The gentle golden bath of stage lighting is on my face again. I am in Portland, Oregon, back on stage again after a few months of a career in-breath. In the last few months, I have made my home in the introversion of creating new products and writing as opposed to the extroversion of appearances, interviews and teaching. And the out-breath is more than welcome after the in-breath. Being on stage is as natural as breathing for me. There is something that sets me apart from other stage performers and speakers. When I’m on stage, I don’t feel like I am looking at an audience of strangers at all. I don’t even feel like I’m talking to a ‘group’. I feel like I’m having a personal conversation with every single person there at the same time. I think this is why I love the question and answer format so much more than just giving a speech. It feels like a conversation that I’m having with everyone.
Portland is unchanged… A city of rebels… The chaos of every person marching to the beat of their own drum. That same depth to the astral body of the place and that same pattern of people being trapped and restricted within themselves. However, the restaurants I used to love there have all been replaced by new ones. In the Portland Rose Gardens; softscapes of white, pink, red, orange and yellow blooms (in every shade) are wandered through by visitors from all around the world. The rose world is a world unto itself. Some people in the world dedicate themselves to becoming experts on fine wines and the grapes that are used to make them. Some people are obsessed with cars and collect them. And some people become experts on and obsessed with roses. They are happy to walk up to you and discuss which ones smell the best and which rose was bred when and won contests which year. They use terms that no one understands. I find myself asking them questions not because I share their enthusiasm for growing roses, but because I love to steep in the enthusiasm and sheer joy of a person whose interest stirs a passion in them. I smell the roses they lead me to. Though the smell of rose in and of itself is unmistakable, just like different types of coffee, different roses smell different. Some contain a hint of apricot, some citrus, some butter, some the hint of soap.
Walking through the blossoms, I feel at ease seeing them so perfectly tended. They are some of the happiest plant beings I have seen. Of course aside from being tended perfectly, they spend their lives being fawned over and cherished and admired. And they love the attention. It gives the Portland Rose Garden a particularly high vibrational signature. Flowers are undeniably beautiful and sexual. However, unlike most women, I feel torn when someone gives me cut flowers as a gift. Flowers are essentially the sexual organs of a plant. Gardeners often say that cutting blossoms is good for a plant. This is not usually how plants perceive it. Cutting blossoms periodically promotes more blooms by delaying the onset of fruit. This is in the best interests of a gardener, who wants beautiful blooms in their garden. It is not necessarily in the best interests of the plant itself. Plant consciousness is very different to human consciousness. But when someone gives me cut flowers, I can't help but feel like someone has given me a bouquet of vulvas that have been cut off. There are many things that people seem to enjoy at the expense of the pain of other species. And while it is not possible yet on Earth to live without causing something pain, it is still critical to reduce suffering by being as conscious as you can about whether or not the pain you are going to consciously cause is justified.
Walking in the rose gardens, I find myself thinking about the popular book and later TV series Winnie The Pooh. I remember an episode where Pooh lost track of time sniffing every rose in a rose patch. Every character in the story is an archetype of a human shadow personality. Each character has both positive and negative expressions. For this reason, the characters are both psychologically fascinating and conducive to self-awareness.
Christopher Robin represents innocence. Innocence that is alone in a world of corruption. He has both morality and conscience. He is compassionate and cheerful and must act in a much more adult way than the other characters. One could argue that he is forced to act in a more mature and competent way than one would expect for a child. For that reason, he must “disown” many aspects of himself and project them into the world of the Hundred Acre Wood. The entire Hundred Acre Wood and the other Characters in fact exist in his own head. He lives in a world of pretend as a form of escapism. They are projections of his own thoughts, feelings and desires. In reality, he is alone in a world of dysfunction and must cope and try to retain his innocence by pretending himself away from the pain of his real life.
Winnie The Pooh is sweet and loving and caring. He is the least threatening of the characters. However, he is lost, naive, not very smart, dislikes responsibility and is enabling of dysfunction in the others. He is also minimizing, forgetful and is a compulsive eater.
Piglet is a helper and a sidekick. He is agreeable and he is concerned with trying to figure out what is right and wrong. However, he is shy, suffers from constant, debilitating anxiety. He catastrophizes, has no access to his own free will, bulldozes himself and has poor boundaries.
Tigger is a fun-loving, resilient, fearless, resourceful, joyful, energetic, ambitious, adventurous, optimistic, playful, motivator. He is a tireless extrovert. However, he is overconfident and often totally unaware and because of this, gets himself and others into a lot of trouble. He is hyperactive. He has no attention span and uses fun and optimism as a form of escapism. He drops responsibilities, acts in an immature way and bypasses negativity.
Eeyore is aware of the negative polarity of life. He expresses the pain of a situation when everyone else is trying to avoid it. He understands other people. He is a deep thinker, he does not fight what can’t be changed. He goes on adventures and lends a hand no matter how bad his personal disposition is. However, Eeyore is a pessimist with low self-esteem who believes he is totally powerless to the universe. He thinks he isn’t cared about even when he is. No one really stops to face that pain with him; instead they simply ignore his gloomy attitude and bypass it. He isolates himself and he is depressed to the degree that he never feels any positive emotion and is passively suicidal.
Rabbit is organized, reliable, responsible, takes action, initiates and is a leader. Deep down, he realty cares about everyone and everything in his world. However, he is obsessive compulsive. He cannot regulate his own anger. He is controlling, obsessively clean, stubborn, bossy, inflexible and unwilling to consider others or things outside his limited perspective.
Owl is a ‘sage’. He is philosophical. He is a mentor and a teacher and a thinker. However, his wisdom is questionable because it sometimes amounts to simply needing others to see him as the ‘one who knows’. For this reason, he could be called a “know it all”. He also has a superiority complex and loves to talk about himself even when no one wants to hear about him. In this way, he has a significance issue and is un-attuned to whoever he is talking to. And he gets extremely irritated when people don’t listen to him.
Kanga is a caretaker. She is calm and patient, responsible, motherly and a multi-tasker. She is a nurturer and a protector who wants the wellbeing of others. She confuses love with self-sacrifice. This leads to unspoken resentment. She wants to keep things comfortable and because of this, does not take risks or make changes to herself or her life. She cannot see what truly is in the best interests of others beyond what she thinks is in their best interests.
Roo is curious and open. He is adventurous and up-beat. He is innocent and is constantly asking questions. However, Roo does not meta-analyze. He is very unaware, especially of danger. He believes anything he is told. He does not question things that people tell him and does not get his answers from within and so he is easily manipulated and has no ‘core’.
If you think about it, each archetype that you see in the characters of Winnie The Pooh can be seen as a tendency within the people you know, including yourself. So, the question is: Which Winnie The Pooh Character are you?