Elandra Meredith: NZ’s Tall Poppy Syndrome. Why is withholding Love & Appreciation Seen as a Virtue?

Interviewed by

Tim Lynch

Elandra Meredith: NZ’s Tall Poppy Syndrome. Why is withholding Love & Appreciation Seen as a Virtue?

New Zealand as a small island nation, being so far from other countries stands out - alone. Once a pioneer country pushing the boundaries of social change, science and physical acumen - it has also remained at another level comfortably numb and this interview addresses - to a degree, how could this be?

Elandra, New Zealand author of “From Stardom to Wisdom: Healing & Love Beyond the Spotlight”, and upcoming book “Voices & Visions of Our New Earth”, is an international health and healing educator trainer and practitioner.

She was a top Auckland University scholar, international prizewinning dancer, model and actress who went on to a career including co-starring with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis in London’s Hollywood. Deeply unhappy at University she frequently contemplated suicide; her longing for transcendent wisdom was met with academic intellectualism and“tall poppy syndrome”.

Later as a movie actress in the world of celebrity, fame and fortune she was horrified by her experience of the exploitation and addiction to money and power. Turning her life to yoga and spirituality, dressed in white, running a Californian ashram yoga center for 20 years, she again experienced how giving away power– in this case to spiritual devotion –encourages the dark side of cults and spiritual leaders and gurus, for whom power corrupts, as they turn into self-aggrandizing power-hungry predators,who get away with betraying, exploiting, and abusing hundreds of thousands.

After finding soul family in immersion in the Aloha Ho’oponopono Healing shamanism of Hawaii, her mission became clear; to expose how power corrupts, and to encourage the choice for a life of purification of character – (rather than the lust for fame and fortune), leading to our culture’s addiction to the multiplication of wants and toxic success.

She has a message for you today about the urgent need in NZ to begin to heal, once and for all, the Tall Poppy Syndrome.

Elandra's opening statement expresses overwhelming thanks and appreciation of what I (Tim) do as a host of GreenplanetFM, which catches me off guard and places me in a humble position…As an elder of our society feeling her graciousness, I reflect that this kind of acknowledgement is exactly what is needed for all of us,to open the heart connection, to make us feel validated, and to feel part of a warmer and greater whole; a true family and community that is welcoming and totally supportive of each other.

So what is the Tall Poppy Syndrome and where did the term come from? It’s actually a shocking story. The specific reference to poppies occurs in Livy's account of the tyrannical Etruscan king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. He is said to have received a messenger from his son Sextus Tarquinius asking what he should do next in Gabii, since he had become all-powerful there. Rather than answering the messenger verbally, Tarquin went into his garden, took a stick, and symbolically swept it across his garden, thus cutting off the heads of the tallest poppies that were growing there. The messenger, tired of waiting for an answer, returned to Gabii and told Sextus what he had seen. Sextus realised that his father wished him to put to death all of the most eminent people of Gabii, which he then did!

Tragically what the Tall Poppy Syndrome has morphed into today especially here in NZ is that we have in many ways 'ducked for cover' and quietly put our head down to do life in a quieter 'kiwi way' - of not standing out, and worse still, making sure no one else stands out - through what has become an ingrained habit of justifying the heavy utilization of criticism and bullying in school and workplace. And worse, even viewing it as a virtue.

Other than in the sporting environment, or in cases where somebody is famous, we remain subdued, and do not express appreciation for others, nor stand up for the virtues and values that most civil societies stand for. This means that anyone wanting to excel may want to choose to leave NZ for overseas pastures, or may descend into despair and depression (leading to NZ’s highest suicide rate in the world for youth and over 60).There is no one to talk to; vital emotional support from family, community and society as a whole is non-existent or invisible.

Elandra mentions coming into Auckland Airport terminal every year (for over 25 years) and feeling this heavy contractive energy - of unshed tears, deep sorrow - (I Tim, when I was a steward for Air NZ returning from the US, be it LAX or Honolulu also really felt this constrictive and constraining energy when coming home - it was very heavy) but I did not mention this in the interview - because it was not about me!

She talks about why NZ has the highest suicide rate for youth and over 60 years of age in the world. She talks about suppressed feelings,held back deep grief and underlying anger that has not been (consciously) expressed and, with no place to share, unshed tears with no place to safely flow.

Of course the biggest picture perspective of all is that we live in a patriarchal society, an authoritarian driven society, where we are basically at war within ourselves through not valuing inner knowingness, inner authority and inner trust. But the world’s Zeitgeist is and must be changing. We have no choice now but to learn to value the indigenous ways of the honoring of the Earth, Nature, and intuition. We all had ancestors who knew how to live in harmony with the Earth and Stars…

In many ways - like the previous weeks interview of Paul Levy - the "Wetiko Virus" has taken hold of the general consensus here, the result being a major sense of lack of societal leadership by NZers in this country. Many even defer to others who have moved from overseas to now live here. Wetiko (Native American term for dark energy) is a mind virus that has in various degrees become surreptitiously installed in us all.

Having done so it manifests as the “inner critic” that puts you down within yourself, and that in turn causes you to put other people down. Which erodes your self-esteem causing you to then also hide and shun friends.

Elandra describes how in the process of healing her inner critic certain words came to her and she in shock wondered where they came from ... these sneering words inside saying - "You will never write your book, Elandra – you’ve been trying for 30 years - just give up,you pathetic woman. Why don't you just dig a hole and go die!"

