Colin Firth: You Are Absolutely Brilliant In ‘The King’s Speech’

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter - The Kin...

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Dear Colin Firth,

I can’t believe I finally saw ‘The King’s Speech‘ tonight. It was as I expected, sheer genius on your part. This film had Oscar written all over it.  What a team you and Geoffrey Rush made,  um no, let me re-phrase that, what a team you, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush made. I felt every line you uttered,  watched with my hand on my heart as you struggled to be heard, even felt your palpable fear.  I laughed at the humor – and there was quite a bit. Yes! I even understood the Australian jokes. You quite literally took my breath away!! I found that I held my breath when you spoke, hoping you were able to articulate without  challenge. I wanted to cry when I heard you tell ‘Lionel Logue’ that you were punished as a child and made to use your right hand when you were actually left-handed, I felt worse when you said you had to wear painful (steel) leg braces to prevent you from being knock-kneed.  You did not speak much, for that was the essence of this film, yet every pained expression, every look you shared with your beloved wife, make no mistake about it, we felt,  as your audience. I wanted to stand up and cheer as you made that final speech.   Er.. one teeny, tiny little thing.. dare I say it, Oh all right.. I will… I, actually loved hearing you swear! and I don’t like to swear at all. I don’t know if it is the thought of a monarch who just for a little while sounds like an ordinary person with a very upper class accent, feeling liberated and letting it all out or if it is just you. I’ve quite decided It is just you!! Could you perhaps do that again in another film?

You cut such a ravishing figure as king George the VI, although I heard Tom Hooper say in his BBC interview that your face was typically not  suited to a Windsor; seeing as they are more narrow and long. Yet you approached this role with such compassion that even Guy Pierce who played your brother could not charm as much as you did. How did you ever manage to portray such a stutter and make it so believable? Loved you dear man! you deserve to win that Oscar! I cannot but hope you do. This is your year!!

Last but not least, playing our beloved Queen mum is not an easy feat, but Helena Bonham Carter seemed so at ease in her role, was it as I imagined when you worked together? I mean we all know the  Queen mum was certainly a battle-axe, and I mean that as a compliment. I hear nothing slipped by her. What a powerful role that was, and oh Geoffrey Rush.. need I say more? You had wonderful chemistry together. Michael Gambon, played an arresting George V and lovely, lovely Jennifer Ehle as Mrs Logue, the cast was one brilliant actor after another. You were all so stellar.

Mummy meditates on the go- um, sometimes…

Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built ju...

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Due to sheer hubris, I latched on to the idea – sort of  like glue – that I knew lots about meditation, no really, I did, and yet, when I sat down to it, I knew nothing. I mean really, absolutely nothing. Eventually, however, that simple act of sitting allowed me a glimpse of how much I needed to learn; learn how  to be, how the mind worked, learn about ego and how to sit productively. I was short on time and completely out of practice, so of course, I figured, just a few days of meditation and the mind would fit into that notion of “I am pretty good at this.” I have since decided my  ‘ego’, needed to take a very large break and um, “sitting” involved a close look at just how much work controlling the speed of the mind took.

I am always on a quest for time… summer holidays are almost over and we’ve traveled the world. We’ve spent time in a vacuüm, a space that is just for us, it has been blissful.  In trying to hold onto that peaceful space, I realize I don’t want to get back on the road to drive. It is a long drive to school, an hour each way. The thing is I am now attached to that feeling of peace, and want nothing more than to avoid traffic and long hours in a car. So completely unrealistic of me when I have children.!! Training the mind requires a lot of work – It doesn’t quite end,  it never ends, actually. They say sit and be aware, but when I sit, I’m aware of more than just sitting. When you think you’re over one hurdle, another one begins – sound familiar? kind of like life isn’t it? since I am always on the move, I try meditating on the go. My previous proper attempt was quite a serene experience. Not just a focus on breath, but more an extending of unconditional love to all beings; starting with myself. I was on a walk with my daughter’s class and there was a child who had recently been receiving treatment for a rare form of bone cancer,  she looked frail and yet, somehow healthy, in that amazing juxtaposition of vitality and fragility only a child could display.  I found as I walked, my thoughts focused on the little body, the skeletal structure and bones. I allowed myself to extend compassion and all the love I could, from this body to that little one- in a strange  non-verbal exchange of vibrations and energy. It was really quite incredible to be so selfless in that moment. Lesson: Meditating on the go- an absolute must. Not in any way meant to be a substitute for a regular sitting. It is quite an experience. Oh, and being “present” mentally, is quite the challenge, no matter how many articles, books or websites tout their ability to help you, being present is kind of like respect. You earn it. You pummel the mind until it can be present, not  taking one step back into the past or two steps into the future.. as in what do I make for dinner tonight or what time is soccer practice. All of this will explode in the mind when you sit quietly. More so than when you are immersed in a task. It is difficult to compartmentalize. You simply cannot put dinner thoughts, tomorrow’s thoughts and today’s activities into separate jars- ‘mental’ jars that is. When external disturbances are many, it is always better to accept the disturbances and see where they go when you give it a tiny bit of attention, and gently acknowledge the mind when your focus returns to simple breathing. If breath is an issue, you can count to 10 and back, as you watch the body breathe in and out. I mean, we don’t really spend time noticing our breath do we? we think it’s the most normal thing in the world, we can’t live if don’t breathe. Although we don’t really pay our breath any attention.  However, in order to be present, aware and in that space, watching the breath becomes tantamount to reflection, where the mind wants to travel and how it thinks. The mind is your guide, it is an incredible tool, using it productively means you learn to live well. When you connect the mind to your body, they both function as one, it is really quite beautiful, it doesn’t always last but the practice is certainly worth your time.