Have you ever thought, “If only I was different, if only I could be like… then everything would be fine?”
Po experienced this too.
Po, the unexpected Dragon Warrior and hero in DreamWorks Animation hit movie, Kung Fu Panda, masterfully illustrates Dr. Erickson’s second fundamental axiom for courageous transformation.
Po is an overweight, out of shape Panda bear who makes noodle soup with his dad, but his burning desire is to be a kung fu warrior. One day Master Oogway in the nearby Jade Palace decides it’s time to hold a ceremony where the the long awaited Dragon Warrior will be chosen. Everyone from the surrounding village attends this great celebration; everyone except Po, who is locked outside of the Palace gates because it took him too long to climb the stairs to the top of the mountain where the Jade Palace is located.
But through sheer determined effort (a flying chair powered by ignited fireworks), Po finds himself in the the middle of the Palace courtyard where he discovers that he has been chosen as the Dragon Warrior by Master Oogway.
Needless to say, everyone is in shock!
As the story moves along, we discover that the Dragon Warrior is entitled to an ancient gift – the Dragon Scroll. Within this sacred scroll is the wisdom that will give the Dragon Warrior unlimited power.
This 1000 year old scroll was greatly revered by all.
However, when Po is finally ready to open the Dragon Scroll, he is deeply disappointed at its content. The unrolled scroll is completely blank and simply reflects the image of its beholder.
Kung Fu Panda beautifully illustrates Po’s struggle with his perception of himself – a fat panda who is destined to make noodle soup for the rest of his life. He wants nothing more than his teacher, Master Shifu to change him. At one point he exclaims to his Master, “Make me, not me!”
And this is why Po is deeply discouraged by the Dragon Scroll’s seemingly empty message; he believed the scroll contained the wisdom and power to transform him into a great kung fu warrior, and to that end, change his destiny.
But it is when Po’s dad later reveals to him the secret ingredient of his family’s soup, that Po awakens to the wise message hidden within the Dragon Scroll. Po discovers that his reflection in the scroll is the whole point of its wisdom. He awakens to the simple truth, that just like his dads’ soup, there is no secret ingredient.
Dr. Erickson’s second axiom for creating a shift in the way we perceive ourselves and others is rooted in Po’s discovery. The second axiom is simply this:
People Already Have All the Resources They Need Within Them.
The first axiom reminded us that we are okay as we are and the second one comes right along side to remind us that we already have all the resources we need within us today to evolve through any circumstance we may be facing.
Have you ever read something someone wrote and the words just resonated deep within you? Have you ever watched a movie where a particular character or scene caused strong emotions to well up inside you? Have you ever listened to a song that struck a deep chord in your soul?
These experiences happen to you because these various mediums act as mirrors as they reflect what is already deep within you; emotions, experiences, insights, talents often hidden behind the protective wall of fear, shame and guilt.
Like the Dragon Scroll – stories, inspirational words, movies, songs, poetry, paintings, trees, flowers, birds and people act as mirrors helping you to see and feel that which is often forgotten. The secret to your success in every area of your life is simply this: you are the secret ingredient and you already have all the resources you need within you.
Today’s Unitas Project:
- Dedicate some time today for just yourself. During this time bring to mind a challenge/problem that you are presently facing. It could be anything from an addiction to pornography, nicotine, alcohol, or sugar, to fighting with your spouse, or trying to find a new job. Once you bring this problem to mind, use your hands to gently place this problem on a chair next to you. Now take a few steps away from the chair and shake out your body. Go ahead, no one is looking. Shake those arms and legs and core with a smile on your face.
- Now I invite you to remember a time when you felt very confident and were completely engaged. When this moment in your life comes to mind, fully step into this memory as if you were reliving this precise experience again. And when you are fully and completely in this moment of confidence and engagement, see what you are seeing, hear what you are hearing and feel all the emotions you are feeling. Use words, textures, colors, sounds, feelings to describe to yourself what you are seeing, hearing and feeling in this time of confidence.
- When you are ready to do so, come back into the present moment and breathe deeply, inhale and exhale slowly through your nose. And then, shake out your body once more.
- I invite you now to look at the problem that you placed upon the chair next to you. Coming from a place of confidence, what insights could you share with this problem that could empower you to take the action steps necessary for you to experience courageous transformation in your life.
- Be specific and breathe.
Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.
Photo taken from my iPhoto Library