“I encourage everybody to open their ears and their eyes and especially their minds, wide.”—Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz won the Oscar, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for his portrayal of King Schultz, a dentist turned bounty hunter in Django Unchained.
During pre-production, however, he was bucked off a horse and sent to the hospital with a dislocated pelvis.
Some people might have thrown in the towel. But not Waltz who claimed total responsibility.
“I hadn’t ridden a horse for 40 years. It’s a skill like playing an instrument. You have to do it every day,” he said
And that’s the perfect description of how we ACIM students “change our minds and therefore change our world.”
Here’s my daily practice:
Instead of focusing on “what I see,” I focus on “what I want.” Over and over and over again. Yes, I get bucked off the horse. Yes, I hit the ground of apparent problems, dislocate the pelvis of limitations. But I just keep climbing back into that saddle and focusing on what I want to be true.
Left to its own devices, the human mind is quick to jump to conclusions, leap towards fear and cower in the face of possibilities. That’s why I’ve made “training my mind” priority numero uno. On a daily basis, I instruct it to look for beauty. Encourage it to seek out the bigger picture, to focus on the love and the seemingly impossible.
Yes, it’s an incorrigible slacker. Keeps returning to familiar old ruts. Keeps listening to the spin doctor that looks at the world as a potentially scary place. Insists on focusing on the “information” from my five senses, from the news media, from the default setting that says, “Be careful. Worry. Don’t even think about learning to trust.”
So I just keep getting back up in the saddle, directing my mind to focus on what I know to be Truth.
People often ask me, “How is that even possible?” when the “what you see” looms so large in your mind.
And all I can say is it’s the same as the answer to the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
Practice, practice, practice.
Or, if you’re Quentin Tarantino, the director of Django Unchained, you take your character off the horse that caused the accident in the first place.
When the Oscar-winning director went to visit Waltz in the hospital, found out he couldn’t ride a horse for three months, he wisely said, “You know if you don’t talk much about it, I might get some interesting ideas.”
And that’s exactly what he did. Waltz’s character spends most of the movie riding around in a horse-drawn buggy with a giant tooth swinging from its hinges.
So, quit talking about the “world as it seems,” get back up in that horse-drawn carriage and use your imagination to take you all the way to a happier, more beautiful reality.
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.