Speaking of Love….I have been in love with Alice in Wonderland for as long as I can remember. From its original publication in 1865, Alice in Wonderland has taken the world by storm with its nonsensical, often absurd, fantasy. I could write a dissertation on all the major themes in this book, but below is the short list of things we can learn from Alice and her glorious adventures:
Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
But seriously, don’t. Wipe your tears, stand up tall, and find a way to laugh your way through life. Accept the fact that we are all a little crazy, throw a tea party, and get on with it.
“I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out.
I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears !”
“Have I gone mad? I’m afraid so.
You’re entirely Bonkers.
But I will tell you a secret,
All the best people are.”
Know Where You’re Going
Get on that 5 year plan. Heck, get on that 50 year plan. Know what you want and how you are going to get there. Spend time identifying your dreams, outlining your goals, and coming up with plans on how to put them into action. If you walk the road long enough, you will end up exactly where you wanted to be, but you won’t get there “sitting on a blanket under some trees”.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Dare to Believe in the Impossible
Not to go Disney on you, but dream, darling, dream. Sometimes, the impossible becomes possible faster than you could ever imagine. As the queen will tell you, this can take some practice. Focus your energies solely on solutions, openness and opportunity.
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’
I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
“Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.”
Your Words Matter
Keep your conversations ‘full of grace and seasoned with salt’. Be honest, and kind, and don’t throw rocks with your tongue. Be expressive, learn more language, communicate better. Words dictate actions and actions dictate character (don’t quote me but that may be Buddha).
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least I mean what I say that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that `I see what I eat’ is the same thing as `I eat what I see’!”
Give it Absolutely Everything You’ve Got
Play to win. Give 110% or nothing at all. Go hard or go home. The mantras go on-and-on. Bottom line: there are no short cuts to success, run harder and reach higher.
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
Take The Time to Know Yourself
This is indeed the “great puzzle”; allow it to be a continuous (and forgiving) unfolding. Work actively on understanding your gifts and your greatest challenges. Grow more into your authentic self. Follow pursuits that enthuse you, listen to your heart, broaden.
Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
Give Yourself a Break
Stop the voice in your head that incessantly beats you up. It is under your control. Tell it to stop. Sometimes we don’t have the answers. Sometimes we get lost. Get over it, get interested in something new, and consider just how far you’ve come.
“Oh, don’t go on like that!” cried the poor Queen, wringing her hands in despair. “Consider what a great girl you are. Consider what a long way you’ve come today. Consider what o’clock it is.
We Eventually Climb Out of the Rabbit Hole
Success means trying, and sometimes trying means failing, but we eventually get back on our feet no matter how hard the fall. Venture into the rabbit hole and risk ‘bruising your soul’. Be the best kind of brave you know how to be.
“Little Alice fell
bumped her head
and bruised her soul”
“That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”
Stop putting it off, whatever IT may be. Follow the voice in your head and just start somewhere, anywhere. Remember that the pleasure of making a daisy-chain is always worth getting up, and perfect is the enemy of the good. Begin.
“Alice thought to herself “I don’t see how he can ever finish, if he doesn’t begin.”
“at any rate, there’s no harm in trying.”
“whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up”
Get Used to Being Uncomfortable
We become uncomfortable when we need to grow. Embrace the discomfort, it means you are on the right path. Keep following it. Most of the time, freedom is right on the other side of that fear.
“but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.”
with grace and salt, kirsten
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