While waiting to go to China to bring our daughter home, a woman I hardly knew gave me a stuffed Winnie the Pooh for Keziah. Having Pooh by my side during that long, uncertain wait was a comfort to me. The problem was, I had to hand over the stuffed Pooh when she arrived. (It’s probably more accurate to say that Peter had to wrest Pooh out of my arms to give to our baby.) 13 years later, I still sneak into Keziah’s room now and then to give Pooh a big hug. He may be a Bear with Very Little Brain, but he sure knows how to help a girl get through the night.
Who doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh and his friends? There is something for everyone in A.A. Milne’s stories. The lovable Pooh, enthusiastic Tigger, nervous Piglet, maternal Kanga, bossy Rabbit, depressive Eeyore, and wise, absentminded Owl provide the perfect projection screen for our character strengths and weaknesses.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Eeyore, who in his mopey mournfulness seems to be a January Kind of Guy. When I talked with my Coach last week, I reported that I was totally into an Eeyore state of mind: resistant, ruminating, rummaging around in the pile of reasons why I couldn’t get my coaching homework done. I was living in Blahsville.
Perhaps you know those days: When negativity overrides your efforts to move forward…when your heels are dug into deep resistance to change…when your outlook is gloomy.
What to do when you’re stuck in Eeyore mode?
- Be compassionate toward yourself… self-compassion goes a long way toward moving you out of negativity. Check out the loving-kindness (toward self) meditations at Barb Fredrickson’s positivityresonance.com site.
- Think of resistance as information. Be curious. Your resistance might help you honestly to identify roadblocks to your goals. Then you can plan more effectively how to move through those blocks and get back on track.
- Ask Eeyore what he wants or needs. Or ask “Eeyore, what would make this easier for you?” Be in dialogue with your inner Eeyore as a way to get to know yourself better.
- Reach out! If you feel isolated then connect with others. Think about how you can reach out to Your Tribe for support. Eeyore was surrounded by people who loved him and were willing to come to his aid. Accepting the genuine care of Christopher Robin, Pooh, and the other residents of the 100 Acre Woods always helped Eeyore turn the corner.
Exploring your Eeyore State of Mind can lead to new insights, more intentional self care, and thoughtful planning to reach your goals. Don’t leave Eeyore out in the cold, he might be able to help you move forward.