The Disney Culture

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You may have noticed that I haven’t made a post in a while, that is due to the fact that I was in Disney World for a week! Since then I have been working on making a creative space in my house. Normally, I would make a post about the next question in Soul Pancake, but for today’s post I decided to write about Disney after all my blog is named after Peter Pan’s home.

I have been going to Disney my entire life.. To me, going to Disney World is more than just going to an amusement park. Going to Disney is an experience; one that changes with age. When I was little Disney was magically.           I was the little girl who went around the parks in her princess dress.Image

I had every character’s autograph, and I even learned the Princess Stance from Jasmine. For me, Disney was that one place where all my dreams and wishes came true. I could see Cinderella’s castle, eat breakfast with all the princesses, and I could even perform with Belle. When you’re young Disney isn’t about the rides or the souvenirs, it’s about seeing your favorite movie live on stage,or  getting to run up and hug your favorite princess.

I went to Disney the most when I was young, but I also went when I was 12. At 12 you get in your head that your just a little too cool to take pictures with characters. But that doesn’t mean that going to Disney wasn’t/ isn’t an experience. At 12 I was old enough to understand and appreciate the details put into the theme parks. I was able to ride Splash Mountain and see all the details during the wait. That year I got to help with the planning of the trip, so I learned how to use a map, time management, and I even learned how to go with the flow. Even though I spent hours planning each day in the park, sometimes things don’t go as planned; for example we ran into a talking/walking tree; sure it put us behind the schedule I had but it created a memory that I will never forget. One of the greatest gifts I received from the trip was a chance to be a kid again. That was the first time we had went since moving 4 times. Moving 4 times in one year didn’t leave a lot of room for “magical moments”. Going to Disney really helped remind me that I was only 12, and having fun is an important part of being a preteen. Image

For this Disney trip I was 15. A teenager. Now most people assume that when a teenager goes to Disney they are only seeing it as an amusement park, but that is definitely not how I saw Disney. This trip was full of roller coaster rides, amazing shows, and fantastic food; but mostly this trip was full of magic. Not the kind of magic where you get items that you’ve always wanted, and not even the kind of magic that brings princesses to life. This was the kind of magic that was able to take a 15 year old girl, and make her feel like she was 5 again. It was Disney magic. It allowed me to get a break from the workload of an early college, get away from the drama of a 15 year old, and just have fun. I was able to sit on the ground and wait 45 minutes to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid, I was able to reach  the level of Star Space Cadet in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I was able to face my fear of the Yeti on Expedition Everest. I was even able to eat a crepe in France. This Disney trip was just what I needed; it was a reminder that there is still fun in the world, and that I’m still just a little girl. Being able to have the experience of feeling young again was the most magical gift I have received in a long time.

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On the drive home from Disney, I sat there thinking about a way that I could help keep that magic alive. I tried to remember how I had done it when I was little. Then suddenly I remembered. When I was little I would play with Disney toys,

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I would make the characters act out the movie that they stared in. Lucky for me I had seen the movies so many times that I knew them pretty much word for word. Thinking back I realized that these Disney movies have taught me valuable life lessons. I decided that to end this blog post I would list some of my favorite movies and the lessons they taught me. You would never realize how much you learn from movies, whether it be good or bad. But for today’s challenge I challenge you to think about what you have learned from movies. I know that now I am guilty of watching movies with very low life lessons, they’re mainly just comedy. But when I was little I learned a lesson in every movie I watched. So think about it. What do you learn from movies? Post it was a comment, share it on Facebook, tell the world what you learn from movies.

The Newsies: Seize the day; Anyone can make a change

Finding Nemo: Just keep swimming

Beauty and the Beast: Never judge/love another based on their appearance

Monsters Inc: Laughter has more power than screams

Toy Story: The power of friendship

Peter Pan: Growing up is important, but you don’t have to turn mean and grouchy in the process

Lion King: Hakuna Matata

Mary Poppins: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down; finding joy and fun in things makes them easier to deal with

Question 3: How Do You Reconcile Discrepancies Between Reason and Faith?

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For me this is an extra hard question because I am not religious so I don’t have a clear cut faith. Religion has never played an important role in my life, I didn’t go to church when I was little, I went to a Unitarian Universalist Church for a couple years but decided to stop going. In today’s society it may seem odd that I don’t go to church and I’m not religious; but for me it has always been something I’ve done on my own. I came up with my own faith and belief system. No I didn’t write a new Bible and come up with a new creation story, I just came up with my own faith. I really only believe in one saying, and that is  Everything happens for a reason. I have pretty much lived by that saying since the fourth grade. That was the year I moved around a lot and my way to deal with it was to just keep saying, “We are moving here for a reason”. That was the first time I really thought about the idea of faith.

Reason is usually what I rely on. I have always been into school and academics, so it’s no wonder that I have always leaned towards reason. My brain is constantly trying to grasp the idea of how something happens or why it happens. Science fascinates me, especially the idea of evolution. I have always been the girl who would choose to look for a physical way to help someone rather than to send them a prayer. Reason is something that I am always looking for and trying to understand.

So I guess the answer to this question depends on the person. For me I choose reason over faith. Whenever there is something contradictory between the two of them I always choose reason. I like stuff that I can completely grasp and that we have proof of. Don’t get me wrong I think it is important to have religion and faith in your life, and I love seeing people being passionate about their faith; it’s just not for me.

