Eight year back, after decades since I had seen it last, I watched A Sound of Music with my six year old daughter. At first I was uncomfortable. I noticed some judging going on, some mindless mind chatter.

Inner Critic: This is so corny. The dialogue is ridiculous. How can you suspend disbelief? How can you like this crap?

Scott: Easily. No problem. Corn is a nutritious vegetable.So even if you consider this cornography, please relax, and quiet down. Or take a nap. I’ll wake you up when it’s over, but for now, I’ll be enjoying the movie.

And so I did. Through my daughters eyes, as well as my own.

If you are following your heart, you might not be able to fit in either. You might be perceived as a problem by those around you with rigid beliefs. Remember the song, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The sisters perceived her as a problem in the convent cause she was so un-convent-ional.

I really related to Maria. She tried to fit in, and simply could not.

She couldn’t be confined by dogma and tradition. She was obedient only to the voice of love within her, and that voice was more interested in freedom than rules, singing than silence, honesty than politeness, and playfulness rather than a stern approach to spirituality and discipline.

How do you solve a problem like Maria? You cease seeing her, or yourself as a problem to be solved. We are not here to be fixed, or to fit in.

Maria was a failure as a nun and a splendid success as a lover of life, joy, and children.

We are here to shine at full wattage.

Guess what my favorite song is from the movie. Climb Every Mountain? Nope, that’s my third favorite. Edelweiss is my second. First place goes to My Favorite Things.

Everything you need to know about positive thinking and being happy is contained in that song. Focus on what puts a smile on your face.

Praise the raindrops on roses rather than dwell on what seems to be not working in life. The more I focus on what is working, the more what seems to be not working takes care of itself, through Divine Alchemy and Grace.

Got Thunderstorm? Got fear? Break out the gratitude and begin singing about your favorite things.

And then there is all the wisdom in the movie about children. The Von Trapp kids were nightmares to every Governess who they met, till Maria came along.

Why did she succeed when the ones who came before her didn’t?

Maria was more interested in connecting than correcting, supporting them instead of controlling them, and they pretty quickly stopped playing nasty jokes on her and trying to push her away.

Children act out when they don’t get their needs met. Bad behavior is just a call for love. They thrive when they get the kind of attention and encouragement they need. I loved seeing Maria give those children permission to be their natural, playful, joyful selves. And boy, did they blossom!

And how can I sing the praises of The Sound of Music without mentioning it’s teachings about MUSIC! Music is joy itself, and uplifts and heals, harmonizes and joins people together like nothing can.

If you remember, Captain Von Trapp had silenced the music in his house since he had lost his wife. Maria brought it back, getting the children to sing, and even getting the Captain to strum and join the singing. Music helped melt the pain in his heart and restore happy hearts to everyone. Music builds bridges, melts walls, and connects people who once felt separate.

I am so grateful that my life is alive with the sound of music.

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