I believe we can be anyone

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you like everybody else is to fight the hardest battle you can fight--but never stop fighting! E.E. Cummings

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tinkerbell and Philosophy

I love fairies.  There's just something beautiful and magical about them.  Tinkerbell http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0823671/, the movie, came to me at the right time of my life a year ago or so.  It's always amazing how that happens.

For a few years, I was on a journey of trying to figure out what else I wanted to do for work.  And not just any work, something that would give meaning to my life and those around me.  Trying to "figure it out" was the problem.  But more about that later.

When I watched Tinkerbell, it was like watching myself.  At the time, I was struggling in a similar way that Tinkerbell was.  I was trying to find my gift, my talent, my purpose in life on the next leg of my journey.  Teaching dance started to become less of a joy for me for some reason and I wanted to find something else.  Being in the unknown and not knowing the answer was challenging at the best of times, let alone when I was having a "rough" day.

It was amusing watching Tinkerbell's journey as her "talent", her gift, her purpose, was right in front of her face the whole time and yet, she didn't want to accept it.  Most of us should be that lucky to know our gift at birth!  She wanted to be someone else because she didn't think she could make her dream of going to the "Mainland" come true with who she truly was.  Vidia (a fast flying Wind Fairy with an attitude) tells Tinkerbell that her job as a Tinker really isn't important.  Tinkerbell takes this to heart.  Be careful who you listen to, is the lesson here.  Words are powerful.  Be mindful what you say to another human being, or a fairy for that matter.

Even when someone is feeling strong and proud with who they are and what they do for work, there's always some naysayer with an inflated ego that wants to push people down.  Of course, on some level, this person is highly insecure and threatened by this person's acceptance of themselves.

Over a 75 minute journey, I learnt about Tinkerbell and how she came to be.  She was born out of the laughter of a baby.  She then floats through the air above the city until she reaches Neverland, the land of fairies.  At this point she looks somewhat like a fluffy white upsidedown umbrella.  As she finally lands in the world of fairies, her physical form is revealed.  All the fairies are anxiously awaiting her arrival.

Tinkerbell in her new physical form

The Queen Fairy shows up for the momentuous occasion to welcome Tinkerbell to her new home.  "Born out of the joy and laughter of a baby."  If only this was true for most of us.  Unfortunately the reality is that some babies are not welcomed into the world this way.

Queen Clarion

Tinkerbell must now find her "talent".  Another word for this would be her gift or her purpose in life.  Isn't this what most of us are searching for our whole lives?  What makes us unique and special?  I know it's what I want. 

It's unfortunate that too many people in this day and age get too caught up in the rat race to take time to figure that out.  They work at jobs they hate because they are trapped in survival mode.  They don't take time to get to know who they are and what they really want.  Sometimes the "talent" is obvious.  Most of the time it is not. 

Too many people get put into careers or jobs because "that is what everyone else did in our family."  Or, they go to school for a career purely because of the money.  This is where Tinkerbell is blessed as she knows right away from birth.  Many of us probably knew as a child who we wanted to be and what we wanted to do, but instead, others' ideas were implemented and we forgot who we were and what our dreams were.  This then becomes the process of discovering who we are and what we want for our lives.

Tinkerbell is now surrounded by approximately ten tables with various objects on them.  "You must now find your talent," Queen Clarion says.  "How will I know?" asks Tinkerbell.  "You'll know" says the Queen.

Queen Clarion encouraging Tinkerbell

As she wanders from table to table, she touches each object and they quickly dissolve to her disappointment.  All the fairies are anxiously awaiting to see what her talent will be as this will also determine which group she will be working with.  She continues to walk when a "hammer" starts to glow brightly and follows her.  The fairies "Ooh" and "Ahhh."  Tinkerbell then grabs the hammer and it glows like it never has before.  Her talent is revealed and everyone cheers.

Tinkerbell's Tinkering Hammer

Two of the other "Tinkers", Clank and Bobble, greet her with great enthusiasm and take her to where she will now live.  She's on a great adventure with high expectations, unbeknownst to her at this point.  Tinkerbell has big dreams for herself. 

