I recently re-read the book The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. Both awesome and enlightening! The focus is on Piglet, the character from A. A. Milne's books Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.
Some Piglet Background
Piglet is small, sensitive, hesitant, nervous, held back by his fears of the unknown, craves security, but still dreams of being bold and tall, being noticed, making a difference. He agonizes over decisions, never knowing the right one to make or which direction to go. Change is hard for Piglet.
But as Mr. Hoff points out in his book, of all the Pooh characters, Piglet is the only one of them to change and grow, to become more than what he was in the first place. He does it not by denying his smallness but applying it for the good of others.
Smaller really is Better
The bigger businesses have grown over time, the more vulnerable they have become. Bigness becomes its own worst enemy. And with recent economic events around the globe, it has not taken much to put a large corporation in trouble. Because they are so big, when they fall, they fall hard. Small businesses are able to surf the change, by adapting to a shifting environment rapidly and flexibly, and are not only surviving but thriving.
As Martha Beck states in her newly released book Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, the most valuable resource in our new world comes from absolutely being yourself.
And for Piglet, that means being who he is, and using his strengths and talents to create small but incredibly important effective changes in his own world. What he really wants is to be himself and not be afraid to make the changes that will allow him to grow more into who he is.
Fear is the Real issue
Whenever we want to make changes in our life, small or large, the underlying issue for not doing it is always fear.
I’m not happy in my job, but what if I get another one an am just as unhappy. Fear of making the wrong choice.
I’m in a dead-end relationship and I know it but if I’m not with this person, then I’ll be alone and don’t know if I can handle it. Fear of the unknown.
When you feel lost, stuck, or confused about a decision, just know it’s fear. Fear that wherever you will end up it might be worse than where you are now.
Mr. Hoff talks about the fears that push you about and how they are not legitimate responses to what is happening in reality. He calls them constricting fantasies of “What If”.
“What if” I being on my own isn’t fun?
“What if” I make a fool of myself?
“What if” I get behind on my bills?
And the next time a “what if” shows up in your life look it straight in the eyes and ask it, what is the very worst thing that could happen? And when you get the answer ask yourself, what am I going to do about it?
Because that is where Your power lies
Not in what happens but in what you can do about it. There is always something you can do about a situation when you find you don’t like it. And we all get into them from time to time no matter how hard we try no to. That is part of life.
We worry, and fret, and fear that something bad will happen if we make the wrong choice. When something bad actually does happen or things go wrong we don’t have time to worry, we take action. Why? Because that is all we can do. It’s pretty hard to be afraid when you are busy trying fix a situation. So if you are behind on your bills, drop the fear and go find a way to make more money or get a second job. If you want a better relationship, take steps you can take to make it better. Do what is under your control.
Feel your Feelings All the Way Through
As a Life Coach I also teach my clients to feel their feelings all the way through. How do you do that? The next time fear comes up for you, or anxiety, or confusion, sit with it and allow it to be there. Become a detective and notice what it feels like. Some clients tell me it feels like butterflies or a pit in their stomach. Some say they notice their shoulders or chest tighten. Others mention a nausea feeling.
And here is why this is so helpful. When we actually feel our feelings all the way through, two things happen. First, feelings only take about 90 seconds to pass through the body and are gone. Seriously. We can all handle anything in 90-second increments. And second, what we think will kill us (feeling our feelings), doesn’t.
We have been conditioned to believe that if we actually feel sadness for example, that once we start crying we’ll never stop. Not so. Another benefit that we gain is in getting the bottled up negative energy out. I have yet to meet a person who does not feel better when they actually spend the time to feel their fear, anxiety, confusion, or sadness. Try it. Trust me, it won’t be nearly as bad as you feared (pun intended).
And when the Pooh clan find themselves in Owl’s house having tea up in a tree during a storm, Piglet is the one who saves the day when Owl’s house is blown down, turned sideways, and they must find a way out. Because he is so small he is able to be lifted up to a small hole in the front door where the mail comes in. Piglet squeezed and squozed until his head was through, then his toes. As he popped out the other side he was able to run and get help for the others saving the day in just the perfect Piglet way.
We’re all very small animals in some way. And that’s all we need to be.
I am proud to say I am a Piglet. I am learning how to embrace my smallness in a world that is slowly starting to embrace me. Are you a Piglet too?
Thank you for spending some of your time with me today. I really do appreciate it and hope you found it helpful.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest, you can leave behind.
Susan P.S. What changes have you made in your life despite your fear, or because of it? I'd really like to to know. Leave a comment below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org