Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Shrine to the Lost Child Within

An iconic shrine to the Lost Child Within.

I am adding shrines and altars to Her Grace by Devata on Etsy
for sale.

This beautiful and tender shrine is the first one to be added today.

 When I first started putting this shrine together, it called itself the Shrine of Lost Children.  
But as I listened to the creative voice within, and I put the bits and pieces together, I started to understand that this is indeed an Ode to the Lost Children of myself and other 'grown-ups'.

Like the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, who demanded 'Off with her head!', this piece started with the head of a frozen charlotte doll.  When I held that tiny little head in my hand, so many feelings came to the surface.  Everything just flowed from there, as it does in the creative process.  No time to think!

Then followed the ceramic arms and hands of a doll that I brought back from France;  a small plastic doll clothes' hanger and a tiny rocking horse.  

All against the backdrop of stamped images of the Holy Mother and a beautiful antiqued statue of Our Lady of Lourdes which I brought back from the Lourdes Grotto.  Her divine presence supports and holds this process of realising that a child within has become buried under the responsibilities and identity of adulthood.

As children we learn certain core beliefs and attitudes and these we take with us into our adult life.  At times we are completely unaware of the self-limitation and emotional pain that we inflict upon ourselves by holding on to these childhood beliefs - often based on experience.  

Our attitudes regarding our worthiness, personal value, and 
relationships are some of the values we incorporate into our lives from childhood. 
When we give ourselves permission to play again, be it through art, through dancing, singing or just having fun, do we realise that we are suffering from a  loss of childhood.

Grieving this loss and awakening to the miracle of transformation of personal reparenting can wake us up to a new life, one true to ourselves and not our family patterning. 
Inside each of us is a child. 

How we honor ourselves by honoring that child will bring us much healing, wholeness, happiness and joy.

How we grew up is as variable as each of us. We know the strengths and weaknesses
of our parents and caregivers. We know what was lacking. And we know what we received in 
abundance. We know the positive and the negative. We know what felt safe and what felt 
unsafe in our homes. And we learned how to protect ourselves from that which was unsafe. 
As adults, we can receive the support and encouragement we did not receive as children. We can 
receive this support by asking for it from people who are safe, who love us, who want to 
support us in our growth. We are able to create an environment where we are safe. In this
environment we can learn to explore, play and interact in the spontaneous way that is unique 
to children. 

The frame of the shrine is uniquely crafted with white impasto.  The inside is lined with vintage tea-dyed ribbons and lace (all brought back from my visit to Lourdes).  Both inside the frame and on the frame are mounted two Mary's Blessing Seeds, handcrafted by myself.

Read here more about Mary's Blessing Seeds.

And in the right bottom corner is mounted a white dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit.  Read here 

If you would like to read more about nurturing and healing the Child Within, I can recommend the work of Dr Charles Whitfield.



  1. This is so beautiful! Layer upon layer to explore, I love it. Thank you so much for a very inspiring and heartfelt post! xoxo

  2. Beautifully done and very interesting. I enjoyed reading about the process and your thoughts about the child within.


  3. A fascinating topic, nicely expressed within your shrine!

  4. I am glad you have found your own child within so you could create and share this shrine with all of us. I love it.

  5. An incredible piece of art made with faith and love. So very special. Thank you for sharing that with me. Your thoughts about our lost childhood are food for thought. Lost innocence is what I think about.

  6. Bravo! Wonderful post to 'honor the child within' ~ and incredible shrine ~ blessings to you ~

    (A Creative Harbor) aka artmusedog and Carol ^_^

  7. A power packed shrine!Thank you for sharing your very personal thoughts Hettienne.
    I think that throughout life we loose little pieces of our soul,until there comes a time when we are presented with a way to retrieve them,bit by bit the child is put back together again.

  8. Absolutely thought and memory provoking for me personally. I do a monthly journal group and how I would love something like this to jump start their writing. We all have that lost childhood within.

  9. how perfect that you would create a shrine to our lost childhoods, and i would spend the morning writing about mine.
    so touching, thank you!


Thank you for your comments - I read each and every one! I have taken the word verification off - hope it makes it easier