Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blog Essay: Moana & the Celebration of Knowing *spoilers*


When you have a deep understanding of yourself & are at peace with what you want to do in this world you have found your sense of knowing.

Finding your sense of knowing creates confidence in yourself because you make all your life's decisions in accordance with your plan.  There is no fear or uncertainty when making choices from a place of knowing because even if you fail, you failed at only one method to get you where you want to go.  You are not lost, or powerless, you will just find a different way.

All of us should strive to achieve a sense of knowing, but developing it is quite a journey.

Where I live, on the East Coast of the USA, in the year 2017, at the age of 26, we are often told as children that we can be anything and do anything--now we have the ironic burden of too many choices.

There is also a tendency for children to grow up making a life that is totally new and different from the life their parents had before them.  In this way, many lose ties to their cultural and ancestral heritage and identity.

To develop a strong sense of knowing we must find out who we are, where we come from, and where we want to go.

When we make decisions, are we making them because of the call within us?  Or do we succumb to external opinions to guide us?  Who or what do we rely upon to find strength and courage during the times that we do not yet believe we can rely upon ourselves? 

Moana tells the tale of a girl who is chosen by the Ocean to restore the Heart of Te Fiti, but in truth, anyone could have been Moana.



Anyone could have been the chosen one.  We know for sure that her own father heard the Ocean's call in his youth, but he stopped listening after his friend was killed on the ocean.

At first Moana hears the call of the ocean and thinks of it as external to herself.  The Ocean wants her to sail, and her family wants her to stay put on the island. 

She is caught in the middle between these two external forces which are pulling her in opposite directions.  She does not know what to choose, so she remains stagnate.  This is a helpless position to be in, an insecure position.  At this point, Moana has not developed her sense of knowing.

Moana sings of this feeling of powerlessness in "How Far I'll Go"

"I've been staring at the edge of the water
'Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try"


"Long as I can remember, never really knowing why."

When Moana learns that her people were once voyagers, she finds the strength and courage to make the choice to go out onto the ocean.  If her ancestors could do it, so can she.

The simple act of making a choice sets the rest of her path in motion.  But at this point, she still has not achieved a sense of knowing.  She finds her courage in things outside of herself, which is a perfect way to get yourself to take action when you are still uncertain.




She thinks of herself as the chosen one and sets out on this journey because nobody else would do it.  She is still giving her power away, but at least she is moving forward.

Like magic, she believes in the signs and gives meaning to them.  She takes to heart the stories her grandmother and mother have told her.  And she always has her ancestors.

"The ocean doesn't help you, you help yourself."



Moana wants to rely upon the demigod Maui and on the Ocean to help her find her way.

But she cannot do that forever.  She must learn to sail, she must remember the ancestors she comes from, she must think about why she is really on the ocean right now in this moment. 


Especially when Maui gives up on her and all hope seems lost.

And then it finally clicks.


She hears her true call-- the one coming from inside her that seems to say: You are here because you want to be here.  You want to succeed on this mission.  Take responsibility, take ownership, & feel powerful in this sense of knowing that you have finally found.  You must, you can, and you will do this.

At that point her song changes.

"I am Moana" is a declaration of the celebration of finally coming into your sense of knowing.

She sings:
"And the call isn't out there at all, it's inside me"
"It's like the tide; always falling and rising."
"I will carry you here in my heart you'll remind me."
"That come what may.  I know the way."
"I am Moana."


"And the call isn't out there at all, 
it's inside me."

The story of Moana is a celebration of coming into the sense of knowing.  The telltale sign being when she yells "I am Moana" from a place of sudden empowerment.

If you, like Moana, have not yet found your sense of knowing, let her be your guide.  Rely on others, on magic and destinies, until you learn that you truly can rely on yourself.

Look into your past to help you find your story, your identity, have it guide you to your person-hood so you can take charge of your present and find your future.

Listen for your purpose to call to you, and follow your call when you hear it.  Don't ignore it.

And always, carry that which will remind you of who you are, and what your purpose is, within your heart, because you will forget it, and you will need things that can guide you back to your path.

I love the moment in Moana right after she sings "I am Moana."  She dives into the ocean, retrieves the Heart of Te Fiti from the bottom, and resurfaces into utter silence.  Her whole life has changed because of the empowerment she has gained from coming into her sense of knowing -- and yet, the world around her, external to her, has not.  She is still alone at sea.

Nothing external has changed, and yet, everything within Moana has.  And that is what matters.  She has achieved her sense of knowing.



And then, as you might have noticed, everything which happens in the movie after that point seems to happen quite fast.



Because the real triumph was actually not Moana struggling against evil to restore the Heart of Te Fiti, but Moana finding her sense of knowing & using that power to effortlessly follow her path to restoring the Heart of Te Fiti.


Thanks for reading!
Until next time!

Amanda