Lessons learned from the movie Elvis & Anabelle

6d80bfe2699a4737dd077805b891cde7Probably many of you have never heard of this movie, but I came across it on Amazon after watching another quirky movie, My Sassy Girl (which I will do some lessons for that next). I did not know anything about this movie, so I was definitely surprised by different parts. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, so just watch and learn.

I will say, this movie definitely brought up some personal feelings regarding loved ones and suicide, depression…I have had people throughout my life who have suffered from depression and on a couple of occasions had people close to me at  serious tipping points. It is very Scary, emotional stuff, so this movie had moments that definitely hit home for me.

The opening scene of this movie was almost like a horror film with embalming fluid, a hearse, the run down funeral home. But with any movie you have the dark moments followed by the light, and thank heavens for that balance. The movie was a journey seeing the characters, their lives, their personal struggles and their need to break free from the world they were living in.

film1You have Elvis, his mother had committed suicide on Christmas day, he lived with his father who had been running a funeral home, but with a recent accident was unable to, so Elvis has been taking over without anyone knowing. Elvis loves his father very much and there is a very sweet bond between these two characters.  On a side note, Max Minghella (the actor that played Elvis) was truly drawn to this role because of the relationship between the father and son. Very sweet.

-Elvis-Anabelle-Movie-stills-blake-lively-15143475-399-268You have Annabelle, pageant queen, mother loves her but has driven Annabelle’s whole life to revolve around winning pageants, smiling, being pretty. Annabelle plays the part, but inside she is dying on a personal level.

Lessons learned:

0The life lessons of mortality–why? Why do I have this life? You could see this multiple times within this movie. You could see the characters faces wondering, why?      I think that is a very typical life question that we all wonder at different points within our lives. I think this question often comes from the perspective we see, the outward existence, a heart that is seeking to understand certain things, the mystery, the confusion, the dark, the light. You can ask this question when you are struggling, but this question can also come up when you feel you don’t deserve all you have. It is an ongoing lesson.

pdvd1105Cherished time is so important: We all seem to spin each day in the same direction and often find it hard to slow down and be present with those we love so dearly. Time is precious & this movie reminded me how each moment needs to be cherished. Elvis enjoyed reading every night to his father and their friendship and love was truly shared. I hope we all strive to have close relationships that we can hold and cherish always.

film3See life as a gift filled with miracles: At one point in the movie Annabelle runs away from her glamorous life to find solitude in the questions, the mystery of life. She begins to see life as a gift. She noticed the sunsets, the starry nights, she planted a garden to believe miracles would want to grown, even in bad dirt. She gets determined to plant something & buys bags of seed, starts up the tractor that has not been used in a very long time, determined to believe in miracles. Charlie (Elvis’ dad) and Elvis don’t believe what she is doing. They think she is wasting her time. She does not tell either of them what she is planting.

tumblr_lj0x9pakPZ1qckv4ko1_500_largeSee life with a new perspective: Annabelle realizes that for every terrible tragedy that happens in the world, there is always something equally miraculous that grows from it.  Can you believe that gift within your own life? Can you begin to see that when something tragic happens, something good from it will grow?

54089bf0c2f9defc261039df6f3bcc98Live this day: Annabelle is chased off the farm. She begins to think of her time at the funeral home—painting, tilling the fields, planting seeds, investing in other people and evaluates where she has been in her life and realized that she has not ever truly lived one day for herself.     Do you ever feel like this? Feel like you are always on a rotating cycle of doing dishes, homework, the same job, the same cycle? Maybe you need a little thing to do today that is yours. Make a list of a few things you would like to do in the next month—it doesnt have to be big things. Begin with little things: Go on a walk, Read 15 minutes a day, listen to an audio book on your way to work, doodle something, learn about something on youtube…just begin to live this day doing something small that means something to you. Make it your own!

tumblr_lno9kbinsp1qdssiwo1_500Don’t focus on the negative: Elvis is stuck in depressing thoughts, wondering what happened to his mother, feeling overwhelmed trying to run the funeral home & take care of his dad, not being able to pursue his own dreams…Annabelle tells Elvis if he keeps thinking his depressing thoughts, then he will have a depressing life.      How are your thoughts? What do you focus on in your life? When you talk out loud, what are you saying to others? How do you feel inside? You can feel if you are feeling negative or positive—it is pretty easy to tell. Be aware and focus on the good things within your life.

img-thing-1Good question: Annabelle asked Elvis…If you could do one thing in the whole wide world, what would it be???       Ask yourself that question. Nothing is being held from you…what would you want to do??

