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Girls represent: Aladdin

Last night I snuck under an Arabian tent, with a snack of hummus in hand, leaving behind the stress of my day and watched the preview of one of my all-time favourite films, here in Perth, Western Australia. I finished the evening walking out, overwhelmed by the colour, light and love of Arabian nights, wishing I had a magic carpet to fly me home.

Princess Jasmine has always been a strong character in the Musical Theatre repertoire of Disney’s latest film offering “Aladdin” but there is a plot twist that the purists may not like.

In the popular 1992 animated film, she is depicted as a strong daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah, who is sick of feeling “stuck” behind the walls of their castle. She refuses to be forced into marriage and longs to become queen one day.

The new remake of this cult classic draws the story from this thread and smashes it wide open with a new song, Which I am sure will become a power ballad classic.

I was speechless as I watched her character find her voice and stand up to the patriarchal institutions that have held her silent. A tear dripped down my face and I remembered this quote I read recently:

“Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.”

Brene Brown

She sings loud and clear that “Enough is enough and I will make a change!” Reminding me a little of “Meghan Markle” and her real-life social media prison she married into and to blow convention out of the window and she has decided to do Motherhood in her own way. Feminism is being written as a backstory into the history of this cult classic.

Naomi Scott talks about her passion to bring little girls into wide spaces of emancipation here in this video below;

New song Speechless and women finding their voice.

Will Smith, of course, wins the comedy card in this remake and the video production of his enactment of the Genie is brilliant. The sets, the costumes and production numbers don’t disappoint but for me, the stand out of this movie is the continual theme of women in leadership in Disney’s current season of remakes.

Empowering our girls to know that they can indeed change the course of history. And the last little plot twist, I cannot tell you, because that indeed would be a major spoiler. Here comes a wave, but it won’t take me under.

Add this song to your Spotify playlist, because I believe its going to stay around for a while, just like “This is Me” and “Shallow.

A whole new world of beauty. You ain’t never had a friend like Will Smith and princesses speaking out for what truly matters!

It seems, the movie should have been titled “Jasmine” now that truly would get people just as angry as the last season of Game of Thrones.

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Nothing always leads to something

Disney’s latest offering “Christopher Robin” had me eating honey cake and cleaning the tears from my face with a napkin. A childhood tale of witty wisdom and heartfelt panorama’s, each character that tumbled out of the hundred acre wood had me smiling.

This new release follows the story of a grown-up Christopher Robin and his struggle to make all the ends in his life meet. I sat there profoundly moved by the same conversations I have had with my family lately.

It is a grown-up, adult version of a childhood favourite, calling us into the never-ending space of rest and reflection, with a side dish of fun served as dessert.

Christopher walks into his house and smiles hesitantly at his wife “I’m sorry I got held up at work.”

She looks at him with doubt “You’ll be working this weekend?”

He replies with shame “It can’t be helped!”

The tension within a family to prioritise rest and fun, with work and the endless task list is one that we have not found our family solution too. I sat listening to the conversations of this family trying to find their way through, smiling as Pooh came to discover his old friend again.

The depth of imagination and the capacity to call you deeper into your internal dialogue was a timely reminder that sometimes doing nothing is everything.

“Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something”

Christopher Robin

When was the last time you did nothing?

What about a weekend with a rambling countryside and no task list snuck in your briefcase pocket?

As a culture, we are not great at doing nothing. Efficiency has us all held captive, and our mobile phones beep with constancy in our pockets. It means nothing for someone to message us late at night, and the myriad of connection points leave us all feeling a little disconnected.

This film took me to space where I remembered what it was like to imagine as a child, roaming and wandering in nature. Making friends with my memories and reminding myself where my work belongs.

Pooh looks at Christopher Robin and innocently asks; “Do you always carry that thing with you?”

Robin replies “What my briefcase?”

And Pooh smiles innocently “Yes, is it more than a balloon?”

He curtly pouts “Of course it is more important than a balloon.”

This little meet-cute at the beginning of their newly formed relationship reminded me of how much more we place importance on our work and our sense of achievement and success.

However, I want to be known by my family and my loved ones, by the attention I give them. That they are indeed my priority and although my heart dreams of far off places, that today I will sit in the discomfort of the present. Making them known in my heart and my hands.

So you will find me this weekend, switching off and laying my briefcase of important things down, ready to watch movies, throw popcorn and possibly buy my littles a red balloon, remembering that sometimes doing nothing, always leads to a great something.

And more than ever our world needs a reminder that taking a break and running away to the woods is never, ever a bad thing.

Happy Weekend Friends,

Enjoy a slice of honey cake with me.

Amanda

Opens in cinemas Australia wide: 13th September 2018

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okay? okay?

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Living in a wrecked kind of haze this week. Yesterday a story was told and today people responded and a little six year old boy got his first ever toothbrush.

Living today in the midst of human stories that are brilliant, snotty and heart aching at the same time.

