Tonight, as I was thinking about what to write about next…. Disney’s “live action” of Beauty & the Beast was on TV. As my favorite Disney princess, I couldn’t help but put that on as I thought about what information to share. It was the opening song scene of “Belle” – you know the song – “Bonjour bonjour, Bonjour bonjour bonjour, There goes the baker with his tray, like always…” And during that song, as you probably know, Belle is off wondering through the town respectfully, reading and learning and wanting more than the simple status quo expected of her while the town, more or less, mocks her “funniness”.
That got me thinking… how often do we come into various situations while tackling and managing land where we feel as though we are “that funny girl” that “doesn’t quite fit in”, like Belle…
And then I started to think about all the other Disney princesses… how every one of them had some sort of quirk that made them different than everyone else. Of course, it is these very quirks that usually turn out to be the girl’s strength through the films. Often times we only refer to Disney princesses when discussing romances, but how many values and lessons can be take from these childhood female role models and transfer them, as adults, to our land management techniques.
First let’s consider some stereo-typically thought of Disney princesses:
Cinderella – Belle – Snow White – Jasmine – Rapunzel – Ariel – Pocahontas
Second let’s consider some of the traits these characters exhibit
Confidence – challenge the status quo – bravery – determination
In each story, the princess starts with what is the normal, and what is “expected” of her and what her role is supposed to be. Then… something happens… either a ball, her father gets lost, arranged marriage pressure, stuck in a tower, a sea storm, or unknown invaders show up… despite each of the various situations, our girl is placed into an unknown situation OR opportunity. At which point, she has a choice, to stick to what’s expected of her and her status quo, or to do something different.
Now when she makes this decision she doesn’t have it all figured out – she doesn’t know what will happen – she doesn’t spend an extra amount of time to prepare herself to “take that step” before she commits… she just does. At some point, each of our girls start to doubt their own ability to achieve whatever it is they set out to do, either because of other people’s opinions, or an external situation out of their control, and she starts to lose her confidence. Then she takes a deeper look, pulls up her big girl pants, and with determination decides to keep moving forward!
How can we relate this to owning land?
Because at some point: you are either going through these very similar feelings, or you have gone through them!
You had expectations of what you were going to do with your land (maybe your husband had always taken care of it, or your father had taken care of the management, and you expected that they always would), then a decision comes up that you need to make (maybe you abruptly inherited your land or became the primarily decision maker for the land or you simply have this inner stirring inside you can’t get rid of), you may have made your decision ready to take it fully by the reigns when you start to lose your confidence in your own ability to manage it (maybe it is simply due to the constant surrounding of men that makes you start to feel unconfident in your decisions or ability to ask questions, maybe it’s the shear vastness of acreage you are trying to undertake, maybe it’s simply because there is so much more than you expected), but like your favorite Disney princess, keep pushing forward with grit and determination, and you will reach your goals.
So, take a minute and think of who has always been your favorite Disney princess- the one that has stuck out to you more than the rest. Maybe, like me, it’s Belle. Maybe it’s Cinderella. Maybe it’s someone atypical like Pocahontas…. Either way picture your girl, and picture her as YOUR inner princess- what traits and strengths can you take from her to help empower the strengths you have ALWAYS had within yourself. No matter who it is – remember like them – you ARE capable to tackle any challenge you are handed. Don't be afraid to ask questions, to make decisions, to be in the woods.
So go out and embrace your inner princess…