Maybe it has been some time since you thought much about Winne the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood, but the characters who live there can teach us a lot about the choices we make, how we attempt to overcome the obstacles in our lives, and about how to live life with abundance.
Let’s start with Tigger. Here is a lovable guy full of life who loves risk, fun, and high energy activities. He often attempts things that would be crazy for others but not for Tigger.
In fact, his joy and abundance comes when he is free to bounce high, live large, and plunge head first into life.
However, I do remember one time when Rabbit was fed up with Tigger’s exuberance and decided to shame Tigger. Rabbit scolded him for his unbridled energy and lack of planning.
In response to this shame Tigger did what many of us try to do when we feel the weight of disapproval; he stopped being who he was designed to be. He tried to be like Rabbit. Now, even a bear of very little brain could see a catastrophe in the works.
Tigger became very melancholy and walked around moping. A deep depression descended on him, and the entire forest felt the removal of Tigger’s energy. Not only did Tigger need to be who he was, but his world needed him to be who he was designed to be.
Speaking of Rabbit, he had a very similar experience to Tigger. You see, Rabbit was designed for order. He organizes well and loves it when a plan comes together. However, one day, when Rabbit noticed all the attention that Tigger got in response to his energy, Rabbit decided that if he was more like Tigger then he would attract more love into his life.
What happened next was comical at best. Rabbit put springs on his feet and painted stripes on his body. He abandoned his plans and began bounding through the woods. This wore Rabbit out and didn’t sit well with anyone else either. In fact, Rabbit ended up make a bigger mess of things than Tigger ever did.
Why? Because the other characters in Rabbit’s community needed Rabbit to be the orderly, well-mannered guy he was. They didn’t need another Tigger and neither did Rabbit.
Piglet is a sweet person whose loyalty is forever and is the best friend you could ever hope for. Piglet is designed to be a companion, and he works best in the company of others.
Piglet isn’t designed to strike out by himself. Yet, one time when he didn’t feel needed, he tried just that. His self worth left him, and he went off by himself and wallowed in self pity. He ended up getting lost for a time, but when he realized that he had all the worth he needed already inside him, he went and found his friends and actually helped them save the day.
I could go on and on about how Eeyore’s depression keeps him isolated and away from real life, or how Owl’s insecurity, about his spelling, keeps him hold up in his tree rather than sharing his wisdom with more of the forest creatures. But I don’t want to forget Pooh.
Pooh is a bear who doesn’t try be something that he isn’t. He knows who he is and where he is, which is usually right where he is standing at the time.
He doesn’t wait for life to come to him but he only goes after it one step at a time. He knows that worrying about tomorrow is useless and so he lives in the moment. Because he doesn’t need love, self worth, or security from others he is free to give them away and is the glue that holds the community together.
When my daughter was born she had a quote from pooh hanging in her nursery that said, A grand adventure is about to happen. Pooh never failed to live an abundant life full of adventure and beauty. He lived every moment for all it was worth and let the future take care of itself.
We all want adventure, beauty, and abundant life. Yet few live this kind of life, and those who do are often discounted. The secret to living an abundant life is not in getting it all all right or in following some model laid out by someone else, or in appearing like you fit with everyone else, or in being free of what some label as dysfunction.
In fact many of the most abundant people in history were full of dysfunction, stood out like a sore thumb, and definitely didn’t get it all right.
The secret lies in first knowing who you were designed to be and being honest about where you are right now in your life.
Secondly, you must embrace who you were designed to be as the best you can be and trust that it is the path to your abundance and joy.
Once you learn to trust your design and your designer, then you must chart a journey that flows from your design and give yourself the freedom to follow that path as the next step reveals itself to you.

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