Upside Down -- Magic Mirror

It’s OK to Scream!

I love the image of this. It has to do with the Big Picture of Life – moving forward with projects, and doing great things.

And then dealing with the stress, the anxiety, that wants to tag along and hold us down . . .

But first, a little background story.

Growing up as a kid on the beach in Malibu, my Dad was Bandleader at Disneyland. (Read about Dad and listen to his music here: You Can Do Anything! )

Whenever we could, we got to go with him to work – so I got LOTS of ride-time in at the Park.

As teenagers, my brother and I loved the Matterhorn the most. (These were the 60s, the years before Space Mountain.)

Matterhorn Mountain

And yet the Matterhorn wasn’t even the best part of our Disneyland adventure. My Dad was a private pilot – he owned an airplane and used it for his Los Angeles area commute to avoid rush hour traffic.

So we’d fly to the Park with Dad – our adrenaline already soaring – for his “night job”. And we’d run all night between and the rides and Dad’s Bandstand (Carnation Plaza Gardens, conveniently located at the end of Main Street), until closing.

(Oh how I remember the running. The clock was always ticking, and time was precious at the Park.)

But we’d always come back to ride the Matterhorn, again and again, especially on Private Party nights when the lines were short.

Old Disneyland Sign


Interestingly, the Matterhorn wasn’t built right away – Disneyland opened in 1955, the Matterhorn in 1959.

Before opening the Matterhorn to the public, my Dad and my Uncle, being employees and also big guys (over six feet tall), were asked to ride along as “guinea pigs” – so the engineers could see how the ride handled weight.

I remember being a little kid listening to Dad laughing and telling us how much he and my Uncle Lloyd enjoyed their Matterhorn test-ride.

WOW! What an employee perk!


Listen to Dad here – Entire Album, Date Night At Disneyland, The Elliott Brothers Orchestra, recorded at Disneyland, 1958


View from Dad's Bandstand


Now, flash forward to a phone conversation I had with one of my longtime Malibu horse-girl friends, and you might understand how images from my Disneyland Childhood started pouring out . . .

Here are the notes from my Journal.

Carousal Horse


Had a lovely revelation with Lani on the phone last night. She called while I was JUST thinking of her.

As the phone rang, I knew it was her. (That’s God, for sure!) She’s moving forward with her projects, and doing great things.

She’s very busy, though, and it’s stressful. She told me that she wakes up in the middle of the night with starts and fits.

The stress is getting to her. She’s having trouble sleeping . . .

As she spoke I saw these mental pictures, and these words and ideas flowed:

Disneyland Castle


Think of things this way.

Think of your Life as if you’re on a ride at Disneyland – Space Mountain, or the Matterhorn after dark. After all, those are the fun rides, the fast ones.

Those are the ones we ride again and again, for the thrill we know we’ll get. (Like riding our horses!)

And when you’re on the ride, have you ever wondered who designed those rides? I never did. But someone had to. Someone had to be sure those rides were engineered safely enough to not hurt us, but exciting enough to keep us coming back for more . . .

We never worried about that part, about our safety. Because the Disney Imagineers did that.

Our job was to wait our turn in line, get strapped in, hang on – and enjoy the ride!

Matterhorn After Dark


Actually, when we were kids, my brother and I would scream our heads off on the Matterhorn. Not because it was that scary – but because we could!

Where else could a kid really cut loose and SCREAM without getting in trouble?

We would “test our lungs” to make sure we could really scream in case we ever needed to – in case a “bad guy” ever came after us* . . .

Disneyland After Dark


And on the ride, when it climbs that first big hill – as it’s going up slowly – you know what that means. That it’s going to come down really fast – roller coaster fast.

But that’s why you chose to ride!

It’s not a little kid ride. You grew out of Snow White years ago. This is the biggest, most exciting stuff at the Park. (And the longest lines. :~)

And when you crest the big hill and the track twists and the car whips and the G-forces threaten to tear you out of your seat . . .

You can grimace, you can yell. But there’s no getting off in the middle of the ride.

There’s no getting off until the ride runs its course and you splash into the sweet-smelling water at the very end.

Eventually the ride will end. And the nice attendant will usher you off.

Matterhorn Bobsleds


Well, in the Ride that is your Life, God is the engineer. He designed the track.

And even though it may feel like your Life is cascading into space, He’ll make sure you stay safely in your “vehicle” (your body : ~ ).

There’s no need for worry. Anxiety and stress can step aside.

Your job, now that you’re on, is to just hang in there, and enjoy the RIDE!

Disneyland Night Lights

Enjoy the twists and turns, the whips and forces.

Enjoy the very Ride your Life takes you on, Right Now.

For the precious hands of time are ever tick-tick-ticking . . .

Small World After Dark

There’s always a bigger purpose, a bigger plan, behind everything we do.

Trust in that. Like the rides at the Park that stay faithful to the Imagineers who designed them.

Eventually things will slow down.

The Ride will come to an end . . .

And the nice attendant will usher you off.

Mark Twain at Night


In the meantime: Trust the Designer. Trust the Imagineer.

Because He built the track that will usher you safely, all the way to the end.

So hang in there. Enjoy the Ride!

And one more thing.

Remember – it’s OK to SCREAM!

Monstro's Mouth!


*Mom always told us: “If anyone tries to harm you, start screaming! Put up a fight! Run to the nearest (occupied-looking) house and knock on the door.” I wonder if that’s still recommended for little kids now?

