The Queen of England just turned 88. It’s so exciting. Not really. I mean, it’s not that it’s not exciting, the same way that everyone’s birthday is. It’s just not extra exciting simply because she has a crown, and a castle, and those funny guards in the red suits who don’t smile.
I recently saw Princess Kate on the cover of People magazine. The headline was something about what kind of clothes she likes to wear as she travels the world in private jets being a princess. Truth is, I kind of understand the whole Queen thing. Queen Elizabeth is 88, and 88 years ago the world was a different place. To put things into perspective, they were listening to George Gershwin on large box radios, there was no TV (not even black and white), and an eye and a phone were two separate things, the latter still having a rotary dial and an operator who probably knew your name. But this is now. Princess Kate? She might be the Queen of England someday? Seriously?
I’m not really bothered by any of this, though. I just find it funny, in that ironic definition of funny, that we’re still playing along with this fairy tale. It’s kind of like pretending Disneyland is real. Today on the news, Mickey and Minnie Mouse visit President and Michele Obama, state dinner planned. Meanwhile, Daffy and Goofy have joined the Royal Air Force and Pocahontas has chosen Valentino as her designer of choice as she visits children in Africa.
The really interesting part is that we’ve granted these people this extreme level of fantasy, yet we don’t give ourselves even the smallest artistic license to make up joy and happiness in our own lives. We’ve given Elizabeth a crown and a horse-drawn carriage all the while looking in the mirror and not finding even the slightest evidence that we are special. And that’s why we do it, because the story of the royal family allows us to still believe in fairy tales; we just don’t believe they come true for us.
This is how we view life, right? We know there’s beauty; we see it everywhere, just not in our lives. We know there is abundance, even for the unlikeliest of lottery winners, but not for us. And we know there is love; we read the stories of other people and say, “I wish I could find mine.”
We have been taught for so long that we’re unworthy that it’s become our reality. Everywhere we look we see evidence that those people, over there, have it good and maybe I could, too, if only I do this or buy that and act a certain way. Hell, the largest religion in the country actually has a slogan, Lord, I’m not worthy.
Yet we are worthy. Underneath all the programming, negative thoughts and beliefs, abuse, oppressive rules, and unloving messages — underneath all that at the core of each of us is a being so brilliant, so amazing, so absolutely beautiful that when allowed to truly shine changes the world. It’s the courage that arose in Gandhi, it’s the love that emanates from the Dalai Lama, it’s the beauty that lives in a newborn baby and the special spark that we experience when we’re quiet and at peace with ourselves.
This is why I meditate. This is why I drink green juice. This is why I stretch my body. This is why I walk, and breathe, and do all the things that make up my daily practice. Because that beautiful me, the one who predates all the programming of my youth and all the distractions of my adulthood, that spark of God that is me buried deep inside, becomes a little more noticeable each time I connect with my core. I find him in quiet meditation, he smiles at me when I stretch, he flows through me with my breath, and he is nourished by the green juice.
Every moment of each day, each breath, thought, step, and word we choose we either reinforce the negative programming that says we’re unworthy and not good enough, or we begin anew and tell ourselves a new story, an empowered story inspired by the beauty and love that lives in us all. That means that every moment is a new chance to start again, an opportunity to crown yourself the king or queen of your life, to treat your body like a royal body and to love yourself the way we, to this day, love the fairy tale of the Queen.
Try it today, in whatever way feels most joyful for you — put down the Coke and buy a green juice, stop yourself in the middle of a debilitating thought and say, “May I feel loved,” take a deep cleansing breath in the middle of a stressful meeting — whatever it may be that interrupts the pattern of your day. Stop now and give yourself a little love, be the monarch for just a moment.
I #love you for who you are, not what you do. I am here for you. You are my #dream come true.
And then tonight, as the day winds into the evening and the kids have rushed off to bed, stop by your child’s room, sit down, and gently skittle their back. Tell them they are your princes and princesses, tell them they live in an amazing world where all their dreams can come true, give them a loving gaze from deep inside and say simply, “I love you for who you are, not what you do. You can be anything you want to be. I am here for you. You are my dream come true.”
Big hugs of love,