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Avatar: Let This Hero’s Journey Inspire Yours

UP ANGLE TRACKING among the trees, the sunlight shafting down like light in a 
It’s hard to put in words the deep
 connection the People have to the forest.

HIGH IN THE BRANCHES of a tree, Jake watches as Neytiri gently bends a large 
pitcher-like flower toward her,sipping nectar which is sweet and thick as honey.  
An incredibly sensuous image.
They see a network of energy that flows
through all living things. They know that
all energy is only borrowed--

MACRO SHOT of a purple flower, beaded with raindrops.  A blue hand picks the flower.
-- and one day you have to give it back.

LOOKING DOWN into a hole dug among tree roots.  The body of an old Omaticaya WOMAN 
lies curled there like an unborn baby in the womb of the earth.The purple flower is
gently placed on her body, joining flowers, totems and beads.

(From Avatar written by James Cameron)

This is the scene from the movie Avatar that brought some serious tears to my eyes.  Happy tears. I welled-up because I recognized the profound truth that we are, in fact, all connected and that we are also here for a limited time to do what we are called to do—whatever that is for us individually.  Though we are motivated by selfish reasons (it feels amazing to do what we’re meant to do), ultimately, this motivation helps us to serve others and something greater than ourselves.

There are so many reasons why I love this movie and why this will be the first fairy tale I will enthusiastically share with my children.  Topping the list of the reasons of why I love it, however, is the well fleshed-out hero’s journey in this story.  The story that we’re all obligated to play out in some way, shape or form in our own lives. The challenges we face, fail, re-attempt–maybe many times–until we ultimately succeed.    The risk of leaving who we think we are so we can become who we truly are is exciting, scary and totally disorienting. So, in the movie, when Jake Sculley said I can barely remember my old life, I’m not sure who I am anymore, I knew something big and incredibly exciting was about to take place.  This is how I knew Jake was about to transform from an organism that was basically just taking up oxygen, to someone who is about accomplish something that no one else can do but him.  This takes all kinds of courage: mental, physical and spiritual.

Like Jake, we are also called to go through a similar transformation. Though our modern day cultures and societies are losing traditional rites of passage, we all must mature and show up for our callings, move forward and deliver what only we can.  One thing is for sure: we still experience our own sets of challenges, failures and successes that ready us to take possession of our greatness. Each of us has internal orders to follow and all we have to do is summon the courage from within us to follow them.  Some of us will never choose to answer the call to deliver our unique gifts and talents, but for those of us who do, the reward is a full life well-lived.

This week I saw many examples of what happens when people follow their inner orders and take on the hero’s journey. I learned through one of my Facebook friends, that her ER doctor friend from the US flew out to Haiti to see how he can best serve the survivors of the earthquake.  I saw Avatar, an epic movie with unique, stunning visuals that James Cameron had the vision, patience and determination to create.  I also talked with several people this week who had the courage to listen to and follow their own inner voices even when it clashed so hard with the expectations of loved ones and/or society. Today we’ll celebrate and honor the life of Martin Luther King, a man who dared to follow his inner voice to challenge and defy what was normal for his time—his work lives on.  I love all of these people so much for deciding to step out of anything resembling a comfort zone and dare to be extraordinary–to be who they truly are.

Where are you on your hero’s journey?  Your energy is borrowed, you’ll have to give it back one day–is it time to step-up your game? Listen to your inner guidance system, it’s telling you the answer.

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