Bobble and Clank show Tinkerbell the ropes

It's then revealed that her "job" is to make things in the shop to prepare for the various Seasonal Fairies and their fairy community.  Her two Tinker friends and workmates are quite proud of who they are and what they do.  Tinkerbell is a bit disappointed when she finds out she will be making pots and pans and doesn't yet see the importance of her job and talent.

Tinkerbell disappointed

As she spends time with some of the Seasonal Fairies, she finds out they get to go to the "Mainland".  Tinkerbell is fascinated and can't wait to go.  She soon finds out that the only fairies that go to the Mainland are the Seasonal Fairies.  Again, disappointment for her.  She doesn't understand why she wouldn't be allowed to go.

The Seasonal Fairies

Vidia, a fast flying wind fairy with a bit of an ego problem, tells Tinkerbell promptly that she is the most important fairy.  Tinkerbell, is well, just a "Tinker".  Here we see how ego and hurtful words can make someone feel inferior and less than. 

Vidia giving attitude to Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell then promptly makes a decision that she will "change her talent."   The other Seasonal Fairies don't know if that is a good idea but decide to help her anyhow.

As Tinkerbell continues to work with each Seasonal Fairy to train and learn their talent, she continues to fail, one try after another.  The Seasonal Fairies just don't think trying to be someone else is a great idea.  Isn't that the way life goes?  Sometimes people are just born with certain gifts.  Trying to be someone else never works. 

Working with the Light Fairy proves to be more of a challenge than she thought

This baby bird doesn't trust in Tinkerbell as a Nature Fairy in training

I know for me that I will never be a great singer.  That's just not my gift.  How many Idol wannabes are there that continue to go after some dream that isn't theirs to go after?  When I used to watch that show, it was clear to me some of these "singers" needed to let that dream go.  No matter how many people tell them they aren't born to sing, they don't want to hear the real truth from people.  What's really dangerous is when someone continues to support this person when a hundred others have said STOP!

As Tinkerbell flies off frustrated by the whole situation, she notices something sparkling from up high.  She flies down and finds a number of "lost things" as the other Tinkers called them.  Tinkerbell is even more intrigued by the Mainland as that is where these things have come from.

Tinkerbell finding lost things

As Tinkerbell storms off for a second time, she runs across more lost things.  Without realizing it, Tinkerbell starts putting together the pieces of a ballerina music box that has broken up on shore.  Without any real effort or thought, just on pure intuition and instinct, piece by piece she puts the music box back together.  She's so involved with what she is doing, she doesn't notice she's being watched by the Seasonal Fairies.  The Seasonal Fairies watch on and are amazed at how effortless this is for her.

Tinkerbell working with the ballerina

I have noticed that perhaps my "talent" is in relation to those activities where I "lose" myself.  Sometimes hours have gone by and it's effortless because I'm enjoying what I'm doing.  Perhaps this is one of the keys to finding one's purpose; in the pure ease and joy of being in the moment.

As the fairies rave to Tinkerbell at how amazed they were watching her put this thing together, they say to her "Well, aren't you happy when you were doing that?"  Well, maybe Tinkerbell was, but that's besides the point.  She still wants to go the Mainland and she still wants to change who she really is because she doesn't believe she will be able to go to the Mainland if she doesn't.  Frustrated by the "supposed" non-support of her friends, she flies off in a huff.

She then continues to persevere.  Perhaps she can still learn a new talent and make her dream of going to the Mainland come true. 

She talks Vidia into helping her out.  Perhaps she can teach Tinkerbell how to become a fast flying fairy like herself.  Vidia has a bit of an ego as she feels she is THE most important fairy of ALL.  After all, her wind brought Tinkerbell to Neverland in the first place.

Tinkerbell will do anything and so, Vidia suggests to Tinkerbell that she round up and lasso all the trouble making sprinting thistles.  This is an impossible task.  But Tinkerbell is young and naive and doesn't know this fact and willingly goes along.  After all, she will do anything to make her dream happen.

