Quote by Walt Disney.
I was in work and one of my friends told me an awesome story that involved positive thinking and Disney. Before she could pause for breath, I asked her to write it down. Enjoy…
I recently returned from a magical trip to Disneyland Paris. The trip was fantastic, we saw the parades, fireworks and never had to wait too long in lines for rides. The food was delicious and the weather was (aside from one thunderstorm the first night) gloriously sunny and spring-like.
This was all right up until we went to return home to England. We had booked the Eurostar to take us directly to London, non-stop and then we had another train booked to take us from London back home to the Sussex coast. When we arrived at the train station in Disneyland and were told that due to French rail strike action, that would not be happening. We would instead have to take a train from Disneyland to another station just outside central Paris, then change to a train to Paris central. There we would be told if we had seats on a train 3 hours later than our original planned departure, sitting together with my husband wasn’t guaranteed either. The late departure time would also mean we might not make our train in London.
It was at this moment I took a ‘pause’. This is something I have learnt from both the goddess and spiritual leader Oprah Winfrey and from doing Mindfulness training with school.
The ‘pause’ allowed me to find calm and consider what my reaction would be. So I took a quick inventory of my thoughts and feelings. What was I feeling? Frustration, anger, anxiety?
For example: I might have said to the man (who was actually just a volunteer) something confrontational like “This isn’t good enough”. I could have turned to my husband and taken it out on him “I knew we should have checked this before we came. It’s your fault- you should have checked”. Or, I could have beaten myself up with negative thoughts ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ or ‘You don’t deserve happiness, something always goes wrong’.
Pause and breathe.
Instead my response was this:
To the volunteer at the station: “Thank you so much, I am sure we will work it all out, hope you get home okay too”.
To my husband “It’s a bit annoying but, it will give us a chance to have a couple of drinks at the station as the last send-off of a great trip”
To myself ‘You are calm and can cope with this change of plan. You are grateful you have had a lovely trip with a husband who you have lots of fun with. You will look back on this as an adventure when you are back at work on a dull boring day’ and ‘You do deserve good things and this is a small setback, which you will handle as you do everything that comes your way’.
This is how I handled the situation. With a pause of calm, I was able to engage in positive thought, gratitude, and kindness. Not only to others but to myself.
At Paris central station, as we sat and drank our pints of ice-cold French beer, I heard other people around me complain at officials and volunteers in raised voices and aggression in their faces. Their body language towards family members was tense and dis-engaged. Grumpy children still wearing their Mickey Mouse ears wailed and parents scolded their behaviour briefly, before returning to their negativity towards the officials or each other. (Disclaimer: I fully appreciate I do not have children and I can imagine how stressful travel is at the best of times let alone in these circumstances)
As we finally left the waiting area to board the train, we walked right down the platform to the front of the train. As we boarded, we turned right into a First-class carriage. My husband double checked our tickets. Yes, we had the right seats- we had been upgraded! Not only bigger comfier seats, but this included a lovely meal, with wine and French patisseries.
I don’t know about you but that surely proof that positive thinking works.
Thanks to the lovely Martine for typing this up for me, now I can read this back and remember to pause, breath and go to Disney more often.