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Posts tagged ‘Journey’

I can’t believe I’m doing this.

Last week my life got a LOT more animated.

Hanging upside down from the ceiling of a ballet studio I knew I’d found a new passion.

Getting ready for Cirque

Last year (2012), my New Year’s resolution was to do at least one thing a month that makes me smile, roll my eyes toward Heaven and say, “I can’t believe I’m doing this!”  It made for a GREAT year in a lot of ways.  This year I was determined to keep myself open to possibilities to do the same.

Last Saturday, I dropped my 5 year old at her ballet class and noticed silk cords hanging from the ceiling.  6 days later I was in my first silks class, muscles I haven’t felt in years SCREAMING and ridiculously happy.

I first saw silks at Cirque Du Soleil and loved it; it was beautiful, athletic and downright sexy.

cirque

Cirque Silks

My one class at www.artistsplay.com was clumsy, exhausting and it hurt…I’m going back – – – until I find the beautiful, athletic sexiness.

Here’s a challenge to all of you.  What have you wanted to do but have been making excuses about?  GO DO IT!!!

Do something regularly that makes you smile, roll your eyes toward Heaven and say, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

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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

A Challenge To Change

This blog doesn’t say anything about art or animation, but it’s my blog and I’m keeping it loose . . . that’s just how I roll.

I took up a challenge at the beginning of the week.  My friend Arlene Moshe; a dietician, inspirational blogger and awesome person; set up a three day fitness/health challenge.  It was called “How to break the cycle of not following through . . . this is a bit of a problem area for me, so I signed up.

http://www.arlenemoshe.com/2013/01/16/how-to-break-through-the-cycle-of-not-following-through/

I got an e-mail with a HUGE list of simple small tasks that could make my health and fitness better.  I gulped down my feeling of being overwhelmed and then read the whole e-mail.  I had to choose one.  ONE.  ONLY ONE!!!!   Make one small change.  The pressure came off and for three days I packed some healthy snacks and ate them between classes (and sometimes in front of classes – nothing like modeling a healthy lifestyle for the youngins).    I’ve had healthy snacks now for a week and on Monday (tomorrow) I’m going to add some gentle, easy, simple morning exercise.

Arlene’s smart.

The part of her challenge that I loved the most (seriously, check it out) is the difference she makes between the words “should” “could” “would” and “WILL”.

There are a lot of things I should do…there’s not enough room in this blog for that list.

There are a lot of things I could do…that usually gets followed by “if” I could do _____ if.  So far, that didn’t work out for me.

Don’t even get me started on would.  I would do a lot of things if (this usually ends with blaming someone else).

Last week I took a hard solid look at what I WILL do . . . and I did it.

I tell my students that stretching too far or too fast is a good way to hurt yourself.  I ate my broccoli, almonds and yogurt and . . . am down a pound.  Weight loss wasn’t the goal, but I’m feeling a lot better, it might be the broccoli, but I think it’s about celebrating a small victory.

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?

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