The sprinting thistles

To Tinkerbell's dismay, she realizes in the end she won't be able to lasso these thistles.  In fact, the thistles have overrun Neverland and have now ruined everything in preparation for spring which is to happen in one day.  The Head Fairies have a council meeting and it is revealed that they will be behind for spring to start and this will now put all the seasons behind.  Yikes!!  That's what happens when people mess with Mother Nature.  Sounds familiar folks??  Nature needs to be in balance!

Tinkerbell feels terrible for the distress she has caused.  She wants to pack up her fairy bag and leave Neverland forever.  She goes to see Terrence about getting dosed up on flying fairy dust for the long trip ahead. 

Terrence consoling Tinkerbell

Terrence seems sad that she is leaving.  Tinkerbell feels sorry for herself because she doesn't feel "important" and made such a mess of things.  Terrence can sense this from her and plays along, pretending that he too, is not "important."  Tinkerbell can't believe he would feel this way.  What he does is very important, providing fairy dust to fairies so they can fly.  "You should feel proud of who you are!" she says to him.  He, of course, says he does.  Tinkerbell realizes what Terrance is doing and finally accepts the gift of who she is and her purpose.

With her self acceptance, she is finally able to use her gift and empower herself to do something about the distress she has caused.  It is here that she is in her true creative power.  Things start to flow effortlessly from her and she comes up with various ideas on how to rectify the damage she has done with the thistle incident.

She speaks to the Fairy Council about her ideas and truly believes that if everyone works together as a community, they can work together to get spring back on schedule.

Tinkerbell speaking with the Fairy Council

There are so many themes throughout this movie and how it can relate to life:

The power of words and how it can affect a person positively or negatively.  Be kind.

Keep believing in yourself and your dreams, no matter what.

The power of working together and the power of being in community.

The power of friendship.

The power of people telling you the truth.

Trusting yourself, trusting your intuition and trusting in the Universe.

The search for meaning and purpose in life.

We don't always need to do BIG things to make impact.  A number of small things from many people can make impact to.  "We cannot do great things on this Earth; only small things with great Love."  Mother Teresa

Self acceptance and self love.

Sometimes we can't see something, even when it's right in front of our faces.

We are ALL important.

Be who you are, no matter what.

Ease, joy and fun in what you are doing are clues to your purpose.

Don't mess with Mother Nature because it throws things out of balance.

After teaching with GoDDess GrOOve for ten years, I felt I wanted to move in another direction.  I was searching for a new purpose.  I continued to do personal growth and healing work.  I meditated as regularly as I could despite my impatience and frustration of finding it difficult to quiet my mind.  I even prayed.  I danced.  I rode my bike.  You name it, I probably did it.

It wasn't until I started to hear from three different sources (people) that they weren't searching for "IT", "IT" found them.  IT being my new direction.  When I heard that three times, IT (in more ways than one!) finally clicked in.  I was trying too darn hard!!  I needed to let go and let "IT" find me and trust that it does.  My impatience of wanting to find IT blocked the ability for "IT" to find me, ironically.

That's the way it happened with GoDDess GrOOve and teaching dance.  The seed was planted years before by a friend, but I couldn't accept it at the time.  I wasn't ready to share my past, my experiences and the idea of teaching dance.  I needed to accept it myself first.  It wasn't until years later when I did healing around my past that I was able to start sharing the gift of dance to women.

As I got out of my own way and allowed the phrase "IT found me" to click in, a strange thing started to happen.  I inadverently found out what I wanted to do next.  The funny thing is, it's not what I thought it would look like at all.  I, like Tinkerbell, thought I would have some bigger purpose.

Sometimes when someone else believes in you first, it's easier to believe in yourself
It's still all new to me and eventually, when I am ready to share it some more, you will be the first to know.  It doesn't mean it won't impact people in a big way, it may in fact.  But right now, I'm deciding to keep it as simple as possible.  I know that when I start to make things too big, I get overwhelmed with the bigness and then it stops me in my tracks. 

So, I'm using the KISS RULE.  Keep It Simple Superstar!  Focus on one step at a time and trust that it is all leading me to where I need to go. 

Rock On Tinkerbell!  Who knew I could learn so much from a Fairy!  A children's movie only?  I think not!  We all need to nurture our child within.  Continue to be like a child; full of curiousity, wonder and play!  And yes!  You too can learn from Tinkerbell!