(Simultaneously published in OmTimes.com)
The Mad Hatter looked closely at Alice and said, “You’re not the same as you were before. You were much more…Muchier.” (From the 2010 movie Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Dep—check out Alice in Wonderland Muchness on YouTube!)
In the original story, Alice stumbled down a rabbit hole following a talking rabbit. Outrageous adventures followed and she boldly faced each one, asked questions and challenged answers. Alice traveled again to Wonderland as a 19-year old, chasing after the White Rabbit. But now she’s running away from the pain of losing her father, and from a marriage proposal she doesn’t want to accept. The bold child has been replaced by a reserved and unhappy young woman.
Alice doesn’t remember any part of her visit to Wonderland and the Wonderland gang argue that she couldn’t possibly be their Alice.
Dodo said, she is most certainly not our Alice; Dormouse said, you’d think she’d remember the last time she was here; Platypus said, eggsactually; White Rabbit said, I’m sure she’s the right one; Dodo said, watch her.
Of course none of us are the same as we were as kids. That’s good and bad. Good, because we can’t continue into adulthood with childhood expectations and demands. Bad, because we can lose our identity and some of our childhood expectations. Our “muchness.”
So what is muchness? An adventurous spirit? Bravery? Knowing who we ARE? As we get older we take fewer risks because we’re afraid of the potential outcome—and risk can imply that we don’t have control; scary business. In essence, we lose our muchness―it leaked away a little at a time.
What brave things did you do when you were younger that you can’t imagine doing now? Go ahead and take a moment to jot some thoughts down. Did you melt your crayons to see if you’d get pretty paint? Push the playground bully down? Move to a new town alone where you didn’t know anyone? Leave a job you thought was safe for one that offered less money but had greater potential?
Perhaps we lost our muchness when we began to build security around ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with security. We all love it. It’s so easy to collect a safety net of people and money and objects. Easy to nod and agree with people, and everyone is happy with us. But eventually we find that we aren’t taking any risks. We don’t even know who we are anymore.
So here’s the question: what do YOU need, what do you want? Do you even know? Do you give up your dreams just to ‘get along’? Where did You go? Did you become seduced by security and the fear of risk.
These fears and beliefs come from our experiences, assumptions and values. Something happens and we make up a belief that helps us make sense of what happened. Are you ready to challenge these beliefs? Do you want to discovery what is blocking your Muchness? If the answer is “Yes, I want my Muchness back!” then ask yourself if there is a belief that is blocking you in some way. For example, does agreeing with people so that they will like you, keep you from feeling good about yourself because you held back your opinion?
Here’s one way to state that belief, “If I tell people what I really think they won’t like.” Do you think the belief is always true or sometimes true or just maybe it is never true? Can you think of an example of when this belief was not true? Maybe it was never true or hasn’t been true in a very long time. Do you want to hold onto this belief?
Start with baby-steps and share who you are with those you trust and grow from there! Create a new belief: “If I tell people what I really think, they’ll be interested in my point of view and we’ll have a fabulous discussion!”
Start journaling your Muchness Journey! Find something you can do this week that will let you move forward in your new belief. Feeling freer?
Alice found her muchness, picked up the vorpal sword and with one powerful thrust, cut off the Jabberwocky’s head. Alice found her muchness and so will you!