Monday, August 19, 2013

Lee Daniel's The Butler

I went into this move with the humble knowledge that I don't know what it is to be discriminated against because of my race and a genuine desire to understand and learn. I came out of the small theater angered and frustrated at the black community surrounding me who talked through the entire movie or silently gave permission for conversations to continue. I cried in the car on the way home.

Yes, I am an admitted movie snob. I like going to the movies and do so, usually, on a weekly basis.  I like my popcorn, my "run pee" app that tells me what happens when nature calls, and being moved by the images before me (good, bad, or other). I like being taken out of my world and into someone else's. I don't like talking, much movement, or distractions when I am at the movies. I do my best to stay put so as to not distract those around me.

So, when I went to see Lee Daniel's The Butler, I was expected to be drawn into the history that this single man has seen in his life time. To be drawn into the good, the bad, and the ugly of the civil rights movement. To learn about a history of the freedom train that I know so very little about. To understand it in a personal way.

I am not naive, I know that it is hollywood and not all is fact. I take all that I see on the screen with a grain of salt but open to the truth in the emotion that I fee. It is frequently through emotion that the Holy Spirit reveals itself to me.

What does this anger mean then? Where does this frustration stem from within me? Why is it that I feel I have been disrespected?

Well a couple of things come up for me I guess:
First, I have great respect for those who were instrumental in the Civil Rights movement both great and small. I am mortified that not only was there segregation but how people were treated and treated others because that seemed to give them permission to be mean and treat others in such an undignified way. I am honored to know both black and white people who were involved in the movements in Alabama and Selma. Don't disrespect my friends. I am a loyal Taurus!

Second, I feel that when people disrespect someone so special as this movie is based upon...they disrespect me in the sense that I am not as great as some of the people in this movie. I do not have the courage to stand up for morals and principles to the point of being arrested. So, if the people sitting around me can't respect this kind of greatness then where does that put me? And then how dare you make me feel like I am not worthy of respect! How dare you Ladies!

How dare ME for believing them....even for a brief moment.

Normally, I would have said something to these disrespectful girls. And I did at the beginning of the movie but I would have said something again. I did not because I didn't believe that that I deserved their respect....because of the color of my skin....I thought that I would be perceived as the disrespectful one. Maybe it's part of their culture, no matter what country they are from. I should just be quiet because of I respect black history and the struggles that have taken place. I don't want to be seen as a racist. So, I didn't say anything else. I didn't go to management. I didn't ask for my money back or to see the movie again. I just sat there. Angry. Disappointed. Offended.

I would like to see this movie again because I would really like to have an experience worthy of the subject matter. Engulfing. Transforming. Enlightening. Moving.

I will be back Lee Daniels. I'll be back.

Friday, August 9, 2013

An Unexpected, Expected Journey

Sarah's response to Paul's original Spiritual Popcorn post which can be found here:

The "expected" part of the journey is this...
My husband and I have talked about moving to Washington DC for years. I am an east coast girl, originally from just outside northeast Philly, so a move back would bring me closer to my family and friends. My husband originally from the Chicagoland area had interned in DC one summer and he was hooked ever since. So, the location wasn't out of the question and we had already begun preparations to sell or rent our home when Paul got the job in DC.

The "unexpected" part of the journey is this...
I am a different person since I lived here last. As my mother-in-law lovingly reminded me before we moved, "you are not the same age as you were when you did this the first time." ....Thanks, mom....appreciate the reminder that I am quickly aging out of the "young adult" demographic. It was said in a very loving way, we joked about it, and laughed a whole lot. One of those happy graced moments that has stuck with me. A humorous way to ease the tension of moving so far away from her after being so close for 13 years.

I am a different person because of my 13 year journey to Chicago and back. I have gained much insight on the world. I have lost family and gained family. I have had jobs I will not miss and appreciate all they have taught me. I have gained the love of my life, a husband who has helped me become so much more than I ever thought possible. Now I spend most of my day in my two bedroom apartment, working remotely, and wondering who am I now.

This is the unexpected journey:
Who am I now? I didn't realize that was going to be such a difficult question. Bilbo knew who he was when he went on his journey. Vicki Soto knew who she was when she went into her classroom that fateful morning. I don't feel like even an ordinary person. What's less than ordinary? I don't say that in a self effacing way, I just don't feel like I am in their category.

Maybe I am more like Gandalf and need to search out the ordinary people in my neighborhood, at the Ikea or Einstein Bagel. I am afraid...Of what? I am uncertain but maybe it is time to step out on to the unexpected journey and take it all in a face value.

Where shall the road take me today Bilbo? Let us take the first step out the front door and see.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Avengers Response Blog from Sarah's Spiritual Popcorn. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Life Before Doctor Who and After Doctor Who

My reaction to Paul's Blog on Eat, Pray, Love and Going the Distance has changed since Doctor Who has entered my life.

I guess I have been in a rather volatile place in my life emotionally these last couple of months, no years. I have felt as though there is something more to life yet not sure how to go about finding it. I am a spiritual person, so I pray and go to church each week offering my prayers at the feet of Jesus and I discuss my dilemma's with the spiritual guru's in my life. But I felt hopeless and helpless. Like there was not a way for me to break through the monotony of the life I have fallen into. When I saw Eat, Pray, Love I cried all the way home because I wanted a spiritual awakening like the main character but I most certainly didn't want to divorce my amazing husband (um...not a chance!). I could not see how it was possible to have a spiritual awakening while bringing someone I love so much along on the journey (a journey that he didn't want to or need to take). I was crushed after this movie. Paul's suggestions on his blog are helpful and somewhat beneficial however, they really don't suite me. First, of all some of them I already do without great breakthroughs and second, I'm just not that person. So, I have to find my journey my own way. That's when I found the Doctor...

We then saw the movie Going the Distance. I kinda liked it because life is just that messy and crazy. Though I wouldn't know how to hold a bong if it was handed to me, and wouldn't suggest it to anyone else either, I was able to see the messiness of everyday people in this movie. People just falling into the life that was handed to them. My life was extremely messy at the time I saw this movie. It was a mess that I had made. Now if I were to explain the issues many of you would say, "that's it?" and chuckle. As I do now looking back on it, post Doctor. But isn't that they way when we are emotionally into life, over our head and focusing on those things that rile us up? It's so in our face that we don't realize how small we are and we give up on the important things in life. I only saw the messiness in life before I met the Doctor.

So, who is this Doctor? As he introduces himself in one episode:  "I'm The Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old, and I'm the man who's gonna save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below... You got a problem with that?" And that's what he does in every episode, he saves the universe using no gun, only his words and  a trusty sonic screwdriver. This character has changed my outlook on life. I'm not completely sure how but I came to this realization last weekend when I found myself giddy as a school girl while looking at Doctor Who paraphernalia at a store called Alien Entertainment that had an amazing Doctor Who section (and any other kind of geeked out memorabilia you can think of). I giggled uncontrollably when I bought my very first Dalek (the ultimate bad guy android who scares the world with a plunger and an egg beater for arms).

So, what is it about this Doctor that has me smiling for no reason? Because I'm worth it!

That's right. He saves the "stupid" human race time after time because there is goodness in us. People walk through this world thinking that they just have to get by to the next day, next week, month or year or whatever. The Doctor sees amazing potential in the human race and through the course of the Doctor Who marathon I have undertaken I can now say that I see that potential too. It is HUGE! We need people to support us and defend us toward that greatness. I can do that. I have been given a great gift to help the world around me. Before the Doctor I was just going through the motions to get me out of my current mess.  I knew that I needed to be certified to become a Life Coach. So, I took the classes and did the work just to check it off the list. But now I understand! Now I am motivated! Now the human race better watch out because he has made me a better person.

Yes, this is a spiritual journey for me. The Doctor is an embodiment of Jesus Christ himself to me. He brings down the bad guys not with a gun but with his words. He energizes people through his actions and throughout time and space. He is so actively present in his life that he acts within every moment to share something amazing with those around him. He loves his companions so deeply and cherishes their time together. He remembers the names of everyone he meets and calls them by name. He brings out the best in them in the most difficult situations. He is The Christ! He's my Christ!

I have finally learned to love The Christ through my journey with Doctor Who. I know I'm a nerd. I own it.

My favorite quote so far is:
"Oh, you are beautiful! No really, you are, you're gorgeous! Space-age clockwork, I love it, I've got chills! Listen, I mean this from the heart- and by the way, count those- it would be a crime, it would be an act of vandalism to disassemble you. But that won't stop me."

The first reason is the fasination and respect in the voice of  The Doctor when he says it. He is so aware of the uniqueness of what he is looking at and how rare it is. I heard The Christ say this to me. It is now the ring tone for when my husband calls me. It reminds me that I am beautiful and unique.

The second reason I love this quote is that even though what The Doctor sees fascinates him greatly. He will stop the evil in it's tracks. He will not be distracted from the task at hand by its beauty and rarity. Neither is The Christ and now neither am I!

My life before The Doctor was messy. cloudy and quite dull. My life with The Doctor is the here and now it is focusing on what is important and energizing to those around me. My life with The Doctor, with The Christ, is changing the world because the human race is worth it. You are worth it!

Now, Allonz-y!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

But what if I don't want to be "The Other Guy?"

In response to Paul's post on "The Other Guy's" on

But what if I don't want to be "The Other Guy's"? Not that I'm looking to be the arrogant cops played by Dwayne Johnson and Samuel Jackson but I'm tired of doing the paperwork behind the scenes. 

I wouldn't mind being like Angelina Jolie, even with her demons, she is working hard using her status working with organizations like; Afghanistan Relief Organization, Alliance for the Lost Boys, and the Cancer Schmancer Movement to make the world a better place. She has stated in interviews that she merely makes movies so that she can take weeks/months at a time working with various charitable organizations. Yes, there are many "other guys" behind the scenes doing a lot of paperwork to make these organizations work but she is helping bring their service to the greater public.

I understand what Paul is saying in his blog. Yes, I believe that "Other Guys" are necessary to make the world go around and if we all loved our jobs and expressed joy in doing it, like Terry Holtz (Mark Whalberg's character) when he was directing traffic maybe I wouldn't mind so much. But I do mind. I mind because so many people hate their jobs. It sucks the energy from them and they go home spiritually, emotionally, and physically drained. Get out of your dead end job and be the lead character in your own life.

I think this lack of participation in life is what has motivated me to become a Public Speaker and Life Coach. I had fallen into mediocrity and no longer did I want to be a supporting character in my own life anymore. I want to be the lead and help others to do so in their own lives. Get out from under the dominant characters in our lives and live with passion and joy.

We are given such amazing gifts from God. We know when we are using them when we are energized, filled with joy, and on a natural high. Not feeling it? Then maybe you are just an extra in someone elses story. Me? No, I'm not really feeling it. However, I have a plan and I'm working on goals to get me to the lead role in the story of my life.

I thank the Lord every time He graces me with moments where I am using my gifts to their fullest potential. I relish in those feelings of empowerment, joy, and energy and remind myself that it won't be too long until I am there all the time.

Monday, August 2, 2010


This blog is in reaction to the blog Spiritual Popcorn by Paul Jarzembowski. It is my journey through the movies and how I am finding myself. So, check out first and read his thoughts on the movie Inception then check out my journey.


"Dreams can indeed frighten us, especially if the person God created us to be is far from the illusion that we have created in reality."

Yikes!!! I'm pretty sure I'm kinda off course on this one. I am in the illusion that I'm a Youth Minister by nature and therefore that is what my job should be. Eep! Is it possible that what I think is doing God's work is really just a stepping stone to the real work? Have I taken refuge on this part of the journey thinking that it is the destination?

Dream Big our parents told us. You can do anything you put your mind to. Yes, Sarah you too can be President of the United States, my mom used to say to me.  (A job you couldn't pay me enough to do) The only thing is no one really told me how to make my dreams happen. Sure I graduated from High School and received a Bachelor's Degree but what does that get now days? I had a job in my field for 12 months (hated every minute of it!) when I graduated and not since.

My dream at it's core though  is to be a household name. I want everyone to know who I am. Now, fortunately I know not to go the Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton rout of infamy. But I am still trying to figure out why this is so important to me and even more to the point what I have to offer the world that make this of value and a reality.

