Cinderella Strong

Taken literally, one could argue—and numerous have—that Disney’s Cinderella is a passive woman who does nothing to improve her dismal situation. Rather than stand up to her evil step-family or step out on her own, she relies on others—singsong mice, her fairy godmother and a handsome prince. She makes wishes, and they do the dirty work. Her prize? A beauty makeover and happily ever after with Bachelor #1.

In the 1980s, psychologist Colette Dowling presented similar views ier best-selling book, Cinderella Complex: Woman’s Hidden Fear of Independence. (It’s a fascinating read, if you’re interested.)

But what if Cinderella is entirely metaphorical? Here’s what I see:

  • Cinderella’s mice represent her spirit, prodding her to believe in “the dreams [her] heart makes?” Our hearts recognize our dreams before we can pursue them.
  • The evil step-family illustrates the naysayers in life—people, including ourselves, who tell us to stop striving, that our goals and pursuits are foolish, that we’re destined to live out our lives doing undesirable work, caring for everyone but ourselves.
  • The fairy godmother is Cinderella’s muse—the inner voice that prompts us to step out of our comfort zones and toward our passion.
  • The glowing gown she wears reflects how she feels once she begins honing in on her dreams. Once we find the “shoe” (life path) that fits, we stands a bit taller, and our inner-beauty shines outward.
  • Reverting to her “raggedy” self at midnight represents the time, rest and self-care personal growth requires. There are no quick fixes. We all face risks and challenges along the way. If we embrace them, they can help make us strong.
  • And speaking of passion, the hunky prince represents the handsome life Cinderella eventually obtains, and the chivalry she finally shows herself. Once that happens, the world is her stage to dance on. Sure, we might get blisters now and then, and every step won’t be graceful, but we’re free to live happy, authentic lives.

Ever seen bits of Cinderella in yourself? I know I have. I wrote this song while enduring a tough time. By the time I made this video, those “dirty floors” were behind me. I’d also started writing my first novel. (Its pages have a special cameo. ;)) I first posted this video last fall. Since only a handful of you saw it, I’ve decided to share it again:

When have you felt Cinderella-like? What did the experience teach you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Original Holiday Tune (My gift to you…)

Can you believe it’s Christmas week already??? Okay, I admit it. I’ve been feeling festive for MONTHS. Lucky for us all, I’ve calmed down since age five. A little. As a kid my holiday vigor was so intense, I often came down with the flu promptly after. (Red and green tinsle-topped butterflies that flitter up must eventually come down…) If only I’d had this song back then…

“Every Day is Christmas” started out as a gift from my hubby. A talented drummer and overall brilliant guy who’d never before written a song came out with these perfect lyrics and a melody to boot. (Hmm… Love must have that effect… ;)) We finished it together, took it to a friend’s in-home recording studio and vwa-la! The first McLaughlin holiday hit was born. Now it’s my gift to you.

So sit back and enjoy! If you dig it, please purchase “Every Day is Christmas” at iTunes. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Center for Adult Literacy, an organization responsible for over three decades of cutting edge, high-impact research, training and innovation toward increasing adult literacy in the U.S. and worldwide.

What’s the best gift you’ve given or received? Besides this one (kidding! ;)), what’s your favorite holiday tune?