Part 1- How to Use the Lesson of Self-Parenting in Spiritual Life Coaching

Self-Parenting Life Coaching exercises are an integral part of sessions with clients. We all have "inner child" memories and programs that are emotionally anchored to a time when you only had the power, knowledge and physical strength of a small child. In this series,  I teach you what I teach to my coaching clients... how to teach your inner child to trust the “adult you”. How to teach your inner child to feel safe, sane, and secure in the world.

Do I Need to Heal My Childhood Wounds to be Truly Happy?

Self-Parenting Life Coaching exercises

During 1990’s John Bradshaw did several PBS TV specials where he talked about his Inner Child books. His Inner Child book explained in great detail why if you want to be a happy adult you need to heal your child

hood wounds. Knowing that I had a wounded inner child that needed healing I invested several years absorbing as much as I could from John’s work, and it laid the foundation for my Self-parenting transformational coaching exercises.

This is why I’m often asked, “What’s the difference between John’s Inner Child work and your Self-Parenting Life Coaching exercises?”

In my first Spiritual Life Coaching textbook, Self-mastery- a Journey Home to Your Inner Self, I explain that Inner child work is to Self-parenting what arithmetic is to algebra. Self-parenting takes John’s wonderful inner child work and integrates it with clinically proven, psychospiritual coaching exercises.

Self-parenting Life Coaching exercises break down Self-nurturing into a step-by-step, specific set of emotionally intimate transformational exercises that will fulfill your emotional dependency needs that were not met when you were a child.

The second most often asked question is, “What does the term Inner Child mean?”

The term inner child refers to your childlike memories and programs that are emotionally anchored to a time when you only had the power, knowledge, and physical strength of a small child. Your inner child needs to learn to trust the “adult you” because you have adult powers now that he/she didn’t have. You need to teach your inner child how to feel safe and secure by committing to practice Self-parenting exercises until you do feel safe, sane, and secure in the world.

The reward you will receive for feeling emotionally safe is that it will support you to reconnect with your repressed feelings, memories and emotions that are still frozen behind ego defenses that you needed to feel safe when you were a child. Your childlike defenses are no longer necessary because you are now an adult who is learning how to Self-parent yourself.

Self-parenting is… heart work. Self-parenting transformational coaching exercises will help you focus your attention on the intuitive, emotional, and feeling elements of your Inner Self-mastery studies.

How to Use Self-Parenting Life Coaching Exercises To Rewire Your Internal Programming

Self-Parenting Life Coaching exercises are a fast, safe way for you to surface and heal your repressed feelings. They can help you to rewire your internal programming with new, healthy, healing feelings.

You can prove it to yourself that the Self-parenting visualization exercises work by closing your eyes and imagining that you are chewing on a lemon. What you’ll notice is that you’ll start to salivate. WHY? Because your mind can’t tell the difference between a real and an imagined lemon. Therefore, when you do your Self-parenting exercises your mind won’t be able to tell the difference between your real childhood experiences and Self-parented (imagined) visualizations.

The Most Important Elements to Self-Parenting Life Coaching Exercises

Three things are striking about Self-Parenting exercises:

  • The speed with which you will feel better
  • the depth of your emotional healing
  • how fast you reawaken your Self-mastery powers to see, feel and heal so that you can take responsibility to Self-parent yourself.

There are Seven “Pieces” of Self-parenting mastery, and the first four pieces are called the Four Cornerstones:

  • Unconditional Love and Acceptance
  • Emotional Intimacy
  • Self-Nurturing
  • Mature Boundary Protection

Mature Boundary Mastery is such an important element of living in the world as an emotionally mature, Self-parented adult that I've written several blog articles about it.

The last three elements of Self-parenting Mastery are:

  • How to train the three “S’s” of the EGO MIND to help you feel Safe, Sane and Secure in the world
  • Four “P’s” of a Self-parented adult, which are your Adult Powers that you will use to Protect your Self, the Permission Rules to live your life as you choose based on your own ethical and moral standards and the Practice that is necessary to achieve your Self-parenting objectives.
    [Covered in great detail in PART-TWO]
  • Validating your Feelings and Experiences
    [Covered in detail in PART-THREE]

Diagnosing Your Inner Child Developmental Stages

The Self-parenting INDEXES OF SUSPICIONS will help you to diagnose what dysfunctions are anchored to each of your Inner Child's developmental stages, and how to use the Self-parenting affirmations to heal yourself. You can get a real good indication of how wounded your inner child really is by how difficult your teenage years really were.

The primary purposes of the adolescence stage of development are one and the same as your purposes for learning how to Self-parent:

  1. To establish a unique emotionally mature adult identity.
  2. To develop a healthy attitude about sex through exploration.
  3. To become a Self-empowered adult who is capable of leaving home and living independently.

