“ . . . to be a Queen! How grand it sounds!”
Advancement, Accomplishment, Celebration, Promotion, Upgrade
Alice bounds into the last square, throwing herself down to have a little rest, and immediately finds a golden crown upon her head. She does have to pass the final examination, but it’s gibberish, and before it’s all worked out, the Red and White Queen are calling her “your majesty.”
As the other queens nap, Alice takes a little walk only to find a doorway labeled “QUEEN ALICE.” Inside, Alice finds a feast, and guests, all celebrating Alice’s new advancement. It’s as if they were just waiting for her to show up. It’s as if all of this had been the plan from the start; becoming a queen, that is.
Even though Alice is surprised at her sudden rise to royalty, “I never expected I should be a Queen so soon--,” it’s important to recognize all that she has been through to get here.
First of all, she took that first courageous leap down the rabbit hole to begin with, she did a great deal of growing (and shrinking as well), had all sorts of encounters that, though they may have been disconcerting and disorienting, she came through no worse for the wear. She held her own with the blood-thirsty Queen of Hearts, engaged quite charmingly with a disappearing cat, swiftly escaped the dangers of the Large Puppy, rescued the Baby Pig from being butchered by the hot-tempered Cook, drew the line with the Mad Hatter and his crazy entourage at the tea party, and held her own quite impressively with the multiple kings and queens with which she rendezvou’d. Yes, Alice has most definitely earned this right, and it may well be that you, too have earned a promotion of sorts.
In a way, this royal reward has been here all along, just waiting for you to claim it. What it is, exactly, may be obvious, and if it is, then allow yourself to really enjoy it. Take a moment to look back at all that you’ve gone through to get here. Remember who you were before you jumped down the rabbit hole, and recognize the regal being you are now.
Meditation #1: With eyes closed, and letting the breath find a steady, natural rhythm, allow yourself to really drop in to the journey you’ve been on. See what you’ve learned, what you’ve accomplished, the challenges you’ve faced and overcome. And once you’ve taken the time to review your journey, look at where you are now. Take in all the rewards and resources that are available for you now that you have come to this place of completion. It doesn’t mean you’re done growing, and it doesn’t mean the adventures are finished, it’s just a mile-marker on the continual road of life, and it’s time to celebrate how far you’ve come. If you’d like, you can turn around and face forward to get a sense of where you might like to head next, now that you have the golden crown and a few new tools and talents to help you navigate the mysteries of Wonderland.
If your upgrade is not so apparent, then take a moment to check in and find what treasures are sitting in front of you. What celebratory feast is laid out just for you?
Meditation #2: In a quiet place, allow your breath to bring you into a sense of deep calm. Ask yourself what you hold within you that is worthy of being celebrated at this time. What challenges have you survived, and what skills and wisdom have you gained as a result of your successful navigation of the madness of Wonderland. Remember that having challenges, and running into obstacles isn’t a sign of failure; it is only proof that you have been on the training course for something better. No muscle is developed, no talent fine-tuned, no wisdom gained without some sort of confrontation and work, and the more you face, the more you stand to gain, so take this moment to find the treasure that may have been hidden in all of those battles and barriers that are now behind you. Really allow yourself to revel in how far you’ve come.
Illustration by Katherine Lemmer- high school artist