Tag Archives: Uplifting

The Wonder of Pooh

27 Jun
Pooh Bear

Pooh Bear

Sometimes inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of places. In my last post I talked about negative thinking and tools to help combat it. My favourite tool is when I am confronted with an experience that may be causing me stress is this, I think of a role model or a person living or dead in history that I looked up to and I think what would  they do or think if they were confronted with the same situation. I find this an extremely powerful tool. It is allows me to look at the problem with the eyes of someone who’s beliefs and values I might aspire to. Standing outside the thinking or problem and challenging it with a pair of fresh eyes.

So when the chips are down there is always one role model I turn to. Someone who manages to stay happy and calm under all circumstances. He doesn’t expend energy on worrying, he just let’s life Be!. He sees chaos all around him with the friends that he keeps but he manages to somehow to turn sunny side up every time. Who is this person?. Why it’s Pooh bear of One hundred Acre wood.

Author Benjamin Hoff   in his book The Tao of Pooh has taken AA Milne’s Pooh and has shown us how this young bear and his actions are connected very closely to the eastern philosophy of Taoism.

While Eeyore frets… and Piglet hesitates ….and Owl pontificates

….Pooh just is.

The teachings of Taoism are based in a harmony that naturally exists between heaven and earth. To Lao-tse in his book “Tao Te Ching” everything has a natural balance it is only when man interferes with this balance do we begin to encounter struggle. It is important that we travel with the flow of nature rather than trying to fight against it. basic Taoism allows us to appreciate and learn from whatever happens in everyday life. Living a harmonious existence with what is going on around us rather than fighting it is the key to happiness. Taoism allows us and Pooh to work in harmony with what life throws us, allowing us to turn what others see as negative into a positive.

The more we force something we expect or want to happen, the more we are fighting against the flow of nature and less likely it will come about. Pooh is great example of Taoism in flow,not letting worry or stress impact on his existence like Eeyore, Rabbit and those around him.

” Not like Pooh, the most effortless Bear we’ve ever seen.”
“Just How do you do it, Pooh?”
“Do What?” asked Pooh.
“Become so Effortless.”
“I don’t do much of anything,” he said.
“But all those things of yours get done.”
“They just sort of happen,” he said

The idea that Pooh is seen as what Taoism calls P’u which is the Uncarved Block. P’u is the ability to enjoy the simplicity of life and disregard complexity as something that gets in the way of life. Pooh the bear of little brain managed to find joy in the simplicity if life in contrast to Owl who carried an air of intelligence by the use of big words but providing more confusion than sense. Rabbit describes Owl perfectly here

“….you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right; but spelling isn’t everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.”

So Pooh our Uncarved block looks at life and finds the excitement in life’s simplicities as outlined here.

…When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last,” what’s the first thing you say to yourself ?”

“What’s for breakfast ?” said Pooh. “What do you say,Piglet ?”

“I say ,I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today ?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

Taoism also refers to the Wu Wei which literally means without doing. Letting nature take it’s course without trying to meddle. We as humans are like corks bobbing on the ocean screaming “I must have control, I need control” when we would be better served as Pooh by allowing life to happen. As Benjamin Hoff points out. It is Eeyore’s birthday and pooh has decided to give him a jar of honey for his present. Piglet decided to get him a balloon. As Piglet runs off to get the balloon. Pooh begins to get hungry and realises that he has a jar of honey.

“Lucky I brought this with me.” he thought. “Many a bear going out on a warm day like this would have never thought of bringing a little something with him.” And he began to eat.

as he licks the last of the honey he begins to wonder where was he going.

Ah, yes, Eeyore.” He got up slowly.

And then suddenly, he remembered. He had eaten Eeyore’s birthday present!

He still had the jar so he simply called into Owl and had him write “Happy Birthday” on it. Owl being the intelligent member of the troupe managed to write

HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA

BTHUTHDY.

Pooh looked on admiringly.

“I’m just saying ‘A Happy Birthday’,” said Owl carelessly.

“It’s a nice long one,” said Pooh, very much impressed by it.

“Well, actually, of course, I’m saying ‘A Very Happy Birthday with love from Pooh.’ Naturally it takes a good deal of pencil to say a long thing like that.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.

Meanwhile Piglet had gone to get Eeyore’s balloon. He held it tightly against himself so it wouldn’t blow away and he ran as fast as he could so he could be the first to give  a present to Eeyore.

And running along thinking how pleased Eeyore would be…..suddenly he put his foot in a rabbit hole and fell flat on his face.

BANG!!!???.

Piglet arrived first alright with his little damp rag and handed the balloon to a surprised Eeyore. All apologetic and misty eyed as he describes the colour and size that the balloon would have been if it hadn’t burst. Eeyores favourite size and colour by the way. And just then Pooh arrives with his present.

It’s a Useful Pot,” said Pooh….and it got ‘ A Very happy Birthday with Love from Pooh written on it. …it’s for putting things in.

