We went on a family trip to Disney World Florida in January. Our daughter is a big Disney fan, so it's often our destination and is a fascinating place to simply watch and learn - from both a personal and business perspective.
If we take the time to observe, listen and be aware, we come to realize that the lessons aren't always found in expected places.
1 - The power of your ripple can create magic.
The night we arrived we headed to Disney Springs for a bite to eat and it was cold. It was getting late but as always, our daughter wanted to visit the big open air Pin Traders store. (we hit every pin location on site when we're there!)
As she and I were browsing one of the sales clerks asked my husband if he needed help. He commented that no, he was fine and after 41 years of marriage he was used to it.
Another couple commented that they were there to celebrate their tenth anniversary. A few minutes later the clerk reappeared with special Happily Ever After buttons for everyone.
It was cold, she was near the end of her shift, it was close to closing time and she did not have to do a darned thing. But she went out of her way to add a little magic that night for all four of us. You don't have to do something grandiose to create a positive ripple effect. The small things count too!
2 - Making the best of unexpected circumstances.
We were on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and it broke down. Now people had the choice to either get upset or go with the flow and wait to see what would happen.
As luck would have it, we were stopped beside the animatronic pigs merrily oinking to the tune of "Yo ho yo ho, a pirates life for me!" Despite the musical accompaniment, I actually used the time to close my eyes and do a little meditation while sitting there.
No one knew what I was doing and if my hubby said something to me, I acknowledged it and returned to meditating. I'll admit it wasn't the most peaceful I've ever had, but it was a good way to pass the time and I often meditate for a few minutes while waiting in lines.
At some point they turned off the sound and turned on the lights. We trusted the staff was doing all they could and when it became clear the issue wouldn't be resolved, they donned hip-waders and pushed the boats to a spot where we could disembark.
So how did people react? Only a couple of grumpy people climbed out long before this and who knows where they ended up in the behind-the-scenes labyrinth. Others sang or played games and the family in front of us had a good time with the cast member pushing our boat as she went through an impromptu ritual making their daughter an 'official pirate.'
Now if you had the patience to wait it out, you were rewarded at the end with ice cream (even thought it was cold), something to drink and a Fast Pass to use anywhere - which can be like receiving gold when you're at Disney. And it truly was fascinating to observe how everything looked just as good with the lights on as when they are off.
3. Be prepared and it is what it is!
Have I mentioned yet that it was cold when we were there? There were times when It was very cold, especially at night! No matter how much you believe it should be warm in Florida in January you can't change reality.
So often we saw people in shorts, sandals and light shirts standing right beside someone who was completely bundled up. (Like us in our t-shirt + sweater + hoodie + spring jacket = still cold.) Sometimes you simply have to acknowledge that what you are hoping to be true is not realistic and is not going to happen.
You need to surrender to what 'is', and add a little foresight to better manage and enjoy the circumstances that you find yourself in.
4. The need to adapt and go with the flow.
We've met many lovely and interesting people on these trips and even if it's only for a short period of time they can brighten your day. It was later in the evening and we met a family while waiting for the bus.
They had a little guy who had some challenges and despite their best efforts he wouldn't keep his mitts on. They were leaving before the fireworks because they knew it wouldn't be good for him to have his hands bare - yes, it was that cold. They had two older boys as well and although they could have all been miserable while standing there, they were quite the opposite.
Yes, there may have been some initial moans and groans when it was decision time but if there was, they got over it and adapted. That little guys smile and charisma lit up the entire bus and my husband played with him all the way home.
Looking for and finding the bright spots.
These are small things in the grand scheme of life, but in each case, a choice of perspective can make all the difference.
My husband could have been grumpily waiting for my daughter and myself and you can bet that the sales clerk may have not been as inclined to add the bit of magic that she did. His positive and upbeat response and her resourceful thinking made it a fun and magical experience for everyone.
People could have been very upset when our ride broke down, but instead it offered a fascinating opportunity to view and witness firsthand the inner workings and behind the scenes action that few people have a chance to see.
If the family waiting for the bus had been arguing and unhappy over leaving, it would have rippled over anyone else who could hear them. Instead that little fellow sent ripples of sunshine to everyone who saw him.
These were both realities that couldn't be changed and everyone fared better by being patient and understanding.
And what did we learn from our experience with the cold? We live in Canada, so its not like we aren't used to it! But even though we were prepared and knew it would be chilly, we weren't prepared enough.
We too hoped that perhaps it wouldn't be That bad. So now we're better prepared for next time. We came home, watched for the sales and bought those down-filled jackets that fold into a small pouch when travelling. Honestly, I didn't know they were like that!
You can bet I'm taking it with me when I head to a mountain in Costa Rica this summer for my qigong instructor training. The last time I was there it was cold too - but I won't be this time!
Hi, Glenda here sharing my thoughts with you. I've discovered that what I really do is help people find more peace in a way that is real-world, practical and accessible to anyone. I'm a Certified davidji Masters of Wisdom & Meditation Teacher, a Reiki Master and facilitator and host of retreats and workshops. I welcome your comments and appreciate you taking the time to read this blog. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or would simply like to reach out.