Last week, I spent a day at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. Adventures in indulgent eating and voracious people-watching ensued.

It’s been about 20 years since I’ve visited Disney World, and I was pleased to note that my cynical side gave way to curiosity and wonder, especially over one ride called Soarin’.

Strapped into my “aviator” seat for a flight around the world, the carriage lifts, my feet swinging, as we plunge into the mist, tipping upward to ascend ice capped mountains. I clutch at the arm rest and catch my breath.

It’s so real!

We soar over glacier-filled oceans and polar bears, elephants kicking up dust, the Great Wall of China, the gardens of Versailles filled with what I swear is the scent of jasmine.

I remind myself over and over: It’s just a ride.

We’re not really flying over mountains in an open-faced carriage that toss me out at any moment.

It’s just a ride, and the smile doesn’t leave my face.

I’m still marveling at how REAL a movie projected onto a screen appeared to be, and how easily my mind was tricked into thinking that I was actually flying above the earth.

Yet with the reminder that it’s a clever projection, and there is no risk of falling, I’m enjoying the ride of my life.

What if I knew all of life was like that: my thoughts projecting “reality” on the screen, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes terrifying?

What if I could remember that my thoughts are no more real than any movie, and the essence of me is always safely strapped in?

It was so much fun when I didn’t believe it was real!

The Fugly Thought Movie

The next day I wake up and it’s my time of the month.

I’m crampy and grumpy after getting an insufficient funds notice from my bank. It’s after noon before we get to Disney Springs for something to eat, and nothing pleases me.

My guts are in turmoil and my thinking is worse.

What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I have this figured out yet? I should be doing something that I’m not doing, and I don’t even know what that is!

Here’s the difference between today and one year ago.

A year ago, I would have recognized that my thinking and the meaning I’m giving to these events is what’s causing me pain.

I would have used my favorite tool of the day (Time Line Therapy, energy clearings, EFT, Byron Katie’s Work, Existential Kink) to attack and eradicate the offending Thought.

Today, that doesn’t seem like the thing to do.

Rather than eliminate the thoughts – which doesn’t even seem possible, frankly – what if I notice, even a little bit, that I’m on that ride, trembling and angry at the thoughts projected on that movie screen?

What if I don’t have to get rid of the thoughts? It’s enough to not believe them, just for a millisecond.

And suddenly it’s hysterically funny.

Even in the midst of my bitching and complaining, I’m enjoying it, the way I might enjoy a good scare in a horror movie, or crying after a Shakespearean tragedy where everyone dies alone.

In the next moment, my thinking seems real again.

I’m pissed that Disney Springs doesn’t serve any health food, the weather in Florida is so goddamn hot, there aren’t enough clients knocking down my door, and my forehead is growing wrinkles.

But those thoughts don’t seem quite so solid and real as they used to.

In fact, I can (almost) see myself suspended above imaginary snow-topped mountains with an imaginary impending fall to my death – enjoying the ride.

Yours in creative play,

Steph

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