The movie does have some depressing moments where the two main characters are apart, depressed, wishing to be free of this world, the misunderstandings, the media, the loneliness…until one last miracle shines through in the sweet ending.


Do not ask “What are your GOALS” instead ask “What EXCITES you”

The new year always has us making to do lists, resolutions, goals, bucket lists…it is a great time to refocus, to evaluate things in your life, but I pose to you a different question.

11357579926_436a90fda7_bI just started reading Timothy Ferriss “Four Hour Work Week” & there is one statement that I found myself saying—YES!! FINALLY. YEAH!! HALLELUJAH!!!

The dreaded question everyone gets asked, may be the question that ties you to your job & you find yourself only able to describe yourself as your profession…“What do you do? or What do you want?” “What are your goals”…the questions go on and on, spinning you into a corner.  Some know what they want—happiness, love, a good job… BUT, I LOVE how Tim Ferris puts it: Let’s assume we have 10 goals and we achieve them—what is the desired outcome that makes all the effort worthwhile? The most common response is what I also would have suggested five years ago: HAPPINESS. I no longer believe this is a good answer. Happiness can be bought with a bottle of wine and has become ambiguous through overuse. There is more precise alternative that reflects what I believe the actual objective is.  Bear with me. What is the opposite of happiness? Sadness? No. Just as love and hate are two sides of the same coin, so are happiness and sadness. Crying out of happiness is a perfect illustration of this. The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is—here’s the clincher—boredom.

Excitement is more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It’s the cure-all. When people suggest you follow your “passion” or your “bliss”, I propose that they are, in fact, referring to the same singular concept: EXCITEMENT. The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “WHAT WOULD EXCITE ME.”

I LOVE THAT!! WHAT WOULD EXCITE ME. What would excite you? Ask yourself that question.

ImageI just read a sweet article about Drew Barrymore and her passion for cooking that has ignited since she has become a new mother. In the February issue of Marie Claire, Drew opened up about her love of cooking: ”I looooove cookbooks. I cook a lot when I’m pregnant. When I got pregnant the first time, I couldn’t even boil water. Now I can make the most spectacular slow-roasted pork tacos you will ever have, an incredible verde sauce with ancho chilies—so good. [And I just learned to make] a Greek yogurt pie with lemon zest and pepper filling on a gingersnap crust with black seedless grape compote. Amazing!” she told.

Listen to that!! Can you hear the passion and EXCITEMENT!!

ImageI came across some other celebrity passions: Did you know Vanilla Ice has a hobby of home renovation that has turned into a full-time career with his own show on the DIY network called “The Vanilla Ice Project.”  Who knew!!

Apparently Blake Lively loves to bake cupcakes, Neil Patrick Harris enjoys sharing his magic skills, and Jake Gyllenhaal said he would be a cook if he wasn’t an actor. Who knew!!

Did you know Geena Davis in 1999 became a finalist in Archery for the US Olympic team. Who knew!!

Did you know Jason Lee (father-figure of the Chipmunks) was once a sponsored, professional skateboarder. Who knew!!   [See the whole article with the above info http://magazine.foxnews.com/celebrity/celebrities-and-their-hidden-passions]

ImageAsk yourself, What do I want to do that I am a little afraid to try. Is there some idea I would like to play with or may want to just sit and think about for awhile? What is it? Does it EXCITE me? 

I jumped around to get some other peoples thoughts and ideas on things that excite & this is what I found…Experiencing new things, new places, new ideas, loving, being loved, growing spatially, and getting in touch with who I really am and want to be.  The end credits after the show is over, they show all the bloopers and mistakes. [funny]  The beauty of life. Thinking and learning. The eternal optimism of my children. Going on vacation. The idea of being stable forever. Travel. The idea of being able to get out of my depression (hope). Presents. Football. Surfing. Fitness. Doing things that seem inconceivable. Writing songs. Spending time with my family. Writing a novel that may never be published.

WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP? Sit down & think of anything that lights you up. Anything that would get you excited to jump out of bed and take a baby step towards realizing a passion. There are activities, places, people that light a spark in us, they help move us toward something that excites, that motivates, that propels us to a better self. Move towards those things that challenge, that teach, that will be a life lesson full of rewards.

Best to you. Heather