Exploring dreams, imagination, magic and mantra prayers. What does Disney’s Cinderella teach us about ourselves?
Ok, so apparently we are having a Disney Princess theme this week. Yesterday is was Mary Poppins (yea, I know, she’s not a princess….), today Cinderella, tomorrow …. who knows?
While I’m not a big fan of the typical thematic interpretation of the Disney Princess genre (you know, lonely girl longs to find her prince, she enters into some sort of journey, then finds her prince and lives happily ever after), I will attempt to look past the “happily ever after dependent upon finding your prince,” to find the universal message for those of us in the real world! Today, I feel called to spend some time with Cinderella.
As the firstborn child in a typical American middle class family of moderate dysfunction, I could totally relate to the Cinderella theme of “how come I have to do all the work?” I recall as a child identifying with the Disney interpretation of the child forced into drudgery by her cruel stepmother. Yep, I loved cultivating my inner victim and longed for the “prince” that would rescue me from the responsibilities of the firstborn. Today all I can do is say, “Sorry mom.” I was a huge brat and in many ways lazy (as I guess most teens are) and I admittedly loved nurturing the illusion of entitlement. Again, sorry mom!
Now, looking beyond my inner victim, I ask, what does Cinderella have to teach me (us) today? The answer to this question seems to be hidden within the Cinderella soundtrack. One of the things I love about Disney films is that they are great at creating standout soundtracks to accompany their films and within these soundtracks are usually one or two (or in the case of Mary Poppins – MANY) songs that totally make the movie. This is no less the case for Cinderella. There are two songs from this film that stand out to me and it is these songs that illuminate the universal message within Disney’s Cinderella.
A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhTjnzlcIeI
If you don’t want to take the time to click on the YouTube link and watch the video, here is what the song says:
A dream is a wish your heart makes…
In dreams you will lose your heartaches…
Have faith in your dreams and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through.
No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.
Not being a huge fan of the pop-culture spirituality that says, “Ask and you will receive” coupled with “You create your own reality and what you think you will have,” I’m not inclined to give a literal interpretation to the Cinderella soliloquy. Instead, let’s look at it from a Divine-centered perspective. Here is my current working theory (right or wrong):
- God plants within our heart our highest truth and knowledge of the path that will lead us to our highest good.
- We have access to this knowledge through active attention to the Divine through our hearts, intuition, dreams, imagination, insight, learning, knowledge, physical and spiritual vision.
- We are invited to be open to receiving God’s vision for our life and when we act upon this vision, our life unfolds in a magnificent way far beyond what we ever could have imagined (manifested) for ourselves.
The Cinderella dream song reminds us of this truth. When we tend to the dreams and visions within our hearts – those guided by the Divine within us, then whatever “we wish for” will come true. This is not magic….this is REAL! But in truth, when we actually do this, it feels nothing less than magical. But how do we allow ourselves to be open to receiving the Divine vision of our highest truth and greatest path? The answer is in the second great song from Disney’s Cinderella:
Bibbity Bobbity Boo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAJr1ixBdIc
Now I have to give credit to my (now deceased) mother-in-law, Deanna Schmidt, for what you will now read. Bibbity Bobbity Boo, while presented as a magical incantation invoked by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, it is nothing less than (thanks to Dee) a mantra prayer. Mantra prayer is one of the infinite ways in which we can allow ourselves to be open to receiving Divine guidance, insight and comfort in our lives. Through mantra prayer, we repeat a sacred word or phrase over and over and over, allowing the rhythm and repetition to lull us into a peaceful, meditative state. Bibbity Bobbity Boo is a fantastic form of mantra prayer (and was used by my mother-in-law when she felt anxious or scared – in fact, it is the prayer she used when fighting breast cancer).
And….I suddenly realized there is one more VERY IMPORTANT lesson for us in Disney’s Cinderella…….WE ARE NEVER ALONE in our spiritual journeys. This is the role of the Fairy Godmother – to remind us that the Divine places people into our lives (or we draw them to ourselves, or both) that act as a vessel through which the Divine is able to unfold the miracle in our lives. And isn’t Fairy Godmother a great title for these amazing, magical people?
So the invitation today is to:
Reflect on the dreams your heart is revealing to you. How might they be leading you to your highest truth?
What tools are you currently using to be open to Divine guidance and inspiration in your life?
Who are the Fairy Godmothers and Godfathers in your own life who have acted as vehicles for the Divine in your life?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth