Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make Your Life an Awesome Movie

One of my favorite films is “Stranger Than Fiction.” In it Will Ferrell plays IRS agent Harold Crick who is thrown for a loop when a mysterious voice begins to narrate his life. All of a sudden he is hearing about every little thing – from him filing folders to how nervous he gets whenever he is near his crush.

This narration leads Harold to evaluate aspects of his life he never had the courage to face. And what is left, at the end, is the story of Harold’s transformation. Self-evaluation is a helpful tool during your lifetime. Not the skimming over “should I have done or said that” moments, but true time to reflect on yourself – character, motives, hopes, dreams, bad and good habits and changes that need to be made. Now if you are saying to yourself that you are in a good place (mentally, physically and emotionally) that is wonderful. But you’re kidding yourself if you think you should stay there. Life is about changes. We age, we grow, we learn – we continuously evolve.

What is the soundtrack to your life? If your life were a movie, what would be the message or the sub-text?

The soundtrack to my life is a little all over the place. It’s not that cool (in fact, it’s probably pretty lame), but because it accounted for significant growth for me at that time, it is tunes I will never forget. Janet Jackson’s Control album blew my mind! I had never seen a woman take center stage like that – demanding to be heard, and commanding all of the attention. In the video for “The Pleasure Principle” there were no background dancers, singers or costumes. Just Janet, a dusty factory and her Adidas. Sometimes it’s not about the fluff. It’s about the simplicity.

Lauryn Hill’s MTV Unplugged changed my entire life. I was taking a summer writing course at American International College, surprisingly, in a class of mostly females, when this record was released. I was going through that funky transition of entering the real world. And I struggled. I have always been a very spiritual, fairly conservative, always in my head kind of girl. I was 21, struggling to make sense of myself as a young mother, my beliefs and who I was and then … and then, Lauryn Hill put everything I was feeling, thinking and going through on wax. I must have listened to that album three times back-to-back when I first bought it. When that summer was over, I felt a little more at ease in my own skin.

I’ve also created my own mottos and sayings along the way. Ones that speak to me in good and bad times and also add joy to those around me: “Aspire to inspire,” “I love God. God loves me and I love myself,” “Today is a bad day, but tomorrow will be fabulous,” “Dream about me” (saved for goodbyes when someone close to me is leaving), “Love you, miss you, want you,” (created just for my son when he was little) and “It’s better when you sing it.”

It’s not about the artist, the genre or its popularity. It’s about the message. How does your soundtrack make you feel? How does it speak to your life and/or your situation? What does it say about you? We determine our own destinies. Many people feel like artists such as Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Amy Winehouse created music that, ultimately, mirrored the endings of their shortly lived lives. Coincidence or Law of Attraction – meaning you attract into your life what you put out? Either way, it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals in both your business and personal relationships. Reading and listening materials shouldn’t be any different.

Consider your home an extension of your movie set. Are your dwellings a reflection of you? Don’t let your budget dictate your surroundings. Living within your means, whatever they may be, can still ensure that your castle is a place of peace and an ambiance that gives you serenity. Your home should be a place of inner comfort. The one area you sigh with relief to come into. If it doesn’t give you that feeling, evaluate what needs changing. My friends and family give me a hard time, in good fun, about not replacing my Panasonic TV with a flat screen. But it still works!

I come home and relax in front of it and enjoy it just the same. I prefer to think my house is full of love rather than stuff. My bookcase – filled with books that have shaped and inspired me – is a truer reflection of Natasha than any flat screen could ever be. That goes for my friends (the supporting cast in my movie) and the God I serve (this film’s director).

But like any script, there can be edits. And so I charge you with evaluating and editing your film. At the end of your life, when the credits roll, there will always be critics, but at least the most important viewer will be satisfied – YOU.

1 comment:

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