Wednesday, May 30, 2007
New Life For A Favourite Album
This year rock group, Electric Light Orchestracelebrated its 30th anniversary of their landmark double album, Out of The Blue. You may remember it's many hits that included, 'Turn to Stone', 'Sweet Talkin' Woman' and 'Mr. Bluesky'. This album from the 70's has been re-released and digitally remastered for even better sound. It has been given new life.
And not only did hearing this re-release send me to nostalgic heaven it also contained a special gem. The cd had a previously unreleased song called 'Latitude 88 North' and when I heard it for the first time I got chills up my spine. It was as if I had discovered a long lost treasure from my past that was very familiar and yet completely brand new.
Imagine favourite treats you use to love as a kid but are no longer available today. And then suddenly, "out of the blue" you are sent this treat and it fills you instantly with a happy nostalgia that re-energizes you from your head to your toes. That's what it was like listening to a new song from a favourite band from so long ago.
We all had our favourite bands growing up that somehow gives us a special connection to our times in high school. ELOwas my favourite band back then and I remember listening to 'Out of the Blue' inside out since it first came out in 1977. ELOhad the perfect blend of Beatlesinfluenced tunes and classical music which simply made me feel great listening to it. I loved how the string arrangements sounded so cinematic as if they were from a sweeping or suspenseful movie soundtrack. They added a sense of drama to the pop songs.
Over the years ELOwould lose that drama and eventually breakup leaving only their classic albums to enjoy. But then 'Latitude 88 North' comes out 30 years later with its catchy melody and eternally optimistic violins on the chorus that I currently cannot stop listening to the tune. I felt like a teenager again playing a favourite song over and over again.
And despite its melancholy lyrics the tune was so happy and positive that it felt like a golden nugget of "electric light" from my past sent to the present as a present. I was filled with a timeless optimism and was so thankful that Jeff Lynne, leader of ELO,finished this once forgotten masterpiece.
New Life for The Beatles
Jeff Lynne was the man responsible for remastering the Out of The Bluealbum and for finishing his previously unreleased song. And though most people don't know, Lynne was also involved in giving new life to 2 songs that made history.
Back in December 1995 there was a huge buzz about the surviving Beatlesreleasing brand new songs. But how could that be when, at the time, John Lennon had already past away? The answer was they carefully took Lennon's original demo tracks of 'Free As A Bird' and 'Real Love' and had the remaining Beatlesrecord on top of his rough vocals and instruments played.
Ironically it was Jeff Lynne who was brought on board as "an honorary Beatle" to digitally clean up the track and produce the songs with Paul, Ringo and George (who was alive at the time).
When the songs debuted on television with new music videos it was a huge event for millions of Beatlesfans. New life had been brought to these previously buried gems. It was another hidden treasure being shared with the world. 'Free As A Bird' was a hauntingly moving song and fascinating to hear Lennon's voice singing along the other Beatles. And the music video was dazzling having incorporated old black and white footage of the Beatlesintermingling with other modern footage and images relating to many of their other songs.
And though a few thought is was a little morbid to unearth Lennon's spirit in this manner it still brought a thrill to people around the world. The songs could have been lost forever but someone cared enough to do what it took to clean them up, finish it and release it to the world.
School of Rock (2003)
The musical comedy School of Rock is about Dewey (Jack Black) a slacker who follows his passion for rock and roll no matter what. In the story he wants to write and perform the ultimate rock song despite being kicked out of his own band. To raise money he ends up masquerading as a substitute teacher and discovers his young students are gifted musicians. He ends up helping them develop their talents and they end up helping him creating a great song called, of course, School of Rock.
Black's character allowed himself to see his unfinished project through new eyes and achieved his dreams. And despite his crazy antics he inspired others along the way. 'School of Rockwill inspire you to see there are always options around the blocks preventing you from completing a task or goal.
New Life For You
Let these songs be a metaphor for all your unfinished dreams and projects. Take a look in your cupboards of the pieces in your life you have pushed to the back on that top shelf. Maybe it was too painful to deal with it back then and you chose to put it aside. That's okay. Time heals all and it is never too late to breathe new life into them.
Jeff Lynne was just a person who knew he had the ability to revitalize forgotten songs and did something about it. He saw there was value in the time and effort it took to pick up the pieces and finish incomplete projects. You have the same abilities for any area of your life. You have the ability to finish something you once started.
So look at yourself as an unfinished work of art. Know that when you are ready you will be able to finish whatever you started years ago. Know that everything you have done along your path has some value now or in the future. It may even have a greater hidden value to others.
