There’s a new musical on Netflix of the story, Matilda, by Roald Dahl, that is offering me a lot around the theme of the last podcast, I’m in this alone, and what I can learn (and offer to you) about finding freedom from this very lonely narrative.
In fact, Matilda is such a journey from aloneness into self-responsibility, being at home with yourself, and community care, that it brought up my own continued efforts to find trust in community again, knowing how much freedom connection can truly bring when you can find those who celebrate all that you are.
The use of archetypes and symbolism in stories is such an open-ended way for you to find your own meaning for your own life, and I hope the practical (journal prompts) meets the imaginative (story) – so you can find your own kind of freedom from the internalized, dominant dogma that you have to do life alone.
In this episode, I explore:
- The freedom(s) on the other side of aloneness
- The themes found in the Matilda musical that can assist you in this freedom
- The power of dream and imagination in shifting perspective
- Using story characters as archetypal aspects of your singular self
- 3 ways the Matilda musical helped me feel less alone
- Living into claiming self-responsibility, becoming at home with yourself, and re-trusting community care
- Journal prompts for your further reflection on all 3 themes
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts or watch it now on YouTube!
Watch the episode:
Hello, hello freethinker!
Today, I am writing to you from my dining room table. The weather has been absolutely wild here in Ventura, and at present, I am listening to the symphony of hail coming from outside. I have my mug of coffee in front of me, a stack of books to my right, and notes from a recent call off to my left. I’m starting my writing a bit later than I would have liked today as I’m still recovering from having family visit for a week, but as I’m getting started I feel grateful for this bi-weekly practice. A practice where I get to share insights with you, and where I get a chance to reflect on what is going on in my world.
Just as I am taking a moment to pause and notice my inner and outer worlds, I encourage you to do the same. Noticing the colors around you, the sounds, the textures. Then, shift your awareness inward to your inner landscape. Noticing any emotions, thoughts, or sensations, you may be experiencing. Not judging or labeling anything you’re finding. Instead, simply notice, witness, and allow all parts of yourself and your experience to the table. This is a practice of personal freedom that you can utilize at any time.
Today, I am looking at the freedom(s) on the other side of aloneness.
To explore this freedom or freedom, I will offer a few thoughts from my ongoing exploration with the Matilda musical.
As I begin, please remember that this story largely mirrors a dream-like state, and as such, it holds fantastical elements that are over the top. However, dreams, both from an asleep state and an awake imagination, are projections from one’s inner world. Stories are mirrors of your unconscious mind, so you may find yourself resonating with certain aspects, characters, or experiences at a deep core level. This resonance allows you to see yourself in new ways resulting in the ability to engage with your present reality from a new perspective.
You can claim your wholeness in a new way.
Claim your worth.
Claim your freedom.
For today’s episode, I won’t share Matilda’s full story as it will get rather long. However, before or after listening in, I encourage you to hop on Netflix, give the musical a watch, and utilize the journal prompts I will share with you to help integrate some of what Matilda may have to offer you. Additionally, I have the SparkNotes version of Matilda linked in the show notes for easy access.
As I have explored and engaged with the Matilda Musical, it’s important to note that I consider each core character as an archetype, or a part, within my psyche. At times putting myself in the role of Matilda. Other times through the role of her teacher Ms. Honey. And even through the eyes of the primary villain, Ms. Trunchbull. I consider these parts as though they may be inner children or part of my shadow self that is desiring to be integrated. Some parts or characters may resonate more than others, some may bring up resistance, and some may bring up sadness. Whatever comes up for me, I seek to notice it, honor it and evaluate if it feels safe and supportive to explore what this character has to offer me.
What I want to offer here are three ways the Matilda musical has supported me over the past few months and how you might find support as well.
Three Ways the Matilda Musical Helped Me Feel Less Alone
- Claiming Self-Responsibility
- Becoming At Home With Myself
- Inviting Community Care
1. Claiming Self-Responsibility
Within the second song of the Musical, we are introduced to the predicaments within Matilda’s world. Specifically, the tension between feeling alone and unwanted by her parents, and having a mind that is full of curiosity and spark. From this early point in the musical Matilda offers a beautiful energy of self-responsibility while she sings, “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. So they say, their subsequent fall was inevitable. They never stood a chance, they were written that way. Innocent victims of their story. Like Romeo and Juliet. ‘Twas written in the stars before they even met. That love and fate and a touch of stupidity. Would rob them of their hope of living happily. The endings are often a little bit gory. I wonder why they didn’t just change their story. We’re told we have to do what we’re told but surely. Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty” – source
This naughtiness she speaks of is her way of claiming freedom in a situation where she has very little control. Despite not choosing her present state, not choosing her parents, not choosing the tiny attic of a bedroom that she lives in, she utilizes what she does have control over to change her story. Instead of accepting that she is alone in the world and nothing will ever change that, she wields self-responsibility and chooses freedom in the present.
Even though it means being a little bit naughty.
