“Drink Me,” were the words on a label around a bottle. In the story, Alice found this when seeking to get to a most beautiful garden in what we come to know as Wonderland. Her access was temporarily denied because she was too tall for the tunnel that opened onto the garden. Drinking the liquid in the bottle shrunk her down to ten inches tall – the perfect height to get into the garden.
Alice in Wonderland is a children’s story that has enchanted generations. It is also a story with lots of lessons for those who like to think about her adventures. Alice faces many challenges, and always finds a way to overcome them – though not always without tears and rarely without help.
I write this blog for those of us facing difficulties. We need a solution, like Alice. As life gets harder, we can revise our expectations of what to hope for – expectations that become smaller – like Alice did. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
Most of us reduce the scale of our hopes and expectations so that we feel less disappointed when ‘Life’ doesn’t deliver the fairy tale happiness we are fed by some advertisers and storytellers.
This reduction, though, can be flipped to our advantage. Now that my own expectations are tiny, I have found a friend in being grateful for tiny things. I have drunk from the bottle labelled ‘Drink Me’ and shrunk my world. Like Alice, I have moved forward looking for ways to make Life work. And what pleasures there are in tiny things!
May I share some examples?
This morning, a single Acer leaf – ripe apple red – catching the first light of the morning – lit up like a burning bush. The other day, after working through the day without eating sensibly, a friend gave me a beer. That first tiny mouthful was the best tasting beer – ever.
Last Saturday, I caught the scent of one of the most beautiful perfumes I had ever experienced. Soon, I found the person wearing it – someone I only formerly knew in passing. I commented on how wonderful the perfume was, and she and another friend and I had a joyful discussion about the right perfume for each person’s chemistry. More importantly, this lady ‘glowed’ with the recognition and appreciation I had shown her.
The ‘gossip’ of the sparrows in the hedge is not so tiny – they make quite a noise – but I love it. The comfort of the pillow tucked under my tummy when I need to snuggle to sleep also is a simple pleasure – a tiny victory to be grateful for.
For me, and I believe for you, gratitude is fuel to energise our onward journey. Whilst, honestly, I am not at all grateful for the way Life is turning out, I have set my will to celebrate with gratitude the tiny gems that sparkle in each day.
Would you share some of those tiny gems of gratitude that lift your spirit? What tiny things are you grateful for?
May I also invite you to drink from the bottle that says, “Drink Me!”? I promise it is safe, and in the midst of tiny moments of gratitude, you may also begin, like Alice, to enjoy the loveliest garden you ever saw…
The Boardroom Education