You are in control of your journey and can you pick up the pieces any time you choose. After all you are already a masterpiece. You are a master of your pieces!
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
There are some movies that we secretly enjoy because they energize us in some way. It's important to admit and identify the value of these guilty pleasures to, at least, ourselves.
The Pacifier (2005)
The action comedy film, The Pacifier with Vin Diesel is about a special agent assigned to babysitting duties to five kids. I'm surprised to admit that I had a great time. And yet a part of me was saying I wasn't suppose to be enjoying this light family movie. It felt like I was indulging in a guilty pleasure.
It was fun to see Diesel apply his tough guy persona into this movie from Disney. I've already enjoyed his non-tradition hero roles in other movies like Pitch Black,Chronicles of Riddickand Triple Xbut this film was different. This was a fish out of water story where he plays a Navy SEAL assigned to watch over a family of kids. So seeing him learn how to change a baby's diaper for the first time was hilarious.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
Another film that felt like a guilty pleasure was the mockumentary comedy, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. You may have heard some of the press and controversy about this Golden Globe award winning mockumentary. I was already aware of the news and yet when I finally saw it I didn't know how audacious and over the top this film truly was. You have to see this movie to believe it! I now wished I had watched it with an audience because I'd love to have seen if people wanted to laugh at certain scenes but held themselves back.
This unconventional comedy is generated from a fictional tv journalist named Borat,played by Sacha Baron Cohen, who comes to the US from Kazakhstan to interview people across America about America. What was both humorous and riveting was that the interviewed people were real individuals who thought they were being documented with a real journalist from Kazakhstan. On first viewing I was squirming more in my seat at seeing the reactions of people after Boratsays or does something so incredibly offensive and yet delivered so innocently.
I was compelled to watch Boratagain immediately afterwards to study more of the reactions and how revealing human nature is in response to Borat'sbeliefs and opinions. It was like having a delicious chocolate sundae right after the first. And all the while I just allowed myself to laugh.
The multiple insights of what this movie mirrored about society and how we treat our differences were hidden gifts of learning. Under all the politically incorrect crudity were keys to better understand ourselves. This made me think of other invaluable insights people miss because they shy away from areas of interest out of fear of what others would think. The term guilty pleasures came to mind so I went online to find a definition and discovered these personalized ones…
1) "A guilty pleasure is defined as something you enjoy, even though you know it's bad for you."
2) "A Guilty Pleasure is defined as something that would ruin us if our friends knew about it."
3) "Guilty pleasure: Something that you enjoy that you think you shouldn't enjoy, either for personal reasons or because of the possibility of other's reactions."
At its core, I believe exploring a 'guilty pleasure' is about building your self-confidence and self-esteem. It's about trusting in yourself and acting on impulse. It's about fully knowing what you like and love and not having to justify it to anyone. If someone doesn't get your interests accept that they just don't get it.
Think about how many people live in your city or town. Someone somewhere will understand your interests. Someone out there is already sharing your guilty pleasure in the movies you secretly love, the books you enjoy reading or heroes you admire.
Adam Sandler Is A Movie Hero
I used to be embarrassed to mention that I loved Adam Sandler movies because of the gross, toilet humour he's known for. Read more on Tip#46: What Makes Your Laugh? But his movies have a lot of heart too. Just listen to the touching songs Sandler wrote and performed in The Wedding Singerand 50 First Datesand you'll understand what I mean.
When I finally found the courage to admit to others that I loved Sandler movies I was surprised to make instant connections with strangers who were quick to express a shared enthusiasm. It's as if they'd been waiting for someone else to admit they too shared a guilty pleasure.
So don't hold back your impulses for enjoying certain movies. Don't worry about what others might think of your taste in things. Stand your ground on what you feel strongly about and you'll build your self-esteem. Doing so will also help connect you with more meaningful relationships that are out there.
All movies have beneficial messages and you could be learning something new about yourself. There is great value in anything that interests you. So indulge in your 'guilty pleasures' if it makes you feel good. Feeling good is a good thing!
"To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
There are empowering concepts shared in the 2006 personal growth movie The Secret that reminded me of The Celestine Prophecy book I read in 1994. This book inspired millions of people and it remained on the New York Times best-seller list for three years.
The chain reaction of individuals recommending this book to me and to each other was so intense that it demonstrated what the book talked about: People were powerful energy beings and that we can all tap into the power of synchronicity.
So now it feels like The Secret was part 2 of another movement of enthusiasm for realizing our 'thoughts' are a powerful form of energy that can change and alter the course of our lives. It introduced me to ideas of quantum physics and quantum realities that I was already learning about in favourite TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation! In the past these concepts would have been considered science fiction or fantasy or even new age babble. Times have changed.
