Mr Holland’s Opus

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Mr Holland’s Opus

I have to admit, I am a sucker for Mr. Holland’s Opus. It’s impossible for me to watch that movie without producing a bucket full of tears. I own it on DVD but for some reason I forget all about it until I run across it on cable. Last night I saw it was playing and without giving it much thought I moved on, watched a little more TV, then went to bed. Laying in bed I remembered the ending of that movie being moving so I wanted to watch it this morning. I have an app for my phone that allows me to control my DirecTV receiver from anywhere so without having to get out of bed I programmed it to record.(Sounds lazy, I know!)

First, if you have not watched Mr. Holland’s Opus shame on you! It is an urgent requirement that you watch this movie! Do whatever you have to do in order to watch it. Rent it from Blockbuster, get it from the library, watch it on Netflix, download it from iTunes (borrow it from me). If you haven’t watched it, do whatever it takes!

Second, if you have watched Mr. Holland’s Opus, revisit it. It is one of those movies that can move you to your core! Even though I was familiar with the movie and knew what was coming next in every scene I still found myself in tears throughout several moments while revisiting it this morning.

In one scene during the film they say a familiar quote that most of us have heard many times: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Oh how true that statement is! That statement resonated with me today seems how I have been so busy since my last post. Life truly does come at you fast! You have to take some time to really enjoy it and savor it otherwise precious moments will be gone forever.

Mr Holland’s Opus is an example of just how fast life really is. While spectating Mr Holland’s journey we realize that significant events in life are happening all around us every day. We are in the middle of creating history as we speak. The history of our world is being written on a daily basis. Our young nation’s history is still in the process of writing itself. And whether you realize it or not, your very own personal history is being written at this very moment. You have the opportunity to write your history any way you desire.

One way my wife and I are writing our history is by taking on the challenge of building a house together. (That statement sounds like we are “building” the house. We are not doing the building, of course, but we are having a house built. Big difference. Just needed to clarify!) I’m discovering there is a similar process to building a life and building a house. There are many decisions that have to be made along the way that will forever impact the next set of decisions that follow. Whether those decisions positively or negatively impact future decisions can’t always be known until the future arrives.

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Yesterday afternoon my dad and I were sitting on my new deck talking about the house, his farm, and life in general. We were discussing how my downstairs and upstairs fireplaces would have been the wrong size had we ordered the ones we looked at two weeks ago. We would have had major dilemmas and major obstacles had we purchased the two we were looking at. I told him that I believe everything happens in its own right timing. I can get all uptight and anxious about the next decision that needs to be made for the house or I can relax and trust the process. I don’t have to demand and kick and scream and bully and manipulate. We are building a haven for peace and love and beauty. You can’t build a haven for peace and love and beauty by demanding, screaming, bullying, and manipulating. The right events will happen as they need to happen. Nothing more, nothing less. As each event happens, we get to enjoy the fruits of our decisions we made along the way. It might seem odd to say, but there is even a Mysterious Flow to building a house as long as you allow the flow to happen without getting in its way.

I’m not saying that there haven’t been obstacles to work around and too small of doors to be made bigger. There have been plenty of those. But instead of worrying about it, instead of agonizing over the error, instead of wringing my hands over these mistakes I simply take them as they come and allow them to be.

I have learned that nothing in life is worthwhile if I have to manipulate, scheme, and bully to try and get it. Life is about allowing the flow to happen through me, around me, and in me. Sometimes, just like Mr Holland, you are allowed the gracious opportunity to flow with others to create a beautiful thing. When I allow life to flow as intended, peace and joy saturate every aspect of my being. When I scheme, manipulate and try to control; anxiousness, discontent, and worry take over. It’s a lesson I continuously have to relearn but the more times I learn it the longer it seems to stick.

I believe if you are reading these words life wanted to remind you to let go. Let go of the scheming, controlling, and manipulating. Strive for peace, love, and joy in your life. Allow life to flow around you, through you, and in you! Take comfort in knowing that life is what you allow, not what you make it. Allow life to flow today!

I have included the final scene below of Mr Holland’s Opus for those of you that have already seen the movie. If you have not seen the movie I would prefer you skip the video below and go watch the entire movie first.

Peace and Joy to you!

~Travis

Peace

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I am sitting in my hotel room in Columbus, OH after driving the past 4 hours and I’m reflecting on the events of the last few days. The countryside we drove through was beautiful (even if it was Ohio) and the travel was safe so I am thankful.

During my reflecting I can’t help but notice the peace that has settled inside me these last few weeks. My wife has even pointed out the difference she sees and the smiles that appear more frequently on my face.

In my last post I talked about the property that we have fallen in love with and the old farmhouse that we moved in to. We have been there over three years now and the debate on whether to build new or fix the old was finally settled late last year. Building new was the outcome.

After scouring through thousands of home plans, we are currently entrenched in the process of building. I am the general contractor and I am sub-contracting all the work out. Without sounding excessively obvious, this process can get very stressful at times. Coordinating the work between the different contractors while making thousands of decisions along the way is enough to drive even a sane person crazy.

I bring this up to stress that even while building a house, working full-time, coaching children’s sports, spending time with the wife and kids, and stealing some personal time to myself, there is still a flow to life that can be tapped into. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the numerous obligations, I find its helpful to only focus on what’s in front of me in the moment. Staying centered in the present moment is a key ingredient to having peace and contentment. If I start to get ahead of myself and think about everything that has to be done then I can almost instantaneously feel the peace being bullied out by stress and uncertainty.

How much peace do you have in your life right now? Do you find yourself stressed out and feeling like life is out of control? Take some extra time to breath and focus on the present moment. Instead of focusing on all you have to get done, take time to focus on the NOW.

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