“I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it”. This is one of my favorite quotes from Alice In Wonderland. It is a very special quote because it rings true in several areas of my life.
As a therapist I don’t really give advice. I like to think that I work as a guide to help people discover positive solutions and make the best decisions for themselves. My motto is to “help people help themselves”. Sometimes I think it would be nice if I could help me help myself.
I recently read Alice in Wonderland again, and afterwards watched the Disney version of the movie. If you’ve never watched it, I would suggest it. If you can move past the drug references in the movie including the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, Alice eating mushrooms and chasing the White Rabbit, and what many would describe as psychedelic trips – there are quite a few lessons to be learned. Here are my favorites.
1) Always Remain Calm
Alice falls down the rabbit hole and has no idea where she will end up, but she remains very calm. As you watch her descend, she never really seems to become unnerved. She even takes a moment to take in the oddness of the things around her. When faced with this matter she adapts quickly and forges forward into the unknown and rolls with the punches.
2) Know Where You Want To Go
One of my favorite scenes in this movie is the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat when Alice comes to a crossroads. Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should go and the cat responds by saying, it depends on where she wants to go. When Alice responds that she doesn’t care where, the Cheshire Cat simply replies “then it doesn’t matter which way you go”. This dialogue always reminds me to have a plan. If I don’t have a destination or goal in mind, I have no directions and without directions, I get nowhere.
I think we should all have the courage to be like Alice. Some may argue that Alice didn’t speak up enough – allowing her self to be pushed around by talking doorknobs, eating mushrooms under the directions of others, and being told what to do by the mysterious creatures of Wonderland. I think Alice just went with the flow, allowed her curiosity to be her guide, didn’t sweat the small things, and enjoyed the ride.
We should never take life too seriously. We should take the time to live in the moment and enjoy all experiences as they come. The truth is we all have had and will have rabbit hole days because life happens.
Alice in Wonderland image available from Shutterstock