Step onto your magic carpet

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My wonderful husband took me to the Disney World, Magical Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida this week. What a magical experience it was! The day was filled with colour, fantasy, inspiring stories and positive messages such as ‘Never stop believing in your dreams’, ‘Dreams do come true’ and ‘The magic lives inside you’.

It was my first time on a roller coaster. If you are someone who fears being out of control and wants to work on letting go of the need for control, I can recommend riding a roller coaster. After the first turn you realise that you need to face your fear otherwise it is going to take away the thrill and joy you get from the ride. The experience reminded me of Brené Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” that focuses on vulnerability. She writes that ‘…we all numb our feelings…our sense of vulnerability…numbing vulnerability is especially debilitating because it doesn’t just deaden the pain of our difficult experiences; numbing vulnerability also dulls our experiences of love, joy, belonging, creativity and empathy. We can’t selectively numb emotions. Numb the dark and you numb the light.’ I realised I had to allow myself to be vulnerable in order to experience the freedom and joy of flying through the air.

As a young girl my favourite Disney movie was Aladdin. I dreamed of flying through the air and seeing the world on a magic carpet. I knew the lyrics of the theme song ‘A whole new world’ by heart. My favourite parts of the song was where Aladdin sings to Princess Jasmine that with his magic carpet he will show her:

A whole new world

A new fantastic point of view

No one to tell us no or where to go

Or say we’re only dreaming

After a few turns on the Magic carpet princess Jasmine tells Aladdin 

when I’m way up here, it’s crystal clear …

I’m like a shooting star

I’ve come so far

I can’t go back

To where I used to be

When I heard the song again at Disney World (after 13 years) it was as if everything was all of a sudden crystal clear to me. My dream came true! I am on my own magic carpet ride. I was grateful for the life I had been given. Yes, my life was not always easy. The carpet ride had taken me to very dark places in the past but also to beautiful places beyond my imagination. After being at those places, I can’t go back to where I used to be…

We all have a magic carpet inside of us. All we need to do is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, have the courage to step out of our ‘comfort zone’ and onto the magic carpet. Yes, the ride will not always be easy but we should not allow the fear of failure or tragedy hinder us from experiencing joy and stepping on the magic carpet. Brené Brown’s research indicates that ‘…every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give into those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope. The joy becomes part of who we are, and when bad things happen – and they do happen –we are stronger.’

The more you step onto the magic carpet, the stronger you become because you’ve allowed yourself to see and experience a whole new world. After that you can’t go back to your old way of thinking. You’ve seen new horizons to pursue. Walt Disney said:

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”

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