Jonas: I met so many great people who helped point me in the right direction, but also it was up to me to arrive at that truth, and the only way I could do it was literally turning inside because those answers are in each and every one of us.
Mara: Pride can start to be an ugly thing sometimes within people. I feel like the danger zone is when you're setting out on this journey to find something bigger than yourself: The swamp areas that you can fall into are things like being too prideful about what you're doing. "Oh, look at me. I'm going out on this safari, this soul safari, and look at my amazing hat while I'm doing it."
Oprah.com: Mara, even though you don't see the same things Jonas does, you also have an awakening in the film when a Buddhist monk tells you what your name means. Can you two talk about that?
Jonas: It was beautiful. And almost kind of hilarious—I had worked for years and years to come to this place, and she had this shift eating a piece of pizza. It took five minutes, and it was very profound for her and very real.
Mara: A lot of people walking on this planet hike to the tops of the mountain seeking all of these answers, and then there are people who are like, "I don't really have a whole lot of questions, and I don't really need a whole lot of answers," and that's totally okay too. With my own awakening, you see in the film, I'm eating a piece of pizza, and all of a sudden, this lighthearted little joke takes this huge nosedive down into my heart and into my soul. So, it's okay if you don't feel that you need to go to the peak of the mountain in order to find exactly who you are. You might find it over a slice of pizza like I did.
Oprah.com: Do you live your lives differently since you've finished the movie?
Jonas: I have rituals. I meditate, but I don't wear robes or burn incense with 300 candles in the room. I just keep the spiritual at the core. It doesn't mean I talk about it all the time, because no one really wants to hear that constantly. But when something good or when something challenging comes up, I rely on the inner voice that I hear, instead of taking it personally. Anything that happens that we call bad, I understand that it's there to help push me forward, not to pull me back.
Mara: Internally, I feel more calm having this whirlwind of a spiritual experience. I find that life is just as hard. In the past year, I've lost my father. I've lost the family farm that I grew up on. I've lost my precious uncle. So much loss has happened in my life in the past year, and I've handled it. I never imagined what life would be like on this planet without having my father in it. But I'm finding that concrete base, and that love in the relationships that I've built up, because of Jonas, because of my new perspective. No matter how hard I feel life shaking me, that concrete base is still there.
Wake Up was directed by Jonas Elrod and Chloe Crespi and produced by Steve Hutensky. Learn more at WakeUptheFilm.com
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