clue how this thought pattern and mandated apology was problematic and maybe this is new to you too. See, this concept that we can make someone feel bad is predicated on blaming others for our own inner emotional state. And that’s what folks who find themselves in a state of emotional childhood do; blame others for how you fee, not taking responsibility or ownership for your own capacity to manage your mind, to choose your thoughts, and thus to feel whatever you decide to feel based on those thoughts.

I see this blame-based thought habit that I myself used to cling to as an emotional baby blanket all the time when I’m coaching someone around their relationships, particularly romantic ones. I have a client right now, let’s call her Megan, who believes in a deep place that her husband’s actions, the things he does, cause her emotions.

She often says things like, “If only he spoke to me in my own love language. I would be happy.” Or, “If only he told me more how special I am, I would feel seen and heard. If only he would do those chores on the daily, I would feel loved and respected.”

And we took a look at this together in episode 20 about expectations and how-to guides for other human beings. And I want to bring a little more depth to the conversation and to frame it within this understanding that, when Megan’s making these statements, she’s in total emotional childhood about her relationship with her husband. Because her inner child is running the show, she works really hard to attempt to control him.

She’s constantly telling him what to do and how to do it; how to express love, how to talk to her, what to do around the house. And she ties her lovability, her feelings, her experience of the world to his actions, his choices. When he doesn’t do whatever it may be the way she wants, she feels sad, mad, dejected, and reacts like a full-on child. And the result is her complete disempowerment.

She’s constantly frustrated because she can’t control this other human animal. He’s a grown up and he gets to do what he wants how he wants, and it has nothing in this world to do with Megan. And I will, of course, caveat here to say I’m obviously not talking about someone being abusive or violent, name-calling, hitting. Like, that’s not what we’re talking about here.

I’m talking about if he chooses to take the garbage out on her schedule or to hug her as much as she would like, even if he doesn’t want to. That’s the level of issue that we’re talking about. So, when you say, “These are my needs and you need to meet those needs for me to be happy,” your inner child is speaking, my love.

Like Megan with her husband, you’re basing your own happiness on someone else’s actions, someone else’s choices, how someone else chooses and wants to be and show up in this world versus taking that power back to create your own joy. Giving that power away is a recipe for disaster to say the very least. And forcing our will rarely, if ever, leads to true and lasting happiness.

In this case, Megan’s husband started saying I love you more after she asked him to do it about 12 billion times. And she told me that, upon further reflection, him saying I love you more didn’t actually make her happy. She didn’t want him to say I love you from a place of obligation or being told. She wanted him to feel it.

And that moment, that moment of attempting to tell another human how to act, think, feel, that is some full on emotional inner child business. That’s a kiddo running the show, not an adult who recognizes that autonomy of others and loves them for who they are, practicing wild and unbridled acceptance for all of humanity.

When we’re in emotional childhood and are acting out the thoughts and needs of our inner child versus our adult self, we can easily get into a place where we are not only being obstinate; we can also desperately want someone to rescue or save us, to act as a buffer for us so we don’t have to feel our feelings. This shows up for me the most when something feels hard and I want someone to commiserate with me, which is really just asking someone else to take my pain away so I don’t have to feel it, to find the person that I find annoying just as annoying as I find them, to agree with me that a situation totally sucks and that I get to be angry about it or hurt about it. It can also show up as wanting someone to step in when I’m in indecision, like when I’m shopping.

My childlike habit for so many years was to turn to a friend to ask, does this look good on me, as though her thoughts were more valid than mine, effectively trying to turn her into a parent figure. This emotional childhood state can also show up when I’m deciding if I want to go out at night when part of me is like, “Girl, you took your bra off. You’re not putting it back on and getting back on that subway.” But part of me is feeling guilty that I’m not going out, that I might miss an event, FOMO sets in.

So I used to have this emotionally childlike habit of texting a friend or asking my partner, “Should I go out tonight? It’s so-and-so’s birthday, it’s all the way across town and I don’t know, I don’t want to go but I feel like I should go.” I mean, who hasn’t found themselves in that moment when we’re asking someone else to solve our problem for us? Like, their thoughts about whether I should go out matter more than my intuitive knowing, my adult self-based knowing.

Operating from this place where your inner child is running the show and you’re in emotional childhood is not only doing yourself a disservice, it’s not kind or loving to the other person, especially if you turn out to regret your purchase or your decision to go out, and then end up blaming that other person for it. Which I’ve totally done that in the past, when I’ve put someone in that parent or grownup role in my mind.

And indirect or unclear communication, passive aggression, codependent communication, these are all signs and symptoms of being in emotional childhood. The emotional child may not tell you they’re upset, but they’ll jab and cut at you sideways to make sure you learn all about it.

