My husband was dying to see Avatar. He worked hard to find
an open night and a babysitter so we could be gone for a full three
I heard the rave reviews and I watched James Cameron pick up two
Golden Globes, but I still wasn't excited. The action genre
is not really my thing. But even without interest in the movie, I
am always interested in a date with my husband, so off we went.
We find great seats and I am digging my 3-D glasses. As
previews roll I daydream about taking a nap at some point during
the movie, but as Avatar unfolds I am surprised by my response.
I spend the majority of the movie in an intense state of
awareness and tears. Sometimes light tears and at times
heaving sobs that necessitated hugs from my husband. Avatar
moved me in a way that I have not experienced in a long time.
I was touched by the Na'vi connection to nature. I nodded
along as Neytiri taught Jake to hunt respectfully and then thank
the animal for giving its life to sustain ours. The Na'vi
understand the connection between themselves and the forest of
Pandora; they know that nature needs to be honored because we are
all connected to the same energy.
Toward the end Jake talks to Eywa, the great Na'vi spirit of
mother nature, and mentions that our planet "killed our
mother." I found myself taking deep breaths at the truth of
And that gigantic breathtaking tree -- I was beside myself about
the fate of that tree. The "evil" characters in this movie
were a bit overplayed (unbelievably disregarding), but the
essential truth is that we have a history of taking what doesn't
belong to us and a history of expecting others to act like us.
The lessons of our past mistakes are only helpful if we decide
to remember them.
I was most sentimental about the Na'vi definition of "I see
you." It's very similar to the Sanskrit word Namaste, a
salutation that is commonly used during yoga. It is difficult to
accurately translate Sanskrit, but to me the meaning is, the
spirit in me sees the spirit in you. Or the light in
me sees the light in you. Or, for you Star Wars fans,
the force in me feels the force in you.
It is the simple way of saying, I know my beauty and I see your
beauty, too. Unfortunately, our culture is challenged by
this. We have a tendency towards self loathing and personal
judgment which eventually results in loathing and judgment of
Like many parents, I want to teach my children to see
themselves. Regardless of physical beauty, achievements, or
things, I want them to know they are worthy simply because they are
here. I want to support them as they discover their gifts and
realize their potential.
To teach this I have to practice it. Do I love
myself? Do I see my light? Do I cherish my gifts?
I know at a soul level that this is the first step toward teaching
Embracing my light helps me see their light. It is the
most sacred parenting work, and the most challenging.
I continue to cry on the car ride home as I share my deep
thoughts and revelations with my husband. As always he
listens, makes eye contact and nods in all the right places.
Five minutes from home I finally asked him what he thought - he
responds with, I think we saw two different movies.
This brings me back to reality and I start to laugh. Of
course he enjoyed the movie, but my analyzing and emotional
intensity is in contrast to my husband's straightforward style. I
need this balance and this is one of the many reasons I am thankful
for my husband. He "sees" me and he knows it is important for
me to process the many lessons from Pandora.
But with his gentle humor he has a subtle way of reminding me to
keep my feet firmly planted on Earth.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
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