by Angela Ho
(Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation)
I watched Kungfu Panda 2 recently. I believe it was a synchronic event for me, because just 2 weeks ago, during my NLP Master Practitioner Course, a coursemate suggested that I watch it. She said there are many lessons to be learnt in there (akin to the NLP Presuppositions). This, therefore, has been simmering in my mind. The universe flowed and answered, and my company just screened it over lunch.
I really enjoyed the movie, it was funny yet poignant – many serious life lessons conveyed in a light-hearted manner.
So what were the messages I got from the movie that I’d like to share with you?
1. When you have inner peace, you can master the flow of the universe.
Scene flashback: Master Shifu was practicing his move and channelled a raindrop to water the plant. And Po the Panda did the truly impossible, redirecting the cannonballs coming at him back to his enemies.
2. We all have a dragon/demon within us. Inner peace happens when you are able to master your demon/dragon within you.
Scene flashback: Po was paralyzed by fear when he saw the symbol on Shen’s feathers, a trigger to his childhood memory in which his parents and the entire panda village were attacked. However, when he finally confronted his fears and rose above it, he attained inner peace and mastery.
You cannot have light without darkness. You cannot have yin without yang. You cannot have flow without form. We have darkness within us (our demons, our dragons, our fears, our wounds, our scars). It’s how we harmonise and manage these dualities within us, to bring out our brightest and most illuminating self, that we begin to truly fulfil our destiny.
3. Who am I? What is my purpose? Where are my limits?
Scene flashback: Po asked his father Mr Ping, the wise soothsayer, and himself many times, “Who am I? What is my purpose? Where are my limits?”
When he first asked his dad this question, his father said, “You are my son”. After which, he went on a quest the world from the evil Shen. He kept asking these questions, and at the end of his Hero’s Journey, he came full circle, back to his father.
He told his father, “Dad, I finally know who I am… I am your son…”
Very poignant. By asking the right questions, he was able to find the right answers. The key to life is to ask the right questions because the answers lie in the questions.
4. It does not matter who you are. It’s who you choose to be from NOW.
Scene flashback: Po recalled his tragic childhood at the village he was born in, with the wise soothsayer. When he finally let go of his mental blockages and let the memories flow, he was able to recall the deepest part of him, which he kept hidden. The soothsayer then told him: you did have a tragic beginning, but that does not mean you will have a tragic end. It’s not who you are to begin with. It’s who you choose to be from this moment on.
True enough, we may come from a disadvantaged background, but so what? Does it matter? So what if you’ve no legs and no hands? The key is not to berate yourself or to lament over your misfortune. Instead, it is how you CHOOSE to be from this moment on that matters. Your past doesn’t matter. Your NOW matters.
5. You already have all the resources you need within you.
Scene flashback: Once Po was able to know who he was, and that he already had all the power within, he was able to master himself, his fear, and channel it towards defeating the evil Shen.
You already have all the answers in you. the key is to unlock it. The answer doesn’t lie up some remote mountain, some pilgrimage that you need to do, some competency that you need to obtain. In fact, the answer lies in YOU, right now. You already have ALL the resources you need in the world, to act effectively. But first, you must recognise this fact.
6. The key to unlocking your inner resources is to let it flow.
Scene flashback: at the village, Po wanted to repress his memories, but the soothsayer told him, “Don’t’ block it. Let it flow”. And he did… and he faced the TRUTH.
Don’t block painful memories from the past. Let it flow. Let it flow. Let it flow. Go back in time deep enough, face your fears head-on, stare them in the face. And when you are truly able to overcome your inner demons/dragons, you truly begin to unlock your inner resources and live your destiny.
7. Who are your Furious Five?
Scene flashback: The whole movie is about teamwork, and how the Furious 5 work together to defeat the enemies without!
We all need support. Who forms your support groups? Po has Tigress (which my friend Serene, just told me is voiced by Angelina Jolie! Wow, I love her voice, so velvety and smooth!), Viper, Mantis, Monkey and Crane. And he has his Master Shifu, his Sensei.
Me? I have my Sunflower Sisters, my Flying Geese Formation, my Hoogabooga Web-of-Diamonds, my squadmates, my family, and all the wonderful people who came into my life and made me a better person. I have my Buddhist spiritual faith, philosophy and practice, and I have my yoga practice to establish mind-body connection and inner peace. I am extremely grateful for all my support networks and extremely thankful to have met 2 Senseis in my life, Barney & Agnes. Thank you!
What about you? Have you watched the movie yourself? if you have, what are some messages which you took away from the movie?
Angela is a civil servant & Mind Transformations’ NLP Master Practitioner (2011). Believing that life should be lived to the fullest, she enjoys yoga and is passionate about self development, mindfulness practices and coaching.