Each month Lianne will be writing a reflection on each one of her songs on her soon to be released album, “Breathe In”. Her first song and reflection is called “Wishing Tree” and we hope you enjoy this as much as we do.…When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires,, Will come to you…
Listening to this song as a little girl, I remember thinking something like: “Wait a second, if I make a wish when I see a star, it will come true?! That’s AMAZING!”
Although a New York City child doesn’t see many stars, they occasionally catch one here or there. Whenever I managed to spot a star, it was a magical moment – a time to think about what I wanted most in the world. I’d look up into the night sky wide-eyed and smiling, and the possibilities just seemed endless. Six-year-old me wished for her favorite Barbie doll, an easy bake oven, GAK, the Full House board game, or a Troll; she even wished that she didn’t have to share a bedroom with her older sister! It didn’t matter what the wish was; when I was little, I really believed that if I made a wish upon a star, it would come true.
Stars weren’t the only things that I wished on. Birthday candles were a perfect opportunity. I remember carefully planning out my birthday wishes months before my actual birthday. They always seemed to revolve around whichever toys I wanted that year. As a six-year-old, it was clear: I wanted the newest and best Polly Pocket. “Blow out the candles, Lianne!” Closing my eyes, I visualized the Polly Pocket in my hands, took a deep breath and then wished with every bone in my body:
“PLEASE, let me get the newest and best Polly Pocket!”
When my wishes came true, it was obvious that the magic was real. And it was ok if they didn’t come true, because for a six-year-old, there’s always another wish right around the corner.
I can’t remember exactly when, but at some point I stopped wishing so much. Eventually, it seemed like I rarely wished at all. I would spot a star and see it for what it was: a sparkle in the sky, not an opportunity to fulfill my heart’s desires. And one year, as another birthday crept up on me, I realized that I hadn’t so carefully planned and visualized the moment as I had before. Because of this procrastination, “Blow out the candles, Lianne!” led to a moment of sudden panic, instead of the moment I had been waiting for all year. Without a plan, I closed my eyes, blew out my birthday candles and let the moment pass.
Six-year-old Lianne would have been horrified to witness how careless she would soon become with her wishes.
As adults, it can be easy to wonder whether there is any point at all in wishing. With the magic and mystery of childhood fading and our busy lives taking over, visualizing one’s desires can feel pointless. Believing in wishing starts to seem more like wishful thinking, and a song like “When You Wish Upon a Star” loses its secret meaning as it becomes just another pretty melody.
In his book, The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne Dyer writes, “You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are.” After reading this, I realized something about my wishes: All the little thoughts that I say to myself before I go to sleep, or that wish that I have about another person’s well-being, or my silent thoughts – the ones that no one else will ever find out – all of these desires shine through so clearly in how I interact with the world and the people around me. I believe that wishing can take on a new purpose as we become adults. They mature along with us, and they can tell us a lot about who we are if we pay attention. Polly Pocket, GAK and Barbie Dolls haven’t made my wish list in the past 20 years, but my aspirations, the things I want to accomplish in my life, and my hopes for others and for the world have taken the forefront.
By practicing mindfulness regularly, we can learn that wishing as an adult is not about getting what you want materialistically; it is also about helping to connect with yourself and others. And when you know what your desires are, you can inspire others to realize their own desires. Now, when I revisit the song, it seems to take on a different meaning:
…When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are, Anything your heart desires, Will come to you…
Rather than just having my heart’s desires “come to me”, I have found that when I am connected to my internal desires for myself, others, and the world at large, I am internalizing who I am – and that is really all that I can wish for. In continuing my journey as a children’s mindfulness and yoga instructor, what I “am” is being brought to my students every day. I must be connected to my own wishes, so that my students can be inspired to connect with theirs. And keeping this in mind, the magical quality of my wishes has returned.
To encourage children to identify their intentions and the power of their wishes, I have written “Wishing Tree”, a song that introduces children to the idea of sending good wishes to themselves and to others. You can listen to “Wishing Tree” here: