Cookie, Cooks, the Cookster… is my motorbike. When surrounded by her peers, she is seemingly unassuming little Italian number. But like the ‘sleepers’ that are little movies that take on epic importance in the entertainment world, so Cookie seems to make an impact in the lives she touches. Ok, she’s a vehicle, but the mind’s reality is based on perception, so I’m contorting it for a short while and we’ll take a quick look at how this two-wheeled scooter has slipped into my mind.
Inanimate made animate
Cookie is an example of an inanimate object, even when she is speeding down the highway, she is just a ‘thing’. Interestingly, I often get clients who animate things that are just things – when it works, it’s great, but when it doesn’t, that’s when we need to review the power that certain ‘stuff’ has over our lives. When I work with people who want to take back control of their eating habits, I sometimes hear “pizza has a power over me”, or “I hear the chocolate cake calling me” or other statements that indicates that food is taking an active, and sometimes aggressive, part in a person’s food consumption. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it doesn’t have any power at all. It just sits there – maybe looking or smelling delicious – without ‘doing’ anything at all. It is our interpretation of it that gives it power.
Sometimes people talk about ‘relationships’ that may repeat in a negative way. Now I understand that they are dynamic, but relationships are made out of people, and it is the interaction between people that needs to be looked at specifically, rather than an amorphous concept. When we tend to animate the inanimate, we can give it undeserved power over us.
Sometimes we need to reassess. Is food just ‘stuff on a plate’ instead of a siren’s call? Is a drink just ‘stuff in a glass’ rather than a party, that we have control to chose or leave? Are relationships simply vehicles where people work out their lives?
Meaning behind the machine
At the same time, sometimes giving a thing you have in your life some animation can be supportive to you. Taking Cookie for example – she could be an it and could just be a two-wheeled machine that transports me from point A to point B. But I’ve taken my childlike subconscious mind and transformed her into my handy little chariot. For me, she represents greater freedom and flexibility, because she gets me to places the bus can’t (usually in less time), she’s easy to park and cheap to run. She represents a way to help my friends get around when they need to (and have the moxie to get on her!) I understand her weaknesses – she’s smaller than cars, more exposed and fragile – so to keep myself safe with her, I ride highly defensively and opt out of situations where ego and emotion might cause her (and me) harm.
At the end of the day, she’s just a tool. But a fun and cared for tool while I have her. I believe it’s fine to be whimsical about the everyday things around us. As long as we’re the ones in control. Cookie doesn’t have super powers and while her myth is greater than her stature, I am highly aware that she is an engine with wheels that is there to serve me. Just as food functions to nurture us, relationships are available to create meaningful connections. Yet we are the responsible party that is in charge. And that makes all the difference.
Looking for Adventure… and whatever comes my way…
Have you ever watched kids with a ‘box’? I put box in quotes as probably while you were watching them the box was anything but a box. It might have been a speedcar racer, a spaceship, a clubhouse, a secret cave… Usually with kids, a simple thing can be the jumping off point for something fanciful and delightful. The subconscious mind is the imaginative mind and supporting our ability to imagine and invent often has very positive results as we grow older – we can help ourselves create our goals and dreams even when all evidence in our external world seems to be to the contrary.
However, we can create ‘heaven’ as easily as we can create ‘hell’ and when we invent a world that takes away our power, refuses to acknowledge our natural and developed abilities and strengths, and hands over responsibility to others (inanimate or not) is living our lives, it’s time to review and revise. Listen to yourself for the next couple days to see if there are some assumptions that you’re making over the power possessed by a concept or thing. If it’s disempowering you, it might be time to question and revise that idea. If it brings joy to your life, ride on!