There are many imaginative movies that explore fantastic uses of the human mind over the years. Here are some to inspire your potential:
Star Wars (1977)
This sci fi adventure film introduced The Force to pop culture in this history making film. Creator George Lucas had culled this concept from eastern beliefs fusing it into a creative story for the masses. The Force is described by Obi-Wan Kenobi played by Alec Guinness as "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together."
The Shadow (1994)
This fantasy adventure film is based on the pulp hero of the 30's and 40's the main character was trained to use his mind to influence or cloud the thoughts of others. Played by Alec Baldwin, The Shadow was once an evil man fully reformed and disciplined in Tibet to use his power for good.
This fantasy drama's main character, played by Sean Patrick Flanery, has the ability to see and use energy in extraordinary ways. Having been affected at birth when his mother was struck by lightening, he was able to access more of his brain power to move objects and to heal others. His heightened perception can also see how energy profoundly connects everyone on the planet to each other and everything around us.
This fantasy drama's main character, played by John Travolta, suddenly develops ESP (extrasensory perception) and telekinesis via a strange light in the sky. He is able to learn and think rapidly unleashing his innate genius. He later says that everyone is capable of doing what he can do. He was just able to access more of his dormant brain areas and apply his desired interests.
Dark City (1998)
This sci fi thriller movies has a main hero, played by Rufus Sewell, who learns to use his mind powers on a heightened level to save the world. Kiefer Sutherland also stars and is a special key to the main character's talents. The end reveals a message that we all have special powers of the mind and can create the physical reality we desire.
The Sphere (1998)
The concept in this sci fi drama film, starring Dustin Hoffman, revolved around a non-terrestrial gift that allowed people to manifest their thoughts into reality. The great question this movie leaves is whether or not humans have evolved enough to handle that gift. Though this not a favourite movie of mine the ending has an important thought provoking question.
The Matrix (1999)
In this sci fi action movie, the theme of believing is at the core of this film where the hero learns to control his mind to master his reality. And like Dark City, this movie is a mirror for us all that we have the ability to create our own reality. Starring Keanu Reeves The Matrix has been called the Star Wars of a new generation updated for our growing world of computer technology.
This superhero film is based on the highly popular comic book released in 1963, the concept revolved around Professor X, played by Patrick Stewart, with powerful mental abilities who helps teach gifted youngsters born with unique super powers. Jean Grey is another character whose mental abilities grow throughout the trilogy of X-Men movies.
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
This comedy fantasy explores the nature of coincidences, our mind power and how all of life is connected. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin, the thought provoking existential concepts they introduce are cleverly visualized with computer graphics. This movie can help to shake up your paradigms or your 'multitude of habits' holding you back in life. (see tip#56)
What The Bleep Do We Know? (2004)
This film combines documentary style interviews with a storyline exploring quantum physics. Reprogramming our destructive behavioural patterns through our thoughts is shown as possible in this film that, in some ways, was a precursor to The Secret. This is a hybrid movie that fuses a storyline starring Marlee Matlin and interviews with several fringe neuroscientists. A favourite scene shows amazing photographs by Dr. Masaru Emoto of water crystals having been affected by specific thoughts and words.
The Secret (2006)
This documentary style film that takes the sci fi/fantasy elements out of the extraordinary concepts of energy and our ability to control it. This film shares scientific evidence and stories from many respected individuals and authors who have come to understand the power of the law of attraction. The film shows that energy is a simple word that has a much bigger meaning now more than ever in our world today.
Coming Full Circle
Coming full circle to what was introduced in Star Wars, The Force is no longer fantasy but rooted in something real and with true substance supported today by science. And pop culture has become a new resource for learning about our full potentials as human beings and the power of our minds.
All you have to do is realize that your old mindset can be changed in order to achieve your dreams or goals. Unlocking your imagination can help you see new possible futures you've been dreaming about. Once you build a more optimistic mindset then those dreams can manifest into reality.
So be inspired by these films and their fantastical concepts of thought and energy. Be excited that we are consciously evolving and that the power of thought is our birthright to harness. Believe you have the power and you'll start making positive changes for yourself.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us."
Tip#57: Activate The Power of Your Mind, Part 1 - 11 Movie Tips
Tip#836: Activate The Power of Your Mind, Part 2 - E-Motion
Tip#839: Activate The Power of Your Mind, Part 3 - Trapped Emotions - Pleasantville
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007