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Power, Pocahontas & a Fearless Heart—Reclaiming My 9-Year Old Self


In an earlier post, I shared about one of my clients and friends, Caitlyn Cook, who’s had a really tough year. She’s encountered stuff that has really knocked her sense of self, dignity and aliveness.

Here’s her profound and tender insights from a week intensive we did together with Tara at Margaret River (part two).

For a long time, I’ve not trusted people. I’ve been afraid that people wouldn’t think I’m good enough and I’d be rejected.

I’ve struggled to really get close, let my guards down and let people see the real me because I’ve been afraid of getting hurt.

This ultimately just made me feel anxious—constantly on edge, ‘managing’ relationships, ensuring only what I want to be seen is seen. This meant never really having my heart, my authenticity seen, held. Even if I was loved, I struggled to let it sink in. To let myself melt into the comfort and sweetness of love from people who matter to me.

I’ve also had a lot of trouble with God. I’m from a really loving Christian family, but the rules and required spiritual hygiene have felt extremely oppressive. It meant that when I was about 18 I broke up with God—the freedom meant I could be myself and live, goddammit!

But throwing God out meant that I threw out all the sweet things I gathered in our relationship. A sense of trust. Security. Love. Worthiness. Connection. Oneness. And to get any of this stuff, I had to do it myself.

So, how could I ensure I was loved and loveable? Well, I could ensure that I was exceptionally beautiful! Top my classes at university. Be as perfectly perfect as possible.
Enter perfectionism, body image issues, disordered eating, managing, posturing. And the inevitable clinical depression and anxiety that follows.

While I have come a super long way from that mental unwellness and have discovered immense connection and pleasure in myself, others and the Divine, I’ve had some pretty tough stuff come up this year that’s really questioned how much I can trust. How much I can truly be myself. How worthy I really am. How much I can let people in or trust God.

Enter my inner child.

Namely, Caity-as-a-9-year-old.

When I was 9, I loved jumping off high things into water. I was innocent, and trusted instantly. I was connected to the Divine, but I didn’t call it that—I was just alive. I loved animals. And Pocahontas. I was shy, but I wanted to be your friend.

The thing is, this 9-year-old is still alive. In me. Now, at age 29.

We think that as we age we let go of our earlier selves. That’s true to a degree (thank God!). But it’s also an illusion.

For better or worse, the desires, fears, strengths, loves you have throughout your life stay with you. Bringing these aspects of yourself into conscious awareness means you are able to heal the stuff that hurt you all those years ago (traumas, being told you weren’t good enough, feeling scared, learning that ‘X’ people were bad) and also re-embody the healthy stuff that you already so innately knew.

For me, my 9-year-old self is naturally trusting, expressive, connecting. Powerful. She’s not afraid of rejection—she initiates stuff and keeps her heart open, because that’s how she lives.

She is naturally spiritual, she connected to the Divine. She’s so pure, and innocent and curious (particularly about animals and sex). She’s fearless, adventurous—she lets her body adventure as much as her imagination. She reaches out to make friends. She’s joyful. Simple. Cuddly. My 9-year-old self has no doubt that she is 100% worthy.

Through breath, sound, movement, visualization, voice dialogues, and moving kundalini with my mentor Chantelle and Tara at our Margaret River intensive, I reconnected with this powerful part of myself.

The part of myself that trusts, opens, initiates, throws herself into things, feels. I let myself let go of my adult seriousness, the fear of being rejected or spurned and opened myself to connect. I let go of this skepticism and mistrust of God and opened into effortless oneness. Cos that’s what my little girl wants. To connect. To play. To adventure. With you, with the Divine.

I thought I’d lost the ability to feel that way.

In that moment of split-second time-travel, I felt myself totally embody my 9-year-old self. I felt the sun on my young skin, the cool Spring wind cooling me. I felt the bigness of my heart. Its fearlessness. I felt my immense and doubtless connection to the Divine (which I have so often questioned).

I cried when I reconnected with her because I felt how immensely pure and beautiful she is (I am). And then I cried because I was so sorry that I ever neglected her (me). I didn’t let her desire, her power through. And that I ever forgotten I could feel that innocence, that sweetness of being all the things I was at age nine.

I’m so grateful to have this part of myself back. I know there is more and more to discover, heal and reclaim—parts of myself buried or forgotten.

How about you? What’s your inner child like? Who are they? What do they like? What are their natural superpowers? What do they need you to know? What of them (you) are you holding back or forgotten you so totally already are?

A simple practice to connect with the beauty & power of your inner child.

  1. Settle into a meditative space in a comfortable, private space. Breathe deep, natural belly breaths.
  2. Set an intention for your meditation. Offer the meditation as a movement toward your Higher Self. You are safe here.
  3. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a garden. It’s beautiful, lush. You find a cave and you’re curious to go inside. As you venture in, you see steps gently lit with candles. With each breath, take steps down, down down.
  4. You reach the bottom and find wooden doors numbered 1-14 written on the front. Your attention is drawn to one of the numbered doors. Which one is it? You touch the handle and push.
  5. As you step through, you are in another garden. You see a child playing there. It’s you, at the age of the number on the door.
  6. Observe your kid-self. What do you notice about them? What does their body, clothes, hair look like? What is their manner, their personality like? Take a few moments just to soak up this vision of you.
  7. Go up and say hi to your kid-self. Give them a warm and loving hug.
  8. What does this child want to tell you? What do they observe in you? This big adult you. What wisdom, reminders do they have for you?
  9. Maybe they want and need something too. Ask them what they want, what they need and what that will give them. Then in that moment, give it to them! In spades! Whether its hugs, cuddles, time to play, time to rest, to be told they’re loved. Give it to them. Make the promise to offer this to them (yourself) more often in your daily life.
  10. When you’re ready, hug this child again and breathe. Breathe them into you. You both know you’re the same person. In all your beauty and tenderness. You’re both safe, full, loved. You’re both there for each other. You’ll never leave each other. With a knowing in both of your hearts gently release your hug and look at each other in the eyes.
  11. When you’re ready, you can come back to the room and open your eyes.

I recommend journaling after this practice!

You are such a magical being and already have so much of what you are looking for. It’s about remembering, letting it back in.

Hope you enjoy hanging out with your kid-self :)

Let us know how you go x

Caitlyn Cook

Caitlyn Cook

Caitlyn Cook is a Tantra-inspired facilitator, writer, and coach. Her mission is to help bring mindfulness to sexuality. Caitlyn offers workshops, private sessions, and resources to bring ease, confidence and spice into your connections with yourself and others.