They don’t say, “Hey, if you need my help, I’m totally here for you. Simple boundary, please call before 10pm.” Instead, they answer the phone at midnight and then complain endlessly about staying up until 2am on the phone when they actually want to go to bed.

They take on other people’s troubles and then get resentful about it. This is emotional childhood. And when folks are in this state, they don’t clearly state their needs, wants, or boundaries. They may let people walk all over them and then grumble and complain about it the second that person is out of earshot. They may jump to defensive speech, “Oh I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” that kind of language. Or they may be easily and chronically offended, and I have someone in my life with this habit. It’s something she definitely learned in childhood and have been working all these years to really let go of.

So this person in my life, everything stands a chance to offend her. And it’s always this big show about how hurt she is and can you even believe how that stranger, that store clerk, or whomever, looked at me? She cut her eyes at me. Can you believe how they talked to me?

Everything is about her. And she’s making it clear that she believes everything’s about her and everyone’s out to get her and she has to make a big stink about it because, while she looks like a grownup, her brain is squarely in emotional childhood, blaming, shaming, and guilting others for her own feelings and not taking emotional responsibility, which is what emotional adults do.

I want to shift the conversation just a little bit to talk about how addressing the needs of our inner child and stepping out of emotional childhood is 110% a healthcare issue. I will own that I spent most of my 20s in emotional childhood with my inner child raging and making a scene any chance she could. I didn’t know any other way and was so shaky about my own worth and value that when something wasn’t right or I was upset or I actually did something wrong, I tended to look outside of myself for someone else to blame.

When my IBS and SiBO were in full blown hot mess status, as it was for most of my life until I learned how to heal myself, I found myself blaming others for what I ate. So I remember this one specific time that I was going on a date, and it was early, it was like a second or third date. And that person recommended this restaurant where there was, like, nothing on the menu that worked for me.

So, man, I’m lovingly shaking my head at my younger self. So instead of being like, thank you for making that recommendation but there’s nothing on that menu that works for me, let’s try going to this other place instead – I can’t remember if I did either the, “Like, yeah, I mean, okay so there’s like nothing on that menu for me. There’s nothing I can eat there, but yeah, okay, I guess I’ll make it work if it’s, like, what you really want to do, if you really want to, it’s important to you, then, like, it’s okay, I’ll just, like, figure it out.” I either did that one. And if you pause and, like, listen to that, it’s clearly and directly saying, I’m inviting you to make a choice that’s going to make me suffer, that’s on you. Which that abdication of responsibility is so child brain.

So I either did that one or also did the similarly emotionally childish thing and, like, didn’t speak up and just went to a restaurant that was, like, all pasta and, like, nothing else, and then blamed the person I was dating for taking me to somewhere with food I was trying not to eat. So I would, like, gorge myself on gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, whatever, and would be so pissed at my date when I would wake up the next day feeling like deep-fried garbage.

See, I wasn’t taking responsibility for my choices. I wasn’t owning how I felt when I woke up in the morning feeling so terrible. I felt disappointed in myself, mad at myself. And because that was too scary for my sweet inner child, from that place of emotional childhood, I wasn’t able to take responsibility for my actions or my feelings and wasn’t able to make the changes I wanted for my life, to show up for myself in a true way that was in alignment with my real needs, to help me heal my body, mind, and spirit to grow.

I didn’t take responsibility for my feelings, so I wasn’t able to take responsibility for my actions. That was a mind-blowing realization for me. My own thoughts were keeping me from growing; how deeply disempowering.

This whole notion that my date, like, made me eat whatever made me feel lousy, they didn’t force-feed me or hold me down and shove pizza and a couple of Negronis down my mouth. I agreed to that because even though I was in emotional childhood at that moment, I was still physically an adult. I was completely able to make my own decisions. And my decision was to agree to eat off-plan in some childlike attempt to make someone else happy. And so the result, the tummy ache, the joint pain, the depression, the anxiety, all of that was mine to own too.

I caused that with my choices, and that’s just that, no need to pile guilt or self-recrimination on top of it, it’s just what I did. And now, my body is letting me know just how much that didn’t work. I get to learn. I get to grow. And to tie this all back to healthcare, this kind of inquiry, this kind of thinking about our thinking, this meta-work, I deeply believe that this is a vital missing link in our healthcare machine.

It’s time that we step back and recognize, especially for those healthcare providers listening in, that every patient is actually – and this may be a shocker – a person too. I know, I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true. Handing out prescriptions, meal plans, restrictions, recommendations without first understanding the mental stories and barriers that may keep someone that patient, who’s a person, from activating that recommendation is just wasting everyone’s time and energy.

True healthcare starts with managing our minds. Without that step, without pausing to understand how our thoughts lead to our feelings from which we go for the run that was recommended or say, F it, I’m going to scroll the Instagrams on the couch, whether we take the prescription or supplements, or once again, say F it, it’s all a waste. Healthcare without mind care, without thought work, without asking, what does my inner child need? Is she driving me to emotional childhood or am I standing in my full power as an emotional adult, taking my medication, eating on-plan, doing my meditation daily, exercising, et cetera… that is useless healthcare.

