Lessons From the Tin Man

Part Three: Reclaim your Voice and Practice Self-Compassion


In the book, The Uncommon Reader, the Queen and her Scottish interest are discussing his writing.  She asks him,  “Where does your  inspiration come from?”   In true British wit he responds: “It doesn’t come,  your majesty, you have to go out and fetch it.”

            September 21st workshop is growing closer every day.  Many of you may be curious as to what to expect at a workshop about the Tin-Man in the Wizard of Oz.  I imagine you may be thinking, what in the world does an old out-dated movie about the Wizard of Oz, the yellow-brick road, and crazy characters have to do with me and my daily life?    Actually, the lessons  from the Wizard of Oz are relevant to you.  There are many metaphors that are practical and funny engaging us in a conversation of change and transformation.   The Tin-Man has a back-story that I have talked about in Part’s 1 & 2 of this three part series.  You can find those two blogs at www.drrbdilley.blog.

In Part 3 of this series we find the Tin-Man rusted and immobilized in the dark forest. He has been in the forest for over a year. The Tin-Man was broken-hearted because of the many trials he had been through and he was particularly sad that the Tin-Smith had forgotten to give him a heart. Here is his first step into the darkness of his life. He blamed the Tin Smith. Do you blame God or other’s for the “hollowness” in your life? The blame game keeps us in a one-down position of playing the victim. Of course, we all feel like victims from time to time, it is just so important that we do not live there.

In the Tin Man’s eyes no one would ever love him if he didn’t have a heart.  Therefore, he went into the forest to live, diminishing his odds of every finding a love.  When we exile ourselves to the darkness in our lives we multiply the odds of bad luck continuing. The forest is that dark place in our lives that scare us.  The forest is full of foreboding, distress, and anxiety.  Every little movement around us becomes suspect in the forest.  What are the forests in your life?  How have you become lost there? As we learn from a completely different story, The Miller’s Daughter-An Ancient Story with Lessons for Your Life Today, we learn that if we are banned to the Forest, we must find the Forest people to help us grow our own hands.   You can download that e-books here: https://www.amazon.com/Millers-Daughter-Robin-Dilley-ebook/dp/B00DV5TIBS/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=The+Miller%27s+Daughter+kindle+edition+by+robin+dilley&qid=1565303211&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Taking responsibility for our choices and embracing our humanness is the path to finding our way out of the forest. Compassion for ourself and for others is the key. However we need a little help along the way.  In order to receive it, we must open our heart.

Get your copy today!

  Let’s face it, life is tough and full of loss.  We have become accustomed to life that is a click away to instant happiness.  When instant happiness doesn’t happen we become agitated, angry, and ashamed.   We no longer allow ourselves the space to feel complicated or scary emotions like grief and sadness.  In the compass of shame we see that we often respond with one of four behaviors when experiencing shame.  They are: Avoidance, Withdrawal, Attack Other and Attack Self. Piece by piece we cut off parts of our selves when we bang around through the Compass of Shame like a pin ball.    We build walls instead of bridges, make excuses rather than solve problems, and move away from rather than toward the issues.  Our go- to defense is often one of minimizing, saying things to ourselves like:

  1. It isn’t that bad.
  2. Other’s have it worse.
  3. Buck up, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with it.
  4. Why are you crying?

Not only are these statements not helpful, they are down-right destructive. The little person inside of us feels abandoned, lonely and overwhelmed when we minimize our feelings. Most of us are not lucky enough to have a stranger(Dorothy) or a weird friend(Scare-Crow) come and find us. Thus, it is important that we build our own community. You protest, “Oh, no, Dr. D. I am not going to get hurt again.” As I see it, you have a choice. You can stay in the darkness of the forest or you can begin to use that oil-can of yours and get to work, healing your losses.

The yellow brick road did route Dorothy and the Scarecrow through the dark forest. They discovered the Tin Man as they were fetching the apples that the scary trees threw at them. The Tin Man through pursed lips and a frozen jaw, was able to screech out the words, oil can and mouth. As the two strangers applied oil to the Tin Man’s mouth, he began telling them his story. As more and more of his body was oiled, he began to dance. However, even with his singing and dancing the Tin Man felt hollow inside and he so desired a heart.

At this point in the story, everyone was under the impression that the Wizard in the Emerald Palace would be the answer to all of their problems.  Now, we know that each of those characters had the inner resources for everything they were looking outward for the wizard to do for them. 

By coming to the September 21st workshop, your will discover:

1.How to re-claim our voice (or acquire one in the first place).

2.How to build community. 

3.How to use the oil can?

4.How to Cultivate Self-Compassion

            We don’t need a chorus of friends but we do need a few people that we can count on and who can count on us.  Relationships are mutual and they are a dance of give and take.  We must learn to build them and learn to connect to live a more full-filling life.

What stops us?  Our voice.  It is common over the years  to be shut-down, rejected, disagreed with, left, accused, blamed, and judged.  The common response to all of that is to close off, move inward, shut-up, and become guarded like the Tin-Man. After living so guarded, over time,  when we or someone else bangs on our chest to try to connect, we are hollow inside, feeling as if we have nothing to offer.

On the morning of September 21, you have an opportunity to use the oil-can of the workshop, which represents self-care and a community of caring, discover playful exercises to use your voice and begin the process of healing. You will leave with more confidence, a greater desire to use your voice, and you will understand that in all of the Wizard’s foibles, the best thing he told the four traveler’s was to go “fetch the witches broom.” This was the test that taught each of them they already had within them what they were seeking outside of themselves.


Again, this workshop began as a need for me practice my ninety minute presentation for The Labyrinth Society’s Annual Gathering this coming October. But the material has grown into more than I can manage in that amount of time. Therefore, I have a great offer for the attendee’s. I am doing a five week follow-up virtual coaching group, post the workshop. I have tried to choose a time that is most likely to succeed. The group will be on Tuesday’s at 4:00, starting the first Tuesday in October and will meet every Tuesday the rest of the month. As workshop attendee’s you will get a !5% discount over other group participants if you sign up early. I will be using Zoom as my format and limiting this group to no more than six members. The group will focus on Lesson’s from the Tin Man, building on the material and momentum from the Saturday Workshop.

For more information about the coaching offer or to register in advance, please email me at drrobibdlley@gmail.com. The group will be limited to six. If 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, does not work for you then give me some times that will. Thanks and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning, the 21. Start time is 9:30 promptly . Be there early. There will be water and a few snacks. No coffee service will be provided. The cost of the first coaching group is $200.00. That would be $170.00 for you.

            Remember, my practice is referral dependent.  So, please pass along the workshop to anyone else who you think will be benefited by this action packed morning. 

Dr. Robin B. Dilley

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