I don’t know whether there is a message in the times or if I am seeking authentic stories and they keep finding me in a puddle of tears but I snuck off to the movies by myself this morning and was completely undone.

I am lucky it was the 10.30am session, with a spattering of people who together sat in the dark envelope of the theatre and cried endlessly.

The Fault in Our Stars, is the most breathtakingly real movie I have seen in a very long time.

It will take me weeks to unpack the explosion of inspiration in my heart, but mostly I came away with a sense of urgency to live life to the fullest with every moment given.

Live now, when opportunities arise, grasp them, don’t think too much just jump.

Moments can be fleeting or they can be pools of possibility inviting us to jump into their infinity.

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Time is fleeting and the life we are given speeds by, but at the same time some moments can last a lifetime and it is not the length of the moment but the opportunities grasped in the midst of it.

We can wait our whole life to truly live or we can go with the possibility and be ever changed.

Like my friend Beth this week. She was booked to fly to Berlin, but in one moment, she decided to throw that plan away and to stay and help.

To help someone in need.

To accept the possibility of one story.

To live beyond fear, what if and could this possibly be okay?

Who is waiting on the other side of our decision to have a go?

What story is waiting to be written by our courage shown to stop, listen and act?

By worrying about the what ifs, we can miss the potential in the moment.

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I walk away from the last couple of days so grateful for every opportunity I have with my little family.

I feel determined to say yes, to the little stories that come my way (even when they are inconvenient) and I feel overwhelmed at the possibility to live a substantial life in the quiet of my own little place in this world.

I don’t want to live out loud.

I want to quietly live authentically to the beliefs that I hold.

Letting my yes be yes and my no be no.

Living beyond the fear that tries to contain me.

Aware of how truly blessed I am to have found love.

Grateful for every human story that I encounter and truly listen too.

To see every person not as a number but a possibility. To see every human not as their behaviour but the story behind the pain.

To see every moment with the potential of radical real life.

Authentically painful and brilliantly real at the same time.

I could keep on writing, sentences that probably don’t mean much to anyone else but me.

Go watch the movie.

Then breathe deep.

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That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.

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the vision awaits

20140119-200842.jpgLast night we went to the most beautiful setting to watch the most graphic of films.

I finished the evening with a sigh, I was glad to have had a night out but the content of the film was deeply disturbing.

I am glad that ‘12 years a slave‘ is getting acclaim with awards at the moment, because it means the topic will receive the focus globally it deserves.

However I am not sure it was necessary of the film directors and writers to dwell on the graphic content of the abuse, the violence and the disturbing treatment of the slaves.

Although the film was set in the 1800’s and focused on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man, who was sold into slavery, I found myself relating it to the people who are sold into slavery still today.

Every image made me think of nations like Thailand and India where young men and women everyday are treated in the same inhumane ways, often to provide us with our cheap fish prices, that $2 tshirt from Kmart and the consumerism we take for granted.

I was so personally challenged about what I take granted here in Australia. The freedom, the beach, the safety of my family and more.

Every year Solomon was subjected to the most appalling racism and abuse the most striking part of his character was his undeniable patience.

A man who walked into his family after 12 years of the most appalling of circumstances, asking for forgiveness for being away from them.

He had every right to walk in with righteous anger, asking for preferential treatment, with an attitude of the victim. However he walked in with humility, so grateful that his vision had come to pass and his family were reunited again.

How do you carry yourself through the hardest times of your life?

Do you wait for the vision to be realised with humility and faith?

Do you walk in offence, expecting everyone to help you and make you feel better about the circumstance of your past?

This scripture from Habakuk has been taunting me all day.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; It hastens to the end; it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Hab 2:3

The things I am waiting for are no where near as treacherous as the abuse that Solomon encountered, or people who are in situations of violence and mistreatment. My heart still aches though for the fulfilment of dreams that I long for.

Are you waiting on something of importance?

Do you feel frustrated at the journey?

I have learnt from the story of Solomon Northup and also this scripture today, that the way we carry ourselves in the in-between place, is more important to the fulfilment of the dream anyway. What we learn? Who we treat badly or well along the way?

Laying down our lives for another.

Although the vision awaits, I am desperate to do it with awareness of how blessed I truly am and how many people in our world live lives that are truly desperate and in need of freedom.

I want to live a life that sets people free.

A humble life

A present life

A life full of perspective.

How about you?

A

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The letter writer

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I needed a break today, my creative space and heart was feeling a little dry.

Maybe giving out too much, without enough in?

Maybe the tyranny of a young toddler?

Maybe just the rains of winter still pouring and my spring heart needing some sun?

I put max to sleep and looked through the bigpond catalogue on my smart tv and found a fabulous movie to rent.

It was called ‘The Letter Writer’ all about a man who searches through the phone book and randomly writes letters of hope to people.

It inspired me so much about the power of writing.

There are people who are impacted by the intentionality of our writing everywhere, that we may never meet.

Don’t give up.

Keep writing.

You never know who is on the receiving end of your thoughts.

Inspire others.

Amanda