Be Here Now

By chance I stumbled across the documentary ‘ Be Here Now’ on Netflix. I had never heard of the Welsh Born Australian based actor Andy Whitfield, his wife Vashti, or their children Jesse and Indy.

But as I sat in my living room, on a nondescript day in May, in an instant it became clear that this documentary was to ensure I would not forget them.

What first caught my eye was the exquisite beauty of Andy. Handsome, yes, but truly beautiful due to the infinite love he displayed for his wife and two young children.

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A shy, self-conscious man who aged 36 had dared to dream he might pursue an acting career. The documentary opened to the glitz and glamour awarded Hollywood stars who have ‘ made it’ – red carpets, adoring gazes of the masses, camera flashes.

Andy Whitfield had arrived, having just completed his first major acting role in the tv series Spartacus. A loin cloth wearing, chiselled, tanned, totally ripped Gladiator.

He was living his truth, having stepped away from the known certainties of an engineering career and mastered a self belief anything was possible

It was beautiful to watch. On the world stage stood Andy Whitfield. He moved freely, spoke eloquently, laughed fully, loved unreservedly.

Cancer. Stage 4. Three months to live.

The documentary delivered the first of many blows early. I struggled to make sense this news. In stark contrast the Whitfield’s wasted little time, united they would faced Andy’s diagnosis head on.

The unwavering commitment of Vashti supporting Andy, to be truly present to what is, not what might be, could, should or would be. To ‘ Be Here Now’ with her partner, in each and every moment. And Andy’s unwavering commitment to live by that motto despite insurmountable odds.

Fast forward to late July, and I’m attending Creative Mornings July breakfast lecture. The theme for July ‘ intention’. The guest speaker, Vashti Whitfield.

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I’m pinching myself that I’m in the audience and sit in anticipation for what I know will be an insightful hour.

As I listen , I come to further understand the motivation behind documenting her incredibly personal family story.

For the Whitfield’s, living a meaningful life was about having impact. And documenting their cancer journey which culminated in Andy’s passing, ensured his legacy would be lasting.

The documentary depicted a tight family unit, drawing strength from their steely commitment to living a fully present life. A life anchored in intention, in alignment with core values. Aware of fear and suffering in daily life, the Whitfield’s shaped their experiences around honouring the duality present in each moment, and their ability to find joy inspite of suffering and loss.

By acknowledging ones mortality the sacredness of the present moment became paramount. Be here now, and you are instantly aware of the power you have to make a difference in the present, your immediate legacy.

Just as the documentary ‘ Be Here Now’ shook me to the core, elements of Vashti’s presentation were powerful and poignant. Asked to consider your legacy upon taking your final breath, hardly breakfast conversation! Or your immediate legacy, how the person sitting next to you might recall your interaction?

I looked down at the name tag I was wearing. I’d been asked to assign myself an intention for the day.

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Thank you Andy, thank you Vashti, thank you Jesse & Indy. For allowing the cameras to capture moments in time that were difficult, painful, terror filled, anxiety ridden. It would have been far easier to close the door , stop the cameras rolling and attempt to make sense of your hellish reality on your terms. In your time.

But on the cameras rolled, on and on and on. And in doing so, you took us on an inspiring, life affirming journey of love and loss, reminding us that boundless beauty is on offer should we choose to focus with intent on the here and now.

‘ Be Here Now’ is streaming now on Netflix.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra
    Jul 28, 2018 @ 23:24:29

    Thank you Kate for sharing. Xx

    Reply

  2. Stephen
    Jul 30, 2018 @ 21:21:56

    Inspiring story, Kate

    Reply

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