Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Hundred Acre Wood

Lots of people flew to sandy Caribbean beaches or snowy alpine resorts for the holidays. Those in the southern hemisphere didn’t have to travel far for warm, sunny, and leisurely days. I stayed home and enjoyed the quiet of the holidays with family, friends, snow, and cold. One afternoon, I curled up on the couch and visited A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood for a few hours. What a magical, imaginary place of warmth, understanding, and friendship.

Illustrated by EH Shepard, Winnie the Pooh

As you begin this new year, and in the spirit of starting 2018 with a bit of warmth, understanding, friendship, and magic – all good things for mental health – here are some quotations of precious words and wisdom from our friends at Hundred Acre Wood.

1. On being Present.“What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

2. On inspiring Courage. “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” said Christopher Robin to Pooh.

3. On reflecting and accepting. The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about.

4. On cultivating patience. If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.

5. On being excited about today.Later on, when they had all said “Good-bye” and “Thank-you” to Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet walked home thoughtfully together in the golden evening, and for a long time they were silent.  “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

Hoping you find your own version of Hundred Acre Wood in 2018!

Picture of Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Kathleen M. Pike, PhD is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Global Mental Health WHO Collaborating Centre at Columbia University.

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