Wisdom from Kung Fu Panda

I have a picture of our Mastiff, Chief, enjoying movie night during a winter storm one year.  The movie was Kung Fu Panda and the image on the screen was Po, the panda, looking sternly at Chief.  I only shot it with my cell phone because if I got off the couch to get my big girl camera, he would have gotten up to follow me and I would have missed it.  One of my favorite pictures EVER!!!

Anyway....wisdom comes from some unexpected places sometimes and I love the fact that Hollywood puts such gems in their animated films for the adults as well as for the children.  I have loved the Kung Fu Panda movies and this third one is really great...so many good lessons for ALL of us.

I had been spending a lot of time alone in my apartment, working on 'work' things and being productive but the long days of clouds and overcast skies along with all of my alone time was beginning to wear on me and so I decided I needed to go out and see a movie that would be fun and light.  I will admit that I was a little embarrassed to go to the counter by myself and ask for a ticket to Kung Fu Panda but I was brave and decided I didn't care what anyone else thought.  This movie date was for ME...to love myself, to honor what I felt I needed.

The movies I've seen lately have all been very adult (not THAT kind...) but serious topics that are thought provoking and deep even if it is just below the surface...The Danish Girl, Carol, Brooklyn, Win Win, Ghost Town, The Revenant, The Painted Veil, The Drop... I soon realized once the movie trailers began that the trailers would most likely be with a younger audience in mind!  The kids in the theater were really enjoying them and one little girl in front of me, who was probably around 2 or 3 years old made a lot of adorable little comments.  

"There's a bunny, Mommy!"

"That was funny, Mommy!"

Once the movie began, it was as if the Universe tapped me on the shoulder and told me to pay attention.  There was much wisdom hidden here within the antics of Po and his friends.  One of the first things that hit me was this:

"If you only do what you can do, you'll never be better than what you are."

In this place between feeling the darkness and hardship of change and emerging into becoming I have been that little seedling pushing its way up through the dirt, doing more than I think I can do to come out of my shell.  And to think that there is more?!  Oh, my goodness!  The strength it takes in each and every moment to not only know that but to believe it and strive for it....

"If you can take it you can make it," (Louis Zamperini, Unbroken)

Another scene that caught my attention was the conversation between Po and Shifu when Shifu informed Po that he was going to retire from teaching and that Po was going to be the new teacher.  Po resisted and wanted to know how this was even possible because Shifu had not taught him completely how to become more like Shifu (full of wisdom and amazing Kung Fu moves).  

The overall theme of the movie Kung Fu Panda 3 was that of learning the incredible lesson of being YOU ... and being okay with who you are.

You do not have to try to be like someone else to succeed.  You do not have to try to be like ANYONE else to succeed.  All of those quirky things about you that you may not like are exactly the quirky things about you that is what is needed and that others look on with admiration.

Don't sell yourself short of being you.  Fully YOU.

In this day of social media it is especially easy to fall into that game of comparison...comparing what you have/what your gifts are/what you are good at to others....and you don't even know that some of those people you are looking at admire YOU for what YOU have/what YOUR gifts are/what YOU are good at!  

Trust me...it's true...it happened to me just a few weeks ago when I reached out to a photographer friend whose work I admired and she was flattered by my appreciation of her work because she was such a fan of mine!  True story!

I guess what I want most to share with you this week is a lesson that we all work on and struggle with each day...that we are enough.  That what we do matters.  That we can attain success by doing thing our way and focusing on our own strengths.  That being said, go out and see Kung Fu Panda 3...even if it is just you....the kid in you will be glad you did!!

Until then, enjoy this fun video of a panda at the National Zoo during the snow storm, Jonas.

You're welcome!

Watch the video here...  

Panda in the Snow