"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think".
Granted, that was Christopher Robin not Pooh bear himself, but they're words many of us could do with hearing every day!
A.A.Milne's beautifully crafted stories were a huge part of my childhood and my mum would often quote the self proclaimed 'bear of very little brain'. Only in recent years though have I really started to appreciate the very, very wise and very, very beautiful meaning behind some of the author's best quotes. And it turns out that Pooh bear knew a thing or two about life and happiness.
Here are some of my favourites:
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
How very true - wouldn't the world be a boring place if we were all the same? It's wonderful to be different and even more wonderful finding the confidence to enjoy being uniquely you!
“Love is taking a few steps backward maybe even more… to give way to the happiness of the person you love.”
This one is very close to my heart. When you love someone you've got to let them be themselves - much as it can be tempting to hold them close, too much of that can end up being smothering and drive them further away. Support them, nurture their dreams, let them fly and they'll come back to you if it's meant to be.
“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
The world is very quick to judge - but by being too hasty, we might just miss out on hidden qualities! Give things chance to bloom and you never know what might happen.
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
Was Winnie the Pooh the original mindfulness guru? We know now that time spent resting, doing nothing and switching off our busy brains is absolutely essential to good mental health. Exercise, meditation or absorbing hobbies such as crafts can be brilliant ways of engaging that essential trance or 'flow' state. Nice one, Pooh.
“You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
We flourish when we seek out connections in life and make the most of opportunities that come our way. This is a lovely metaphor for one of the things I tell my clients - to produce the beneficial neurochemicals that keep us happy, we have to be active and interactive in a positive way. If we stop doing things and interacting with people, we can quickly start to struggle with our mental health.
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
Our dear friend achieved the unachievable! I just love this one, and following his example by doing nothing now and then is definitely worthwhile.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
It's good to remind ourselves now and then that a lot of the deadlines and pressures we put on ourselves are our own creation - there's nothing wrong with taking a good look at what can wait and clearing the schedule from time to time, in fact it's very wise!
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
This is probably my favourite and the most heartbreaking! A wonderful reminder to be grateful for those we love every single day - and for those of us who have lost someone dear, to be thankful we were lucky enough to have them in our lives at all. It doesn't stop us missing them but it does make loss a little easier to bear.
“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”
I think this one speaks for itself - our relationships make our lives.
“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
Such an insightful bear. When we're feeling anxious or depressed, the tendency is to catastrophise, dwelling on our negative thoughts and forecasting the worst case scenario. Sometimes just getting our thoughts out in the open and sharing them can help us realise things aren't as bad as they seem!
There are just so many brilliant Pooh quotes, I had to leave a few out - but I'd love to hear your favourites, so please feel free to leave a comment!
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