Meet, Greet, and Befriend your Emotions: Inside Out by Disney * Pixar



Hi guys! It’s Grace here. After watching Inside Out with my family on 4th of July weekend, I was left feeling extremely inspired. How great it was to see a movie that communicated healthy messages about emotional well-being. It was awesome to see that the idea of learning how to manage and accept your “negative” emotions is mainstream enough to be accessible to kids of all ages through the medium of a Disney Pixar movie. Way back when I was first starting my voice over career and my mom was helping me cope with the stresses that came with the industry, I named what she taught FunZen, and the core lessons (e.g. mindfulness, centering, breathing exercises) she imparted to me are becoming more and more popular. Even though budget-cuts stopped our Disney FunZen project from coming to fruition in 2008, the importance of recognizing that we can choose to go from a worrier to a warrior is coming into the spotlight one wholehearted step at a time.

“Zen is most easily understood as a common-sense approach to all things.” Philip Toshio Sudo

Check out the review Common Sense Media posted about Inside Out and “Handling big feelings”. Becky Bozdech


Here are a few more personal stories that we were inspired to share after watching Inside Out.



Phil Jackson who endorsed my first book, “Mental Fitness” which has been fondly called a Beginner’s mind, zen manual, served my soul a spiritual awakening with his  wise words, “The way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” I was inspired to revisit a bittersweet life learned lesson captured from Pixar’s  Monsters Inc. “monster’s scare because they care.”  

We all have a monster (or worrier) and a warrior inside of us. We get to choose who to be, or who to listen to, our worrier fueled by doubt or our warrior side inspired courageously by challenge. Simply put, we’re all gardener’s in training, tending our heart’s garden  by watering the seeds of mindfulness,  and weeding out the rest.  

In the words of ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden,  “Surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought come into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” The life lesson is using our mindfulness, the art (or practice) of being aware  or remembering to remember that we can calm down, cheer up, and chill out to make better choices.  Returning to your center doesn’t take more time, it’s a matter of choice and intent to live on point, or purpose, asking yourself what your strategy or next action step is. Like an iPhone or any smart phone, point to where you want to go and click. Where your attention goes you go, energy follows.

“There are no endings only new beginnings.” – Flavia

Looking back to Spring, 2008, Grace, myself, and a few writers had been cultivating the mindful seed called “FunZen”as a show idea. We were waiting to hear what the next step was going to be. In the Fall, a Disney executive producer who originally asked me to share “FunZen”, informed me that our project was cancelled due to budget cuts.  My heart sank, and all I recall that day was the lovely British expression from Winston Churchill, “Keep calm and Carry on” the short, bright, and to the point message helped me feel more blessed, less stressed and buoyant,  becoming my personal mantra. I wholeheartedly agree with English Author, James Allen, “Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” Practically speaking, unless we calm our emotions we cannot hear the whisper of spirit or intuitive guidance of wisdom.  And, eastern teachings gently reminds us;  “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.”  Zen Proverb

Now, with new eyes, I am beyond words grateful for how everything worked out. I needed time to get clear on how to communicate the living art of zen with mindful tools for kids of all ages 5 to 100 plus years. Being born into a famous zen lineage makes it a bit more intuitive for me and still a fun challenge to put the enlightened practice of learning with a beginner’s mind into words. I’m curious and enjoy creating new variations like, “keep calm to sparkle, shine, and glow with the flow” wearing your miracle diamond of mindfulness  to feel, embraced, uplifted, and inspired.  May you choose to experience living  at your pace of grace in small steps to activate your worrier-monster to warrior of light shining through those dark stormy moments. This is just one of many ways to be the change, because nothing changes until we do.

We are all honor students to each other discovering how to tap into our creative spirit or zen genius already inside each and every one of us.

Why is calmness so sought after? read more from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits…

Note the  samurai depth of composure and determination known as “Fudoshin” invincibility- read more…

Hi! It’s Grace again. If you don’t control your emotions, they will control you. Being a teenager there is a lot going on, and sometimes I don’t mean to be disrespectful or dismissive, but sometimes it happens anyway.  Sometimes I get stubborn, and distracted, and then stubborn about the fact that I am distracted. When I tell my mom that we’re going to work on something, but I’m not actually ready, it can cause a conflict between myself and her commitment to the right effort. This struggle between us can get unpleasant, and it disappoints and discourages my mom to see time that could be used constructively dwindle away. But, after a little bit, the storm will pass, because my mom and I know how to use our tools to create harmony. We will say our H’oponopono 10 word  mantra, “I love you, I’m sorry. Please forgive me, Thank you” and let it absorb the negative emotions and transform them into loving vibes, keeping calm to sparkle on from a worrier to a warrior.

Reba McEntire once said: ‘To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.’

The samurai cowgirl  b-lesson is aligning our wishbone, our backbone, and our funny bone, by taking  a FunZen Tune-Up breath drill inspired by Inside Out!


Let’s celebrate the spirit of  JOY with Amy Poehler who plays the emotion JOY. Here’s a peek of the  INSIDE  OUT clip and

Joy’s POV (point of view) re. FUN. “Joy, she’s the one you want at the party,” Amy Poehler