I have been fortunate over the last year or more to be working on my Certification as a Life Coach and have worked with some great people to help make dream come true (or at least start to). I have been asked to speak to various Young Adult and Youth Ministries over the last couple of years (in fact I have a talk on Thursday night) and this has been exciting and invigorating. It is in these moments that I feel most authentic and alive. But when it comes to promoting myself to gain more opportunities for others to get to know me, I freeze. I have the most difficult time promoting myself and what I can do to help others.

This is part of the dream that frightens me. What if I promote myself to someone and they say no, laugh at me, or say "I just don't get it"? Eep! How much rejection could I take? I don't like being turned down. I would be a horrible telemarketer. Thank you God for giving me other options. But then again...What if people say yes. Then I have to come up with something, great.What if I suck?What if I'm great? Holy crap it's a paradox. I just don't know what to do. I have a fear of failure and the more paralyzing fear of success. Yikes!!! Oh wait, maybe this is the "illusion" Paul was talking about in the above quote.

Is my fear of success an illusion? Something that someone put into the depths of my dreams. My fear of becoming more successful than my sister and then making her feel or look bad, like I unintentionally did when we were kids.  I don't want to intentionally do that now. She used to say to me something like, "you just smile and everyone loves you." What a great compliment but I always felt that she was dissing herself at the same time. She called herself the black sheep of the family and I was the golden child. I didn't ask for that so I tried to do as little as possible to get by in life so that I didn't out shine her and make her feel bad. Nobody should be put into a position of feeling like shit about themselves or unworthy. I wanted her to feel good about herself and as cherished and loved as I felt.  I'm sure that this inception on her part was as little thought out as the character of Cobb talking to his wife. Yet, here I am believing in the illusion of this unintentional inception.

Now that leaves me to question, am I leaving unintentional inceptions in others? I pray that they are based upon amazingly good feelings to do great things for our world.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who is Salt?

Spiritual Popcorn Blog on the movie Salt
"Who do you say that I am?" Mark8:29

This is a difficult question for me these days as I think that it is changing. Actually I don't "think" it's changing, I know it's changing. Who I am has been changing for the past six years and I haven't really given myself much of a chance to figure it out. You is busy and stuff. Who really has time to focus on yourself these day's anyway? But this blog on the movie Salt really calls me to take time to think about this?

Who am I?
I am a wife of 8 years. Still trying to figure out what it means to be a wife since that was never in my game plan. I am a friend to many. I am a Youth Minister aspiring to be a Life Coach (or mentor). I lost my mother to cancer 9 years ago today. Still trying to figure myself out in light of that. I am searching for purpose and meaning in my life. I am searching for what I am good at. I am searching for what I enjoy. Right now, I don't know.

Who do others say that I am? Some words that have been used to describe me are: friendly, welcoming, happy, funny, compassionate, strong and my husbands favorite "fiesty." Sometimes the word strong is stated in a not so positive way but for the most part I am proud of this image of myself. What are they saying when I am not around? I am very curious to know how I present myself. I think that I will take Paul's challenge and ask others what words come to mind when describing me.

Now Paul gets personal, "Is our identity consistant or do we present ourselves one way at work, another way at home, and yet another way online?" This question hit me between the eyeballs. Yes, I am completely different at work than I am at home or with friends. During one of my Life Coaching classes a couple of weeks ago we got onto the discussion of authenticity and honesty. Can you be authentic and honest in all situations? I said it depends on the situation. Like at work...I cannot always speak my mind or be honest with my spirituality or political points of view. I have to toe the company line because I need the money and insurance. I thought that I was straight up with that answer but the teacher countered with..."There is another name for people who go abainst their morals for money.....(she paused for effect)..It's called prostitution." WHAT???!!!!!???? This conversation has haunted me for weeks and this blog on "Salt" brings it back to the forefront of my mind. My identity is not consistant at all. This bothers me and is something I must work on to be happy in life. WHO AM I????

Boy I have a lot of work to do. God is talking LOUDLY to me through this movie. I have to take time to figure out my authentic self.

Thank you God for speaking to me and inviting me to get to know you better through myself. I am made in your image. You are a part of me and with your help I will learn who I am at my core. Thank you for this opportunity.

Until the next movie...Enjoy your own popcorn.