Mindfulness: 8 films that teach us to live in the present – DG Mentoring

Mindfulness: 8 films that teach us to live in the present

[As featured in Woman’s Way magazine]

As a cultured woman who wishes to live well, you may already know that meditation, including the popular technique of mindfulness, can work wonders for your mind, body and soul. As such, here are eight films that can inspire, motivate and empower you to live more in the here and now.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (2016) is a feel-good documentary about one of Tony Robbins’ yearly seminars called “Date with Destiny”. If you haven’t heard of him before, Tony is one of the world’s top Life Coaches, and this film about his seminars can help you to live more in the present than you already do when you hear about some of the participants’ moving stories and when you see how Tony helps them to heal so that they can move on with their lives. Being present, including working through whatever ways that you may be avoiding, resisting or denying life, is essential if you are to integrate your mind, body and soul and feel more joy, love and peace than perhaps you’ve ever experienced before.

Eat Pray Love (2010) is the true story of successful Writer Elizabeth “Liz” Gilbert, a woman unhappy with her spouse, her house and her job, and how she travels to Italy, India and Bali in search of good food, spirituality and new love. Making mindfulness a daily practice, as Liz does, can do wonders for calming your mind, relaxing your body and stilling your heart, especially during hard times such as our recent lockdowns. Please note that, whilst sitting meditation can serve as a ceremony at the beginning, a special time set aside to increase the intensity of practice, when you master the ritual you can expand it into every action in your daily life; for example, if you catch yourself thinking too much about the past or the future whilst eating a meal or whatever, one simple way to snap back into the present is to think and even to say aloud the following sentence,

“Where am I? I am here. What time is it? The time is now. What am I? I am this moment.”

Gravity (2013) is another film that can help us to snap back to reality. This sci-fi thriller shows Sandra Bullock playing Dr Ryan Stone, an Engineer who becomes stranded alone inside her damaged Space Shuttle and attempts to return to Earth alive. The abilities to be highly alert and emotionally fit in difficult situations such as this pandemic, including lockdowns and the possible feelings of isolation and loneliness that go with it, are important for our overall wellbeing and even survival as Dr Stone demonstrates when faced with life or death in space.

I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011) is a dramedy about a working mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) who strives to balance her very demanding career with the stress of raising two young children and maintaining a healthy marriage. Naturally, you can be a Homemaker and still struggle to cope with the demands of modern life. Thankfully, this film will not only make you laugh but it can even give you some useful tips to help you consciously manage your own life.

Peaceful Warrior (2006) is a biographical drama in which Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz), a university Student and world-champion Gymnast, is disturbed and wants to add some meaning to his life. We see how a so-called chance encounter with “Soc” (Socrates (Nick Nolte)) leads him to discover an enlightened, including more mindful, way ahead; for example, we learn how to balance a calm warrior mind with a relaxed warrior body and a peaceful warrior soul.

Untouchable (2011) a.k.a. The Intouchables is a moving French dramedy about an unusual friendship that develops when a streetwise immigrant, Driss (Omar Sy), is hired to take care of a disabled French nobleman, Philippe (François Cluzet). Seeing Driss and Philippe’s respective struggles should make us count our blessings despite our present situation both individually and collectively and we should feel more optimistic and hopeful about our present and future as a result.

The Bucket List (2007) is the sweet story of two poorly men, Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), and how they bring joy to one another towards the ends of their lives. Seeing how these two men go from being complete strangers to being best friends who make the most of their time together despite their poor physical health should give you and I reason to be grateful for our relative youth and good health as well as the opportunities that we can still create for ourselves in order to live life to the full come rain or shine.

Heal (2017) is another feel-good documentary that takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that our thoughts, beliefs, values, emotions, and level of mindfulness have a huge impact on our health and our ability to heal.

Remember, dear reader: yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.

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