 

What are your thoughts on this question? Think about it, write it down, share it! I have a new Facebook page for the Neverland Effect so share it on there, or make it a comment, or just share it with your family. Tell the world how you reconcile discrepancies between reason and faith!

 

 

My idea of faith also includes love, love makes everything better  Love is an important part of my belief system

Question 2: Sidewalk Scribe

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For the second question in Soul Pancake you had to complete an activity. But before I tell you about the activity I completed, I have to answer the question; What is your personal philosophy on life?  Instantly, the acronym YOLO came into my head. Not because its my philosophy, rather it is most other teens philosophy. To me YOLO (you only live once) is a good concept but not really a philosophy. I grew up a Disney buff, I have been to Disney World several times and could recite most of the movies by heart. Therefore my motto has always been Hakuna Mattata (it means no worries). Perhaps this is because of the famous Disney song, or maybe it is just simply that it is a good motto. But a motto is not a philosophy. Hakuna Mattata is a part of my life philosophy, as is the entire idea of the Neverland Effect.

My life philosophy is simply to live each and ever day to its fullest. Don’t worry about tomorrow or the past, just live in the moment. While living that way I try to keep that “childhood magic” alive in my heart and soul; for what’s the fun in a life without magic.

The second part of this question was to indeed be a Sidewalk Scribe. A sidewalk scribe is something most people have done at some point in their life. All you have to do is grab some chalk and find a sidewalk. Once there just relay your thoughts, life messages, mottos, anything you want on the sidewalk.

In case you need clearer instructions:

Step 1: Acquire chalk

Step 2: Go outside and find a sidewalk with your chalk

 

Step 3: Make your masterpiece

 

Now I challenge you to sum up your life philosophy then go be a sidewalk scribe. I would love to see your beautiful creations. Post it as a comment, share it on Facebook, show the world what your philosophy is!

Question 1: How Do You Determine Truth?

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What a great opening question. The first thing that popped into my head when I read this was, What is truth? Truth is something that you believe; whether it be the way an event took place, what you see, how you feel; truth means a lot of different things.  But to me the truth could be subjective. For example; say my friend and I are looking at the clouds (something I find complete pleasure in) and she says the cloud looks like a snake, while I say it appears to be a rabbit. Clearly the cloud could only really be a cloud; but does that mean we lied. No, it means we see things different. A lie is when you intentionally say something that isn’t so. For example, if my brother asked what I was doing right now and I said swimming; that would be a lie. But anyway, now that I clearly understand my thoughts on what is truth I can answer the question. I believe you determine truth by trying to see things from whomever perspective your questioning. Just because you don’t know something or you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean that it is not true. Now of course there are situations when you are hearing lots of information and you have to determine what you think is true. I determine truth in those situations by simply going with my gut feeling. When you hear lots of facts your body is always trying to tell you something. Your brain naturally leans towards one side of the argument. Don’t overthink or over-analyze the situation, go with your initial gut feeling; and for you, that is the truth.

 

In short; you determine truth by going with what you think. What you saw, heard, feel; that is the truth to you. After thinking about it, truth is a very subjective and personal thing. Maybe next time you will think twice before calling someone a liar, and realize that they just have a different truth than you.

 

I encourage you to think about what truth means to you. Post it as a comment, share it on your Facebook, tell the world how you determine truth!

Let the journey begin

The Soul Pancake Journey

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Soul Pancake; Chew on Life’s Big Questions is a book by Rainn Wilson. In this book he simply asks big questions and leaves it up to you to discover your answer. Some of the questions are equipped with statistics, while others come with an activity you could do. The book is divided into the following sections; The Brain and the Soul, Art and Creativity, Experiences and Emotions, Love- Sex and Relationships, Virtues and Vices, Introspection- Reflection and Identity, God and Religion, Science and Technology, and Life-Death and Living. My plan is to go page by page and explain my answers to the questions via Neverland Effect. All of the posts on my blog will be my answers to the questions, but I encourage you to create your own answers to the questions. If you are interested in purchasing the book, by all means purchase it. I find it fun to flip through randomly. The story behind my copy of Soul Pancake is an interesting one.  During my 9th grade year, I went through a difficult time. My emotions were all over the place and I felt very lost. During that time I received a package from a close family friend. In this package was her copy of Soul Pancake.  At the time I wasn’t in a good place to look through the book (I recommend being in a clear mindset before thinking of answers to the questions). But now that I am in a clear place I am thoroughly enjoying reading through the book and cannot wait to share my answers with you.

What does this have to do with The Neverland Effect?

Its all in how you answer the questions. I could very easily research articles about the answers, and see what the world’s top thinkers have to say; but that defeats the purpose. The Neverland Effect is all about keeping that childhood mentality of thinking simply. So often as young adults and adults we complicate everything. My goal is to take these hard questions and answer them simply from how I feel. Not after hours of thinking, or weeks of researching; but I will simply read the question and write down exactly what comes into my head. I encourage you all to do the same. Start by doing it with the Soul Pancake questions I write about, then expand it to your daily life. I believe that simplicity is the key to happiness, and the key to staying in touch with your “inner youth”.