If you want to be inspired about life see “The Intouchables” the amazing recent French movie.  For those of us whining about life (me sometimes, I confess) it shows someone who is completely paralyzed from the neck down finding joy again.

Even though paralyzed he has what now is believed to be everything:  great wealth, power, a staff to take care of his every need, which are many, he wants more since his life up until his injury has been one of living on the edge taking great physical risks. Until he meets a maverick who has almost nothing, comes from the slums, has little hope of anything out of life but has great street smarts and daring.  When these two characters meet everything changes for both of them.

Which leads me back to remembering that we always get what we need when we need it and that life is truly magical even if we haven’t seen it up until now.  It also reminds me how small I have allowed my life to become compared to what I am truly capable of.  The movie provides a good nudge for those not living their real life.  When it comes down to it what do we have to lose? What are we so afraid of?  What’s the worst that can happen when we go for it?  To me there is nothing worse than living an restricted life.  It means missing out on all the great things and settling for reality shows, fitting in, status quo, not making waves.  A very poor subsitute.

So thanks to this incredible movie so filled with life and unexpected wonderful things (and the wonderful things are NOT the huge villa with elegant furnishings or the fabulous Maserati.

The very best part is that this is a TRUE story!  And at the end you see the real people. In 9 weeks after its release this movie became the second biggest box office hit in history.

I don’t want to spoil it for you because you really do need to see it.  I’m going to see it again.

I love Eddie Murphy.  There are very few movies of his that I didn’t like.  And, sometimes he has a spiritual message hidden amongst all of the sight gags. A Thousand Words is one of those. 

It shows us in extreme how we are always talking, talking talking.  Very seldom do we really listen.  I mean listening to someone and hearing what is under the words and getting into the feeling state under it all.  Sort of at the level of the “Avatar”  – “I see you.” level.,But listening to someone at that level is the only way we’ll ever get to know them or ourselves.

When we are talking, talking, taking we are cut off from our true self.  We can’t hear our inner voice, feel our real feelings or know what we are really about.  Silence is needed to tune into all of these levels.  We live in a culture that likes noise all of the time.  TV, DVDs, radio (and I also have a radio program).  White noise all of the time.

So thanks, Eddie Murphy for once again making me think beyond the obvious.

What would it be like if we allowed the silence?  What would be possible then?Image

I am a sap for movies where the right people get together at the end.  And in this case these people are really the beautiful people in the real sense of the word.

It also shows us what passion can do.  How we can feel more alive, how we can help others when we listen to our heart’s promptings and do the things in life we are meant to do.  In this case for Common, playing basketball for the team of his heart, the New York Nets.  (Sound familiar?) and for Queen Latifah’s character, helping people to heal from serious injury.    Both are following their heart’s calling.

In a world where it sometimes seems that all relationships are falling apart we get to see that the best chance of an enduring relationship or marriage is that it must be based on profound respect and a deep knowledge of who each person really is.  Not the surface beauty as played by Paula Patton whose character is self-serving and shallow.  Who uses her childhood experiences as an excuse not to grow up and own up.  Its keeping it real which Queen Latfah’s character does from the beginning.  She refuses to wear a dress to a basketball game because that’s not what its about. 

She is told over and over again by men that she is “good people” a great person to hang out with.  But it takes a real man with depth and a soul to see who she really is and how precious she is.

I know its only a movie but sometimes its Imagemovies that keep us on track and keep us having faith.

This movie cheers me up whenever things seem difficult.  In it Miss Pettigrew loses her job, loses her suitcase and has no belongings, no place to live and hasn’t eaten in 2 days.  Couldn’t be worse!  But life turns it all around.  She gets a job, new glamorous clothes, a place to stay but still……NO FOOD!  The end however is perfect.  Better than she could ever imagined.  Its a great movie written more as a play than a movie which makes it magical.

