The Wisdom of Mary Poppins

Exploring the profound wisdom of Mary Poppins – lessons in parenting, social justice, compassion, play, spiritual beliefs, mystery and magic.  Mary Poppins continues to inform and inspire.


The Walt Disney Movie, Mary Poppins (based on the children’s book series by P.L. Travers) is my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE movie.  As a child, I simply found it fun with all the great music and a fantastical story about magic, mystery and wonder.  As an adult, I can still call this my all-time favorite movie and through older (and hopefully wiser) eyes, I can appreciate the timeless and ageless wisdom of this amazing tale.  In the movie as well as in the book, there are lessons aplenty about parenting, embracing enjoyment, creativity,  caring for others, surrendering to Divine timing, etc. etc. etc.   Today we will explore the lessons that Mary Poppins invites us to embrace:


1) When you neglect, ignore, forget to spend time with your children….THEY WILL BE NAUGHTY In one of the early scenes in the film, we get to see all the naughty deeds performed by the Banks children against their nanny(s), and learn the history of their bad behavior.  It is their shenanigans that compels their current nanny to leave and places the Banks in the position of having to hire a new nanny – here comes Mary Poppins!

2) When you ask for something from place of sincerity, deep within your heart, directed by your highest self – the universe provides. The Banks children argue with their father about what they want in a nanny and in one of the most poignant songs in the film, express their deepest heart desires of what they want (in a nanny, but even more so, in a parent).  Their father rips up their request and tosses it into the fire considering their requests frivolous and impractical.  Oh….will he be surprised! (HERE’S the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln-cK-qyK38&p=CFBFD9367428D902&playnext=1&index=18 )

3) When you believe in magic and mystery, your needs are provided for in ABUNDANCE – Mary Poppins’ Magic Carpetbag – need I say more?  (PS Shout out to my friend Jen who has one of those amazing bottomless purses!)


4) A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. – In other words, find the joy in life, grab on to the sweetness, life can be hard and there are things we can embrace to lighten the load, help it taste a little sweeter, ease the burden.

5) Make time for play – In the movie we are invited to join Mary Poppins, Burt, Jane and Michael Banks on a day of playful imagination where chalk drawings come to life and where we can enter into a world of playful fantasy where merry go round horses can fly and race and where penguins dance and sing.  FUN FUN FUN  Imagination !


6) LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH – Remember Mary’s crazy uncle who loved to laugh and when they laughed they found themselves enjoying a tea party in the air?  How fun is that???  Never forget to make time for laughter!

7) Pay attention to those who have less than you and freely and openly share your resources – In a word:  Feed the Birds.  On a trip to their father’s office at the bank, Mary points out to the Banks children a woman who has less than they and yet gives from all that SHE has to those (the birds) who have even less than she.  In this encounter with the Birdwoman, the children learn compassion and generosity and are compelled to seek out ways to exercise this kind of generosity in their own lives.  And if you don’t cry when you hear this song….(I’m just saying) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHrRxQVUFN4


8) Money and work to earn money are not the most important things in life. Michael Banks is encouraged (bullied might be a better word) to deposit his money into his father’s bank so that it can make him more money, instead, he runs away to give his money to the Birdwoman.  He learned from Mary Poppins that freely and openly sharing our resources is more rewarding than hoarding and withholding our resources.  He experiences the enjoyment of helping another….and still trusts that all he needs will still be provided for.  (a lesson we can all learn!)

9) Life is full of changes – and we are invited to surrender to them: When the direction of the wind changes, Mary Poppins must depart the Banks’ household for places unknown.  Rather than resisting the change, she unfurls her umbrella (the one with the talking parrot head) and simply lets the wind take her to her next destination.


10) In every death is the promise of new life (and would you go fly a kite already?) – The loss of Mary Poppins could have been a devastating moment for Jane and Michael (and they were sad), but it also created the opportunity for a new life to begin for the Banks family.  Thanks to Mary’s (and Burt’s) help, Jane and Michael’s parents realized the value of spending time as a family, that work and money are not the pathway to happiness and that play can be fulfilling, nurturing and life-giving.  The closing scene – the Banks family at the park flying a kite.


The invitation today is to examine the wisdom of Mary Poppins for the lessons that might be speaking to you and to explore ways in which you can embrace this wisdom in your everyday life.  For in every life we need to make time for laughter, play and imagination, we are invited to seek the sweetness in the struggles of the human experience, freely and openly share our gifts, help others, spend time with our parents and our children, fly kites, sing songs, dance, ride a merry go round, create, trust in abundance, magic, mystery and surrender to the changes of life.  And in the end, we are reminded that in every loss, change, transition, death is the promise of new life.  What is the new life you are being invited to embrace today?????


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

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