I was recently asked “do you have a piece of advice to offer humanity right now?” I smiled and responded saying “watch Kung Fu Panda.” And here’s why.
Kung Fu Panda, while aimed at our younger generation, provides some very profound and true messaging that speaks volumes at times like this. I’ve included some of my favourite quotes below and shared my thoughts on why I believe this fun-loving children’s movie has profound meaning for us all.
“Your story may not have such a happy beginning but that does not make you who you are, it is the rest of it – who you choose to be.” - Soothsayer (the highly intuitive goat), Kung Fu Panda 2.
Our lives are the movies we feature in. This challenging time of COVID-19 is a movie. There’s drama and constructed beliefs, good cops and bad cops, and characters playing out their roles as expected. And we’re all sitting in the front row passively tuning in. We get lost in ‘the movie’ and we then project it onto the walls of our own world. It becomes our story and we fill our ‘airtime’ (and screen time) with an overwhelming amount of information, discussing our thoughts and feelings about it. In a sense, we become it. We are basing how we feel on the information we receive, and when we combine this with our previously accrued fears, insecurities, and doubts, we have created an award-winning blockbuster. But is this reality? And more importantly, is this a reality you would choose to star in?
Our happiest moments come when we hit ‘pause’ on all beliefs, fears and worries of the past and decide, even for a few minutes, to be fully present. This is the power of meditation – it brings you to ‘the now’, allowing you to find peace and stillness within.
“Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.”– Master Oogway (the wise, elderly tortoise), Kung Fu Panda.
At times like this, our emotional state is sitting in the ‘Director’s chair’, ordering our logical mind to filter the information we’re receiving and find some reason and structure. It’s wanting to take charge, in an experience that’s beyond our control. When we rely on the mind in this way, it can lead us on a journey of fear, anxiousness and depression. When we’re feeling emotionally vulnerable, and being led by the mind, we leave no room to listen to the wisdom of the heart. We lose sight of the fact that at our core, what we’re truly looking for is happiness – pure happiness, and that happiness is in ‘the now’. Not in the fears and our ‘hang up’s from previous experiences, and it’s not waiting for us in some ‘future’ ideal or experience. It’s here and now. When the mind has settled.
“You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There is a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” – Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda.
The small children of the world are our best teachers of pure happiness. Unlike us, they can be fully present in ‘the now’. For most little people, happiness is not a choice. Happiness is their dominant state of being, as they are so firmly rooted in the present moment. They feel the spontaneous creation of happiness. Children have innocence or ‘in-now-sense’. They don’t bring what happened before to this moment. They don’t anticipate what will happen tomorrow, based on yesterday. They purely exist in the here and now.
In these questionable times, we are all looking for answers. We’re all looking for a ‘happy ending’ to this movie we’re watching. But why wait for the movie to end? Find your happy now and do whatever it is that brings you fully into the present moment.
To truly be empowered to create a happy moment, we must walk out of our current movie and see ourselves as the projection lamp – the source of Life and Love. We must be the source of Life and Love. You may choose to bake cookies for your friends, play with your children, FaceTime with your parents or help clean up your neighbour’s garden. With each act of kindness, you demonstrate that you are not the movie but the source of Life and Love. When you create more love, you create more life and when you create more life, you create love.
Today, do whatever it is that makes you feel happy and share that happiness! And I suggest, Kung Fu Panda is a good place to start!
“If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.” – Master Oogway
Peace be with you,