I think this applies to life.  Just when things seem dire Life turns them around and they become better than you can possibly imagine.  I think our job is to do whatever is in front of us to do, give up worrying and fretting and let Life do its thing.  Then everything seems like an amazing miracle. Which I think it really is.Image



Sorry haven’t been writing.  Life just got away from me.  I have been working on Echardt Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and putting it into use as often as possible.  Its about becoming conscious and to stop being on

I started to think of movies that show people becoming “conscious” or waking up to their true nature after being caught in automatic behavior and ways of looking at the world.  And, the most powerful example I could find is “Enchanted April”.  It starts out in cold, rainy London where two women who really don’t know one another both read an ad for a vacation villa in Italy.  Each of them is unhappy with their life.  They find two more women to join them.  They are also feeling unsatisfied with the life they are leading and more or less trapped.

When they get to the villa, San Salvatore magic begins to happen.  In the lush natural surroundings each begins to open up and change.  The two original women who are dissatisfied with their marriages begin to look at their husbands differently.  And, when they invite the husbands they too are are influenced by the lazy abundanza of the countryside.

They are there for a month and by the time they leave they are conscious.  They know what is really of value and they have opened their hearts to life, to love to nature.  They are transformed.

So, I’m working on it.  I want to create my own San Salvatore and open myself to life, to love and to life, to nature.  I hope you do too.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

nature.  My hope is that you will too.  Won’t that be wonderful!Image

Life is always so fascinating.  I was talking with a friend yesterday and we both felt that we had missed the opportunity to travel as much as we would like.  In our discussion it was clear that Paris was on the list for both of us.  So, we made a pact that next year we would go to Paris and stay for awhile. 

Neither of us has the resources at the moment to go but we started making a plan.  Right after that I ran into some friends who belong to an Italian Club I had joined and dropped out of.  They, too wanted to brush up on french.  We all had studied french for several years.  So, we made tentatively decided to get together and just speak but not study since we all need conversation.

The following day I went to a grocery store I frequently go to and as I was checking out the person at the counter was kidding me that I had hit the button on the charge machine too hard.  I realized that he had a decided french accent and when I asked him where he was from….of course he said…..”Paris.”

Did I mention that he was very good-looking man about my age?  I liked the energy I felt from him but I took my groceries and left.  As I was walking to my car I said to myself….”Don’t be chicken!  You would like to see him again.  Life is too short not to take chances. So, get your card and go back and give it to him.”

I did listen to myself and did exactly that and asked if he would join our group to speak french.  He answered me almost before I finished speaking and said he’ love to and took my card saying he would call me. And, he gave me

That reminded me of this quote from “Paris, Je T’Aime”

“It’s amazing. As soon as I saw you, I needed to talk. It’s like… I don’t know. A strong, weird feeling. I thought, if I don’t talk to you before I go, I’d be missing out on… something… important.”

See?  There’s a quote for everything!

French Kiss

I love this very charming movie. There is a quote in it that I think touches everyone-

Meg Ryan’s character asks: 

Kate: Do you believe in love? The kind that lasts forever?
Luc: I loved my mother.
Kate: No, everybody loves their mother. Even people who hate their mothers love their mothers. The question is, one man meant for one woman. That is the question.
In some way we all want that connection.  But what I’ve finally learned is the fact that there is a vast difference between a love affair and a marriage or more permanent relationship.  Most of our culture prepares us for a great affaire with fireworks, chemistry, excitement, attraction, the highs of a new relationship.  But a marriage or permanent (as permanent as anything is) relationship requires very different qualities.  It takes caring about another’s well-being and their happiness.  Its putting ourselves in that place of “learning” another person.  Being curious about who they are, what they like, what makes them excited about life, what their mission or purpose is as they know it.  It takes going through the hard times together with humor and gentleness.  It takes commitment to being happy ourselves and not putting that burden on another person. 
Its about being best friends, good companions, helpmates, playmates.  It does not mean being overly serious or putting up with things that don’t feel right to us.  But it is about being the best we can be and helping the other person to be the same.
So you see its not about the thrill of the hunt.  Its about the joy of finding and keeping.

Happy Fourth!