Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From Mary Poppins.

It's no secret that my all-time favorite Disney movie is "Mary Poppins". My first experience at any Disney theme park I was a shocking 23 years old. I stumbled upon the REAL LIFE Mary Poppins walking by in a parade and I legitimately teared up. (I even shocked myself with the sudden surge of emotion) 

I recently had the pleasure of being a Disneyland cast member (gasp, I know!) and when I would see Mary "backstage" my heart would go pitter-patter and I'd throw a big smile her way and pray for a smile back... of course, she always delivered :) She IS practically perfect in every way after all. 

As a child I would watch our VHS tape over and over again. I loved the music and the magic and the mix of cartoons and real life. I longed to be British and have a nanny and to attend tea parties on the ceiling. 

As an adult, a wellness coach, and a person who loves to share inspiration and wisdom, I often find myself quoting Miss Poppins to clients. Below are a few of my favorite Mary-isms:

"That's a pie crust promise, easily made, easily broken."

This is the practically perfect response to someone who is very causally saying they are going to do something incredibly difficult or unlikely. OR claiming that they are going to magically change overnight thereby oversimplifying a very complicated endeavor.

For example:

  • "I'm just going to stop eating sugar"
  • "I am going to work out every day for at least 30 mins no matter what!"
  • "I'm never going to eat anything made with white flour or sugar or high fructose corn syrup ever again. Oh and soda, no more soda EVER." 

These are dramatic examples but they easily prove the point. We like to make BIG statements without really thinking through the reality or desire we have to fully commit. It may seem harmless to make such casual "promises" to family or friends and then, as expected, fall short. BUT it actually starts to erode our self trust and creates a vicious cycle of TRY then FAIL. Overtime that cycle tears down our self worth and confidence.  Especially when we KNEW from the beginning it was an impossible goal. 

Take away: Think twice before making bold and unrealistic commitments to yourself or others. Words have great power and they can make us appear and more importantly FEEL "flakey" if we just throw them around. (Pun intended! Get it? Pie crust??)


"People who get their feet wet must learn to take their medicine"

The world is full of cause and effect. Truth and consequence. There is no way around it, you are not special, and you will not avoid the natural pitfalls and repercussions of your actions.

  • Not sleeping enough night to night? You will eventually get sick and burn out.
  • Overdoing it on caffeine AND alcohol? You will no doubt be chronically run down and on a roller coaster of emotion and MOOD.
  • Not preparing your own food and relying too much on take out, drive thrus, and restaurants? You will most likely end up bloated and broke. 

Take Away: Accepting the "cause and effect law" is a part of life. Once you realize you are not super human, and the same rules apply to you as to every other human being on earth, the easier it is to make small changes with lasting improvements. If you are gonna do the crime, you gotta pay the time. Mary was a tough love kinda gal! 


"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

Try to read that and not SING it in your mind!

To piggy back on the previous lesson, this idea is of equal importance. We will ALL make mistakes and missteps, and we will ALL need to eventually take our "medicine" (literally or figuratively). WHEN this happens, because it will, let's make it as sweet as we can, shall we???

  • Want to start cooking more of your own meals to help your bank account and your body? Why not crank up the music and get the kids involved. It can be sandwiches and fruit salad in the beginning. There is no need to make a 3 course meal, just have fun with it!
  • Want to start moving your body in a way that feels fun and free instead of punishing and daunting? Get outside and walk while listening to a podcast or invest in a pair of roller skates or a bike. Create ways to move your body that are purely enjoyable.
  • Want a new bedtime routine that doesn't involve a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream in front of the TV? Buy yourself some books or magazines (or go to the library!) and explore the vast world of herbal teas (Buy some fun tea cups!) Or get your spouse in on it! There are lots of fun things to do before bed that don't involve TV (wink, wink).

Take away: Life is meant to be sweet and even doing hard things can be made more enjoyable if we simply give ourselves permission to ENJOY. Mary Poppins was not on the sugar free bandwagon and neither am I! (If you are a super fan of the movie you will recall she is a big fan of gingerbread...mmm gingerbread!)


"Enough is as good as a feast."


I saved the best for last. This one has served me well in SO MANY circumstances that I am actually debating getting it tattooed on my body (I may settle for an engraved bracelet, we shall see.)

This idea, of being satisfied with less, is a key Buddhist principle, a nod to Christian gratitude, and the Yogic tradition of living in abundance. It honestly applies to food, money, friends, clothes, political activism, and EVERYTHING in between.

When we focus on simply being enough, doing enough, and having enough we can release the endless need to have or do MORE

  • A simple meal that fills your belly and satisfies your taste buds is just as satisfying as a fancy French feast that leaves you overly stuffed and full of regret. 
  • Having enough money to pay your bills, leave some leftover for wants, and a provide a small safety net is PROVEN to result in the same, if not MORE, long-term happiness than a larger salary or lottery windfall.
  • MORE friends don't provide MORE security, fun, or support. It can actually do the opposite. Spread you too thin, you actually dilute the amount and quality of time spent with each one.

Take away: The idea that "less is more" has been around since the beginning of time, but I love this quote in particular because it uses food as the metaphor. Next time you find yourself trying to get/do/be MORE I hope this quote pops into your mind and you take a step back and debate whether you already have or are enough...

I would bet my copy of Mary Poppins your are! I would bet you are SUPERCALIFRAGALISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!

Mary Poppins looking dashing as all get out. 

Mary Poppins looking dashing as all get out. 

Even Mary had to take her medicine.. sweetened with sugar of course!    

Even Mary had to take her medicine.. sweetened with sugar of course!


Walt Disney famously adored Mary Poppins and regarded the movie as a personal favorite.     

Walt Disney famously adored Mary Poppins and regarded the movie as a personal favorite. 


Because I stumbled upon this and it's too good NOT to share.     

Because I stumbled upon this and it's too good NOT to share.