Most of you know I’m obsessed with Harry Potter ~ like if I ever win the lottery I might not tell anyone but you might notice the replica Hogwarts Castle I live in!
Well, I am equally a fan of the new Jumanji movies. It’s odd because I really didn’t like the first one all that much. I had the book and was excited when the movie came out but after watching it I was kind of “meh” about it. I haven’t actually watched since back then so maybe I should revisit it because I went into Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle thinking my kids would like it but I would be similarly unmoved. However, I LOVED it. It was transformational for me. I know that’s weird, but here’s the part that really struck me:
Throughout the movie there’s an emphasis on chasing your “guy” or video game avatar. I don’t want to ruin the plot if you haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t you need to RUN and watch both the new ones right away!) but everyone chooses an avatar to play the video game. There are only so may, right, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Some avatars aren’t at all as expected and their people feel a lot of jealousy and resentment as they have to really work to appreciate their avatar’s (and their OWN) strengths and rely and trust their companions with complimentary skills. The message is, they all have a particular skillset that works only with the other characters’ skills. If they can’t find a way to work together and appreciate their own unique assets they will fail.
Then at the end some of the people consider whether they can take their avatar back into the real world with them ~ can they “be like this” in their own lives?
Coincidentally, over Thanksgiving we watched Jumanji at my parents’ house and then the other day I watched Regan Hillyer https://www.youtube.com/@ReganHillyerCoach give a talk. I am taking Regan’s course, The Art of Manifesting through Mindvalley right now but you can watch her on YouTube for free.
Regan said just one thing that was so impactful for me: she came out on stage and she was walking all kind of bent over or cringing. She started to talk and she seemed really nervous and scared and hesitant. Then she stood up straight and she asked, “If I came out on stage like this would you listen to anything I had to say? Would you ever take my advice?”
That hit me and I thought of course not! Regan’s point is the way we are showing up in life ~ the “guy” we’re inhabiting ~ has an enormous effect on the level of success we achieve. It made me ask myself, who am I showing up as? Can I “be like this” (my perfect self avatar) in everyday life?
The other day I had to place a second printing order for my The Ultimate Zucchini Cookbook. I sell these as signed copies through my website and also unsigned from Amazon. I am sold out of my first printing of my signed author copies (yay! Thanks to everyone who ordered!). As I checked over my order before submitting it I saw my little author blurb on the back: “Amanda lives with her family in the Lake Norman and Blue Ridge areas of North Carolina.”
I am a serious bibliophile. It’s a problem; we have floor to ceiling bookcases in several rooms and they’re all full, so we also have books stacked all over the place, like tables and even the floor. One of my big recent projects has been going through them and listing some for sale that I decided I could let go. I donated some to our neighborhood Little Free Library as well. That was hard for me! Do you have that problem? Anyway, ever since I was a little girl I have noticed how many authors’ blurbs on book jackets say things like, “So and So lives with her family in Paradise beach and Gorgeous Mountain” or “splits her time between Italy and Wales” and stuff like that. And I would always kind of roll my eyes and think, well wouldn’t THAT be nice?
The thought of just being a writer, working from anywhere, having the freedom to travel, has always seemed like the ideal lifestyle to me. At that moment, reading my book blurb I was struck with the fact that I DID IT! I now have that life! I can’t split my time equally between our lake house and mountain cabin because my husband still has to work and our son is still in high school, but we go up to the cabin as often as possible. I work up there on my writing quite a bit because our wifi signal is very spotty so I can’t usually work online. It’s a great place to take my manuscripts for editing since it’s distraction-free.
But my point is, I imagined this very lifestyle from when I was very young and I manifested it ~ ACCIDENTALLY! How much sooner could I have gotten there if I had been intentional?
So my 2024 project is going to be creating my avatar. I am going to sit down and write out all my strengths and weaknesses, just like a video game. I am even going to draw a picture or make a photo collage of how my avatar will look. Then I am going to make a plan to mitigate my weaknesses and work with the strengths of the people around me. I am going to set a target ~ what will I do to “win” my year? And then I am going to intentionally set out to hit it just like I’m playing a video game!
So, who’s with me? Who wants to play Mandaline Jumanji? Should I set up a private group for the participants? Let me know in the comment if you’re in! I would love for us all to share our avatars and I really want to see yours and hear about your 2024 target!
Just as an aside, one of my favorite lines in the whole movie is when Nick Jonas asks, “Does phone mean something different in the future?” That cracks me up every time, thinking about how different phones are now than they were in my youth!
Do you like the new Jumanji movies? Which is your favorite?
And, just a reminder: any orders from my shops need to be placed before 9PM tonight to be shipped standard for Christmas delivery. After tomorrow, the 16th, orders shipped Priority Express must go out by 12/21 to arrive by Christmas.
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.