I’ve recently started re-watching the Disney classics with my little 3 year old daughter and love the life lessons they contain if you look for them.
For instance there are some fantastic Mindfulness tips in the Cinderella movie.
Here are 6 of my favourites:
1. Bad things happen, and some people do mean things.
Cinderella’s step-mum is so cruel, she makes Cinderella live in the attic, and forces her to do all the housework. The lesson here is that bad things happen and sometimes people do mean things. Once we can accept that, then we can work out how to respond.
2. Children are Resilient.
Cinderella endures bereavement as well as terrible mistreatment at the hands of her step-family. Yet she never loses hope, and remains cheerful, kind and calm. Perhaps it was her temperament or “good parenting” before her mother and father died. Remember, most people, especially children, are often stronger than we give them credit for.
3. Attitude Matters.
Cinderella had a choice. She could have spent her days wallowing in self-pity or raging at her step-family, but instead she accepted her situation without judgment, focused on the small joys of her life, and remained hopeful about the future. That doesn’t mean the appropriate response to all of life’s challenges is to sing a cheerful song and play with wild mice. However, we can choose how to respond to the hard moments and difficult relationships that we all face in life. Our attitude makes a difference, for ourselves and our children.
4. Money and riches can’t make you happy.
We all know this one, but it’s worth repeating. Cinderella’s step-sisters, were spoiled by their step-mother, yet they were cruel and vain. They had everything they wanted, but they had no perspective on their good fortune, and no sense of gratitude. Ultimately, they were deeply unhappy.
5. Insight and change happens in our darkest moments.
After her first gown is ripped to shreds by her step-sisters and she realises that she won’t be able to go to the ball, Cinderella bursts into tears. The hope that sustained her through so much, was shattered and in that moment her Fairy Godmother appears. Sometimes transformation can only happen when we finally let ourselves feel and accept our true feelings. The trick is to be open to the possibilities in those dark moments; Cinderella could have been scared or suspicious of her fairy godmother. But she was open to possibility and the magic happened.
6. Everyone is worthy of our kindness.
When we are mistreated by those who have power over us, it can be tempting to take it out on others weaker than us. Cinderella could have kicked the cat, set mouse traps, and slammed the door on those noisy birds. But she didn’t. Cinderella treated her animal friends with kindness and respect. She didn’t expect anything in return, as true kindness isn’t a business transaction. It’s something we give because it is who we are or who we want to be.
Kindness is the natural outcome of mindful awareness; when we are able to see, with acceptance, the connection between all things; it’s hard to not feel kindness and empathy for others.
Mindful parenting isn’t about being perfect, but it is about being present, and in that presence we can take a step towards becoming the parent we want to be.
…and of course, you’ll have a great excuse to watch more Disney movies 😉
Enjoy the journey!
Ian Banyard is a Nature Connection Guide and author of Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection. He is passionate about exploring nature and empowering people. Ian combines a wealth of knowledge and experience from his personal and corporate life with intuitive and instinctive insights from his own inner journey, to guide others.
Ian lives in Gloucestershire, UK where he guides Natural Mindfulness Walks and provides coaching, courses, gatherings and retreats, for others who want to deepen their connection with nature and their true nature.
To attend a Natural Mindfulness Walk or event, visit Natural Mindfulness Walks
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