It’s been an extraordinary week. I am on a plane destined for Barcelona then onto Gerona to deliver my charisma masterclass to 30 leaders from the oil industry. The booking came from a client who I used to work with when she was at Shell. I am really excited about meeting her again because I remember the passion she gave freely to each new project. Together we became obsessed with delivering life-changing experiences that would remain in people’s hearts forever. This speaking job coincides with my birthday meaning that my pre-birthday week has been crammed with wonderful gifts and celebrations that have been intensely magical. I have an eclectic group of friends who have really spoilt me this year. I received exquisite gifts of Angels (not the real ones) pearls and powder blue jars of starfish (again not real ones).
Then, on Friday evening my daughter Rose called me into the lounge and started playing a CD. I instantly recognised the smokey tones of my daughter’s voice and was instantly mesmerised by the beauty of the melody. As I listened to the lyrics I wondered where she had found such a perfect song, it could have been written about us ……… it had been. Rose had composed a song for my birthday that she had sang and recorded at my sister’s studio. Strange how the abundance of musical talent in my family missed me completely! This song is the most special present I have ever been given. I was overcome with a feeling of love and gratitude. This song reflected the close, intense and sometimes stormy relationship that Rose and I share. As the last notes faded away to leave a silence of heartfelt emotion, we heard tiny little chirping sounds from outside our front door. We found a bird’s nest in one of our plant pots. Inside we discovered half a dozen tiny baby birds with open beaks, emitting a continuous high pitched calling, reminding the world of their hungry bellies. Watching their brave selfless parents fetch them an endless supply of wriggly worms despite our presence – was a breathtaking experience. I felt my unconditional love for my daughter expand as we shared this Disney like moment together. A perfect evening that I will always remember.
I enjoy looking for hidden meanings and the significance of different events that occur in my life. I have trained myself when experiencing adversity to look for the positive lessons learned during some of my darkest hours. My desire to live in an utopian world and this quest for eternal bliss often eludes me. The happy endings that you can depend on whenever you watch a Disney movie are all the sweeter because of the hero’s or heroine’s turbulent journey. As they wrangle with enchanted spells, ward off wicked witches and prove that good always triumphs over evil, we know with betting certainty that the girl will get her man in the end. Even Disney feels compelled to put the stars of their movies through some traumatic events. How did Snow White cope with the knowledge that the wicked queen plotted her murder by the woodsman’s axe as well as by a poise end apples? (Have you seen my Big Apple Experiment that shows the impact of toxic thoughts?) How impressive was Cinderella’s resilience when she lost her father and was treated like a slave by her stepmother? Princess Aurora grew up in a climate of fear as her parents sought to keep her safe from the negative intent of Maleficent.
These dramatic roller coaster moments make a much more interesting story and it gives the characters the opportunity to unleash their hidden strengths. Like a glorious Phoenix rising from the ashes of ruin – we all possess the ability to transcend from the murky depths of despair into an ocean of white healing light. Most of us have long since understood that real life is not a fun filled adventure where we feel safe, calm and supported. We have tough times as well as good times. As Frank Sinatra put it so succinctly; “That’s life”. Yet when the tough times keep on coming and you’ve blunted your sword after slaying another fire breathing dragon, do you find yourself craving a life without struggle – like a chocoholic on a yoga retreat?
Slowing down to notice then experience the genuine natural beauty around us, gives our heart a brief respite from the gruelling rat race we know as life. A sense of freedom ensues when we escape the tight constraints of a web spun from a stunning array of deceptions: “I thought this job would make me feel financially secure”, “She was the woman of my dreams where did it go wrong?”, “Is this it? Is this all there is?”. The frantic speed of life causes the racing thoughts in our head to triumph over the truth in our heart. It’s when we pause and take a deep breath can we create the potential for a Disney moment. A child’s bubbling laughter, the cool crisp feel of freshly laundered cotton sheets or a rousing piece of classical music that soothes your soul stirring ripples of unadulterated bliss that last for infinity. Imagine connecting to a Disney moment every day for the rest of your life? Imagine the gigantic leap in your awareness as you connect with the abundance of vibrant beauty no longer hidden in your world. If appreciation and gratitude became stronger within you, what reverberations would be transmitted into every aspect of your life? What really matters to you? What really matters in life?
Matter is only energy vibrating at a certain level. When hydrogen atoms gravitate together and reach a certain density then the heat generated forms a star. What if the density of your positive emotions caused the star within you to shine more brightly? You are the star of your very own Disney movie and regardless of where you are in your journey, your happy ending is assured if you stop judging yourself too harshly. The expectations you have about your life may sometimes feel like a whip that chastens your ability to feel validated, significant and worthy. Happiness doesn’t have to be a quest because it’s an emotional state that you can access at any moment just by noticing the beauty in your life.
Many of us live such busy busy lives that multi-tasking has become the latest must have skill for the discerning go getter. Anything that will triple our capacity with what we can physically achieve in each twenty four hour period becomes desirable until the day when time travel is invented. In the past I have been addicted to busy-ness as it stimulated an adrenalin rush that enabled me to complete volumes of work. Somewhere along the way I forgot what it was like to just be. Life became complex. The simplicity of enjoying small pleasures slipped away like grains of sand disappearing in the gentlest breeze. Too busy to cook I would say. Too busy to exercise, too busy to meditate. Too busy to enjoy the subtle nuances that can only be experienced once our senses have been awakened from a hundred year slumber. When fate steps in and kisses us with a passion for living our life in the moment, then we become open and receptive to the universal flow of life’s inherent beauty. Just look around you – beauty resides wherever you might look if you pay attention to it.
My plane is making its descent into the sunny climes of Spain………..
I have just arrived in Gerona sitting high up on a rock looking out onto the vast sparkling Mediterranean Sea . Despite the hour it is still gloriously warm and the sun’s fading heat competes with a gentle yet persistent breeze that calls my attention to this pure gold Disney moment. I smile because I remember that we are human – we do the best we can with what resources we have. Maybe sometimes we strive too hard? Maybe sometimes we should allow ourselves to press the pause button and surrender our senses to the joy of simply being alive?
When you are being you, when you are completely present, you add colour and depth to your life. In the same way that animators give birth to a whole new story, maybe you might allow your story to unfold in it’s own natural and beautiful way.