Before we move on to the next point, I want to highlight that within one’s psyche, this process can difficult. It means accepting that some folks may not like this new self-responsible you. It means handing back people pleasing, and the mask you may wear that says everything is ok (or not ok). Later on in the song, Matilda highlights this by singing, “If you sit around and let them get on top, you might as well be saying you think that it’s okay.” – source Now, at times, you may find yourself in positions that are completely out of your control. Positions where you cannot, “get on top.” However, the lesson I found here is to Live My Freedom Now. To pick up what I can control, hand back the persona of being nice, being a good girl, being easy, and find ways to change my story.
- What is one way you can pick up self-responsibility in your world?
- What if you let yourself be “a little bit naughty”?
- What if you didn’t follow the “shoulds” and “have tos” in your world?
2. Becoming At Home With Myself
The second lesson I want to highlight is becoming at home with myself. Often, when I’m in a state of victimization and aloneness, I feel disconnected not only from the world and the humans around me but also disconnected from myself. Everything in my world feels either out of place, lost, or numb. Within Matilda, I found the lesson here was mirrored in how Ms. Honey found solace within her home, “On these walls I hang wonderful pictures. Through this window I can watch the seasons change. By this lamp I can read, and I, I am set free! And when it’s cold outside I feel no fear! Even in the winter storms, I am warmed by a small but stubborn fire. And there is no-where I would rather be. It isn’t much but it is enough for me” – source Despite having everything torn away from her, she made a home for herself, a home within herself, where she could find joy and freedom.
I want you, for a moment, to listen to these lyrics again and imagine, instead of speaking about a physical home, they are speaking about parts of you. Parts of your personality, of your body, and your spirit.
“On these walls I hang wonderful pictures
Through this window I can watch the seasons change
By this lamp I can read, and I, I am set free!
And when it’s cold outside I feel no fear!
Even in the winter storms, I am warmed by a small but stubborn fire
And there is no-where I would rather be
It isn’t much but it is enough for me” – source
- If your personality, your body, your spirit, was a home, what parts of you feel most special or most important to you?
- What parts of you make you feel free?
- What parts of you feel like a small but stubborn fire?
- What parts of you feel alone and afraid? How might you tend to those parts of yourself? How might you become more at home with yourself?
3. Inviting Goodness Through Community
The final lesson I want to offer regarding the Matilda Musical is Inviting Goodness Through Community. Along with picking up personal responsibility and making a home within oneself, a crucial aspect of navigating aloneness is reintegrating community. Within my own life, I have found this is one of the most difficult aspects of this journey.
Acclimating to goodness.
Because of past experiences, because in the past I have had to be hyper-competent and self-responsible, it can be hard to trust community again. To trust friendships. And to even trust mentors and teachers.
However, when one only takes on and identifies with the lessons of self-responsibility and building a home within oneself, an identity of aloneness remains.
This lesson is the final act of handing back an identity of victimization and aloneness and claiming goodness. Claiming belonging. Claiming freedom.
The song I want to offer here, which is sung primarily by Matilda and Ms. Honey with the other school children joining in, shares:
“I believed that I
Would never be able to rely
On anybody else
And I was sure that I
Would just have to learn to survive
All by myself
And one day I opened my eyes
And looked up to find
That the sky had turned blindingly blue
And right by my side, there was you
Quietly taking a stand
And you are holding my hand” – source
This is Living Your Freedom Now. Not denying that any part of your story past or present hasn’t been hard, but rather honoring what is and has been and also finding freedom in the present. Finding goodness amidst the chaos. This is finding that spot of blue in the sky. This is reaching out for support. This is finding that one person you can rely on and over time inviting any and all goodness that is already around you through community.
- What is one-way goodness is already present in your world?
- Who is one person you can reach out to for support?
- How does the term, “Acclimating to goodness” land for you? What emotions, images, or people, does it bring to mind?
- Along with inviting goodness through community, how can you honor the hard things you have already navigated and that you are currently navigating? Where does “acclimating to goodness” feel inaccessible? How can you honor that experience for yourself?
And that is where I am going to leave you today. While I offered three ways the story of Matilda supported me through aloneness, I encourage you to notice what is present for you with this story and utilize the journal prompts as they feel supportive. This type of practice can feel elusive, intense, and confusing, so I encourage you to drink lots of water, move your energy around however you prefer, and email me how this lands for you! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would absolutely love to hear from you.
Additionally, if deep in your spirit, you want to claim personal freedom, I would LOVE to work with you! My goal is to help you integrate the parts of you feeling afraid and unsupported, hand back the outdated cultural stories, and guide you to rise as the deeply, wildly, and holistically free human you already are. If this resonates and you want to work with me as your coach, your next step is to book a FREE Clarity Call with me! Head to megscolleen.com now to schedule your call!
I’ll see you in a couple of weeks: Freedom is yours,
Mentions & More:
- Roald Dahl’s: Matilda, The Musical on Netflix, based on the popular novel, Matilda
- The SparkNotes version of Matilda, if you are seeking a briefer overview of the story
- Summary of song quotes from Matilda, found here and here
- Summary of song quotes from Miss. Honey, found here
- Summary of song quotes from Matilda and Miss. Honey, found here
- My 1:1 coaching series. Book a FREE clarity call with me to get started: https://megscolleen.com/book-a-free-call/