Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

PBS American Experience Walt Disney Story Debut Shines


Dear Wellness Seekers,

PBS American Experience Walt Disney Story Debut Shines in a way that speaks to the talented creators of this series. Salute to them.

This post explores my long time fascination with Walt Disney and his genius!  Admiring his relentless focus on high concept performance that sparks the imagination is shared by many. His amazing courage, endless capacity to dream big and be tenacious to push boundaries well beyond anyones capacity to believe.

Watching Part One of the two-part American Experience Walt Disney series over the helped me realize, to a good degree Spanista exists today due to the way the Walt and his Disney Experience influenced my childhood.  I remember being glued to the TV set in our living room on Sunday nights at 6 pm for the one hour program “The Colorful World of Disney”. Does anyone else remember that experience too? It featured many of Walt’s animated creations and amazing highlights of Disneyland in its colorful glory. It portrayed a unique world full of fun and fantasy for kids and families at a levelPBS-American-Experience-Walt-Disney-Story-1.jpegPINIMAGE never seen before. Through this weekly exposure Walt became my hero – Not just for the glorious animated movies or the theme parks he created, but for of WHO HE WAS.  I wanted to be in a creative world like him – A world-class dreamer who went deep into his soul to imagine how the world could be a better place for all. Then do everything in his power to bring his treasured friends along to make it a reality so they could enjoy the creative journey together. To this day Mickey Mouse if my favorite – the essence of Walt himself.

While watching the story unfold through the eyes of Spanista, I realized how his relentless drive and commitment to do what ever it takes – putting in long hours for long periods of time, pushing the edge of the envelope of everyone around him in tow, put his emotional wellness at great risk. He was internalizing great levels of stress. There were no coping mechanisms back then. You just pushed until you collapsed! The doctors called it exhaustion. This it seems was pretty common. It was deemed Walt had a nervous breakdown and under Doctors orders took several months away from Los Angles and the business.

Insight: A highly creative person runs deep. They bear their soul in everything they create and give the world. They expose their vulnerability with every idea they bring to life. This frays anyones nerves. So he traveled with Evelyn his lovely wife  he loved dearly which included an extended stop in Florida  to learn to play polo. Through enjoying leisure time with the woman he loved and his children. He stepped into sport and fitness. He found himself again. Creative Spirit returned. He went back to work with new vigor, and tool it all to the next level. With new ideas burning in his heart.

The Spanista Takeaway from Part One on the story of Walt Disney is about Self Care. Walt lost touch with who he was. Passion for the work as a means to achieve the goal carried him away from his true self. It went on too long without relief – body, mind and soul suffered. His candle almost burned out. The nervous breakdown was the manifestation. Today we are more aware and informed about the ramifications of such behavior but we do not always heed to the need.  That is what Spanista is all about. Reminding us in this fast paced complex world – we must be mindful of our fragile humanity. Emotional Wellness come from self-awareness and consciousness of taking time to restore our souls.

Walt learned from the experience and focused on bringing more emotional wellness to his world and that of his companies. A brilliant move that is now an amazing multifaceted success story.

PBS American Experience Walt Disney Story debut Shines is written with prayerful thanks to Walt who set me on a path of choosing a creative career.

I look forward to seeing and reflecting on Part Two of the series to share what more I learn with you. So far is worthy of watching – it is full of life lessons. Let me know if you have seen it what you think.

Here is a great review in the Los Angles Times if you want to read more.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


P.S. Mr. Disney’s early photo was taken in Kansas City and found on A very cool site for historical documents.


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