And the few times I really DID need to scream to protect myself – my lungs certainly did work!

Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad!


My Dad (foreground, Saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (Trombone ) on the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland

My Dad (foreground, Saxophone) and my Uncle Lloyd (Trombone ) on the Carnation Plaza Gardens Bandstand at Disneyland


Disney Merlin's Hat


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Copyright 2014 – photos and text


20 thoughts on “It’s OK to Scream!

    1. DawnSeeker Post author

      Thank you!!! That’s very sweet. And yes, come to think of it — to this day, I still do it. While driving in my car . . . I’ve definitely been known to scream! : ~ ))


  1. Dalo 2013

    I love the analogy you use with life and Disney…the best, is your advice about screaming “Not because it was that scary – but because we could!” Beautiful!


    1. DawnSeeker Post author

      Thanks, Dalo! How’s it going for you?

      Interesting little aside: Before posting this, I read the piece aloud to my husband (he’s very helpful in the editing process), and he had something profound to say. Something I never knew about him.

      You see, he grew up on the East Coast and never experienced the Magic Kingdom the way we did. And tonight he told me — perhaps a bit envious. “I’ve never really screamed!!!”

      Makes me realize how lucky we Disneyland Kids have been!


  2. nancyrae4

    I loved this blog. Your comparison to life as a thrill ride is wonderful. As I read through I remembered various rides I’ve been on, the adult kind. What adventures,twists, turns, and terrors but, in spite of all the screaming or maybe because of it, things turned out ok. Thanks for reminding me – because the ride is still roaring ahead, through the tunnels and down the monster mountain, assuring us of never a dull moment:)


    1. DawnSeeker Post author

      Yes, you have it! The Never-Dull-Moments are why we chose the Ride! And mine has been splendid this week — working with horses in Malibu, balmy warm days, glassy, straight-from-my-childhood ocean, magical moonlight . . . wishing you well! Say hi to Colorado for me : ~ )


  3. lorriebowden

    Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to read…right now…in this moment! As I will be in Disney World in 2 weeks….I can’t wait to scream on the roller coaster…and for now…I will just scream in my pillow!! Blessitude!


    1. DawnSeeker Post author

      Yes — Go for it! And I hope you’ll report back in on how things go at the Park. :)) I’m currently doing mental screaming, pulling an all-night pack-job so I can fly away and work for two weeks out of town. Aaaaahhhhhh!!! (Good thing my husband is staying put to hold down the homefront.) Scream on!!!


        1. DawnSeeker Post author

          Made it safely here — may I advise: start packing NOW for the Disney adventure :)) It might make the difference between making the trip and missing the plane! Blessitude to you, too. I like that!


            1. DawnSeeker Post author

              Thanks Lorrie — I’m over here shoeing horses, working with my head down and my *** in the air! It’s fantastic!! :)) I lost ten pounds in a detox cleanse recently, — and now I feel like SuperFarrier! What a difference those last pounds have made!!! Tough to do, but completely worth it!


              1. lorriebowden

                You just made me giggle…what a vision…and I don’t even know what you look like!! I grew up with horses and they were some of my closest friends!
                Would you recommend the detox diet…I have been toying with the idea…?


                1. DawnSeeker Post author

                  Yes, absolutely! I used products by Garden of Life, available at health food stores. My friend is doing the Purium detox. Either way, discipline is required — but well worth the pain. In the long run, it’s a lifestyle change, though, that keeps the weight off. I stopped gluten and grains. Eating more Paleo. And frequent, very small amounts of food. It’s amazing how little you can actually be satisfied with. I also did detox foot baths with Epsom salt and clay. Helpful! :))


                  1. lorriebowden

                    Thanks Dawn! It is time for me to clean up my diet. I have done detox baths with Epsom & hydrogen peroxide…very powerful detox response …but it doesn’t make sense if you don’t change the food you put in your body!!
                    Stuck in the northeast in a snow storm 😦
                    Dreaming of Mickey! Soon 🙂


  4. DawnSeeker Post author

    Lorrie — starting a fresh format here, least we run out of room in the threads . . .

    Yes! Go for it! You’ll be AMAZED at how you feel! My chiropractor suggested I stop eating gluten two years ago due to an injury, joint pain, neck pain, exhaustion . . . There is a blood test you can do, or just stop gluten for two months, then eat some, and see how it affects you. (When I ate it again, my neck froze up in agony, I felt like crap — within an hour or so!!)

    The result for me was short of miraculous! That injury — I was hit by a falling tree branch while shoveling snow, my head, neck, and shoulders got whacked! Smote me to the ground — turned out to be one of the BEST things that ever happened in my life! 🙂

    It forced me to make healthy changes — I lost weight (impossible to do for the previous decade!), gained energy, insight, clarity of mind, and filled me with new zest for living! Similar to the transformation your life went through by your challenges!!!

    Who can tell how it will affect you, and what wonderful things you will accomplish? Work up the nerve! (Hey — you’re stuck in a snow storm — perfect time to start!) Eat canned beans, sardines, nuts . . . Do your Epsom baths. Yoga. Apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice. You know what to do! Bentonite clay (internal cleanse — and soak) Diatomaceous Earth. Go for it! And Mickey will have more meaning to you when you get there!!! :))

    Atta girl!!! 🙂


  5. dfolstad58

    Shared to Facebook, well written, possibly a tad long but that’s just my opinion. I understand how your husband feels, I don’t scream either. In tense times i pull into myself even on scary rides.

    Liked by 1 person

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