Welcome to the second (and probably last) installment in the ‘what we can learn from’ series. If you have missed the first article about five things we can learn from Cinderella, please click here.
If you are not familiar with the story of Pocahontas, here’s a little recap.
Pocahontas was a princess, daughter of chief Powhatan from the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. She loved all animals (even had a pet raccoon) and didn’t like to wear shoes. However, that didn’t stop her from running everywhere. Even though she wasn’t allowed, she went to the shore to spy on the newly arrived Brits. She met an English guy named John Smith and they got along. The other Indians and Brits not so much so they started fighting. Then Pocahontas saved the day by playing mediator. In the end John Smith sailed away back to England and Pocahontas stayed with her tribe. If you want to know if Pocahontas ever saw John Smith again you’ll have to watch the second movie. In the meantime, we’re moving on to more practical matters.
Although trying to hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon might prove a little difficult in real life, the story of Pocahontas may hold more truths than you think. Here are five lessons I think we should be incorporating a little more in our daily lives:
1. The first lesson we can learn from Pocahontas is that it is okay to long for logic, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow.
I am not overly fond of ungraspable concepts. I like to know why things happen and what I can expect. Putting energy into figuring this out can be very unrewarding. So, instead of trying to make sense of everything, I learned it to be a lot more energy saving to stop swimming against the current and just go with the flow. After all, you never know what is just around the river bend.
2. Follow your inner compass, even though the right path may not be the easiest one. Even though it was quite a dangerous path to follow, Pocahontas’ role as mediator between the Indians and the Brits was an important step towards peace. No one in her tribe understood her, but Pocahontas kept doing what she knew in her heart was the right thing to do. She used her stubbornness to persevere and showed that success is no accident.
3. Seek counseling. When Pocahontas didn’t know what to do she went to see grandmother Willow. I am not saying you should ask a tree for anything. I would advise it to be a human. Your choice. The point is to ask for other people’s opinions, because the more perspectives you familiarize yourself with, the more fully you can grasp a concept and make a conscious decision.
4. Replace expectation with appreciation. In a nutshell, this is what Pocahontas tried to teach John Smith. While he expected to find gold and was prepared to bulldozer the entire country to get it, Pocahontas showed him that he should appreciate the land as it was and be thankful for all it already gave him. Moral of the story: be grateful for the things you do have instead of always longing for the things you don’t.
5. Lastly, when you don’t know what to do: sing! With or without all the voices of the mountains, singing comes with a surprising amount of benefits, ranging from a better posture to improving the immune system and decreasing stress hormones.
So, let’s go forward in life a little more like Pocahontas. Just keep going with the flow, stick to your inner compass, seek counselling, be grateful and sing a little song on the way. You’ll be painting with all the colors of the wind in no time.