Between them we see Wu Wei in action in its purest form allowing what happens to just be the way it is and seeing the positives in what could be at first seen as terrible series of calamities.

“I’m very glad,” said Pooh happily, “that I thought of giving you a Useful Pot to put things in.”

“I’m very glad,” said Piglet happily, “that thought of giving you something to put in a Useful Pot.”

But Eeyore wasn’t listening. He was taking the balloon out, and putting it back again, as happy as could be….

A sweet reminder of making do and being grateful with what we have rather than mourning what we don’t.

Go with natures flow, do not spend time worrying about what we cannot change, enjoy the simplicity of life and appreciate what we have. Sometimes it’s difficult to just let life happen. But when we do, we realize that life works better when we give attention to what is happening and working with it, rather than fighting against what we can’t change.

Just think next time life seems out of sorts “What would Pooh do”

Advertisements

Positive Mental Health- The Magic in Music

9 Apr

We talked about the importance of positive mental health and what can help with this.

I said that I would use examples that people who had participated on mental health courses that I  had run had used. this almost always comes up from participants who admit that music plays such an important part in their lives.

Music is amazing

It encompasses every facet of our lives. Music reminds us of childhood memories,family holidays,falling in love , relationship breakups,  teenage nights out, first dances at weddings. We have even probably thought about the songs we would love played at our funeral admit it you probably have. Music is such an important part of our lives. It  lifts our moods or brings us to a deeper more relaxed state. Whatever it is with music it has the magic to change our mood.

We all remember the times we spent playing the same song over and over again after the break up of a relationship or the loss of someone we really cared for. Playing the song is almost like the pleasure-pain we experience from pulling at a tooth that is loose in our gum. It hurts but we continue to touch it.

The joy we can experience from the trance of participating in a drumming workshop or the simple joy of a song filled with sunshine that brightens up our day. Some songs lift us to places that we rarely get to experience in our everyday lives. Others might be quiet and contemplative like the beauty of Ennio Morriconne’s the Mission  or Cinema Paradiso or as engaging as the uplifting beats of dance music.

Or the amazing piece of music by John Cage called As Slow As Possible that is played in St Buchardi’s Church in Halberstadt in Germany. An organ has been specifically built for this performance and the first note was played on September 5th 2001 and that single note continued until 5th Feb 2003 when the next chord was played and once again on July 5th 2005 the chord changed. This piece of music will play one chord at a time until 2640 with the church filled with onlookers every time a new chord change happens. Just wonderful.

Either way music is a beautiful way to connect with our souls and we need to do it more often. I don’t just mean the wallpaper music we listen to on the radio all day. But finding special moments to allow ourselves to connect with a set of headphones or speakers and fall in love with Music that sends our spirits soaring.

Mood music helps with stress. Calming music can slow down brainwaves.Theta and Delta music are used for meditating and slows our brains down. If stress is a big factor in our lives. I would recommend that Theta, Delta music is used to relax and calm the mind. Slow music like this is also great at helping us study and soak the information we are reading into our subconcious. You can also use Binaural music which requires headphones and allows you to play music at 208 Hz in one ear and 200 hz in another ear which cancel each other out and leaves you with slow 8hz music.

Music may want to make you dance it may want to make you cry but whatever it does it allows you to express emotions and that is the beauty of being human.

For me I love a wide variety of music but when I need a lift I play the Two months Off by Underworld attached above to lift my spirits what a life affirming ray of sunshine it is. You Bring light in!!

What ever music you enjoy, Jazz,Soul, Rock, Gospel,Gothic…it doesn’t matter just Enjoy it Embrace it, Love it.

Happy

21 Sep

The word “Happy” in itself creates a warm feeling some words just sound like they look or provide the feeling that we get from experiencing it. “Balloon” is another example of that “Jelly” is cool and “Bubble” too,We could go on.

Well to stick with the word “Happy” something we all love as you know. I came across a documentary about happiness in our world that asks the questions.

Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?

Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

I thought it would be nice to watch it at our local theatre  at the Art Centre here in Carlow.

So I contacted the producers and with the support of Michelle de Forge from Visual Carlow I am bringing Happy to Carlow.

In conjunction with My company Wake Up! and Carlow Mental health We are bringing some sunshine to Carlow on Sunday the 30th Of Sept at 8 pm.

It is a chance to forget the worries and stresses of this recession hit world and join some upbeat like-minded people for an evening of happiness.

Look forward to seeing some smiling faces there.

Music Lifts our spirits

31 Jul

Bombay bicycle club- Shuffle

It’s raining again. The weather really has not been up to much this summer. We live in a wet, green, rocky outcrop on the western seaboard of Europe. People are being affected by the unpredictable weather this summer has brought. I was asked to talk on WLR radio last Thursday on what we can do to lift our moods during the rain soaked summer days. More about that on another day. We know that music has the power to lift our spirits on those dark days. For now even as I look out of my rain battered office window I can only feel a lift in my spirits when I listen to this song. Enjoy

%d bloggers like this: