Living a fairytale life
Simple everyday changes to turn life into a real fantasy
By Aditi Raman Shridhar
Let’s face it! We all daydream about the perfect life, the perfect world and perfect happiness. We all sigh at the thought of the perfect body, how we’d look with those perfect six-pack abs, swimming in the house pool and drinking lemonade later, the glittering jewels on our body, the perfect portraits capturing our youth and beauty, the mansion, the cars, the paparazzi, the abundant wealth, happy spouse, handsome kids, a large friend circle and family. Oh, how wonderful it would be to have all that.
Instead of your fairytale, you may be just going to office, cleaning the house, yelling at the kids, multitasking errands and dropping on the bed at night, exhausted. We all know it too well. But if your fairytale hasn’t become a reality yet; do not worry. There are simple things you can do throughout your day to make you feel no less than the celebrity that you know you deserve to be. So treat yourself like that.
Before we delve into that, have you ever wondered why fairytales carry us into the dream world? How are we so swiftly swept away into the magical journeys of charismatic characters and gulp down every bit of their edge-of-your-seat narratives? It is because of several reasons. 1) We love the characters. They are soft, sweet, pure, honest, playful and childlike, full of humour, wonder, naughtiness and hunger for adventure. They are polite, they look good, they are friendly and we connect to them. (b) The stories of the characters begin with an exciting premisefollowed by a twist in the tale, a rise in action and then flow into ‘happily ever after’ ending. (c) The environment in which characters stay are cute, clean and friendly. And last but not the least; (d) The characters don’t rue their past. They take challenges head on, going along with the twists in the tale, and win over every hurdle that comes their way.
Therefore, to live a Fairytale life, we will also need to be happy (for no reason), polite, friendly and sweet to ourselves and others, clean and hygienic, dress well and look good, be ready for adventures and never regret the past.
Daily life usually becomes drab and dour if you don’t infuse humour and fun moments in them. Each one of us is living out our own story and it is entirely our choice to turn it into a fairytale or a nightmare. If your dream life isn’t a reality at the moment, do not fret. The mansions and cars may not be around you right now, but your own happy spirit is ever flowing with enthusiasm and, truthfully, that’s all you really need to begin your fairytale. The rest will come eventually.
So, without further ado, here are five ways to instantly transform your life into a beautiful fairy tale.
BE WITH NATURE
What fairy tale doesn’t have a lovely enchanted forest, rolling meadows, and hillsides, or birds chirping in the morning? Nature and the beauty of natural surroundings have a major impact on our psyche and it’s hard to deny that they aren’t magical in and of themselves.
In the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault the princess sleeps in a beautiful forest, surrounded by birds and woodland animals watching over her all the while. In the story of Snow White told by The Brothers Grimm, Snow White has such a unique relationship with nature, spending much of the story in an enchanted forest.
Getting outside and experiencing nature is a great way to feel as if you are in a fairy tale. From locally in your own backyard to the wide open wilderness, there are so many options to choose from. If you live in the city, going for a walk is a great way to get a bit of free air. Look up some botanical gardens and local hiking trails to try out. Most cities have many of these either within the urban downtown or on the outskirts of the city borders.If you are planning a getaway, consider ditching the hotel and going for a camping trip. There is no better way to experience nature than sleeping under the stars and waking up directly to a beautiful sunrise.
DRESS THE PART
When was the last time you saw someone in a fairy tale wearing clothes like the ones we wear today? From synthetic fabrics to workout clothes, and suits and ties for the office, you can’t deny, fashion has come a long way since the time most of these stories were published. Black stretchy yoga pants and slimming leggings are comfy and practical but are simply not suitable for the fairy-tale lifestyle.
When we think of princesses, we think of ballgowns and glittery dresses that can really only be worn to a few occasions. Princes don’t wear the same types of suits that we wear to the office or formal occasions, but tailored clothing based on whatever was natural for them to wear at the time.
