Monday, January 16, 2012
Bach Lessons From "The Hundred Acre Wood"
These characters are old favorites of mine. I had a cherished Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed bear, and Eeyore will always have a special place in my heart. I was thinking about using Eeyore as an example for Bach Flower essence types and I picked up the books to re-read them. Chapter One of the original adventures is titled, "In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin". In the the first few pages that I saw how linked these stories might be to Bach Flowers.
As the story begins, Winnie-the-Pooh is searching for honey. He climbs way up in a tree to follow the bees and begins to get pretty discouraged. He's on an upper branch singing a "Complaining Song" when he falls. After some bounces and crashes he lands on a Gorse bush. Seems that Winnie-the-Pooh and Dr. Bach travelled in the same kind of English countryside. Dr. Bach discovered that Gorse could be used as a Bach Flower essence for hopelessness and despair. Dr. Bach wrote that Gorse could restore faith and hope and could encourage one to see problems as a positive experience.
So I guess it's no surprise that as Winnie-the-Pooh climbs out of the Gorse bush and picks the Gorse prickles from his nose, he starts to think and comes up with a great idea to get some of that honey. He doesn't give up the quest, instead he goes and finds his friend Christopher Robin. And then the true adventure begins.
I won't wreck the story for you, but let's just say that Gorse makes Winnie-the-Pooh a much happier bear. And because his faith and hope is restored, he's able to enlist a friend to help put his newly formed and elaborate plan into action.
But the real gem in the story might just be Christopher Robin. Now that guy really knows how to be a friend! Christopher Robin doesn't judge Winnie-the-Pooh or his plan. He doesn't tell him the plan won't work even though one gets the feeling Christopher Robin may not be that sure the outcome will be as Pooh anticipates it to me. Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he needs and he helps provide it as he can. He doesn't come up with a bigger, better, plan. He doesn't talk Pooh out of his goals and objectives. He doesn't suggest he'll do it for him or get him honey some other easier way (like from the cupboad!). Christopher Robin also doesn't seem to invest a lot in the plan itself. It seems as though he sees the whole plan as a good excuse to go on an adventure with a friend. Somehow he remains detached from the outcome. He's there for support, of that there is no doubt, but he lets Pooh adjust and modify as he goes. He gives his opinion only when asked and he does what's asked of him in a way that works for him. When that "ask" induces a bit of drama he doesn't rush in to catch Pooh. He doesn't even try to "break his fall". But when Pooh lands, Christopher Robin is still there.
When the plan doesn't quite achieve the original objectives it doesn't seem to matter. There is no judging of self or others. Christopher Robin doesn't say "I told you so", and Pooh doesn't seem to feel discouraged anymore. They both recognize that together they have just shared a grand adventure and that's the ultimate journey. The outcome is just a great story and they move on to other things. Hmm...
I think there are a lot of Bach Flower and life lessons embedded in the adventures from The Hundred Acre Wood. But perhaps the first lesson is to pick friends like Christopher Robin. No judgement- just pure adventure! Certainly, a little Gorse for when the going gets tough might help. It seems a balloon here and there might be something to consider, and perhaps good aim with a non-lethal weapon could help. No doubt a nice warm bath after a day of adventure can be soothing for all.
And so the adventure begins...