It’s always a delight to me when I see a beautiful relational truth expressed in a book or movie, particularly one that is directed at children. It’s reassuring to know that the 20th and 21st-century discoveries about the brain and relationships echo universal wisdom, and it’s encouraging to see these truths passed on to our children.
I recently watched the newly released movie “Christopher Robin,” and remembered once again the rich truths about relationships expressed in A.A. Milne’s wonderful Winnie the Pooh books. In this movie, Christopher Robin is a father who is consumed with his work, more focused on providing for his family than spending time with them. He is busy, busy, busy, and, as can magically happen in books and movies, he finds himself back in the 100 Acre Wood with his childhood friends – Pooh, Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, and Owl.
Of course, Christopher Robin had many adventures with his old friends, and gradually, he began to remember his childhood self. As the lights went on for Christopher Robin, as he realized Pooh’s wisdom in saying, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something,” I felt my heart lift. As this overloaded father reconnected with his daughter, and then shared the wisdom of doing nothing with his employer, things changed in his heart, mind, and world.
These scenes made me think of the skill of Simple Quiet. We practiced this skill in the first Relational Building Blocks online event, Building My Joy. We allow ourselves space to “do nothing,” to take a deep breath, rest a moment, or perhaps close our eyes amid life’s bustling demands. These moments of doing nothing can lead to the very best of something. Simple Quiet can help us realign with our true priorities, remember what is important, and reconnect with our heart and with our relationships. Adding Simple Quiet to our relationships is a gift of enormous proportions.
You can easily incorporate Simple Quiet at dinner, in the car, at work, amid any activity with the suggestion, “This might be a good time for a moment of quiet.” Over time, your family, friends, and coworkers will learn to appreciate these gentle, quiet breaks in your day, and all of you may remember, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.”
Winnie the Pooh is a genius.
In one of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh movies, Christopher Robin realizes he is growing up and away from his friends and utters another deep truth that lines up with neuroscience, attachment theory, and God’s tremendous value for connection. Christopher Robin tells Pooh, “If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.”
It is one of God’s most incredible gifts to us that our relationships travel with us; our core connections form a foundation from which we go out into the world, and the security and joy from those relationships will give us strength and capacity to face life’s great challenges.
There’s an even greater gift to those who might be thinking, “But my core connections haven’t provided me with security and joy – my life has been fearful, devoid of emotion, or full of anger.” There is much hope for each of us. We can grow new, healthy, secure bonds that rewire our brains and give us that strong foundation from which to go out and face the world. What a life-changing truth!
God designed our brains to bond through moments of glad-to-be-together joy, alternating with shared quiet. As we deepen our bonds with just a few people (or even one), and also take steps to deepen our bond with God, we begin to rebuild our life’s foundation. In 2 Peter 1, we are encouraged to remember that God has given us all we need for life and godliness. He has entered into a relationship with us and has provided us with a brain that can be transformed through interactions with Him and just a few healthy people.
THRIVEtoday wants to support and accelerate your transformation from a rickety, shaky relational foundation to a secure, sturdy home base from which you can face life with joy and peace. Our practical, interactive exercises have been tested by thousands of THRIVE training attendees, and we invite you to join this community of practice.
The THRIVEtoday Relational Building Blocks Online Event Series is a 5-part series of training events designed to provide you with an online practice community, where we will provide teaching from a THRIVE trainer and introduce exercises for each of the 19 relational skills. Join us on July 13th for the second event in the series, where we will explore Creating Healthy Bonds, so that you will experience, like Pooh and Christopher Robin, the “always with you” of secure relationships with God and people.
For each of the Relational Building Blocks Online Events, you will get the most benefit if you and your friends register and meet in a home or church to experience the event and practice the exercises together. This is a wonderful way to introduce your friends and family to THRIVEtoday relational skills training!
Did you miss Building My Joy, the first event in this online series?
It’s not too late — you and your friends can register below, receive the 20+ page handout and a link to a recording of the event, gather together in a home and experience this joyful training for yourselves!
Relational Building Blocks Online Events is your online practice community for growing secure relationships with God and people!
 Pooh’s Grand Adventure by Disney