How The Wizard of Oz Changed My Life

How The Wizard of Oz Changed My Life

With the Oscars upon us, I am looking forward to watching the 75th anniversary tribute to The Wizard of Oz. You see, for me, The Wizard of Oz isn’t just a film. It’s a constant, personal reminder of our immense power and ability to create our own reality.

Thoughts of Dorothy, her ruby red slippers and colorful collection of friends bring back vivid memories of when I was 12 years old. My family was building a new house and as my parents worked busily away with hammers and nails, my sister and I would stay quietly out of their way, perched in front of the TV with a ham sandwich, watching The Wizard of Oz – over and over again.

Each and every time, I became deeply immersed in the story, exotic lands and adventures. I loved the characters, shared their experiences, their emotions, their triumphs and their tribulations – all the way along that yellow brick road.

There really is something profoundly powerful about that time when we’re kids, with that wide-open mind, innocent trust and belief in magic and possibilities.

And, if movie characters can have magical powers and believe anything is possible,
why then, oh why can’t I?  [ Tweet this ]

More than twenty years later, I would realize how watching The Wizard of Oz over and over again as a kid would profoundly change my life. You see, I believe the more deeply connected we become to a thought or idea, the more we watch, read or listen to something, the more deeply those key messages are embedded in our minds and belief systems.

Inevitably our house was finished, I grew up, finished school, got a job and began my adult life. So, like Dorothy, I followed the Yellow Brick Road we call life on my journey toward the Emerald City – aka my own dream and personal nirvana, creating my own business. Did I mention my love of red shoes?

Fast forward to 2005. I launched my company Nibbana (meaning “heaven on earth”) in Australia – an event company and spiritual brand that promoted personal development and spirituality. I had no industry connections when I began, I just “knew” deep inside that I needed to follow this path. With no idea where the road would lead, I just kept trusting, putting one foot in front of the other to see where it would eventually take me.

Six weeks later I attended a movie premiere for the independent docu-drama What the Bleep Do We Know!?, a hit film about the spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness. It weaves interviews with various scientists and experts in with the story of a photographer whose entire concept of reality is challenged, before coming to discover how individual and group consciousness can influence the material world.

As the movie credits rolled among cheers and a standing ovation, I declared out loud to my friend Nicole: “I’m going to bring those guys out to Australia for an event with Nibbana!” – ‘those guys’ being a couple of the scientists from the film I’d enjoyed the most.

It’s funny what can happen when you follow your heart and that yellow brick road.

The next day, I clicked my little red heels three times and put that thought, desire and determination into action. After much online research, many emails and phone calls, infinite persistence, endless patience and a few inevitable bumps on the road, my thoughts became my reality, and led to a starring role in my own personal Wizard of Oz movie.

Fred Alan WolfMeet The Wizard.

Remember that crazy, white haired guy behind the curtain creating a show for Dorothy and her friends?

Enter Dr Fred Alan Wolf, an author and lecturer on the relationship between quantum physics and consciousness – and scientist featured What the Bleep Do We Know!? Fred was the first speaker to be hosted by Nibbana where he headlined a two week, 4 city seminar tour of Australia with 1,700 guests. A little known fact about Fred is that he is also an expert in close-up Magic, which he learned at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. Fred’s quite the showman who loves to perform. He even looks like a Wizard!

The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery. – Fred Alan Wolf.
[ Tweet this ]

Neale Donald WalschMeet the Tinman.

Who could forget the lovable tinman in search of a heart?

Fred’s tour led to a new opportunity in 2006 for me to promote and tour with Neale Donald Walsch, author of the international bestselling book Conversations with God. The book became a movie by the same name and I had the honor of traveling with Neale during the 3 city tour, hosting movie screenings and a Q&A session with Neale with a combined audience of 2,500.

Neale communicated his powerful messages, direct from his heart to ours.

Go into the heart of love and come from that place in all your choices and decisions… and you will find peace. – Neale Donald Walsch  [ Tweet this ]

Dr Joe DispenzaMeet the Scarecrow.

Believing he had no brain, the scarecrow joined Dorothy on a valiant search to find one.

After two years patiently trying to track down another What the Bleep!? scientist, I finally connected with Dr Joe Dispenza – a neuroscientist and author who lectures on how we can literally rewire our brain to create a new reality for ourselves. In September 2007, Nibbana hosted Dr Joe on a 4 city tour presenting “Evolve Your Brain” seminars and workshops to 1,600 people.

I remember standing on stage as I introduced Dr Joe and shared my personal story of how that experience had come about in my life – it was a powerful, humbling and grateful moment.

 We’re in completely new territory…rewiring the brain, reconnecting to a new concept
and ultimately it changes us from the inside out. – Dr Joe Dispenza

Dan MillmanMeet the Lion.

Don’t you just want to give that lovable, cowardly lion in search of courage a great big hug?

In 2008, Dan Millman, world champion athlete, lecturer and author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior (the 2006 Peaceful Warrior film starred Nick Nolte) showed up. The next two weeks saw me traveling with Dan on a 4 city tour around Australia and New Zealand, as he shared his wisdom and messages on courage and love with over 1,500 people. I knew by now that the people I had attracted to work with me was no coincidence!

