A “spoonful of sugar” from Dr. Sandra Sieber, The Garlands Inspirational Wellness Advisor
We all remember P.L. Traver’s books and the beloved movie, Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. But have you seen the more recent rendition, Mary Poppins Returns, with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda? As with the original, the magical nanny and her friends pack a lot of wisdom for adults into the musical remake.
Let’s take a look . . . “Spit spot!”
“When the world turns upside down . . . the best thing to do is to turn right around with it.”
In Mary Poppins Returns, the magical Nanny shares this insight with Topsy, her eccentric cousin (played by Meryl Streep) whose life is “turning turtle.” She explains:
Turning turtle? What exactly does that mean?
It means my whole world goes flippity flop like a turtle on its back.
And I don’t know my up from my down, my east from my west,
My topsy from my bottomsy!
Sound familiar? Many of us are experiencing some “flippity flop” in our lives right now! For us, examples of “turning right round with it” might include:
- Video chatting when you can’t visit family or friends face-to-face.
- Working out at home, taking more walks outside, participating in the workouts on channel 17 or just putting on some music and dancing when your workout routine is interrupted because the fitness center is closed.
- Trying a fast and convenient telehealth call when you can’t visit with your physician face-to-face.
- Catching up on sleep, checking off items on your to-do list and even learning a new hobby when your routine has been disrupted. Plus, now is an especially great time to reflect on your heart and connect with the inner stillness within (Channel 17 has a great guided heart meditation every day at 9pm).
Most importantly, when the world is “turning turtle,” know that the “upside down and inside out” phase won’t last forever—it is temporary. While it sounds silly, making the most of things even when things are “upside-down” is the smartest choice one can make.
“Some people . . . think a great deal too much–that I’m certain!”
The efficient and sensible English nanny instills in her young charges a sense of wonder, as well as a healthy respect for limits. During this crisis, we too need to know our limits. With all the news and worry going around, living too much “in our heads” is bound to happen.
Take a break and turn off the incessant news now and again. Clear your mind with deep breathing, meditation or fresh air outside. Call a friend and agree to discuss only good things. Listen to music or dance to help get your mind off things.
“Nothing is impossible. Even the impossible”
When Mary Poppins Returns released, headlines read:
“Mary Poppins Returns Brings Optimism to a Pessimistic World”
That she does! Keep this uplifting quote in mind when doubt creeps into your mind and your faith begins to waiver: “Nothing is impossible. Even the impossible.” No one believed flying an airplane was possible, or breaking the four-minute mile, or even the idea of the internet…until, of course, someone did!
“Trip a Little Light Fantastic”
This is a song that Jack and his fellow “leeries,” or lamplighters sang during dark and seemingly impossible times. The saying “trip a little light fantastic” is slang from the early 1900’s meaning to dance nimbly or fancifully.
When you’re alone in your room
Your choices just embrace the gloom
Or you can trip a little light fantastic with me
For if you hide under the covers
You might never see the day
But if a spark can start inside your heart
Then you can always find the way
So when life is getting dreary
Just pretend that you’re a leerie
As you trip a little light fantastic with me
So when troubles are incessant
Simply be more incandescent
For your light comes with my lifetime guarantee
As you trip a little light fantastic
Won’t you trip a little light fantastic
Come on, trip a little light fantastic with me
“There’s nowhere to go but up!
I challenge you to remember Mary Poppins and her wise idioms during these times in order to create a little magic, fun, and reprieve in your own life. As all characters fondly sang at the end of Mary Poppins Returns, when you’ve hit the bottom, “There’s nowhere to go but up!”