At the conclusion of the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a wide-eyed Charlie Bucket rides a magical glass elevator through a factory ceiling and high into the air. From his soaring vantage point within the multi-directional Wonkavator, he has the opportunity to see his world from a whole new point-of-view.
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has an astonishing 12 glass elevators! They are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Traveling higher than the first few floors typically requires a room key, except during the hours that the rotating BonaVista Lounge is open for food and drinks. Then you can ride the Red Tower elevators through the lobby ceiling and all the way up to the top of the realm.
Seeing the city (any city) while smoothly and rapidly ascending toward the stratosphere can be… a) Exhilarating b) Breathtaking c) Terrifying d) All of the above. Maybe the ride back down to earth is a) Calming b) Grounding c) Balancing d) Other. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to take a ride and pick the answer that best suits your own personal experience.
“I would choose b) Grounding for the ride back down to earth.
Seems fitting, it is not just grounding in returning to the earth but emotionally as well–from the dizzying, heady height of soaring upward, the natural descent back down, rejoining the rest of the world from what was a bit of a dream. This makes me think about the skill of vacation.” – Dr. Angela Klein
The “Vacation” skill is described on page 159 of Mindful Eating from the Dialectical Perspective
If you’ve never heard of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (I hadn’t until I met Dr. Klein and picked up her book), it can be initially challenging to decipher what it is all about. Also, because it is an established form of psychological treatment, it can seem too complex for the simple pursuit of improving one’s outlook on life. But DBT is some powerful mojo. And the core concept of mindfulness can be an invaluable asset when riding the unpredictably multi-directional Wonkavator of human existence. What does this have to do with riding in an actual elevator?
Try stepping into a glass elevator sometime. Look out into the world and observe. Don’t do anything else…
In DBT terms, “Observe” is a specific “What” skill as outlined on page 85 of Dr. Klein’s book.
Of course, you don’t need to be in a glass elevator 35 stories in the air to accomplish this; but it sure is a wonderful way to accumulate a positive experience while seeing something from a whole new perspective. For Free.