Alice in Wonderland is the birthplace of Musings of a Whimsical Mind. Diving deep into the profound caverns of my mind is a lifelong pursuit & preferred pastime. When I first watched this movie, I was enchanted by the magical absurdity of it all, but I learned so many life lessons from it. Here are a few of them.
1. Never lose your inner child!
When the movie begins, Alice is in the garden with her governess, in the middle of a lesson. She is immersed in a daydream, making a flower crown. Her governess realizes she no longer has a captive audience, scolding her. Alice retorts, “And what is the use of a book… without pictures or conversations?” Think back to who you were as a child. Everything fascinated you, the world was full of wonder & you loved color, adventure & a side dose of, “Anything is possible.” Granted, growing up & the world of adulting is a different ball game & a lot harder, but don’t let me kill your inner child. Look for the little miracles that lace your day with wonder & reverence for life as we know it, be it an astonishing sunset or making a new friend, see the wonder in it all.
2. Allow yourself to evolve; you are not set in stone!
Alice spends time with a wise old caterpillar that turns into a butterfly at the end of their conversation. The caterpillar asks Alice who she is. She responds, “I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” You are a work in progress, an evolutionary piece that has the ability to regenerate on a daily basis. Like the caterpillar, you will leave your cocoon & evolve into a magnificent thing of beauty. Firstly, respect your journey; you’ve changed, you’ve grown, you’ve built a better version of yourself. Accept all the different parts of you, warts & all. Lastly, make a concerted effort to improve. Nothing grows in stagnant waters, it is the place where dreams & ambition go to die, so flow, adapt, evolve & work to become a showpiece!
3. No one has the answers!
The Cheshire Cat is my favorite character in the movie. He shares such insightful nuggets of wisdom. “We’re all mad here!” he announces to Alice. We are all mad here, we’re all struggling with something, we’re all making it up as we go along. Let the records show, some people seem to have their lives together & granted they might but when the lights go out, & we all strip away the polished facade, we’re all clueless in the adulting game. The people who excel are just like you, the only difference is they work a bit harder, take more risks, & believe they can achieve greatness. No one has it all figured out so don’t be ashamed if you don’t either. This leads to my next point.
4. Figure it out!
While speaking to the Cheshire Cat, Alice asks which way she should go.
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.”
Before you set out into the big bad world, or if you’re already mired in the thick of it, figure out where you are going. You don’t have to figure everything out all at once, but it would help to have a plan & a set destination in mind. If your life is determined by a default future that will occur organically, your yellow brick road will be littered with weeds & thorns instead of the blossoms & blessings you would like. Intention & mindful existence is the key to a life of impact. If we assume age will come with wisdom, but we do nothing to inculcate it within ourselves, age will come alone if not with senility. In the same way, we need to set a solid target for ourselves in a bid to foster meaning. Is it scary to do, yes, because we feel we are somehow less if we fail, but failing to plan is a sure way to lose so figure out where you want to go & who you want to be.
5. Get an edumacation. Yes, I said edumacation!
A while back I was talking to a friend of mine & I shared what I considered to be cold hard facts about the COVID pandemic. He swiftly corrected me, deriding me with a, “So you’re out here spreading fake news!” In the same way, Alice starts, “I don’t think-” only to be interrupted, “Then you shouldn’t talk!” The Mad Hatter drops some truth bombs. We live in the age of endless information; Youtube tutorials can turn you into an expert overnight. Continuous learning is embodied in sites like Coursera, Future Learn & Udemy. The point; you have no excuse to be ignorant. No one is entitled to an opinion unless it is informed so read up. Improve your skill set, build a portfolio, get a clue! We have no reason not to think so let’s be enlightened instead. We can heal, we can be better, we can become learned!
Alice in Wonderland is my swansong. It is where I began & where I will end. It’s been a joy unravelling my childhood & inner musings with you all. Adios, amigos! Fare thee well!