And I see this all the time in the folks I work with. So I generally start out care by recommending a 30-day nutrition reset diet, an elimination diet. And sometimes, folks have a lot of feelings about that, which makes sense and I’m here to hold space for, like, all of the feels. And so, a couple of weeks back, I was in clinic and I’m sitting with this woman and she’s telling me how she has this wicked heartburn and it wakes her up at night, she’s constantly clearing her throat, that mid-throat cough that’s really classic with heartburn, particularly silent reflux, where acid’s not spilling into your mouth, you’re not having chest pain but that cardio esophageal sphincter has loosened on up and that acid is flooding your throat, often while you sleep.

Anyway, she was telling me that this, all of this heartburn business, was so uncomfortable. She had stinky breath and dry mouth and it was so embarrassing. And I told her that I recommended 30 days off of grains, alcohol, and caffeine in addition to the standard heartburn suggestions, like the spicy food, acidic food, stop drinking seltzer, lemon juice, all of that.

And this woman, a grown woman in her early 50s, with all these symptoms and evidence of Barrett’s esophagus, a set of precancerous changes to the cells of the throat, likely secondary to her chronic heartburn said to me, “Oh, Victoria, I could never live without alcohol or caffeine,” like this was a fact.

It was impossible in her mind and she was in full on emotional child here. She was facing possible cancer and daily suffering, not getting good rest, being chronically exhausted, her B12 levels were absolutely tanked, which happens with chronic heartburn, so she was starting to get depressed and anxious. I mean, all of it.

And her inner child was stomping her little foot and saying, nope, I will not feel deprived, no way; another bottle of the Malbec please with a side of espresso and gluten. And to be clear, I’m not judging her. I’m never judging my patients, the people I work with. I mean, I’m not perfect, right, so why judge someone else?

What I’m doing is recognizing that without addressing that child part of her, that emotional childhood that she was in that was resisting and blocking change, there would be no change. And I could prescribe all the right supplements, all the right prescriptions, if she’s not going to stop drinking and eating things that are ripping up her throat, she will continue to have heartburn.

And this gal isn’t alone. It’s just that most folks don’t speak honestly and openly with their healthcare providers. They just take the prescription, say thank you, doc, and never fill it, never reduce their fast food intake or start daily exercise or whatever. And I get it.

If a child is driving your emotional bus, not doing uncomfortable things that you don’t want to do though you’d like the health-increasing feel-better outcome of taking those actions, well gosh, that makes a ton of sense, right? It makes sense to a child brain, and I’ve done it myself.

I had chronic heartburn. I kept drinking coffee until I realized I can be an adult here and shift my thinking. And again, I think it’s really important to point out that this mental and emotional work, this needs to be the first step in healthcare. Before the testing comes out, before the blood work, before the supplements, before the prescription, before the diet, we need to have this conversation with ourselves.

We need to raise our awareness about whether we’re reacting as an emotional child or an emotional adult, and we need to have these conversations with a loving caring therapist or life coach like myself before we embark on doing all of the rest of it to help ourselves heal, or it will be hard to get all the rest of it done if we’re self-sabotaging.

And it’s really important to me to pause here to say that we all slip into emotional childhood here and there. This is a process. Folks don’t go from being, like, a literal child baby to, like, standing up and walking and running and using the potty and whatever else. We develop over time. It’s a process, not a destination.

And we all step out of our adult minds from time to time. We all get hungry, lonely, angry, tired and act from a less than laudable place, and that’s fine. You get to recognize the presence of your inner child through your words and actions. An adult you gets to take ownership and can apologize knowing that you are responsible for your own behavior and you can name your mistakes without making a childlike maelstrom of guilt, shame, or blame around it.

And as always, I want to remind you that all of this, this entire practice, has to start from a place of deep and profound self-love. Loving ourselves is our most vital medicine. It’s the most important supplement on the shelf and I want to remind you, from that place, to be gentle, loving, and kind with yourself while you practice this.

You’ve been doing your best to get through this life with the tools you’ve had. If you’ve never heard of or thought about emotional childhood, then how could you know you were acting from that place? How could you realize that your inner child is activated? And remember that your inner child may be stomping her foot right now and being like, why did no one teach me about this before? It’s so funny, learning about emotional childhood can shift us into emotional childhood about the fact that no one taught us about emotional childhood. Brains, what are we going to do with these human brains? I guess we’re just going to love them up and love them up and love them up, right? What else is there?

Give your brain some love as she gets grumpy that no one’s taught you about emotional childhood before. Now you know. I’m about to give you some homework because you know I love homework. And do make sure that you’re subscribed to this show on iTunes so you get the next episode just, like, magically dropped into your phone. Next week, we’re going to be talking about the antidote to emotional childhood, which is emotional adulthood.

Okay, so our homework – and this is to build on last week’s assignment. So last week was all about awareness, noticing when your inner child pops up to say hello and leads you into emotional childhood.

When you’re being reactive or are choosing an old thought that no longer serves you, when you’re blaming or shaming yourself or others, when you’re abdicating responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, or choices, or when something inside you wants you to buffer hard against feelings or doing something challenging like writing that memo, that brief, that spreadsheet, that blog post, whatever, that something inside you that wants you to overeat, to drink too much, to go shopping, to over-think, to watch Netflix, to do anything other than what you, adult you, needs to do in that moment, that is your inner child luring you into emotional childhood.

Notice when that little sweet kiddo shows up and you act from a place of emotional childhood, when you act out, when you stomp your little foot, when you get angry out of proportion or otherwise act like a kid in an adult body, not owning or taking responsibility for your behavior.

Here’s your homework; when you can, pause, take a deep breath and write it down. What we see on paper is so much easier to shift than thoughts rolling around in our heads, which are slippery and harder to pin down.

Bring this work to your morning ritual, to your future self planning morning journaling exercise that we talked about in episode nine, which was about a thousand years ago. So if that habit came into your brain and slipped right out of your hands, go listen to that one again. It’s a phenomenal daily habit that takes a solid two minutes to bring into your life and I’ll be talking more about this exercise in two weeks when we talk about re-parenting our inner child.

Bring this work to the mat. Bring it to yoga class. Bring it to your run. Bring it to your breath work or other meditation and make room to notice, without judgment or criticism, the moments when you behave, think, feel, like an emotional child. And that’s it. That’s the literal entirety of your homework and it’s way harder than it sounds because I’m not asking you to change anything or even do anything other than notice, sit with, and make note of a thought habit you may not like. And this can be so challenging and your brain is likely to want to force solutions. And I want you to invite your brain to just sit with this awareness. That’s all.

Awareness is, in and of itself, healing. So breathe it in. Invite it in. Welcome it in, even if it’s really annoying to your inner child that you’re not doing something. That’s okay. Don’t just do something, my love. Sit there.

Next week, we’ll chat, you and I, all about the antidote to being in emotional childhood, which is grounding ourselves in emotional adulthood. And it’s been a very helpful shift to bring to my consciousness in the last few years and I’m so excited to bring it to you, my love.

Next week’s episode, and in fact this entire little series, are not to be missed. Other things that are not to be missed are my upcoming events. I’ll be doing a webinar for my upcoming online breath work meditation class on August 7th where I’ll teach you how to use your breath to connect in deeply with yourself, both your inner child and your inner adult, to support yourself in deeply healing.

I don’t think I could have healed my own IBS, SiBO, chronic gastritis and heartburn, depression and anxiety, along with my inner child wounds, without this breath work practice. And I’m so thrilled and honored and delighted to get to share it with you.

I’ll put a link in the show notes to victoriaalbina.com so you can sign up for that free webinar where I’ll be doing what I do; geeking out about the science and the witchy-woo of pranayama breath work. And you’re not going to want to miss it. It’s going to be so much fun and I’m really excited to see all of your faces.

I’ll also be doing some Instagram lives all about breath work and my own healing journey, so make sure you’re following me there @victoriaalbinawellness. There’s so much exciting stuff coming up, yay.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into what to do for your beautiful inner child, how to meet that person with love, so you can live in emotional adulthood, not emotional childhood, which is something we all get to practice every day; practice and progress, not perfection, is our goal.

Alright, my sweet one, this has been such a pleasure. I love this topic and I hope that it’s helpful for you. Send me some DMs, some emails, connect with me, leave some comments on my Instagram posts. I want to be in touch. I want to hear about you. I want to hear about how all these things that you’re learning are affecting you. And to everyone who has reached out and sent an email or DM or left a comment, thank you. It just feels so beautiful to feel actually in touch and connected with you.

My love, please remember you are safe, you are held, you are loved. And when one of us heals, we help heal the world. Take care, my love, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Feminist Wellness. If you like what you’ve heard, head to VictoriaAlbina.com to learn more.

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VictoriaAlbina

Victoria Albina

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a licensed and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, herbalist and life coach, with 20 years experience in health and wellness. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a bachelors from Oberlin College. She comes to this work having been a patient herself, and having healed from a lifetime of IBS, GERD, SIBO, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

She is passionate about her work, and loves supporting patients in a truly holistic way - body, mind, heart and spirit. A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she grew up in the great state of Rhode Island, and lives in NYC with her partner. A brown dog named Frankie Bacon has her heart, and she lives for steak and a good dark chocolate.

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