Depending on the story, this could be military uniforms or outfits geared towards specific activities such as riding for long distances on horses. Unless it is a costume party, these days one would not wear these types of clothes in public. But it’s really not that hard to incorporate a few fun pieces to make it just a little bit more fairy-tale-like.
If dresses and skirts are your styles, choose them over shorts and pants. Take a stroll, and pretend like you are a princess, or perhaps a peasant. Or don a cloak and pretend you are little red riding hood making her way through the dark and dense woods. Synthetic fabrics weren’t available hundreds of years ago, so choose natural fabrics when you can.
Cotton, wool, and linen are great choices that have been throughout history even earlier than when the first fairy tales were penned. Light colors are a must when putting together a fairy-tale wardrobe. Choose light pinks, baby blues, and off-white beige tones. And if you are going to a ball, make sure you don’t forget the tiara.
SPEND LOTS OF TIME IN UNUSUAL PLACES
What we experience around us, in particular visually, is extremely important in making us feel the way we do. Modern and contemporary architecture and art is fascinating and mind opening but was not something that would be found a long time ago.
Although not always described in the stories, Grimms’ Fairy Tales were published during the 19th century and comprises of a collection of stories, some new and some retellings from much older than that era. One can guess that most fairy tales’ architecture and artwork would be from as long a time ago as possible. Think castles, medieval artwork, and the odd gargoyle statue here and there.
Therefore, visit old places, museums and castles to get the vibe of the old times. Visit unusual places such as art galleries, photography exhibitions, live storytelling sessions, live music and dance clubs. Go anywhere but to the usual restaurants, cinema theatres and malls. There is a whole wide world hidden from your gaze.
If you are planning a trip, consider skipping the shopping mall (at least for a day) and scoping out some historical landmarks in the area. Sometimes all it takes is to go a little off the beaten path to take a truly special fairy-tale experience of your own.
FIND YOUR OWN PRINCE OR PRINCESS
Who doesn’t love a little romance in their own life? As intriguing and heartwarming as it is to read about the great romantic tales of Cinderella or Rapunzel, both stories are also a part of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, both with princes, and both with happily ever after endings of their own.
Sometimes the idea of romance can feel a little overwhelming, or even time consuming, but there is a reason why everyone from Shakespeare to Lord Byron wrote countless works about the very subject of love.
So go out into the world and add a little romance to your life. You may be surprised at how just a touch of excitement in the romantic department can make a huge difference in how you feel day-to-day. Even if the particular prince or princess doesn’t turn out to be your one true love. If you already have a romantic partner have some fun with fresh colorful flowers, maybe some roses or daisies, chocolates or sweet treats, or a candlelight dinner. Romance is unique to the individual, but nearly always an essential part of every fairy tale.
KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET
In just about every story there is conflict. In many of the best known and beloved fairy tales, the conflicts are so great that they make everyday problems, like the car breaking down, or spilling the milk look downright trivial. The way young Cinderella was treated by her stepmother and stepsisters was unimaginably horrible. They made her cook, clean, and even mocked her. Yet she remained strong and had enough hope to even attend the ball, which of course resulted in the prince finding her.
In Rapunzel, the princess was literally held a prisoner in a tower. For years!
Just about every character has faced their own difficulties, and many of them greater and more extreme than perhaps some of our own everyday struggles. In order to vanquish the villain or escape the evil clutches of the antagonist, they all kept their spirits up and their wits about them. We can all learn something from the courage that these characters exhibit during times of great struggle.
So keep a positive mindset and take your failures in stride. Just like one of the many protagonists from these fairy tales you will find a solution to your problems, and make your way through seemingly impossible situations.
I hope you enjoyed reading a few ways to make your life a little more fun, exciting, and just ever so slightly more like a fairy tale. Remember, even though life can sometimes get you down, there can always be a happily ever after just around the corner.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian writer and health and wellness expert.