Chapter Twenty Seven- Milwaukee Film Festival (Free the Mind)

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Last night, I took myself on a date.  Not that I don’t like my husband or my friends, but I really enjoy alone time.  So that said, I bought a ticket on Milwaukee Film Festival’s website for Free the Mind, put on some lipstick, threw down some heartburn medicine (you know how the end of pregnancy is, right?), struck my most glamorous pose and had Theo quick snap a photo of me (now that I uploaded this pic, I see what all the gawking is about) , then drove myself to the East Side.

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Have you been to The Oriental Theatre?  It’s a really cool building with lots of charm and history.  When I arrived, I had to park pretty far away (for a pregnant lady, anyway) and the line was very very very long, though it moved quickly.

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I wanted to get popcorn but the line was super long and I didn’t want to be stuck sitting in the most inner seat of a row, so I made do with the York Peppermint Patty that was in my purse.  I found a nice lady sitting on an aisle seat, and sat next to her.  After some chatting, she offered me her aisle seat so I could get up and move with ease.  Then the nice doctor behind me offered to deliver my baby just in case I went into labor during the movie.  What a friendly crowd!

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Anyway, the movie.  I had heard Dr. Richard Davidson on UWUM’s Lake Effect the week prior and was very interested in his research.  Basically he wanted to look at meditation in a scientific and secular way.  His research took this turn after he met The Dalai Lama, who posed a question something like this: we’ve used neuroscience to look at things like fear and anger, why not look at how it affects kindness and compassion?  Brilliant!

So this movie follows two research projects at UW Madison.  One story line follows a young child with a traumatic beginning and ADHD, and the other story follows Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars dealing with PTSD.  Breathing exercises and meditation were introduced to the participants, and results followed.  I’m over-simplifying this movie, and the research, so please don’t think it’s that simple.  Check out Dr. Davidson’s website and also a local organization called Growing Minds for more information and resources.

It was a fascinating movie.  I’d love even more of it because I find the science fascinating, and there’s only so much a 90 minute movie can cover.  When it was over, Dr. Davidson took the stage and answered some questions.  I got up the guts to step up to the microphone and ask about resources for learning these breathing techniques and more for parents of young children.  He pointed me to the websites I just mentioned.  And one of the resource lists pointed me to a book I already have.  So special shout out to my mom for getting me 10 Mindful Minutes a year ago.  How do parents of young children read, by the way?  When do you have time?  Anyway, I have more background and motivation to read it after seeing this movie and hearing Dr. Davidson speak.

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The theater is a really cool place, and the film festival is awesome.  You can even pretend you’re famous and get someone to take you pic here ^.  I only wish I had more time to attend more movies and events!  Speaking of, a friend of mine is playing some live music in this event on Friday.

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I will add that part of my amazing solo date night was driving through downtown at night while listening to the radio without interruption.  Seeing the city lights whiz by and hearing a program I never get to listen to was quite nice.

Hope you have a great week, see you next.

A. Storm

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