Monday Motivation: Little Women, Big Dreams

I was so looking forward to seeing the new version of Little Women.

Little Women Greta Gerwig

I read the books so often as a kid, it feels like they’re a part of me.

I was lucky enough to visit Alcott’s house when I was 11 and by the time the ’90s version was made with Gabriel Byrne as Professor Bhaer, I finally understood the appeal of Professor Bhaer.

Gabriel Byrne as Professor Bhaer in the 1994 version of Little Women

I knew this version couldn’t have Gabriel Bryne as Professor Bhaer.

Still, I’d heard good things about it and wasn’t letting myself have unreasonable expectations.

As it started, I appreciated the changes to the book’s chronology but also felt it lacked the heart I’d been expecting.

A good thing, I figured, as I’d forgotten to warn the friend I’d gone with and her 12 year old daughter that I was likely to sob and to please not be alarmed if that happened*.

Therapy helps us expand the full emotional landscape – more sadness and grief as well as joy and hope etc. I’m fine with this but full on Snot Monster sobbing at the cinema CAN be embarrassing.

By the next scene I was sobbing. This version has heart in spades.

Whether you’ve seen the new version or not (I recommend it – and I’m so happy that Denise Di Novi’s influence was apparent in both this and the ’90s version ), here are some self care coaching tips from some of the characters:

Accept yourself fully, flaws and all. This isn’t about indulging our anger and impatience but owning them so we don’t project them outwards. Self compassion as well as compassion to others

ENJOY the wealth you have and the freedom it affords you.

Let yourself want whatever you want.

Know your worth. Yes, this version’s little copyright scene isn’t from the novels but was a wonderful addition – believe in yourself. Your whole self.

Even when surrounded by louder, more boisterous people, remember the power of your own gentle voices.

Emma Watson as Meg

Learn to live within your means and appreciate what we have.

All the characters inspire us to embrace our inner writers (Jo’s writing montage scene made it look so effortless), artists, performers, musicians and so on.

Back when Alcott was writing (if you haven’t read Work, I highly recommend it), the idea of women earning their own way at all was a novel idea.

A potential sequel might have the March girls and women embrace the STEM fields and sports, too…

What dreams did you have for your life when you were a young girl or boy?

What about as a young adult?

I just heard about someone the other day who took up painting at 80something.

Even if it’s too late to do this thing professionally (I don’t want to project any limiting beliefs on y’all but gymnastics, for example, may be tricky for some), how can you bring a taste of it into your life today?

Get in touch if you’d like my support.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

*spoiler alert: I think they were alarmed

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