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Emily Cassel (she/her) is a Soulful Business + Leadership Coach for women entrepreneurs, podcast host, writer, international retreat leader, and champion of women, based in Charleston, SC. Emily believes that when women embrace and express their deepest soul calling and become leaders of their life and business, we create a more liberated and limitless future for ourselves, each other, and our world.

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#TBT: Embracing Your Inner 5-Year-Old

May 29, 2014

Ask anyone who knows me – I’m obsessed with baby pictures! And I really believe that looking back on your baby pictures is one of the best ways to reconnect with your true authentic self. 

This might sound sort of odd, but let me explain…

I’m completely fascinated by the concept of looking at a baby (or toddler, or childhood) photo of someone, and instantly being able to see their true personality and authenticity shining through. There’s no filtering when it comes to baby/toddler/childhood pictures! You can’t pose a baby – they’re just doing their own thing, whatever that “thing” is. 

I think there’s so much we can learn about ourselves and who we innately are when we look back at our baby photos. What’s your natural disposition? Chances are, the way you were then is still the way you are now in some ways – you’re just more grown up and have more socially acceptable ways of going about communicating your feelings – you’re just more filtered. 

Between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, I kid (pun-ny!) you not, I would dress up as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and entertain everyone around me by singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I watched this movie multiple times a day, memorized every line, would make everyone get into character and play along with conviction (or else we’d have to do it again), and collected everything that had to do with the movie/book. I probably went through 7 pairs of  red sparkly shoes and 5 blue gingham dresses during this period.

The thing I find so interesting about this is that it really parallels my life today – I mean, think about it! The song I sang over and over and was engrained in my brain included “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true!” I’ve always been 100% convinced that life can be an incredible experience and very idealistic – need I remind you that the movie turned from black and white (depressing) to technicolor (THRILLING!) in a magical land with singing munchkins and a magical “good witch?” 

So today, I challenge you to think about what the 5 year old you would tell you right now? What would he/she express, embody, or remind you of today?

My inner 5-year-old would remind me to sing from my heart whenever I’m feeling down as a form of emotional release. “Some people choose to yell, but you, beautiful heart, choose to sing out your feelings,” she’d tell me. 

She would embody the complete freedom and creativity of a young child, uninhibited by societal norms without any boundaries, and unafraid of others’ judgments. She would remind me that wearing a blue gingham “Dorothy dress” and red sparkly shoes to church and commanding my Pastor call me “Dorothy Dale from Kansas” is completely acceptable and that I can be anything I want to be in the world. She would be totally expressive, raw, and genuine. She would be unafraid of what anyone else has to say about her choices.

Always keep in touch with that 5-year-old within yourself. She is there to remind you every single day that you have permission to be authentically you. She reminds you that the true essence of who you were at her age is still the essence of who you are. 

Look at her. Feel her presence. Find her in yourself again. And when you do, remember that you are pure love and that regardless of all of the BS, fear, pain, and unfairness that has happened to you, or that you’ve created in the years since then, nothing can change the essence of your being. Regardless of any of those conditions or circumstances, you still deserve to have all the hope that the 5-year-old you had. You can still accept all the uncertainty and opportunity that was presented to her. You can still play, laugh, skip, hula hoop, sing, dance, and be silly & unfiltered!

The “self” – the soul – knows no bounds. It is important to understand the difference between the true self and the emotions, thoughts, consciousness, etc. that you experience as a human. The soul is eternal, unwavering goodness. You ARE love. You came directly from love, from source (whatever you believe that to be). Each of us has abundant divinity within us – in our souls, our true selves. The energy we possess in our souls is pure light and we need to uncover it, like peeling away the layers of an onion, each layer being some way we are toughened by the outside world as we grow, learn, and change throughout our lives. Look inward. Find that light. Use it for something magnificent in your life – TODAY! This is the true meaning of being aligned, connected, and in your power.

Each form of your being is created for function, from both a biological sense and from a spiritual sense. Focus on giving and fully utilizing each aspect of yourself. You were given nothing to go to waste. To not share all that you have to give to the world is to not be fully expressing your true self. 

Give it away, soul shine! Always come back to your authentic self – your five year old self – at a time when your beautiful light radiated out into the world without the toughness that we all develop as we go through this life to better deal with the external. 

I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below with this exercise! Take a look back at some childhood photos of yourself and see what you uncover. Any aha moments? Share them with me! 

With love & light, 



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