Mother’s Day a few years ago, I was given the entire morning to do whatever I wanted and I instantly chose to watch Moana with my girls. (We had seen it at least 20 times and actually I think the girls were bored with it, and it was my day sooo… Afterwards I wrote this piece…

Have you seen this movie? Have you seen yourself in this movie? Do you cry, weep like I do? From the first time I watched it and every time since, I feel absolutely compelled to weep during profound moments filled with music and discovery. I first thought “well that’s just what I do, I cry when I hear music I like“. And today I realized that that is just a small, small part of why I am moved to tears.

In “Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck and she describes how people, who do not know real joy, can help themselves to define where their true joy lies, by noticing what draws out your emotions. What makes you cry when crying seems like the strangest thing to do or what makes you giggle when you logically can’t understand why. And then follow your thoughts through that emotion to help uncover what, for you, might be your soul’s (North Star’s) true joy.

For instance, that commercial that makes you weep (or video or meme or greeting card or thing your kid says or the way your partner just listened or that you found all the matching socks on laundry day). If you dug a little deeper in to the meaning that YOU ascribe to it (not necessarily what society has deemed the meaning to be) there, under layers of mundaness, lies a simple pure joy.

For me I have begun to notice and remember more and more instances where crying has popped up, when in the before-times (pre my soul’s breakthrough) I would have maintained my stoicism and now (after many, many hours of reflection) I sense that my true joy lies in growth and connection. 

Back to Moana…

I recognize that each time I weep in that movie, I am weeping for myself…my Self that is still being held under, foot stuck in the coral. I am desperate to follow my heart and although I know I am well on my way to doing so, there is still a huge hurdle I have yet to overcome.

What this movie represents for me…

Girl battles between doing what she is “supposed to do” and what she believes to be her “true purpose”. Paths that are not quite opposite, as they are both rooted in her need for connection and growth and yet feel miles apart. The well-meaning people in her life, who love her, desperately doing their best to keep her “safe”.

The path she takes is unknown, dangerous and beautifully rewarding. She connects with others along the way who encourage her and who she encourages in turn. They walk side-by-side on their personal journeys towards their inner selves and are independently brilliant and better together.

The last hurdle between “supposed to” and “purpose” is a true battle between Moana’s true self and the fire demon (within) which ends with beautiful words, I believe we all need to say to our when we begin to wage war on our Selves…

I have crossed the horizon to find you
I know your name
I may have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
This is not who you are
You know who you are

Who you truly are” -Moana, Disney

Once the heart is put back to its rightful place, at the core of it all, she breaks through, breaks out from behind the mask of pain and darkness. What is revealed is maternal and eternal, growth, life, love, joy, forgiveness, honour and peace.

For me, the most brilliant encapsulation of being the woman I want to be.

I want this, I crave this, I need this moment when my heart will find its rightful place, at my core, where it can energize every beautiful facet of me. I see myself in transition, like the soul’s of Moana and Te Ka, I long to exude growth, spirit, connection and love.

I have been holding back sharing this insight with you (and myself) because well…seriously Dionne, you experienced a life-changing epiphany while watching a Disney cartoon? WTF!!! … Yes. Yes I did.

I am fully aware that I am not the only person who sees the “meaning” of this movie. This piece of art. What I find intriguing is the depth of which I feel when I watch it.

I recognize that the message hits home because I am a mom and I want desperately for my girls to feel connected to their inner selves. Is it because of the movie itself that I feel moved? Do most people literally feel shaken when they watch it? No.

I believe that my soul, my inner most self, my desire for true, pure joy bubbled up in the presence of this particular piece of work and gave me a visual, auditory and deep gut connection to something I have been trying to learn for a very long time.

I have yet to do my research into the history of the spiritual truths that I’m sure underlie this movie. And although I probably will, for now I can revel in the growth and sense of connection I have been able to create while processing the powerful messages (intentionally or unintentionally) shared by its creators.

As I get closer to my true purpose, the messages get louder and more inescapable. What does this mean exactly well…it means that I can feel confident that no matter how tough the road seems I know I am on the right one.

If the messages in this movie about following your heart and staying true to who you are, speak to you…great then sit your ass down and watch it over and over until you feel compelled to do whatever it takes and let me know when you did in the 100 Women On Fire Facebook group

Find your movie, song, piece of art that speaks to you, to your soul, to your North Star, to your inner joy and make sure to make time for it every day.

We all need constant reminders that what brings us joy and fills us up is unique to us and once we are able to tap into our source we should do so regularly and unabashedly.


Finding joy, bringing joy and being joy are the traits of humanity I believe we should all aspire to.


All good things are rooted in love, laughter and learning!