Friday, November 14, 2008

Soul Coaching Day 13: Attitude of Gratitude

Today I am grateful for:
  • The healing power of art and the way it helps us understand ourselves, each other and that we are not alone.
  • The film Twelve by Lester Alfonso

Tonight Shannon and I saw Twelve at the Reel Asian Film Festival and I still have tears in my eyes. This documentary follows Lester as he interviews 12 people who immigrated to Canada when they were 12 years old. He is looking for healing and wisdom, having had that experience himself at that tender age. He's looking for his tribe.

I had no I'd idea I'd be one of them. I didn't come from another country or speak another language. Only as I sat there watching the film and the tears started flowing did I think, "I was 12." I was 12 when we moved from Montreal to Toronto, and it broke me for a while. It was one of the turning points of my life. I'd never thought of the significance of the age or stage of my life until tonight. I am grateful for a new understanding.

When Lester introduced the film, I turned to Shannon and said, "He's such a beamer," which is how we describe someone who just radiates joy or light. It was so surprising when the film started and it became clear that it was rooted in his pain. And as he and the others shared their stories, I cried for each of our tender, beautiful 12-year-old selves and I was filled with a deep sense of connection. I am grateful for that.

And when Lester spoke after the screening about a project he has on the horizon about kindness, one that was inspired as a direct response to a video he'd happened upon of clips of movie torture set to music, more tears fell. I am so, so grateful that as artists we can celebrate and remind each other of what is beautiful and special about our humanness.

This is a picture of me at 12. It's vulnerable for me to share it. I've posted it before and talked about what it's meant for me to accept and love this version of me. I'm grateful to know that if this 12-year-old me and Lester's 12-year-old him would have met, we would have been nice to each other. I'm sure of it.


Kavindra said...

How amazing that you were there for that particular film! And the picture of you is adorable, it reminds me of myself at that age. It is a tender sweet age, 12, isn't it? On the cusp of so much...

Romana Mirza said...

Wow! Where can I start? This is so meaningful, it so incredible how the Universe sends us what we need when we need it. We all looked like this in school! I too, the long hair, parted in the middle, The broad white collar on the dress and mind was plaid in orange and brown, yuck! This was our beautiful transforming selves and we all have emerged as soaring butterflies!

On another level, the professional level, it was incredible to read about the tenderness of the move and what came out of it, we touched on this in our brand work together and I'm so thrilled that this part of your life influenced "you the brand". Then linking back to 2006 and reading about your struggle to package yourself and to have seen how that has evolved. To have the view to these backstage scenes is a gift. Thank you.

Then the comment you made about "we as artists" it's such an incredibly inclusive statement and so powerful that yes! Us, as artists can change the world and I'm grateful for that too!

Leila Anasazi said...

As I opened your blog to read your post for the day, your 12-year-old self leapt out to me and made me so happy. I beamed. Really.

miss*R said...

I am so glad that you cried with that 12 year old self, she needed it. Your tears are so healing. sometimes we need to do that for ourselves.. bless you Jamie xoxo

Leah said...

wow, what a powerful experience, jamie. and how lovely to reconnect and love that 12 year old self. xoxox

megg said...

Wow - First, let me tell you that when I saw your picture I smiled very gently because I have a scarily similar one of me at twelve. I remember feeling like I was too tall for my body then - I was all teeth and stringy blonde hair and uncertainty - wouldn't it be great to create an inspiration program for girls who are 12? To give them something to look forward to and to help them have more self confidence before they hit their teens? I know I needed one at that age!

Thank you for putting your tender self into the world - you are a rare 'beamer' :)


Genie Sea said...

I grinned at your 12 year old. "Hello!" My 12 year old shouted. :)

This post was very very moving. Your empathetic description of the movie, touched the deepest part of my vulnerable 12 year old inside.

Thank you! :)

Sacred Suzie said...

Jamie, that move was so heartbreaking. Interesting that many people have this sense of lost country, lost tribe. We are nomads in so many ways.

I know that 12-year-old! The girl who kicked down the bully's bike. Who ran after cloud shadows and got the whole neighbourhood running. Her choreography ideas for dance. Her neighbourhood library. Her ability to dream big and include everyone. She's the biggest beamer of all.

Gemma said...

That picture of 12 y/o you is beaming!!

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing your 12 year old self and what you are so grateful for. You smile is just as bright as it is today. Blessings, Nicole x

chest of drawers said...

You really are a beamer...I remember feeling dorky and unconfident at 12 and it took me decades to shake that feeling. I look at 12 year old girls now - I help lead a girls choir and most of them are that age - and I see how beautiful, unique and vulnerable they are and how eager. It´s wonderful to be around them.

Danette said...

What a precious photograph, and such a precious age. There is something magical about 12. What a beautiful experience you shared with the film.

Thank you for sharing the photo Jamie, I know that is a courageous thing to do. She looks hopeful, like she can see the glow of your radiant future.

Turtleheart said...

Wow, what a beautiful, meaningful and moving experience that movie was for you. And what perfect timing for your soul coaching journey. True magic. Hugs to your 12-year-old self.

PS- I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award because you are so inspiring to so many of us online. Congrats! You can read about it at my regular blog: