I was delighted to hear of their progress, and equally delighted about how enthusiastic they were to do more work – to the extent that one of them suggested a whole new exercise, and invited me to join in! The results were astounding, and I’ve decided to share them here.
We had been talking about Gremlins. Gremlins are the unhelpful aspects of your inner voice, and they can lead you into repeating patterns of self-defeating behaviour but giving you messages that make you get in your own way. Gremlins start out with the intention of being helpful but they end up getting it wrong, either by cropping up at unhelpful times, or by telling us the wrong things – as an example, one of my Gremlins for years was “Little Miss Itstoo Scary” – she was trying to keep me safe and prepared for risks, but what she actually did was to hold me back from ever trying anything that had even the slightest element of risk attached. Once I’s identified her and realised how she was trying to help, I’ve been able to tell her she can have a rest now, as I’m capable of assessing risks and making my own decisions – and if you’ve read previous posts here, you’ll know that overcoming fears has been a big thing for me of late!
On Saturday, after we’d all talked about our own Gremlins, one of my participants asked if there was a positive version of Gremlins, in other words, the inner voices that are helpful and lead you into positive behaviours. We all quickly decided that if there aren’t, there should be – and we decided to discover our own, me included.
We agreed to call our positive Gremlins Moomins. (The Moomins are the central characters in a series of books and a comic strip by Swedish-Finn illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. We felt that they were emblematic of what positive Gremlins were all about). As we took a little time to discover our Moomins, I watched the smiles break out on people’s faces, turning into broad grins as we settled on the ones we liked best. Then it was time to share.
My Moomins, I decided, are as follows:
Happy Moomin – Happy Moomin is on a bouncy castle. She’s exuberant, childlike, excitable and enthusiastic, and she loves to encourage playfulness in others. Every time she bounces, she sees the world from a new and different perspective and that leads her to all sorts of new ideas and new discoveries.
Loving Moomin – Loving Moomin is carrying a huge platter of food that she’s just prepared specifically so that she can nurture those around her. She’s warm, affectionate and generous and takes great pleasure in the successes and triumphs of those around her.
Intrepid Moomin – Intrepid Moomin wears a pith helmet and carries a machete so that he can slash through the jungly undergrowth, making new paths for himself and the ones that come behind him. He’s bold, brave and questing.
As we all shared our Moomins, so we all came to share in each others’ delight at celebrating the positive aspects of our natures, and we finsihed Saturday’s session on a real high. I’ve been thinking about my Moomins, and my delegates’ Moomins, all weekend, and now I’d really like to know about other Moomins. So, if you’d like to join in and share you Moomins with me and the rest of the world, please add your comment below!