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This Post will last FOREVER . . . Babe!

cartoon-shakespeare

If you’ve only read one sonnet in your life, it was probably Sonnet 18…”Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day . . .”

You were probably forced to read it by some English teacher who was desperate to excite you about Shakespeare by pointing out the obvious sexual references. . . I know I was.

Much as I like love the sexual references, forget about them for a sec.  Look at the last two lines . . .

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

In simple modern English, he’s saying “This poem is so awesome they will be reading it FOREVER; I just made you immortal Babe.”

The sonnets are numbered roughly in the order they were written, so #18 (of 154) was written when he was a pretty young guy.

It’s the most arrogant thing ever written in the English language.  It would be unacceptably arrogant . . . if it wasn’t turning out to be true.

There are a lot of reasons why Shakespeare’s great, one that is often overlooked is that he knew from the start that he was great.

Do you have the courage – the honesty – the unadulterated Chutzpah to believe how great you are?  We ALL have greatness within us.  Find yours and bring it to the world, this is not an option, it is our job here on earth.  Some are great writers, or painters, or parents or cooks, but we’ve all got something the world is hungry for.

Find your greatness and you will change the world in wonderful ways.

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Life Lessons From a 5 Year Old

Lily and Zara

These are my kids – taken by my good friend, and awesome photographer, Tracey Nolan http://misstraceynolan.com/

Lily, the oldest was adopted from China, Zara from South Africa.

We had just come back from South Africa with Zara when Lily came home from school saying that she’d met her friend Elisabeth’s little sister “And they look EXACTLY the same”.

The adoptive parent in me went into panic mode…”if I don’t deal with this correctly, her self-esteem and sense of family connection will be lost forever.  The next few moments will direct her life toward happiness or a life of drugs and gang  involvement” (OK so I was a little jet lagged).  I gently took her in my arms, and explained that some siblings look alike and others don’t, but they’re all still family.

She said “you mean the way Zara and I look alike.”

Take a second and look at the picture again.

When I asked her why she thought she looked like her sister Zara she looked at me like I was out of my mind and said, “Because we both have the same colour hair and eyes”.

This kid should be working for the United Nations.

I love this story not only because my kid is so awesome, but because it reminds me that we find what we look for.

If we’re looking for things to separate us, we will find them.

If we’re looking for things to draw us together, we will find them.

If we’re looking for reasons to be miserable, we will find them.

If we’re looking for reasons to be happy, we will find them.

If we’re looking for situations to help us grow into the people we were created to be, we will find them.

What are you looking for?

Check out my post about the flip side of the equation…we don’t find what we’re not looking for.

http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/02/12/the-day-i-didn…training-order/ ‎

Flexible Strength-More lessons from The Incredibles

After my last post about the Incredibles’ incredible romance, http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/02/05/the-incredibles-incredible-romance/

I can’t stop thinking about the mix of strength and flexibility that Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl struggle with and eventually attain.  I’ve realized that this is an area I need to work on.  I’m on Elastigirl’s side on this one.  I’ve always prided myself on my ability to adapt, to change, to stretch and be flexible, yesterday I realized that I have done this at the expense of inner strength.  I think about the number of times I’ve buckled and caved to pressures to be what I wasn’t or do what I knew wasn’t true to who and what I am.  The results have never been good, not for me and not for the people I was bending for.  We can only be effective or helpful when we’re being true to who we are, our principles, what we know to be true.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about an impending conflict and how Finding Nemo helped me face that conflict with integrity,

http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/01/30/finding-trust-while-finding-nemo/

I realize today, that it was also a huge movement for me in terms of finding and claiming my own inner strength.  I didn’t twist myself out of shape to avoid the truth.  When I do that (and I have for a great deal of my life) I’m lying.  I know that’s harsh, but it’s true.  Living an authentic life is about finding our strength and our flexibility, as long as we’re stubbornly maintaining one or the other, we are not complete people.

I am very flexible and I adapt well, that’s a strength and I’m not belittling or dismissing it, it has served me well and will continue to do so.  I will work to be stronger, to be strong and flexible, they are not mutually exclusive, if Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl can do it, so can I.

Keep it real.

Rob Corbett

PS did I mention that Brad Bird is a genius?

The Incredible’s Incredible Romance

Brad Bird is a Genius (He’s on my short list of people to meet before I die – or he does).  He directed two of my all time favorite films The Iron Giant and The Incredibles.

Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl (AKA Bob and Helen Parr) are one of the great screen romances of all time.  Two people who love each other and spend an entire film trying to sort out how to make it work.

The first time we see them together they’re flirting, competing (I had a student yesterday say they were trying to Dominate each other – LOVED IT!) and on their way to get married.  It’s an AWESOME scene.

There’s a moment in the scene that goes by so quickly most people miss it.  Elastigirl does this amazing stretch up over his head and back through his legs as she says “I think you need to be more flexible.” As their faces pass in profile* they form perfect puzzle pieces of each other.  His huge chin fills the space her softer chin leaves, her upturned nose fits perfectly into the space under his downward nose, even his brow ridge fits into her hairline. Did I mention that Brad Bird is a genius?

They don’t belong together because they’re the same, but because they are so different, seriously, if they both had those huge chins, they would never be able to kiss…ok they could because her lips would stretch, but you get my point.

Soooo why are they drawn to each other?  If you asked them, he’s say something like “Have you seen her, she’s Elastigirl, think about it.” She’d say something like “He’s Mr. Incredible, he’s the best.” These answers would be true and honest, but they don’t go deep enough.  On some subconscious level (see by post on projections http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/01/19/jung-and-freud-in-love ) they both know that they are incomplete, that they need to learn and grow.  He’s the strongest man in the world, but he can’t bend, he can’t adapt, he has no flexibility.  She’s the most flexible woman in the world, but she lacks strength – they tell her she can’t be a super hero any more and she picks up her broom and becomes what they tell her she has to be.  She needs strength.

Over the course of the film she learns to maintain her personal integrity – to be whom and what she is.  He learns to adapt and be flexible.  They both fight this growth and it almost destroys them, when they accept it, they become . . . Incredible (did you see how I did that – clever ain’t I?)

Once again, we are attracted to the people, situations, and art that our subconscious mind knows will teach us something.

More about the balance between strength and flexibility in my next blog.Strong Weakness – Lessons From Mulan

*on my DVD it’s at 5:25 – check it out.

Check out some more of my thoughts on this awesome movie here Finding my Incredilbes SuperPower

Breakin’ out with my favourite Ogre

Story telling (animated or otherwise) depends on character arcs.  We’re all on some kind of journey; life is never static (even when we want it to be).  The character arcs we are most drawn to are the ones we need to learn from to help us on our own journeys.

My favourite is Shrek.  I’ll tell you why at the end, but you’ll probably figure it out before then.

Shrek starts his journey as a loner, he’s built some pretty serious walls around himself to keep everyone out . . . quite frankly, from the way the locals treat him, I don’t blame him.  People can be so freakin’ mean sometimes it seems that life would be better without the whole nasty stinkin’ lot of them.

He finishes surrounded by community, married and singing some rather rockin’ karaoke.

It didn’t happen by magic.  He took some very definite steps.  He had his trip forced on him, we don’t have to.  We can make decisions and take action that will take us to real friendships and love before the fairy tale creatures invade our swamps.

Sooooooooooo what did he do and more importantly, what can we do?

He accepted a deeply flawed, irritating, friend – who didn’t judge him.  Let’s face it, Donkey’s irritating, he has no concept of personal boundaries, or social norms and he doesn’t have a clue when he’s not wanted…but he’s a friend.   If you’re looking for a perfect friend/partner/spouse, you’re going to be very lonely.  There’s a difference between dangerous toxic people and people who can drive us crazy at times.  One of them needs to be avoided at all costs, one of them is . . . human (or a Donkey in Shrek’s case).  Some brilliant voice work here by Eddie Murphy By The Way.

He leaves his comfort zone.  Shrek doesn’t go willingly, he’s forced out, but he goes.  He moves into places that are uncomfortable, places he’s avoided in the past.  Do I have to explain this one? Nothing changes if nothing changes.  We can’t grow if we keep doing the same things we’ve been doing all along.  Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Get out of your comfort zone.

He wins.  He lands in Duloc just in time for a tournament and he wins (with the help of his irritating friend).  We all have something we’re good at.  Often it’s something we dismiss because it’s so easy . . . for us.  Even small successes will yield amazing results to our self-esteem if we don’t totally dismiss them.

His journey continues and includes some really important points that I’ll come back to at some point, but I want to keep the Blogs short.

Accept people for the deeply and beautifully flawed individuals that they are, while you’re at it accept yourself for the same reasons.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Celebrate small successes.

I grew up feeling deeply alone.  I had very few social skills and suffered from a magical combination of pretention and low self-esteem.  I convinced myself I was happier alone and put a LOT of effort into proving I was right.  It’s taken decades to learn what Shrek learned.  I wish I’d learned it earlier.  I wish for you a whole community of irritating, loving friends . . . are there any other kind?

Love and Romance in Agrabah

Let’s look at Disney’s Aladdin and see what we can learn.

Shortly after Aladdin and Jasmine meet in the market he takes her to his home on the rooftops.  It’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention that they’re falling in love.  There’s lots of eye contact, some “accidental” sexual contact (seriously, her bare cheek is on his naked chest at one point) and some pole-vaulting between buildings, a pretty normal teen romance. Bring on the violins and the cheesy love songs they’re in love.

BUT wait a sec.  They don’t know each other.  Here’s a great example of what I was talking about in my last post.  Just why are they falling for each other?  What does her subconscious mind see in him?  What does she represent to him?

Here’s what I think . . . because I know you want to know what I think.

Jasmine’s a young woman who needs freedom.  She lives in a prison, it’s a very nice prison, but she has to break out to go for a stroll around town.  She needs to be free.  It’s not just the palace that keeps her imprisoned, she lives an utterly ridged life: follows the rules, afraid to think for herself, she needs freedom.  He lives by himself, steals for a living and makes up his own rules, how could she not fall for him?  It doesn’t hurt that he looks pretty hot without a shirt on.

Aladdin’s a young man who is a diamond in the rough.  He lacks focus, drive, direction.  He doesn’t have a clue what he wants past his next meal.  His subconscious mind (much smarter than our conscious mind) sees a woman who knows what she wants and has gone to some lengths to get it, she’s focused and strong.  He doesn’t know she’s a princess yet, but have you seen her posture and her walk cycle?  Oh and she’s got pretty awesome eyes that you could get lost in for days.

Over the course of the film, they get to know each other and something like the beginnings of real love start to grow, but here on Aladdin’s rooftop, they’re being sucked in by their subconscious projections . . . and the crazy pole-vaulting.

I Want to be really clear here, I want you to fall crazy in love every once in a while (BRING IT ON – I WANT IT TOO) I just want you to know what’s really going on when it happens.

For a little more on the egghead Psych stuff around love and romance check out

http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/01/19/jung-and-freud-in-love/

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