Do you have the courage for it? Do you have the love? If you have enough of one, you will develop the other. – Dan Millman  [ Tweet this ]

As I stood on the stage in April 2008 wrapping up that final event of the tour with Dan, I had the realization that, for the past 4 years, I had been living out my powerful and unconscious lifelong connection with the movie, The Wizard of Oz!

I’d met, traveled and shared amazing experiences with these great teachers – each representing the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Lion and the Wizard. I’d had ups and downs, made new friends and I’d grown immeasurably along the way.

Incredibly, the seeds of these adventures had been firmly planted in my pre-teen subconscious mind. Each time I watched The Wizard of Oz over and over again, I remained blissfully unaware of how that movie would inevitably have an impact on my life, my future and who I would become.

If the incredible power of such child-like innocence can open our minds, allow us to dream and manifest magical experiences like these, just imagine the kind of life can we create when we consciously put our thoughts, desires and plans into action!

What if the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true?  [ Tweet this ]

In that moment, as I realized I’d come full circle, I heard my inner voice whisper:

“It’s time for a new movie.”

Seven months later, I closed my business Nibbana and moved from Sydney, Australia to Boulder, Colorado. It’s right next to Kansas. And, I truly feel like I’ve come “home”.

I’m excited to watch the Oscars on Sunday, and especially the Wizard of Oz 75th anniversary tribute – aren’t you?

I’d love to hear about which movies have impacted your life and how. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!

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15 Responses to How The Wizard of Oz Changed My Life

  1. Jody says:

    This makes me smile! Now you’ve got me thinking about what movies I was obsessed with at that preteen age! I don’t think they were/are as profound as TWoO –mine were Back to the Future and Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure! I never made the connection until now, while typing it out,both are about time travel and how our actions now (however insignificant they may seem) have an impact not only on our future selves but on the future as a whole. Maybe those flicks were slightly profound afterall !

    • Julie Bennett says:

      Jody I love it! It really is amazing when we think back to the movies we loved as kids and teens – so many of them actually DO have profound messages that we can carry with us throughout our lives. It is also a great reminder of how important it is to feed kids with movies that are positive and uplifting and have great messages for life. Which of course, you already do! I will have to do another post soon about ow my favorite books manifest too – true story! LOL xo

  2. Louise Ross says:

    Very sweet post! Really like the way you’ve woven the story together with personal reflections from your childhood into adulthood, and the pertinent reflections of spiritual teachers you worked with.

  3. Leslee says:

    Beautiful Jules! I love how you’ve seamlessly woven the story and characters into your life’s path. I love so many books and movies from childhood and you’ve got me really thinking. I watched the Australian classic film ‘Storm Boy’ for the first time in a long time just last week. It was wonderful. I’d recommend it – beautifully isolated, untouched scenery, magnificent characters and a child’s adventurous free spirit coming up against the difficulties of growing up and moving on into the outside world.

    • Julie Bennett says:

      Love it Leslee – I remember Storm Boy! Glad the post got you thinking too 🙂 I owe you an email, if you don’t get it tonight, it will be tomorrow. I promise! xx

  4. Karen says:

    Hmmm, I watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Jack Nicholson about 15 times the very first week we got our brand new VCR. Maybe that explains my high value for freedom and following my own path rather than an institutionalised/9 to 5 existence. Or maybe it explains my mental health issues – hehehe. Love the post!

    • Julie Bennett says:

      He Kaz, that is FUNNY! I still haven’t seen that movie! I relate to the freedom and avoidance of a 9-5 existence! xo

  5. Great post Julie! You’ve met so many interesting people! The movie of my youth was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The charming kid who just wants to have fun with his friends = me! In fact, a guy and a girl friend and I did everything in the movie one fall day except for the restaurant. The parade, well, we created our own singing and dancing in the streets of Chicago!

    • Julie Bennett says:

      Too funny Lisa! I love how the movie inspired YOU to make it happen too! You didn’t wreck a luxury sports car did you? Fun!

  6. Jane says:

    I LOVED the depth and complexity yet at the same time, the simplicity of the story you shared. Thank you so much. You got me to STOP and think about my life! Now that takes some doing.
    Thank you. Have a magical day.

    • Julie Bennett says:

      Oh that is GREAT to hear Jane. I know you have an amazing life yourself, so taking the time to STOP and think about it – and the next phase of magical creations, is wonderful… I can’t wait to see what is next for you! xo

  7. Carolyn says:

    Stunning post Julie…you are a gifted writer and I recall very fondly being their with you for every step of the journey!

  8. Phil Hong says:

    A beautiful story and, like Dorothy, you have relentlessly followed the path into the unknown on your own special journey. Knowing you for as long as I have, I don’t think we ever shared your connection with this movie, but now your request to bring back shoes on my first overseas trip – I think at least one pair was red – suddenly falls into place. Travel on!

    I guess the movie I saw most in childhood was The Sound of Music – hard to avoid really, since it was on TV so often! But I guess it also contains a similar message about following the path that is important to you, despite the obstacles in your path. Climb every mountain, ford every stream…


    • Julie Bennett says:

      Thanks Phil 🙂 I didn’t remember asking you to bring back red shoes…but now you mention it, it’s starting to come back to me! The Hills are alive! xoxo

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