So she wrote these words down, and she looked at them closely and then these words she heard - fell away - because - this mind virus - does not want its existence to be seen and acknowledged. Let alone going public by sending it to 800 people in a group! By overcoming the desire to remain ‘private’ it worked, now she has a voice inside that never says anything negative about herself and instead cheers her on saying "I love you Elandra”.

Tall Poppy Syndrome causes us to withhold love as well as withhold its expression - she says that in NZ withholding Love, and appreciation and expression has become a virtue! She sees this as the most insidious thing that is happening in this country, this is now "a very NZ thing!" There is also a sense of inferiority in the NZ psyche, plus defensiveness, making it difficult to mention these things…

She says we have to change this attitude and fast.So first we have to recognize it.Also, Elandra tells of her counselor friends having young people (and all ages), show up exclaiming – “I don’t know who I am anymore!”They have no real authentic role models – just films, pop idols etc.This in spite of also the wonderful people in NZand those who do work with love to help people in despair etc.

Listen...

This interview broaches much subject matter.

She talks about the USA being not one country but 50 countries all different from each other! They are called states but are 50 countries in ONE!and these, each one, is mostly far bigger than NZ – so how can you even compare?!So with the reflection of this vast geography there is a sense of vast space, space and room to expand your psyche and consciousness(I concur),and your heart is big, ‘cos it has more room - and so she says that the Americans generally support the expansiveness of expression and the heart (Tim having lived there twice - I concur) So in USA it is different,wanting to stand out is celebrated, supported, applauded and lauded!

In NZ growing up feelings were not really in our vocabulary – most of us as children did not have parents who addressed feelings - (I Tim, didn't know there was a different between thinking and feeling - I was unknowingly brought up that way). Parents are afraid of their children’s expression of pain and anger and will shut them up fast. Hear Elandra talk on 'when we were babies and tots' many of us when crying were not really supported and were told to keep quiet and close off to how we felt – listen

In NZ it is the status quo normal to suppress feelings, especially ones deemed negative. This means that speaking out your truth is not done. Withholding expression of truth of feelings – from self and others, (whether negative or positive), is highly dangerous to your health, indeed a cause and catalyst for many kinds of health dysfunctions.It is actually taboo in NZ to be on talking about or expressing feelings, (I Tim concur). Especially about talking about suicide...

There is also distrust of mental health and going to psychologists etc. and understandably ... because they are not trained with a full holistic knowingness of the human condition - they are in most cases all intellectualizing.Remembering that 'Psyche' in Psychology and Psychiatrist means Soul in ancient Greek…but not fully recognized today.

As an intuitive professional healer of over 35 years Elandra notices that psychologists in most cases are untrained to track where your pain or condition and feelings are - in your body. The conditions for healing to happen - safety and sacredness - need to be honored, and then the psyche/body can reveal itself, and can speak out.The body actually reflects – it actually IS - the subconscious, and when “the field” is held with no agenda the body will reveal to the consciousness and soul what is happening and needed for healing. Then soul retrieval, coming back to balance and wholeness just happens, easily.

Once we recognize these locked up feelings then we can deal with them – speak them out loud when alone, even shouting into a pillow – for natural release and natural healing...Plus having someone to support you just by listening,(with no agenda to fix heal and save) just BEING THERE, presencing, that is a huge plus.

Listen - how Elandra takes someone through a healing session...

So there is a cure!Since tall poppy does not like to be seen, acknowledging it openly is the cure ... and the beginning of healing. The more we let it be seen, let our vulnerabilities show, get together with people and talk and share love, the more the wetiko virus loses its grip.

Elandra states that she has been a victim of 'Tall Poppy Syndrome' many times. But, by hearing the inner voice saying to herself'I love you Elandra' - this statement validated her and her heart to such a degree that it allowed her to raise herself above victimhood and feeling incapable and unacknowledged and seeing herself in a positive light. She says this is one way with dealing with not being able to cope etc. The continuous daily expression of love - is very important - Listen...

We have to love and appreciate each other. It's also so much about bigger interconnection, intimate and honest connection within the family and with neighbors and the greater community.

Acknowledge it! Address it, talk, feel feelings, share freely what works to heal this insidious cutting down mindset!Rise up the spirit with continuous daily expression of love, appreciation and praise to everyone around you!Empower love, big love called “awakened oneness awareness”, founded in authentic feelings and utmost integrity.

The battle for self-love is for most of us the greatest battle we ever undertake, “the longest journey you will ever take is from your head to your heart” - because if we have no self-love (confidence and assuredness) - then we are a shrinking violet and some could say 'a victim.' But when we can accept and get inside ourselves and end up embracing all aspects of self, we can experience true love for ourselves (warts and all) – and then we generate an inner glow - our inner candle and this is when we become empowered and have a certain felt knowingness that we are more connected inside. Then we feel the oneness with our greater selves belonging to and part of nature and the greater world, plus the infinite dimensions that we are essentially immersed in.

So we are more at peace within our skin and we are more self-confident and inner directed - because we are coming from an empowered loving inner self. This allows us to provide selfless service to those in need, and helping people expands your sphere of goodwill, and provides and spreads great joy. Which is the ultimate antidote to tall poppy, embracing it all within big love and joy!

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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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