One of the most important objectives for doing Self-Parenting Life Coaching exercises is to Self-nurture your inner child so that you can feel Safe, Sane, and Secure in the world.  As a child, you needed the protection of your ego defenses because you were too small, vulnerable, and naïve to protect your Self; you couldn’t defend yourself against large, powerful adults who acted out in dysfunctional ways.  But now you can consciously use your adult powers, which makes your childlike ego defenses “obsolete.”  As an adult you want to use your ego, not be used by your ego. The Three Ss integrates perfectly with emotional validation (above).  In PART-TWO I will explain in greater detail how to use your Adult Powers to heal your childhood wounds.

For example:  “Remember how scared you felt when (your caretaker) screamed at you?  You have my permission to feel scared now. It’s safe for you to feel scared and angry now because I will use my adult powers to protect you; but I want you to know that it really wasn’t safe for you to feel your feelings when your (caretaker) yelled at you. You are emotionally secure now because I will always be here for you – to help you feel your feelings – of course you felt that way – how else could you feel when you had to stand there as a little child with no choice but to take that abuse?”

Self-Parenting Life Coaching Visualizations

To end PART-ONE about how to heal your childhood wounds using clinically proven Self-parenting exercises I will share with you why Self-parenting Visualizations will help you create the permanent behavioral changes that you so deeply desire as fast as is humanly possible.

Self-Parenting Life Coaching exercises In my book, The Awakening, a Transformational Love Story, I use two parables to help the reader understand why Self-parenting visualizations work, the Tree Rings and Bathtub Filled With Whiskey.

“How old am I? Um. 58. Why?”

“You’ll see. OK. I’d like you to imagine the stump of a 58-year-old tree that was sawed down. If you examined it closely you will see one ring for each year of the tree’s life; so, for your life you would see 58 rings.”

“And upon closer examination, you would see that the rings varied in thickness. The thickness of the rings indicates the degree of nourishment the tree absorbed through its roots for each year it was alive.”

Larry stared at Howard blankly. “I’m not making the connection. What do the tree’s rings have to do with Self-parenting exercises?”

“You’re just like that tree, Larry. You are an accumulation of 58 years of experiences. During some of those years you received a lot of love and emotional support, while other years you didn’t. For the tree, in some years it got all the water and minerals it needed. You can tell those years by its thick rings. While in other years, its nourishment needs weren’t met. You can tell those years by the thin rings.

Like the tree, all your years of tough life experiences, or ‘learns and burns’, as I like to call them, still live within you. So, if you emotionalize your Self-parenting exercises you will fortify and nourish the years when you didn’t get all of your emotional dependency needs met.”

Joey, another of Howard’s students, raised his hand and asked, “How exactly is saying loving things to myself supposed to change my childhood wounds?”

“Good question, Joey. Before I answer, I want you to know that your skepticism is perfectly normal. I couldn’t move past my disbelief either until I realized that practicing these exercises just a few times would not create the changes I sought. They aren’t magical, mystical, and they aren’t mysterious either. They are well-grounded, psycho-spiritual exercises that work for anyone willing to do the required work.”

Howard observed Joey uncross his arms and sit up straight to the edge of his chair. He knew Joey’s doubt was beginning to wane because his body language had shifted, which motivated Howard to explain further.

“Joey, the Self-parenting exercises work for the same reason physical exercise works. Imagine that a bathtub filled with 100 proof whiskey represented all your negative childhood experiences. Then imagine that for every Self-parenting exercise you practice, you diluted the whiskey with 16 ounces of water. If you only did a few Self-parenting exercises, they would make little to no difference. But if you consistently practiced Self-parenting exercises for 30 minutes a day for 100 days, slowly but surely the water would begin to dilute the whiskey.

With each Self-parenting exercise, you would dilute the emotional intensity of your painful childhood memories, and you would replace them with unconditionally loving memories. And if you fully committed to this healing process, then in a year your improvements would be clinically quantifiable.

In PART TWO of this four-part article l will focus on the Four “P’s” of a Self-parented adult, which are your Adult Powers that you will use to Protect your Self, the Permission Rules to live your life as you choose based on your own ethical and moral standards and the Practice that is necessary to achieve your Self-parenting objectives.


If you resonate with this information, HLC created a FREE Transformational audio course titled, 6 Lessons EVERY Coach Must Know. In it, you will experience some of HLC's clinically proven psycho-spiritual Coaching exercises that have helped clients achieve permanent, lasting change since 1993 in our Spiritual Coach Certification Course.

HLC has made it possible for almost everyone to afford a Coaching education because HLC approves 98% of our student financing applications for our Spiritual Life Coaching Certification course. Achieve your Spiritual purpose for living, become a Certified Spiritual Life Coach. Call 1-888-452-0878 9-5, M-F, EST and speak with an experienced Service Ed coach today. Or submit your questions here and expect an answer within 24-48 hours M-F.