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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Inside Out Movie Review

Anticipation grew as I sat in a darkened movie theater with my friend Yvonne Kaye, waiting for the film to begin. Ever since I saw the trailer a few months earlier, I knew it was a must-see. Inside Out is a brain and heart child of the creative geniuses at Disney Pixar. The movie has been hailed by clinicians who work with children as a primer into understanding the developing young mind. Having been a therapist for three decades and alive on the planet for five and a half, I am familiar with the importance of emotional fluidity. Does that mean I always give myself permission to experience all the feelz?  Nope. I tend more toward glowing, rather than glowering.

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The movie begins with the baby’s eye view of her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) gazing adoringly at their new born daughter Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), calling her their “little bundle of joy,” and then takes the audience on a journey through the tiny tot’s budding years as a happy go lucky kid with friends, fun, hockey and a close bond with mom and dad. We get to see what goes on behind the scenes in Riley’s mind through the anthropomorphized emotions of Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). All seems to be going well in the life of Riley until her parents uproot her from her Minnesota home and trek cross country to San Francisco where a new job awaits her father. When they arrive, she is less than thrilled by the circumstances that await her; from the dingy apartment into which they move, to feeling like a fish out of water in her new school, to missing her BFF, to overhearing how her father’s new job brings with it unexpected stressors. As a result, she is encouraged by her well meaning mother to maintain her happy persona.

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Those in Riley-Central are busily working the controls, headed up by the predominating emotion of Joy. It is an exhausting job keeping Riley happy. She does her best to manage the other emotions; especially the literal and figuratively blue self deprecating Sadness who inadvertently touches Riley’s memories and dims the previously bright light. These are symbolized by variously hued marbles that match the colors of the characters- red for anger, green for disgust, yellow for happiness, blue for sadness, purple for fear. Each time that happens, Joy attempts to jolly everyone into a more positive state so that Riley can maintain cheerfulness. It is when something goes awry as Joy and Sadness get accidently sucked out of the double entendre’ named Headquarters, that for the rest of the film, they are on a mission to return and save Riley from falling into a pit of despair from which Joy fears she will never emerge. The other emotions are left to fend for themselves in their absence. Dark and light, loss and love, chaos and calm dance together, sometimes in precarious teeter tottering balance. An imaginary friend named Bing Bong, voiced by Richard Kind adds comic appeal as the wildly pink mish mosh critter who cries hard candy and rides a red wagon with broomstick engines fueled by singing a special song he and Riley created together helps to get Joy and Sadness back on track.

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of the film was observing the ways in which each of the characters, from mom and dad, to Riley’s teacher and the other kids with whom she interacted had all of their own emotions personified and interacted with each other in the same way that hers did. So as not to spoil the ending, I will leave the rest to your own vivid imagination.

As I watched the movie, I became acutely aware of my emotional landscape as well. In my life, I had let Joy run the show nearly all of the time, while shuttling aside the other less savory emotions, that frankly, I have sometimes held in contempt and with impatience. I repressed sadness in the service of not wanting to make anyone else feel it. I pushed back fear since I wanted to bravely take on the world. I barricaded the door behind which anger dwelled, because I had seen the destruction it wreaked in the world. I do my best to avoid stepping into anything literal or figurative that my son used to refer to as ‘asgusting’ when he was young. It has been when I have fully embraced myself in my entirety that I can safely arrive back home.

Inside Out is an insider’s view of the emotional landscape through which we all traverse.

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Love Rules Supreme

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I cried when I read the news. Happy tears for friends whose unions are now officially recognized in all 50 states. Some were legally married in their respective states, but could now claim to be ‘legit’ wherever they go. The Supreme Court ruled by a 5 to 4 margin that same sex couples would be afforded the same rights as married heterosexual couples.

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Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority that included Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, as he said “”No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family, In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”

I can only imagine the sheer joy that those who had been denied the acknowledgment of the emotional commitment  they had made, could be feeling at the moment. Consider the dilemma of loving someone so intensely that you choose to formalize the connection and then to have the desire looked at askance. Envision then being able to freely and fully proclaim that you and  your partner have blended your hearts and lives.

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What has always puzzled me is why anyone could feel they had the right to deny the same opportunities based on the ‘plumbing’ rather than the people in the partnership. For those who question; imagine if heterosexual privilege were not in place and only same sex couples could marry, adopt children, make health care decisions for their spouse and receive medical benefits granted heterosexual partners. Further, consider that only same sex couples were considered the ‘norm’ and could walk down the street holding hands. Imagine that heterosexual people were viewed as the oddity and therefore shunned by their families and in danger of assault. Not a pretty picture.

I am gratified to have witnessed such a monumental change in my lifetime. Long may these partners live and love!

 

 

 

 

 

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All Present and Accounted For

In the moment, I am aware of end of the day sleepy eyes ready to close. Good thing I can type without looking at the keyboard. A few decades as a journalist allows for that talent. Amazing that I was relatively challenged in high school, or was it junior high school typing class?

In the moment, I am aware that my mind has been abuzz with thoughts about preparing for attending a conference over the next few days focused on psychology and spirituality which will be a treat. Bonus that I will be writing about it and receiving social work continuing ed credits.

In the moment, I am aware of the hum of the computer as it does its job of supporting my tip tap typing.

In the moment, I am aware of a full feeling in my tummy after enjoying a Chinese meal for dinner tonight and the satisfaction of knowing that the steamed veggies, tofu and brown rice was a healthy choice.

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In the moment, I am aware of residual joy from spending time with a long time friend as we watched the Disney Pixar film called Inside Out. I will be writing a review for it shortly. Perfect for this point in my life, since it is about the ways in which emotions need to work together to keep the ‘headquarters’ running smoothly.

In the moment, I am aware of the gift of my writing mojo that keeps the wheels turning in my head, leaving me sane and vertical much of the team.

In the moment, I am aware of a sense of gratitude for the multitude of blessings in my life.

In this moment, I am all present and accounted for.

 

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Facing Life- A Ten Week Journey-Week Two

I began this experience a week ago, with my friend Deva/Debra Troy as she offered me the opportunity to experience the modality of Facial Reflex Therapy as created by Lone Sorensen. I had already noticed a distinct shift in energy following the initial session that was described in a previous Bliss Blog entry. I found myself revving up, having intense and vivid dreams that were keys to many of the inner shifts that were taking place in my life. The first thing I noticed as I looked into the bathroom mirror before heading home, was that I looked like I had ‘youthed’ a few years. She had half jokingly told me that it was good for that and some people have sessions before attending a class reunion for just such a purpose.
Prior to this session, I had been experiencing emotional overwhelm with keeping up with schedules, being of support to family and friends in crisis and once again, taking on more than what is likely good for me. This workaholism takes some focused attention to keep in check. It was no surprise what Deva continued to uncover and begin to treat. She had come up with a treatment plan along with her teacher in preparation for this visit.
She began our time together by telling me:
“There are emotional qualities associated with the five elements used in Acupuncture and Facial Reflex Therapy. (FRT) The reason an illness unfolds the way it does is due to strong underlying emotions.”
Following is the technical information to give you an idea of the focus of the session.
“Today we began with opening the Neurovascular Points with finger circles on the face, rechecked for the largest deposit felt and it was still in spleen/pancreas (according to the Peruvian Mapuche Indian Facial Map we use) and then addressed that congestion by working it our with direct reflexing to the related facial zone as used in the Vietnamese Map employed in FRT.
The treatment of the “yellow zone” Spleen/Pancreas in this case relates to immune system, inflammation, worry, stress, shock and issues with connective tissue.
Then we employed “Colon Link” done for 90% of all hormonal or immune issues. We worked with the Pink Plexus which deals with heartbreak, heart issues, small intestine and thymus.
Then we continued with step 4. the Sensory Integration Map, Step 5, The Vietnamese Map for Muscles and joints, Step 6, Lymph Stimulation, Balanced Neurovascular points in Stomach/External Spleen, Step 6B, held Spleen Points 37 and 124 ( more immune support) and finished with Step 7to integrate the emotional body.
Next time we will add in specific hormonal points.”
As had occurred last week, the table became a floating oasis in the midst of a sea of activity. The waves sometime threaten to capsize my little row boat, but just for that hour, I was able to go with the flow. I sensed a surge of heat in my solar plexus area, but nowhere else. Accommodating for my comfort, she turned on the fan. In a deeply meditative state that tumbled over into sleep. I woke myself up, after hearing snores that I knew weren’t coming from Deva.
Although Facial Reflex Therapy doesn’t have a direct psychological component to it, I could see how it might bring up certain emotions. It certainly did for me, as I became aware of sadness over recent losses, a sense of helplessness over a loved one’s health condition and underlying anger about many life events that I had kept ‘safely’ under wraps so that it didn’t rock the aforementioned boat.
Keep in mind the metaphorical associations with some of the physical issues we are working on.
Immune- safety, security, protection, shields up
Lymph/Adrenals- I used to say that I was “running on adrenalin and fumes,” by way of explaining feelings of exhaustion.
Spleen-the idea of ‘venting your spleen,’ reflects anger
Inflammation- fire, anger, irritation
I will continue to explore the connections between the physical/emotional/spiritual as I am facing life in a whole new manner.
Previous Posts

Inside Out Movie Review
Anticipation grew as I sat in a darkened movie theater with my friend Yvonne Kaye, waiting for the film to begin. Ever since I saw the trailer a few months earlier, I knew it was a must-see. Inside Out is a brain and heart child of the ...

posted 9:50:40am Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Love Rules Supreme
I cried when I read the news. Happy tears for friends whose unions are now officially recognized in all 50 states. Some were legally married in their respective states, but could now claim to be 'legit' wherever they go. The Supreme Court ruled ...

posted 10:14:06pm Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

All Present and Accounted For
In the moment, I am aware of end of the day sleepy eyes ready to close. Good thing I can type without looking at the keyboard. A few decades as a journalist allows for that talent. Amazing that I was relatively challenged in high school, or was ...

posted 10:13:54pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Facing Life- A Ten Week Journey-Week Two
I began this experience a week ago, with my friend Deva/Debra Troy as she offered me the opportunity to experience the modality of Facial Reflex Therapy as created by Lone Sorensen. I had already noticed a distinct shift in energy following the ...

posted 8:42:54pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Light Bypass
  My friend, author, therapist and philosopher Jeff Brown has a bunch of wisdom to offer; born of both pain and pleasure. He spins out word fusions and mental meanderings like only few I have ever seen. Today was no exception. He posed ...

posted 1:57:19pm Jun. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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