Life is a Beautiful Ride: Learning to Trust
November 18, 2011
I literally said that, out loud, when I saw this photo.
A friend (who also happens to be my favorite photographer) has been taking and sharing one awesome photograph every day this year. You can check out the past 11 months and 17 days of his 365 project here:
>>> Wobsarazzi <<<
The moment of astounding beauty above was captured at Disneyland. Aside from the perfectly contrasting and insanely vibrant colors, that might be another reason I love this photo – Having grown up in Anaheim, Disneyland is comforting to me. It reminds me of home and good times with family and friends.
The photo also makes me think of the incredible accomplishments of Walt Disney, and the joy and amazement he brought to this world by going after his imaginings and manifesting his crazy dreams.
Some of his wisdom:
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
Another inspirational specter conjured by this oscillating photo is Bill Hicks, and his comedy bit about the ride of life:
The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it’s real, because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud and it’s fun… for a while.
Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question – is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say “Hey! Don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because – this is just a ride.”
And… we kill those people. “Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride – SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account and family! This has to be real!” It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because:
It’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.
The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defense each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would – many times over – not one human being excluded; and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.
Are you enjoying your ride?
Imagine being on a ride at Disneyland and instead of enjoying it, you’re stressing about the next turn, you’re trying to force the car to go in a different direction because you think you want to go somewhere other than where it’s taking you; you are constantly worried and anxious about the car flying off the tracks and being killed.
That wouldn’t be any fun at all.
Disneyland is only the happiest place on earth because people trust. They trust that the engineers who designed the ride knew what they were doing and don’t want us to die or get maimed. They have faith that they are protected and supported, and have faith that the ride is going to take them somewhere fun. They enjoy the rides because they’ve relinquish the need to control, the need to protect themselves. They’ve suspended their fear of death. They release, they surrender, they go with the flow of the moment, they enjoy it, delighting in it rather than fighting it.
Rides aren’t any fun without trust, without faith. And neither is life.
I’m not necessarily talking about faith in religion or priests or a white-bearded God or Shiva or the Universal Consciousness, etc; I’m talking about faith in yourself. Faith that you will be able to deal with and adapt to any situation that you find yourself in. Faith that if you are unable to deal with it, your friends and family, or even strangers, will be there to help you out.
Alan Watts says,”Faith is the act of letting go.” Taking your hands off the steering wheel and trusting.
Moving to Argentina, I’ve had more than enough opportunities to practice trust and faith. Trusting people and being vulnerable makes me uncomfortable. In the past I always thought I had to control, to force, to push things to be the way I wanted them to be, the way I thought things would be best for me. I thought that if I had to ask for help, it meant I’d failed. I was also constantly trying to protect myself from getting hurt (and getting hurt is, to our minds, just a precursor to getting dead).
Over the past few months, I’ve had to practice letting go. I’m getting better at trusting and having faith that everything is working out as it’s meant to, in its own perfect time, and that I’m supported. I’ve been choosing to focus on the love that surrounds me, instead of the fears in my head.
And the ride – it’s just getting more and more fun, and right where I am is the happiest place on earth.