Focusing Tip #674 – What’s the difference between guidance from an inner child vs. a felt sense?

Focusing Tip #674 – What’s the difference between guidance from an inner child vs. a felt sense?
September 25, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
“Some people look for input and guidance from their inner child self...”

Focusing Tip #674 – What’s the difference between guidance from an inner child vs. a felt sense?

Is your inner child the best advisor for your life decisions? Read on…

John writes:

Some people in the groups I work with regularly look for input and guidance from their inner child self. Sometimes that seems to inform them in ways that are very similar to a felt sense, but other times it seems like they are asking their most vulnerable parts for direction.

Could you address the differences between connecting with a felt sense for present-time decision making versus sensing into the “wisdom” of a young, sensitive part such as your inner child self.

Dear John:

Very interesting question! I don’t see myself looking for input and guidance from my inner child self, or any other child. I love my 3-year-old granddaughter, but she is not one of my advisors.

I understand that systems differ, but in the Inner Relationship Focusing system, we consider a young, childlike inner part to be young because of a stoppage of life forward energy.

When there is an inner child, an aspect of self is still frozen in time at the point of the stoppage. When the stoppage releases, that side of us will grow up. There is not a permanent inner child.

Qualities of playfulness, creativity, innocence, sensitivity, and joy belong to me, all of me, not a separated part of me… and when the child aspect grows up, those qualities return to me.

A felt sense is something quite different. You will not have a felt sense that feels “young,” or “younger” than any other experience you have.

Felt senses arise in this moment. They are the way that a situation or life issue or creative project feels now. They don’t have their own point of view. They don’t answer questions or give answers — so they are not advisors either in that way.

How do we use a felt sense for decision-making?

By checking for an inner sense of “rightness” or “fit.”

For example, I might be considering whether to create a new course. I talk to people. I gather information. Then I sit down and get a felt sense of it all, this new course… I wait with the feel of it all.

I might get a sense of “Yes, let’s go!” Or I might get a feeling like, “Something’s not quite right, needs attention.” Then if I keep sensing, I can find out what’s not quite right. Oh, the title of it… (for example). I try another title. That’s better.

Truthfully, I make all my business decisions this way! And it seems to be working rather well. Because your body can sum up everything you know, consciously and unconsciously, in one felt sense. Nice!


  1. Grace Silvia 4 years ago

    Hi Ann.
    I love your Q&A. This is the first one that nudged me to respond.
    I feel there is a difference between a wounded child part and a young part/inner child that feels healed and seems to have a line into a deep timeless kind of knowing. I trust it. Maybe this is saying the same thing, or maybe not, but for me, I think that when the inner child heals, the soul connection is what is left.
    With great respect and appreciation,

    • Author
      Ann 4 years ago

      Hi Grace – Thank you for your sharing. I respect your position. I can hear it has been valuable for you. Warmly, Ann

  2. Halima 10 months ago

    Thank you

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